Monday, March 24, 2008

Blessing in Disguise?

Since I discovered that I lost my "S" ring last week, we found out so much more.

When we mentioned my lost ring to my current helpers, they decided to tell us the WHOLE story. Things began to fall into place for them and for us, and as a result, we have decided to take some action that will protect the family.

Here's what they told us:

Ex maid has been calling very often to ask if "Mam" has asked about any lost things? (Why would she be asking them that question if she is not guilty).

Current help told us that ex maid mentioned that she was the one responsible for my 3 tyre punctures. (Remember my post entitled Jinxed in Nov 2007?). She wanted us out of the house for longer periods of time, so she could get up to her nonsense!

MIL confessed that she has lost more jewels - a diamond ring, a diamond pendant, etc.

Current help said that she was showing off to them the amount of money she had in her bank account - some $13000!! And all those jewels she has been wearing - she looks like a christmas tree. How on earth did she get so much money? Even if she never spent a single cent while working for us, there was no way she could amass so much money.

They also mentioned that ex maid said that if we had not signed the form for her to ICA (when she was applying to marry a Singaporean) she would have burned our house down! (How vicious can someone get?)

They have also mentioned that she keeps telling them that working in our household was no good, too much work, and that they should go work in Taiwan where more money was paid. But ex maid has been telling MIL that she wants to come back to work for us, once she got married. If it is that Bad, why does she want to come back here? So she can steal more?

We have noticed cases of "sabotage" like childrens new clothes gone missing - (which current help suspects she stole), pots corroded due to some substance put on it (looks like some clorox substance and it has been intentionally put), never used side doors that has suddenly become unlocked. Even told current helpers that when things are lost Mam will only grumble for a few days, and than that will be the end of it. (Is she instigating them to steal, coz it means tolerating a few days of grumbling and they will be better off?)

Current help also mentioned that she took picture of the inside of the house when we were out. Also, she mentioned to current help that if she wants to do "Kong tow" (put a spell/ cast a voodoo) on anyone of us, it was very easy, our photo albums are easily assesible!! Now we even suspect that she could have been involved in the house break-in (my post entitled: crime in the area in July 2007).

What have we done to deserve this? We had treated her and her sister so well. When her sister wanted to come here to work, we went thru all the trouble to make the necessary arrangements, and applied everything personally so that she did not have to pay any agents fee. We were inconvenienced, but we thought that if we could help them, why not? After working for less than a year, both sisters wanted to go home on home leave, and we allowed it. Even paying for their air tickets home. (In most cotnracts for domestic helpers, if you do not finish a two year contract, dont even think of going home!)

They were helpers who ate everything that we ate (pork excepted), even the expensive delicacies. MIL did most of the cooking, even cooked for them to eat. They did not have to look after any of my kids. They did not even have to wash milk bottles or boil water for making milk, all which I did myself. When the kids messed up, we did not even call them to clean or pack up after them, we cleaned up after the kids ourselves. We even clean up the dining table after each meal, they only have to wash the dishes. Many times, they even have their dinner before we do!!

They only did cleaning, washing and ironing (then again, even the better clothes, I hand washed myself or it went to the dry cleaners!!). Who has ever heard of Indonesian helpers who got 2 off days a month? Well, the ex maid had that priviledge! (And the current ones too!)

Now that we have realised how vicious she can get, we have decided to take some precautions. We have changed our padlocks. If she calls, we will tell her not to come anymore - the problem is she always drops by unannounced, at a time when MIL and I are not home - that's part of the problem. She knows our schedule so well, she knows when we are home and when we are out!! Even the current helpers are worried, and asked what can be done to prevent her from coming. They are so afraid they will be framed for her evil doings.

But, I think the loss of my ring may have been a blessing in disguise, coz now we know the real her. We have always trusted her, but unfortunately it looks like we have been betrayed BIG TIME. We are now able to take the necessary action to prevent it from happening again. We are more alert to things that could and may happen. We are more cautious. It has also made us more suspicious, which may not be a good thing. In fact, I hope it has not made me lose the trust in our current helpers, coz what have they done to deserve it?

Short of moving house (which is out of the question) I am not sure what else we can do!!


Ling That's Me said...

dont we feel betray of trust when the maid did such thing behind our back? sigh....we trusted them so much yet we suffer no matter hw good we are to them. this is so unfair!

bp said...

Oh my, so much unearthed, and all those many incidents explained now -- you're right that the loss of the ring is a blessing in disguise! I'm glad that the current maid opened up to you, and your MIL too can see for herself that the ex maid is really very "lee hai"!

I know what you mean about going the extra mile to treat our domestic help like family. But with this ex maid, you're definitely doing the right thing to take all the precautions you can get! Take care, SAHM, and because you don't know when she'll come a-calling, think better keep every valuable under lock and key.

It's probably hard to find proof of her misconduct/thefts, but if you do, I'll say report her to the police.


stay-at-home mum said...

Hi Ling and BP
We have taken the stand that as long as none of us have been hurt, we will close an eye on the incidents, coz we have absolutely no proof - even tho current helpers say that they are willing to testify what she has said to the police. Loss of material things - that we can buy back. I am of the view, that every dog/man will have his day and just rewards. We just have to be more alert and careful with our things and the children. We have not done anything wrong, so I believe God will watch over us.

Iml said...

Glad to hear of your positive comments. Yes, every man has it's day.

mumsgather said...

Loss of material things are bad enough but I think you must feel really hurt and betrayed to have your trust and someone whom you treated well going behind your back like that. Sigh. Maybe thats why ppl always say, don't treat them too nice as they won't appreciate it. Sigh again. I'm sorry you have to go through this. Apart from changing your padlocks you should try to change your schedules a bit so that she can't drop by unexpectedly.

bp said...

Amen to that! I like your stand, and like you, I believe too, that it's more blessed to give =).

GarGies said...

It's rather unbelievable all of you had trusted her so much! Maybe I'm too paranoid, I don't think I will put so much trust in a maid.

If I were in your shoes, I would put a webcam, in the entry or exit points.

And I would have called her to tell her she's exposed and not to do anymore funny things or come uninvited, else I would make a police report to get to her.

Don't let her think you guys are so easily bullied.

Take care, warmest regards.

stay-at-home mum said...

Hi mumsgather
you know some schedules just cant be changed, like sending the kids to and from school?

Hi Gargies
Now thinking back we also wonder why we trusted her that much.
We cant call her, as this smart lass, called my helper last week to say she was changing her phone number coz she had some problems with it. How timely, not??

Hi iml, bp, and fellow bloggers.
Yes, we have decided to let the episode pass. There's nothing left that we can do on this end. So let bygones be bygones. And pray for the best now and hope nothing bad happens anymore,

Jonzz said...

There is a serious lesson to be learned from this.

I think you should take preventive measures to avoid such future happenings. Simple things like locking away your precious belongings in a safe place (and the key must be kept with you)

Don't be too quick to give away your trust to people, especially outsiders. People these days have such low moral standards.

NomadicMom said...

That's why cannot treat maids TOO good. No matter how well you treat them, they will still say that you are a bad boss. Really one...better off to treat them as a maid. nothing more! Definitely not like one of the family or your friend!

doc said...

this dismisses the myth that if you treat your helpers well & pay them more than your neighbours (m'sians la!), they do a great job for you.

or, is this called biting the hands that feed you??