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Arrow really hit the spot for us!

  1. #17
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie09 View Post
    consultant speak suggests to never start a sentence with 'why' or 'who' as they have a blaming undertone and make people defensive. better to use things like 'what's the rationale', 'how come', etc.
    Well, as my helper is speaking English as her second language, it is quite difficult for her to understand me when I ask her questions using more complex wording such as "rationale" and "how come." A simple "why" spoken in a kind and direct manner will be understood whereas the two previous phrases you suggested would leave her feeling puzzled trying to translate "rationale" and "how come" (as an English teacher, I'm used to trying to think like a person speaking English as a second language and phrases like "how come" could easily be confused with "how" as in "in which way did you do this"). For the sake of being simple and not bringing confusing language into play, "why" was definitely the appropriate word to use in this case. Now, if I was speaking with a native English speaker it would be different. Have you ever taught English as a second language or worked daily with people who speak English as a second language? If so, you completely understand what I'm saying.

  2. #18
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    I wanted to update this thread.


    At the beginning of February we dismissed our helper. She was great at cleaning and keeping our home tidy but she just couldn't grasp the concepts we were trying to get across to her when it came to how we want our son looked after. She was good-natured and sweet and it was very sad for us to say goodbye to her but we also had given her 5 months to learn what we needed her to learn and I think in the end it was outside her skill set. It wasn't for a lack of training either as she had been intensively trained and supervised by my mother (who I trust completely) for 3 months almost 24/6. But as the director of Arrow finally counseled us, "You could give her 100 more years and she just isn't going to 'get' it because it's outside of her frame of reference or understanding."

    However, Arrow has been really good throughout this whole process. They have helped us locate a new helper and hopefully, that helper will be able to be here by April. And hopefully still, she will be able to do the job we need her to do the way we need her to do it. We are, looking for a long-term working relationship with a helper and will offer incentives according to performance. We are reasonable people.

    I will say there was one thing that we weren't too happy about--when we hired this helper we weren't informed (until much after-the-fact) that the helper didn't have a Philippines passport. Usually when helpers are interviewed on the Philippines side they have to at least have a passport ready in order to start processing. Well, because she didn't have a passport (has never been outside the country) that was another 4-6 weeks before she could even apply for a HK visa. So, yesterday, I just received a letter of receipt from HK Immigration that means that our helper's visa should be processed in 6 weeks or under (I'm really hoping for the "under"). This means that we've been without a helper since the beginning of February and we may not have a helper again until the beginning of May (or heaven forbid, later). This "clerical error" on the agency's side was a real bummer. They did inform us of the passport issue but it was at least a week or two after we had agreed to hire this helper. They gave us the option of going for someone else but since this helper impressed us so much in her interview, I guess we didn't want to risk it with another person.

    On a positive note, we were able to conduct a Skype interview with this helper and let me tell you, that makes a WORLD of difference! If I had Skype interviewed our previous helper, I'm pretty sure we would never have hired her. Gotta love new technology!

    I still vouch for Arrow but do hope that they will improve the timeliness of communicating important issues in the future. That is an issue that has been brought up by others in this thread and this has been my first experience with this specific problem and Arrow.

  3. #19
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    gladyswly is offline Registered User
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    We had a problem with Arrow too.. we decided to hire a helper from them and signed all the documents and paid everything on the 1st or 2nd of Feb, the helper is supposed to be here in early April. Sadly, we were informed that the helper cannot pass the health check in the Phillipines (she is a Hep B carrier) and we have to either a) continue to hire her even she is a HBV carrier (the owner of Arrow doesn't recommend it and I am NOT gonna do this regardless) or b) look for another helper.

    So we are here back to the very beginning and have to do everything from step zero again. WAIT for the owner to go back to the Phillipines for another group of candidates, look into their profiles, conduct interview, do all the paperwork, and WAIT for her to come...

    Thanka2, I feel for your frustration and annoyance towards the whole issue, I am on the same boat with you. At least you have the same helper you are satisfied with, and another 6 weeks of waiting. The helper we wanted is no longer available and God knows when will we ever have a new helper here again....

  4. #20
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Gladys, have you thought of going a different route? I think that Arrow is probably the best you can get as far as agencies go (because they will work with you to correct problems) but maybe it's not the perfect place for everyone? I think that if that had happened to me I would probably start looking in HK through word-of-mouth references or from ads on Geoexpat etc. We even briefly considered doing that when we found out about this helper. I guess that nothing is 100% or predictable when it comes to stuff like this but it still doesn't make it any less disappointing or frustrating. How long did you wait before you found out that she tested positive for Hep B? How long ago was that?

  5. #21
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    gladyswly is offline Registered User
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    Thanka2, the owner of Arrow called us about the test result earlier this week, which means it was just about 2-3 weeks before the helper is supposed to be here! I must admit that I was very very disappointed and I cried over it. Because I want to go back to work very very much, with the helper supposed to be here in early April, I planned to go back to work in June/July. Now that my whole plan is screwed.

    We tried different routes to hire helpers before. Our first helper was a word-of-mouth reference from my ex-coworker, and our second helper was from asiaexpat. We tried both routes and obviously that didn't turn out quite well.

    So we decided to go thru agency this time. Arrow may not be the best in administrative work, but at least they are very honest people and that is very important imo. So... I don't know what to do... we are waiting...

  6. #22
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    those routes didn't turn out because of the helpers, NOT because they don't work.

    it could be just that you've had bad luck?

  7. #23
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    gladyswly is offline Registered User
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    carang, I know, that's why I am always told and I always think that I don't have the 'fate' to have a helper, or a good helper!

  8. #24
    ihave3cats is offline Registered User
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    My friend introduced a philippina agent to me. What I liked about this agency is that I can get to see the applicants in person. In fact I can request for trials. I feel that what u see is what u get.. I just signed a helper and she has gone back to the Philippines for 2 weeks. I hope she will turn out good..
    I guess a lot of luck is involved to get a good helper..

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