Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Maid With A Handphone. Good or Bad Idea?

BAD. Bad bad bad bad BAD BAD idea all the bloody way. There is honestly nothing good about it. Everybody knows the rule. When you have a maid, Rule #1 : Never to let them mingle amongst themselves. Rule #2 : Never, ever, let them own a handphone. Bad idea, bad bad bad idea.

Yes, I have always, always been against maids with handphones and my husband Aien knows that more than anyone. He knew about my stand long before we were even married. Hence, when my maid came along, we have always asked her to use our house phone instead. All she needs to do, is to let us know whenever she wants to make a call to her family, anytime at all, and we'll dial it for her, using the RedTone card we got her. This way it is much easier to monitor her call activities.

That is why, when my maid came to me just now and asked if she could own a handphone, I was dumbstruck. I did not know what to say. I looked at Aien, and we both ended up looking at each other, until finally, Aien broke the silence and told her we would think about it.

Now, why are we even considering? Let's see.

If we do not let her own a handphone, she might feel disturbed, and unsettled. She would think, oh, why can't I have one when the rest of the maids could have it?

Yes, you see, I have broken Rule #1. My maid have been mingling with other maids. It is, however, inevitable. Especially in my case. I see my in laws every so often, you see. So when we go to my PIL's, they have a maid -- with a handphone. And when we go to my SIL's, they too, have a maid -- with a handphone. So it is only natural for them to start talking, and one starts to point out, hey, why don't you ask your employer to get you a handphone? It is much convenient you see, you get to hang on the phone like a monkey all day, all night!

You see, this is the problem when maids start mingling. Yes, it is only natural for human to want to have companies, and mix and mingle. And I am not a cruel employer. I understand this perfectly, which is the reason why, I do not mind bringing her over to my in laws in order to let her stim out every now and then. But look. This is what happens. When you give a little freedom, just a little freedom, this happens. The more they meet, the more they talk, the more they start comparing, the more they demand!

Now, another option is, what if we do let her own a handphone?

Oh my, the possibilities.

You see, it is not that I do not trust my maid, but despite the positive progress she's been showing so far, I just can't shake off the uncertainties in me. One call is all it takes for anything to happen. Just one call.

I might have read and listened too much, but most of the cases involving maids nowadays happened because of the bloody handphone. I am not saying that handphone is the only cause for things to happen, but having a handphone makes things easier to happen. With the headphone, a maid can do a whole lot more. She may start making contacts and gather her network, she may call a stranger and invite him into the house, she may start hanging by the phone and neglecting her work (or worse, neglecting the baby while busy hanging on the phone), she may skim a plot even easier now that the phone is easily accessible, and a whole lot more!

Frankly, I am not a big fan of allowing maids to own a phone. Besides, I can't see the rationale why they, especially my maid, need a phone when I have specifically told her to use the house phone at anytime that she wants! All she needs to do is tell me! Lain lah kalau I forbid her to use the phone at all. If that happens, boleh lah kata I kejam ke apa kan. But no, I kasik dia pakai the house phone. Siap remind dia berkali-kali lagi suroh call her hometown each time. But she never did. Why, segan? Then is it my fault yang u segan nak tanya I? And now you're asking me for a handphone? For what? Privacy? What on earth do you want to talk about that you need privacy for? And all of this are made worse, especially when the employer (that would be me) is not around!

Seriously. I can't find any reason why I should let her own a handphone, except for the fact that if I don't, she will definitely feel uneasy and offended with us.

Aien thought we could consider letting her own a handphone, just for the sake of having a handphone. On 2 conditions, however. One, we keep the phone. Whenever she wants to use it, she will have to ask for it from us, and then return it back to us once she's done. Two, she can only make calls once for each week.

So now, I'm again, in dilemma. Do I break Rule #2 and let her own the handphone? Or should I stand by my stand, and keep her away from the dreaded device? And if I do, what reason should I give her?

