Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Happy Employee, Happy Employer

It's my first time hiring a helper and I don't know if I'm doing this whole thing right but I hope I am.

I once read a comment by an employer who wasn't too happy her maid switched on the water heater to bathe and in my head I asked "Oh? So such a simple thing as the water heater supposed to be a privilege?".

I watched how my mother treat the helpers in the past and I guess I learnt from her. My mother is always very nice to the maid and treats the maid like family. So when I hired one, I was going to treat her the same. The first time I brought her back, I tried my best to make her feel welcomed and provided her with everything she needed to feel comfortable. 

I want my helper to be happy working for me because I believe if she's happy, she'll do a good job. I let her switch on the Air Con in the living room during hot afternoon, give her extra $ to buy whatever food she wants if I'm not home, eat the same food as I do when I'm around, use the same soap & shampoo as I do, drink the soft drinks in the fridge if she wants, watch TV with me at night when all the work has been done, chit chat and tell her about my day and ask her stuff to get to know her better, let her use her hand phone once work is done in the house, let her take 2-3hr afternoon nap if she needs...etc. If she does something wrong, I explain to her nicely and show her how I want it to be done in case she doesn't understand what I'm saying. Like myself, I hate to be scolded and screamed at so I won't do that to her no matter how frustrated I am. For me, since I don't like to scold I'd tell the maid what I cannot tolerate and what she should never do. Warn her that if I'm unhappy with her I'd send her back cus I won't tolerate unnecessary nonsense. In a way i'm "Strict" like that la, i wont want her to make the same mistake over and over again and think she can get away with it -just like that-. I can always find a new one so it is all up to her if she wants to work for me or not. I also ask to check on how happy she is working and if everything is ok for her. They are human and all maids are different. They have feelings too and sometimes some environment aren't suitable for them. If they aren't comfortable and happy working in your house, no point continuing also, shouldn't waste my time & hers. Just change to a new one whom I like and give her the chance to find a house she likes working in.

So far, it's been great having her around. She made a huge decision and sacrifice and came all the way to Singapore leaving her family of 3 kids at home to earn money. It isn't easy to be away from your kids for such a long time and she did it so she could give her children a better life. I do hope she finds happiness in my house and feel like she is part of us so she won't miss home so much. Hope she feels close to my family so she won't feel lonely and sad to be away from her family.

Being nice to her has paid off. Everyday I wake up to a chirpy "Good Morning Ma'am!" and a smile. What a great start to my day! Sometimes hear her playing and talking to Elroy when I'm busy doing stuff in my room. Something she doesn't actually have to do? The house is always Spick and Span when I get home. Every mess I make, especially in my wardrobe, she tidies it up without me telling her to do so. My bed is always nicely made up even if I am out for just awhile. My clothes and Elroy's are always washed on time and neatly folded. I do hope this goes on for a very long time because I am so pleased with her so far!

Am I spoiling her? I don't think so. I always believe you should treat people the way you want to be treated. I have learnt to always put myself in ppl'so shoes and if I were to be a maid, what kind of environment would I wish to work in? I feel that if I am so nice to her, she would be grateful and be a good helper because she would know if I sack her, she risks getting hired by someone who would mistreat her. My family and I are so nice too so it's unlikely she'll find a better family to work for. My BF's maid has been with his family for over 20 years too! Goes to show how easy going we all are.

Everyone deserves to be treated nicely whatever their "position" is. Moreover, when someone likes you and is happy and grateful, they'd be more than willing to do stuff for you. If she takes advantage of my niceness in future, I'll be so sad but hey, at least I know Ive been the best employer I can be and there's definitely someone out there who wishes they could be in her place. 

I have nothing against how other people treat their maids but this is how I treat mine and seeing my maid happy makes me happy! If your maid sucks and you intend to hire a new one, start out fresh and treat her well, maybe things would be different?

But of course, not every maid is the same la? Luck plays a huge part too.