Two and a half years ago, a domestic helper was returned to Hyperlink Services, maid agency at 21 Cuscaden Road, Ming Arcade, #04-04 after being employed for about a week.
The employer claimed that she was reckless, clumsy and had poor work ethics. They were so dissatisfied that they deemed her unfit for employment with anyone else.
At the same time, the Teos, directors of Hyperlink Services, had just delivered their firstborn. Mrs Karen Teo in the midst of her confinement, was in need of an extra pair of hands. In an unexpected twist of events, the rejected domestic helper, Ani, was employed by the Teos and has been with their family ever since.
While the Teos are at work, Ani helps take care of their child, albeit under close supervision of one set of grandparents. For those who aren’t as fortunate as the Teos to have family around, Karen advices, “It’s a good idea to install CCTVs at home if the children are to be left with the maid most of the time. This will give parents a peaceful mind while at work, especially since it is difficult for anyone to match up to a mother’s expectations.”
To find out other useful tips on establishing a mutually beneficial relationship between both employer and domestic helper,TheAsianparent.com caught up with Karen’s husband, Mr Paul Teo.
Road Less Travelled
Hyperlink Services has been established for more than 5 years since the Teos took over the company. With absolutely no prior experience with the foreign worker industry, the Teos worked hard together.
The initial years were tough as they had to learn everything from scratch. In fact Paul jokingly revealed that he was a permanent fixture at MOM, since he often lacked proper documentation for his foreign workers.
Today, Hyperlink Services has expanded its operations, and now includes the recruitment and placement of foreign workers, in addition to the foreign domestic helpers. They also have another branch located at 304 Changi Road.
Mr Paul Teo of Hyperlink Services
A service which distinguishes Hyperlink from other maid agencies is their “transfer helper.” “Transfer helper” refers to any helper who is not tied to a loan or placement fee. That helper may approach the agency for a transfer; the agency will then help them match-make to an employer such as expat families looking for experienced help.
Although Mr Teo wishes to keep the company small, so as to be able to offer quality service, he revealed that his goal is to turn the Ming Arcade office into a transfer hub.
With regards to dissatisfied employers who feedback about the standard of training domestic helpers are provided with, Mr Teo had this to say, “We can teach them how to use a washing machine, but that doesn’t mean they will know how to use your washing machine, because it could be a different model.” However, due to the high compatibility between potential employers and maids, when asked about cases regarding runaway maids, as often read in the papers, Mr Teo said that such cases are far and between at the agency.
To prevent misunderstandings regarding chores, employers could list down daily/weekly tasks to be completed, and as detailed as possible, for the maid to follow accordingly. A copy for both employer and maid will ensure that no disputes would arise in future. Mr Teo also mentioned that in order for a mutually beneficial relationship to blossom between employer and domestic helper, there should be open communication and respect. For example, try to spend some time talking to the maid so she is aware that she can confide in you when situations arise, and not invading her privacy by checking her handphone or looking through her belongings. Even giving her ample time to rest, is a form of respect.
According to Freda Yeo, 35, mother of two boys – Christoper, 7 and Jonathan, 5 , and a satisfied client of Hyperlink Services, aligning expectations and mutual respect are two important factors in building a satisfactory relationship between employer and maid. With expectations being established from the beginning, tasks are clear and hence little room available for substandard performances. Beneath it all, treating each other with respect is the fundamental rule to co-existing peacefully.
To find out more about Hyperlink Services visit their website or call 6836 6471 or email [email protected]