My maid secretly goes out at night



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ORIGINAL POST
Posted by hkmomof3 14 yrs ago
I didn't know this until recently I found a cab receipt in her room...stating a ride from 4:50am to 5:09am. I was in shock. Also the night shift guard confirmed that a maid was often seen coming in around 5am in a taxi--cab ride of about 50 dollars. I hired her for about 4 months now and I was in shock! She usually finishes work around 8pm and I never go into her room after that...and she usually is good about starting work around 6:30. The unfortunate thing about our apt is that from the maid's room, there is a back door that leads to the outside. Littlel did i know my maid was secretly working at night!


After I found out, I asked her, "someone saw you coming in at 5am, is this true?" she denied it...saying she loves working here and would never do such a thing...showing tears that I should trust her. So i didn't ask about the cab receipt and wanted to believe maybe the time written was a mistake...anyway, for months, i've been missing a few things here and there (i.e. my jeans, bag, kid's clothes, etc) so when i realized she is not being honest i went into her room to do a "light search". I found a bunch of my kids' stuff & my stuff...but i think most of the things she took she already took out in the middle of the night...


the shocking thing was i found really nasty langerie and big earrings and items that you would only see a call girl wear...stuff she never wears during work...and also found a notebook stating the money she made each week at clubs and parties. i was in SHOCK! i was disgusted that this woman who has a husband and child back in Indoneisia is a maid by day and a prostitue? by night.


When i confronted her again saying i have proof that you went out, she admitted...and when asked about the stuff that was not hers in her room, she said my daughter brought it in (FYI my daughter never goes into her room...to get there you actually have to go outside the kitchen door to the garden area and go inside another door...but even is she did, that does'nt give her the right to keep it in her room. she should bring it back out. also, i've caught her doing men's laundry in my house and sneaking dry food that is not hers. I pay her well plus when the Indoneisian earthquake hit, i gave her a big bonus to send to her family. i feel betrayed and stabbed in the back. i had to tell her to pack her bags.


after this horrible experience, i don't know how i can trust another maid again. she was a hard working, quiet type--later turned out to be a VERY GOODO lier. I heard there are many that work at clubs in Wanchi at night...becareful!


I have three little kids but would rather have part time help than a full time maid...i don't know why some of these maids act so low class and do such a thing. shame shame shame. i am afraid people like my maid will go and lie about the reason of her termination and find a job elsewhere...it's pretty scary to think about it.

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COMMENTS
kooni 14 yrs ago
Absolutely disgusting. We all live and learn. Change the locks and never let her near you or your family again. I can see how it might be difficult to ever hire someone again, but if you need help(especially with three children), you have to keep your head up and put your best foot forward. Don't let her sleeziness control YOUR future! If you fall off the horse, you gotta hop right back on. Best of luck to you. There are good people out there. Just make sure you are 100% with the next one and make the reference call.

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Burgundy 14 yrs ago
Shocking, but not uncommon.

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ritad 14 yrs ago
hi,,,burgundy,,i think you should hire part time or someone from sri lanka or indian...i think it is safer....not to pick or choose i would so so scared after this also...you just never know...maybe findsomeone who is really really religious or someone like that...wo knows...

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ritad 14 yrs ago
but when it comes to children involved then it is not only her life....she can pass something on to the children...who knows what....


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Snow Rose 14 yrs ago
This story just puts everything in perspective for me. I've had soem pretty tough times myself, but nothing like this.


I really hope you got all the necessary proof / evidence before she left in case she does make a complaint.


Yes, helpers have the right to do as they please in their free time, but what they choose determines whether or not they are suitable for their job. Character is definitely a job requirement.


It's just like, I have the right to be rubbish at maths (which I am) but I have to accept that that makes me unsuitable for a job as an accountant, for example. This DH has the right to maintain a poor character / reputation, but she should accept that the consequence is that most employers will not consider he suitable to work for them, especially not looking after young, impressionable children.


Even if circumstances led to her to where she is now, that doesn't change the above. Just like I might say it's not my fault I'm poor at maths. I tried my best at it, found it was not my strong point and now have to accept how that limits my career choices. (Never mind, I much prefer teaching English :) )

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inkonkoni 14 yrs ago
I completely sympathise with you about the stealing and the lack of honesty, and that is worth kicking her out for. But quite frankly you don't own someone 24/7. Get real.

Fact is... what she does when she's not working for you is none of your business. She's not a slave. She's not a child. If she is comitting a crime and gets bust for it, that's her business and you can make it clear to her that if that happens she loses her job with you.

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winter2 14 yrs ago
out of curiosity, are sri lankans or indians better in general?


