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Urgent, helper not following instructions - suggestions please

  1. #17
    evgreen is offline Registered User
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    Feb 2011
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    Tai Tam
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    wow, pinki09...you are a lot more patient than i would ever be! i have had problems with helpers in the past, but not nearly as bad as this. being occasionally rude can be dealt with, but constant correction and unacceptable habits shouldn't be tolerated. i would get on the hunt for a new helper ASAP!

  2. #18
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    Dec 2008
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    start looking now - she doesn't have to know about it - just make sure not to give your home phone and interview somewhere else i.e. not at home - unless the helper is finishing up her contract, then she will have to go back to the philippines and the application procedure can last anywhere from 6-8weeks.

    anyhow, act civil now - after all your son is under her care, perhaps more communication will work, i'm always explaining to my new helper why i want things done a certain way...they have a different way of seeing things and though i don't really need for them to understand why things should be done a certain way, i think it does help for them to understand - if you explain and still she gives you this attitude problem, them you know for sure that she has problems.

  3. #19
    pinki09 is offline Registered User
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    Aug 2010
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    Yes, I think its better if I start looking now. Actually my current one is my first helper, and I thought it would be nice to let her be like a family member. I still say she is good in what she does, but isn't too happy following my instructions. For eg, when I tell her what my son should wear, sometimes she would say no maybe the other set is better. I sometimes listen to her as she may be correct, but it shouldn't be a habit of her to just cut my instruction every time. Like she makes my son sit in the high chair and give breakfast. I have told her not to keep on forcing him if he isnt v happy having it after a certain point....today she made him sit thru for 1 hr 15 mins, and he was so irritated and started throwing things around...I was getting ready for work, so I couldn''t stop her on time....so I again told that just leave it, dont exceed beyond 30-45 mins max., its better if he takes half his meals happily. She wasn't too happy to hear this again, but didn't say anything. I told her that if he hasn't taken his meal properly, give him the next one due (milk/fruit) little earlier, she disnt give a reply (neither yes, nor no). I think I really need to be home to monitor her. It is still a week at work for me, and this time gap is literally killing me, I am so impatient to be home, then I can take care of my son's meals myself. But I am not sure if that will solve the problem coz I want that rather than me taking back tasks from her, she does them my way, coz once the new baby arrives I would be even busier. Plus the helper is being paid to do the tasks the way the employer wants...even I do that at work. even in my notice period, I have never shrugged off any task, or made any face, its against professional ethics. I think I really should start looking, then it would be easier to decide...I am really at ransom at the moment!

  4. #20
    mocha is offline Registered User
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    Nov 2006
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    hong kong
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    you should terminate her by paying one mth salary instead of one mth notice.
    just wonder how much you are paying her per mth?

  5. #21
    pinki09 is offline Registered User
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    @Mocha - currently 3700, but had planned to raise after 6 months in return of a good & satisfactory service that is. But for food, there are absolutely no hiccups from our side. She gets to eat the best veggies, chicken, peanut butter, cook her meals as she wants (as long as it is not conflicting with the prime work hours or her tasks at hand).

    I have gone through a no. of helper threads in the last 1 week....in one of them, I see a suggestion to make a formal appointment with her (and include DH in it too). Give her a written list of expected to-dos (to the minutest detail) that we want from now onwards, since our expectations too will change as the third trimester and hence the new baby arrives. And ask her if all that written is fine with her. If our expectations are not illogical, then there should be no problem from her side. If she has problems, then we let her go.

    Actually even though I am not happy with her rt now, I am a bit skeptical to terminate her altogether, probably coz it looks like too big a decision, and then nobody wants to hire a terminated one so it will be a big blow to her. So I just want to make sure that if and when we fire her, she has given us enough reasons, despite being repeatedly told of her duties in clear words - both verbal & written.

  6. #22
    lisa88 is offline Registered User
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    May 2009
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    Singapore
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    Hi pinki09, I know that you want to give your helper the full benefit of the doubt, but your helper has to be responsible for herself and face consequences if she does not obey your instructions. If she does not like them or thinks your instructions are unreasonable, she can tell you frankly, but it is not acceptable to sulk. Following instructions are part of each and every job, domestic, office or factory. If my helper has other suggestions for carrying out a task she tells me politely and I listen. If she ignores my instructions, she can endanger my child and that is absolutely non-negotiable. If my instructions are unusual or I think my helper may be puzzled, I will always tell her the reason. A sulky or disobedient employee does not deserve to keep their job, that is my opinion.

  7. #23
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    HK
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    Fire her, immediately. That's my take. It will be stressful for a time, trying to make everything work (we went through this phase too when we fired our first helper) but BELIEVE me, you don't want that negative energy in your house. Her attitude is really bad. In any other company if she flat-out told her boss "Nope. Not going to do it. I don't feel like it because...." she would already have been gone. She's replaceable. I wouldn't even give her 30 days notice. I would find temporary help for the meantime--get that set up and as soon as you can, kick her bum to the curb with her bags in her hands. :) Good luck.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  8. #24
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2009
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    Hong Kong
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    534
    Fired!
    Don't give her advance warning, as she will be even sulkier and more difficult if there is a long period between her notice and when she leaves.

    Without telling her, arrange for PT help, and start approaching agencies for a longer-term FT replacement. Call her original agency and say you want to arrange for her to leave. When it's all done, let her know and pay out her HK 3700 or however much severance she is legally owed.

    The money spent will be worth your peace of mind. Good luck to you.

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