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My helper needs a helper? Advice please!

  1. #17
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Hong Kong

    Hi Sea Princess --
    You say she's been honest in telling you her "capabilities" but it's not about capability. Every able-bodied person is capable of doing housework. Anyone with a will can learn basic cooking, even if they aren't a great cook. It's not that she is incapable -- she's unwilling.
    She CAN do it. She won't, and that's different.
    Sorry if I'm sounding hard here, but none of us can pick or choose our duties.
    When I started working after graduation, I did all sorts of boring things "below" my level of education, like data entry, answering phones and being a "gopher" getting coffee and Xeroxing documents. On the side, I did babysitting and other menial tasks. Hell, more than a decade later and gainfully employed, I still sometimes make the coffee and the copies when the secretary's out!
    I'm not very sympathetic to this helper because, until now, my husband and I never had a FT amah. We're both professionals, but we're not above doing the dishes or laundry. And you said yourself that you do the cooking. It's amazing that a domestic helper would feel she is above doing things we do all the time.
    Your helper is not being reasonable. She sees a soft employer and is taking advantage by pulling your heart strings, since she doesn't want to be out of a job or have to deal with agents / immigration to get back into Hong Kong.
    There is a larger problem that the Philippines is so d**n poor that even university graduates have to take menial jobs overseas -- but that's a broad societal problem, not your personal problem.
    I'm with Carang. If I took 2-hour lunches, disappeared without notice, and then complained about tasks that were clearly set out to me, I'd be sacked!

    Last edited by Gracey; 03-27-2011 at 03:56 AM.

  2. #18
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Hong Kong

    Just curious -- how old is this helper?
    We're just beginning to interview for our 1st helper now, hopefully to get someone in before I give birth in late Aug / early Sept.
    One of the candidates is quite young and would be a new hire direct from the Philippines. Those are the down sides. She also has some up-sides.
    But I'm worried that someone young and new here would be quickly disillusioned to the type of work expected.

  3. #19
    sea princess is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Hong Kong

    Gracey and Quasimother

    I hear what you are saying, I have done some very ordinary jobs to help fund my university studies! And I was just happy to do the job, it was a means to an end and I knew the money was crucial to me.
    Our helper is 41, single and has no children.

    spoke with her references who all spoke so highly of her. Admitedly, they used her more for child care and less for domestic chores. It goes to show, what suits one family, may not suit the next.

  4. #20
    kiwiinoz is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Hong Kong

    I tend to agree with carang's comments.

    I'd also be a bit worried about her real intentions. She knew what she was being employed to do, yet won't do it properly. She blatantly disregarded your comments about her lunch break. Will she listen and follow proper instruction if you have specific requirements with your children? As much as she might be good at the babysitting, given she complained in front of your child, what happens if she slacks off there too? Does she enjoy babysitting the kids or does she enjoy the freedom of not having you in the house?
    No one loves cleaning, but if she genuinely wants this job I don't think the conditions you have given her to work in are unreasonable.
    At the end of the day the fact she didn't listen to you would ring warning bells for me.
    Good luck whatever decision you make.

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