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Need Advice In Dealing With Domestic Helps

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Needtobestrong, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. Needtobestrong

    Needtobestrong Gold IL'ite

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    Im living and settled in India..as Stay at home mom of toddler in joint family it gets really hectic and there is just so much work to do...
    I have arranged part time maid who comes for an hour for sweeping mopping utensils and washroom floor cleaning so I can get some relief from household chores.. My husband doesn't have much time to help due to long travels and work stress..in laws also are old and from their end they are having health and age limitations too..hence we hired maid so we can get little help with chores..
    We have washing machine but dishwasher is not affordable and family members too don't like dishwasher...also I'm not working and not financially independant and have very little say in household expenditures...

    But we are facing issues with behaviour of maids who worked with us from past 1-2 years..
    In our area maids charge a certain fixed rate for each work like sweeping n mopping, utensil etc..so we have to pay as per that..we used to talk and discuss about the work done and arrange maid according to work that we need and salary that both agree on according to rate...
    I'm mostly simple calm polite soft spoken person who doesnt get into conflict with others unless situation demands..we provide food regularly, cash n gifts during festivals, etc and raise salary after decent interval like one year completion...leaves given for sickness and personal emergency without questioning..even leave taken without informing I don't question them if they have genuine reason like fever..

    But what is happening is that after a maid joins for work, for few weeks she does properly then starts complaining that there is so much work,so much time consuming and back and hand paining to do mopping etc...and they ask for raise in salary ...not even reasonable amount but drastically bigger amount of money...and get irritated if not given and purposely mess up the work and say that they'll do properly only if more cash is given...
    I thought it's their usual behaviour and I don't get into fights but politely respectfully used to deal..
    But of late since many months I m having good network with others ladies in my flat complex, and neighbours etc..When I visit their homes and see kitchens I see the amount of vessels they put for wash to their maid, I,e two sinks one in kitchen and other in utility area would be overflowing with vessels...and house would be pretty messy too which takes more effort to clean....they pay more or less same amount of money to maid as salary ...not a bigger amount,.,but they don't face that much problem with maids complaints and maid don't fight that much with them...in contrast we put less vessels for wash, as we wash and reuse and keep house neat to some extent so it can be cleaned easily...I wonder what the maids working in our home complain about..

    It's occurring to me that it's my body language that's wrong..maybe they are taking advantage of the fact that I'm new mom with a toddler screaming for my attention and falling sick often and elderly in laws...and that I'm not as outspoken and rude and bold looking as other ladies maybe...I'm noticing with 2-3 maids till now that they just keep asking for money,.even if I increase salary as per their wish they'll ask again after couple of months for more money...but even if extra cash is offered they're not ready to come in evening to wash vessels even if there is festival or some guest has come...not even adjusting if there is an emergency like not well or need to go to clinic etc..
    If I don't have maid I'll have to do everything and it'll take toll on my health and well being..as I already feel weak and have couple of health issues..in laws will travel very often and considering age I can't expect much support..
    Request ladies living in India to let me know how you deal with such issue...
    Those who criticise me for hiring maid or think I'm lazy pls think twice before putting any harsh remarks..and give me tips for being more assertive in such situations..
     
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  2. Twofeathers

    Twofeathers Bronze IL'ite

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    I think your answer is in your question -
    -If I don't have maid I'll have to do everything and it'll take toll on my health and well being..as I already feel weak and have couple of health issues..in laws will travel very often and considering age I can't expect much support..

    These folks are very smart and good at reading people and situations. They know who is vulnerable and how impactful what they do or dont do is for each individual household. If there were two other able bodied people in your house and they see them doing domestic work, they would understand that they can be easily backfilled till you find the right person. If you cannot strike a hard bargain (where you can actually say "This is what you get or you can leave" and actually mean it) they will play hard ball. Sorry about that.

    Nothing wrong in getting a maid - Talk to your neighbors and see how much they pay and use that to negotiate. Since you have so little other help around even if you overpay a little, your health and sanity is more important...Another option is to rope in your husband if he can be a strong negotiator. Take care.
     
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  3. Jas82688

    Jas82688 Silver IL'ite

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    @op twofeathers gave you right advice .. yes it’s your body language which they are taking advantage .. soft speaking doesn’t work with maids .. you need to be strict firm on the salary they accepted and also quality of work .. most of the maids India they like gossiping which I hate .. I saw it in my home .. they keep talking about entire world .. my sil used to engage them while I was like i don’t give a **** what they gossip ..

