Saturday, March 5, 2011

Maid Woes - Am I too strict or she is not a maid to keep?


I've had previously 2 maids (1st an indo, 2nd a filipino) who have worked 2 years and 1.5 years consecutively for me. The 3rd maid that I have now is new from Indo. She came in October 2010 and I thought she is a maid I can keep for 2 years until I found out some of her daring acts.

On her very first day that she arrived, I'd given her a list of house rules and explained them in English and Bahasa Indonesia. I've also made sure she acknowledged that she understood. BTW, my house rules are from the agency and I've aso made references to Singapore Maids Guidelines and Schedules.

I was quite alright that she picked up her English slow hence a lot of miscommunications and uses 'no understand' conveniently, rather forgetful, rather choosy about food, has occasional demands, can't play with my kids well, get pains/aches here and there occasionally, lack of initiave till now and her butt seems to be stuck on the floor most time, I was willing to tolerate...

However, the following happened and I'm not sure if I were too strict with my 33 year old maid or she's too daring for my keep..

Daring act #1 - leaving the house without my permission

On the 1st day of Kaylene's K1 school, I caught her coming out of the lift from the ground floor, leaving the house without my permission. That afternoon, I'd sent Kaylene to school with Shiranne and came home after half an hour time (school is within walking distance). I've asked her the reason for coming down and she said she wanted to go to the school to pass me Shiranne's water bottle which she thought I'd forgotten. It was raining then and I'd asked her where was her umbrella? Also, it was only half an hour later that she thought of that?I thought she was just a muddle maid hence willing to forget the incident. Of course, I did not forget to give her reminder that unless I call home for assistance, she is not allowed to leave home without permission.

A couple of days later, she'd ask if she can go downstairs to have a stroll on her own. I did not permit as I didn't want her to know some other maids which will put bad influence on her. However, I offered that if she needs a breather outdoor, she can follow me whenever i go out with the kids to school or for a stroll. She said she's fine but only asked me twice so far. I asked her a couple of times but sometimes she would prefer not to follow me.

On 28 Feb, Shiranne was napping so I left her sleeping in my bedroom. I'd informed my maid that I would go fetch Kaylene from school and that she had to keep an eye on Shiranne in case she wakes up. I went out 10 min earlier and went to hide behind our level's stairway door. Just a couple of minutes later, through the little window of the door, I saw my maid walked past! She had took the lift down. I waited and she was up 10min later. I was very angry that she left my kid at home and went out without my permission again. I chose not to confront her immediately till I've decided what to do with her.

Daring act #2 - using our home's IDD to call home without my permission

For all my maids, I would allow them to use our home IDD to call home once every month, not exceeding 10min. If exceed I'd deduct from their pay. Unless it's absolute necessary, I'll let them use the phone again but with my permission. My first indo maid complied and wrote letter in addition to the call per month. My 2nd filipino maid complied too but uses her own handphone when she's done with her work. This 3rd indo maid, we found out from our phone bill, that she was using our  home's IDD in our December bill, chalking up the bill to S$25 of IDD charges. We noticed the timing of her calls were when I sent Kaylene to her holiday enrichment classes. I confronted her and she begged for forgiveness while crying and promised not to repeat.

Subsequently I bought her a S$10 value calling card(about an hr of usage) for her to use for 3 mths. If she finishes it within the 3 mths, she has to use her own money to buy another card. She had some money from the red packets recieved during Chinese New Year. Just into the 3rd week of usage now, the value of the card left 46cents. I kept her card number to check on her usuage sometimes. I was really shocked to find out that she had called so frequently.

Arrgh, it is really frustrating to have a maid like that who doesn't seem to have the heart to work and only seem to hope that we go out without her so that she can get into some 'hanky panky'! It gets me affected mentally as I'm the type of employer who doesn't like to bring maid out because I'm used to handling my kids outside independantly. Bringing a maid out is like looking after another person which I don't need that! However leaving this maid at home alone also worries me..

Why can't I survive without a maid!!

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