1 Apr 2016

My 3rd filipino domestic maid (FDW)

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1 Apr 2016
I do my best to be a nice, not naggy employer and carry out my obligations as per the terms and conditions set out by Ministry of Manpower (MOM)/standard FDW contract.  Any extra perks/special benefit, it is up to me or FDW to earn it... eg special 17% salary adjustment for J, my 3rd FDW when she completed one year with me.  I am definitely not the most desirable employer because I cannot allow my FDW to hold her mobile on a 24/7 basis .... to use whenever she pleases or allowed to stay out (purposely bend the Spore law eg some expats), etc.  

Some people flunk the Spore law using the excuse of human rights or be generous, be compassionate, treat FDW like human, Spore is behaving like a backward 3rd world slavery country, etc nonsense.  This is Spore, we have our way of living, our culture, taxation and salary scale.  Singapore ranks high on its national social policies, leading Asia and notably on key measures of education, healthcare, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety, housing, '$fine policies, etc.  It is noted for its effective, pragmatic and incorrupt governance and civil service, together with its rapid development policies. As a foreigner, it is not right to slam or force a country to become what you prefer.  If you think your country or another country is governed better, why are you still here earning S$??  

Posted in this pg by: Anonymous, 01 April, 2016
You deserve to be treated like a human being, so does your FTW, just because they ARE human too and NOT slaves. How would you feel if your employer forbid you from taking compassionate leave when there is a death in your family?
You should treat you employee (FDW) the same way you would like to be treated as an employee in your day job.
It does not matter what how others treat their employees or how other FTW are treated and how your previous FDW were treated.
How well/badly you treat your FDW reflects a lot about yourself. The same values you want to teach your children. The choice to be kind and compassionate is yours.

My reply:
Posting here and pretend to be a saint made you feel good?
Aren't you ashamed to step on somebody who didn't do anything wrong as per Spore law?
Slaves have no human rights, FDWs have rights, demanding and get lots of privileges! Things that didn't go well or not in FDWs' favour, they and the activists have the cheek to push the fault onto employers, you people really deserved to be whacked... so sickening and evil!

"You deserve to be treated like a human being, so does your FTW, just because they ARE human too and NOT slaves. How would you feel if your employer forbid you from taking compassionate leave when there is a death in your family?
>> Maid want to take Leave, not entitled to compassionate leave, SHE MUST PAY everything! J spent about $300 on budget air ticket, 2 weeks unpaid leave $200 and OEC $340 (not part of home leave benefit) = more than S$800.  J would get home leave reimbursement if she renewed 2-year contract but not given a fully paid advance home leave.  Which employee in Spore gets such juicy compassionate benefit?  You??  This is a lot of money to me so if maid doesn't come back from home leave, who's going to refund me the full costs and inconveniences incurred?  Any insurance to buy?  You expect me to absorb the cost, treat FDW well but ill-treat myself?  I am not selfish or unkind, this is my only way to protect myself.  FDWs have activists, HOME and MOM to back them, I don't have!  Persons who preach blindly are selfish and inconsiderate! We are employers, human just like any maid, not ATM machines.

Stop advocating something that is absurd and unfair! Employers don't deserve such harsh treatment or must act like ATM machines. Most of us are employers who don't own any company, merely a household with working couple, children and/or elderly.  Most of us are salaried employee living in HDB flats.  Employing a FDW is NOT a form of luxury, it is a necessity so that we can work full time to sustain life in expensive Spore!  Spore is not a western country so don't use your outdated/inappropriate ruler to measure.

It is up to FDW's employer to squeeze the time for maid's absence. Not all employers are home makers, they have a job at risk when they take unplanned long leave. Keeping a job and keeping a maid who may have lied somebody close died (getting very common for liars to prey on kind hearted employer) ... which is more important? Most FDWs don't fly home for only 3-5 days. Disappearing for 15 days is a lot compared to local employee only away for about 3 days depending on company's compassionate entitlement. If you're an normal employee, I am sure you know this. If so, why are you posting here to purposely make life difficult for me?  Do you have to be so protective and make me look hideous?

You should treat you employee (FDW) the same way you would like to be treated as an employee in your day job. "
>> when was my FDW not treated like human?  She is obviously an employee based on her FDW standard contract.  Whatever she's entitled to, stated in the contract, she gets it automatically.  Show your true identity, I don't mind go to the police station and report you for false accusation!  Don't post here just to hurt people.

My maids get paid timely and received all the benefits imposed by MOM and source countries (MOM is pro-maid). No matter you're a maid or local employee, your duty is to carry out your job scope AS PER YOUR employment contract. Don't play tricks and accuse others for forcing you to take up a job that is inhuman. 

Maids are working adults who are suppose to take full responsibilities for their actions. 
Not being able to use mobile phone on 24/7 basis is not a crime! This forms part of a company's policy. You don't agree, leave!  Do you tell your company to tweak it's policy to suit you? A person with such mentality shouldn't be given a job.  Any company that employs you have to be careful.

Reached a wrong decision, did something not in your favour, have the guts to swallow it and not shamelessly push to your employer or cook up pathetic stories (lies) as if you were ill-treated or prevented to get out for greener pasture.  I can't tie FDW to a job that you dread.  I have a special needs girl in FDW's care so I cannot afford to have a maid with grievances.  Unhappy? I don't mind release an unhappy maid.  I don't want a time bomb!  I have told my current maid, if she felt she needed a better environment, give me enough time to find a replacement.  I don't own JA or any FDW.  Don't cling to me and then expect me to accommodate, make her life rosy at my inconvenience/extra expenses. 

