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Sarah Boys
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Anyone got any advice...

Postby Sarah Boys » Tue, 31 Jan 2012 8:40 pm

we are about to get a maid. Suffice to say that while we had a cleaner back in London, we've never had a maid. The reason behind it was the long hours we're working. I'm having a hard time not feeling like a member of the ruling classes.

Anyway we've interviewed and chosen our maid, she seems very nice and has done a couple of contracts. We're happy with her. However my main concern is that IO'll be too lax and let her get away with too much. I'm already a bit weirded out by the situation and how they are sometimes treated. That being said, I still want to make sure that she does what we need her to do. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Many thanks,

Sarah

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 01 Feb 2012 8:59 am

I'd suggest treating here as you'd reasonably like to be treated in her place. The news stories I read and the locals' opinions on how maids should be treated disgust me. (Arguing against maids getting a day off, etc). Minimally at least remember she's a person, and not property. :)

I've already realized though if my family ever gets a maid, she'll probably think she's the luckiest maid ever.

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Postby nutnut » Wed, 01 Feb 2012 9:26 am

I understand where you are coming from with this, we had the same thoughts when our maid started.

You have to be clear and concise, remember, it's your house, you are inviting a worker into (not a friend or family member) and you have to therefore set rules and tasks.

We set a list of rules that were quite tight to start with, this was a little tricky, but bear in mind, if she's worked for locals in Singapore then she's probably had a lot harder time in previous contracts.

We included things like the following

- When you expect them to be "at work" and "finish work"
- What the tasks are to do - with detailed instructions on things you are picky about
- What time you expect her back on her off day (We did this as we wanted her not to be tired on the Monday morning when she took the kids to school, this has changed now as I take them, since I am working from home)
- We said she wasn't allowed any friends in at all
- Also, we said not to come into the bedrooms when we were in them (I'd heard stories of maids walking into bathrooms and cleaning when people are sitting on the loo etc :o )

Tasks we gave her were structured and pointed in a list

- wash floors daily
- change x bed on Monday, y bed on tuesday, z bed on wednesday
- wash clothes when there is sufficient for a load of washing
- clean ceiling fans weekly
- wipe cupboards once a month

This kind of thing, the more detailed you have it written out the clearer it is.


Since our maid has been with us, we have improved her environment and slackened off the rules a little, we allow her out in the evening quite often now, she has most Saturday's off as well as Sunday's, she controls the shopping budget closely and we have a good relationship with her. We have provided luxuries for her and she eats the same food as us. (always has)

If you treat them like a human being and let them earn trust then you will probably find they will be fair and good to you!

Hope this helps! Don't be tempted to follow every instruction that any local friends tell you, like fitting CCTV/not allowing them out etc as they will probably hate working for you and treat you badly back. A fine balance it is indeed!

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Postby BillyB » Wed, 01 Feb 2012 9:28 am

Treat them as the human being they are and follow your gut instinct. Ignore all the 'rules' and do what you feel comfortable with.

If you want to give her weekends off - then do so
If you want to all eat together - then do so
If you want to give her a little more money than in the contract - then do so
If you want to pay for a flight back so she can see her family - then do so

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Postby nutnut » Wed, 01 Feb 2012 9:31 am

I'd suggest some of this is good framework, although, the person's attitude is very local and you'd probably find disgusting, some of the points like kids respecting the maid and giving detailed instructions are very valid!

http://singaporemaid.blogspot.com/2007/ ... -maid.html

Some of it is simply horrendous!
nutnut

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Postby BillyB » Wed, 01 Feb 2012 9:33 am

nutnut wrote:I'd suggest don't follow this guy!

http://singaporemaid.blogspot.com/2007/ ... -maid.html

Horrendous!


You've got a lot of time on your hands this year - are you currently sleeping in a tent on the east coast?

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Postby nutnut » Wed, 01 Feb 2012 9:34 am

I've just edited that post Billy, you obviously have too much time also!
nutnut

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 01 Feb 2012 10:01 am

nutnut wrote:I'd suggest some of this is good framework, although, the person's attitude is very local and you'd probably find disgusting, some of the points like kids respecting the maid and giving detailed instructions are very valid!

http://singaporemaid.blogspot.com/2007/ ... -maid.html

Some of it is simply horrendous!


Wow...

My maid is strictly not allowed to use the washing machine for her own clothes. I knew some families disallow the maid to use the water heater for shower, but I do allow my maid to use the water heater.
Wow, what a f@#$ing saint this woman is?



