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Lazy helper

  1. #9
    Liquorice is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    510
    PNatik, it isn't about money as others have said. I have found that the more you give, actually the more you are taken advantage of, and I have heard the same from numerous other people. I was given advice from an agency recently that you should always start a helper on minimum wage. You can increase for good performance, but always start on minimum.

    Having said that, I am paying my new helper about $1000 above minimum but this is because I desperately wanted to hire her as she used to work for a friend of mine and I know she is very very good. If I didn't know the helper then I would definitely start on minimum.

  2. #10
    pixelelf is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen
    Posts
    213
    My helper is a great cook and loves cooking with new recipes. She is not great with cleaning but it is clean enough for me. Things that need to be redone or clean i let her know nicely and she will try her best. She can bathe, feed and babysit my kids (3yrs old + 9mths)

    When we were hiring, the agent pushed us to look for someone with childcare experience but i was adamant on good cooking and cleaning because i cant cook and am a horrible housekeeper and am a stay at home mum, so childcare is covered by myself. We hired her because we could hold a decent.conversation as well as she had a sense of humour.

    She is kind, funny, easy going, chatty and patient. when i was heavily pregnant, my son had gastric flu and was vomiting and crying through the night, she opened her door, helped and was there for us.

    We pay her min wage, anallowance of $800. She does not have a food allowance but eats with us as housemates do.

    Sent from my GT-I9000 using GeoClicks Mobile

  3. #11
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    1,623
    I recommend this thread.

    Our helper is great. I'm a "westerner" and my husband is Hong Kong Chinese. Our helper is from the Philippines and has been with us for about 18 months. She's fantastic. She started at minimum wage and then we were able to give her a year-end bonus at Christmastime (a "13th month" bonus), as well as a smaller year-end bonus once she had completed a full year of work with us this past April and then although we aren't required to, we raised her salary to the new minimum wage which is about $250 HKD/month more than before. We don't give her a food allowance but she eats very well in our house. If she needs things like shoes, medicine or those sorts of things often we will just provide them for her. She never asks us for anything but if we can bless her with things that she needs, we try to do that. We have a great relationship with her and consider her to be a part of our family. She has her own room which is quite nice. We really love her.

    If my helper was doing what your helper is doing, I wouldn't put up with it. To me, it's not acceptable and no, you won't be able to change or inspire her to be better--if she's been like this for 6 months she's taking advantage of how kind you have been to her already. There is really only one solution and that is to find a new one. If it's important to you, you will make the time to do it. If you look at the link I suggested above you'll find that the agency I suggest (the one we've used) will arrange Skype interviews for you so you may not even need to leave your house. But, you might also have to leave your house too--but if it matters to you, you'll work it out. Why not just bring your baby with you and breastfeed him/her right there on the spot? I breastfeed my baby while I'm outside all the time--it shouldn't be any big deal. You can breastfeed while talking/conducting an interview at the same time, right?

    Hope you find a better helper than you have now.
    “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

  4. #12
    lisa88 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    203
    Pnatik

    I agree with others that it is not a question of how much money you pay the helper. First you have to FIND someone who has a good work ethic and needs the money (and stability of work). That means you have to figure out the profile of the worker likely to meet that, and tell the agency your requirements. Workers who have been in Hk for many years tend to be more picky. More recent arrivals less picky but that means more supervision. Since you have young children, the helper must like kids and must be able to manage one or all of them by herself (as you yourself have managed). Do not expect a helper to magically work a miracle - no worker is perfect, neither is any mum or parent. In my case I asked the agency to find me a helper who had been in HK no more than 4 years and had experience with newborns. You have to ask the helper a long list of questions of their working abilities, their likes and dislikes (some are great with kids but others prefer old folks and/or pets, some are good at cooking whilst others are not) etc. In other words, you must screen them out carefully then at least you have done your part. Once the helper arrives, give her a clear list of chores and your expectations. Get her feedback what she thinks is workable according to both your styles and experience and household needs. In the first month and subsequent months, supervise closely and give lots of feedback. My helper knows that she is never to chat on the phone with her friends until her day is over (ie after dinner and she has retired to her room). I told her I would sack her on the spot if I (or my neighbours) ever caught her gossipping on the phone during the day whilst supervising my toddler. It is downright dangerous for my toddler, and unprofessional for my helper. A lot is up to you as the employer to set the rules and crack down if the helper does not toe the line. I would never tolerate sulking or tears etc. You can foster a good relationship with the helper but I personally would not be too generous in the early days when trust and familiarity have not yet been built up.

  5. #13
    PNatik is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    56
    Thank you all very much for your honest replays. You are so kind to give me very useful information. I suggested may be she doesn't understand my instructions, or I need to train her more for our hygiene standards, but now, I can see, it comes from her personality. Once I had a great PT helper, I never explain her how and what to do. After her 4 hours work my house was absolutely clean. Even I should to tiredly up a bit to keep the order, until she came back, she always smile, and was really nice with my daughter. Now you confirm my suggestion that it's possible to have a great FT too. It was my mistake to think I can change the people. I have to find a good one, but only question, can helper do some trial work for me, or may be some agency provide trial time for the helper, as usually do most companies.

  6. #14
    crystal88 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    hk
    Posts
    321
    Quote Originally Posted by PNatik View Post
    Thank you all very much for your honest replays. You are so kind to give me very useful information. I suggested may be she doesn't understand my instructions, or I need to train her more for our hygiene standards, but now, I can see, it comes from her personality. Once I had a great PT helper, I never explain her how and what to do. After her 4 hours work my house was absolutely clean. Even I should to tiredly up a bit to keep the order, until she came back, she always smile, and was really nice with my daughter. Now you confirm my suggestion that it's possible to have a great FT too. It was my mistake to think I can change the people. I have to find a good one, but only question, can helper do some trial work for me, or may be some agency provide trial time for the helper, as usually do most companies.
    Yes, by all means, have a trial first before signing up. As i've said, i did it with my helper, you don't need 1 week trial, just half day and more or less you would know the person. Ask her to cook a dish if cooking is your priority, clean the house if you want the house clean. My priority is patience with kids, so i asked her for half day just to be with my boys - feeding them lunch, play, reading books, let my baby sleep, etc.....then pay her accordingly. If you don't like her, no harm done, look again for a new one. Good luck!

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