FDWs, slap yourselves or chop your feet for stepping into your source country recruiter's office, stop blaming employers for your own decision! Behave like a grown up!  Be responsible.  If you need a higher salary and you deserve it, negotiate with your employer or get a transfer if employer felt you're not worth it/can't afford you.  Don't whine or inject poison needles.

How can some people expect to be pampered with the excuse "same values you want to teach your children. The choice to be kind and compassionate is yours" 
YOU want extra perks, EARN IT! Otherwise, be contented with the terms outlined by MOM.  Teach kids we owe maid a good life and take things for granted 不劳而获?  This is not how compassion should be used .... are you mentally ill?  You don't have eyes to read this blog doesn't welcome wolf-skin/self righteous freak like you?

Do you teach your children to lie, hurt and frame others to achieve goals?  What kind of parent are you?  You can't differentiate what is wrong and started firing missiles at me!  I look down on you!  You better not have any kid because your children will be brought up the wrong way.  Preach what is right, open your eyes to see the truth, shouldn't educate children or people to feel sorry for the FDWs BLINDLY.  They are after all humans just like you and I.... bad ones and good ones, have brains to think what is better for them.  

My 3rd FDW told me her hubby passed away, went home for about 2 weeks and promised she would continue to work for me after returning .... she came back as a changed person, back-stabbed and left me. Can I say J was unappreciative? She didn't look cunning and scheming to you?  Being a FDW is a licence 免死金牌 to lie, play victim/sufferer or disown your unscrupulous doings?

J repaid me by writing to MOM with false accusations. As a law abiding citizen, I stood firm and printed all the proof on her last day to match each of her false accusation. I didn't blacklist/stop J from getting a transfer with the evidences. Am I not kind and forgiving? To me, she's just a FDW who is trying to earn more in the wrong way. I was frustrated and angry with J. I like her abilities to adapt, the way she took care of my girl and her cooking skill but all these can't make me forget she has abandoned me +shot me from my back.... a traitor/liar cannot be given a chance a stay.  

Anyway, it was J choice to go home and pay everything from her own pocket, I don't owe J any benefit.  If you feel you've money nowhere to spend, donate to charity instead of pretending you've compassion in my blog. It was not my obligation to pay for J two weeks' absence, Phil home leave application (OEC) and air ticket. FDW must complete 2-year contract with same employer to earn a paid home leave. J was aware if she completed 2-year and renew contract, those spending (except OEC costs) would be reimbursed as home leave entitlement.  Her embassy didn't allow her to walk in apply home leave and pushed J to pay a maid agency to do her home leave application, what does this show? Own countrymen not sympathetic that her hubby passed away? Agency and Embassy in cahoot to milk the FDWs?  Walk into Embassy and get OEC via a maid agency is more than 50% difference.  Read:  Filipino maid's Home Leave (OEC)

J went home while I took two weeks leave to take care of my special needs girl. I didn't load her with extra work or gave her a hard time when she came back. J knew I do not give loan since Day one, this was part of my house rules that she has read BEFORE I recruited her.  Read: Should you give loan to your domestic maid?  J came back and soon my girl ended up admitted to KK Hospital due to food poisoning. Seriously, what have I done wrong?  Was J careless or taking revenge because I didn't agree to be her ATM machine?  I didn't pretend rich, foot the costs and trust her to come back? How come nobody/activist show some understanding, be considerate to the plight of employers that those hundreds are not small money to lose if FDW disappear/runaway?

Open your eyes to read what I've posted below (year 2012) ... J was free to find a better employer via maid agency to supply a sum for her hubby but she chose to get a loan from me at no interest.  Her advance home leave wasn't turned down.  I have all options typed out, J signed, thus, I am not afraid to reason out with any sickening activist/self righteous freak, such as you.  I am still keeping the sad evidence, evidence of stupid me... just in case any mad dog leaps on me.  I have the impression, some people just find me an eye sore (as FDW's employer) and will do nasty thing to make my life miserable.  Seems like getting me upset is a form of accomplishment to them!

Being nice (special salary increment after working for one year only) didn't mean J would feel grateful... J proved it, totally destroyed her good record.  She forgot and bitten me cruelly, used me and tried to get me into trouble with MOM.

To FDWs' employer, learn from my mistake.  Typing is clear but getting maid to write down what you said and her level of understanding is better.  I don't know is it maid chose to listen to what they are keen, very selective on info or they just hear beginning and ending info.  Till date (3 years with me), I still have problem making my current filipino FDW understand what I said.  JA can develop something totally different from what I meant.  When I asked her to repeat, she was reluctant.  I need to press on and get JA to show me her real level of understanding (comprehension), otherwise, she'll be lazy or go ahead to do something wrong.  When something wrong is done, she felt it wasn't her problem or fault.  Scolding her for something she didn't feel she is in the wrong .... how would she feel?  Not directing FDW well, point out her mistake on time will make her err further.  You are angry, she's also angry, thinking you're demanding and unreasonable! FDW can be really wilful... beyond reasoning, unable to accept that the fault lies on her... egoistic.  Thus, FDWs are superior class humans because slaves can't have ego, maids can!  Being a nice employer is good but there are times you maybe unappreciated and get shot for doing nothing wrong, something FDW misunderstood.  

Some people have weird mindset thinking FDW's employers earn a lot and must share with the FDWs... be generous to her like how you treat yourself!  Earn it, don't take for granted that these perks are given to FDWs automatically.  Claiming your employer didn't try to understand you, is unkind or not generous to you is morally and ethically wrong. You forgot you DON'T DESERVE IT! In Spore, FDWs' employer are unprotected but you are!  Activists/non employers don't care how much we have to bear or lose by employing FDWs.  They have golden hearts for FDWs (sided them blindly) but are very unsympathetic, harsh and inconsiderate to full-time salaried FDWs' employer.  Just because they are maids, your heart went soft for them. If they did something bad or lied, you felt employers forced them to become bad or revengeful, am I right?  



