Does Experience Make for a Better Maid?

It depends on what one means by better.


In the domestic situation, experience is not necessarily equated with quality, for quality is such a subjective concept. Much depends on what the employer is looking for in a domestic worker. Is the employee to be a mother's helper assisting Madam in housework and childcare generally? Or is she to replace Madam in the home while she is at work or business or is otherwise occupied?

The relevant question really should be when is a less experienced foreign domestic worker preferrable to one with long experience.

Generally speaking, an FDW with long experience should be more competent and efficient, but also more "independent". While this may be desirable, it may result in the FDW making questionable decisions without first consulting the employer or considering her preferences.

For example, employers have complained that their FDW after 10 years with a large 3-generation family, tend to cook too much for their small nuclear family. What she has learnt she finds it hard to unlearn and she may take much time to adjust to the new family.

A relatively inexperienced FDW's major weakness is her lack of skill. As a result she is less confident and in extreme cases she may lack initiative because she is diffident. Instead she will wait for her employer to tell her what to do. This can be irritating to some, but at least her employer does not have to worry about her doing something against her employer's expectations.

A working mother would do better to employ someone who can function in her absence, when she is about her profession or business or travelling. A greenhorn would not do for her, for she cannot be calling home from whereever she is to guide her FDW. Or would Madam put up with the hassle of ferrying the maid and the children to and from Grandma's house where she will be under the old lady's supervision.

A hands-on stay-at-home mom can better tolerate a diffident first-time FDW who, until she learns the ropes a few months later, has to be told what to do. Being less confident, she is not likely to consciously do things contrary to Madam's expectation or wishes. Employers who themselves have less confidence would probably find a first-timer less troublesome.

We are merely touching the surface here. Visit our case studies for the things that can go wrong when one employs a wonder maid whose attitude may not be so wonderful. Our case studies also include one or two where things went on very well year after year.