All About Maids

In today’s busy world, hiring a domestic helper is probably the best way to reduce our workloads and to regain some time for ourselves. Out of ten working mothers, I would say eight of them have a domestic helper at home. The challenge here is to find a competent, reliable and trustworthy helper. It is not easy at all!
 
A good helper eases our responsibilities at home, but if treated improperly, she can be a time-bomb too. Having said that, bringing a complete stranger into our house is no simple task. Besides the lack of privacy, we need to know what to expect from each other and how to deal with the daily conflicts.
 
I hired my first helper in April last year. She has been working for me for more than a year now. So far, her work performance has been satisfactory. I don’t have any major complaints so far. Helper is just like a learner driver to me. Small mistakes will result in point deductions. Big mistake will cause an immediate failure, and she will get a one-way ticket to Jakarta.
 
Be a reasonable employer
All working class people need sick leave and vacation. The same goes to domestic helper. Although some of them do not have any off-days (as agreed in their contracts), please do give them a short break at work every once in a while. After all, they are human being too.
 
Be prepared for the lack of privacy
We should be prepared to have less privacy with a live-in helper. She will be handling our dirty laundries, under garments, bras etc. We have to keep our important documents and valuables safely. I will nag my husband if I see his pay slip and wallet lying around the house.
 
Have a set of house rules and work schedule
This is very important. On her first day of work, I gave her a set of house rules to follow. A work schedule on daily, weekly and monthly basis was set. She plans her own time to complete her works. I don’t micro-manage her. She prefers it this way too, rather than being told what to do everyday. No difference than a robot.  

Last but not least, we can definitely expect much more free time with our family, along with a glistening clean home if we know the tricks of managing our domestic helpers.

 

I’m a full-time working mother with a passion for writing. Through my blog, I share the challenges of balancing a demanding full-time career with family, ups and downs of motherhood, parenting tips and home DIY flashcards for pre-schoolers.
 

House rules and work schedule for maid

 Hi, I realise that I forgot to leave my email..it’s genees46@yahoo.com.sg. Looking forward to receive the schedule. 🙂

House rules and work schedule for maid

 Hi, can I also have a copy of the house rules and work schedule as well ? My Sis has a new maid coming. It is her first time getting a maid so It would b great to have this to start off with. Thanks in advance!

horrible experience

I just found out today that my agent has taught my new maid to lie about her employment history. I just learnt from another agent that we can check maid’s past employment history.

She has been transfered 3 times and inorder to market her agent taught her to lie that I am her 2nd employer. She is lazy and pampered and always on the phone.

When I decided to transfer her and went back to the agent, fast they ignore my request by not getting back to me. When I complain to their boss, they claim the agent I spoke to left and did not inform them.

Next i interview 6 maids who have recently been replaced and found out that the agent just push their maids and hide alot of facts.

for example one has 3 employers in 6 months. another had her work permit cancel by her employer, and she has 6 employer in one year and the  agent have me interview herand while waiting for them to print more documents for me to go thru, they said they discovered her WP has been cancelled and she has 6 employers so she has to leave Singapore! 

I now chose to go to another agent and lose my free transfer from TM Global due to this bad experience and am sharing this so employers out there do not make same mistake like me. You can check agencies and your maid’s employment history on MOM website and see if your agent is trust worthy. 

I am using comfort maid agency now, they are the one who taught me to go online to check my application status and employment history of my new maid whom I am hiring thru them. 

I perfer to work with agent who are open and trust worthy.  

 

maid

hihi

shirley here ,do u still have a copy of ur maid schedule in malay ? can foward to me

many tks

Re: Am i too good?

My maid also from Myanmar.

1) do you let your maid eat with you on the same table

yes.

(2) do you let your maid eat before you, if you are late home, like after 8.30pm

yes.

(3) do you allow your maid to watch TV after completing their chore?

yes. but mine is not interested in watching tv. instead she reads the newspapers.

(4) What is your maid daily work hour?  Is it 7 to 11pm?  My maid typically wakes up at 7ish and finishes when my tot goes to bed, mostly 10pm, occasionally 8-9pm.

