So today while I was mid convenience shop…. what did I see, but a cheeky 4/5 year old (I can only guesstimate…) being cheeky and moving yogurt around as staff stacked the shelves in my local market in repulse Bay. What does his nanny/helper do? She slaps him (hard) on the head with a box of Cheerios. Then she caught me looking at her and walked away. At the tills while I’m paying, she turns around (in front of everyone) and hits him sooo hard on his arse for grabbing a box of g-d knows what that was on special, and she catches my eye again. This time, I had to say “I know your face and I NEVER forget a face”. Not one person, in four queues breathed …. I mean…. if his mother was there this shit would not be happening.
I’m not ashamed to say that I have cameras in my house. I check them every so often when I leave. I have small babies who can’t say “that fkin bitch slapped me” or” she gave me a pinch when no one was watching”. Not because Im in Hong Kong and I’m some privileged snob (the opposite…we are skint and this place is fkin expensive).
When we lived in the UK, we did the same. Why be stupid? These are our children! If I left a million pounds on my coffee table, I would guard that with my life. my kids have no money on their heads because they are invaluable. I wanted to hit this silly fkin bitch today. She’s hurting/being mean to that child and I can say that but how do you stop and scream in front of a whole supermarket at some dickhead who clearly does not give a shit who sees her? There were loads of people who witnessed it…and yet no one but me (with my stupid dumbarsed words) said something. Im really fkd off today. Again… I didn’t step up to the plate. if his Mum was there, she wouldn’t have done it. That’s bad enough for me. If that was my child, I would have killed her. Being mean and spiteful is very different to “losing it”. She saw my face, felt a tiny bit of shame for being caught, then did it again. He didnt even react which means (in my eyes) she does it often. Bitch.
It would be wise to use an agency, someone referred to you through a friend, search Asiaexpat.com or GeoExpat.com. As a Mum of Twins, get recommendations from your Twins club, or join Hong Kong Mothers of Multiples Organization (MoMs) http://moms-hongkong.com. This is a great group to join if you are new to Hong Kong (and need a shoulder to lean/cry/moan on). They will be an invaluable sounding board for you and a pool of information. Use them and join up if you haven’t already done so!!
Be diligent and read between the lines! Check references (I mean you’re stupid not to), ask lots of questions and dig deep into their backgrounds. You don’t want any of their debts/loans, families with illnesses, emergencies back home, out all night party girls, living in your home (unless you wanna party with them). When you have children involved, be sensible. Babies can’t defend themselves or tell you they were left alone for hours in their own shit while you were out doing a much-needed “Coffee morning”.
Some Helpers will lie and say the reason you can’t contact the family they last worked for is because they have (a) gone home (b) didn’t need them any longer as the kids had grown up (c) had a fall-out which was entirely the family’s fault and nothing to do with the helper. If the Helper was ANY good, a family would be more than happy to give a reference for an ex-employee. If a Helpers contract was terminated and you can’t get hold of their previous employer, I would take this as a very bad sign.
Our first Helper (chosen by “The Captain”) was shit. Out partying until 5am (passing out in her bed with full make up on to start her working day in a mini-skirt and “panada eyes” from not washing the previous nights make-up off. She didnt cook (which is fine as I love to) and she was a miserable cow. The entire atmosphere in our apartment was depressing as hell. Fine if it was just me, but not when I have two very small babies to look after and someone with a face like a slapped arse. She had loads of boyfriend troubles too, despite having three kids and a so-called husband back in the Philippines. We fired her after 4 months and wish we hadn’t been pussies and done it much sooner. End of.
Our second Helper (chosen by Me) seems to be lovely (thus far) and I’m actually considering adopting her (even if she is 15 years older than me).
PS. ALWAYS trust your instincts. If someone sounds too good to be true, or can cook “French Cuisine”, they’re probably full of shit. We learnt this the hard way.