25 February 2004

Featured Blog of the Day

Model Singaporean Employer

Ladies and gentlemen, no kidding.. Icepearlz takes great care to insist she is NOT a "model Singaporeans employer", by tabulating a calculus of all the nice things she's done for her ungrateful maid.

The model Singaporean employer was shocked that her maid had unreasonably asked to have every Sunday off! That her maid had the temerity to ask to be let out of her house from 8am to 7pm on Sundays, and from noon to 6pm on Saturdays! The horror! The betrayal of a previously trustworthy maid!

Since the maid said she wanted the long hours out on Sunday because of church activities, the model employer has decided to inform the pastor of the situation, to keep an eye and ensure that the maid is indeed doing what she is claiming...

Now, she claims the maid doesn't know what's best for her, that Icepearlz's the best and most liberal Singaporean employer who's treated the maid "the best I can given the circumstances", that she's in no way inferior to an expat employer.

Really? If the maid is indeed released from Icepearlz's contract in September, I would like to recommend her a Singaporean employer immediately. A certain teacher of mine is not very nice to his students (especially when they're deemed too dense for him), his colleagues (when they're deemed his intellectual inferiors), and even the leaders of this country (openly and publicly criticises their policies)... yet he's capable of treating his maids with more class than this employer will ever have.

Mr. X insists that his maid stop work by 6pm every weekday. Just cook the food, and he and the missus can heat up the stuff when they return from work. Maid is free to get out of the house, and is encouraged to get out of the house after work hours, provided she's back by 10. Saturday's a half day and she's free to go out and stay out, for the whole of Sunday.

Despite his eccentricities and attitudes towards others, Mr. X has his head screwed on correctly here. Because a maid is a contracted employee. Employees are allowed to GET OUT OF THE OFFICE after work hours. They are allowed to take ALL Sundays off, not just public holidays that come 10 times a year. It's a basic human right, I think, not to be imprisoned in your workplace after working hours. The last time I checked, what you do after working hours are your own business too.

No matter how much trinklets you throw at a maid ($400 PCs??? She eats the same food that we eat? She *can* order the same food we do when we eat out?), the fact of her imprisonment within your home, the loss of one of her most basic freedoms, will continue to weigh on her. Regardless of the nice PC you installed in her room. It's just like decorating a hamster cage...

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