What should you do when your helper says "Sir Ma'am, I want to resign"? Perhaps your helper has only been here for 3 months - your first reaction might be "yau mou gaau cho????" You spent almost $10,000 to bring her to Hong Kong and now she wants to quit! Aiyah! What should you do?
If your helper leaves it will be a big financial loss for you, BUT getting angry or upset will not help; it will instead make matters worse. Often "I want to resign" does NOT mean "I want to resign". Sometimes it means:
- I feel like you don't like me, because every time you talk to me you criticize my work
- I don't think I will ever be able to make you happy, so I am going to give up.
- I feel homesick, but it really hard for me to talk to my kids because I don't get to use my phone until after they have already gone to bed
- I feel hungry
- I'm not getting enough sleep
Sometimes "I want to resign" means "I want to resign" but NOT always. Helpers will rarely tell you the truth about what is going on in their heart, because they live with you, respect you and do not want to hurt your feelings. So they will almost always say "I'm having a family problem." Sometimes it IS a family problem, but 3 out 4 times it means they are UNHAPPY. AND they will NOT tell YOU the real reason, so....
Call the Agency 2151-1125 and let us help
As far as I know Arrow is the only agency in Hong Kong with a full time customer care officer. We have staff solely dedicated to helping employers and employees resolve issues so that helpers will finish their contracts. Explain your situation to us and let us try to help. Ask your helper if she would please go and talk to Ma'am Kathy Lam or Sir Allan at Arrow on her day off and make an appointment for her. Your helper will tell us what is going on from her perspective and we will work with you to try to save this working relationship. Interpersonal conflicts are influenced by culture, personality and communication styles. Hong Kong people often say and do things that unknowingly offend their helpers, and the helpers do the same.
Keep an Open Mind
When you call us, try to keep an open mind. You may not like what we tell you. Remember "Perception is Reality". If your helper perceives you to be "fierce" that is reality for her. You may have the heart of a kitten, but if she thinks you are a tiger she will be afraid and act accordingly. It is not a matter of "right or wrong" but of perception". It is a misunderstanding and needs to be cleared up.
Be willing to have a 3 way meeting
If necessary make an appointment to sit down with your helper and an Arrow representative to see what changes or adjustments can be made by both parties to save this working relationship. Arrow will provide someone to translate so that both you and your helper can speak in your mother tongues. We will give both parties a chance to share what is going on from their perspectives without interruption and then give the other person a chance to response and clarify (without interruption). Once both parties have looked at things from the other's perspective, we work with you to figure out what to do next. Resolving misunderstandings requires humility and the willingness to see things from another's point of view.
Our goal is to help you FIND AND KEEP A GOOD HELPER. Finding a helper is the easy part. Keeping a good helper requires humility, flexibility and sensitivity. We will work with your helper to help her adjust to life and work in HK, so that she can KEEP a good job; AND we will also help you discover what adjustments you need to make to KEEP a good helper. So when you hear the words "Ma'am, Sir I want to resign" don't panic; instead give us a call: 2151-1125.