Thursday, December 4, 2008

Maid - Setting the Work Schedule

Around 500BC, Sun Tzu was granted an audience with the Prince of Wu and was put to a test to drill his 180 concubines and ladies. Upon dividing them into 2 groups headed by two of the Prince’s favorite concubines, they were instructed to follow Sun Tzu’s instruction to turn accordingly. However, on the first and second attempt, there was total disarray. But Sun Tzu did not punish the ladies or the concubines, giving them the benefit of doubt that they have not clearly understood the instructions. Upon the third failed attempt, both the head concubines were swiftly executed.

In my working history, there have been jobs where I reported to work without any job description or briefing of what my job is and what are the expectations. Have you ever had such an experience? Sitting there on your first day, not knowing what to do? Feeling completely lost? Imagine, if you were given a task without proper instructions and you got fired or lashed out for not doing it right. How would you feel? Was it fair to you?

Our maids are the same too. If we do not lay out a properly structured job description and schedule for them, hoping, wishing and expecting that they would be able to perform from the very first day, should we blame them if they got it all wrong?

The second thing that we did with our maid when she arrived home, after sharing with her our simple expectations, were to give her a weekly and monthly work schedule, detailing what she is expected to do from the time she wakes up to the time she retires. We make sure that she understands what we wanted by getting her to repeat it to us. She knows that she has to sweep and mop the floor by 7:30 am for example. She knows that she has to clean the refrigerator every second Tuesday of the month. She knows that we expect her to change the bed sheet and clean the fish pond every Saturday.

Having a schedule does not guarantee a problem free relationship with the maid. We have our fair share of issues with her. However, it becomes much easier for us to tell her off. Just like Sun Tzu, if we have not given her clear instructions and made her understand, how could we punish her?


4malmal said...

Your maid is lucky to have a boss like you. couldn't agree more. It is not easy to have a total stranger in the house, I don't think I will ever get comfy with that idea.

Treat the maid like a family and they will treat you like one, some may say. But it works both ways and it takes 2 hands to clap.

MeRy said...

Good scheduling for ur maid.....I believe tats a good arragement.

sarah said...

wah!!! u so homia... at least u've got a maid to help. plus... a good planner and organiser like u ;)

Leeyen said...

jot down all things u want her to do (schedule) and paste it up on her bedroom's wall, then she will hv no excuse since it's black n white! ha! so fast u r thinking to punish her liao! keke!

Daddy said...

Although how much we appreciate our maid, it is always difficult to really treat them like family. We always want to maintain an employer employee relationship so that we could reprimand when the need arises. We really don't want her to get too comfortable with us till she starts taking us for granted.

We find the schedule really helps. BTW, my wife is a better organizer and planner. She is more detail. Haha. She has not done anything serious to start us thinking about punishment yet. Touch wood.

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