Will you keep this domestic helper?

With most families being dual-income-with-kids, outsourcing home cleaning and home economics to domestic helpers is almost a way of life for Singaporeans. Come in and discuss issues pertaining to maids and home management.

Will you keep this domestic helper?

Postby ashana » Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:01 pm

Hi,

We are in a dilemma to change or keep our current domestic helper. We are new to hiring domestic helper so I'm hoping anyone with enough experiences can shed some lights to help us make a better decision.

The biggest problem we faced with current helper is language barrier. Majority of the time, she doesn't understand what we want and what is required of her. When she finally understood, she forgets often, including her own mistakes. Not being sarcastic but truly suspect she has brain issue. :siao:

Initially, we got a helper with hope to help with child but turn out we dare not trust her to handle child due to her forgetfulness and inability to understand instructions. It also turns out the child don't feel comfortable with her.

She stays in a very rural area and not experienced with urban lifestyle. She doesn't know how to use stove to cook. We have to cook for her even though when we don't feel like eating and take care of her meals because she can't cook. This is one big drawback. :slapshead:

She doesn't know how to handle food, as basic as fresh milk needs to be in the fridge, meat in the freezer etc. She doesn't know how to organize things because she doesn't know what each is used for. So, we have piles of things until we have time to sort them out. When we do grocery shopping, we also have to tell her where and how to keep each single item:shrug:

Till now, she still doesn't seem to grasp the concept of soap. She thought soap is to clean but always didn't clean the soap away thoroughly. So, we end up re-rinse whatever she cleans. :slapshead:

Through out the months of stay, she is only handling general household cleaning. We live in a HDB flat, frankly, not much household to keep her occupied daily. What she does is ironing and folding clothes, sweep and mop floor, sterilze bottles, wash plates and miscellaneous tasks like keeping newspaper, keeping toys, replenish toilet rolls...etc. She doesn't need to feed child at night. She sleeps at 10 and wakes up at 7 every morning. :boogie:

I think because there is really nothing much for her to do, to keep herself occupied, she does things that are not required of her. For example, she wipe the walls, wash toilets every day, sweep the floor twice daily, wash the plates that were never used, she even wipe toiletries bottles, containers...etc. I even saw her arranging chopsticks one by one. She is always doing something but she can't do what we really need her to do. At the same time, what baffled us is although we always see her cleaning things, the things are always not clean :shrug: :shrug:

She doesn't know how to use cutlery and eats horribly. We are really very reluctant to eat together with her when we brought her out for family outings. She is a very messy eater, very very messy eater. She can have grains of rice all over her face, noodles dangling out of her mouth, soup pours all over her chest, eat with very loud noise... etc. We really want to run away every time she sits and eats with us. :siam:

She is very emotional and cries easily. But I think she has overcome this issue and learn to take feedback positively. However, it can really gets on our nerves because it will take many many attempts to get her understood our point. After which, she will remember for a few days and forgot what was told! :stupid:

She is always breaking and spoiling things. She doesn't listen to instructions, forget instructions and hence, always breaking and spoiling things. To date (1 door, 5 mops, 2 electric kettles, 2 toasters, 2 steamers, 3 irons, numerous plates, bowls and cups, clothes etc.)

WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT HER
Because of her language barrier and culture diff, she dare not go out on her own. She doesn't have the day off and hand phone usage issue.

Whenever we ask if she wants to shop for anything she needs, she always declined. So, we don't have to deal with her shopping issue too.

She doesn't spend her money. So, we don't have to deal with her overspending and pay in advanced issue.

She is afraid of strangers, particularly men, so we won't be worrying her doing hanky panky.

She doesn't want to call home to the extend that we have to force her to make a phone call home. So, we don't have to deal with the phone bill issue.

:roll:


We can really go on with this arrangement if we wanted to. But we do hope to find someone who can communicate better so that we can delegate more tasks to the helper. But wondering, if is worth changing the helper who is incompetent but doesn't give us other problems like phone usage, day-off, hanky panky...etc.

She has been with us for almost 1 year. Unless we are going to have 6 years with her, I doubt is worth to spend more time to train her further or to expect more from her because she really really can't remember and understand instructions well.

What will you do?

:thankyou:

ashana
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Re: Will you keep this domestic helper?

Postby janet88 » Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:23 pm

ashana wrote:The biggest problem we faced with current helper is language barrier. Majority of the time, she doesn't understand what we want and what is required of her. When she finally understood, she forgets often, including her own mistakes. Not being sarcastic but truly suspect she has brain issue. :siao:
she has been with you for close to a year but yet can't communicate. how to leave her at home to do anything?
with this maid, I wouldn't want/dare to leave my child with her either.

Initially, we got a helper with hope to help with child but turn out we dare not trust her to handle child due to her forgetfulness and inability to understand instructions. It also turns out the child don't feel comfortable with her.

