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AP has delusions of grandeur. WTF do I put for a ref?

(23 Posts)
Goingsoon Sun 08-Jun-14 11:29:36

AP been with me since beginning Oct.
Not good with housework but I kept her to help me with childcare and light housework following my gynae op and during recovery.
I told her would be mixture of housework and childcare in interview, also told her I needed her cos I was having a planned operation BEFORE she accepted the position.
Kept her cos I really couldn't manage on my own and had to pay for additional household help to do the bits she wouldn't do properly, like dusting and hoovering.
I wanted to send her home but I emotionally and physically face recruiting and training someone else.
She has now told me she thought the job was only childcare!
She is 20, fresh from university and a blank cv.
She has no baby experience and I have totally trained her.
I got a cleaner cos I thought she she was bad at cleaning, not cos she was Lady Muck, to even wipe the highchair tray without being asked daily!
WTF do I put for a reference?
Her work and attitude is erratic, she goes 2 weeks tomorrow and I need her to stay cos I physically must have domestic assistance, on medical grounds.
I actually want to throw her out, I've been so kind to her, I allowed her home at 2 day's notice for a family funeral, she hasn't babysat once, she has all weekend off, she eats the same food as we do, I've always paid her on time and when she was ill, dh wrote her a prescription and I went out in pouring rain to get her antibiotics! She has her own bathroom and tv. I had her parents here for a meal when tneh visited the UK, I even bought her an Easter Egg, FFS!

fledermaus Sun 08-Jun-14 12:45:16

"X worked for me as an au pair between x/y/z and x/y/z. If you would like any more information please feel free to contact me on 01234 567890"

PixieofCatan Sun 08-Jun-14 13:55:05

I'm wondering what you expected her to do, because this seems like it could be either way: You needed a nanny/housekeeper but couldn't afford one so got an AP or You needed an ap for what an ap is supposed to be expected to do and she was bad at it.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 08-Jun-14 13:58:13

Firstly, you need to review your approach to her/au pairs if you consider allowing her to eat the same food as you, having weekends off, paying her on time, getting antibiotics when she needed them and her having a TV has 'so kind'. That's just very basic, normal behaviour. Not keeping her in the basement and feeding her scraps doesn't make you employer of the year. It sounds like she's not the only one with attitude problems.

With the reference do as fled says. If they call, be honest about both her good and bad points.

PixieofCatan Sun 08-Jun-14 14:04:32

outraged That's why I wondered what the job expectations were! I'm also wondering if this is a NCer who has been on a few times over the past few months with major expectations for their AP and has been told that they are UR and just ignored everybody.

SueDNim Sun 08-Jun-14 14:05:47

I think that Outraged is spot on. Hosting her parents is also the normal thing to do.

SavoyCabbage Sun 08-Jun-14 14:14:09

You let her go to a family funeral and you let her eat the same food as you. As opposed to what?

LIZS Sun 08-Jun-14 14:17:54

If she claimed the job was childcare , how thoroughly did you go through your expectations and review them during her employment . did you ever ask her to babysit. Most 20yr olds would need clear guidance as to what was required, to what standard and reminding from time to time, especially given that she had no previous experience.

Keepcalmanddrinkwine Sun 08-Jun-14 14:19:44

You allowed her to go home at short notice for a funeral? Fed her the same food as you, paid her on time and got her medicine when ill? Surely these are what one would do for an Au Pair as standard?

If you weren't happy with her cleaning you should have addressed this but as far as I can tell, this is the only real issue. If she carried out her childcare duties then mention them and leave the rest. Time to let it go, I think.

BristolRover Sun 08-Jun-14 14:22:35

yes, how jolly kind of you to always pay her on time!
what sort of relationship do you think it's supposed to be? mad gratitude from an underling because you throw tehm a bone from the table now and then? I can imagine the sort of reference you deserv.e

Piddlepuddle Sun 08-Jun-14 14:27:48

Wow. It never ceases to stun me how much people expect from their APs. Tell me op, would you want your child to be an AP when they are that age?

If you want a nanny, PAY FOR A NANNY. The sooner hmrc get involved with au pairs and target them re national minimum wage, the better.

Madrigals Sun 08-Jun-14 14:31:04

We aim to be good ap employers - good salary for role (current ap is 2nd best paid au pair she has ever met), very limited babysitting, and treat her entirely as a family member. I try to buy things she likes to eat, eat things I know she isn't keen on when she's not here, she has her friends to stay etc etc. Have invited all our ap's parents to stay (some came some didn't) etc etc. I'm always there if she needs someone to chat to, we advise on sight seeing in uk, do family days out when they arrive etc etc.