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inkonkoni 14 yrs ago
jbebeb, Yes, I am friends with my DH. As her friend, I have told her that it's a dumb thing to do, that if she is going to do it she should insist on using a condom. I have told her about STDs and AIDs and that if she is caught she's on her own. She wears some pretty skimpy outfits that have the tongues wagging in my complex, but as I don't own her, I don't say anything, unless the outfit really is bad and then I suggest she might want to change it.

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Sukiyaki 14 yrs ago
As to catholic Philippina, they don't use condoms as birth-control is not favorable. (this is one of the reasons population of Philippine has gone up almost double in the last couple of decades from 40 millions to 80 millions). Some of them use their pregnancy as a card to get married saying aborthion is also forbiden.


Anyway putting the above aside, there musn't be any excuse for dh in going out midnight for man-hunting while her employer is home. She is hired as dh. Employer her/himself is also strictly punished, worst case deportation, even they didn't t know dh was doing entertainment job at Lockhart street in wanchai.


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dimac4 14 yrs ago
If I was a midnight hour worker in any daylight hour occupation - if my employer found out what I was doing - I am sure that I would have my contract terminated - I don't think it is a matter of owning someone - it is a matter of trust, respect and values on what is expected by an employer.


If you saw your childs teacher out hussling at the bars in Wanchai - what would you do about it?

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Burgundy 14 yrs ago

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inkonkoni 14 yrs ago
Dimac, if you were performing your day job well enough, as hkmomof said her helper was, there is no reason for you to get fired. what you do in your own time is none of your employer's business. As the DH finished work at 8pm, what she did after that was her own business.

She knows the consequences of her actions. Let the chips fall where they may.

To Sukiyaki, yes, I've heard that argument a lot. It never fails to amaze me how the rules of "don't have sex outside of marriage" don't seem to apply, but the no birth control rule does. Again...they know the consequences.



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dimac4 14 yrs ago
Not sure I agree with you on that one inhonkoni....I am sure there are many employers who would not look at it favourably - may be deemed unfair dismissal but it would happen. Most contracts do not allow second jobs unless you specifically ask for the clause to be taken out.



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inkonkoni 14 yrs ago
dimac4, that is my point exactly. Employers have no right to take a dim view of it. If you are performing in your job, it is none of their business what you get up to on your private time. They do not own you.

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divalicious 14 yrs ago
personally, regardless of why they go out at night, if they are living in my house and it is not their day off, i would hope that they are not "sneaking" out. if they are "sneaking out" it would seem to me that they know what they are doing or will be doing, would not meet the approval of the employer. if my helper asked me if they can stay out for a night because they ahve a friend or relative in town, i'm more inclined to say ok, if she works hard and has all her things done. however, if i found out the next day that the helper snuck out and did not provide me any reason why ( i had to make an emergency call home, or my friend had an emergency, and i mean i hope they know the definition of the word "emergency") then i would pretty unhappy about my helper not being honest. i may not run their lives or "own them" but while they are in home, i hope that they can accept the bounderies that i have set.


i think it is about trusting a person who lives with your most valuable assets -- your family and kids. if i found out my helper was sneaking out, i would question what else she does that i do now know about and whether i feel comfortable with the situation. it may not mean i look down upon them but if we have an issue with something they do or perhaps even personality clashes, then i cannot continue employing someone i feel i cannot trust. it's like friendship, just coz you met someone who is a really nice person or a barrel of laughs does not mean that you are going to be mates. if the DH is not compatible with your family, then that's a point you have to deal with.

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mrsl 14 yrs ago
Exactly, divalivious! Trust is a major issue.


inhonkoni, how could they possibly be performing to the best of their abilities at work, if they have been up half the night. Regardless of whether she is feeding the poor or selling her body, if your DH is awake most of the night is not working at 100%. This may not be a life or death issue if she is cleaning the toilet or cutting vegetables, but if she is looking after a child it could well be. The lapses in concentration that result from her exhaustion are dangerous if she is looking after a young child. It's one thing to have a sleepless Saturday night and then have a day off on Sunday, but it is not acceptable midweek (and that is before morals even come into the equation).


I think an employer is perfectly at liberty to sack someone who shows lack of judgement. If someone wants to live by their own rules, then off they go, they can do so, but not in my home! I know well that by employing a DH I certainly do not 'own' them, but if I am going to respect her, she needs to respect my family. Otherwise, go and find another job. It is a compromise that they make when they decide to live with their employers.

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winter2 14 yrs ago
bumpkin, no need to bite or be sarcastic.

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Katetam 14 yrs ago
how can one as an employer of a DH be NOT concerned that the DH is sneaking out at night, doing "who knows what out there" coming back into the employer's house, and then in the morning taking care of the most valuable assets of the employer "the kids" ? I am not even questioning her "physical" ability... but the health issues? Trust? reliability? and what else to expect? As the employer is also "the sponsor" for this DH to HK.... I would think it is DEFINITELY an employer's concern, and right to control this issue.