6+ to 10pm

(5) This is a continuation from part (2).  Will you cook (e.g. instand noodle) and wash the dishes yourself if she has completed her kitchen cleaning and ready for bed?

No, but she can wash up the next day.

Just to share, my family treats my maid very well, and I mean really well. To the extent that she eats birds nest, and I pay for her to see specialist becos she has lumps in her breast. Each visit costs about $100 and I have to teake leave each time to accompany her. She saw the dcotor about 4 times.

Despite that, she actually showed me black face after I gave her time-off (she agreed not to have off day) to meet her friends. She also said she wanted to go home without finishing her contract. Att he time, she had worked for me for about 8 months. I had to tell her off sternly.

Recently I asked her if she wanted to renew her contract after it ends in Nov. Her first reply was no. We asked her to reconsider and to make a final decision one week later. we explained to her why she could not change her mind, due to the time required for hiring nw maid etc. She agreed to extend her contract.

Recently she came to tell me she has changed her mind again. This was after we went around finding out how to renew her passport etc. We were willing to pay $50 for someone to queue at the Embassy to renew her passport. We even offered to pay the $300 for passport renewal. Then next day she changed her mind again and wants to renew her contract. I had enough of her nonsense and told her I alraedy paid the agency fee for new maid, and can’t give her another chance.

I have learnt that while employers should treat their maid with respect, it does not mean that they will definitely appreciate it. For my next maid, I insist on no handphone and no off-day. We will still treat her well, but will certainly let her know that she is a "helper" and not "family member".

Hi Our Little Smarties, I

Hi Our Little Smarties,

I would like to hv a copy of your schedule for ur Indo maid! Btr still if it comes with Malay translation as well!

I just got an Indo maid recently and though she understands my English instructions quite well, I still think the schedule in Malay translation will ensure no misunderstandings between us.. many tks!

Miso_Ramen

Ps. U can send to my email at cris.low@gmail.com

 

Lifestylelink, mine's a

Lifestylelink, mine’s a Filipina.

My responses to your questions:

(1) Not at home, she’s her own little pull out in the kitchen.  If we eat out, of course!

(2) Yes, sometimes before 8pm if we’re not home.

(3) Nope, but like winth, she takes morning and afternoon coffee breaks.  On weekends, if she’s done with chores and no cooking of meals needed, she can take her nap.

(4) 6am to 10pm but she usually gets to bed before than 🙂

(5) I usually wash up after myself unless I’m too lazy to do so

My this helper needs to be proded…sometimes even normal everyday stuff she can get them wrong or muddled but I believe in giving people second (or multiple) chances. 

I used to be friends with my helpers until this one who’s got no grateful/thankful bone in her.  Now it’s more transactional but I’m a relational kinda person so it’s very tiring for me!

Hi Lifestylelink!

Hi;

My Indonsian maid has being w me for the 7th year now. She has been a very responsible and have initiative in and out of the house. Believe it or not, other than 6 monthly check up, she has NEVER been to e doctor (No MC for e past years!) She took care of my 2 boys (they are just 13mths apart) since e youngest is only 2mths old. Anyway, juz wana answered to your questions:

(1) do you let your maid eat with you on the same table. YES

(2) do you let your maid eat before you, if you are late home, like after 8.30pm YES, she can have her meals anytime of the day. (I allow her to fast during the Ramadan)

(3) do you allow your maid to watch TV after completing their chore? YES, at times I will asked her to join my family for TV session. She’s allow to watch any prog she wants during the day.

(4) What is your maid daily work hour?  Is it 7 to 11pm?  I think she wait about 6 plus. She goes to bed when she done her chores as my boys zzz w me.

(5) This is a continuation from part (2).  Will you cook (e.g. instand noodle) and wash the dishes yourself if she has completed her kitchen cleaning and ready for bed? I usually take supper at about 10pm. If she passby e kitchen while on e way to toliet, she will offered to cook and wash but I usually settled it on my own.

 

taz loh

Maid Experience

Having read all your comments, thought I share my varied my "maid experience" with all of you.

