Which maid to choose?
I need your urgent advice about employing a maid. As a busy mother, I need someone reliable to help out at home.
My maid is from Profits Agency Pte (PAP) and she has worked for me for a long time. Her mother worked for my parents and did an excellent job, so I had faith in her. For several years her performance has been very good, but recently she has become arrogant and insensitive, and is making lots of mistakes.
1) She flooded my kitchen – she told me that the drain pipe has blocked (she was supposed to clear it once a month but didn’t). Then she assured me that it is very rare and won’t happen again in the near future. Guess what? It flooded again within a year!
2) She didn’t close a window and my terrier dog escaped. I was so worried cos he is dangerous and could bite lots of people. After the incident, she didn’t apologise and just shrugged her shoulders saying “What to do, it has happened.” Fortunately my neighbor found the dog and we locked it up again.
3) Without consulting me, she has been bringing in strangers for my house’s maintenance work. She says they charge low wages and keep costs down, but they eat my food, make a lot of noise and rest on my bed. I think they even tried to seduce my husband. It stopped feeling like my home, more like a cheap hotel, and I don’t always want to come back at the end of the day.
4) When she first came to work for me, I instructed her to clean the different parts of the house at least once a week. But for some time she has stopped taking care of the bedrooms of PP and H; they are now dirty and messy. I asked why and she told me that the kids had been disobedient, so she was neglecting their bedrooms as a punishment (she has forgotten that she is paid to clean all the rooms).
Even though my maid has worked for me for many years and I value what she has done in the past, I think she is now getting complacent. Her attitude is imperious and dismissive. She ignores my comments and basically treats my feedback as “noise”.
I wrote to the agency about her behavior; they assured me that they are the best agency around and all their maids are “Committed to Serve” – but I think it is just rhetoric and I don’t see that in her actions.
Her salary is much higher than maids in other countries, but the agency say this is to keep her honest and stop her moving to another employer.
They say there is a limited supply of maids, and Singapore isn’t big enough for more than one good maid agency, so I should not trust their competitors.
I have to decide whether to renew my maid’s 5-year employment contract. When we discussed this she said that she is now part of a team, and if I want her I must also accept her friends doing part-time work for me.
One friend is very inexperienced, can’t do basic tasks or explain what she intends to do. I suspect that she is actually underage. When interviewed, she only seemed interested in her days-off and visiting Universal Studios.
When she couldn’t answer my questions she stomped her foot and exclaimed, “I don’t know what to say!”
But I am still expected to pay her a high salary.
Now there happen to be a few other maid agencies – Workhard Pte (WP), New Solutions Pte (NSP), Super Personnel Pte (SPP) and Star Domestica Pte (SDP) – that offered me some helpers who seem sincere, genuine and intelligent.
They are keen to work, willing to assist me and have a good attitude. I know that they may take a bit of time to learn how everything works, but frankly I am inclined to give them a chance.
People say that the devil you know is better than one you don’t. But I feel that I can’t tahan my current maid anymore.
Do you think I should sack my current maid and try out a new one? Appreciate your advice.
(Note: To non-Singaporeans, this is a parable.)
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