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Important Factors When Looking For and Choosing an Ayi

Updated on December 20, 2012

In modern Asian cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore, it is common for families to employ an Ayi (local maid) on a part-time or full-time basis. However, it is not always as easy as simply picking up the phone and calling a maid agency. There has to be a lot of trust involved, and negotiations regarding wages and other secondary benefits. In this Hubpages article, we examine several factors that are extremely important when it comes to finding a local Ayi. By heeding our advice, you will be one step closer to finding someone who is not hard-working but trustworthy too. In any case, the first step should always be to ask a friend for recommendations, especially if it is for a part-time gig. Since recommended ayis would have already gained the trust of your friends.

Identifying Your Needs

Before you start your search, you need to first brainstorm your needs, as well as examine your current living situation. During your brainstorm session, identify what kind of services you expect from your local Ayi. Other than basic services such as cleaning, do you need help with any extra services? For example, you have a pet dog but you no longer have the time to walk your dog on a frequent basis. In such a case, you would want an Ayi who has no issues with dogs or other kinds of pets. Have a baby? If you are employing a full-time Ayi, you would definitely want someone who has had previous experiences handling babies. In any case, you should never give full responsibility to your maid. Unfortunately, it has been all too easy to make such decisions with both parents having to work full hours.

Identifying Their Needs

This topic will definitely be in the heart of your negotiations, but it would be a good idea to have some preparation now in anticipation. Identify any basic needs an Ayi would have. Obviously, households looking for full-time maids would have a more complex time ensuring both parties on the same page. So what kind of needs could an Ayi have? You have to think both short and long term. In the long term, you have to consider financial aspects such as a salary raise. She might make a request that allows her to go home for a certain amount of time. In such a scenario, who would handle all the house chore work? If she is living with you, you have to plan her accommodation. Many houses already come with a maid room, but in the case there is no specific room, you will have to re-organize the house so there is some sort of space offered for her.

The Negotiations

Now that you have some sort of idea on what you want and to expect, it's time to start negotiating. Do not be afraid to ask any general questions. After all, your Ayi will end up becoming an individual that has a lot of responsibility over your home. There are several obvious questions that will come up. How many times is she expected to clean the house? Are there any exceptions such as your bedroom where you may have a lot of confidential things on your corner desk? Do you need breakfast prepared? What kind of food do you expect her to cook? Are there certain customs and rules that need to be enforced? Ask any questions you have in mind, and expect a lot of questions in return. Throughout my life, I have had several maids who lasted as short as one week to those who lasted over six years. It's natural to not be able to find a good Ayi on your first go. As frustrating as it may be, it is important to always be patient. Give your Ayi some time to get accustomed to your household and your lifestyle.

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