Fdw Dear


Culture Gap

Customer is Always Right

Managing Stress

A Tale of Two Maids

Skills Equal Power

Skills Equal Power
maid power, that is

Dear FDW

A car with high horse power can run faster than one which does not. A man with more purchasing power can easily afford expensive luxury goods. A domestic worker who has a lot of maid power is better able to convince employer that she is worth a higher salary than a maid with less. Remember Elenita who had no problem getting little Johnny to finish his lunch before playing video games? She had more power than Lagiya who had a similar problem.

What is maid power? Maid power may be defined as the ability of a maid to perform her duties well. Among the items that would make up maid power are:

  • ability to take care of children catering to its physical, intellectual and emotional needs;
  • ability cook palatable meals;
  • ability to attend to the needs of an elderly person;
  • ability to take care of an invalid or frail, sickly person;
  • ability to attend to household chores such as washing & ironing, keeping the house clean, etc.

Generally, maid power is the ability to perform a task to the satisfaction of an employer or a prospective employer. A car's horse power is fixed, but its performance will decline as it gets older. A man's purchasing power can grow but it can run out, too. He can be rich one day and poor another day if he spends too much time gambling at the casino. A first-time maid's power can only grow if she is willing to learn. Learning never stops and even an experienced maid will benefit from learning more skills.

If you are a first-time domestic worker your income will rise as you master new or upgrade your present skills. If you are a first-time housemaid, you will probably have a lot to learn, many skills to acquire. Of course, you can only hope to be paid an average salary earned by most first-timers. However, your skills will multiply if you are willing to learn and your income will grow.

Instead of complaining that your work is hard or that your pay is low, put your energies into acquiring more skills. What is Madam's priority? Is it cooking or childcare? Whatever it is, should seek to improve your skills. You might think of your next 2 years in Madam's employ as on-the-job training (or OJT).

For example, let's say you are working for a retired couple whose children are all grown up and living on their own. Their priority will be cooking and a clean environment. Being retired they will probably stay home more and so there is less need for well-ironed clothes.

When working for a retired couple, you have to know their priorities. When working for a family with very young children, you must know what their needs are. To be successful as a childminder, you must understand children, what they like and what they don't. If you can give them what they like, you have the power to gain their co-operation. They will be more cooperative with you if you give them what they like: affection, entertainment, delicious meals or snacks.

If you have to take care of young children, you must try to understand how a child thinks and feels. You were a child once. When your teacher praised you, did you feel proud? When your parents gave you a hug, did you feel good? Did you enjoy story time in elementary school? If you can remember the happy events of your childhood, you will understand children better and be able to get along well with them. Start by creating for the children the situations that made you happy when you were a child.

Conclusion: A maid who increases her skills, gain more power: to gain a child's cooperation, to convince a prospective employer she deserves a higher pay.

Are you currently having some difficulty in your situation and would like to "talk about it"? Write to us; we will reply soonest possible.

Yours truly,

Karl Tan,
MOM Reg: R1105061