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Helper arrangement during holidays

  1. #1
    OlympicMom is offline Registered User
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    Helper arrangement during holidays

    We are going away for 2 weeks this month for the holidays. Our helper doesn't want to go back home during this time, just wants to stay at our place. Would like to get some advice on how people handle this normally.

    We generally have a good relationship with our helper, but I don't know if she will be sleeping in our beds while we are gone, use our stuff and just watch TV all day long. I heard some people ask the helpers to stay in dormitories while they are out of town for extended time. How do you normally handle this?

    Assume I also need to pay her food allowance while we are gone on top of the full month salary right?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    yonge is offline Registered User
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    It may not be a bad idea to have someone looking after your place while you're away. Condensation here can get really bad, so if you lock your place up to go on holiday, everything can be moldy after 2 weeks away. I've heard horror stories of people coming back to apartments where even the walls have gone moldy! You can just give her a list of projects to do while you're all away - tidying up the closets, cleaning out the refrigerator, reorganizing the pantry, etc. Yes, you would have to pay for her food allowance and her full month salary. If she's able to finish everything that you require and have time left over, she'll probably want TV while you're away, but that's the least of any potential problems. Make sure that you're explicitly clear that there are to be no guests in your home while you're away. You might want to hint that a neighbor/relative/friend has a key and will be stopping by from time to time.

  3. #3
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    if you trust your helper at home alone with your child, i think, you can trust her with your home. if you DO chose to have her stay somewhere else, then you must pay for that as well.

    i agree that things here get mouldy REALLY fast. i also feel more comfortable knowing that there is someone at home in case of an emergency. as far as watching tv, if she gets done what i ask to get done, then i don't have a problem with that. with no one around getting in her way, she will probably work much faster. i also wouldn't have a problem if my helper decided to use some of her time to do her own errands.

    as a matter of fact, last year we went to australia for a month. we invited our helper's husband to come and stay with our helper. we live REALLY far out of town and i thought our helper might be scared staying in our house by herself. they did a great job looking after our place and she was able to show him around HK, which she's never been able to do before.

  4. #4
    southside852 is offline Registered User
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    Yep, you will never know that no matter what. They could be sleeping in your bed, using your bathroom, watching tv etc...It's a chance you have to take and like like Carang said, if you trust her with you child then you should trust her in your home. When we were away for a month this summer, I gave her a list of things to do and said that I didn't care when she did them, as long as they got done before I returned and before my husband's return which was earlier than ours. I know she had lots of time on her hands, but I also believe that she deserves the break as my helper works hard for her money. She's got a 13-14 hour day, taking care of the house and our son.

    While away, we gave her $$$ for food and of course for emergencies.

  5. #5
    LeahH is offline Registered User
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    I definitely prefer someone to be in the house while we are away for all the same reasons people have outlined above.

    She has a list of things to get done and if she watches TV all day long and takes bubble baths in my bathroom, as long as the tasks are done eventually, I don't really care.

    Like Cara, we brought our helpers family over when we went away recently - they loved being here as a family and seeing her life in HK.

  6. #6
    sunrays is offline Registered User
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    I agree with everyone about having her there to keep an eye on the place. It is also a good chance to get kitchen cupboards emptied and the place scrubbed from top to bottom. Having said that, there is no harm in locking rooms that have personal effects or private items. Mold can be kept at bay in these rooms by having a dehumidifier on a low setting.

  7. #7
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    but if she's gone for 2 weeks, the dehumidifier will need to be emptied.

    again, you trust her there to take care of your children and your belongings. i would MAYBE just find one cupboard that can lock or a safe for very special things. (we dont' have one, though) rather than an entire room.

  8. #8
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    again, you trust her there to take care of your children and your belongings. i would MAYBE just find one cupboard that can lock or a safe for very special things. (we dont' have one, though) rather than an entire room.
    I don't think it's as simple as that- you trust her to take of your child but not your belongings. Helpers come from a vastly different world than ours. They would never harm a child but at the end of the day taking jewellery or money etc that is just lying around that can help their families live for a long long time they might not feel so bad about.... It might just be that little bit too tempting. And even if she is completely honest and trustworthy what if she invites a friend over who isn't and decides to take some of your things while the helper isn't looking?

    I agree with you however on the bit about finding just one cupboard that can be locked rather than a room. No need to show your helper you don't trust her!

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