Cocky Maid

Crap of the day from the drama queen part-time maid today…

She called me this morning to inform me that she would like to start work again. I told her that I have already found a new part-time maid. Nonetheless, I will still be calling her whenever the new part-time maid takes leave. I then asked her if she’d like to work today (Saturday). I don’t normally engage part-time maids for the weekends. But I know that this maid is desperately in need of money to pay her pile of debts in Indonesia and I wanted to help her earn more money. But this fella had to cheek to ask me whether washing shoes is still part of the chores!!  Of course it is! If I can do it myself, I won’t be engaging her to help me! I pay my part-time maids RM800 a month.

She had the cheek to tell me this “saya take suka cuci kasut. Cuci kasut sangat susah payah la. Kalau mau cuci kasut, saya tak mau kerja”

Translated from BM to English: I don’t like to wash shoes. Washing shoes is very difficult.  If you want me to wash shoes, I don’t want to work.

WTF??? I. could. not. believe. my. ears.!!  Not that I am asking her to wipe the windows on the ledge of the windows from the 5th floor!

From day 1, she has been pleading with me to let her work. In fact, she forced her niece, who is my most liked part-time maid, to stop working for me so that  she could take the job to repay her debts.  She was literally begging me for work and told me that she could do anything and could work on any day that I wanted her to. And now, barely 2 months later, she has turned around 360 degrees into a cocky and picky-picky play-hard-to-get maid.

Fine, you can very well drown in your pile of shitty debts la.  If I have a choice, I will never ever call you to work again. And hello, you still owe me money! The money that I gave you to see a doctor last week.

But I did not say that to her. I don’t want to burn my bridge yet knowing very well that it’s the maids’ market now and it’s dang hard to find a part-time maid now.

I just ended the call abruptly by telling her that  I will call her if ever need her again.

I still can’t believe that she said such things to me.

Moral of the story is: don’t be overly nice to anyone and do not let your staff / worker / maid feel  that they are indispensable. They will one day turn back and climb up your head and control you!!

Maids Issues

For the past 4 days, my back-up part-time maid (Maid H) has been unable to attend work.  Last night, she sent me a text message subtly telling me that she would like to stop work.  I was really disappointed after reading the message as this meant that I will have no part-time maids coming to help me anymore.  My main part-time maid  (Maid M) is taking a short break as the lump in her neck has been giving her pain.  The surgery to remove the lump on her neck is scheduled for this month end.  Today, the MIL left for Hawaii and will be away for over a month.  Which means, I will have no help at all with the house chores and in the kitchen, especially on  school-going days when the girls will have very little time to help out.

Ever since Dyah, our live-in maid of 4.5 years left us a year and a half ago, I had gone through many periods of despair when I could not find a suitable part-time maid. After trying out the services of hourly paid maids, which I vowed never to engage again, I went through the pains of finding a part-time maid on my own.  I recruited maids from coffee shops, road side stalls and just about everywhere.   I was blessed with 3 part-time maids whom I felt very comfortable with.  But one of them stopped working as her husband did not like my working hours, which I only want the maids to come after 5pm.

Maid M is by far the best maid ever, with a wonderful personality, very amiable and produces impeccable quality of work. She is the one with the lump in her neck and needs to go for a surgery and is now on  a break.  Maid H – she claimed yesterday that her husband has Dengue fever, thus would like to stop work temporarily. I’ll give her a benefit of doubt, though I know that there is only a 50% chance that she will return to work.

After sleeping on this problem (that seems to be a problem that keeps cropping up several times in a year when the maids take prolonged leave or decide to stop working), I decided this morning that perhaps a hiatus in my online store business would be the best solution.  I prayed to God for a solution.   This morning at about 10am, Maid M sent me a text message.  She sent her regards to us and asked me if she could come back to work after her surgery next month.  I jumped at the opportunity to ask her to come back to work immediately and she agreed! Thank you God for sending Maid M to ease me out at a time when I really needed help.  I am so glad that she has decided to come back to work while waiting for her surgery date. I am now contemplating to sponsor a part of her surgery.  Maid M is God sent and I wish that she is able to work for us for as long as I need a maid.

