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Helper issues. help please

  1. #33
    Portia is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Hong Kong
    Posted via Mobile Device

  2. #34
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Hong Kong
    Hi Mummymoo. I agree with you. This elderly relatives' kids have tried to intervene, offering money for a part-time (which she refused out of pride), offering extra help, talking to her about treating someone well. It's not really my place to, since I am quite a distant and minor relative, and she would take offense. I talk to her kids about it, and try to offer support from the side.
    In any case, it's just not getting through. Not surprisingly, she also goes through alot of helpers - I think they just quit on her. She's elderly herself and stubborn.
    I try to help out as much as possible. I am very nice to my own helper. When I hear someone bragging how their maid works 7 days, or 14-hour-days, I gently say that that's not very nice. If I have the chance to engage in a conversation, I turn it around by saying that they may harm their child if the help is really too weak / exhausted to do a good job. (This sometimes does it. They do care about their children, if not the amah)
    But I also can't rave around angry and lecturing at everyone all the time. I don't want to be that crazy judgmental aunt everyone has in their family!
    I'm going to say that 50% of the older women in my family mistreat their help. I can think of several families where they clearly break the law in terms of days off, vacations, food, payment and even abuse. I feel a bit helpless because, unless I become a full=time social worker, there's just no way I have the time and energy to convince a sprawling Hong Kong family to treat their helpers well. Plus, I just get yelled at to "mind my business" when I bring it up.
    They even make up lies to justify their behavior, like "It's legal to pay Indonesians less than minimum wage because they're so poor at home" or "My maid doesn't want to go home for three years to see her children."

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