Sunday, May 23, 2010

More Helper Drama

So it had to happen... my former helper E called me a few days ago and bailed on me! She called me and was crying on the phone saying her present employer gave her a major guilt trip so she gave in and agreed to renew her contract with them. Although my initial reaction was anger, I contained myself and tried to get a better picture of what happened.

She told me her employer had been really good to her lately and even begged her to stay with them. I think she said they took her passport so that they can start the renewal process of her contact, but that didn't sound right. I wanted to give her the third degree and also guilt her into working for me instead, but I chose not to. Instead I remained calm and told her to just think it through a little better and know that this is a decision she will have to live with. I told her I will immediately start interviewing new candidates and she has until right before I sign with someone else to change her mind.

After the phone call I told my friend about it and she said with helpers it really comes down to money. She said she was probably offered an amount she couldn't refuse. So with this thought I texted her and asked her if that was the reason and how much she was being paid. She texted back saying she is still being paid the minimum wage plus food allowance because her employer isn't doing that well financially. So I texted her back with a higher offer but she never replied.

At this point, I am too frustrated with her to keep trying. I didn't get a new helper simply because I thought she was coming back. I am going through the hassle of hiring the mainlander and now the hassle of looking for a new permanent helper. E's own weakness and false promise has really been a blow.

This time its even more difficult to interview helpers because I need to find someone that can start right away. That means I need someone who has just finished their 2 year contact and was not terminated or chose to terminate the contract. This has drastically slimmed down my choices. I've interviewed only 2 and one already bailed because her husband "suddenly" wants her to move back to Manila. The second one is still thinking of who she wants to work with. I have hopefully 2 more to interview in the next few days. I need to get this sorted by the end of this week to get the timing of all paperwork of whoever I chose to be approved in time.

In the midst of all this stress and frustration, I try to tell myself I am still very fortunate to even have someone who is doing the cooking and cleaning for me. If I were still in Melbourne, I would be doing everything myself still. I am currently trying to be very patient and understanding of our present helper, but it gets trying.

A few more examples of where my frustration is coming from...

When our helper first came, she ate with me and the kids at the table. I don't have a problem with that. And Hubby wasn't in town, so no issue for me... until she began to chew. Just like a typical mainlander, she chews with her mouth wide open. You can hear her chewing from the bedroom and even with the exhaust fan from the kitchen blasting.

The reason why the exhaust fan is blowing is because she is a bit deaf. Since she can't really hear it anyways, she often forgets to turn it off.

I had to quickly buy an 8 kilo bag of rice recently because she eats 4 times the amount of rice in one sitting compared to the rest of us. What we use as a cereal bowl, she fills it up with rice.

I don't dare have her use the washing machine, so I do the washing and just have her hang it up to dry. One day I placed a whole load of washing in the machine without starting it just to wait for what was still hanging on the rack to dry. The next thing I knew my whole load of washing was hung on the rack. I asked the helper if she thought it was strange that all the clothes were dry when she took it out of the washing machine and she said she didn't think about it!

We recently bought a larger second-hand fridge to replace our existing one which made the kitchen door not adhere to the magnetic door stop behind it. And because our kitchen door has a mechanism on top of it that makes it shut whenever its opened, its a pain to get in and out of the kitchen. I bought 2 door stops to stuff under the door but because the mechanism is so strong, its struggle to keep the door open. I couldn't take it anymore so I asked the building people to remove the mechanism on top of the door. After it had been removed, the door stayed open which was great! After the maintenance guys left, the helper was hovering around the door so I asked her what she was looking it. She asked me if the magnetic door stop behind it was moved forward, that's why it was staying open. I told her it was because the mechanism on top of the door was removed. She looked up and was puzzled. She never noticed there was something on top of the door! Then she proceeded to stuff the door stops I bought under the door!

She has never heard of Sweet and Sour chicken, nor Mapo Tofu, nor chinese meatballs and a ton of other Chinese dishes anybody would know.

I can't take her anywhere with me to help me watch the kids because she can't understand the kids and the kids can't understand her. She won't be able to communicate with my friends nor their kids and also with my friends' helpers. Instead of her helping me keep an eye on the kids, I would be stressed out watching her watching my kids.

And one thing I have realized that matters the MOST is that I will not be able to trust her holding Poseidon when he arrives. I think that is the deal breaker.

No comments: