Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Maid - Excessive Baggage + +

Maids: Not All Employers At Fault


I REFER to the letter "We must start to treat them better" (NST, Feb 8) from M.S. on the treatment of maids. I agree with what M.S. said but sometimes, even with care and love, maids still tend to run away or do something that might be troublesome for employers.

I know of a family which trusted their maid and treated her like family. They allowed her to go out on weekends, own a handphone and even meet her relatives who were staying in Malaysia.

Despite all the love they gave her, one morning she ran away with a man soon after her employers went to work, leaving their 5-year-old daughter alone at home. The family members were devastated because they could not believe that the maid had the heart to do such a thing to them. The 5-year-old missed the maid so much that she had fever for about a week.

My point is, no matter how strong the bond that has developed between an employer and an employee, there is still a possibility that the employee might act up. How well you treat your maid does not matter if she does not appreciate the love.

We always see the problem coming from the employer's side. What about the maid? Maids are humans too. They also make mistakes. Therefore, we should not blame employers entirely. I have heard of many cases similar to the one above.

Most maids who cause problems are in the age group of 25 and below. I think they lack the maturity to be maids. Also, it is at this age that they are likely to get caught up in love which might end in them running away with their boyfriends.

The legal age to work as a maid in Malaysia is 25 and above. However, agencies always promote and supply maids who are younger. Most of my friends have maids aged 20 to 25.

I am curious as to how such young maids are able to bypass Immigration and work in Malaysia.

My experience shows that older maids are more reliable. The older they are, the better they are at housework; they are also more hardworking. The younger ones are good too, but once they start to mingle with other foreign workers, quality of their work drops.

I have always had problems with young maids. The worst was when my maid started to sneak her boyfriend into my house.

Employers should not be the one who always get criticised when it comes to maid issues. Maids have to respect their employers and earn their trust. With this, it would be easier for employers to treat them like family.

Source: New Straits Times - February 27, 2011


Maid issues will never end.
When maids enter the household, we need to train them.
But for how long?

If they are newcomers, inexperience maids, do not know how to use modern appliances, be prepared to take several months to train them up to your expectations.
Be prepared too, for constant replacement for the appliances being mishandled.
Some maids do not even know how table should be laid.
I've encountered many working mothers who lamented their maids had taken up all their leaves. They needed  officail familiarisation with their working place and duties.

Even then, some maids, with their 'own initiative', would only sweep, mopping and vacuuming some parts of the floor, scrub some parts of the toilet and wipe some parts of the windows.
Meticulous house owners definitely 'jump' seeing these performance.

Some mothers, despite having maids, especially those mothers with phobia to constant replacement of washing machines, stoves, kettles and other electrical appliances, still have to do their own washing beside other house works.
Other additional duties for them are to switch off the electrical appliances all the time.

Many maids are known to be forgetful creatures, keep forgetting how certain things should be done, to the extend of employers almost 'babysitting’ them all the time.
New mothers and mothers in confinement can be at their wit ends - two babies to look after at one go.

The maids?
General house-works - cleaning the house, hang to dry the clothing and ironing.

Some employers have to bear with maids of mild mental retardation.
Some of them are known to be fond of singing their hearts out despite odd hours, some smile at the most inappropriate time, and some talk to the walls.

Worst still, these mothers must be mentally prepared at all times their maids might not adjust themselves into the household.
If these maids are young, first timer away from their family, working in foreign land, does not speak your language, some communication by means of sign language, can they adjust overnight?
Some missed their mother, and simply asked to be sent home after a few days work.

Counselling usually bear no fruit, as these 'children-at-heart maids' missed the environment of their close knitted family and their mothers' cooking.
The memory occupied their minds.
Homesick can turn them to be fierce, affecting them mentally too, thus affecting their performance.
They can appear more dreamy and more forgetful.
Their minds are elsewhere, not in their heads.
They can stare at objects for hours.
They have blank looks.
They can be totally, really blur, in their dream world.
Can vigorous shaking wake them up?


An experienced maid will usually cut down training time as they are familiar with house duties.
But they can be bossy, laughing at you.
Some knows they have every right to talk back, can engage in "war of words", can vent their anger or displeasure by banging doors.
Worst to think scenario are employers with small kids.

These maids tend to be street smart and street wise, always on the lookout for new pastures.
Some of them possess fiery tongues.
Some others, good at badmouthing, able to send rifts among family members and relatives.


M.S. wrote, since Indonesia has stopped sending its maids to Malaysia, temporary maids are being hired out for up to RM1,500 each.
Agencies are the ones making the mega-bucks.
M.S. suggested it is time to re-look our treatment of maids, are they being treated as family by employers?
How many employers allow their Christian maids a day off for Christmas?
How many employers allow their Muslim maids a day off for Hari Raya?
I know of employers who were happy to allow the maids a day off, and even those with babies were willing to sacrifice so that their maids could go out for Christmas.
The maids were happy because their religion was accepted.
They had the opportunity to spend Christmas away from their workplace.
Do we care enough to show the maids that we trust them?

F.N.did trust her maid then.
She took her out shopping.
On Hari Raya, they spent the whole day, had typical Raya lunch and dinner, and gave her maid a day off for Hari Raya last year.
But, she came back pregnant.

Further, M.S. wrote, let her have a handphone from the first day. 
Work on trust and warmth.

F.N. did give a handphone to her maid - The maid was provided with easy access contacting her boyfriends. She even went out in the middle of the night when the family was all asleep, returning at 5am.


In one of the household in Malaysia, the female employer found out that the maid was pregnant.
The maid refused to reveal the father's identity.
Since the maid has had no opportunity to leave the house on her own, the first person whom the employer suspected was naturally her husband.
The wife felt hurt and cheated.
But the husband denied the accusation.
Verbal fights broke out between the couple.
The relationship deteriorated and the wife demanded divorce.

Their teenage son, all along, felt incredibly guilty - For creating the whole mess, the misunderstanding, the rift he caused, and the pending divorce.
He said everyday after school, when he was alone at home with the maid, she would seduced him.
He easily fell victim to her seductions - and got her pregnant.
The parents promptly paid off the maid.
She was sent her back to Indonesia.


A very good friend caught her husband having an affair with their maid in the maid's room.
She confronted them, and was severely beaten.
She forgave him, and the affair continued.
She ignored the black chapter in her life.
She look forward to the ever expending food business.

That maid wasn't their first, so naturally suspecting this particular maid having an affair with her husband was never in my friend's mind.
But surprisingly, the husband had been behaving very awkwardly since the first day of her arrival.
He confessed to have voluntarily given her several thousand RM on few occasions.
That's beside the almost daily RM50.
The maid was terminated.

Although my good  friend and her husband are still together, she had lost total trust in him. 
Her eight children are all on her side. 
Now, she guards not the husband, but the flourishing food business which she built from scratch.


After two months of her maid brought in her boyfriend,she caught them red-handed in her house.
Neighbours had hinted to her.
But true to their guess, she will not believe them.
She was very close to the maid - She had full trust in her.
It was only after she returned home unannounced, at 3pm.
The maid was immediately sent back to the agent.


Some mothers, only after installing CCTVs, did they realise that their maids were tv addicts, especially the many Indonesian sinetrons on Astro.
Wost still, the CCTV showed some mothers their toddlers were pushed to the walls for misbehaved.
(to be continued)

No comments: