Four Months Later

When I was tidying up pictures in my laptop, I found this picture of my first Indonesian maid, Niti and our Little Edison, taken in Christmas last year. Niti returned home four months ago. I wonder how she is doing now. I hope that she has reunited with her family and she is able to find a better job in her own country.

I still think of her once in a while. She is a very good helper, and I admit it’s our loss for not keeping her and renewing her contract. She likes to take pictures when we go out. She told me that she wants to bring these pictures home as remembrance. I feel so sorry for not being able to fulfill such a small request from her. Sigh.

Our new helper, Pin, has been with us for four months now. She is not as good as Niti – I know I shouldn’t compare. Pin is generally a slower worker and her safety awareness is not as good. Apart from these, she is okay. She is hardworking and obedient. Little Edison started to develop a liking for her after three months.

When Pin just came on-board, Little Edison rejected her totally. It was a nightmare to me. Changing a maid when our kids are 2 to 3 years old is a serious business. REALLY. These toddlers are hard to accept changes. It takes three months for our Little Edison to slowly accept Pin. I wouldn’t want to change another helper, unless really necessary.

Overall, Pin’s performance is still meeting our expectations. I’ve accepted the fact that she is slower than Niti. Thus, I will allow more time for her to finish her works. Her spoken English has improved tremendously too. It’s perhaps due to watching Dora the Explorer with Little Edison everyday. She can sing the Dora song too. It’s amazing how a cartoon show can teach English!

Recently, Little Edison allows her to shower him at night (even though I’m around). This is a good sign. I can finally take a break, relax and watch the 7pm show! That’s the way to go!

I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Hopefully, Pin will continue to work with us diligently.


Troubled and Why?

I can finally heave a sigh of relief. Everything is over and has been executed smoothly. Now, let me share with you what happened to our family last week that caused me so much stress and sleepless nights.

Last Tuesday, I received a phone call from my maid agency informing me that my new Indonesian maid has arrived in Singapore and she passed all her medical check-up and English test. This means I’ve to send my current maid back to Indonesia before I can pick-up the new maid.

You must be wondering why I hire another maid. Some of you may be aware that my current maid is actually quite good. This is what happened…

Two months ago (Dec 09), there were some heated arguments between the maid and my husband. The maid felt that my husband is constantly picking at her over small mistakes that she made. She also felt that she couldn’t tolerate my husband’s hot temper and demanding attitude anymore. Although her contract is expiring in April 2010, she requested my help to terminate her contract earlier so that she can leave in Feb 2010.

No doubt that my husband is demanding, but this doesn’t means that she can talk back whenever she is reprimanded by him. Despite my husband being the only ‘bad-guy’ at home, all of us in the family treat her very well. She is our first maid and she has been working for us for the past 1.5 years. I treat her like my own sister. On numerous occasions, I bought new clothes, bag, shoes and even a watch for her. I constantly reward her with extra pocket money if she performs well.

Honestly, the maid is hardworking, trustworthy, pro-active, speaks good English and she is able to handle Edison very well. The only problem is that she cannot get along well with my husband. I quarreled with my husband umpteen times because of the maid. All of us in the family felt that the maid is good, but he is the odd one out.

I agree that she has some 10% of attitude problem now. For instance, she likes to chit-chat with the neighbor’s maids, show her ‘black face’ whenever she gets scolding from my husband and a bit more demanding on the food that we give to her. However, given her good work performances, I feel that I can still tolerate with the little imperfections. After all, no one is perfect, including us as an employee. Sometimes, we are late to work or make personal phone calls during office hours too. This doesn’t mean that we are not a good worker. Am I right?

When she told me her decision to leave (back in Dec 09), I was very disappointed. Nonetheless, I still promised her that I will help her on her request. So, on that weekend, we went to our maid agency to search for a suitable maid. We were lucky to find one that we like and we booked her instantly.

Last month, the (old) maid changed her mind again. She told me she wants to continue to work for us as her family is hugely in-debt. I was at a loss for words because I knew that it’s simply impossible. She was not aware that we’ve made arrangement for her to return to Indonesia in Feb this year, as per her original request. We can’t tell her upfront because we are worried that it may affect her work performance and we don’t even know the exact arrival date of our new maid at that point of time.

When my agent called me last week, I was caught between many contradicting thoughts. Just at that moment, my heart felt so heavy, so sad, a feeling that I haven’t felt a long time. Finally, I have to let her go. I booked an air ticket for her, but I can only break the news to her on the date of her departure. Very cruel, I know. I was guilt-stricken too. I couldn’t sleep that night. After all, I still feel that she is a very good helper and she has done a great job in taking care of Edison for the past 1.5 years.

I spoke to my mum. She convinced me that it’s not my fault. She has requested for early termination on her own will. We can’t compromise every time she changes her decision. Whatever it is, we can’t change the fact that she has to leave us very soon.

I sincerely appreciate all her hard works for the past 1.5 years. Out of goodwill, I booked for her another domestic flight from Jakarta to her hometown at Yogyakarta (although in the contract, we just need to send her to Jakarta). I want her to return home safely. I also gave her a small sum of money as a token of appreciation. This is the least I can do to help her now.

Yesterday, she has finally left us. I feel very sad that our employment has come to an end. She is a bright girl and she deserves a better-paying job in her own country.

Goodbye, Niti! I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Take care of yourself. I will always remember you as my good helper!