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Phone Habits

  1. #1
    tet's Avatar
    tet
    tet is offline Registered User
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    Phone Habits

    How do you deal with helpers who are glued to their phones?

    Talking on the phone sometimes while washing dishes or cooking, I just let it slide. But since she purchased a wifi phone, she always looks haggard. By her own admission, she sleeps at around 12-1 am and wakes up around 5am to use facebook. That's not counting the the whole afternoon that we are out of the house (Mon-Fri). She falls asleep while sitting with the toddler and is always "online" while washing clothes in the morning. That went on for 2 months until her expensive phone went dead. Dead because it fell on a oily pan being soaked before washing-- because she was washing clothes and surfing at the same time. Then she promised to limit her phone use (only when she's done with her chores, up to 12mn only and sleep until she wakes up at 7am when the hubby gets up), and asked for another loan to buy a new one. And less than a week after we bought her new phone, she's back to waking up at 5am (by her own admission when I asked her if she's keeping her promise). I'm not taking phone privileges out, but just wants to make sure she gets enough rest so she doesn't get sick and is alert when looking after the toddler while I'm doing something. We live in a very small flat so even if she cleans every nook and corner, she still has a lot of time in the afternoon while we're away (1-530pm). Btw, she gets the whole morning to finish cleaning the house except the room (the only thing she does in the afternoon). When I talked to her about this, she blurted out that she wished I wouldn't bother with her phone habits and just focus on the work. Am I being too much?

  2. #2
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    Gataloca is offline Registered User
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    After knowing how addictive she could be, I don't know why you bothered buying her a new phone in the first place.
    If you want to limit her surfing time, why don't you set a new password or turn the router off at night?

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    elle is offline Registered User
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    We have never had to ask our helper to put away the phone and have been fortunate in that she has shown good judgment on her own accord.

    If we had an employee (a helper or otherwise) who was on the phone all the time (and what you have described I believe definitely falls into the category of excessive) I would ask, ONCE, for her to stop, particularly if it was interfering or had the potential to interfere with her work. Before you have the discussion determine what a reasonable amount of phone time is for you (i.e. what you are personally comfortable with, not what other people do), put it in writing, talk to her, explain that this is a one and only warning and have her sign that she understands what is expected of her regarding phone usage as your employee in your household. That is not unreasonable as she has shown you that she is not capable of exercising good judgment regarding phone usage on her own.

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    mummymoo is offline Registered User
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    Unfortunately I think you are sending her really mixed messages. You were clearly unhappy with her phone use before she destroyed her phone yet bought another one for her immediately. If my boss did that then I would think first of all she is a softie and secondly, she probably doesn't mind my phone use that much.
    I agree that you need to give her a written warning about phone use during working hours but after hours/rest periods it is up to her what she does. I wouldn't want my employer to be prescriptive about my down time. Of course if I value my job then I would take care of myself so that I can do a good job - she's clearly not falling into that category but I don't think you can insist that she sleeps more, longer, take her phone away from her physically if it is hers ect. Your only recourse is to warn her, let her know you are not happy with the quality of her work and that it is dangerous for her to watch a toddler when she isn't properly rested. If nothing changes just let her go and find someone else who will take the job seriously.
    elle likes this.

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    elle is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by mummymoo View Post
    I wouldn't want my employer to be prescriptive about my down time. Of course if I value my job then I would take care of myself so that I can do a good job - she's clearly not falling into that category but I don't think you can insist that she sleeps more, longer, take her phone away from her physically if it is hers ect. Your only recourse is to warn her, let her know you are not happy with the quality of her work and that it is dangerous for her to watch a toddler when she isn't properly rested. If nothing changes just let her go and find someone else who will take the job seriously.
    I totally agree regarding this point. If someone can't take care of themselves and be responsible enough to get proper rest (particularly when given the opportunity, i.e. she is not expected to work crazy late night hours) you shouldn't force them (I can't stand it when my friends/ acquaintances have do/ dont list for their helpers in their time OFF - these ladies are, for the most part, competent and responsible adults!). But, I would never keep someone who came to work unprepared (tired or whatever) employed either at the office or in my home. Warn her that her performance is not up to what you expect (after thinking about what you really want from her), perhaps tell her what you think might be causing the problems (up at all hours online) and suggest a change, but ultimately it is up to her to act like an adult and come prepared to work every morning.

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    Thanks for the insights, ladies. I talked to her (again) and she apologized and seems to be fulfilling her promise (i hope). If this happens again, I would definitely put it in writing and let her sign her to make sure she understood.

    Unfortunately, I think the comment "I think you are sending her really mixed messages" might be true. It would take some discipline (on both parts) to correct the notion but it can be done.

    She doesn't hook up with our router and just picks up wifi signal from neighbors :(

    Thanks again!

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    mummymoo is offline Registered User
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    Tet on the plus side she seems to be honest, able to admit to you that she is up at odd hours, which is a huge plus, honesty is very important in a helper, so at least it gives you some grounds on which you can go forward.

  8. #8
    Honkyblues is offline Registered User
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    I would ask my neighbours to password protect their wifi!

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