 

 

 

 

Ill-Fated With Maids, sigh…

I guess I have to resign to the fact that I just do not  have luck with maids, whether full-time live-in maids or part-time maids.  Ever since my supposedly permanent part-time maid stopped working for us, I have been searching high and low for part-time maids. I have and am still recruiting maids from road side stalls that I normally buy fruits from, from nearby coffee shops, from our condo and just about anywhere that I see cleaners or maids. I sound pretty desperate huh? Yes I am but now, after going through so much hassle and disappointment with more than 10 part-time maids that I have hired for the past 1 year, I have resigned to the fact that I will probably do better being a maid myself! Most of the part time maids stopped working for us as the timing was not right. I only want them to come from 6pm onwards to help me clean up after cooking dinner but the part time maids find the time a tad late.

Even my girls do not like part-time maids, especially Alycia who seems to have inherited my finicky and fastidious attention to cleanliness.  She does not like anyone cleaning her room and touching her things except for me but since I am too tied up with other things, she cleans it herself now on days when the part-time maids do not come.

My encounter with this maid agent who supplies me with part-time maids last week was the last straw that made me decide that I should be the maid myself.  In one of the sessions last week, her part-time maid broke my air conditioner cover while she was cleaning it when she dropped the cover.    When I told the agent, she just said “oh sorry, I will check with my maid” and that’s it. I never heard from her again pertaining to this issue.  The next session, which was yesterday, she sent 2 maids.  One was an Indon and the other was a newly arrived Nepalese maid.  This Nepalese maid could not speak  English, Malay or Chinese.  The only words that came out from her mouth was ‘sabun’ (soap) and ‘no’.  When I asked her to iron clothes, she said NO and shook her head.  I didn’t like to do sign language with her and the only response I got from her was a shake of her head, most of the time.  The other Indon maid told me that this new maid does not know how to iron clothes, duh!  And she took almost an hour to wash mess up the bathroom in the master bedroom.  When the 2 hours was up, the second bathroom was not even washed and it was filthy as the 2 maids washed the mops and wash cloths in that bathroom.  When the 2 maids left, I had to tidy up all the mess that the maids left behind and also to finish up the ironing as the other maid could not finish ironing our clothes!  By the time it was 9pm, I was drop dead tired.  I felt even more tired when the part time maids are here.  This agent sends different maids each time and  I have to repeat telling them what to do each time the maids come.  I need to watch them most of the time to ensure that they are doing things the way I want them to be.  Instead of saving time so that I can do other things, I am actually wasting my time supervising the maids, wasting my breath repeating the instructions each time different maids come, energy and MONEY on these maids.

After the maids left yesterday, I was exasperated and told the girls that I will only engage part-time maids once a week and no more 2-3x a week.  I have delegated some tasks to the girls and they have all agreed to help out everyday.  Alycia, who is my most reliable helper asked for a Ringgit each time she helps out. I acceded to her request as I think that she deserves the RM1.  She told me about her desire to  buy story books from the earned pocket money.

Oh yeah, the maids did not even have the time to wash Alycia’s school shoes yesterday!  Sherilyn washed her school shoes on Saturday and Alycia’s dirty school shoes are still at a corner.

Thankfully, this rascal seems to like washing shoes and she claims that it is her favorite chore LOL!  I’ll see how long this would remain as her favorite chore…

Thank God I have daughters who ‘love’ chores that I hate. Alycia seems to like washing the dishes, Cass seems to like wiping and keeping the dishes and the job that everyone else hates the most, which is bathroom and toilet washing, this health and clean freak mom loves it the most!  There is still a silver lining behind every cloud, eh? 🙂

Joys And Throes Of Motherhood

After splitting our hairs trying to find a 63cm x 63cm space to fit in a dishwasher into our shoe-sized kitchen, our conclusion is that the kitchen has no space. There is an empty space in the dry kitchen, but that would mean lots of hacking and sacrificing 2 kitchen cabinets… and more $$, on top of the RM2k++ for the dishwasher. The only space available is on top of our washing machine, which would be a tad hazardous. Imagine removing some heavy and fragile chinaware or pots and pans from the upper rack of the dishwasher, placed on top of the washing machine.  So, it’s back to square one and rather than get really upset with this conclusion, I am now roping in the 2 older girls to help out in the dish-washing chore every night… on a roster. Of course I will still be the one in charge of rinsing the dirty dishes and putting dishwashing liquid. Aly and Sher will stand next to me on the next sink rinsing the dishes. This way, my time in the kitchen post-dinner can be reduced by half. It’s been 3 days already and the girls are telling me that they are enjoying this * roll eyeballs * Well, I shall see la… if they are still enjoying this after 1 more week.