I would fire her immediately if I was the employer.

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Kek 14 yrs ago
A silly argument.You could say that is what some Wives do.

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Sukiyaki 14 yrs ago
bumpkin

sorry i thought hkmomof3's dh was from Philippine .

However as to some Fdh working in wanchai (not majority, some of Fdh, I mean) I've lived in Philippine for 2yrs for my husband's expat job. During my stay there I've seen tons of drama. Wealth is dominated by only 10 % of the country's rich population and because of political curruption life is so difficult there.

many local Philippina'd tell me that they

desperately wanted to get married to non-Phillipinos, hopefully, European, Americans, Japanese or Singaporean etc for the better life. Their stiff belief is that pregnancy is thier last resort to climb up to the ladder of success.


Some media's already picked up this pregnacy issue but I can't find the news source now.


Of course I don't have the right to blame them. when a girl meets a boy and fall in love , then why not getting married? But majority of such girls unfortunately are dumped, ending up with single mothers. very sad thing indeed.


Returning to the wanchai story, some single dh are looking for future husbands

working there, they are also trying to play the same card, pregnany.

Again I don't have the right to accuse such dh looking for future spouse or using their pregnancy as excuse to get married. I understant that everybody has the right to look for his/her own happiness.


Problem in this thread is breach of mutual trust and working in wanchai is illegal.

Strangely in HK, it is true that an employer has more penalty in case of dh's part-time job. Actually I know a expat couple who wwas deported over Lockhart case.


hkmom of 3, pls be careful.



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inkonkoni 14 yrs ago
For those who may have mised it, hkmomof3 said her maid was hardworking. It seems to me her nightly activities had no effect on her day job. She finished work at 8pm. How would you feel if your employer said to you... okay, you can leave work after 6pm, but you can't smoke at home because it's against our rules. You can only go out with your regular boyfriend, and make sure that you wear decent clothes or else you'll get fired.

About the health issues... I think you're getting a little hysterical. Frankly I'd be more upset if my helper were going to a wet market. You don't get STD from a toilet seat. So I can't see how this should be a threat to your children. And if you are so worried about that I'd be interest to know if you had her medically checked before she got to you.

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dimac4 14 yrs ago
Just thught of another slant on this -- what if the DH comes to grief during her midnight trists (not unlikely)....who will be held accountable? Is it her problem alone or will the employer have some problems with it with regard to the law and immigration? Inkonkoni you say what she does in her free time is her business - I am not sure that is true when the immigration insists on these DH living in your home. I am sure many people would prefer they do not but don't have that choice - so with these expectations, and requirements, the DH has a responsibility to her employer to let them know where she is if she goes out and stays elsewhere...just courtesy .

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mrsl 14 yrs ago
I do find it incredible that people who confess to allowing their DH to do take on par-time cleaning or babysitting jobs they get lambasted for flouting the law on this forum, but when sometone expresses some concern that hers may me working as a hooker then it's suddenly all about FHD freedom!! We can all rant and rave about lack of judgement when some obscenely wealthy woman spends a small fortune on dance lessons, but we are not allowed to question the judgement of someone who works in our own home with our own children?

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geiboyi 14 yrs ago
Repeating what others have posted - plenty of companies (including mine) expressly forbid employees taking on any other paid work, and others (all in the US, I think) conduct random test to ensure no one is using recreational drugs - of course this includes their private time. My company also states that if I am arrested for anything (except traffic offences, I think) I will be suspended, and if convicted I will be fired. You employ a helper, you are entitled to make the rules, as long as you are acting within the law. Best thing is (in future) to make it very clear to your helper what is and ins't acceptable - cover every possible thing you can think of.

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inkonkoni 14 yrs ago
divalicious, judging by the hysterical reaction to the news that a worker actually goes out at night, I can understand why she would not divulge that information to her employer. The only reason I know where my DH goes is for safety reasons, and I make it clear that she doesn't have to tell me if she doesn't want to.

I have heard of employers even demanding that their DH cut her hair. Holy cow. Are we back in the 60's? Or giving their workers four hours off a week. The mind boggles.

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geiboyi 14 yrs ago
I fully support freedom of individuals, but we all have to make choices if we want to work. When accepting the job I am in now I gave up my freedom to stay out late at night and sleep until noon. I made that choice freely as I wanted this job. Out of interest, my employer also suggested that I cut my hair before starting work. I did so - I was going to work in a corpoarte environment with an image to maintain and I was happy to follow their dress codes. I wear a uniform that is not of my choosing, but again, I wanted the job and so I would not dream of arguaing about personal freedom. That's the way life works.