    My mil is also soft spoken so maid used to mop just on the top you can see dust here and there .. when u went to India I told her strictly to clean floor things toys or any other objects before mop .. my body language is diff tone is high when I deal with them .. I don’t care what others think I want my work done properly because I am paying for it ..

    It’s not a sin or bad thing to keep maids .. it’s their job they are doing and they are paid for it .. when we respect dignity of labor they should also have some responsibility of the work they do ..

    So explore .. you can get new maid try to be firm and do what always you do ..
     
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  4. SunPa

    SunPa Platinum IL'ite

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    Sorry dont have much idea about the maid scene in India, just wanted to comment about the below.
    Why would anybody do that?
    Having a maid is more of a necesity in India. Only you know how much work is there to do, your health and time and most importantly your money, so why would it be anybody's business to comment on you having a maid?
    And if anybody did, why should a harsh comment on the internet matter to you ? Just dust it off. Being judgemental is their problem , not yours.

    I get the feel that you are stressed and so hard on yourself. You are good. You are hardworking and caring and nice. Nobody's perfect and there is a myraid of things that we could all improve on . But the important thing is you are good as you are. So Chill, ya? Do love yourself a little more.
     
  5. Sunshine04

    Sunshine04 Platinum IL'ite

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    Be more bold when you talk to the maids.
    My mom is very soft and engage in small talk with the maids. They always used to take advantage of her.
    Tell the maids strongly ,this is the amount you will pay.if they want more, they can leave.
     
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  6. Stardust1990

    Stardust1990 Senior IL'ite

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    Op, I have a maid from Nepal who is super polite, does her work really well and doesn't demand much and here is the thing I am like you. My mom on the other hand is not so soft and her maid has way meaner attitude which she herself cannot handle ..So no matter how many times my mom asks her to sweep well she will not. The same with my mil who commands the maid and still won't get work done.. I really don't know what kind ppl maids listen to. Some are very good at work and some gossip taunt and make you fear them. Maids in my mom's place have their own group and warn each other about a particular house. So if u fire them you will be in deep trouble.
     
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  7. Needtobestrong

    Needtobestrong Gold IL'ite

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    Thanks ladies..
    I'm a regular visitor to IL ..in some previous old thread I noticed few members making mean remarks about those who hire domestic helper because they think it's unnecessary and because they manage everything on their own and very smug about it.... (I don't remember which thread, but it was posted long back.. I really respect those superwomen but I'm not one of them, I'm just an ordinary woman ) that's why frankly I was little hesitant to post my issue..
    But got considerate replies thankfully.
    I will be more assertive from now on.
     
  8. Amica

    Amica IL Hall of Fame

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    Maids act up when they know you're dependent on them.

    One solution is to divide the job up and hire one maid for some tasks and a different maid for the rest of the work. Try hiring a morning maid to do the laundry and cleaning plus an evening maid to do the dishes after dinner. That makes it a little more difficult for them to control you.
    .
     
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  9. Afresh

    Afresh Gold IL'ite

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    Hey
    I think you need to assert yourself a bit and also steel up or disguise your vulnerability.
    I have gone through many maid experiences and there's nothing wrong or right in being soft or hard when dealing with them. There have been many times when i have felt that i was wrong in dealing with them on either ends of the spectrum, ie, being too soft and giving in to their irrational demands and on the other side not listening or budging on their honest issues. So many learnings came out of all these dealings and one of them has been that I never threaten or ask them to leave if they do not fulfil my expectations, which i do nag them about. If they do then it is of their own volition and then i don't hold them back too. You have to find the middle path with them and ask to meet your minimum requirements. Be very upfront about your requirements ( strict timings and other issues you may have had i in the past) and then fix their money. At the outset , do tell them about the number of members of family and the amount of work ,while negotiating. Also you should steel up to let them go if they display high handedness, despite you giving them a fair deal from your end.
    If you already have a maid maybe you need to have a frank talk about the above aspects , when they start talking of a raise or better still go in for a new additional maid for one of the jobs, responding to the help who complains about more work by saying " yeah , actually , I also felt that you are being burdened by so much work, I was thinking i should split your work with someone else doing the other job". This might work either ways, meaning , either thew maid will leave or retreat gracefully from the complaints that shes been putting.
    Unbiasedly you also need to assess if their complaint about more work is justified or not.

    I think with you, they feel that you will respond to any complaints they have and are ready for salary raises all the time, so are an easy prey for them.
    Also , a very pragmatic solution is to have more than one person by dividing the jhadu pocha and vessels work. Please ensure that their timings also do not collide.
     
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