She stays in a very rural area and not experienced with urban lifestyle. She doesn't know how to use stove to cook. We have to cook for her even though when we don't feel like eating and take care of her meals because she can't cook. This is one big drawback. :slapshead:
instead of she cooking for you, you have to cook for her instead.
after one year still doesn't know how to cook on a stove.
honestly most maids live in a rural area but they would have to learn how to use our equipment given time and lots of teaching.


She doesn't know how to handle food, as basic as fresh milk needs to be in the fridge, meat in the freezer etc. She doesn't know how to organize things because she doesn't know what each is used for. So, we have piles of things until we have time to sort them out. When we do grocery shopping, we also have to tell her where and how to keep each single item:shrug:
a lot of things have to be taught to maids...how to handle food, how to store meat/vege etc. is your maid resistant to learn?
Till now, she still doesn't seem to grasp the concept of soap. She thought soap is to clean but always didn't clean the soap away thoroughly. So, we end up re-rinse whatever she cleans. :slapshead:

Through out the months of stay, she is only handling general household cleaning. We live in a HDB flat, frankly, not much household to keep her occupied daily. What she does is ironing and folding clothes, sweep and mop floor, sterilze bottles, wash plates and miscellaneous tasks like keeping newspaper, keeping toys, replenish toilet rolls...etc. She doesn't need to feed child at night. She sleeps at 10 and wakes up at 7 every morning. :boogie:

I think because there is really nothing much for her to do, to keep herself occupied, she does things that are not required of her. For example, she wipe the walls, wash toilets every day, sweep the floor twice daily, wash the plates that were never used, she even wipe toiletries bottles, containers...etc. I even saw her arranging chopsticks one by one. She is always doing something but she can't do what we really need her to do. At the same time, what baffled us is although we always see her cleaning things, the things are always not clean :shrug: :shrug:

She doesn't know how to use cutlery and eats horribly. We are really very reluctant to eat together with her when we brought her out for family outings. She is a very messy eater, very very messy eater. She can have grains of rice all over her face, noodles dangling out of her mouth, soup pours all over her chest, eat with very loud noise... etc. We really want to run away every time she sits and eats with us. :siam:

She is very emotional and cries easily. But I think she has overcome this issue and learn to take feedback positively. However, it can really gets on our nerves because it will take many many attempts to get her understood our point. After which, she will remember for a few days and forgot what was told! :stupid:

She is always breaking and spoiling things. She doesn't listen to instructions, forget instructions and hence, always breaking and spoiling things. To date (1 door, 5 mops, 2 electric kettles, 2 toasters, 2 steamers, 3 irons, numerous plates, bowls and cups, clothes etc.)

What will you do?

if this maid is mine, I would have sent her off long time ago.

there are so many things to do in a house. how can she be so free?

janet88
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Re: Will you keep this domestic helper?

Postby ashana » Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:35 pm

Thanks Janet for sharing your thoughts.

I would think language is one big problem. And also her forgetfulness.

She is not resistant to learn, she does show a willingness to learn but she is really not bright enough. And because of her forgetfulness and inability to understand instructions well, we really dare not delegate much tasks to her.

We really dare not take the risk to let her use the stove because experience has told us we really can't trust if she can understand what we said. We use gas stove btw so it can be very dangerous if she doesn't know how to use it properly.

ashana
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Re: Will you keep this domestic helper?

Postby janet88 » Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:02 pm

ashana wrote:I would think language is one big problem. And also her forgetfulness.

She is not resistant to learn, she does show a willingness to learn but she is really not bright enough. And because of her forgetfulness and inability to understand instructions well, we really dare not delegate much tasks to her.

We really dare not take the risk to let her use the stove because experience has told us we really can't trust if she can understand what we said. We use gas stove btw so it can be very dangerous if she doesn't know how to use it properly.

but when you employ a maid, you either ask to 1) look after the young/old 2) housework. if she can't be entrusted to cook and just doing so simple jobs, it's expensive to continue with her.
sorry I know i'm very strict, but I can't be employing a maid who cannot cook.

janet88
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Re: Will you keep this domestic helper?

Postby sky minecrafter » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:04 pm

Hi ashana, I agree with janet88.
Last edited by sky minecrafter on Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Will you keep this domestic helper?

Postby janet88 » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:18 pm

When I spend so much money to hire a maid, she must serve a purpose.
If the main priority is a child, I can close 1 eye where housework is concerned...hygiene and safety is crucial. But if she is employed to do housework/cooking, then she has to do that.

My last Filipino maid wanted a change of employer because her prev one hired her to help in a shop...after some months, she wanted to work in a family doing domestic stuff. Before I hired her, I asked her if she really wanted to do housework and cook. She said YES.
My cooking is standard few dishes, not restaurant style....steam/fry fish, chicken, soup. After 3 months, she told me she doesn't like to cook :mad:

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Re: Will you keep this domestic helper?