My domestic helper wears what she wants, eats when she wants, wears make up as and when she chooses, listens to the music she prefers, all while she is working. I get to make none of these choices when I am at work, but I am not crying about personal freedom - these are compromises I make in order to earn money to support my family.

I would not accept my helper going out until 5am and starting work at 7, unless she had an incredible constitution that enabled her to work as well on 2 hours' sleep as a full night's. I would expect her to abide by my wishes or make the choice to work elsewhere.

Let's not be silly here. There are many ladies looking for domestic helper jobs - some are good employees and some are not - same as in any other type of work. The only thing I found a bit shocking about the original poster's comments was the horror of finding 'nasty' underwear and big earrings when rummaging through her maid's personal effects - otherwise she is perfectly entitled to be upset with her maid, as I would be in this situation.

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Katetam 14 yrs ago
I am just wondering for those who think it's not a "problem" that the maid secretly goes out at night b/c it's her "off duty" hours, and it's her "freedom"..... do any of you (employers) set a curfew for your helper on the days that she is OFF work ? I give my helper a curfew of 10:00pm. Just wondering if anyone out there also does the same?

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geiboyi 14 yrs ago
Personally I don't, but I believe it is only legal if you give her a full 24-hr holiday, so from 10 o'clock the night before. You can't get her to make you breakfast before she leaves on her day off.

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mrsl 14 yrs ago
Surely people do not expect their helper to make breakfast on a Sunday (or whatever her day off is)?

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Regina Apaga 14 yrs ago
I would suggest you to hire a Christian ( though no body's perfect in this world).

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Katetam 14 yrs ago
First of all giving a curfew to my DH is not anything to do with a power trip or anything like that. It's common sense, and safety, and my helpers do not have any problem with it, neither did all my previous helpers. They all agree it was fair, as all their friends have curfews, all about 9:00pm. However, I set it at 10:00 to give her transportation time.....and we live in a very isolated area, to get home, she either has to walk at least 15 minutes in the dark, with hardly cars driving by, OR she has to take a taxi.

I would pick her up from MTR station if our time fits. Our estate also shuts the security gates at 11:00pm, without proper i.d. after that hour, no one is allow to pass through the gates for security reason. I also do not have a separate entrance for her, I surely do not appreciate a helper coming home at 2:00am while we're all asleep...


My helpers actually told me there is nothing for them to do AFTER 9:00pm anyways..... they meet up with families and friends for dinner, and then they all go home. Why would ANY helper (normal) need to go out until say 3:00am ? They also said it is costly for them to stay out so long....


I believe a DH is part of my family, yes she is an employee, but since she is IN my household, she must nevertheless adjust and adapt to the needs and preferences of our households. SO far, our DH have been very good and our relationships are excellent. Open communication and establish rules of your household (reasonable) at the beginning.... is the best BET for a harmonizing relationship wit an employee that WORKS and LIVES inside your household and is part of your family's life EVERYDAY.


Just my opinion. For those who have such "loose" and "lenient" expectations for your DH, that's why there is this forum for you to vent.



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Katetam 14 yrs ago
OK, maybe I used the wrong word "curfew".... let's just say I tell my helpers my "preference" of the time I like them to be home. My helper know this information, they respect my preference. Vice versa, there are certain preferences they have that I always try to respect and grant their preferences.


When they get home, they are free to do whatever, often they choose to watch TV, or my Dvds, or read their novels, or just play with my kids....etc.


I really am starting to understand where all the "complaints" stem from with DH.


So most helpers of posters here get to come home WHENEVER they wish ? Or you just don't say it, leave it up to the DH to "DO THE RIGHT THING?"


So, in general, alot of employers don't give any guidelines... and then they get upset when a DH doesn't magically cooperate or fit into the expectations/logic of the employer?

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inkonkoni 14 yrs ago
Yeah, Amen Barbara.

My helper gets Sat and Sunday afternoons off because I work odd hours and this suits her social needs. So I get break fast every day of the week. If she wants to stay out, like she did last night, she works in an extra day. I do have a problem with the way she asks for these arrangements to be shifted around..she tends to "tell" me rather than "ask" me if I mind. But that's a minor matter. I know that tomorow night she will go out at 9pm and as long as she is there when I wake up the morning, I have got no problem. Oh, and FYI she's wearing hoop earings, make up and probably some sexy underwear... OMG!!!

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meiji 14 yrs ago
to those who think it's alright for the DH to do whatever she pleases during her non- working hours- do any of you have kids? babies? I can't believe what I have read thus far. It's alright to have a "suspecting" prostitute as a DH in your households? Wow, this is really new insight to me how "open" some expats are nowadays.

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geiboyi 14 yrs ago
It amazes me at the shocking attitude that some people have to their helpers ("Shall I let her have aircon at night or not?").

It amazes me also how some employers feel it is ok to assault their helpers when a mistake is made.