And this spread sheet:
https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key ... oQrtiCNeEw
"Many times let him fall down. Have to look closely. If he falls, its your fault. "

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Postby nutnut » Wed, 01 Feb 2012 10:07 am

Yes, it's totally hardcore, but the framework used is a good starting point, obviously completely take out all the crazy stuff about not washing your clothes with ours and buying your own food etc, it's totally f***ed up, use your noodle, but some of the stuff is relevant, also think about where the person may have come from, our friend's maid lived in a cardboard house with no electricity in the Philiippines, you can't expect them to be able to use everything in this instance, so detailed is good! Also, ask if they need it translated, that can be an issue. Remember maid's don't like to question you, they want to say yes to everything, it takes a bit of time!

The spreadsheet is good to use to put your tasks in! Again ignore all the stuff that they put in there, of course you aren't going to use it! :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Postby x9200 » Wed, 01 Feb 2012 1:11 pm

zzm9980 wrote:And this spread sheet:
https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key ... oQrtiCNeEw
"Many times let him fall down. Have to look closely. If he falls, its your fault. "

Anything else wrong with it? I didn't check the whole sheet but many remarks seems reasonable.

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 01 Feb 2012 1:18 pm

x9200 wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:And this spread sheet:
https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key ... oQrtiCNeEw
"Many times let him fall down. Have to look closely. If he falls, its your fault. "

Anything else wrong with it? I didn't run the whole sheet but many remarks seems reasonable.


A few, but I guess reasonable based on how hard you are of an employer.

This one though seems goofy:

- Electricity trip many times. Please put clothes properly before using. Need to improve.

That's the maids fault? sounds like bad wiring on the washer to me?


And the whole "What you can eat" thing... Asking permission to make calls (using their own calling cards), etc...

I guess I'm one of those "If you do a good job, I don't really care how (or from where) you conduct yourself the rest of the time" types when it comes to managing people. A lot of that would carry over if I hired help at home. Maybe I should print this spreadsheet as a joke next time I have to do a performance review.

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Postby ecureilx » Wed, 01 Feb 2012 1:59 pm

I like this part ..

"I separate my maid's food from the rest of the family. For example, she drinks those 3-in-1 coffee pack, while I drink expensive UCC and illy coffee. She eats NTUC bread, while I eat Gardenia bread. She eats selar fish, while I eat salmon and cod fish.

Remember that company CEOs fly first class when he/she travels, while other employees fly economy class.
"




Oh wait, in companies, other employees dont' sleep in the same house as the CEO, as the CEO can still sleep without fear of him / her being bashed to death due to abuses .. :roll: :roll:
Last edited by ecureilx on Wed, 01 Feb 2012 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 01 Feb 2012 2:04 pm

zzm9980 wrote:A few, but I guess reasonable based on how hard you are of an employer.

This one though seems goofy:

- Electricity trip many times. Please put clothes properly before using. Need to improve.

That's the maids fault? sounds like bad wiring on the washer to me?

Sounds like it may be the maid's fault. Is a duty of the employer to make everything fool proof? If she knows there is a problem with something and was told how to work around it simply by taking care how she puts the cloths in than IMO it's a fair comment.


And the whole "What you can eat" thing... Asking permission to make calls (using their own calling cards), etc...

This (the way it is put) I agree but it should be also made clear that there is a borderline she should not cross and not all the food she finds in home is for her or to be shared with her. She should be provided with a decent food of sufficient variety but unlike some members of this board I don't agree a maid should be allowed to eat whatever her employers eat.

I guess I'm one of those "If you do a good job, I don't really care how (or from where) you conduct yourself the rest of the time" types when it comes to managing people. A lot of that would carry over if I hired help at home. Maybe I should print this spreadsheet as a joke next time I have to do a performance review.

That would be the case if MOM did not put the maid under you in a more or less direct form of custody making you responsible for her wellbeing also in the case she did something really stupid. As I don't have a living in maid I can only say I understand the concerns of some employers.

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Postby Sarah Boys » Wed, 01 Feb 2012 4:39 pm

Oh my - I had thought of a list and can see the sense in some of this, but some of the rest of it is really mad. That being said, thanks for sending it to me, I know you're not advocating basing how I treat her on it,

A list should be pretty easy to come up with, so I guess that's what we'll do. I am not sure of her cooking so that will be trial and error and I think you have to have some rules - I'm just not that used to this!

Many thanks for all the comments.

Sarah

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Best to treat people the way you want to be treated.

Postby Betterthaneverstreet » Thu, 09 Feb 2012 8:46 am

Are you going to have your maid do personal things? Is there childcare involved?


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