Forums  •  Classifieds  •  Events  •  Directory

 
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

accident

  1. #1
    mintycat is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    347

    accident

    We are on vacation in the US with my helper and children, staying at my parents' house. A few days ago, we went out for a walk around the neighborhood and when we came home, the helper took my 13 month old in to wash her hand while my 3 year old stayed with me outside as I folded the strollers. I heard loud cries and later saw my 13 month's old hand all red and swollen. I asked the helper if she used hot water accidentally but she denied it saying she only used cold water. After a few minutes blisters began forming and my baby was inconsolable. Finally we took her to the ER and the doctor said she had a second degree burn (the blister was the size of a 50 cent coin).

    All this time, I pretty much ignored her in the ER as I was busy talking to the doctors or trying to console my baby. She acted like nothing serious had happened and walked around the ER reading newspapers (and even jumping around playing with my older one when we were at home and I was trying to calm down my baby). I told her what the doctor said and she said sorry in a half hearted manner.

    On the way home, I asked her what really happened and she said she only used cold water. But how could cold water cause second degree burn? She said maybe someone used the sink before and that was why hot water came out of the cold water tap. But she did admit she did not test the water herself before putting my baby's hand under the running tap and that she just grabbed the arm of my baby and her own hand never touched the water. Is that even called handwashing?!

    When we got home, I later found out the first thing she said to my mom's helper was she was concerned whether she could still have her holiday the following day! Anyway, I called my husband to tell him the story and he wanted to talk to her. We were both really angry because it seemed she did not understand the gravity of the situation and showed little remorse and just continued playing around. After talking to my husband I saw that she was crying and went down to the basement. When she came back up, she was talking on her mobile outside my room and refused to come in and help me bathe the kids. She has her own room in the basement but I think she deliberately talked outside my room. I even heard her say "one month notice" in english very loudly. When I asked her she did not budge and finally came in reluctantly. Then she said to me that if I was unsatisfied with her, I can release her. Her attitude changed 360 degrees. She refused to look at me when I talked to her. She said my husband did not believe it was an accident and that he blamed her. Well, regardless whether hot water really came out of the cold water tap or if she accidentally turned on the hot water tap, she should first test the water herself and let her own hand run under the water together so if the water turned hot, she can immediately take the baby's hand away. Since her hand never touched the water, my baby began crying and she still continued to wash believing it was cold water and that my baby was only fussing. She could not even distinguish between a fussy cry or a painful cry. Even though I was outside in the garage, I knew the cry was different so I ran in to see what was going on.

    That night she refused to eat dinner and refused to talk or look at me. My baby was hurt under her care and here she was throwing a childish tantrum.

    So I am wondering if I release her immediately, do I still have to pay her one month even though she caused an injury to my baby? We are in the US now and still have about 4 weeks here. The next morning, her attitude was back to normal as she came up to say bye to be before she went on her holiday. She said sorry for what happened. It was like things were back to normal. Before this happened, we were supposed to go out for dinner so I asked her to come back at 7:30 pm and when she found out we were staying home for dinner (cos I did not feel comfortable leaving the kids home) she asked my mom's helper why she had to come home early then. My mom's helper later told me that my maid thinks something like this is 'natural' and did not know why we had to get so angry and upset about it. WHAT?!

    I mean, I cannot accept that she refused to accept responsibility and turned around and got mad at me for telling my husband or at my husband for getting angry at her. (FYI, I know my husband and he never yells. His tone was probably really angry and he grilled and grilled her about what happened.) My mom's maid later told us that my maid said I ignored her at the hospital and that I looked angry and she didn't feel happy that I was ignoring her. My mom's maid said it's normal we were angry because we are parents and that we are concerned about our baby!

    There is one year left in her contract.

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    6,259
    it sounds to me like it was an accident. it could just as easily have been you who forgot to check the water... i must admit that i don't always check it either... (i'm from canada and have burned myself with hot water coming out of the cold water tap. that sometimes happens when you have the large water heaters and single taps.)

    HOWEVER, her attitude afterward leaves MUCH to be desired. if it had been me, i would have been worried sick and in tears myself for causing such pain to a little one!

  3. #3
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    6,259
    ps. i would have been angry at the start, simply because my child was hurt so badly. after possibly accepting her explanation, i would have been IRATE at her lack of care about my child.

