*This is just here for reference. will remove later* Helper Resources and Guidelines
So are you already an Arrow helper, or perhaps considering being one? Here are some programs and services at Arrow for you. We've also compiled some tips and guidelines that would be helpful.
At Arrow, our goal is to help you find and keep a good job. Working as a domestic helper in Hong Kong is super challenging. You'll most likely be living in a small home with a Chinese family whose language and culture are completely different from what you are used to. Add to that newborn babies, strange food, grandparents who don't speak a word of English and you have a recipe for early termination or resignation. For that reason we have developed a support system to help you successfully adjust to life and work in Hong Kong. We want you to reach your dreams and we hope you'll let us help you through the adjustment period.
Support Services of FDHs
Arrow Tagumpay is a series of 4 classes led by mature domestic helpers who have successfully adjusted to life and work in Hong Kong.
Our classes cover:
- Adjusting to Hong Kong Culture
- Overcoming Homesickness
- Handling Stress
- Basic Financial Management
Infant Care Program
Arrow offers a 5 hour Infant Care Workshop for domestic helpers. If one of your main duties is caring for a newborn then you may want to ask your employer to consider sending you to our Infant Care for Helpers Workshop.
You will learn how:
- to give baby a bath
- bottle feeding
- facial care
- mouth care
- changing diapers
- Umbilical Cord Care
- First Year Nutrition,
- Common Reasons for Crying & care options
Trainer: Kathy Lam (Registered nurse, I Care Family Family life coach )
Target: Domestic helpers can speak English. New parents and care givers are welcomed too.
Method: includes Theory, Demonstration, Practice & Notes
Time: *4.5 Hrs. + 30mins. Lunch Time, lunch fee not included
Class conducted in English, helper will be presented attendance certificate.
Child and Infant Safety 101 & 201: Arrow offers 2 classes on Child and Infant Safety. These classes are available for any English speaking helper who has the responsibility of caring for infants or young children.
Trainer: Ms Kathy Lam, Registered Nurse and Life Coach of I Care Family
101: Attendees will learn to recognize and treat common health and safety issues such as diaper rash, fever, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting; medications, home safety, accidents, prevention of fall, choking, poisoning, burn and scald.
1. Class conducted in English, helpers will be presented attendance certificate
2. Theory + Demonstration + Practice + Notes
Nurse Kathy Lam is available on Saturdays and Sundays to talk to you about problems and struggles you are having with your employer. If you are having a hard time understanding your employer, talk to Kathy.
Pastor Allan is usually in the office on Sunday afternoon, 2-5 p.m. and also works every other Saturday. Feel free to talk to either Ma'am Kathy or Pastor Allan.
How to Lose a Job in 30 Days
What should you do if your boss threatens to fire you? Maybe you are the one considering quitting and you are wondering what to do. What should I do?
+ My employer says they will fire me
Help! My employer threatened to fire me!
If your employer threatens to fire you, don't panic. Wait until they have calmed down and ask them to identify the main area you need to improve. Listen carefully and do NOT argue, explain or talk back. Tell them you are sorry about your mistake. Thank them for giving you feedback and tell them that you will do your best to improve.
If your employer does terminate you, WAIT until you are in the Arrow office BEFORE signing any settlement papers. We will review the settlement and ensure that you receive everything owed to you.
+ I want to quit
You want to resign
Sooner or later, almost everyone wants to quit their job. Employers are sometimes hyper critical and treat helpers in an insensitive manner. Workers cry and say "I'm a human being too!"
If you are thinking about resigning here are some things to consider:
- What steps have you taken to resolve the problem? Often helpers want to resign over issues like not enough food or rest, but they have NOT YET brought the issue up to their employer. If you don't know how to resolve the issue, ask Arrow. We've helped many helpers resolve big problems and keep their jobs.
- How much is this going to cost? If you find a new employer today, you will still be a minimum of 2 months without a job and 3 months without a salary. How will you pay for school fees? Your house payment? Loan payments? What will happen to the balance of loans if you miss payments? Changing employers can cripple your efforts to get your family on solid financial ground.
- Do you have a new employer yet? The Chinese have a saying "keep riding the ox while looking for the horse." Don't resign one job until you have found a new employer and they have signed contracts.
+ Termination Do's and Don'ts
- ask Arrow for advice on what to do
- ask your employer to give you feedback and to have a monthly evaluation time with you
- count up the financial cost of changing employers
- calm down and bite your tongue when you feel like fighting back
- offer to resign "If you don't like me, then I should resign" etc.
- make any decision when you are highly emotional
- EVER sign settlement agreements or accept air tickets unless Arrow has read the details and told you we think it is a fair reasonable settlement.
Talk, talk, talk! Your adjustment to HK will go more smoothly and your level of happiness will increase if you learn to communicate Hong Kong style.
What is HK Style:
If we don't like something, we will tell you straight away.
We expect you to give us the raw facts, not paint a picture to make yourself look good.
HK people are dramatic in their speech - high tones, short expressions of anger, frustration, surprise are common.