It amazes me that some employers search their helper's handbag every time she leaves the house (not to mention rummaging through their personal effects to check their underwear).


Judgmental comments about "expats" being "open" are not helpful.


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inkonkoni 14 yrs ago
meiji Can you tell us why you feel it's wrong to have a woman who is a prostitute care for your children? What exactly is the issue? Bearing in mind once again, that the poster was happy with her hardworking DH. It seems the woman was discreet about her activities. We know factually that the health risk is minimal. So what's the big deal?

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ritad 14 yrs ago
uhmmmmm

its illegal...

did i miss something

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geiboyi 14 yrs ago
Yes, and it's illegal for your helper to go and clean your aunty's house when she's finished cleaning yours. It's illegal to only pay your helper $2000 because that's a lot of money in Indonesia. It's illegal to have your helper make your breakfast on Sunday morning (her day off) and then be back in time to walk to dogs. It's illegal to do all manner of stuff that countless peopl in HK do. I suspect the point of the original poster is not the legality of the situation... (but mainly the horror of that nasty underwear)

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inkonkoni 14 yrs ago
Well said, geiboy. That is the only thing... the shock value. If you sit down and look at it logically... there's no real problem from the prostitution point of view.

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mrsl 14 yrs ago
I may be naive, but I don't think that the majority of us do all (or any) of the things listed by geiboyi. The breakfast on Sunday mornings things is a total surprise - had assumed that all DHs were out of the house like a bat out of hell before daybreak to avoid any possibility of this.


I would not employ some right wing religious freak/ born-again Christians etc. to be in my house, because that is not the way we live (yes, I know that this is technically discriminatory and illegal too).


Equally, I think I am entitled (and so is the original poster) not to employ someone who spends her nights sleeping with strangers. Not because I think she is going to give us AIDS, but because I question her judgement. I am unconvinced that someone who has little respect for her own body is going have any respect for ours, not by spreading STDS, but I could not be sure that she practicing simple hand hygiene etc. FYI it is possible to get things like worms (not life threatening, but could live without it), MRSA (potentially lethal), etc. via poor hand hygiene. You think you need sexual contact to get hepatitis? We have very strict rules in our house about hygiene, but I can hardly follow an adult around all day checking that she has washed her hands. It takes enough time to drum it into the children.


I really could not care less what my helper wears on her day off. I do not care 'what the neighbours say'. I do care if she does not have what I would deem 'common sense'. I would never employ someone for whom I have no respect, makes for an appalling working relationship (and gives material for plenty of new threads). I know that I will accused of being old fashioned, superior etc., but I would not have respect for my helper if I thought that she was walking the streets.



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inkonkoni 14 yrs ago
One would think that if you are employing someone to look after your children you would ensure that they do at least wash their hands.

Speaking of which, you would be very surprised at the number of children I see from good homes who don't have a clue as to how to do this simple task. It gets so that after they have gone to the bathroom I insist on sniffing their hands to see if they have at least bothered to use soap. Some of the hands I see have dirt that is really ingrained. As these children are hardly playing in mud and dirt it gives you some idea of the levels of "personal hygiene" that exist here.

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Katetam 14 yrs ago
Bravo Mrsl, couldn't have said it better.

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geiboyi 14 yrs ago
The hygiene issue has nothing to do with whether she is sleeping with a variety of people or not. The kind of diseases she could pick up from these men would only affect you if you were having the same kind of relations with her. This is why I find it so outrageous that most medical checks do not include and HIV test, and yet DH check-ups invariably do. Why would that matter? Unless of course you were planning to get very close to your helper...

Send your helper on a basic $500 hygiene course -she will understand the need to wash her hands. Job done. And incidentally, this is not a helper issue - how ofter have you seen people coming out of public loos and head straight for the door, bypassing the sink?


The making breakfast on the day off thing is well known. I know plenty of people who say 'oh, but my maid is happy to work on her day off' - even if you look at the contract you will see a provision for this - a helper is entitled to work voluntarily on her day off. Nice get-out clause there. Of course she's happy to - she wants to keep her job. Personally I feel that helpers here get a good deal, on the whole. There is protection (of a sort) and there is a minimum salary that provides for an excellent standard of living in their home country. Sadly, lots of employers fail to follow the rules. Equally I feel it is sad that a lot of helpers abuse their positions. For some people the system works very well - for others it's a bit of a nightmare. I would just like to see everthing being done more professionally, on both sides.

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tcw4155 14 yrs ago
I cannot believe what I've been reading on this thread. The startled cries of outrage over a DH who works as a prostitute but, we might add, cleans your toilets and washes your soiled underwear apparently to your satisfaction are just too much. I have never heard so much shrill indignance and flat out racism as I have on this thread. I've heard not one, not one concrete link from anyone that a DH's suspected evening activities are a direct threat to their family's health. I've heard ignorant scare tactics related to STD's that come out of the 1950's, but mostly I hear imperious denigrations of "judgement', of "character", of influencing children. And the penalty for such transgressions is the sack. Out on the street for we don't wish to have our perfect, propped up existence in HKG sullied.


