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food for helper plus other things

  1. #1
    smiling face1 is offline Registered User
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    food for helper plus other things

    hi guys, sorry to bother you but I really need an advice.

    even though has our helper 100% access to all our food and I mean also organic and expensive stuff, snacks icecream...she is always finding something that is missing in our menu ..today she has complained that I never buy crab...sometimes she complains that I buy brand of food that is not "yummie" for her...she is already cooking separately for herself because she does not like what we eat. she does not want to eat leftovers and prefers everything fresh. actually me and my husband are far less picky than she is...

    I was wondering that I would give her just food allowance but I already do alot of her work including deep cleaning or ironing or I bring stuff to the dry cleaners...so I can not imagine how we would organize our time if she had to do all her food shopping and cooking on the top of her duties...I do not want to eat stuff from the wet market where she obviously would go to get her own food...I do parknshop deliveries and buy fresh veggies etc on my way home from the gym

    there are other issues making me tired but we want to keep her because she is always in a good mood and great with kids. I am not working at the moment.

    TIA for your remarks

  2. #2
    smiling face1 is offline Registered User
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    I forgot to mention that she has up to 2hours for lunch but this should be her time to rest

  3. #3
    OldtimerMum is offline Registered User
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    Not to sound heartless, but she's taking advantage of your good nature.

    Have you considered telling her that crab is expensive and you do not eat it, so there is no way you're going to buy it?

    If you give her a food allowance, she can do her shopping on her time - give her an hour on Saturday or some other time if you feel generous.

  4. #4
    ngnhk is offline Registered User
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    She seriously complains that you don't buy crab?? I don't think it's heartless at all for me to say that I find that ridiculous. Crab IS expensive, and it's kind of absurd for her to even mention it, which you should absolutely tell her straight out. Besides, if you gave her a food allowance...would she really go out and buy crab with it? I really, really doubt it.

    I honestly think you're being VERY nice to her by giving her access to the pricey organic stuff, and she should just be appreciative. If she misses her own food from home, why don't you ask her to cook whatever she wants for the family (and herself) once a week with ingredients that you buy? (So you don't have to eat food from the wet market.) Might be nice to try something new once in a while, and it might make her feel better to cook/serve it.

    Also, may I ask why you do so much of her work at the moment? Is she very busy with the kids and stuff like that? She may also be taking advantage of your kindness in that way - I know that some helpers see kindness as leniency, and if she thinks you are trying to lighten her workload, she may take advantage in other areas.

    Anyway, crab! I just can't believe it!

  5. #5
    smiling face1 is offline Registered User
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    Thank you very much for your replies. We had a quick chat and she said she would consider food allowance. Than she would share the cost of crab with some other friends on her days of and buy more seafood etc. She has just boiled some of our prosciuto crudo with her noodles for her dinner saying it was too salty....

    She used to cook her favourite foods for the whole family and we found out that we have different preferences so she ended up cooking her own meals, which was ok for me as long as it did not take too much time. Our previous helper had food allowance at the beginning but she was on the instant noodles all the time to save the money so I just forced her to eat from our stock and I think she was quite happy with that. I think our new one would soon end up on instant noodles as well if she had food allowance. I want her to be well fed and rested as she helps me with my active kids.

    I do some of housework myself because she is not so good at cleaning and she is rather slow with her ironing. But she is really patient with kids and nobody is perfect...

  6. #6
    ngnhk is offline Registered User
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    Haha, well I'm glad she's willing to shell out for crab on her own dime (pun totally intended - couldn't help it), instead of asking you to do it. Also glad you have come to some sort of agreement.

    But I have to say, I've heard so many stories of helpers exhibiting "entitlement," and I just don't see where it's coming from. They are employees living in the homes of their employers - how do they think it's acceptable to make demands (like asking an employer to cater to their food tastes) or complain about perfectly reasonable living situations? It's not as if you are mistreating your helper in any way - you are in fact treating her well, and yet, she still complains!

    We do what we have to do to earn money to support our families. My husband works from 10am-3am on a good many days, and I see him very rarely. Even on weekends, he might well spend a good portion of time working either at the office or at home. I am currently pregnant with our first child, and this time is something we would have liked to share, but because of his work, we haven't really been able to. But he doesn't complain - I think you know what his boss might say if my husband were to bring it up with him. We do what we have to do.

    Or another food example: my in-laws are vegetarian - when I go and visit them in their home, I have to eat what they eat. Can you imagine what my MIL would say if I complained about the food and asked her to buy some lamb chops?

    Yeesh. Sorry to rant - obviously this isn't all about your particular helper. It's an aggregate of what I've been hearing around town. I just don't know where the entitlement stems from!

  7. #7
    treasure is offline Registered User
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    Omg, I am scared to even listen to such stories. I am currently due with my 2nd child and have just signed a helper.
    Guys, I would really appreciate some advice to set things straight with the helper right from the beginning. Tips on managing the helper are welcome as it would save me from unnecessary hassle and tension during pregnancy!

  8. #8
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Usually, I hear of opposite stories - of employers who are awful to helpers - who give them only white bread or make them eat leftovers. Maybe this is because I'm in a more local neighborhood. But this is a bit ridiculous - asking for crab!

    Why don't you just pay the food allowance. Legal minimum is $900. I pay a bit more, to be decent, since an extra $300 is not much for us per month. $1,200 / month (or $300 / week) is fine for local groceries. If she wants to treat herself to a restaurant or something special with her friends, she can pay out of her salary, like anyone else.

    It doesn't take much time out of their day. Basically, my helper either buys food on the weekend / in the mornings when I am home and she has off. (I work afternoons and evenings, which is when she works.) Or, sometimes, she'll pick up something while she's shopping for me, and just pay separately for her bag.

    She usually has bread and coffee for breakfast. And for lunch and dinner, she has basic Asian food that's quick to make. We're not super-strict about real basics like rice or water. So, when she makes a big pot of rice for the family / kid, she can take a bowl, and then add her own toppings. (We're not so stingy that we're going to deny her a bowl of rice). There's a little flexibility. If I've made too much food, or we've ordered too much at a restaurant -- and I know my husband and I won't have time to eat it -- she can have it. And if we're having a big family celebration, like a birthday cake, she joins in. But mostly she eats her own stuff, and it's fine with us.

    And, of course, we don't work her 24/7. She has enough time to make a simple meal - for ex, when baby is sleeping. In fact, I barely notice it.

    Maybe it's just a matter of preferences. Our helper has very different tastes than we do. She did not enjoy our more expensive foods -- organic produce, health foods or imported goods had little appeal. She also didn't like the fish, tofu, etc, we prefer. She prefers more junk food (unfortunately) like breads, sweets, etc., and local foods, like noodles or pork.

    She keeps her dry goods in her room. And she has a corner of the kitchen cabinet / fridge that's for her stuff. Once I accidentally ate the cake she bought for herself! But we just laughed over it.

    That's what I would recommend, since it sounds like you're spending more than $1,000 a month to feed her anyway. Let her get her own food, and be a bit flexible about it. We're all happier this way.

    I like your comment about not expecting every helper to excel at everything. Mine is honest, dependable, kind, great with kids, does all the basic housework. But she's a terrible cook, so I do the work in the kitchen! But for HK $4,000 a month, I'm grateful for what I have.
    smiling face1, lesliefu and Sage like this.

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