Dear all mummies and daddies,
I'm a recent promoted dad and found a confinement lady (CL) called Lan Yee based on this web review. On top of all those that has been mentioned about her food n knowledge, there are many others I like to add on which I felt sad about. Relavance: early 2014.
Her attitude is very intolerable. On first reaching our home, she asked to check our fridge for things that can be use for cooking. Once open, she started commenting fridge is smelly. I'm fine, I do know my fridge may have some odor after using it for several years. I just kept quiet but deep down, I know she is not polite.
Then she started asking for her specific use of soup pots and things she is familiar with. Started commenting missing utensils. Well I agree because it's our first time confinement, how would we know what to expect? And she goes on and on saying many things missing. Naggy, period. I just offer her what we have and can meet her needs. After all she is not staying here more than 1 mth.
Then she started asking to buy herbs. Please be prepared for sgd$200-300 to buy all the herbs she needs if it's your first time. And she start shooting the herbs name like machine guns as if we can remember them. Again comment that all these not prepared. Well, if I'm prepared, I wouldn't need to hire her, isn't it?
Then she started asking for towels. We had prepared microfiber small towels for baby usage. She say she only wants cotton towel and handkerchief. Those towels which she showed us will become rough and unpleasant after some use. She only like those. She says microfiber towel cannot absorb water.
There are many more incidents but I'm going share more important ones.
As weeks goes by, she started addressing my wife as "eh, go eat food now. Eh, hurry drink your soup". I don't think that's the least polite to address a person unless you are many years buddies status.
Then I requested to observe her shower my baby to learn. When she is about to shower, she shouted "xxx"!! From 15meters away from my room and expect me to hear her. Not to mention that our door is closed.
For the ultimatum, money issue cannot get worse than what I'm about to share. On my first phone call with her she told me her price was $3500 for staying through Chinese New Year. I ask for cheaper and she offered me $3400. And she will need a small Ang Bao on arrival and big Ang Bao on departure. Well, I'm ok with that.
On putting down deposit, she reminded us about small and big Ang Bao, this time round, stating a range from sgd$100-200 depends if we like her service and such. Well that's new, I never heard of money request from Ang Bao, but I shall see her service.
As for her arrival, I only gave $10 Ang Bao.
In the midst of confinement, she started reminding my wife about her big Ang Bao. I can't recall how many my wife told me, but it's definitely more than 10 times of reminder. This time, she requested $200-300. On last 2 weeks, she requested for $268.
Question: how rude is it to actually ask for money for Ang Bao? And for more than 10 freaking times? Omg, that's the ultimatum I ever had. If her service is good, I might still give her 3 digits. But many things pissed me off. Few examples are:
1. Rude n bad commenting on others way of living.
2. When baby cries, she can ignore it for more than 5 mins. We are first timer, we are definitely worried about our baby. The least she could do is comfort my baby but no. She is doing her own stuff, not even cooking. When I came to her room and ask,"Wah, baby cry for so long ah?" Her reply was,"where got long? Baby needs to cry, it is OK." I am definitely not OK with that. This happens more than 3 times, not counting the time I'm working outside.
3. She is not meticulous with her handling of things within the house. Nitty gritty things such as wetting the whole toilet roll, making things a little messy even after cleaning up. My mum wasn't happy at all but she was patience because our baby is in her hand.
4. She force feed our baby even when he is full.
5. She complains a lot, keep saying she don't have much time to sleep. My wife is breast feeding and at night she has to latch baby. All she does is change diaper, shower baby, cook meals for my wife. She even have time to read newspaper n watch TV. So what's all the "not enough time to sleep" comes about?
6. She asked on first day, "you want me cook for you(husband) and your mother? Just add $100 I can only." I've heard other CL that does this without even asking for money. Maybe if she offer this on her own accord, I might give her more ang Bao money.
7. She ask us to change her salary to ringgit for her. She specifically said that other host helped her to find best exchange rate at Chinatown. Wow! So am I the one being hired now? Where's all the manners? Shouldn't one be requesting to be polite and only if convenient, can you do this or that? This sounds more like a command than a request.
8. She is Cantonese, she speaks some things that we cannot comprehend. Turn on the light = "Kai Huo" (open fire). She ask to buy sour prune for her usage, she told us sour plum. We went to search high and low only to realize she means prune, not plum.
Eventually, on her departure, we gave her Ang Bao of $68. As what she mentioned of her past experience, she open the Ang Bao to check. Of course she started saying where's her $268 etc. I had to be brave and told her off that's all I'm gonna give her. I had done my research, 10 friends with CL experience says that Ang Bao money is never on request, at least not in SG.
Kindness goes a long way, money comes after. I had my piece of experience and my wife is now having CL phobia. I do heard about good CL but hope you make your own judgement before hiring one.