A video posted on All Singapore Stuff yesterday, has scared the hell out of us. An Indonesian maid is seen perched precariously on a parapet, threatening to jump!
The incident was posted by Mr. Farid, and happened at an HDB block at Fajar Hills, in Bukit Panjang, Singapore. Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) personnel are seen negotiating with the maid, who apparently is blaming it all on her employer, and just wants to return back to Indonesia.
Luckily, she was rescued and pulled back to safety by the neighbours and SCDF personnel!
While at this point of time, we are not sure about what actually transpired between the employer and the maid, here are some things you might want to keep in mind, when interacting with your maids. We believe that it will make life easier for both parties:
- Lay out the rules : Right from the beginning, your maid should be aware of the house rules. Be specific about house rules, such as work that needs to be completed everyday, use of handphone etc.
- Don’t overload your maid: Many a time, the maid vents her frustrations and insists on returning home, because she’s too stressed out with work. Sit with your maid, and make sure she’s comfortable with the tasks at hand. Discuss on a timetable that you can follow daily. Make sure that she is healthy, and has enough sleep and energy for all her tasks.
- Communication and training : Wherever possible, write down specific instructions to be followed, and put it up on the wall, or on the fridge. You might even want to take some time off work to train your maid in the initial days, until she gets used to your home environment. Teach her how exactly to take care of your child or your elderly parents.
- Give constructive feedback : If you are not happy with what’s happening, instruct her without scolding. She is human after all. Treat her with dignity and respect, for she is helping you with work that you yourself are unable to cope up with. Praise her for every good work done. It will spur her to do better.
- Be human: Never abuse your maid, be it physically or verbally. It is inhuman and against the law. Practise dignity of labour. Make her feel comfortable and treat her like family.
- Empathise with your maid: Understand that she was not ‘born a maid‘. She too has a family back home. She has come to a foreign country to work, just so that she can provide for her family, and fulfil their dreams and aspirations. Be kind. If she still insists on returning to her hometown, don’t create a fuss and push her to the extreme. Contact your maid agency as soon as possible, and work out your options. An unhappy maid will never be able to do good work.
Also READ: Orienting your new maid