Your employer is allowed to speak in an angry, surprised shocked tone to you, BUT you must not respond in the same tone. In HK we always speak in a respectful tone to authority figures including our teachers, our leaders, and our employers.
Like it or not - you will receive feedback on your performance, AND in Hong Kong most of the feedback will seem to be NEGATIVE
How to Handle Feedback
- Invite feedback
In the first 2 weeks ask your employer to check your work "Ma'am, is this what you had in mind? Is this OK? Would you taste this? inspect this? If you ASK, your employer will know they have hired a confident competent helper. And, you won't feel so bad if it is "negative" because you asked for it.
- Change your belief about feedback
"Negative" feedback is your friend. It not only tells you what things will lose you points in the eyes of your employer, it also tells you how to score points in the eyes of your employer, Stop thinking about feedback as a reflection on you as a person. It is NOT personal. It's not about you, it's about doing things the way your employer wants you to do them. Embrace feedback, adjust your performance and win!!
- Respond to feedback appropriately
When your employer gives you feedback just listen carefully. In most cases just say "Sorry ma'am, Sir". If they are teaching you something new that you didn't know before say "Thank you! I appreciate you teaching me this."
Do not make excuses or try to explain even if they ask "Why did you do that?" In most cases they don't really want to know.
REMEMBER "PERFORMANCE" IS PART OF "JOB PERFORMANCE"
Did you know that you can hear a smile? If you smile when you answer the phone, the person on the other end of the line can hear and detect your smile. Staying and behaving in a cheerful way is part of your job.
Jollibee counter workers are expected to greet customers with a smile and a cheerful "Welcome to Jollibee, can I help you?" It doesn't matter if the worker has a bad day or not - it is part of the job! You also are in a service industry job and it is important for you to smile and greet your employer warmly, politely and professionally at all times. It doesn't matter if you don't FEEL like it. That is why we call it "performance".
"Six days shall you work, but on the 7th day - Rest!" Genesis 1
You work hard, you deserve a day off every week. Under HK law your employer must give you one day off a week, BUT the employer has the right to choose which day they will give you. Employers whose days off always change (police, nurses, flight attendants, etc) won't often be able to give a weekend off.
By law the day off is 24 hours, but since most helpers live with their employers they usually return home between 9-10 p.m. so as not to disturb the family when they come in.
Your family and friends in Hong Kong may put pressure on you to take a certain day off or stay out late on your day off. If you have agreed with your employer to be back by a certain time on your day off, then you need to follow your agreement. If you want to change that agreement, talk to your employer about it during the week, BUT do not unilaterally decide to stay out later than agreed, UNLESS of course you want to get fired and go back home to the Philippines
Do not agree with your employer to regularly work on your day off in exchange for money. First - it is illegal. You may work on a day off occasionally but it is illegal to do this regularly. Secondly, with no day off you will burn out in 6 months. Helpers who give up their day off almost NEVER last more than 6 months.
+ Food and Rest
FOOD: "You can't eat shy!"
After one week of work helpers often complain about being hungry. They are expecting their employers to "tell them to eat" Kain ka tayo!" It's not going to happen. Hong Kong people are busy and assume that if you are hungry, you will eat. You NEED to ASK "Sir/Madam, when should I have my meals?" Employers will usually ask you what you like to eat and it is important that you answer truthfully. If you love rice, say so or you may end up eating Ramen Noodles for 2 years. If you feel like you are not getting enough calories, say so. Tell them, "Please increase my food portion because I am losing weight and often feel hungry." Hong Kong people don't mind you bringing it up and we will feel bad if you feel hungry but don't say anything. Speak up!
Average adults need 7-8 hours of sleep a night. So do you. If you don't get enough sleep then you will NOT finish your contract. If you are not getting enough rest, please talk to your employer about this problem. The best approach is to say "Ma'am / Sir, I want to finish my contract and take good care of your child, but I'm facing a problem and I need your help." "I'm not getting enough rest at night and I can tell my performance and mental sharpness is being effected. What can I do?" Allow them to fix the problem.
"We have nothing to fear but fear itself" President Franklin D. Roosevelt
"Fear not!" Jesus from Nazareth
If I had one dollar for every time a Filipina told me "Sir, I'm afraid", I could buy a new iPhone. New arrivals in Hong Kong bring along a lot of fear in their luggage.
The boss yells at them - they are afraid;
The boss points at them - they are afraid;
The boss says "I'll call Immigration and report you" - they are afraid.
And because they are afraid - they want to resign. One helper told me "I'm afraid my employer will fire me, so I want to resign first."
If you find that you are afraid what should you do?
- Take a deep breath and calm yourself down. More than 90% of the things we fear NEVER come to pass, so odds are that whatever you are afraid of will not happen either.
- Decide NOT to make ANY decisions when in the middle of strong emotions. Emotional decisions are almost always 100% wrong decisions.
- Understand your rights and the protections provided by HK law. In HK the Labor regulations that protect every worker in Hong Kong also extend to and protect domestic helpers. Read the Practical Guide to the Employment of Foreign Domestic Helpers
- Call Arrow and talk to our staff
- If you really have a reason to believe that someone may physically harm you call 999 and talk to emergency services.