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how many helpers before you found a good one?

  1. #1
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    how many helpers before you found a good one?

    Just curious how many helpers people have been through in general before they find one they are really happy with and how much time you give a helper to get it together before you admit it's not working out?

  2. #2
    mintycat is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    With our first helper, I guess we both weren't happy and didn't gel so after 3 months, she was let go. With the second one, she finished a contract but we didn't renew her. She was very good with LO but was really careless and inefficient with all other chores. I think a few months into her job, I noticed her carelessless and she was not very tidy. She broke too many things and shrunk too many of husband's clothes. I didn't fire her because she was good with LO and I was pregnant and didn't want to go through the process of hiring again so I turned a blind eye, thinking I could live with her shortcomings, but in the end, I couldn't.

    My DH now has been with us for 7 months and so far she is very good and we are satisfied with her work.

  3. #3
    jane01 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Hong Kong
    7 years later, we still have our first helper. We didn't go through an agency - people we knew were leaving HK and we took her. We knew her beforehand and knew we'd be able to trust her. We actually hired her before we had children because we knew she was good and didn't want to lose her.

    I think we also had realistic expectations. Nobody is good at everything. I needed someone who I could trust to look after children and who could do household chores well (my husband is very fussy!). However, she was and still is a really hopeless cook which as a working mother drives me crazy. Still, I'd never swap her.

  4. #4
    HappyV is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005
    We've had the same helper for more than two years. We found her through a friend who knew her and strongly recommended her. We hired her without meeting her, but we did speak to her on the phone.

    We had interviewed about 6 people, but none of them seemed very confident. Our #1 priority was someone who would not only look after out baby, but play with them, and genuinely loved children: someone who could prioritise and make decisions - not need to be instructed over every last little detail. #2 priority was keeping bathrooms and kitchen clean, #3 was laundry and mess was a distant 4th. She's been wonderful since day 1. Were very lucky.
    Perhaps my expectations were a little different - I was home with our son until he was nearly four months old. Even with some part time help (after a C section), I still found keeping everything running smoothly to be very tireing. So when something isn't 100% perfect, I remember that everyone is human, and we all get tired or sick or forgetful. Having said that, these times are very few and far between.

    We've always had the approach that we won't stand over her - that she should have the autonomy to do things as she feels comfortable. Then, if there's a problem, we can discuss it. I think the autonomy and the respect we show her gives her the chance to be responsible, and she rises to thsi challenge every day.

    We hope to keep her for as long as we need full time help in Hong Kong.

  5. #5
    joannek is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Hong Kong
    the 1st one was excellent with LO, very absentminded & careless. i decided no one's perfect so kept her cos she was so good with my daughter. when it was time to consider renewing her contract she started coming home late & smelt of cigarette, and i also found out that she has a lot of lies. so i let her go.

    the 2nd one was from hell. i gave her 3 mths to prove herself, but she was just worst. i fianlly found some one to replace her, so i did have her for 6 mths.

    now is the 3rd one. very satisfied with her, been here 6 mths, which feels like 1 yr, cos she picks up our routine so well, and get along with everyone. finally, now i know a good helper can make one's life so much easier.

    all thru agent. the 1st 2 thru the same one. the 3rd one thru tak sing (u know the very popular one that makes tv ads). i guess i was very lucky to have picked her.

  6. #6
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Pokfulam, Hong Kong
    2nd Helper and she's been with us for almost 4 years. I interviewed her on the phone and had someone in Manila interview her in person. We're all much happier with her. She's a better cook, good at cleaning, and overall a nice person. I have to says she's become part of our family.

    Our first drove me completely batty. She'd been in HK for 8 years, and she just wanted to do the bare minimum. She needed to be micro-managed, which I didn't have time for and thus did less and less housework day by day. By the end of 2 years our flat was disgusting and we had roaches everywhere.

  7. #7
    Neha is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mid Levels, Hong Kong
    Ours has been with us for 12 years.Referred through some friends.She is not perfect but neither are we and we all make adjustments. She is honest , loves her son like crazy and that is most important to us.

  8. #8
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Discovery Bay, Hong Kong
    Gorwing up in HK our family had the same helper for 14 years, and she became a part of the family! There were ups and downs....she had family problems at one point, and money problems at another but she was so fantastic with us kids and the house that my mum got past all that! It was very, very sad when she left for canada!

    My husband and I now have a fantastic helper, who I have known since I was a teenager (she is a friend of our family's helper).....our number one priority was how she is with our son, and she's great. She adores him and he adores her....she plays with him, talks to him, teaches him!
    She has made a number of friends in our building, all with children in their care around the same age as our son, and so when we go out he is out and about with his friends and I don't need to worry about him being stuck at home all day.
    She never uses the phone when with him and when with him 100% of her focus is on her.

    Her cooking is ok....I give her a recipe once and then she's able to cook that dish whenever I ask her.
    She's a little dehf (!) and a little slow.....but we couldn't live without her! I never have to ask her to clean this, clear away this....she does it all without being asked which is great!

    I think a lot of finding a good helper is's very difficult to say after one interview wether someone is going to be able to live with you etc. Taking a helper from a friend, or from a reccomendation is by far the best way!
    And keeping in mind that no one is perfect!

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