SINGAPORE: A frustrated employer took to social media because she found that while her helper was very useful, the latter had a lot of complaints and would always talk back to her.

In an anonymous post to a support group for domestic helpers and employers alike, the woman said that her maid had worked for her for 10 months. She wanted someone more senior, and her helper had over 20 years of experience. The woman wrote that she had a baby and was a working mother. Her husband would also go on long business trips. The woman explained that she treated her maid like a family member. However, she said her maid had a bad habit of talking back to her.

The woman gave some examples of the comments her helper would make. When she noticed that her maid did not drink coffee, her maid would sulk and comment that she did not buy the coffee even though it finished long ago. The woman also said that when she told her maid to incorporate baby-led weaning, the helper replied that it was too early: “(the child is) Only 10 months. And so messy”.

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The woman said that when she told her helper to reduce the amount of formula given to her child so that more breast milk was given, the helper commented that she kept changing the instructions. “Last time ask me feed formula now change. I dunno (sic) what u want”, the helper replied. The woman also said that when she told her maid to reduce the amount of water in her child’s puree, the helper heard her, looked at her, yet continued to blend with too much water. When she asked her maid again, the helper said it was okay because if the puree were too grainy, the child would not like it.

“Seriously her talking back make(s) me powerless as a mom. I never never limit anything except set some “preference” (of) how i want my baby to be taken care of. Everytime i tried talking to her. She will say ok i follow whatever u say. Tell me a b c i (sic) will follow. 2-3 days she take(s) her own charge. Every feedback given to her end up with her being upset”, the woman wrote.

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She said she treated her helper very well but felt that her helper would always ruin the mood.

Netizens who commented on the post were divided. Some felt that even the way the employer spoke to her helper was rude.

One said: “To those commenting saying how she said “hey” is rude… just stop. She is just quoting example of how the conversation goes. Not literally how it goes. And no, you helpers don’t get to talk back and blackfaced us. We are your employers. When we give instructions, you take it and implement. If you want us to listen to your suggestion, do it with much decorum as a helper. You don’t have to bow down to us, but a certain amount of respect is needed when communicating with employers. It applies in a professional working environment too. My advice to OP – send her right back. You don’t need the stress. You don’t need to justify if you did any wrong. You don’t need to answer to half of the people here who doesn’t even understand the point of your post here. Ultimately, if they want to be treated like you owe them something, they are welcome to go. Being firm doesn’t mean we are being mean and abusive.”

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Another person commented: “You must understand where she was coming from. We are all different in how we communicate. I think you dictated every word that she was saying. It might sound not polite to you, but she might not realise it. I’m guessing. All your helper was trying was to be friendly to you. And you react in different ways. I think it’s all misunderstanding”.  /TISG