Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Our Maids - Part IV

Nowadays it is very difficult to get maid in Brunei. What more if we would like to get a good maid. We have contacted 6 agents to look for a maid. Thank God we started looking for the maid in December.

Again we are back to the question - Fillipino or Indonesian? We decided we will not go for Cambodian as we heard that they are rough with children. When I first contacted the agents, none of them have any bio data. Most of them recommended Indonesian. So, we decided to go for Indonesian. I gave them my phone no and requested them to call me once they have bio data, but none of them contacted me.

Two weeks later, I called some of the agents. There are some bio datas with some of the agents but they are like hot cakes! No wonder none of the agents call me. Since the process takes at least 1 month and it seems like alot of my friends have difficulties in looking for a maid, I have to make sure I follow up very closely with them.

A week later, 2 of the agents faxed a few biodata for us to view. We received about 5 biodatas to choose from. But out of the 5, 4 of them don't have experience in looking after children. One of them was recommended by the Indonesian agent for family with young children, although she doesn't has experience in taking care of children.

We decided to go for our current maid because:

1. She has experience in looking after the children
2. She has 7 years working experience as a domestic helper - 2 years in Singapore; 5 years in KL
3. She is a Christian and most of the others are Muslim - In Brunei, non Muslims are not allowed to hire Muslim maid (but usually the agent will not declare them as Muslim)
4. Besides Malay, she can speak simple English and Chinese (Mandarin and Hokkein)

From her biodata, she looks like a capable person as she served 5 adults and 3 children when she was working in KL. The only thing our concern at that time is she looks older than her age. Shes 35 but looks more like 45. Before we confirmed her, we interviewed her through yahoo and we would be able to see through a webcam. From the webcam, she doesn't look as old as her photo.
We interviewed her for about 20m and we decided to take her as she understands us pretty well.

Before they could process, we need to cancel our previous maid permit. With that they need a flight ticket for my previous maid. After cancelling her permit, she can only stay for another month and the process of applying a new maid takes 1 month, if the agent is good. We are so worried about the timing.

Agent fee for applying an Indonesian maid has increased from B$450 to B$850. Almost double! Before they process, we paid B$850 and when the maid arrives, we paid another B$1,700 being her advance salary of 7.5 months. Paying $1,700 is the most expensive advance among all the other agents.

I called the agent after 2 weeks, to check on the process. She told me there's no feedback from the Indonesian agent and she has been following up with them. If the whole process takes 1 month, and upon her arrival the agent here will sent her for 1 week training. It also means that I will not have her on time, ie. when my maid left.

Our initial plan was to get a temporary maid from the agent, as we thought the maid will not arrive on time. It was then later we found out that those temp maids are rejected maids. The other reason is we are afraid Samuel and Jesse will feel insecure everytime we change maids.

3 days before our maid left, the agent called. We were so glad that the maid is finally here, but she will be sent for 1 week traning. I told her to check with her trainer during the training and I will call her back 3 days later.

3 days later ie. the day my previous maid is leaving, she called me. She asked if i want her on that day. She told me so far, she is ok. She understands what they requested her to do and she is also a cheerful person. After discussion with daddy, we decided to take her on that day.

When we were in the agent's office, there were few other maids. While we were there, one of the maids was being interviewed. She was a problematic, rejected maid. She said that she doesn't like being scolded. And she was very rude when she talks. No wonder she has changed 5 bosses in the past few months.

The agent brief our maid again on the rules and regulations, before we bring her home. We are really glad that she came on time. Jesse has fever and diahrrea for 6 days after the previous maid left. While recovering, daddy is down with flu. Eventhough, I have prepared to be a full time mother without maid for 2 weeks, I don't think I can managed without a maid. God knows what is best for us.


slavemom said...

Wah, so hi tech can interview via the net. That's really good, at least u can see n talk to her (get a rough 1st impression of her) b4 asking her to come.

Anonymous said...

The agent fees that you have paid is too expensive, I usually paid $400-$600 for agent fees and $600 for 3 mths advance salary of the maid. Which total up to $1-1.2K. Better becareful with agents, some of them will ask you to pay again when u want to swap with new maid.

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