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What is it with maids dragging expat kids across red lights, etc?

(12 Posts)
Alexa808 Wed 13-Aug-08 05:24:22

Maybe I'm just more sensitive to it now as I'm 32 weeks pregnant but I cannot help but wonder:

this week alone I've seen 3 maids dragging one or more kids across main roads where there was no walkway, a red light for pedestrians or very heavy traffic (River Valley Road, downhill, so add speeding cars to the mix).

I've seen toddlers being walked alongside the busy streets, the maid walking on the safe inwards side. I've watched the girls chat intently, not bothering to check on their charges, while the kids play in the pool, barely able to swim.

I think I've found a lovely maid, mid forties, trustworthy and caring...I really hope to God she is! Am I getting paranoid?

ninedragons Wed 13-Aug-08 06:38:40

My friends in both HK and Singapore have always had excellent maids. They treat them well and this is reciprocated. Maids know there are probably as many bad employers out there as good.

Nobody would give their best performance to an employer who routinely made them work on their day off, cancelled their holidays, made them sleep on the kitchen floor or beat them for burning a shirt with the iron (all of these things have happened to maids I have met - just wait until you start hearing the horror stories from the other maids in your block).

Also, I hate to say it, but being a maid in Singapore is at the bottom end of the expat Filipino-Indonesian pay scale so you are going to get the thicker people - the ones who didn't have the brains or the language skills to be nurses or cooks or whatever in the UK, the Gulf or Australia.

Has your maid had experience before? You may need to spell things out very clearly, especially on the foreign food front. Having left all the ingredients for dinner and dessert (sausages followed by fruit salad and icecream), my friend in SG came home to find the maid had combined ALL the ingredients into one big sausage-fruit-and-icecream salad.

arfishy Wed 13-Aug-08 07:25:31

[covets maid]

I had to fire the cleaner. My hands are SOILED I tell you.

I'm not working and am bored. But not bored enough to do the ironing [eyes leaning tower of laundry].

I need a maid. Possibly not one that makes ice-cream and sausage dinners though.

egypt Wed 13-Aug-08 07:33:39

Alexa there are loads of great ones.

We just got one who starts in Sept. She's been here 14 years, lovely, mid-40s (it's not yours is it?!) been with the last family 5 years. I know them through a friend etc....do you have good refs?

will have to catch up soon

escape Thu 14-Aug-08 06:52:09

I think idiots seem to emply idiots
They can't see past the benefit to their pockets of spending only $400 a month (dubai avg) on full time childcare - they turn ablind eye.
Agree with nine dragons

I , however am not an idiot and have the best help ever wink

poshtottie Thu 14-Aug-08 07:37:18

escape is that all they are paid? I see nanny jobs advertised here to work in the middle east and they are paying around £600 a week.

escape Thu 14-Aug-08 17:10:31

Yes PT... 'nannies' in the middle east are usually Phillipino/Sri Lankan or Indian Ladies who 'should' be paid an average of 1400 dhs a month
They are usually paid alot less. sad
they will be full time, live in and clean the house , look after pets etc too.
The price you quoted is the going rate for a 'western' qualified 'true' nanny.

egypt Sat 16-Aug-08 04:00:37

it's normal here to pay them $400-$500 a month. That's singapore dollars. equates to about £150-£200

Expectant Sun 17-Aug-08 05:26:30

Alexa - I was told to watch out for the crosing the road thing as maids aren't necessarily uesd to traffic 'obeying' red lights and are more used to waiting till a driver hoots the horn at them to move out the way!

Ninedragons - your friends experience seems like she must have got a fairly new maid or one that wasn't used to working for an expat family. You can hardly expect a maid to pick up western cooking without any training or guidance. We have a maid with little experience but she spent a month training and can now follow most recipes and the results have been pretty good so far - this is quite amazing considering she didn't speak English when she arrived! She has also been great since the arrival of our baby - Sam on 8 August. Her help is invaluable. She has a 7 year old of her own back in Indonesia. She was beaten by the Chinese Grandmother at her former employer and made to sleep in a corridor so I think/hope she is greatful for expat employers who are prepared to treat her with some respect.

Alexa808 Mon 18-Aug-08 02:28:46

Hello y'all,

so far she's left the window open to let one of our Maine Coons escape (luckily the little bugger got scared and clambered back in) and now she's shrunk my fave knitted cashmere pants and a cashmere jumper by putting it in the 40 degree wash hmm

I've now had to follow my agent's advice on writing a list with Do's & Don't's (sp). I agree with 9 about SIN paying them way less and treating them worse. I've lived in HK and worked loads with the ME and can really confirm this.

9: sausage fruit and cream salad...eurgh...lovely...hmmhmmm... wink

Expat, hi [waves]: Mine is a lovely Filipina, 40late, transfer maid, very good with babies, experience working for expats and very hard working and pleasant. I think cultural differences and comms mistakes make up most of the issues or misunderstandings.

Hello expectant, how's baby Sam? Are you well? Would love to catch up and congratulate you properly!

Expectant Tue 26-Aug-08 06:39:02

Hi Alexa,

Hope the latest scan went well and that your helper has settled a bit. Sam and I are doing ok - adjusting anyway smile

You'll have to come over and meet him soon.

fedupandisolated Tue 26-Aug-08 07:39:39

Still giggling at arfishy's post

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