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Help! Should I look for a new helper?

  1. #9
    kiwiinoz is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Hong Kong
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    I agree with anotherone. You can teach someone to cook and clean, but you can not teach them the enthusiasm and love needed to genuinely care for a child.

    Just look in the streets and playgrounds at how many helpers don't PLAY or even observe what the children in their care are doing, or worse - the ones who put the baby/toddler in a stroller, find somewhere quiet and spend an hour chatting to their friends or on the phone while the poor child is ignored.

    How they react with children was the #1 thing for us. When we interviewed for our helper, only 2 of all the ones we saw instinctively reacted to the kids in a way that showed us they cared... that there was something more there than seeing children as a chore.

    Good luck with your search.

  2. #10
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    May 2009
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    lily1221, I will PM you
    “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

  3. #11
    lily1221 is offline Registered User
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    Nov 2010
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    Kowloon
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    If I were to do a direct hire from the Philippines, what are some of the things I should look for / ask when interviewing the maid via video conference? And what things should I consider (ie: education back ground, whether married or have kids, etc.?) I am a bit nervous about not being able to meet them face to face.

    Thanks in advance for your input!!

  4. #12
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Hong Kong
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    One question we were told to ask was "If there's an emergency or the child gets sick, and you are there alone, what do you do?"
    We got all sorts of wrong answers, like "Change his diaper"?
    The helper should know how to call a doctor or emergency or you for help. She should be confident and have good enough English to talk about what to do. Some of the younger helpers we interviewed just said "Yes, ma'am, yes ma'am" to every question, which meant they didn't really comprehend the seriousness of the question.

    We also asked if helpers had baby or childcare experience, and whether that experience was with their own kids, or taking care of someone else's kid. If they had done childcare before, we asked the details -- how old were the children? Were they alone with the child? What did they do? Cook for the child? Take the child to school?

    Most people prefer married, 30-something or middle-aged mothers, since they are seen as being a steadier presence. Though, personally, it doesn't matter to me whether an amah is single, married, divorced, etc.

  5. #13
    shwetakhanna is offline Registered User
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    Dec 2007
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    Shatin
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    would like to share this with you all looking for a helper..

    a few days back i was coming back home on our estate shuttle bus and there happened to be helper sitting next to me reading some paper. After a glimpse i realised she had a bunch of papers she must have got from the employment agency. It had all sorts of speeches ready for the helpers to say infront of employers.... what you need to say when the family wants you to look after kids, what to say if the family wants you to look after the elderly and 3/4 other speeches as well. That day i realised that when interviewing a helper, it is important to follow your instincts and not to be impressed by whatever good speeches you get to hear.

  6. #14
    Honkyblues is offline Registered User
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    If you haven't already seen this post in the Helper forum, Lily, then Blanka could be a great option for you - just finished contract and available now as far as I know.

    Great helper for hire
    I'm posting this on behalf of a friend, "A", who left Hong Kong nearly 2 years ago. She has stayed in touch with her former helper, Blanka, who is coming to the end of her contract and is looking for a new employer. My friend rated Blanka very highly and has written a lovely reference, and is willing to talk to/email anyone who wants more info. Blanka is great with kids and will finish contract in mid-May.
    I will PM A's email address to anyone interested. (Or you can telephone Blanka directly and she can provide A's details.)

    Copied below is A's recommendation and reference for Blanka.


    *****
    My helper Blanka is finishing up her contract in mid-May with the family after us and wants to move to a new family. Her number is 9170-9812 if anyone you know is interested and my recommendation is below. I am happy to telephone or email anyone too. Her visa ends June 6th.

    Best,
    A
    ******


    To Whom It May Concern:

    I would highly recommend our helper Blanka Mariano. Blanka has worked for us for almost three and a half years. We are now moving from Hong Kong back to the U.S. We hired her upon an excellent recommendation from her previous employer. Blanka is excellent with my toddler and baby. She has taken care of the oldest since he was a baby and enjoys taking him to the beach, playground, and walks. We trust Blanka and have left the eldest several times with her for long weekends. They have a good relationship.

    We enjoy Blanka’s cooking very much. She enjoys trying new recipes and the results are always good. She cooks Western and Chinese food. She is responsible with money and does almost all the food shopping and according to my specifications. She takes care of the housework and laundry well. Blanka has worked in Hong Kong for some time and has a supportive network of friends and family here. She is a positive and honest person who is working to support her daughters to go to college.

    Our family will miss Blanka greatly!

    *******

  7. #15
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    HK
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    Quote Originally Posted by shwetakhanna View Post
    would like to share this with you all looking for a helper..

    a few days back i was coming back home on our estate shuttle bus and there happened to be helper sitting next to me reading some paper. After a glimpse i realised she had a bunch of papers she must have got from the employment agency. It had all sorts of speeches ready for the helpers to say infront of employers.... what you need to say when the family wants you to look after kids, what to say if the family wants you to look after the elderly and 3/4 other speeches as well. That day i realised that when interviewing a helper, it is important to follow your instincts and not to be impressed by whatever good speeches you get to hear.
    I don't know about the other mothers here but to me, it is totally obvious if a helper has memorized a speech to give to me. It's not only important what they say but how they say it. When I interviewed helpers before I had them looking everywhere else at the room except for me and saying things that didn't make sense but definitely seemed "memorized." I think it's hard to be "fooled" by a "good speech" if you have a gut-feeling about who you are interviewing. And all that information that the helpers get from the agency is a good idea because some of these women have never done an interview before in their lives--especially with someone from a different country and don't even know how to conduct themselves. Nothing wrong with a little interview coaching. If I look back over my life, I've had so many opportunities to practice my interview skills--in secondary school, university, after study--I even had to take a class about how to find a job--some people don't have that luxury.
    “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

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