***************
2012
My 3rd FDW was also a filipino. I prefer filipino because we can communicate in English. J was 36 years old with a 15 years old son.  My preferred FDW age range is 30-35 years old.  Having this age seemed like the FDW will be more matured .... well, not really, depends on her exposure.  Although almost same age, J is definitely more matured than JA. Probably because she has worked in Manila and Hong Kong.

J was a very good story teller and an excellent actress. She was able to make many people, including hubby believe and stand by her! Her job performance was even eyed by my sister .... tried to headhunt her!

Employing J was something I thought was a good decision. She was chosen by me, not seen by hubby. That day she came to my house for home interview, my girl did her 'business' in bed. I almost fainted because that was really something unusal. I thought J would turn down the job but she accepted. She certainly appeared as a perfect helper, willing to take care of my special needs girl and accept my child the way she is.

J could cook according to how I wanted and soon, I don't have to supervise her.  When I pointed out her mistakes, she may looked unhappy but she still said yes mam.  J did her best not to repeat because I asked J to write down what she has forgotten, her mistakes.  She has to remember because I don't need to keep reminding her and making myself angry.

Sept 2012, J's husband passed away.  I told her I'll reimburse her 2 weeks' home leave and return air ticket once she has completed two years with me, which at that time was 3 months later.  J has to bear her own home leave processing fee because she hasn't completed 2-year.  That was her Philippines embassy's way of earning money from FDWs.  Philippines embassy is very strict and make all FDWs who haven't completed 2-year contract to go through maid agencies in order to process recognised OEC home leave application.  It is an additional cost to the FDW who just wanted to fly home to reunite with family.  Embassy doesn't allow FDW to apply herself if failed to complete 2-year contract.  Read

I suggested to J to negotiate, speak to her embassy that her husband really passed away.  She was turned away by the embassy security.  Her own country people unkind to her, doesn't allow flexibility , why should I, an employer not related to her by blood or nationality be so generous and kind?  Employers do not own charity organisation.  It doesn't pay to be too kind.  Employers who had been cheated will know.
Read: S’pore ranks low in charitable giving

I understand many FDWs claimed husbands or relatives passed away, sick or met with accidents to get free tickets home and then failed to return to Spore.  J confirmed this because she has a friend who used the same tactic.  Said she doesn't understand why some people could curse their own family members.  (J could have lied to me but I saw forum discussions, such liars do exist) Those employers were very kind, not only did they pay their FDWs' air-tickets, they gave good-will money (not loan).  They were cheated but did MOM help them for being too kind?  No. 

I can't afford to be cheated because I am not a rich person.  I merely gave J additional off day.  By being too kind to FDW, who is going to be kind to me if I'm cheated?  Who will go Philippines to get back the money cheated? There's no organisation in Spore to protect employers.  I learnt I'll just give what MOM and embassies enforced, the basic will do.  FDW is not my family member, she is definitely not a slave but an employee that I entrusted my girl.  FDW has to earn her rewards and trust.  As a form of reward, I gave J time-off or extra paid day off.

J returned about 2 weeks later.  Claimed she can't cut hair when family member passed away but she was able to rebond her hair.  Due to her precious hair, she purposely tied her hairs losely, causing them to drop from the sides.  I don't want FDW swinging, touching her hair and do cooking, yucks! Nor do I want FDW to stay in the toilet for ages to polish her hair.  Note: All my FDWs' hairs are longer than mine.

J is a changed person, she forgot my house rules - cleanliness and food hygiene!  She was told cooked and raw food shouldn't be mixed yet she did.  J caused my girl to be hospitalized in KK Hospital!  My girl vomitted everything that was fed through her mouth, had fever and developed seizures.  Hubby and I weren't home for dinner so by right we're safe.  I cleaned my girl (whatever she vomitted) and just rinsed by hands without using soap.  I ended up as a victim too!  My poor girl couldn't rest well in KK because mummy kept waking to dash to toilet .... more than 15 times.  I hugged my girl in the bed while she had her drips... a torture for us to stay in KK Hospital.  Nurse said unable to prescribe medicine to me and didn't tell me I could buy medicine at Level 1, 24-hr convenience store.

J asked for loan of 30,000 peso.  Said she has to bear the full costs of her husband's funeral.  She has no money although she has worked many years.  She has an aunt working in Spore NOT as maid but didnt approach her.  I gave her below options.  Guessed she was angry I didn't offer her compassionate leave and free money, thus, deliberately caused by girl to have food contamination.

J worked in Manila and Hong Kong before coming to Spore. Hong Kong ... a dream land for FDWs yet J left!!  Spore is such a great haven for FDWs.  No matter how rotten a FDW is, she still has chance to be recycled and be employed in Spore  (employers are being blackmailed, too frighten to tell the truth in order to save the maid loan and repatriation costs)!  So many organisations and ministers eagar to help and give FDWs the best working environment in this little red dot, at the expense of the employers.  They just need to do the talking and policy implementation, we suffer.   Employers bear all the costs and inconveniences. 

I gave J three options:
- renewal of contract for at least one year, I'll give her loan at no interest.  It was only 3 months before J completed 2-year with me. 
- go to a maid agency, find a new employer to finance her.  The interest agency charged as middleman is high.
- borrow money from her loanshark friends (they charge at least 20% interest).

