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Helper arriving - what to prepare

  1. #1
    jaetee is offline Registered User
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    Helper arriving - what to prepare

    Hopefully our helper is arriving from the Philippines this weekend. I have a bed for her but what else should I have ready?? Sheets, towels, toiletries?

    And is it bad form to give her extra guest sheets and towels we already have?

    I have never had a helper so advice is gratefully appreciated.

    Thanks in advance for suggestions.

  2. #2
    kellyst is offline Registered User
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    i think it's nice to have the basics, blankets, toothbrush, toiletries, slippers. most of them eventually get their own toiletries once they settle in. i guess just the basics you need to get through a few days, until she can go out on her first day off to get her own stuff.

    it's not bad form to give her your guest sheets and towels, they won't be expecting new stuff.

    we get them comfy 'work clothes', just nice/cheap comfy tshirts and pants. it's not formal and they're not forced to wear it, but they're happy when they get it, as it's comfortable for them too, and they don't have to make their own clothes 'dirty' when working.

    oh, sometimes, it's nice to write down a list of things/chores they're supposed to do, on which day etc. i think this helps with breifing them in the beginning. somebody also mentioned ground rules, better lay them down early, than argue about them later.

  3. #3
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    i don't think that it's nice to give them a list...it's NECESSARY!
    also, don't just give them a list. take them through the house and physically show them how you like stuff done.

    show them how you like the toilet cleaned, what you expect for making the bed, etc.

    you'll find that what you may consider to be common sense is not necessarily translatable and common sense for others.

    good luck! enjoy the extra time with your new addition that having a helper gives you!

  4. #4
    geiboyi is offline Registered User
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    Talking

    You definitely need to give her some ground rules - perhaps you have friends who can give you a sample? - it will avoid tears later.

    Spare sheets is fine. The idea of work clothes is a good one, but not essential. If the job will be mainly cooking/cleaning then she might appreciate work clothes, but if it's mainly childcare she might not.

    I would provide only very basic toiletries (does she have a separate bathroom or will you share?) - my helper buy her own, and uses our shopping money for toilet paper and soap only (I put this in my long list of guidelines).

    If you are particular about how you like things cleaned then you MUST show her (not tell her), and buy the products that you want her to use. I may have mentioned this before...CIF....evil product. Bleach also will cause tears.

  5. #5
    loupou is offline Baby Guru
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    In addition to writing down expected jobs and scheduling (e.g. dust daily? Vacuum daily? every other day?, etc.) I would also recommend.

    1) Make a list of your emergency contacts and her emergency contacts. Who should she call in Hong Kong and/or overseas in an emergency? Who should you notify in case she has an accident or something?
    Make sure she knows 999 for police and fire.

    2) Going through recipe books with her and list the recipes that you like. Maybe even write down a fortnighht's menus for her w/ name of cook book
    and page number

    3) Go shopping w/ her & explain how you like things or expect. For example one thing I just discovered about my present helper is that she never opened a box of eggs to check for cracks or broken eggs before purchase (maybe because she did not buy eggs at a supermarket in her home town?). This is something my parents taught me at a young age - so I never thought this was something I needed to ask for.

    4) Explain very clearly what you expect.

    For example, I don't care what towels she uses - everyone in our family uses the same bunch and when they are dirty they get washed. But some people might have a thing where "brother uses the striped; sister uses the solid blue; mother uses the yellow; father uses the green..." so then you would want her to use only a particular set.

    5) After a week or so, sit down (after the kids are asleep) and do a review of things that are going well and things that need reminding.

    6) Make sure she understands your instructions. Some helpers will say "yes ma'am" because that is the easiest thing. So ask her (as nicely as possible) "do you understand; can you tell me in your own words what I've asked you to do" (e.g. pick up son from A and take him B and return home at such and such a time).

  6. #6
    sophwillsmum is offline Registered User
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    I have written a daily schedule for our helper as per the 'helper's helper ' book. What I was wondering though is what sort of rules everyone sets for their helper. Also, how do they address you? Is it inappropriate for them to call you by your first name?

  7. #7
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    it is what you are comfortable with.

    my helper tried calling me ma'am, but i was VERY uncomfortable with this, so she has called us by our first names ever since.

    as for rules, i never really set any. i told her that i didn't care what she did on her day off, but she was NOT allowed to work part-time. i also told her there was no curfew, but i would expect that she'd be ready for work the next day. also that she not wake everyone in the house up on her return. we've NEVER had a problem with this.

    if she wants to go out after dinner, she always asks if it's ok with us. so far, it hasn't been a problem. (we've just renewed her contract.)

  8. #8
    mintycat is offline Registered User
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    We told her she has to be up by 7:30 am because my husband goes to work at 8 am and DD wakes up around that time. She can go to bed anytime she wants as long as the chores for the day are done. I give her a curfew on her rest days at 10:15 pm. She can leave anytime she wants in the morning.

    I told her that if she ever wants to borrow money, come to us first and not borrow it from any outside source. My mother's previous maid borrowed a huge amount from a so-called financial company they ended up calling me everyday (I was single and living with them at that time) to get her to pay back, but she had left already because we didn't renew her contract.

    I also asked her to limit the use of our house phone. She has her own mobile phone anyway. My mother's DH's friends call her house all the time, DH receives more phone calls there than my parents. Also the previous DH (mentioned in the last paragraph) used my parents' driver's mobile phone in the middle of the night and racked up more than $1000 in phone bill per month.

    I also gave her a list of chores broken down by day, week and month. I agree that to make sure they understand what you want, you must demonstrate because they will say "yes, ma'am" even if they do not understand.

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