When I had my 1st boy, my mum helped me with his care till I became pregnant with 2nd. 3 months before my 2nd boy was due, we took in an Indo maid. On the surface she seemed to have adjusted well but she cried every night just before her bed time. We encouraged her to call and write home because we assumed she was home-sick. She wrote but couldn’t call cos no phone line reaches her kampung. Just 2 months before the birth of my no. 2, she jumped down from our condo while we were out. When her family came to take her body home, we were told that she had already been mentally unstable before she left home because her boyfriend left her!!! How would we have known by just looking at her biodata and a brief interview on the phone???

Then we hired another Indo maid. On the day we picked her up from the agency, our car stunk for another day – serious body odour problem. This is no exaggeration! On the very next day, we bought a tube of deodourant,  instructed her to use it daily and set our rules for body hygene. This one fitted in fast and well. Only problem was her strong body odour which improved over time. Whew…..

At the end of her 2 year stint, she decided to go for higher salary in Hong Kong so we had to let her go. We are still in contact with her, receiving letters and occasional calls from her. She now realised that while going to Hong Kong gives her more money, she has to spend more money too cos she has to pay for all her own groceries and must go out every weekend.

Replacing her was a 31 year old Indo widow with a teenager son. Driven by her strong will and wish to earn money to put her son through school, she worked very hard, got along very well with my mum (who comes to my place everyday to keep everything in check) and took excellent care of my boys. We were so happy with her that we gave her bonuses upon completion of each year and sent her home on an all expenses paid holiday at the end of her 2 years with us. She returned to work for us again after the 1 month holiday. 

She is nearing the 3rd year with us. We are going to hand her another month’s bonus and give her a raise. We are beginning to condition her mind to come back for another 2 years after the completion of this current contract. Good maid like this is extremely hard to come by. Pray hard for me!!!

All in all, you can see that my maid experience is fairly varied. From suicide case to BO case to finally a good maid. Finding a good maid is a gamble, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, really dependent on your luck. Some people swear by Phil, others stay with Indo all the way (like yours truly).  My theory is – be ready to change (even if it means paying the agency fees all over again) once you sense something is amiss, it is just not worthwhile taking any chances when we are leaving the love of our lives with them the whole day. Also, they too are human beings, treat them like how we would treat any other human being. Be reasonable.

Hi Lifestylelink!

Mine’s a myanmar maid too! So that makes 2 of us!

Questions & Answer Session

1) No (has her own small table in the kitchen)

2) Yes (has never happened before, but would allow it if it’s really so late)

3) Yes (gives her am; pm coffeebreaks in place of TV time upon completion of chore)

4) 6-10pm (are her waking hours; typically work starts from 7am and ends at 9.30pm)

5) I like to do my own cooking, so yes for part i; would leave the dishes in the sink if I dun feel like washing them. My current maid would typically wash them up though she is officially ‘off-duty’. Can also use this to gauge how ‘automatic’ the maid is.

am I too good?

Since we are on this topic of maid, can I have a poll from those of you who hired maid to look after your little ones.  All I need is a Yes or No answer.

(1) do you let your maid eat with you on the same table

(2) do you let your maid eat before you, if you are late home, like after 8.30pm

(3) do you allow your maid to watch TV after completing their chore?

(4) What is your maid daily work hour?  Is it 7 to 11pm?  My maid typically wakes up at 7ish and finishes when my tot goes to bed, mostly 10pm, occasionally 8-9pm.

(5) This is a continuation from part (2).  Will you cook (e.g. instand noodle) and wash the dishes yourself if she has completed her kitchen cleaning and ready for bed?

My agent told me I am too nice .  I need to check because current maid going home soon and getting new one in November. Also, it seems like I am the only one hiring maids from Myanmar.

go to My homepage or SAHMs Opportunity.

Previous Maid Experience

My previous maid-hiring experience told me that we ought to hire someone that we find very pleasant (to us), since as employers, we are going to face this person on a daily basis, whether we like it or not. It’s not like we are going for some beauty pageant, but we should feel comfortable living & interacting with this new person in the house.

