SINGAPORE: A domestic helper felt that her employer’s behaviour took a turn for the worse right after she was hired. She said that her first impression of her employer could not have been further from reality. In an anonymous post to a support group for domestic helpers and employers alike, the helper wrote that she came to Singapore a month ago as a direct-hire maid.

She added that it was her first time working in Singapore. “At the first impression when im interview with my employer, she look so nicely (sic). But after i became her helper, she look like different person”, the helper wrote. She also said that her employer got angry with both her and her own children daily and would always be screaming. “i always try to do my best. I always do what she said, and try to remember about her rules. I never being rude. I work since 6am until 11pm, with 1 hour rest in lunch. No phone during the work, and i never touch my phone too. But, she always suspect me and tell me lazy”, the maid wrote.

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She added that she never sat down except during her rest time over lunch. In her post, she asked others for advice and wanted to know if she should head back to her home country or try to change employers. “How much will the employer lose if i ask to go home?” she wanted to know.

An administrator of the group suggested the following: “There’s something called, ‘transition phase’. Unless u are being ill treated, then u should give it a try. 1 month is too soon to quit. Give it some time and try to understand the wants and needs of the employer. Instead of focusing on the ‘negative side’, take it as a challenge and see if u can turn things around. If things doesn’t improve, then u can quit. It takes time and lots of effort to build a good working relationship. Both parties should be on the same page, in order to make things work.

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Unmet expectations is one of the reason why working relationship doesn’t work. Employer hire a helper, expecting that with an extra hand, their life will be easier. Only to end up disappointed when the helper can not deliver or meet the expectations. Similarly, helper accepted the job, expecting an easy peasy life. But encountered some difficulties instead. So the first thing that comes to mind is to opt for an easy way out…to quit!

However, each of us have different level of tolerance and there’s no guidebook that fits all. We are dealing with different needs, wants, personalities and characters, so we learn as we go. Now, to answer the question.. Employer will lose not only few thousand of $ but their time and effort will be wasted too. Sadly, there’s not much they can do but to suck it up.

As for you, ask yourself, are u suitable in this line of work? This job isn’t for the faint hearted. Only those who have a brave heart and with a strong purpose and those who,instead of running when faced with difficulties, will try to find solutions and not quit just like that. Communication is important. Speak to employer about your issues and see if u can find amicable solutions that acceptable to both parties. All the best!” /TISG