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first experience in employing full time maid - any tips?

Latest post at 06/03/2012 22:28:51
Hi,
I was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to share any advice/tips etc with regards to a fulltime maid... I am employing someone for the first time, and was just looking for some do's & dont's on the matter! I'm actually getting quite nervous about the whole thing!

TIA
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Latest post at 07/03/2012 10:50:33
Communication is the key.

go through what you expect from her in terms of work and house rules.
make it clear from day one about things like advances on salary, the use of her mobile phone whilst working.
Show her every switch, socket, button and lever so she is clear where everything is, what to do if water is leaking from under your sink ( seriously happened recently )
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Latest post at 07/03/2012 11:09:29
Do not be too friendly - establish boundaries from day one.
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Latest post at 07/03/2012 11:24:12
maryam_kk I was just about to ask this same question! Anyone want to hire mine for me? :-) I have no idea what to ask so I also appreciate any advice.
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Latest post at 07/03/2012 12:07:18
spongemonkey wrote:
Do not be too friendly - establish boundaries from day one.


Agree, you are her Employer not her Buddy.
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Latest post at 07/03/2012 15:23:42
I give mine a list of 'house rules' which includes working hours, use of mobile, guests etc and states salary and that no loans or salary advances will be given. Make that clear from day one! Then I also give her a list of duties for daily, weekly, monthly so they can refer to that whilst they settle in.

Be clear from the start how you like things done ... don't assume she will read your mind and eventually do it your way! I point things out as we go along otherwise it just leads to frustration.
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Latest post at 07/03/2012 20:16:09
Thank you ladies
I'm a little too worried that I may be a little too friendly! lol
Niggly - do you think you could be so kind as to email me your list/rules/itinery? I was thinking of making a to do list myself, as you said - daily, weekly, monthly etc, and it would be very useful to see how you've done it... maryam underscore kk at hotmail dot com
Also, i found myself getting a bit carried away with regards to her room - seriously, i had a colourscheme going on lol! How well equipped does it need to be?
TIA!
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Latest post at 08/03/2012 08:06:10
maryam, no no no no! She is your employee, not your guest! My very first maid I did the same, and within a month she expected me to make her tea, coffee, and have dinner served by 6pm! Stop right now or you will be slicing mangoes in no time.

Get a list going, lay some ground rules. Have No personal conversations - at all. Its better to be strict to start, and relax things later on if you feel comfortable doing it, starting out treating her like a long lost relative (colour scheme in her room....???) is not going to end with a good working relationship. Besides, its HER room.
edited by Purple on 08/03/2012
3163
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Latest post at 08/03/2012 09:49:08
About the colour scheme thing: If you are furnishing a room from scratch, why NOT have a colour scheme? If you are having to get everything new then why not have it match? It's not like it has to cost any more.

I furnished (sparsely of course due to size) our maid's room with some secondhand and some new bits, but the bedding, chair and curtains match and it looks quite nice! She has seen other rooms in the neighbourhood and came back exceedingly grateful for her own. She works very hard and is grateful for both the job and for the way we treat her (decently).
edited by Tartiflette on 08/03/2012
387
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Latest post at 08/03/2012 15:32:22
I agree with spongemonkey and Purple - she is your employee, so treat her that way. Think back to your last job - was your boss ever friendly with you? Of course not. Did he or she have a personal conversation or ask you about your family? No - there are boundaries.

When I started my last job, I came in, my boss handed me a list, took away my passport and then ignored me completely except for the occasional reprimand. I've never worked harder for anyone in my life!

Hope this helps!
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Latest post at 08/03/2012 15:36:08
This could be the one!!
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Latest post at 08/03/2012 15:37:51
maryam_kk wrote:
Thank you ladies
I'm a little too worried that I may be a little too friendly! lol
Niggly - do you think you could be so kind as to email me your list/rules/itinery? I was thinking of making a to do list myself, as you said - daily, weekly, monthly etc, and it would be very useful to see how you've done it... maryam underscore kk at hotmail dot com
Also, i found myself getting a bit carried away with regards to her room - seriously, i had a colourscheme going on lol! How well equipped does it need to be?
TIA!


Sure, I will send it to you this evening or tomorrow. Just moved house so need to find my hard drive at home!
280
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Latest post at 08/03/2012 15:38:57
OP - if you search on here for Maid's Action List you will find The List and also which day to polish Alex' shoes on.

Bless. Good old Alex.
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Latest post at 08/03/2012 18:02:49
maryam, my mother-in-law wrote out a list of house rules to give to my new Maid. MIL is western but has 20+ years experience of hiring (and firing!) Maids. The rules seemed a bit full on to me, but the good thing about it was that I could then be lenient as trust built bewteen myself and the Maid. It is far better than not laying down any rules and then trying to establish some once things get out of hand.