-- ** update ** --

Hi everybody! Thanks all for your concern, advices, and ideas. Really appreciate it. My husband and I have talked, and we have mutually agreed not to let the maid have the handphone for many reasons. we have yet to tell this to her, but we will soon. However, if she insists on having one, we will get her one, on the conditions as mentioned earlier. Thanks all again for your generous advices and suggestions, they really helped! ;)

Ps : Will keep all of you updated once we have the big talk with our maid! Wish us luck! ;)


kunaz said...

thara, b4 kunaz amik maid pn kunaz n hubby dh sama2 stuju xkn allow maid ade henfon. N akan allow dia pakai house fon sbulan skali utk call family dia. Tp ape yg jd was the other way round. 2nd night dia kat rumah our maid asked my hubby cane nk charge henfon sambil tunjuk hp kt tgn. Tlopong ktorg ok time tu, x expect dia dh ade henfon. so xkn la kami nk jd kejam nk rampas henfon dia kn. Huhu

amirah said...

Hmmm,tough situation huh..for her case, owning a handphone is just a desire, not like she basically needs that since you already gave her the freedom to use the house phone at no cost. I see more disadvantages here.

Tapi kalau tak kasi, buatnya dia mogok tamau keje baik2 payah pulak kan. aydein pulak jadi mangsa geram nanti. so,my bet is, let her own one, tapi restrict her usage. for example, bagi dia hp waktu malam je,lepas you n aein dah balik keja. then esok pagi pulangkan balik. tell her you can always monitor her calls and messages by checking with the provider.(maxis celcom digi etc). biarla dia takut sikit nak plan yang pelik2..

just a lil a bit of my humble opinion..=))

bintie said...

byk kebarangkalian r akn berlaku.
my nenek maid, ade hp, then bley die call luo, utk plan rompak etc sme.
so konon2 die teraniaya. skali bl siasat pune siasat, mmg die pune kj.
die nk benti, tp die nk amik brg2 berharga dulu, then br benti.

kes ke 2, pak uda maid plak...bile pak uda n mak uda keluar, die gayut kat tepon umah...sakan ok! dh x dulik ank2 yg nk kene jg. pas2, siap plan nk kuo jln2...dgn jantan ok.miang sungguh. pas2 start bwk blk umh.

so tah r erk...rs x pyh kot nk bg hp kat maid.

RuZaNNa said...

Oh babe.. this is a tough one.. seriously i've thought about it as well.. not because my maid asked for it.. but i feel sorry for her that she can't call her children as often as her husband does (fyi, her husband works in bali, so the kids are taken care fully by the grandparents).. as a mother i rasa kesian as i know she must miss her daughters a lot..
So i asked her about it.. and i was surprised when she said she don't need it as having one will cause her more money to maintain the line.. mmglah best she said.. but then, she will use more of her salary to make calls rather than keep them and send the money back for her children..
We're like you too.. allow her to call kampung every month.. but i told her if she wants to call her husband and aunty, just let me know and i will definitely allow her.. Alhamdulillah she obeys it..
But i do agree that when she start minggling with other maids with more 'freedom' she will start demanding.. but seriously, if i were to give a hp to my maid, i will also allow her to use at night and during the day i will keep it just to make sure she's not distracted while taking care of my son...
Maybe we should meet and let our maids minggle around so we wont break rule no1 tuh.. aydein and imran can play together as well :)


owh dear..I tak boleh nk comment lebih..no experience about this..

only thing, time I sewa rumah dulu..area tu ramai maid, and most of them ade handphone..
so bila I cuti ada kat umah, selalu tgk diaorang call each other ajak lepak kt bawah..
worst things ada maid tu siap ada 2 phones, and dia punye gayut smp bdak2 yg dia jaga tu duk main2 kat tepi jalan..tk kisah..
and worst things, this maid selalu aje duk lepak kat bwh bawak2 anak kecik main kat even as early as 10 -11 am..I tak tahulah bila maid tu kemas rumah..plus, selekeh yg amat bdak2 tu..my sister selalu ckp, anak yg dia jg tu mcm anak dia tau..bkn anak tuan dia..

so I suggest better not allow!

