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Urgent: in a diemma. please share your suggestion

  1. #1
    rs2000 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Hong Kong

    Urgent: in a diemma. please share your suggestion

    Hi All,

    As you might have seen from some of my recent posts, i am in desperate need of a FT helper. I am pregnant and due on 2nd June and am finding is very hard to cope with daily household work (have a 4 yeards old kid).

    I have been looking at some direct hires from philipnes but am told that it would take 6-8 weeks for them to come here which is dangerously close to my due date .
    I am worried about a scenario wherein I would go in Labour a little before the actualy due date.

    Now i have come across a helper here in HK (i have to admit i did not have a lot of times to search for HK helpers) who has finished the contract. the benefit of hers is that her contract has finished and she can join us in 2 weeks when her visa gets ready.

    She has been here for 2 years and with some brazilian/chinese couple. She says she used to do household work + took care of the 3 years old chid. so the experience as such makes sense to me.

    Now the problem is this, she says her previous employers dont want to talk to anyone. she just has a reference letter saying that she worked for them for 2 years. nothing more than that. I asked her why she does not want to continue with them. she told me that they wanted her to continue but she chose not to as they had dkeot her passport and other document with them. They alo restrict her mobule phone usage etc.

    I am little skeptical on this. Sometimes I feel she is telling the truth but sometimes I feel there is something wrong with it. i know it really depends. But would you trust her and hire her in this casE? the HK job is the only job she has done so there is n other employer to cross check this. what d you think can be the reason they employers are so much against her and dont want to talk? can she be telling the truth? what would you have done this this case?

    Apparently she looks ok and talked nicely. but its easy to fake this for such a short period of time. i asked her if she could request her employers to just speak to me for 2 mins. she says she asked them but they did not reply.

    pls give me your views. My backup is to hire form philipnes (i liked 2 ) but then there is this wait period which is dangerous for me. i have looked into other HK helpers who have finished contract but not all of them want work with children etc. i will keep looking but need to decide on this one very soon. pls help

  2. #2
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    I wouldn't hire the lady in Hong Kong. If I had any gut feeling at all that her story wasn't truthful--even a feeling that I couldn't prove or disprove--I would not hire her. It is worth your time and possible inconvenience (because you may give birth before the helper arrives) to hire someone you feel comfortable with even if it will take longer. Because, from my own experience and listening to the experience of others, gut feelings when it comes to helpers are often spot-on and if you hire this lady that you have doubts about and then need to dismiss her because your doubts are confirmed you'll be in an even bigger mess of trying to find another helper--basically back to square one. I wouldn't risk it--go with the people you feel comfortable with and just arrange for some part-time help until that helper arrives--maybe asking the grandparents or anyone else who can help out to fill in in the meantime.

  3. #3
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Pokfulam, Hong Kong
    I agree with Thanka2. You need to speak to the employers.
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  4. #4
    eneri7 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    just sent you a PM- Good Luck!

  5. #5
    baby09 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Hong Kong
    really suspious if she says her employers wont speak to you. why dont you ask around for other helpers who are about to finish their contract in HK and are prepared to give their employers numbers?? Also if her employer is witholding her mobile, it seems to me that she is talking too much on it when she should be doing her work. As for witholding her passport, this is only to prevent her using it for money loaning and my maid is more than happy for me to keep it for her.

  6. #6
    elle is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010
    hk south side
    it is absolutely illegal for an employer in HK to hold their domestic helper's passport, so i totally understand the helper's concern with that. not talking on the phone is a pretty common thing that local employers require. i think its extreme, but whatever. But, i would definitely agree that not being able to speak with the former employers is probably problematic. Do you know if they speak English? One of my helpers had a previous employer who spoke no English and was very hesitant to speak with me (or my secretary who does speak Cantonese).

  7. #7
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Happy Valley
    rs2000 : do you have faith in your own abilities to judge a person? would you be able to interview this person, bring them over for one or 2 days and try them out and then make a decision? Please do.

    References, while nice, are in reality quite unreliable. I know dozens of families who hired helpers with glowing references but in the end it didnt work out for one reason or another. A person that gets along with one family may not get along with you. You may become best friends with someone who is hated by other families.

    We hired our first helper with no references. When we asked her about it, she told us flat out that her employer and her just didnt like each other, her employer would not give her a reference at all. I trusted my instincts and hired her anyway. She was with us for 8 years.

    Trust yourself, your own judgement and have confidence in your own abilities to make the right choice.


  8. #8
    anotherone is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Hong Kong
    I would strongly suggest you not to hire this lady. It is standard practice here (particularly among Chinese employers) to just write "this helper has worked for us from such and such time" and nothing else when something has gone wrong - it's basically codeword for "we are parting ways on bad terms and we can't and won't have anything good to say about this helper". The refusal to speak to you rings another alarm bell.

    I know there is always the temptation to hire one who's ready to start asap, but as Thanka said, if this one goes belly up you'll end up incurring more time and effort (not to mention the $$$ to send the helper away) than if you would just wait till you find someone you're comfy with.

    In the meantime, why don't you have a look at the local Chinese ones (I PM-ed you didn't I?)

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