While her che che and I are washing dishes in the wet kitchen, Cass’ duty is to use a piece of wet tissue to pick up food dropped onto the floor. She’s enjoying it too and would volunteer to wipe the floor after dinner each night 😀


With 3 daughters helping me out, I don’t think I need a live-in maid. Of course it would be a luxury to have one so that I can spend more time with the girls in their school work but unfortunately, the current maid situation in our country is such that most medium class households have to forget about hiring a live-in maid and adjust their lifestyles.

The Day Is Here!

As I am typing this post, my helper of 4.5 years has just stepped out of the door and will be back for good. She was given a day’s off yesterday to do sight-seeing and to do some last minute shopping. I think I can cope without a maid BUT heavy cooking must be dropped. If I cook,  I can only afford to do steamed dishes with minimal preparation and cleaning up.   Yesterday I tried to be gungho and wanted to see if I could  cook twice a day. I cooked mac and cheese for lunch and a proper dinner.  I think I can’t handle it and ended up feeling very stressed up.  I have also developed a very bad backache as a result of carrying buckets of water.  Read why I am carrying bucketfulls of water in my other blog.

On recommendation of Alycia and Sher’s art teacher, I am trying home delivered catered food from Tammy’s Catering effective today.  Am keeping my fingers crossed that the dishes are acceptable.  Without a helper at home, I have to keep both my eyes closed to cleanliness and set my priorities right.   Only do what is absolutely necessary and what is important.  Time is of essence and being a WFHM, I can only do this much.

Though the helper has made me raging with anger with her actions and words countless times throughout her 4.5 years with us, she has nonetheless been a hardworking helper.    As much as I hated her yakking rubbish away for 4.5 years (she is the type who just has to yak all day on top of her voice and ‘step-mother’ the kids around), I think I somewhat miss that lady. I hope that she will reach home safely.

The Time Has Come…

The clock is ticking away.  My live-in helper who has been working for us for over 4 years will be leaving early next week… for GOOD.   After 10 years of having 5 maids (excluding 2 temporary maids), the day has finally come where I will have to learn to live without a maid and be the maid myself.  3 school-going kids, 3 blogs, an online store and a household to manage –pray tell I can cope and stay sane!   Over the past 1 week, I had given the helper several days off to go to the Indonesia Embassy and to go shopping. She will be having another day off (at her request to go sight-seeing) on Monday next week before she leaves.  When she was away,  I struggled a wee bit but I think I will survive without her.  I had both my palms cut by wires when the pulley clothes hanger snapped, had the kitchen top flooded when I tried to juggle between filling up the kettle with water and putting clothes into the washing machine (thinking it could save time BUT…!)  and was feeling a tad giddy having to do housework and online work and having to rush down to pick my 3 girls up from school at different timing.  I know I have always been a good multi-tasker but as I get older, the brain just cannot function as efficient. Thankfully the hubs could take-away food for us and I had some frozen food which I had cooked extra earlier, for the girls on those days that the helper was away.

I can still manage light cooking, bathroom washing and moping of the floor on a daily basis.  What really turns my mood off is doing the laundry and cleaning up after cooking. Not that we have a big kitchen. You know how squeezy a kitchen in a condo can be. The dirty pots, pans, wok, bowls, plates and cups filling up every space on the kitchen top and sink just make my eyes sore. I think with the helper leaving, I will have more take-away meals and can only afford to whip up some really easy cooking with minimal preparation and washing up. The kids will have to alter their taste buds and get used to eating steamed food on most days. I have been hammering into their heads for the past few months, telling them that they have to prepare for a major change in their lifestyle and not be so reliant on kakak.  It’s not easy to go cold-turkey on something since they have all been lucky to have a kakak to help them since birth.  I guess the actual situation when the time comes will propel them to change and be more independent.   Last night, Alycia asked kakak to teach her how to iron clothes.  While Alycia is a pretty good home-maker, the same cannot be said on rascal #2 and #3.  Well, they have to learn to be one very soon.