Unfortunately many aps are doing quite long hours - not that unusual round here, weekend babysitting the norm (they often have one weekend day and one weekday off) paid the lowest tier of ap salary and a few families don't eat with ap and buy them cheap ready meals, sadly. Our current ap told me recently that she thinks only she and one other ap locally are truly happy with their families sad I find this really annoying because I think it gives the uk and ap employers a bad name and I feel sorry for those ap who are looking for a gap year experience and end up feeling used.

I think maybe op's point is that she is not one of these awful host families?

Like op, we include some cleaning in our role, though not heavy stuff as that is not appropriate (eg no bins/toilets etc).

I have found that some of our ap have basically thought any cleaning is beneath them and I have then spent hours cleaning their own rooms when they left!! One of our ap told me her dm does everything for her at home still - the dd (ap) doesn't even wipe a kitchen surface down, wash up or set the table at home and doesn't wash or hang up her own laundry. Many of these girls are basically very young still and have no idea what is needed in the home. Several of our ap have done the cleaning part of the role very well but others have not. All of them were very good with the dc so I basically let the slack cleaners get away with it for an easy life, as ap who are excellent with the dc do not grow on trees.

Simple ref along the lines 'worked here date-date' is all you need.

If she's good with the kids and you need her just overlook the bad until she goes. Not long to go now.

Onesleeptillwembley Sun 08-Jun-14 14:50:56

What pixie said ^^

SoonToBeSix Sun 08-Jun-14 15:22:59

I am confused by your op, so she was confused about light housework maybe a language barrier? You do realise you were employing an op not a housekeeper don't you? I think your are being unfair tbh.

SoonToBeSix Sun 08-Jun-14 15:23:12

Sorry AP not Op!

Madrigals Sun 08-Jun-14 15:35:02

Can't see anything wrong with asking ap to dust or Hoover say once a week or wipe a highchair while looking after the dc. If you were expecting deep cleans, cleaning loos, scrubbing walls, bins doing etc that would be ott IMHO.

Unexpected Sun 08-Jun-14 15:36:07

I feel I recognise this poster. Your style of posting and your complaints are very identifiable. If you are the same poster as I think, your expectations of APs have always been skewed.

What do you mean she had no baby experience and you had to train her? You do realise that many APs have no childcare experience when they start, never mind experience with babies. They are also not supposed to be left in charge of babies so I'm not sure how much training was required in order for her to help you with the baby.

Frankly, your attitude appals me - she ate the same food as you? What did you think she should eat? You allowed her the weekends off - big deal, APs are supposed to do 25 hours work per week, you'd find it hard to stretch that across the weekend as well as weekdays! You bought her an Easter egg - well blow me down!

If you were really unhappy with her, you should have got rid of her. Saying that you needed her because you couldn't manage and couldn't face recruiting is strange. After all, she is leaving now and you presumably have to recruit anyway as you still need help.

PixieofCatan Sun 08-Jun-14 16:08:08

unexpected I do too. There have been a couple of posters with a similar posting style expecting huge amounts from their underpaid foreign nannies APs over the past 6-9 months, and this poster reminds me of them.

MrsMaturin Sun 08-Jun-14 16:10:42

Allowing her to go home for a funeral and paying her on time aren't 'kind'. That's your job as an employer! Just give her a standard ref with details of the duties she actually did and the dates.

PhoebeMcPeePee Sun 08-Jun-14 16:29:13

From your op it sounds like you needed a FT nanny/housekeeper but went for AP presumably because they are considerably cheaper. no wonder ap wasn't up to the job hmm

dietcokefan Mon 09-Jun-14 00:09:01

I would strongly advise you to edit your posting - the GMC frowns upon prescribing for family/friends/employees so your husband may not want you to advertise the fact.....

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 09-Jun-14 19:10:28

and sure she is very grateful for you to pay on time and be allowed to eat your food !!!! including the easter egg hmm

ffs i really despair at some of the families who have ap's on mn - they are not skivvys

as i keep saying, if ap's are that bad then get rid of them, stop moaning about them if you arent going to do anything about it - and maybe if yours and others attitudes was a bit nicer they might be more flexible

fluffymouse Mon 09-Jun-14 23:28:07

Op I think I recognize you. Were you complaining earlier about the au pair not making your bed?

Of the au pair was good with childcare (and I assume she was from your post as you don't complain about that) then I would focus on that in the reference and in general

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