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Does your helper stay out late?

  1. #1
    wanfamily is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Does your helper stay out late?

    Just wondering whether I've been a bit naive with my helper. When she came to us, she had had a 'strict' employer (ie 8pm curfew, not allowed to spend the night away etc.) My approach has always been that she is an adult, so I didn't impose any curfew and to be honest, I have encouraged her to go out when she is not on duty as I like the privacy and I believe it to be healthy for her to have her own separate friends etc. I did have a big talk with her about trust at the start ie not getting drunk/ getting involved with the wrong sort of people etc. One of the reasons I liked her is that she seems to be 'naive' and a 'good little Catholic girl'.
    For the first few months, she'd just go and visit her sister etc and would usually go out a few times a week and get back around 10ish. In January, her sister got sent back to the Phillipines and I have noticed a change in her habits. She frequently goes out during the week until around 10sih - or and on her day off, she is out all day and sometimes doesn't get back until after midnight.She has also stayed out all night after 'falling asleep at her friend's place - this was the night before her day off, so she didn't miss any work.
    At the moment, it's no huge worry as she hardly looks after the kids as I am at home - she starts a 8am, has a few hours off in the afternoon and finishes by 8pm. However, I'll be going back to work in August and she'll be responsible for my 16 month old while I'm working. (I'll probably be posting for advice on this later!!)
    On one hand, I want to respect her privacy - she's entitled to her private life . On the other, I'm worried because I'll be needing someone on the ball to look after my kids! She does work hard with clearning and cooking and when she does babysit for the odd hour or so, she is great with the kids, (No signs of hangovers!). However it's a different ball game running around after a toddler all day.
    This is my first helper, so I'm interested in your experiences!

  2. #2
    snagito is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Hi there, no, ours doesn't go out during the week at all and on Sundays is usually back by around 9 or thereabouts. We have been lucky in that we've not had to lay down any rules as she seems to like a quiet life. We do have two little ones so I am sure she's as tired as we all are by 7 pm!

    If I were you, I'd get her to do a bit of night babysitting and that way curtail activities without having to speak to her initially - see how she reacts. Sounds like she's fairly used to being able to take off wherever she wants after 8 pm but once you're back at work you'll need her to be around more and not resent that if you know what I mean. So maybe head out yourself a couple of times a week (without announcing it too much in advance - ie: let her know in the morning that you'll be out for dinner and she'll be listening to the monitor etc). Will be interesting to see if she's annoyed about this or just understands that this is part of her job..
    It sounds like she's had a lot of freedom and will have less soon and good to have an adjustment period if you know what I mean..

    Hope that helps

  3. #3
    sandy0741 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    hong kong
    Have you noticed any change of behaviour from her these few weeks?
    I don't know from your case, but for my first helper, after she was given day-offs after three months, she became a completely new person (not nice anymore), she still does her housework, but I noticed that she started talking a lot more on phone and not looking after my son well, her housework was just so-so, later i found out that she started going out with different men on Sundays...( i will even notice her smelling of cigarettes when she came home)
    So I just dont know, some helpers are mature enough to know what is right or wrong but some just doesn't. Some of my friends told me that same that once you let them go out, they will meet new ( sometime bad accompanies) and just change completely

  4. #4
    sorchului is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Hong Kong
    It's my first time to hire a helper too so I understand that you want her to have some more free time and privacy for yourself too.

    In my opinion, going out a few times a week plus day off is a bit too much and coming back home after mid night is not acceptable at all. She might seems to be a 'good little Catholic girl' for now but don't be surprised if she changes quickly. We don't know what kind of people she meets outside and the outside world is very tempting.

    I do give my helper some chances to get out of the flat by sending her to the market / supermarket / laundary shop. I am afraid that's all I can offer. I assume that she talks to her friends or have a short gathering during her time out. As long as she does not come back too late (within 2 hours) I am fine with it.

    If you want your helper to have more of her free time but you don't want to worry where she goes or comes home late, you might as well hire a part time if possible.

  5. #5
    Bumps Guest
    I seriously can not believe what I am reading. Honestly it sounds like the memoir I have recently read based during the Japanese invasion of talks about the treatment of mui chai.....

    Honestly, ladies, times have changed! I am appalled at the treatment some helpers get here in Hong Kong.

    I think that a lot of people forget that they are "employees" and NOT slaves. Does your boss think it is acceptable for you to have a life outside of work??? Of course they do. Do they mind if you take a personal phone call during work hours that does not disrupt your job performance - of course not.

    Please - let these ladies have quality of life. Let them have some dignity. Quite possibly they are more qualified and more intelligent than you! But unfortunately, their country may be too corrupt and poor to generate jobs for them.

    In the end if you don't like how your helper keeps your house, do it yourself!....Like most do in the rest of the world who are able to manage the family and employment.

    And finally, I find this comment to be absolutely naive and obnoxious!..:

    "She might seems to be a 'good little Catholic girl' for now but don't be surprised if she changes quickly."

  6. #6
    Bumps Guest
    Nope, actually, this comment here takes the cake:

    "One of the reasons I liked her is that she seems to be 'naive' and a 'good little Catholic girl'."

    Why? Why would you like someone that is naive? So you can take advantage of her?

  7. #7
    putput is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Hong Kong
    Wow Bumps! Pretty strong stuff there. From what I read, wanfamily is doing what she can to give her helper some space. She is noticing a change in her helper's way of conducting herself and naturally wants to be sure this will not impact how her child is looked after when she returns to work. I can't see anything that suggests that any of these ladies are treating their helpers like 'slaves'!!! Quite the contrary. The remark about naive is, I imagine, based on wanting someone who isn't manipulative or plays games which is what most employers hope for in a helper. Maybe you've misinterpreted wanfamily's use of the word 'naive' but does that then give anyone the right to assume that she wants to take advantage of her helper.

    Sandy0741 made a comment about 'alot more phone calls' so you can not compare that to the odd call of a personal nature.

    Finally, 'if you don't like how your helper keeps your house, do it yourself!....Like most do in the rest of the world who are able to manage the family and employment.' Actually, no...If you don't like how your helper keeps your house and you want to have a helper, you can look for someone else. I don't see the need to tell somebody how other people in the rest of the world manage to run their homes as if to imply that anybody here is not managing to do so.

    The type of person one feels comfortable employing in an office environment is not necessarily the same as the type one would employ at home. A helper shares our home, our personal space, and most importantly, time with our children so it is important that both parties are comfortable and happy with the arrangement, rules of living and working.

  8. #8
    AussieMum is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    I think every employer of a helper has different expectations, and of course every helper requires different management. I hired our first helper just over 3 months ago and am very happy with her. I am still learning about different ways of managing our relationship, I like to give her some freedom and relax some rules, but at the same time, like her to remember that I am her boss and want her to maintain certain standards. She is live in, and has Sundays off, and upon hiring her, we never really discussed her going out during week nights. We initially had no 'curfews' as such, but after the first couple of weeks she would leave at 7 in the morning on her day off and come home very late (11 or 12 at night). As our apartment is small, and I am very sensitive to noise, her coming through the door late at night woke and disturbed my husband and I on the Sunday night. She also didn't function too well the next day. As a result, we asked her if she could please ensure she is home by 10pm on Sundays as we are often in bed by this time. She has adhered to this without issue which has been great. During the week, she now occasionally asks if she can go for a walk or visit one of the other helpers in the complex. We are more than happy for her to do so providing she again returns home prior to 10pm. We have found that imposing a curfew has not affected our relationship with our helper.

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