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new helper- in a dilemma

  1. #9
    sandy0741 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    hong kong
    "you don't need to wait until october to cancel the contract. you can just tell the agency you've changed your mind."

    Carang , I did call the agency yesterday that I've changed my mind and am looking for another helper but they said all the documents have been submitted and you can cancel the contract but the money will not be returned to you. So what I can do is to cancel the contract.

    For the second helper, I did ask her what makes the contract to be terminated and the reason she gives me is that the employer's previous helper is coming back and they don't need her anymore. If she has a horrible employer, she could have told me, but she didn't say anything bad about them, the only thing she says is they live on the mid-levels and they are people from the highest status and they don't want to be bothered.
    So if that is the case, then I think I should stick with the first helper to see how she works in our home when she comes in October.

  2. #10
    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Hong Kong
    Quote Originally Posted by howardcoombs View Post
    Why? Why would you not give her the benefit of the doubt and listen to her story first and then decide.
    There are thousands of abused maids with contracts terminated by horrible employers. With your reasoning, you would just send them back without even giving them a chance to tell their side of the situation.

    Yup, me too.
    My warning bells tell me that either:
    a) she was a bad helper and got caught doing something bad
    b) she had a horrible employer and she couldnt take it anymore

    By talking to her, you will find out more and perhaps correct a wrong.
    With a "NEVER EVER" attitude, you would be making baseless assumptions.
    Been there and done that just as you have written and been burnt terribly more than once - Tried to steal husband, stole diamond engagement ring, stole money from guests ... all different helpers with sob stories and made up reference letters. I've seen helpers in Wan Chai write up fake reference letters for prospective employers and we've had people pretend to be references. So, pardon the need to be cautious and caution another mother. You obviously have not. Let's see you change your tune when it does. Unless, the helper is from a church/not for profit agency that protects them, I have a tendency now to be super duper cautious.

    But yes, go with what Howardcoombs says, always give the benefit of doubt, by all means.

    I'm just writing from my family's personal experience. My husband started that way and will now NEVER hire without a reference. I guess if you've never experienced the other side of the fence, you can afford to paint a rosy picture. If you have one parent staying at home, you can afford to. But in our household, the kids spend at least 3 hours everyday on their own, I personally wouldn't. It's only just bloody sensible to ALWAYS conduct a reference check on someone you are going to allow to live in your household.
    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

  3. #11
    putput is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Hong Kong
    Hmm... we too took our helper on based on her so-called ability to cook, ability to care for children etc. She had great written references but as they had all left for their home countries, we only managed to get a verbal reference from her sister's employer who she had worked part time for on occasion. BIG MISTAKE. She can not cook to save her life, has given out our number to her friends who call at all hours of the day often disturbing my girls during their naps; has run up debt with finance companies who call threatening me; is rude to my eldest child and blatantly favours the youngest which naturally hurts my eldest's feelings; and is incredibly rude and abrupt to my husband and I. We tried and tried to fix it all but today we're calling it a day and letting her go. It's been unbelievably stressful for all of us, including my daughters. So, I agree with being super duper cautious. It doesn't mean that there aren't genuine cases out there, of course, but equally I know for a fact that my helper is already bad mouthing me in my own home to other helpers who come in with children for playdates. Anyone who employs her believing the stuff that we believed is in for a horrible ride, unfortunately.

  4. #12
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Happy Valley
    As you've stated, reference letters can be faked. Guess what, so can previous employer references and phone calls. If someone is bad and is out to cheat you, they will.

    You have several choices then:
    1) only hire ones recommended by trusted friends/relatives (very rare)
    2) spend a lot of time and money doing extensive background checks

    I prefer to be the trusting one. I trust my senses, my judgement and my eyes and ears. In 17 years here, its worked pretty well for us.

    As an aside : The OP has 2 choices.
    (1) taken an unknown/unseen from PPines
    (2) take a person who is here and can be interviewed.

    Which would you pick? I prefer to go with a candidate that I can interview.

  5. #13
    rogerdiddley is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Putput, sorry to hear of your experience, we have had similar experiences, it's so hard to rely on intuition. You could try having your next helper checked out before you hire her, it may help. There's a helper screening service called SureScreen. They're in wanchai. Tel 3621 0977. It costs around HK$4k. Good luck to you!

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