RedApple said...

dont allow...and talk properly to her.
your husband must be firm.
as for u....just be frienly and firm sometimes..


Thara, what if... u give her the hand phone but you keep it.
meaning that, She wants a handphone..yes she can get it (like u said why maid lain boleh ada hp kan).. but she will only be allowed to use it at certain time of course with your supervision. Hmmm.. boleh pakai ke idea i ni? hehehehe.. tetiba terpikir..

wani zakaria said...

my maid ade phone. family die SELALu call and tak sampai setahun die kerja dengan i, dah 3 kali mintak balik indon. i am really2 frustrated!!!

on the other hand, my aunty pernah baling hphone maid dia kat dinding sampai terburai xboleh guna, maid dia elok je keja dah 7 tahun.

hmm. i'd say NO to handphone too!! (tapi xsampai hati)

worryfather said...


I think it is very difficult to disallow her to have a handphone.
Don't let her to have one, doesn't mean no problem at all.

I think you need to set some rules with her when you allow her to have one.

You have your cctv to monitor her, right?

If she broke the rules and committed some serious mistake, then you can fire her.

Nadine said...

Oh babe..dilemma betul kan? tp I pun tak tau nak comment about it since I tak pernah ade maid. Tp I setuju sgt when u said the problem started when maid start mingling. Cause I've seen that's what happened to my aunt's maid. Dulu ok je, bila start campur ngan maid lain mula la dia rebel. *sigh*

I hope whichever decision u buat, its the best for both parties. Slamat berpuasa, Thara! :)

Cherie said...

you know what your wise opah would do if she knew you're considering a mobile for your maid after what happened to hers? well let me enlighten you.

1. she will wake me up at 5 am and make me dial your parents' number and give them a long lecture about it.

2. then she will make me ring paksu and repeat the same lecture.

3. next will be paklang, repeating the same lecture and probably adding a few more along the way.

4. lastly, she will make me call you and tell you about the severity of your decision of granting your maid a mobile.

5. you'll end up with an acute migraine.

Thara said...

hi everybody! thanks all for your concern, and advices, and ideas. really appreciate it. my husband and i have talked, and we have agreed to not to let the maid have the handphone for many reasons. we have yet to tell this to her, but we will soon. however, if she insists on having one, we will get her one, on the conditions as mentioned earlier. thanks all again for your generous advices and suggestions, they really helped! ;)

kunaz :
oh no, really? so how now? is everything ok so far?

amirah :
everything u said is true and i'll do exactly just that. we'll try however to try all our might to avoid her from having one. but kalau dia insist nak jugak jugak, baru give her the hp with all the conditions. thanks babe for chipping in your idea! :)

bintie :
yeah, hps are tiny little dangerous thing especially pada kaum derange ni. tanak kasik, tap serbe salah pulak. tapi i berpegang pada apa my sister ckp lah, "jgn u sebok nak jaga hati maid u sgt, sampai u sendiri susah"

anne :
good for u! i pon wasn't prepared for this! i expected this to happen at the back of my head, but wasn't prepared for this day to come! sighs. kesian tu mug kesian babe. tp satu, she's a divorcee. nak ckp dgn anak, perlu ke pakai handphone? betol tak? ini case nk menyembang dgn member ni, im sure. tu yg i kurang berkenan sket tu. byk tak berkenan sebenarnya!