I typed out the choices (to avoid misunderstanding), including reimbusement of home leave entitlement, special bonus and told her the choice is hers.  Reminded and highlighted on paper, I do not want to force J to stay if she felt terms are unfavourable.  Thought she'll take the opportunity to leave but J chose to stay, claimed happy to work for me, didn't want to venture outside and most important, she liked my girl. J chose to stay so I lent her the requested money without interest.  Look at her letter to MOM, totally different story, lots of lies.

By chance, I discovered J complained to Ministry of Manpower.  If I didn't stumble on her misdeeds, I could have foolishly be deceived and believed J was my best helper. I must thank my lady luck or bad luck because I ended up with M?  Or the FDW market is mainly filled with bad maids so I should console myself I'm not in extreme bad state?

Till now, I still don't understand why J had to lie.  She was free to go, I'm not interested to tie her, I meant what I said and what I printed on the paper (she signed on it).  J is not afraid of retribution will befall her only son?

These were J's complaints (unhappiness):
*  J wanted to find better employment, higher salary (current rate is S$550 with weekly off days) to pay for her son's university fee but accused me for forcing her to renew contract.  My offer is not that attractive.  But comparing her filipino friends who loyally worked 4 to 8 years in Spore, same employer, my offer is higher.  Was surprised filipino are paid only $400/month.  Saw on forum discussions, there are really employers who were fortunate to have FDWs working 2 or more years with them, at $400/month, one off day each month.

* CCTV - J doesn't like. If a person has nothing to hide, why afraid of CCTV?  Hubby was willing to remove  all the cameras (not hidden, very obvious to eyes) in order to keep her and doesn't mind exposing my girl to risk and abuse.  He trusted J a lot!

* an own room so that J can rest undisturbed.  My house has no spare room.  J shared the room with my girl, at the same time help to monitor her.  The only private and undisturbed corner I could offer when she was ill was the courtyard.  She felt that was a bad arrangement.  Comparing her former Hong Kong employer, made her shared a room with 7 cats, I believe I'm not that horrible.  She could have lied about her employment in HK, based on how she backstabbed me.

* medical benefits - fdw not entitled to but she felt she deserved it.  Example when J has headaches, she expected employer to bring her to see doctor.  Buying panadol from pharmacy or taking available home medicine, such as paracetamol from polyclinic was unacceptable.

* I didn't give advance home leave, pay for air ticket and agency's home leave processing fee.  J felt I've cheated and very unkind to her.  She felt I was bad for not to offering to foot the costs based on compassion.

* employer didn't bring her for vacation (this was thru my conversation with J, not a complain to MOM).  My family and I haven't gone for any holidays for many years.  We are not rich people.  Every cents matter to us, we need reserve funds, can't simply cast our hard earned money away. My own teeth is still waiting to be treated but I'm trying to delay paying the expensive expenses.

Hubby didn't believe J would lie and be so nasty to me.  I showed proof so he reluntantly let J find her own agency to transfer out.

My new FDW arrived but J hasn't confirmed a new employer.  She yearned to work for expatriates, hoping to catch a better fish so that she can boast to her friends.  I kept her with my new FDW.  I knew J will sow discord, continue spread untruth info to ruin my relationship with new FDW but I know I can't prevent it.  J has already spreaded to the neighbourhood and school so it all depends on the new FDW's maturity, how sensible and observant.  I can't stop others to brain washed new FDW.  The only way to end and save my reputation is to move house and change school .... but worth it?  My new FDW can still go astray if she's in wrong company. School is a gossip place that I definitely cant avoid.

I admit I talked loudly and by raising my voice, most modern FDWs won't like it.  They are not slaves so don't understand who gave me the right to scold them. Even if they were in the wrong, I cannot make them unhappy.  Their mindset seemed like I have to be a person with high EQ, no matter how angry or frustrated I was.  I have to be soft-spoken, sweet and super nice at all times.  Sometimes, I'm really afraid FDW will vent angry on my poor girl.   I did control myself but FDW seemed enjoyed see me jumping mad.

I really did try to control my temper but I'm no saint!  I'm a human too, I've feelings, not just an ATM machine for FDW to cash out money!

By the way, J has off days.  I let J take off from 7.30am to 8pm.  Some employers don't give such long rest.  Some fdws have lots of must-do chores before they could run out.  Some employers ring to track the whereabouts of their FDWs but I don't. 

Next year, with mandatory off days, don't know what chaos will happen.  FDWs have nothing to lose.  If pregnant, they get free ticket home.  MOM is really too kind to FDWs!  I don't mind giving weekly off days if there's no:
- security bond implication
- repatriation cost
- maid loan to bear
- insurance and levy
Insurance should be purchased by FDW, showing her name, not employer's.  It should be tagged to FDW no matter which employer or how many employers she has worked for in Spore. 

Told J on her last day, don't keep in contact with me or hubby.  What she did was bad so I don't want to see or hear from her again. Somebody commented: "Not all maids tell lies. And lying is not always seen as a bad thing where they come from. It is a way to avoid unpleasantness, a way to avoid confrontation or embarassment. In their environment they know when someone is lying to them but they are prepared to let it go to avoid an ugly confrontation or embarassment."

J found her own agency in Orchard and arranged for her agent to come to my office area to pay me back the S$900 loan with no interest, as well as sign transfer form.  I told the agent, I wasn't interested to waste my time make a trip to the agency.  They want to market J, earn commission, they have to come over to meet me.  Why should I be so nice to go the extra miles for a maid who has betrayed me?

J's motives not deceitful?  No company will forcefully tie an employee who wants to leave for greener pastures. Same applies to me. I have my girl who might suffer in the hands of an unhappy FDW.  Why should I open myself and my girl to risks or have a time bomb living with us?  FDW can leave my house for better offers but don't tell lies and try to get me into hot soup.