When the photo was shoved to us (through recommendation), we were encouraged to take the maid and this person said all the good things about her. It wasn’t like we went through an agency and had choices since it was our first time taking up a maid. We prefer someone to help us vet through. But apparently, I think we were treated like fools by this person.

When I gave my hubby the photo, he was like … err… can dun hire? Is this normal?

We took 2 weeks to finally accept the potential candidate, told ourselves that our gut feeling must have been wrong, she might have been good, we should be able to accept this person.

This maid lasted a month before we were so tired of serving her and finally sent her home after 2 months employment, though we paid upfront of 3 months to the person who highly recommended her.

This current maid is fantastic and it was picked from the many we interviewed (a transfer maid). The gut feeling was very strong when we first saw her. And yes, we like how she looked. It proved to be a very good hire, basically she’s very industrious, pleasant and cheerful.

Personal Hygience

Hi EN,

Yes, you are right! Thanks for pointing out on the personal hygience too… It is also part of my house rules – shower twice a day, wash hair everyday, brush teeth twice a day, keep her hair short and tidy etc…

Our Little Smarties 

http://ourlittlesmarties.com/

House Rules & Work Schedule

I’ve a set of house rules and work schedule for my Indon maid (with Malay translation)… I can post them sometime this week… it will be useful for new employers, particularly with Indon maid….

Our Little Smarties 

http://ourlittlesmarties.com/

New maid arriving this Friday

All these information are useful for me.  My current maid is leaving this coming Thursday (after 3 years – times for her to go as she is picking up loads of bad habits as she goes along) and new one arriving the next day.

I am trying my best to start everything new likes preparing a schedule and rules for her.  I did not do that for my current maid as she was "trained" by my mother.

I am  grateful for all the tips and tricks.

 

New maid arriving this Friday

All these information are useful for me.  My current maid is leaving this coming Thursday (after 3 years – times for her to go as she is picking up loads of bad habits as she goes along) and new one arriving the next day.

I am trying my best to start everything new likes preparing a schedule and rules for her.  I did not do that for my current maid as she was "trained" by my mother.

I am  grateful for all the tips and tricks.

 

Thanks! I agree with both

Thanks! I agree with both Little smarties and EN.

Like it or not… We have a vested interest and do benefit greatly when our helpers are happy… I have peace of mind knowing that I have a happy worker at home. So far we have left our helper  alone with ds2 on numerous occasions, as I know that I have treated my helper well there is no reason for her to have any grudges with us and then take it out on ds2…. Of cos there will be "black sheeps" among them who do not return kindness for kindness. In such an instance… one time is too many and I will not hesitate to send them back. 

I make a conscious effort that whenever I buy goodies or pastries or desserts for ds1 or for the famly in general, I either get an extra portion for our helper or have ds1 share with her. I know that she appreciates this as many of them do not have the luxury to taste such food back home… It’s also to let her know that she is not forgotten when our family has goodies.

Other than my MIL who tends to nag at her for little things… DW and I make a point to thank her for little chores that she do for us… To us, she is primarily a helper to help us alleviate some of our home "burdens"… And I think mine is doing a great job so far

New to the environment

Just to add, like us, when we take up a new job, we are given about 6 months probation period. During the 6 months, we slowly learn the rope and day by day become proficient in the task we are required to do.

So as an employer, we should allow them to learn their job gradually. Some of the maid back home, has no electricity supply or even water supply. So, it takes a while for them to learn.

Instead of always in the house being coop in, bring the maid along when you go out. My ex maid loves to go market with me. While I’m at the market, I allow her free time to browse at the nearby shop. Once I’m done, I’ll look for her at the shop and she can help me carry the stuff that I bought. By then, she would have done with her shopping and I have my own privacy of buying my groceries.

I brought my maid to my mil or mum’s place. She loves it too cause she either got to chit chat with another maid while helping to clean up the dishes.

Yes, it is important to set house rules too. Take a bathe at least twice a day, change of clothing at least twice daily (must be monitored). The clothes she wear, she tries to wear it again without washing. No other maid is allowed to be in the house, not even the neighbours maid looking after the neighbours kids, playing in my house.

looking forward for more

looking forward for more tips of handling maid. tks.

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