My helper has in the past done and said all kinds of things to boil my blood and caused tempers flying everywhere in the home from everyone. Just last night, she was trying to kill a cockroach that was running everywhere.  And guess how she killed the cockroach? She took the burning iron and pressed it on the roach and then continued ironing  on rascal #2’s dress – the rascal whom she cannot get along well with!  I was even hotter than the burning iron, I tell you and just could not believe her gross action!!   Well, having said all these, I think I will definitely miss having the helper around.  Despite all that she had done to boil my blood, rupture my blood vessels and at times made me so enraged that I was on the verge on raising my hands to hit her, she has nevertheless been a great help to me.

Do You Deduct Your Maid’s Salary For Damages Done?

For those of you who employs a maid, whether part-time or live-in maids, do you make the maid  pay for damages that she had done to your property and belongings?  I have been having live-in maids for almost 10 years and I have never deducted my maids’ salary for damages that they had done whether to our clothes or other belongings.  Lately, our live-in maid has been damaging our things quite a bit. Apart from the occasional bowl, cup and pot breakages, burnt food, she also burnt our clothes while sleep-ironing. Yep, this maid has a habit of dozing off while ironing our clothes or even washing shoes in the bathroom (though we have been telling her umpteen times that she does NOT need to iron the adult clothes – my hubs will send them to the laundry. My mil irons her own clothes)!  But we have never once deducted damages done from her salary, albeit we did threaten to deduct (but darn, we still don’t have the heart to do so!).

Yesterday while she was cleaning the windows and mosquito nettings, she pushed one of the panes of the netting off the frame and it fell 5 stories down!  Suffice to say, the mozzie netting was mangled!  That replacement pane of mozzie netting would cost us a few hundred Ringgit.  It would not be fair for us to bear the cost. Just like she burnt Alycia’s new hand-made dress that I ordered from my friend.  It was brand new and never worn and she burnt it with the iron and tried to keep quiet about it! I found out when I took the dress out for Alycia to wear and saw the damage at the bottom of the dress.  But I did not deduct the cost of the dress from her salary.  I feel that it is really not fair that she keeps damaging things, happily knowing that we will not have the heart to deduct the damage from her salary.

Do you deduct damages that your maid had done to your belongings from her salary?  Let’s discuss!

To Have Or Not To Have A Maid?

Our helper has followed my mil to the market early this morning. Over breakfast just now, I roped the 2 older girls to help out after breakfast. They helped to put back the jam and butter into the fridge, bring the dishes and cups to the sink to wash, wipe the table, sweep the floor and re-arrange the kitchen top. Alycia also helped to make the beds. I asked the girls if they would prefer to have kakak or without a kakak. I told them that if we have no Kakak, all of them would have a fair share of household chores to do. After a few seconds in deep thoughts, all 3 gave me the same answer, which is a resounding “NO KAKAK!” They told me that they liked doing house chores. We all agreed that the house is more peaceful and quieter without kakak’s naggings and scoldings. Yep, she drives me bonkers everyday with a term I call ‘step-mothering’ the kids by scolding them and quarelling with #2 all the time. It’s hard to get maids ever since our neighboring countries banned their supply of maids to our country. With an online store running and 3 young kids, I definitely need a helper. If I am left without a maid, I am quite willing to give up my online store to be a full time SAHM. I think I will be happier this way… or maybe not. It’s hard to predict sometimes. She adds a big percentage to my Stress Bag. I know I will also be stressed without her help. But I know my stress will also be erased if I don’t hear anymore of her naggings, rude answers and don’t have to deal with her temper tantrums (she bangs things and answers back with disdain and sarcasm all the time). Maybe my girls and I will be closer without her for we will all share out the house chores. I know Alycia will be more pleased than ever to help. Sherilyn – it depends on her mood. For a start, she will think it’s fun to do house work but after a few days, I can already anticipate her reaction. Having said all these, I am still unable to make up my mind now. To have or not to have a maid?