As an employee, I do participate in gravevine/women's gossip but I don't lie to make people feel sorry or take pity on me.  I'm too honest (this is bad), don't beat among the brushes and beautify words so sales job doesn't suit me.

J's handwritten lies... made herself looked pitiful.

















15 comments:

  1. Dear OP,

    I thank you for writing this post, I found it quite intriguing and very informative. I can see your concerns and would like to note that they are quite possibly very real, I would like to point out as well that you view her treatment from a very different cultural perspective then your FDW would and also from what I do (I am Australian).

    In Australia it is very uncommon to have a maid/helper, we pretty much do everything ourselves. We also view workers/employees as the same and having the same rights as any other worker regardless of their origin or position. i.e. a normal week is 38 hours, everyone gets paid sick leave and paid annual leave (accrued pro rata from the day they start) and wages are the same for everyone regardless of where you are from. From my perspective it is very strange and demoralising to treat a person differently based on there country of origin. I am curious though that you mention many times you are not wealthy and every dollar counts yet you have a maid? Even very wealthy people here clean their own places, take their kids to school and teach them to read, play with them etc, we view it as a part of the larger experience we call LIFE!

    I am an employer and I have found that on balance my staff will treat me and my company with the same respect I give them, if I treat them with mistrust and suspicion they will repay me in kind, if I treat them with dignity and trust they will do the same (of course there are exceptions).

    Many times you justify how FDW's are treated by a comparison to how others are treated, I would suggest this is a poor form of measure when it comes to human beings. If one mother beats her child, yet another merely neglects theirs does not make either a good mother, one less cruel than the other maybe but neither could be called good or righteous.

    I wish you luck in your search for a suitable FDW, you do provide an opportunity to someone less fortunate than yourself and that is a great thing. Please do not forget they are just trying to provide a better future for their family, they are often mothers, wives and daughters a long way from their home, who naturally would prefer to have the same chance much closer to their families (wouldn't you?).

    All the best
    Mark Pickering

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're an employer but not FDW employer. Managing a normal employee or a company is so much different from managing a household.

      IF YOU BOTHERED TO READ my blog, why I am forced to employ a maid, why I am tolerating a lousy FDW .... all there! Because there are too many people like you, especially westerner who can't be bothered to understand what low or middle income Sporeans are going thru, you thought you are right.

      Since when I didn't treat my FDW with respect and dignity? Trust and respect is earned. You want your Employer to treat you nice, give you better benefits but you refused to prove you're worth it? You delivered a shabby job and expected to get increment, perks and bonus?

      You mentioned "in Australia it is very uncommon to have a maid/helper" so this is one major difference.
      What about the special needs/disability persons in Australia, did your govt try to help and subsidize them heavily (medical & equipment) and allow them to live with dignity? If you bother to compare in Spore, I did not get suitable help or a daycare centre to place my girl. In order to stay employable, I have to find a FDW .... everything depend on me and hubby. Isn't this another great difference?

      Keeping a liar and tolerating a FDW who is paid to help me but created unnecessary problems, you felt that is her rights and I failed to meet my helper's demands/needs?

      Therefore, I like to say, the best thing to happen to people who made insensitive comment should land in my shoes, have a taste of what is means by trying to stay employable in order to survive in a cruel country, as a special needs parent cum FDW's employer. Experiencing it beats any lengthy and frustrating explanation.

      Don't take an apple to compare with strawberry. They are different. Do I need to point to you the most obvious difference is one fruit is hard, while the other is soft?

      http://maid-employer.blogspot.com/2012/12/hiring-domestic-maid-to-look-after.html
      http://maid-employer.blogspot.com/2013/07/what-maids-did-part-3.html
      http://maid-employer.blogspot.com/2012/12/should-fdws-stand-up-to-voice.html
      http://maid-employer.blogspot.com/2012/12/fdws-employers-faced-unfair-policies.html
      http://maid-employer.blogspot.com/p/why-i-am-setting-up-blog-as-maids.html
      http://maid-employer.blogspot.com/p/special-needs.html

      Delete
    2. You deserve to be treated like a human being, so does your FTW, just because they ARE human too and NOT slaves. How would you feel if your employer forbid you from taking compassionate leave when there is a death in your family?
      You should treat you employee (FDW) the same way you would like to be treated as an employee in your day job.
      It does not matter what how others treat their employees or how other FTW are treated and how your previous FDW were treated.
      How well/badly you treat your FDW reflects a lot about yourself. The same values you want to teach your children. The choice to be kind and compassionate is yours.

      Delete
  2. Dear OP,

    Thank you kindly for your response. I think you may have misunderstood me. While I did read this particular blog entry in full, I did not read previous or future posts as I happened upon this site by chance. I was unaware that you have a special needs child, nor am I entirely sure how this relates to the way employees are treated. In Australia and even within my family we have special needs people too, this is not unique to Singapore. You should feel blessed that you are from Singapore and not another less well off country and in the same situation, I am not sure why you feel I am attacking you, more I am trying to point out the facts and that if you choose to wake up on the right side of the bed and view the world slightly differently your outcomes may vary significantly. Heard the saying "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade"? We all choose what to make of our lives and we are all dealt different cards, you are very correct in saying the cards I have been dealt are quite good, please note however a good player can win with poor cards and a terrible player can lose with the best.

    I am not a stranger to Singapore, Philippines or their people. I have many friends both in and from these countries and I have travelled through each on many occasions. Each have their significant differences and each have their good and bad side, much like Australia. The world is a beautiful and amazing place and every person has something to contribute, including you, your child and your FDW. Who is more important than the other?