Why, perchance do you think these "Catholic", "ignorant" and unprincipled helpers sell their bodies? Because they can get $500 - $1,000 for a few hours of repugnant, dangerous work. Because some of the same people who complain on this thread are the one's that not only underpay and overwork their helpers, but also mark their milk cartons, count their eggs, and threaten termination for the capitol offense of eating their prized yogurt from City Super. They're poor. They have no options. They don't have expat husbands who cater to their shrill whims or prop them up in a style that they would never achieve on their own in their home countries.


And, there are many, many customers for them. And these customers, I hate to tell you, live right here in HKG. They're husbands and fathers. Maybe even yours. You think your unhygenic helpers are a health threat to you and your children? You have no clue. If your morals would let you, a stroll down Lockhart Road on any given night would show you that these customers are not all swarthy, deranged business travellers...they are local bankers, salesmen, and managers with homes and families right here. I've been out with them, drunk with them, and watched them march up the stairs of local "Rooms by the hour" hotels to sleep with a bar girl from Fenwick's or Neptunes before hitting the taxi's for the ride back to Repulse Bay.


Your problem isn't your helpers...your problem is your absolute, total blindness to the real world that is shielded from you by your security guards, ignorance, and false superiority.

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Dora the Explorer 14 yrs ago
I know, and people wonder why we have teenage pregnancies etc.


I don't think that the theme of any of the replies was that HK is perfect. The general response was 'not in my house'.


Reading the above posts, there was no insinuation that all DHs are unhygenic, the point was that if specific girls are so relaxed about risking their own health (extra money for not using condom etc.), why should we feel confident that they will wash their hands before cooking our food.


The point made over and over again is that someone who is in your home should respect your values. One of the posters made a very valid point about respecting the helper. Most of the discussions here seem to result from lack of respect either way.


Try not to treat us all as being stupid. We have travelled by virtue of the fact that we are expats. We have all worked with the people who buy sex after a big night out. We know that they are not dirty men in trenchcoats. That does not mean that we have to condone it.



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tcw4155 14 yrs ago
Precisely, Dora. Precisely. We do not have to condone it. But what we CAN do is at least do our best to mitigate the reasons for the choices that many of these women make. How can they possibly respect "our" values when those values have absolutely no resemblance to their lives? We say we want them to respect our values but at the same time, many employers treat their helpers with almost automatic disdain, lack of respect and outright suspicion at the drop of a hat. They have no understanding or even intent to understand their employees and what motivates them. Are THOSE the values we want them to respect?


I don't condone prostitution. It is not a victimless crime. But I most certainly understand why a woman would turn to it. and it's NOT a casual decision for these women. I resent the shrill hysteria by women towards women for essentially being a victim of this vicious circle.



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meiji 14 yrs ago
isn't this discussion getting out of topic? The point is NOT about understanding or sympathizing the reasons behind "prostitution". We don't need a lesson on what is prostitution, what kind of "clients" prostitutes get, how it's medically a threat or not a threat b/c of the way contagious diseases are passed...etc.


The point of this post WAS an employer NOT being able to tolerate the dishonesty, and the trust was broken by a DH she employed to take care of her and her family.


I don't understand why there is any argument about me as an employer having the choice to choose NOT to have a "part time prostitute" in my household as a DH. It's not a matter of understanding, or discriminating. It's a personal choice, a respect for my own values, and my family's values. B/c I don't want a "part time " prostitute working in my home, I am less worthy to this society?


My DH spends MORE time in the day with my children MORE than my husband and I. I certainly WILL NOT accept a "part time " prostitute taking care of my children, teaching my children, sharing food with my children, and possibly getting injured around my children in the event of possible diseases.


For those who think there is NO medical or hygiene threat, some medical readings might be recommended. It's more than just about washing hands. It may not be AIDS you necessarily have to be worried about.


And for those who are saying EVEN if they knew their DH are working as a part time prostitute, and b/c you sympathize with her "choice but no choice" reasons..... good luck, and hope you will indeed practice what you preach if one day the same thing happens in your household.







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mrsl 14 yrs ago
twc4115


Of course there are reasons for prostitution! For almost all types of crimes in fact. Do you think that we think that they enjoy walking the streets? How stupid do you think we are? The point is that people have choices. It is not racist either, there are plenty of WASP prostitutes out there too (worldwide). I don't have any more or less respect for them.