  4. #4
    mintycat is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    347
    Yes I admit it was an accident but her attitude after it was the thing that is causing me grief. Also if she was holding my baby's hand instead of the arm, she would've been able to feel the water and pull her hand away. I admit when we first arrived, I accidentally turned the water too hot as I showered my older one but I pulled her away immediately so her skin was just a little bit red afterwards. But this time, even though the baby was crying she continued to run her hand under the tap because she herself didn't feel the water and that was why the burn was so severe.

  5. #5
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    6,259
    like i said, her attitude is WAY off, especially if she doesn't seem to care at all how the little one is doing... if i had caused someone else's child a trip to the ER, accident or not, i'd be absolutely devastated!

  6. #6
    HappyV is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    DB
    Posts
    365
    Look accidents happen to EVERYONE. The only way to guarantee that nothing every happens to your child is to look after them yourself - then you have no one else to blame when things go wrong. It sounds like either way, it was an accident. No one does things right 100% of the time.

    I agree that her post-accident behaviour is not good - but I think it is understandable. She is obviously afraid for her job, and probably very sorry about what has happened.

    Your suggestion that you somehow don't need to give her a months notice if you want to hire her is not great, either. If you want to be a responsible employer, you should give her the month's notice (or, I guess, a month's payment in lieu) and a ticket back to HK to pick up her belongings. I think you would also be responsible for her ticket back to her home country (?).

    You might want to consider the practicalities before you fire her quickly, given that you do have a substantial amount of time left in the US before you can look for another helper (if this is the way you want to go).

  7. #7
    mintycat is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    347
    Happy V - somehow I knew you would be on the helper's side. Yes I could've looked after the baby myself and washed her hand myself but my helper after a year working for me, still does not know how to fold the strollers so I had to fold the strollers myself. I DID not ask her to wash the baby's hand for me, I was gonna wash it myself after I had folded the strollers but she had already went in to wash it.

    FYI, I did not raise my voice at her at all, and I know it was an accident that is why I didn't even scold her or anything. I didn't even blame her. I even consoled her when she was crying. The only thing I asked of her afterwards was to be more careful next time. Is that even wrong?! MAybe it is wrong in your eyes because from your previous posts, you seem to think all employers are bad and you are such an advocate for them that in your eyes, they can do no wrong. Only employers are to be blamed and that we should just look after our children ourself and do everything ourselve.

    I am not going to fire her and believe me, I will give her one month notice if I were to fire her and I have a ticket for her to go back to HK (business class too by the way) AND a ticket back to Philippines. I only posted that question in the event that her attitude toward us is still bad, why should I still keep her for one month if she were to give me attitude throughout?! I will not fire her while we are in the US because in the supporting letter to the US consulate, she is supposed to arrive and depart the US with us.

    Happy V, it seems you always like to post on the helper forum and blast the employers for doing anything wrong. We cannot be unsatisfied with their work, we cannot reprimand them for being careless. How do you know I am not grateful for the work my helpers do for me? I am not in anyway mistreating them or underpaying them.

    And yes, I am aware that accidents happen to everyone. I never blamed her in my post if you read carefully, I am just posting about her attitude afterwards and the way she told me to release her if I was not satisfied with her work. You think it's understandable that her attitude afterwards was bad, if I had done something wrong at my work, I would NOT act that way in front of my boss. I would NOT even dare to throw a tantrum or give my boss attitude. I tolerated it and I didn't even say anything about it, I even consoled her and said it was an accident and that my husband was only worried because he was not here. What would you do if your work employee acted that way after she did something wrong, would you say that you couldn't done her job to prevent the mistake from happening and that you would be ok with her attitude?!

  8. #8
    mintycat is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    347
    Yes no one does things 100% all the time, but the way you answered my post sounded like it was just a scrape and not a second degree burn. And you said her behavior afterwards was understandable, but is it acceptable!? Do I even have a right now to be annoyed at that type of behavior on top of the fact that my little baby is hurt!!

    I am already in such a miserable state seeing my daughter with a hugely bandaged hand, she has to go to the doc to change the dressing every 2-3 days and I was told it will take 10-14 days to heal and I am dealing with a helper with an attitude problem and here you go picking on me telling me that nothing would've happened if I were to look after the kids myself. Yes I am sure nothing would've happened if I were to wash her hands because I would for sure have tested the water first before I put her hand under the tap!

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Scroll to top