Some peo­ple think we are ro­bots

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - Yu Xuan,

a 36-year-old from ru­ral Jiangsu prov­ince, who works in Shang­hai as a do­mes­tic ma­ter­nity nurse

From an em­ployee’s point of view, there are many times when we feel the fam­i­lies we work for don’t give us due re­spect. Some­times I feel they ex­pect me to be a non­stop ro­bot, rather than a ma­ter­nity nurse.

Our work con­tract clearly de­tails our du­ties, such as tak­ing care of the mother and baby, and em­ploy­ers are aware that it’s not our job to clean the house and cook meals for the whole fam­ily. De­spite that, we of­ten en­counter un­rea­son­able em­ploy­ers who in­sist that we cook meals for a fam­ily of five or six.

If I had enough free time, I would be happy to do it. But usu­ally I have a very tight sched­ule as I have to take care of the mother (Chi­nese women tra­di­tion­ally spend up to a month in bed af­ter giv­ing birth) cook three meals a day, pre­pare snacks for the mother and care for the baby, who doesn’t fol­low work and rest rules day and night.

If they treated me nicely, I wouldn’t mind do­ing the work, but very of­ten they don’t ap­pre­ci­ate that I’m do­ing ex­tra jobs for them. Their at­ti­tude is that they are pay­ing a high price for a ma­ter­nity nurse so they can­not af­ford to miss any op­por­tu­nity to ask me to do more. They want me to work around the clock.

In most cases, I do not com­plain to the agency. If I did that and stopped work­ing, the agency would have to send a re­place­ment to the em­ployer im­me­di­ately, which could cre­ate an un­easy sit­u­a­tion.

More im­por­tant, I would lose my job and have to wait at home un­til I was em­ployed by an­other fam­ily. Also, the agent would be­lieve that I am un­able to en­dure hard­ship and would give me fewer op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­ter­views.

I cher­ish every em­ployer who is rea­son­able and nice. If they re­spect me, I per­form my du­ties to the best of my abil­ity, and take the ini­tia­tive to help with house­hold chores as much as pos­si­ble.

Yu Xuan spoke with Zhou Went­ing.

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