Monday, January 21, 2008

I'll give you S$2, you can keep the change

In this day and age, why do people still treat their maids like crap? I am so tired of hearing about it.

My Son's only friend, who bears the same name, has a Filipino caregiver who is probably going to incur a nett loss over the course of 2 years with her current employer, a housewife who shall remain unnamed because I don't know her name anyway. Woman has had a bad experience with a previous maid, and is obviously determined to work out all that psychological trauma by passing it on to her current one. So Dear Ms Son's Only Friend's Mother, when your current maid refuses to renew her contract with you after the 2 years are up, don't be asking people why you can't find someone who will stay with you longer than the minimum period. I have only 1 thing to tell you, and that is, if you wanted your home employee and principal caregiver to your 2 kids to renew her contract after the mandatory minimum period, then you should have fed her. Here's a tip:

1. If you insist on controlling the marketing budget to the last dollar, then you should budget to include, not exclude, food for the maid.

2. If she has nothing to eat, she will eat the cheapest thing she can find in the house, which would most likely be the instant noodles. However, if you prevent her from eating the instant noodles by obsessively counting and keeping track of the number of packets of instant noodles in your house, then you should also obsessively count your blessings that she has not eaten her hand or one of your kids by now. Forcing your maid through pure omission to run out and buy the cheapest microwaved buns from the minimart with her own money is such a class act I can't even begin to say.

And seriously, who the hell counts the instant noodle packets to make sure none are missing? 5 packets cost S$1.60, if you buy a good brand. Are you saving them up for a nuclear holocaust? Are you planning a trip to Mars? If feeding the extra person hurts your wallet so much, you shouldn't have purchased a condominium property in the East Coast. Or perhaps you shouldn't have hired a maid.

And if one day you should chance upon your maid eating food that you don't remember buying or asking her to cook, please don't ask her to share it with you because IT IS MY FOOD FROM MY KITCHEN AND I DON'T WANT TO SHARE IT WITH YOU.

In other news (and this is really quite surreal) my secondary school's long-awaited, long-planned reunion, which took 1 year to put together, which costs S$100 per person, which will be held in our non-airconditioned secondary school courtyard after 3 venue changes [and could we please sponsor the teachers S$100 per head to attend because the teachers cannot possibly afford to attend a party that is held in their place of work] - it is almost upon us and with every dawn the date draws ever nearer. There is less than 3 weeks to go before this historical event.

We have already planned to give the organiser a bouquet of flowers, a bottle of expensive wine and possibly a 3D/2N trip to Bintan in appreciation of her untiring efforts through 2007. As I write, the flowers are probably reaching full bloom in whatever European hothouse they are growing in, just about ready for cutting and shipment whereupon they will after a lifetime of growth and bloom, ultimately end up in the hands of a woman whom I consider to be a waste of space.

So it was quite a surprise for me to receive by email a request for an additional amount of S$8 to be paid for sponsorship of chairs. Make no mistake, it is S$8 per chair. S$100 for a ticket does not buy you a chair. It only buys you ... a ticket.

It has been one of my core beliefs, up till now, that when you buy a ticket to some kind of a dinner, that it would come with a chair on which you would perch your backside whilst you eat the overpriced overcooked food. Now that my very foundations have been shaken, I wonder what else could possibly be missing from the dinner arrangements. Do we need to pay extra for plates? Should we bring our own utensils? What about napkins? Is it pot luck? Should I bring dessert?

I feel a little bit sorry for the people who have taken the trouble to purchase gifts for the organiser, in anticipation of the opportunity to present it to her on stage. Because if she gets wind of this, we may be enundated by another series of emails asking for sponsorship of a stage.

17 Comments:

At 9:53 PM, Blogger gremlin said...

you're just not happy you didn't think of organising it yourself? ;p come on. it'd be fun. wet blanket, go ahead.

 
At 1:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other mother does not deserve a maid. In fact, she probably doesn't deserve to be human at all. I'm kind of pissed off about small people like that in Singapore, would just seriously hope that we would ban maids, given that it's probably high time parents have more responsibility with their own kids.

 
At 4:07 AM, Blogger The Mama said...

It's in the Chinese blood -- we're all about money, money, money

 
At 11:01 PM, Blogger Kierra said...

i've always hear stories like this. i think it's rather common that people count the no of instant noodle they've... i've a friend who's counting eggs, garlics, onion, potatoes and even her sanitary pads.

seriously, just what the fuck's wrong with this people.

=(

 
At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still don't understand how these people will have the maid come to the restaurant to feed their child and yet expect the maid to sit there and not eat. We saw this all the time when we were living in Singapore. But then not let them eat at home? What do they live on air?

 
At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Waverley said...

That was hilarious, $8 per chair ...

 
At 5:43 PM, Blogger Mei Del said...

i think the organiser of your shindig is the same woman who is your son's friend's mother.

 
At 11:10 AM, Anonymous mkwe said...

Ah, the stories I hear. Maids locked in all day when their "owner" is away, not allowed to talk to other maids, no days off for two years....

Truly, some Singaporeans seem to truly relish their role as slave owners.

 
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