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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Maid.

I never had a maid. My mum is very commendable in this aspect. She single handedly brought up 3 children on her own. We are 2 and 4 years apart respectively so while my youngest brother was just born, i must be 4 and my elder brother 6.

That was in the 80s. Today, there can be as many as 2 maids caring for 1 baby. With increasing demand for double income families, a house helper is not utmost necessity but it certainly helps lessen the load of stressed up parents. Double Income No Kids couples also hire weekend maids so they can have more sex and less house work on the weekends.

It lessens the squibbles over who does the ironing and washing when they can spend more time romancing. With the equality of sexes, women are fighting for equality in household chores.

My female friend complains that her husband never washes his own cup or do any washing at home. She is tired of cleaning up after him so one day she stopped. His cups soon pile up and clean cups soon ran out in the household. He still refused to wash them. There were no more cups to use and the couple played the waiting game.

Finally, the stubborn husband went to the provision shop and bought plastic cups.

At the same time my friend also gave up mopping the floor because she felt it wasn't fair that she has to do it all the time. The floor got so greasy and disgusting that her husband commented. She refused to start cleaning again and he would not lift a finger either. The couple also played the waiting game on mopping the floor.

Finally, the stubborn husband went to the provision shop and bought $2 slippers. He and She matching slippers.

This reminds me of the photo that went viral.

Found a very funny clip on this matter from The Noose. Michelle Chong is really good with her accents!

Whilst it is not fair to say that parents dump parenting responsibilities to the maids, i think it is fair to say we don't treat maids the way they should be treated.

We ought to be grateful and thankful to they who have made our lives easier.

It is quite a pitiful life to be honest. In our cramp HDB flats, most of them have a 6"x6" room with no windows. I remember once my parents considered moving to a condominium that only had 2 bedrooms and they joked about putting me in the maid room because 1 goes to my parents and the other go to my 2 brothers who would share.

I wanted to cry.

Surely there are bad sheep in the family. I've heard of horror stories like the maid leaving young children alone at home (very dangerous), moonlighting as a pole dancer in Orchard Towers etc. there was even a friend's maid who started smearing herself with dark soya sauce! So much so that Alvinology joked that these stories make for a horror movie The Maid 2. I found that very funny, i LOVE that movie, think its the best local horror film maid, i mean made.

While the law here protects maids from physical abuse, i find it absurb that employers are penalized if their maids fall pregnant. I feel as an adult, if she were to fall pregant because of her poor choice and ill decision then she will need to leave Singapore and it is a problem she would unfortunately need to solve between herself and her "boyfriend".

It shouldn't be made a law which has the repercussion of kiasee Singaporeans 'imprisoning' their maids! I have heard of employers who are afraid of their maids getting up to 'no good' while they are away on holiday and thus they do not leave house keys behind while they are overseas. What if there's a fire in the building???
Maid asked to clean windows.

There are some maids who trade their day off to earn more money. Though it is their choice, but i can't imagine working 365 days! We often joke about avoiding Little India on weekends and Lucky Plaza being Maid Central. I too think Orchard Road turns into Manila on Sundays but i see the excited happy faces in the MRT on a Sunday morning. If women have a need to speak 30,000 words a day, these maids accumulate 180,000 to be spoken on one day. No wonder the FAST SPEED CHATTER!

I peeped in once into the picnic basket of a maid on the MRT. I think it was a pot luck because she only had one dish. It was fried potato meat balls. Singaporeans should do picnics with friends more and watch less movies like The Social Network.

Maids can make employers exasperated at times. Being called 'stupid' is very common when they bought the wrong vegetables or brands. It is also true that it isn't easy to find a good maid, but that's the same even in the corporate world. Not every worker is a good worker. There are lazy ones, there are also those who have zero initiatives but do bosses scold them "stupid"? I bet you can go to Ministry of Manpower if that happens.
In India, male servants sleep on the kitchen floor. Maids in Singapore have a "better life", but still they eat leftovers of the family. I detest families who make their maids stand at the corner of the restaurant while they feast.

Oddly enough, my Indian friend who has his male maids sleeping on his kitchen floor back in India actually treats his maid here in Singapore superbly well. She eats with him at the table every evening. He even brought her over to England for his family when he had to relocate for work, increasing her salary and even giving her winter wear allowance. Unfortunately, she ran away when she arrived in England, possibly the temptation of better work opportunities. An ingrate, but understandable.

The point in writing this post is let's whine less about the foreign workers in Singapore but appreciate them who made our lives easier.


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