House Rules:
No friends inside the main house
You can have female friends to visit in your room, but please mention this to Mam beforehand.
No men in the house, including relatives. Husband can visit but please notify Madam first
Be punctual to work every morning
Never smack the children
You are not allowed to work part-time for another family, even on your day off. It is illegal to do so and if you get caught by the authorities we (your sponsor family) will be fined 100,000 aed and you will be imprisoned and then deported
Do not use your mobile phone during work hours
If you do not understand something that Sir or Mam have said to you, ask us to explain it
If you are unsure about anything, ask Mam
Do what Sir and Mam say, not what the kids say

Instant dismissal for:
Stealing
Smacking children
Breaking the law in Dubai
Working part-time for another family

House Rules for the children which the Maid most uphold:
Maid to be the adult and children to obey
Children are expected to do as they are told
Children should be encouraged to help clean up their toys
Children to take their plates and cups to the kitchen sink when they have finished their meals
Children to put their dirty laundry in the wash basket each evening
edited by Tru Blu on 08/03/2012
edited by Tru Blu on 08/03/2012
1993
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Latest post at 08/03/2012 19:37:18
wow, thank you all for all the useful information also interesting to see how different people have different approaches... i think my approach will be a mix of all of yours!
just another couple of questions - sorry!!
1) what did your maid do on her first day/second day? i.e. did she launch straight into 'work' or did you allow her some 'settling' time?
2) obviously this will vary greatly, but how soon did you leave her at home alone or alone with your children??

TIA
109
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Latest post at 09/03/2012 08:47:07
maryam_kk wrote:
wow, thank you all for all the useful information also interesting to see how different people have different approaches... i think my approach will be a mix of all of yours!
just another couple of questions - sorry!!
1) what did your maid do on her first day/second day? i.e. did she launch straight into 'work' or did you allow her some 'settling' time?
2) obviously this will vary greatly, but how soon did you leave her at home alone or alone with your children??

TIA


For us,

First day rest, second day start with gentle work (floors, kitchen etc), repeat repeat repeat, eventually add more things.

leave alone with children - never. You have hired a maid who more then likely has no childcare training whatsoever. If you need your maid to be alone with the kids then you should have her trained in first aid and also what to do in an emergency.

Edit to add, there are a couple of agencies out there that will train her in first aid in Tagalog or Sinhalese. None that I have found for Amharic.
edited by Purple on 09/03/2012
3163
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Latest post at 10/03/2012 06:49:59
Flower33 wrote:

There is also great short videos on cleaning, will post later, me and her sat together and watch how to clean the sofa, mirrors, bathroom, ironing, etc. She was happy nd was a better way as we had to body or sign language! Though agency said she knows english it she didnt, very little.

I am happy with her nd she is right now


please share about the videos!!
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Latest post at 10/03/2012 12:25:02
Purple wrote:
...second day start with gentle work (floors, kitchen etc), repeat repeat repeat, eventually add more things.
...


In my relatively limited experience, this is just about the most important thing. Once you have laid the ground rules, you need to show her specifically and clearly and possibly with mind-numbing repetition exactly how you want things done.

Some maids learn really quickly and adapt to a new house with no trouble. Others just seem almost like toddlers and need hand-holding all the way along. I don't mean that in a disrespectful way...it's just the most clear description I can think of. For some of these ladies, the way we want things done is just so foreign that it can take them a long time to remember everything.

Be REALLY clear about use, storage and safety with any household chemical cleaners you use. You do not want to find your toddler child covered in domestos after the maid leaves it, lid off, in the bathroom. Don't ask!

Be really clear about all things to do with health and hygiene...washing hands (esp after coughing, sneezing and scratching etc); cleaning dishes; handling, preparing and storing food; which cleaning cloth to use for each job, how often and how to wash etc etc

As someone said below, communication is vital. I read somewhere recently where an EW member said she sits down with her maid every week and discusses any concerns from the previous week and plans out the week ahead. GREAT idea. If anything, no matter how little, bothers you it's much better to sort it quickly rather than let it fester and become a big issue.

Good luck!
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Latest post at 10/03/2012 20:01:50
thanks all
yes, I like the idea of a weekly 'meeting'... will definatley be trying that!
thanks again for all the advice.. will let you know how it goes!
Mx
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Latest post at 10/03/2012 20:09:23
2383
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Latest post at 11/03/2012 07:10:39
Expect to have to tell her over and over again how or what to do - don't be embarrassed by this - just be matter of fact.

Expect her to tell you she understands what you want but she won't.

Expect her to suddenly start doing things completely differently after many years of doing it one way.

I have a General routine that she does EVERY day then I have specific things that she does on certain days eg she thoroughly cleans x and y room on a Wed. This ensures that no areas are getting left out.
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