Thursday, January 24, 2008

To share or not to share

Was just commenting to my friend Hw, the other day about our helpers. Everytime m-i-l cooks her delicious "treasures pot" (a hotpot with loads of goodies like dried oysters, sea cucumber, abalone, fish maw, mushrooms, fatt choy, etc), our helpers will conveniently forget to serve it. And if they do, they will just serve out a small portion of it. Why? Because they love to eat it. There was once, we realised that none of us had any of the sea cucumbers coz they had them all!!!

My friend's comment was: I dont share these things with my help. Sorry, I work hard for my money, so I enjoy my goodies myself. As long as I provide them with a decent balanced meal, they cannot complain.

True! But, in my home, m-i-l does not feel good telling the helpers that they are not to eat certain things. They are free to help themselves to all of the food. But, I feel that they have gotten a little out-of-hand. I have even seen them helping themselves to m-i-l's chicken essence soup, even before any one of us has had any! In fact, the only food they do not touch are those that have pork in it. M-i-l is so accomodating that she tries not to cook pork so often, so that the helpers can eat everything that we have. But do you know, they have even pinched "bak hoo" (pork floss) before!

I feel, enough is enough! Sharing with them is one thing, but I think they have gone over-board. They have too much food to eat, that they sometimes refuse to eat left-overs. It accumulates, and accumulates, and get thrown away eventually! As a result, I am very tempted to tell m-i-l to add in a huge piece of seo bak (barbeque pork) into her treasures pot when she cooks it for the reunion dinner.

So, what do you think? To share or not to share?


Sweetiepie said...

Dn't share it.They don't have the rights to eat someone food without being offer.To me that's rude.

AG said...

Hmmmm...when my mum has a maid, we share everything. Like your household, we let them eat what they want. And during the special occasions like reunion dinner, the maid will also eat at the same table and share the same food. That way, everyone gets to eat everything, including the helper.

bp said...

I've been there before (back home), know what you mean. We would take our help to eat out with us, and would go to the extent of ordering non-pork dishes, and the restaurant owners thought we were plain ridiculous. There were times too when I would be the one to eat last, because I was running after Jon so much, and my MIL had to more than hint to our maid that she should at least help to watch him, since we were all dining out together.

Do what your heart says, it's hard I know, because we also want the help to feel that they are a part of the family.

NomadicMom said...

Alamak...acutally typed a very long comment..donno why it disappeared.

My take? NOT to share... can you imagine your helper makan the whole box of GODIVA CHOCOLATES before you even get to eat a single piece? Mana boleh??

Or one whole chicken, and the helpers take the drumsticks and wings...leaving you with the back and neck??

Giving the helpers some goodies to eat is ONE thing. They help themselves before you guys even eat is Another leh.
Cannot. Cannot. Must tell your helpers off lah...

I also hate it when the helpers become toooooo choosy about food, and refusing to eat leftovers etc.

I don't mean ill-treat them...but must they mustn't be treated TOO well. Sure climb over your head one..

mott said...


TELL your MIL! Not to sound so de-humanising or what..but it IS your hard earned money that bought those goodies ok.

I mean, it's not like you're starving them!


Iml said...

To have enough to portion out to all the diners including helper equally.

Judy said...

Sharing is a blessing but sometimes people can abuse our kindness.

My mum used to make sure our maids serve us the dishes and set aside some for them as they ate after we finish our dinner.

Our maids though were very good and if they saw us enjoy a certain dish so much, they will take out the portion that was saved for them to give us kids.

I suppose it is a give and take thing but I think in your m-i-l's case, her helpers have abused her kindness. Difficult one.

eastcoastlife said...

Your mil is too kind! Walau let them eat sea cucumbers, abalone and fish maw!

I'm good to my helper. I'm accommodating. I try not to cook pork or order pork dishes when we eat out. She can cook and eat what she likes, BUT there are things that she cannot take without my permission.

I have my house rules. We share our food, no one is allowed to eat first before everyone is at the table. We also keep the share for anyone who would be late for dinner.

No wasting of food. If leftovers is not finished, cannot cook new dishes. I expect my helper to have the courtesy to let me try first whenever I buy new type of food.

Cannot pamper the helper too much. When you see how the Indonesian madams treat their maids, you will know we Singaporeans treat them too kind.

Bkworm said...

I have yet to have the privilege of having hired help at home. If I ever have such an opportunity, I may have difficulty drawing that line coz I am not the type to order people around but if one doesn't exercise some authority, one may be taken for granted. Dilemma. In your case, it does look like things may be getting a little out of hand. Nothing wrong with sharing your blessings but they, too must know their limits.

stay-at-home mum said...

Hi sweetiepie
Its difficult. M-i-l believes that if we treat them well they will work well too. We try to share everything we have with them.

Hi ag
Thats what we do to. But I feel that they have gone overboard.

Hi nomadicmom
At my home, the maids dont even eat the neck and feet. We dont even buy them! And if there is, usually m-i-l and me would eat it, coz we kinda enjoy it once in a while.

stay-at-home mum said...

Hi mott
Ya lor! I tell her that sometimes but she usually says - never mind la. But this time, I think she is giving my suggestion a thot.

Hi iml
We dont apportion food coz its mainly communal dining here. Also, everyone has their favourites - so its kind of free for all!

stay-at-home mum said...

Hi Judy
I really think they have abused her kindness. She cooks for them to eat most of the time, and even helps them out with the ironing when they struggle with clearing it. I think she does more work then them. I always have to remind her to let the help do the work!!

Hi ecl
We started off with the same house rules as you. But somehow over time it is forgotten. Too Familiar now!

stay-at-home mum said...

Hi bkworm
Sometimes I dont think it is a priviledge to have help at all but that is another story.

Yes, it is good to share but like I said, i think they have gone overboard. I usually let m-i-l decide on most things with the helpers, and I play the devils advocate = just to remind her.

Jenny said...

Hi all! Our family's food is also the helper's food. Some helpers are so thick skinned not to appreciate that we have the same food, they eat the expensive things we are eating. So we try to be the ones to ladle the good soup and good food for us first. We leave the leftovers for them, if there are any. If not, they can have the less expensive food. But there are some food that they CANNOT touch.