    I unfortunately get the impression that you view your FDW as a hinderance rather than a person with real feelings, a family, desires, passions and dreams. Please forgive me if I am wrong in this instance. While I agree entirely that there needs to be professional boundaries between all employees and employers, we all need to remember some times that when it comes down to it we are all just humans trying to achieve our goals and improve our situation, whatever that may be.

    I scincerely wish you well with raising your child and I hope you can find an FDW who can help you on your difficult journey, learn to laugh and learn to make lemonade. You never know you may just wake up to a rainbow!

    Regards
    Mark Pickering

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mark, Thanks for replying.
      Living in Spore, a modern place isn’t something great. If I’m living in countryside, I have an option to stay home look after my girl all by myself. Planting what I need and rear livestock … a simple life but give me internet access to stay with the outside world. I envy PRs living in Spore who can return to their birth place such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, etc …. places that have lower standard of living and plenty of land to ‘hide’ or enjoy early retirement.

      In Spore, I cannot say I want to stay home and don’t work. My husband’s monthly income is unable to meet our basic needs. It is expensive to live in Spore, even in the thriftiest way. A normal family faces education, housing, transport and other costs. We have that too + tough to raise a special needs child without better govt funding and cheaper medical for needy citizens.

      Do I have an option to choose which side of the bed to wake up? Will I see a rainbow?
      I cannot deceive myself. In reality, I must work and having dual income is the only way out, try to save a bit of money for rainy season (before I die) and don’t rely on others to throw me a lifebuoy. I hope I could find suitable helper (so that I can work) who flies to Spore with the right mindset that is to work, not to play hard or behaves like a VIP in my house. Quite unlikely, looking at the quality and working attitude of FDWs in Spore so I chose to tolerate my 4th maid, as much as possible. Changing another FDW doesn't mean my luck will be better.

      Having this blog helps me to release some steam and face another brand new day.

      Delete
    2. Mark, your post is a good example of idealism vs reality. Sure, we want everyone to be happy and treated fairly.

      But when a stranger comes into your home and gets paid, they need to earn the employer's trust first and foremost. Many maids forget this fact and take things for granted. Yes, everyone has aspirations, goals, and dreams but that's actually not very relevant here.

      That's not to say employers are never at fault, but from anecdotal experience I find reality to be far more jarring. I don't know a single employer that doesn't want their FDW to be part of the family, trusted and cared for. But the majority of FDW either don't appreciate this, don't believe it is genuine, or just don't care.

      Delete
  3. Hi,

    I'm a disgruntled employer (which is how I found your blog). That said; I must say I agree with the other commenter to a degree.
    At first; from this post alone; it is not evident. However I went through some of your other posts.
    Dear OP; life does tend to bring us what we expect from it. And your expectations of FDWs seem very low. You (from your posts) don't seem to see them as people with the same dreams and aspirations as you and me; but rather as some sort of alien creatures; out to rip you off and play you out. If this is your expectation; you can be sure it will be fulfilled (because that's the law of life).
    As I said; I've a maid (who I will get rid of shortly). She's not terrible; but I feel like she's playing me for a fool and taking advantage of our kindness and humanity. (Maybe that's just my perception though - I'm leaving room for my own error in judgement). She's my first maid and is from Indonesia.
    Instead of seeing her as one of the 'horrible lot' however; I see that the issue is caused partly by her immaturity, lack of morals (instilled when young - she didn't have parents) and some personality flaws common to most of humanity (myself included). In other words; I see her as an individual with good and bad traits - except some the bad traits are things I don't want to have to deal with; esp when the person lives in the same house as me.
    Being a mother of a young child; I can understand to an extent what you must be going through with a special needs child, together with the difficulty of handling a full-time job (esp in stressful S'pore).
    I say this with compassion. If you can; please try to go for some meditation or relaxing yoga. I especially recommend (non-religious) metta or compassion meditation. Just try googling it to find out more. It may seem like you're wasting 10-20min of your precious time daily at first; but soon you will find it is the best thing you could've done for yourself and everyone around you (including your child).
    May you be well and happy and may you find a good employee who is also happy to work for you.

    Love and Light
    K

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  4. Hi,

    We have no choice to get a maid as husband and wife need to work, we are really need someone to look after our kids. Currently, I have a Filipino maid with me. She is ok with household, cooking and taking care of my 4 years' old daughter. However, she is always threaten me she want to go back home whenever I point her mistake, the funnier part was I didn't even shout at her, only tell her in normal tone but with serious face. She already cried in front of me and said that she want to go home! OMG!
    Frankly speaking I treat her quite well, as I provide her everything(includes cleanser face wash,hand cream and etc) Those things are not needed as for a maid but I just give her haha... But I felt when you put your kindness on them, they'll start to claim over your head! I slowly talk less with her, only talk when it needed to. No off day, No phone for them is always the best! Really really less much problem, but I do pity them as this really like living in the prison but in order to prevent stories happen, i'd rather be firm with it. If the maid could work 1 or 2 years that's at least something, otherwise we will just keep wasting of our time and money!
    Advise to everyone who has a maid- Must be firm and strict with your maid. Depends on what you needs, if they don't treasure the chance to work in Singapore and to have a good employer, then let them go! I believe there is always have a better choice for you!

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  5. Hello Ms. Singaporean mom,

    My name is Johanna, and I have stumbled upon your post, with the keywords "why do maids lie?" I happen to be working at a maid agency here in the Philippines (Search Maid Employment Services), with a FB site https://www.facebook.com/searchmaidtarlac.

    Well, I am not here to find employers in Singapore. The agency I work for is only local, and I am truly sorry for the Filipino maids who worked for you and only brought your family a lot of stress :(

    We only deploy maids/nannies who we think are truly and genuinely looking for a long-term job wherein their employers will treat them with respect and the same way as a normal human being, not a slave. - an employee, to be exact.