We pay our helper well in excess of minimum wage (over 50% more). We provide her with a phone, cable tv, dvd, unlimited food, 3 flights home a year etc. etc. I have made it very clear that she must talk to me if she has financial problems, not a money lender etc. etc. I hugely respect the fact that she has made enormous sacrifices, travelling away from her family to try to guarantee them a better future than hers. So I am not ashamed to admit that I would not respect her if she was 'on the game'. Plenty of people survive on a lot less without having to resort to any type of crime.


I was the poster who made the point about not employing someone for whom I have no respect. I stand by that. I also made the point about hand hygiene. That was in no way meant that all DHs or whoever are dirty. Believe me, I have seem plenty of poor hygiene by white doctors in prestigious hospitals (and have abandoned meals in more than one HK restaurant when I saw the kitchen staff leave the bathroom without approaching the sink). It was just an example of the concern that I would have if the person who prepares my food has lost respect for herself, I could not expect her to have respect for us.



'They don't have expat husbands who cater to their shrill whims or prop them up in a style that they would never achieve on their own in their home countries.'

That comment is simply insulting. Have you ever stopped to think that some of us met our expat husbands in equally high powered jobs and gave up our careers to care for our children? On that note, we are predominately intelligent, well-traveled people who are far from blind to the:

'world that is shielded from you by your security guards, ignorance, and false superiority'

The reason that we are so protective of our children is that we have seen it, as mentioned by Dora, and we know well that it is not men in trench coats that abuse women, children etc. It may come as a shock to you that some of us have downgraded our lifestyles to come here. Some of us and our husbands have moved here for non-financial reasons. Some of us had domestic help before we moved to Asia.


Yes there are some poorly informed comments in the thread above. Some of the ones on STDs stand out and the idea that Catholicism being the root of all of the problems (especially given that the helper in question is Indonesian). You can call me a puritan or old fashioned if it makes you feel better about yourself, but save your sexist, ill-informed opinions for your friends who frequent Lockhart Road.


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2006 14 yrs ago
mrsl,



I find it hard to believe you ever had a "high-powered job" when you come out with spellings like "predominately".



I just asked my 11 year old to spell that word, and he came closer than you!

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mum of 2 14 yrs ago
Mistymoppet, that's about all that was wrong with that message. Forgive the lady for not stopping to spellcheck while giving a misogynist a piece of her mind, before she put her children to bed!

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@@ 14 yrs ago
If you know your helper is working outside of her DH contract (waitress, prostitute whatever???) aren't you likely to get into a little strife with the immigration department?

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geiboyi 14 yrs ago
"I'd like to know if anyone who spends hours a day writing long paragraphs of posts complaining about the imperfection of the DH, would actually swap places with them??


Like a shot, if I could earn 5 times what I would earn in my home country (the UK), returning home after a few years able to buy a house outright. With a few exceptions the job of a DH is not that bad. Looking after children, pets, cooking for a family and doing household work - this is how millions of housewives across the world spend their days. If I could go somewhere that would pay me huge sums (in home-country terms) for this kind of job I would be there right away. I am sitting here at a desk in a windowless offfice, working for people I don't particularly like or respect, for about what I would earn if I had newly graduated in the UK. My mortgage will be paid off in 22 years. My ex-domestic helper has gone home at the age of 32, to her own home (fully owned), with a second building (owned) from which to operate a business. She has spent the past year doing general household chores and playing with my baby. Yes, she has missed out on a few years of her son's childhood, but has immeasurably improved the quality of her and the rest of her family's lives.

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inkonkoni 14 yrs ago
Well said, Geiboy. I have the same problem as you. In fact I seem to be getting deeper into financial debt each month just trying to maintain a tolerable life here. And before everyone jumps on me for having a helper... I need one medically.

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geiboyi 14 yrs ago
Furthest place in the world from my in-laws...


The weather...


I can't imagine that I would be better off anywhere else...


I'm still hoping to snare a rich expat second husband...





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inkonkoni 14 yrs ago
Barbara, it's safer than home and I can't afford to leave.

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geiboyi 14 yrs ago
Don't worry, I'm not.


But you are making some innaccurate assumptions here. If I was back in the UK I wouldn't suffer from not having a DH. I would send my son out to a day-care facility/childminder like other working mothers, getting some fairly healthy tax credits to cover the costs a little. I would pay someone to come in twice a week to clean my house, and it would be professionally done and I would not have to act as a surrogate mother to my cleaner. I would prepare my own food with the help of a nearby well-stocked supermarket. I am not convinced that that way of life would be harder or more costly in the long run. I have a DH here as that is the only reasonable solution here (not having the luxury of being supported by my husband). If I go back to the Uk in the future I will ot be crying about not having a helper, trust me.