Learning To Live Without A Live-In Maid

Remember my earlier post where I ranted that I had headache, backache and stress? I also mentioned that after giving Sherilyn a good whipping, this mischievous rascal sat down quietly, fuss-free and did her writing. Here’s the picture of her doing suku kata (phonics in Malay language) writing, which I had given her. She knows almost all the suku kata but when it comes to spelling words, she’s still working on it.  It’s a real rare sight of Sherilyn quietly doing her homework, in full concentration and seriousness, without moving her body and limbs like an octopus. I wish she can be as serious and disciplined as Alycia when it comes to doing homework.

Anyway, my hubs and I have decided that we will not have anymore stay-in maids when my current Indon maid’s contract expires early next year. There’s just too much stress, burden, frustration and costs involved in having a stay-in maid. We’ll try out getting part-time maids twice-thrice a week and send Sherilyn to daycare. I’m not sure if I can cope without a maid but I guess I have to learn to be flexible and re-organize the way certain things are done. There will be less cooking for sure and we will most likely get catered food. These days, there are many companies that claim they cater MSG-free and homecooked-style food. Well, hubby has taken a flyer on that and we’ll try that out when we are maidless next year or maybe even earlier.  Some of our clothes will be sent to the laundrette and I will have to sacrifice my sleep, wake up an hour earlier to get some chores done and soup boiled. And of course, my time spent on the computer would have to be cut down even further 🙁

If this arrangement does not go smoothly, we can always apply for a live-in maid again.

Thanks to everyone who had taken your time off to comment in my blog, giving me your suggestions, ideas and contacts of part time maids.  You peeps really rock!

Headache And Backache And Steressss!

I’m in no mood to blog today coz I’m having a heavy pounding head and feeling a tad dizzy. All these are symptoms of steresss! Stress over petty things – my maid, my kids, etc. The sight and sounds of my maid ‘step-mothering’ and tongue lashing my kids, the sounds of my kids retaliating when my maid scolds them (which drives me nuts), the shrieks from Baby, the whining from #2, etc, etc. etc …. and when #2 scribbled on her Mandarin homework (AGAIN) with color pencil despite strict warning from me not to, I blew my top. I gave her a good whipping and then she turned angelic after crying! She obediently did all the work that I gave her consisting of writing suku kata and some simple Math additions.

I’m also in a dilemma – whether to get another maid (which is an expensive bet) or just forget about stay-in maids once and for all. Should I just get part-time maids and send #2 to daycare instead? Sigh… too much pondering to do. I think about the future and all the ‘what ifs’ too much, so much that I feel I’m trapped in my own deadlock.

My mil has just flown off to Hong Kong today. Now I have one less helper at home…. which means more steressss for me. I’m thinking of sending #2 to daycare next week coz I can’t manage her. She’s just too mischievous, too wilful and has too many tricks up her sleeve. Just last night, she gave the hubs and I a big headache when she poured the entire bottle of my expensive Crabtree and Evelyn talcum powder in the bathroom and caused a BIG, BIG powdery mess. I had stepped into the room to ask the gals to give me a good back massage for my backache but I ended up washing the bathroom floor. Me, the hubs and the maid spent almost an hour washing the bathroom floor and wiping the bathroom cabinet, doors and counter top which were all covered with powder. She also peeled off the new bathroom stickers (which are like sticky jelly) and tossed them high up and made those sticky jelly stickers stick on the ceiling!!! I shall blog about these 2 incidents next.

Sometimes I wish I can just close both eyes to all the things surrounding me that bother me and stay cool. I always remind myself not to sweat over the small stuff. This way, I don’t have to think too much and I will have less steresssss. Many of my friends can just leave their maids to manage the entire household including the kids whilst they are at work. I know I can never be in their state. I worry too much.

I have lots more to rant and rave but I guess I’ll just stop here and mind the gals now.