Postby Coolkidsrock2 » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:24 pm

My maids only need to clean and wash. Not expected to cook as it will be too complex. But sometimes, even this is too much for them.

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Re: Will you keep this domestic helper?

Postby janet88 » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:29 pm

Coolkidsrock2 wrote:My maids only need to clean and wash. Not expected to cook as it will be too complex. But sometimes, even this is too much for them.

When daughter was a toddler, I looked after her when the maid cooked and did housework. My meals are simple...not even 三菜一汤...that would be too complex for maid...it's usually 1 soup and 2 dishes or 3 dishes.

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Re: Will you keep this domestic helper?

Postby anyhowsay1 » Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:44 pm

Hi Ashana
ashana wrote:,

WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT HER
Because of her language barrier and culture diff, she dare not go out on her own. She doesn't have the day off and hand phone usage issue.

Whenever we ask if she wants to shop for anything she needs, she always declined. So, we don't have to deal with her shopping issue too.

She doesn't spend her money. So, we don't have to deal with her overspending and pay in advanced issue.

She is afraid of strangers, particularly men, so we won't be worrying her doing hanky panky.

She doesn't want to call home to the extend that we have to force her to make a phone call home. So, we don't have to deal with the phone bill issue.

:thankyou:


I was in exactly the same situation as you 9 months ago when I hired a myanmar maid. I was like you struggling with getting the maid to understand even basic things. She had very little education and knew very very little about the world/environment hence she was afraid to go out. She came to my house on the understanding that there will be no handphone for the 1st year until my son has taken his psle and settled into secondary one. She was given off days every sunday and half day off every sat to do what she liked. She also didn't like to call home so I had to force her. She also did not want to spend any money and declined to buy anything but I went ahead and buy all necessities for her. I kept thinking that an ignorant and incompetent maid is better than a naughty/evil one who would give me problems. I believed whole-heartedly that my maid is good-hearted and obedient and thrifty. Because I believe this whole-heartedly, I became very fond of her.

Her poverty and plight won my sympathy. I told myself I must give this person a chance since she has already arrived at my doorstep. I tried to transfer her a few times but agent asked me to be patient and give her at least 6 months. I wanted to be a kind, fair and understanding employer. I started to give her English lessons and taught her some geography and showed her the atlas. I taught her to sing her favourite One Direction songs & spent many hours chatting and shopping together during weekends. Her gross incompetence and mistakes invited scoldings from me but I forgave her very quickly. Like leaving a luggage at the hotel in Malaysia while we were already speeding in a taxi to the airport. Like putting dirty underwear with clean tea towels. Like putting cooked food and raw veggies under the sink till it rotted. We thought it was a dead rat. Like repeated leaving veggies to rot instead of cooking them, like hangin clothes without clips outside the window...the list goes on. As time goes by, and as her spoken English and comprehension improved, she did get better at her work after 6 months or so. I treated her like part of my family in general. She also told me this year that she was only 17 years old. We celebrated her birthday with a birthday dinner and cake.

I thought nothing could go wrong and I would keep her for 2 years. I was not a stickler on housework and my maid has plenty of free time, rest time. But things changed when she started to know friends and defy me by bringing friends to my home. She was too free. Due to the fact that I had good rapport with her, she started to confide that she was wrong about Singapore. She thought in Singapore she could find boyfriend and do lots of shopping. She decided to get a handphone without my knowledge. She also found that housework isn't her cup of tea. She decided that being a designer could earn more money as her friends told her so. I told her to perish the thoughts. Then one day without warning, she suddenly slammed down her bag and demanded to go home one morning. I bought her an airticket to pacify her temper tantrums and threats to run away. I reported her to MOM. She was furious & retaliated upon advice from her Myanmar friends and secretly reported to MOM that I did not give her off days, deprived her from calling out, did not pay her salary (the loan part, cheated her) etc.. that me and my 12 year old son abused her, was unkind, cruel etc..To prove that, she threw away the clothes I bought for her, dumped all into the dustbin

Good thing God was on my side and MOM actually investigated and through the interviews found that this girl was not what she claimed she was. A runaway from homeland, underaged, terribly immature with low EQ & a rebel at home with parents, inconsistent stories, etc..

It all started because I kept her when I really shouldn't, and the reason I kept her was because I believed certain things about her, which turned out to be quite the opposite.....All the time, the care and concern, the trainings were wasted for nothing......Now I understood why she was so forgetful. Her mind was never on housework.

Hope your maid doesn't turn out to be like mine and that all your patience and kindness is worth it.

anyhowsay1
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Re: Will you keep this domestic helper?

Postby janet88 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:12 am

Hi anyhow say,
Your heart must have broken into tiny pieces when the maid you so patiently taught turned into a monster. Her so-called friends brainwashed her completely.

My Filipino maid can hardly communicate...what pissed me off was putting words in my mouth. I explained what she had to do and left to her do the work w/out much interference. those months she worked was the most torturous period for me. She was resistant to learn.

janet88
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