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tsuiwah 14 yrs ago
geiboyi, if you want to buy your own home instead of paying a mortgage, it sounds like you would be happier if you moved to some godforsaken small village in Mindanao or Sumatra. Yeah, I highly doubt you will be making that trade. Be thankful that you didn't grow up in a situation where being a domestic helper is the best opportunity that is available to you.

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saiwanho 14 yrs ago
tsuiwah,



I'm not convinced that being a DH in a comfortable expat home with three square meals a day is a significantly worse fate that living in a "godforsaken" and dangerous part of Detroit and tightening nuts in a car factory - especially as DH have no significant expenses here and can save the majority of their pay.



Do I envy Sumatran villagers? No. Do I envy the urban poor of Detroit? Also "No". But at least DH have the OPTION to come here and earn 5 or 10 times what their families need to subsist. The uneducated poor of our own home countries have no such escape route.



Our maid has worked here (incredibly hard) for many years to put her two kids through top schools back home. One is now studying to be a veterinarian and the other kid just qualified as an accountant. They will have lives which (in material terms) our DH herself could never have dreamed of. But it is highly unlikely that our car factory worker in Detroit will ever be able to put his kids through top schools - no matter how hard he works.


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tsuiwah 14 yrs ago
saiwanho, sorry, you're not convinced because you're comparing the best outcome for the Sumatran villager to the worst outcome for a Detroit native.


Why not start from the point the person enters the world then you will understand.


There are probably as many fortunate Sumatran villagers who "hit the jackpot" and became a domestic helper in Hong Kong as there are poor Detroit (or fill in whatever city deserves your perception of being godforsaken poor in a first world country) natives who go on to earn a college degree and land a white collar job in a country where you can drink the water without getting sick.


In some countries, when you are born, you can dream of being a domestic helper, while in others you can dream of being obscenely rich. It's the luck of the draw.



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ritad 14 yrs ago
geiboyi....i am confused with what you are saying..on side you are saying people mistreat maids...( which majority probably don't) and then on one side you are saying the maids should also abuse their employers...by doing things illegally..so what are you really for?

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geiboyi 14 yrs ago
What is anyone saying here, really? I lost track days ago. But seeing as it's Monday and the only other option is working, here's what I am saying, not just on this thread, but generally.

1) Lots of people mistreat their maids. Contrary to Ritad's comments, the majority probably do mistreat their maids. I include underpayment as mistreating - and given that the majority of Indonesian helpers when interviewed say that they are getting less than the minimum wage, then it seems that the mistreatment is pretty common. I also include keeping their passports, using an agency that mistreats maids by charging them illegal fees (if you choose that agency, you are responsible), going through your maids personal possessions, never mind all the other bad/petty stuff that goes on.

2) Lots of maids abuse their position/employers' trust by lying/stealing/taking part-time jobs.

3) Lots of employers deserve all they get because if situation 1 happens then frankly, you deserve situation 2. If my boss treated me with more respect I would be working now not plaing on the internet.


That's all, really.

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inkonkoni 14 yrs ago
Well, thanks for summarising it all.

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ritad 14 yrs ago
two wrongs makes a right then i guess...

and also...majority..then you must know a lot of people....to say that..i am not saying they ae right..or you are wrong...sometimes an employer can be nice and get mistreated..one of the threads previously said th3e employer said you can finish your work to the DH and leave after if you want...she cut the 6 days work to one day...eventually work 1 out of 5 days...please that is taking advantage of the employer......personally from my expereince..i let my DH go early all the time and come late..so she started to slack and rush things up to leave..

mmind you i am also the one to clean the toilets...broom and cook...most of the time...i am not a saint..but i know i have been nicfe to my helper ...so don't always think the DH is perfect....

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geiboyi 14 yrs ago
I don't need to know a lot of people to know the situation. I have neighbours on both sides of my house whose helpers work 7 days a week. I know plenty of girls working in shops I frequent who are on DH contracts and are also being underpaid. I have colleagues who openly admit to underpaying, but say it's ok because the maid is happy with the money they give her.


I know full well helpers are not perfect. I have had 3 helpers (one was shocking - I should have fired her but pathetically waited for her to leave. The second left because of a family crisis, which I am very sad about as she was gret, and the third one has just started, so I know perfectly the problems involved.)

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saiwanho 14 yrs ago
tsuiwah,



I agree with the principle of where you're coming from. But the only way to achieve it is to have an international law banning any form of immigration control: the complete global abolition of passports and visas (and, therefore, nationality). Then supply and demand would equalise wage rates and opportunity in all countries: initially everyone would flood into the US and Western Europe, thereby depressing wages there, and then flow back out into countries where wages were rising because of skill shortages.



I am all in favour of that; but - as far as I know - the only influential voice in the world that consistently argues for the gobal abolition of immigration controls is "The Economist" magazine. It's not an easy sell to unskilled voters in the US or the UK!


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