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Helper Stole Lipstick and Smells of Pee

  1. #1
    noc is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Helper Stole Lipstick and Smells of Pee

    I have been having various problems with my helper.

    First, since last week, she has smelled of pee. And not just when she comes out of the bathroom, it has been quite a constant smell. I thought that it was from a pair of unwashed pants she has been wearing (which is quite disgusting in itself), but I have found that the smell stays with her even after she changed her pants this week. Our house is not very big, and she takes care of my child during the day, so it is quite disturbing. I tried by saying that living room smelled like pee, and she should change the baby?s diaper, but she didn?t get the hint. How should I deal with this as it is bothering all of us?

    Then yesterday, when I peeked in her makeup bag lying around our living room, I found one of my lipsticks that I have been missing (I know it is mine) and a bag of empty medicine that my doctor prescribed me with my name on it. The lipstick is not that expensive, less than $200, but I am still upset? and worry about what else she has taken or could take. I also think it is strange for her to be keeping my empty medicine bag.

    Finally, I have found that she is not very clean lately. For example, I noticed a thick cloud of dust on one of the glass shelves in my bathroom. I left a thumb print from when I drew a line through the dust to see how thick the dust was, and my thumb print has been there since Saturday. It is already Thursday, and while she is normally busy with cooking, taking care of my child, etc., it has been over 4 days already. I don?t think this is an acceptable standard of cleanliness and dust should be removed at least by midweek, if not every day. Am I being unreasonable?

    What should I do?

  2. #2
    zoey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Hong Kong

    Of course, you are not being unreasonable. If I were you, I'd have gone mad!

    If she's not as smart as taking in your hints, I guess you've to be more direct and let her know about the smell that has been bugging you...... and the dust with your finger print on, too.

    The lipstick - I'd say to her, "How do you know that I got this for you as Christmas gift? Do you like this color?"

  3. #3
    Speculator is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Sai Kung/Ware, Herts, UK

    Once a thief, always a thief.

  4. #4
    spockey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Our current helper is perfect with my child and running our household. But, when we had a visitor from the UK recently, she stole GBP120 from him while he was out from his travel pouch. While she's never stolen from us, I did notice that the marketing costs started getting inflated so I've asked her to strictly shop at Welcome as a result.

    While most have suggested that we terminate her, I don't have the heart knowing that she still has a great debt to settle but she has been officially warned that if anything goes missing, it'd be reported to the police and she'd lose her job instantly.

    Just my two cents but I've been through hell the last year with helpers and have learned that the perfect helper doesn't exist. Why don't you sit down with her and go through ALL the problems and make it clear what your expectations are... We've drawn a timetable of every thing we require her to do. And when it comes to cleanliness, maybe you need to spell it out for her too. Maybe she doesn't know that she can use your washer/dryer to wash her clothes? Or she doesn't have enough supplies?

  5. #5
    mushi's Avatar
    mushi is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    happy valley

    hi noc, spockey is right, perfect helpers do not exist! so pls. try to sit with yr helper and talk to her about how u feel about both the things....did u ask her for references earlier? maybe u can talk to her prev employer and find out if she did any such thing with them> be extremely firm with her and tell her that if any such thing happens again then u will be forced to break the contract ....the one thing that u might be scared of is trusting her with yr child when u r away after this showdown....hence be firm but at the same time make sure she gives u her point of view too so taht she can take her anger/guilt out at u and not at yr child.....make sure she talks and keep talking to her till she gives an explanation./...all the best!

  6. #6
    val23 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    Hi Noc,

    Maybe you should talk to your helper directly. Maybe she found your lipstick in the trashcan when you accidently bumped it over... If she doesnt have a good reason, I guess she stole. It might be impossible to find perfect helpers but honesty is probably the number 1 trait that we want our helpers to have.
    As for the smell of pee, I really dont know what to say. Is this just recent? Strong pee smell could signal diseases you know?
    If you find some household chores missed you should just tell her nicely but firmly that she has to do them.
    Hope this helps.

  7. #7
    Honkyblues is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Hi there

    regarding the stolen lipstick, you should confront her - once you've heard her 'excuse', give her a written warning (or a very strong verbal warning) that you will not tolerate things going missing etc and that next time she will be terminated. Spell out for her what you regard as stealing and dishonesty. She may be under some strange delusion that if you already have 5 lipsticks and that she's never seen you wear that one, then it's ok to 'borrow' it.

    re the smell of pee - are you sure it's not damp, mouldy clothes? If something is allowed to dry very slowly in Hong Kong (and stays damp for a over a day), it often develops a very strong smell that personally I think smells a bit like urine. In which case, make sure she knows she's allowed to use the washing machine and tumble-dryer. If she prefers to handwash, then make sure she at least spin-dries her clothes so they are semi-dry and don't stay wet so long.

    And for your own sanity, don't drop hints or 'lay traps' regarding cleaning or other jobs you want done. Just tell her outright that the shelf is dusty and needs to be cleaned. I used to leave things undone/unsaid wondering how long it would take my helper to do the job properly -well, frankly, it could take until Christmas 2010 or longer, so save yourself the frustration of checking daily if a shelf has been dusted, or if a cupboard has been tidied, or a bin emptied - and just tell her directly!

  8. #8
    babymama is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    I think you need to talk frank with her about the 2 things and generally what you expect clearly. But try and also listen, because they like to express themselves too... I get similar issue with my helper in the summer, her armpits smell when she gets hot from doing household chores.. I know its not pee... but I just tell her she is starting to smell and she takes shower.

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