    In my opinion, I do not see lying as a good way of establishing a relationship with employers. I want people to be truthful as possible. Lying is a way to break one's trust forever, sure they can be forgiven, but whatever lies they told and the bad things they did will never be forgotten. Give them a second chance, but if they do it again, then there's something wrong with them.

    I hope you and your family find that special someone who will truly take care of your household, especially your special child. It really is a battle if you are on the search for a maid/nanny who's genuinely looking for work and would love to be a part of your family.

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  6. How young are your maids? I read that most maids these days are almost teenagers as opposed to older woman, at their first job even!

    I was never a maid but I remember being at conflict with my boss at her small shop,at my first regular employment. She was generous but critical. I felt that she viewed me as an idiot and didn't appreciate my efforts and it made me resentful. I didn't like being assumed that I didn't know how to do anything when I used to be the teacher's pet. Well many times I was wrong because she knew /her/ business better than me - I was too young and too used to having my way as an intern at my uncle's company to see it.

    You might have better luck hiring a much more mature maid, in her 40s or even 50s, a widow/divorcee with children already grown (or no husband and children at all)? Your young maids may perceive you as an especially bad boss - if you aren't - someone with a longer employment history would see that.

    Young people are full of too much dreams and frustrations to do well in maid work.

    - Lilac

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  7. .... i have a "food picker" maid currently working with me. She request alot of so call gd food when she return to boarding house during our holidays. She says that those maids who stays at the boarding house were those returned maid; employer go on holiday etc etc. She claimed that she ate their food but was told off as she went in empty handed.She even mentioned that the agent foods were really bad. So when we went for 9 days holiday, she says that she wan to bring food there. So i used my own money to pay for her, other than the daily $15 stay in boarding house. She ate all my food and chilli. She even ate my daughter favourite food. When she dont like, she will tell me off. So i didnt ask her to cook those food she dislike. Actually many more happened. She even broke my family photos. She just say sorry n walk off. She used her wet hands to touch those chinese new yr paint and deco. She even opened up all my personal belongings that i place on the chair. I did told her dont touch and cctv in the living room saw her taking out my stuffs n open n see. Hahaha.. what a gd maid.. when she wash my bedsheet, she lay her sweaty legs and butt on my bed. When i told her nicely dont do that, she gave me dirty face whole day. When her menses cramp, she can sleep whole afternoon. Few days ago she stop work 2 days due to fever cough n flu, bcos she snacked at boarding house and celebrate xmas till very late. I brought her to see dr. She say she want to sleep and stop work for 2 days, no choice so i have to grunt her. She didnt wash her cloth till i told her so. Almost everyday she sleep at 8pm. When we are not at home she can sleep fr 4.30pm. So gd life. But she lie that she didnt sleep. How i kn? Bcos she came out fr her rm with her pyjamus and messy hair and sleepy face. I am going to return her to agent in feb. No more maid.

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  8. (Continue fr above) Oh ya forgot to add on.. she sleep at 8pm when my mum and i busy dealing with my infant. He cried for milk and she simply came out fr rm, smile at us and head to the wash rm.. when we employ her, we had a phone interview with her. She knew we need her to look after baby and may involved midnght. and she agreed. But she never. She just walk off. Btw she has a 2 yrs old daughter and planning to conceive after finish 2 yrs with us. So she asked for my breast milk pump and some baby stuffs. I didnt reply her. She says that she will not continue to work after 2 yrs. But after she return fr her stay in boarding house, she ask me if she can continue for 2 more yrs. I didnt give her an answer also. Just reply her "i am not sure." Cos out of sudden she ask. That is abit strange. Fyi... my mum realised some infant cloths missing. I prefer not to check on her. Cos i believe one day she will get caught. And by the way, when we eat out, i order food for her, she reject and choose her own food. She stare at my menu even though the waitress didnt pass it to her. So she know what fod to order. (She will order steak!!!!) I cant stop her. Cos occasional she help me make formula milk for my son. I am scare she will put something. So.. i just have to let her be. If not she give me dirty face again. And.. she always did tat if i did nt grant her wish. She sometimes also do funny things. She eat little rice and eat lots of meat. She throw my rice also and claimed she cant finish. When we eat out and dish come, she will "smack" her half portion of rice to my bowl, till one day i told her off. She stop that but she will eat little rice, make herself full with nice dish on the table. My husband knows about it. He prefer to keep quiet and watch her behaviour. Do you know that she did claimed that she dont like bread when she first came. So everyday she cook indo mee in the morning while we eat bread with jam. And i believe she eat till she feel sickening and change to eat bread with nutella. Many times she eat all my girl nutella. I din told her off.. cos MOM says we have to give her food and respect her. She says she dont drink coffee cos she will have gastric due to caffine. But when eat out, she drink cold tea talik... oh by the way also.. she dont drink water. She love to finish my fridge greeb tea. She ask me to top up.. i also didnt tell her off.. cos again MOM says we must give her needs..And to end.. she is only 23 yrs old..