Thara said...

nadia :
itu la pasal. those are the same cases i always hear. salah satu reasons why i tanak kasik phone pd my maid. takeout jadik mcm gitu lah. haihs. derang ni mmg takleh kasik pea, nak betis! ive made my decision not to allow babe, but we'll see how things go nanti. wish me luck!

redapple :
thanks, redapple. we'll do exactly just that. wish me luck!

nuurill :
babe, ive thought long and hard. and we've decided to only do that only if she insists on having one jugak. selagi bole avoid, kitorang akan avoid. tapi kalau dia insist jugak2, baru kasik and give her all the conditions as well. harap2 dia change her mind and tapayah ada satu lah!

wani :
oh no, really? see, this is one of the cases i don't like to hear! masalah tau bile derang mula dah berckp. jadik mcm ginny. all sorts of excuses! i terpaksa kuatkan hati babe, buat kebaikan sendiri. however, like i said, kalau dia insist jugak, terpaksa la kasik, with the conditions mentioned.

Thara said...

worryfather :
ure right, but letting her own one, is like making things even much easier for her! we'll try to reason with her as much as we can not to allow her to have any, but we will have to give in if she insists and will need to give one to her, along with the conditions. and cctv monitoring. :) thanks for the input!

nadine :
yes, twas my mistake to let her mingle with the other maids! but like i said, its inevitable la babe. susah, pasal kaum derang ni, bersepah2 mana2 pon ada! sighs. thanks babe. im gonna try to convince her not to have one. but if she insists, we will have to give her one, with all the conditions. oh, happy fasting to u too!

cherie :
haha okay, i get the idea! i know ok? i knew it all along! tapi masalahnya, i dunno what reason i should give her should she questions me back, why? what do i say? what valid reason should i give her? and what about her feelings? misti dia take puas hati punya weh. and what worries me the most, is what she will do to aydein when im not around bcoz of this! sighs. sakit otak wei. thanks for the reminder tho. much appreciated! ;)

kunaz said...

ok pengalaman kunaz la ni ek. since my maid dh ade henfon since day 1 dia masuk keje, kunaz xley nk compare la better ade or xde henfon. dh mmg ade tu, instead of ktorang jd zalim rampas henfon dia, ktorg try manage that situation, and alhamdulillah so far so good la. at times rasa ade baiknye plak, sbb kdg2 time tgh2 miting kunaz akan sms dia pesan itu ini. n my maid pakai prepaid. tiap bln dia kasi duit kt ktorg suh bli topup. xpn potong gaji trus. maid kunaz 1st time keje kt msia, so xde kwn2 lg kt sini. dia gune hp utk sms anak2 dia jek. anak2 dia sgt manje dgn dia, so biarlah. janji buat keje ok.

in case la thara decide to let ur maid own a hp, make sure buat syarat kaw2 nye lah. tp, slagi bleh, try takyah kasi dulu lah. i'll do the same way kalo my maid xde hp from the beginning. huhu...

Anonymous said...

Hi Thara,

I have a philipino maid too. The first day she come to work, she already requested for phone. She have a phone but was taken by the agency because its rule not tohave one. I was so in dilemma too. She request to take back her phone from the agency. My husband called the agency and say no. Its just the first day, we dont even know whether she trustable or no. We said no and waited 6 months. She kept pestering me, not my hubby. She looks quite ok wt her work performance. My husband gave her his old errickson phone to use with her own simcard of course. She complained that the phone difficult to use. So want to buy a cheap nokia pulak. So, we said ok. Its just a basic phone just to send sms n calls. After a while she said she wants a better phone which has camera. I told her, u can have one but never send picture of my child to anybody. Lucky around my housing, no philipina maids so she never have chance to mingle. We handle her quite ok because i will send her to my in laws with my 2kids everyday. Sometime she request to just stay at home but i will never take the risk. Recently she knew about facebook from her relatives and sister. I am so surprise, she even have a facebook account now. But of course i monitor them closely.
This is my first time having maid, so didnt really know how to face their demands. We r just lucky that nothing serious happen. I am easily bullid person and younger then her too. Sometimes she show faces to me. But i just ignore it. Just have to be a bit firm and speaks your mind to her if she is behaving weired.

Her contract is gong to finish in september 2012.
My advise will be, never let them have phone at the first place. Like u said, even if she have one u have to keep it and allowed her to use only onece a week at night after she finish her work. Set a rule is easier.:-)