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Domestic Helper Living Area?

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ecureilx
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Postby ecureilx » Tue, 08 Oct 2013 3:36 pm

Steve1960 wrote:Its all relative. Some of this seems horrible to us (you can decide who 'us' is)...
I am not condoning what goes on here in Singapore, just illustrating the flip side of the coin :-)


Which is the same, what my friend who runs an agency tells the maid, when maids ask for transfer because .. "boss wife pregnant" or .. "boss got a dog and I don't like take care of dog .. " and the likes ...

Seriously, I wouldn't be making friends for saying this .. but .. most of the employers here are on tight rope employing maids .. and if MOM mandates compulsory space for maids, I am sure half the maids would have to be 'let go' (a glorified term for fired - yeah ? )

... and as somebody explained, when maids are often compared to slaves, maids have a chance to say "NO, I don't want this employer .. " and they have an option to seek transfer or refuse to renew the contract .. right ??

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Postby PNGMK » Tue, 08 Oct 2013 3:38 pm

Hannieroo wrote:
x9200 wrote:Where/what would you rather could be a tricky thing so I would stick to what is the norm for ordinary occupants in the host country (here Singapore).


I couldn't. Admittedly I chose a house that had an additional bedroom on the ground floor to give us that option and if that hadn't been possible then I would have had to use the usual but if the room is empty why would you not give it to the human that lives in your house and improves your quality of life? The norm isn't always something worth following.

I can recommend an agency, Happy Home in lucky plaza. They seem quite proactive in matching people. One of my main criteria was a lack of fear and liking for dogs and the two ladies they directed me to were both certainly dog people.


Good recomendation. As for maids rooms look for older apartments - mine has an actual maids room that is ventilated and has light from outside and has a door. It's big enough for a single bed and tiny wardrobe but I wouldn't really call it a bedroom in the western sense. If this room hadn't existed I would have built something like it (technically I think it's a converted storage area on the floor plan but our FDW is very happy in it).

Unfortunately the newer places have to have a Domestic Shelter built in, and as such this uses too much space to allow for a maids room. I've had maids ask to use the shelter as a room in my previous place tho.

The other issue you will have is having enough bathrooms. Some of the new apartments seem to be cutting down on the number of toilets and showers... make sure you don't get caught out.

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Postby Steve1960 » Tue, 08 Oct 2013 3:48 pm

Good point, I also made sure I rented a place with two bathrooms.

As for the bomb shelter that is turning out just like the attics I used to have at home in the UK.

It slowly and quietly filled up over the last 18 months without me realizing. I swear Lord Lucan is riding Shergar in there somewhere :shock:

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Tue, 08 Oct 2013 4:08 pm

Hannieroo wrote:
x9200 wrote:Where/what would you rather could be a tricky thing so I would stick to what is the norm for ordinary occupants in the host country (here Singapore).


I couldn't. Admittedly I chose a house that had an additional bedroom on the ground floor to give us that option and if that hadn't been possible then I would have had to use the usual but if the room is empty why would you not give it to the human that lives in your house and improves your quality of life? The norm isn't always something worth following..

You got me wrong I think: a norm for occupants in Singapore is to have own bed and privacy if living together with some strangers. Now, if it was say Congo or Somalia or whatever more into the wild and a norm for the occupants would be living in packs under one roof sleeping on a floor then I would not mind and feel obliged to provide my maid a separate room.
We don't have a living in maid and one of the main reasons is we simply don't have any suitable room.

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Postby Hannieroo » Tue, 08 Oct 2013 5:08 pm

Oh, sorry I read that as the norm of no real space was okay. I was surprised actually.

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Postby CatherineS » Tue, 08 Oct 2013 5:25 pm

Hannieroo wrote:
x9200 wrote:Where/what would you rather could be a tricky thing so I would stick to what is the norm for ordinary occupants in the host country (here Singapore).


I can recommend an agency, Happy Home in lucky plaza. They seem quite proactive in matching people. One of my main criteria was a lack of fear and liking for dogs and the two ladies they directed me to were both certainly dog people.


Thanks for the recommendation! We have a dog so that is one of our primary concerns.

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Postby Hannieroo » Tue, 08 Oct 2013 6:55 pm

The other alternative is doggy daycare. I can personally recommend Ginny and friends. My dog had an absolute blast there.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 08 Oct 2013 10:04 pm

CatherineS wrote:
x9200 wrote:I would not be that surprised if the norm still would be the maid sleeping on the kitchen floor.


Surely families wouldn't make them sleep on the floor?!


One of the earlier FDW manuals for new maid owners actually had the language in it, "if your maid is going to sleep on the floor, be sure she is provided with a proper palette."

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Postby earthfriendly » Tue, 08 Oct 2013 11:49 pm

Growing up, I have slept on the floor with siblings, mom and I had also slept in my own bed. I quite enjoyed sleeping on the floor. When I stayed with my sister in SG, my nephew gave up his room and would sleep on the floor in his parents bedroom. While me and hubby used his bed. He is upper secondary school age. It had not been an issue for any of us.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 09 Oct 2013 7:30 am

And Japanese sleep on the floors too. Nothing wrong with sleeping on the floor. It is a complete lack of privacy 24/7 that is the problem. Grown adults normally needs some privacy. Do a mental experiment. Imagine yourself now going to some other people house, strangers that employed you, and everybody sleeps/stays in their beds in their rooms except you sleeping on the kitchen's floor. And like this for years. Does it feel same like memories from your childhood?

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Postby Hannieroo » Wed, 09 Oct 2013 8:34 am

My kids have slept on my floor when we have guests. I told my helper there was every chance if my husband's parents came she would have to sleep in the guest room because they can't do the stairs.

But that's not the same as no privacy and nowhere to keep your stuff. Where do you store your personal possessions in that situation? It's wrong.

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Postby PNGMK » Wed, 09 Oct 2013 9:28 am

Hannieroo wrote:My kids have slept on my floor when we have guests. I told my helper there was every chance if my husband's parents came she would have to sleep in the guest room because they can't do the stairs.

But that's not the same as no privacy and nowhere to keep your stuff. Where do you store your personal possessions in that situation? It's wrong.


FDW's usually have a wardrobe space allocated in a room where they can change etc in this scenario.

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Postby nms » Mon, 11 Nov 2013 12:22 pm

I don't necessarily agree with it but it is reality for a lot of families here. If you have a 3 bedroom apartment with either older children of the opposite sex or a grandparent living with you, where else is the maid going to sleep? Not everyone has the choice to put aside an extra room for the maid.

It is very common for them to sleep with the children and just to be given a cupboard for their personal belongings. For me, I feel it also infringes on the family's privacy as well if the maid sleeps with the children or other members of the family.

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Postby brian_singapore » Sun, 26 Jan 2014 10:46 pm

CatherineS wrote:Do any of you personally have a helper or actually knows someone who does this? Or is this just based on word of mouth?


Not in Singapore, but this was the norm when I lived in Sri Lanka. We had the same culture shock you did when the first landlord explained the kitchen floor was where the servant(s) should sleep then showed us the cupboard where the servant could store their bed-roll.

(We didn't ask our maid to sleep on the kitchen floor)


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