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  9. Getting a helper is the last thing in my mind. But when I couldn’t get a childcare for my eldest one. I have no choice but to turn to my last resort. A HELPER! I can’t possibly let my mum can't handle 2 kids while I'm working. After much consideration we thought having one would lessen our burden having to handle 2 plus the housework chores. So we have more time with the kids since the housework has been taken care of. But we were so wrong. Having a helper is like having another child to take care of. When she first step her feet into my house, I verbally stated the rules clearly that she has to follow.Her first few weeks I could say she was good. She followed my instructions carefully. A few mistakes here and there that we pointed out and she took it positively. We made it a must to have a weekly discussion with her for her to raise up her concerns and we highlighting her mistakes. But things never gets better. She was demanding. She asked me to buy her snacks, new shampoo (claiming that the one I bought for her causes her scalp to itch), under garments and black coffee on her first month. I bought what she wanted as she hasn't got her 1st pay. We even brought her to KL. After we came back from KL, she asked my hubby for handphone (never thought she would ask that during her first month and during our phone interview. Agency mentioned to her that she's not allowed to have one). We asked her the reason of her asking for a phone. Her reason was she's lonely and she needs to whatsapp her fiancé in order for her to overcome her loneliness. We found it illogical and we turned down her request. Ever since then she slacks with her work. Too many mistakes done. She finishes up all my milo instant packets. Imagine I bought almost 5 packets of milo (each packet contains 18 sachets) for that particular month only! Her reason she loves Milo but why she asked me to buy her black coffee instead?

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    Replies
    1. (continue from above)
      She's always sleepy. Everytime when we took public transport or cab, she's always dozing off. (She goes to bed at 11pm and wake up at 5.30am sometimes later. The kids sleep with us and we didn't disturb her for night feedings at all). On her 2nd month, we brought her to Penang for a holiday. I didn't want to initially but hubby insists of bringing her thinking that she will be a great help should we can't handle the kids on our own. But that was my biggest regret for spending $300 on her flight ticket to get the most frustrated holiday that I had ever had. She was caught sleeping almost on every car/van ride. Worse with my 4 months baby in her arms! Until my baby's head hits the van's door because she dozed off during the ride. She mixed up all the milk powder right in front of my eyes. ( The formulas are off different packaging and colours and yet she can mix it up). When we came back she gets a hell of a lecture from us. The best part when we asked her what’s her problems. Guess what she answered? She's lonely especially during bedtime. She needs some form of entertainment before she goes to bed (Where she thinks she is now? Some holiday spa resort?). Things doesn't stops there. She got another mixed up with the milk powder this time round it was pretty obvious as she has poured my eldest milk powder into my second born's milk bottle. (How I know? Because my eldest is taking formula + cerelac. And of course. Mother’s instinct can never go wrong). When I wanted to feed my baby. I realised that the milk was concentrated and it smells of cerelac. As I expected with the evidence right in front of her eyes. She lied her way through. And since she doesn't want to admit. I left it as it this and I told her from that very moment she's not allowed to touch the formula. I will do it on my own. We bought her to the agency for counselling. Even though the agency was nice enough to help but seriously it doesn't help. She told agency that she can't focus with her job because I was always scolding her. She's always sleepy as when I send her to my mum's place when I'm working she has nothing to do when the kids are sleeping. She's very tired of travelling every morning to my mum's place and coming back home at 8pm everyday (My mum and I stay in Punggol. We just need to travel by LRT. And she doesn’t have to carry my kids. The eldest one will be in the stroller and the 2nd one I will carry via a carrier). Ridiculous and to my astonishment, the agency told me to give her some time and not to scold her everytime she does a mistake. I should talk to her about her mistakes on a monthly basis maybe during the time I handover her pay. I wasn't really happy with the agency's reply.

      Delete
    2. (continue from above)
      She get paid to do her job and yet I have to tolerate such behaviour? She’s a domestic helper. She’s supposed to be an all-rounded but if simple things like doing milk she can’t even do it right. What’s the point of having her in the very first place? She's has been with me for almost 5 months but simple things that she does on a daily basis she can't even remember. My mum has been complaining every single day about my helper. Now, she's not allowed to sit except when she's eating. And yet... she can doze off while standing up while feeding my baby. How sleepy can she be? She's always asking my mum for extra food. If my mum cook noodles, she's always asking for rice. My eldest has been sick a couple of times and even hospitalised. I found cockroach in their playroom and my kitchen has been infested with ants. Now I’ve install 2 CCTV at home to check on her. How can these possibly be when I make her vacuum and mop the whole house on every weekend? Unless if she does it with her eyes closed!She has been lying a lots nowadays not admitting to her mistakes. She smells and I don't think she knows how to take care of her hygiene. (She doesn't smells when she first came). Everyday is a scolding day that I'm so drained out to scold her anymore. I bet the reason why my kids fell ill is because she doesn't practise hygiene. (My mum caught her a few times attending to the kids without washing her hands after throwing rubbish in the main rubbish chute). Imagine the number of germs in her hands and then she touches the kids and their belongings? She wakes up late now and when she was caught she cover up by wearing another shirt on top of her sleeping attire thinking that I will think that she has already wash up. How cunning can she be right? (if she have bathe, the toilet floor will be wet? but no... it was super dry when I caught her waking up late) She thinks I will fall for her lies. Sorry she got the wrong person. So now, Since I'm so tired of scolding her. I made her sign my rules and regulations that has been imposed. She has to pay for her mistakes done. I'm seriously at my wits end. And I don't want to waste my energy scolding her anymore. I can't send her back as we have spend thousand to bring her here and if we were to send her back. Based on the agency contract. We have to pay for her food and lodging. We are not rich people and having her does not ease my burden at all. So I shall just make use of her until she finishes her placement fees bond in 5 months time. And I can't wait for the time when I can finally say goodbye to her!

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This blog is not meant for screw-lose activists or loans. My blog aims to gather all FDWs' news scattered everywhere, become a one-stop site for mentally & financially bullied FDWs' employer to beware and learn. Don't pollute this blog with your pro-maid, insensible and selfish comments! Activists posting here are BLIND IDIOTS, IRRITATING freaks and deliberately showing no RESPECT for others... robbing our only breathing space.