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AIBU to be annoyed - woman insists on using our au-pairs

(49 Posts)
Yanka Wed 08-Nov-17 13:40:31

So, this has now been going on over three years and I would appreciate some opinions please - am I out of order or is this woman?

I work full time with kids of school age and so we have been using au-pairs for a few years now. As there isn't really a lot of work, we let our au-pairs get additional jobs during the day or weekends, provided that they don't clash with their normal duties.

About three years ago our au-pair at the time found an extra job, helping a couple with a then 2yo child. I wasn't over the moon with this particular job as sometimes the babysitting nights clashed, but we made it work. That au-pair left us after 18 months to start a job in her field.

Our next au-pair was then 'headhunted' so to speak by the same lady again, through getting her number of our previous au-pair. Again, I wasn't massively happy, as it feltrather odd that the same family insisted on using your au-pairs without ever asking us if that was OK, but I let it go again.

Fast forward another year and yet again a new au-pair is 'head-hunted' by this same lady. Moreover, she is now pressuring our au-pair to give her the details of our cleaner, which our au-pair refused to do.

To top things of, she now got my mobile number from our last au-pair and has texted me to give her those contact details and when I politely refused and asked her to look for help elsewhere I got a fairly abusive text back, calling me selfish and saying how difficult I have been with every au-pair that tried to help her.

Am I being unreasonable in thinking I am not her recruitment agency and she should just leave my family alone?

stopfuckingshoutingatme Wed 08-Nov-17 13:48:46

Tell her to fuck off and die grin

Maybe not but just ignore her she has a brass neck and deserves no answers from you

SilverySurfer Wed 08-Nov-17 13:48:56

It sounds like she has a damn cheek. I would not reply - ignore and well done on your new au pair not giving her the number.

LexieLulu Wed 08-Nov-17 13:51:22

Jesus! I'd cut my nose off to spite my face and tell Au Pair that I would not employ them if they also work for her.

How does she even know you have a cleaner? Stalker much!!

Steeley113 Wed 08-Nov-17 13:51:34

That would annoy me about the au pairs but I wouldn’t mind giving her the cleaners details. Surely it will just benefit your cleaner for extra business?

sizenines Wed 08-Nov-17 14:01:44

Your next text to her should be one giving the amount of your referral and recruitment fees. Now that you are are charging for your au pair's extra time you will be invoicing her.


Scabbersley Wed 08-Nov-17 14:03:52

I thought a pairs were supposed to be studying during the day?

KatharinaRosalie Wed 08-Nov-17 14:05:11

as long as she's not actually stealing your cleaner, I don't see the harm.

But it's your Au-Pair's responsibility to check that she does not promise the woman the hours she's supposed to be woking for you.

unfortunateevents Wed 08-Nov-17 14:12:39

If your au pair is free to babysit or take other jobs in her free time that is one thing. If this woman is pressuring your au pair to prioritise her babysitting over your requirements that is something else. You need to make it clear to your au pairs that you are their primary source of income and accommodation and other jobs need to fit around that. If au pairs have trouble saying no to her, then you will have to make it clear on their behalf.

In principle, sharing your cleaner's number with her shouldn't be a big deal but I have previous experience of this kind of thing (albeit in an expat community - lots of entitled women there!) I recommended a babysitter to a newly-arrived mother who then somehow persuaded my babysitter and me to swop days around even when not convenient, she also got details of someone else's cleaner, changed her days round when my friend was on holidays and refused to change back when my friend returned - and lots of other stuff like that. So I can see why you are wary. I would tell her that you will give her number to your cleaner and she can contact her if she wishes.

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 08-Nov-17 14:13:57

Now you know her attitude toward you, I wouldn’t even try to make it work. She wants your au pair when you want to go out. Tough. You’re the main employer. You get first dibs. Without fail. Time for a sit down with this au pair and subsequent ones perhaps about ground rules concerning this woman? She had a nerve to ask for your number in the first place and your former au pair shouldn’t have given it out without checking with you first.

ConstantlyPuzzled Wed 08-Nov-17 14:17:34

That's the thing - there isn't any actual harm, beyond the fact that I feel completely used by someone who can't be bothered to get their own au-pair and so I am the one who deals with CV screening, adjusting to having a new person in the house etc. and she then just goes and benefits on her terms, without ever asking if this was OK (for three years!).
I am aware this is kind of petty - hence I never actually stopped our au-pairs from working for her - but having her demand the number of our cleaner just pushed me over the line I guess.

(NB: Our cleaner does not struggle for jobs, she is shared among quite a few of our neighbours and cannot take any new jobs on anyway, so I am not preventing her from any benefits - although TBH if she needed extra jobs, I would rather ask all of my friends than to pass her onto this woman)

hotbutteredcrumpetsandtea Wed 08-Nov-17 14:19:04

The au-pairs are people, neither you nor your woman "use" them.

Sort out a proper contract covering hours needed, and what they then choose to do in their own time is none of your business.

brasty Wed 08-Nov-17 14:19:05

Why is this even an issue? Good au pairs and nannies do get head hunted and even poached completely by other parents. You do not own your cleaner or au pair.
I would not have given my au pairs number as that is private information, but would have passed on a message to the au pair.
God people are wierd

Littlesnail Wed 08-Nov-17 14:20:20

YANBU. She's using your family as a test case to make sure she doesn't take the risk of hiring poor staff. I'd thank your au pair for not passing on details of the cleaner and explain that you don't want your details passed on to anyone in the future.
The problem is the au pairs pass your details on to others - it's as though they are in control and you're not. I'd change that.

SloeSloeQuickQuickGin Wed 08-Nov-17 14:23:03

As your au pair doesnt appear to work exclusively for you why are you preventing the au pair from earning extra money?

blackteasplease Wed 08-Nov-17 14:23:53

I think I would say to future au pairs at the interview stage that you were happy for them to take extra work EXCEPT for this woman. Make it clear that they can't work for her.

For the au pair you now have, can you sit down with her and discuss it? See if she's agreeable to no long work for this woman. It may be that she feels you want her to do this and would rather not.

Thing is, when you hire / invite an au pair you are providing room and lodgings and all food etc. It's part of the price you are paying. You also lose a degree of privacy in your house. This woman isn't providing any of that or having the loss of privacy.

Therefore any au pair you have needs to prioritise your requests over another parent 's regardless of whether that other parent would pay her more per hour for babysitting etc than you would.

This woman also needs to understand the above.

hotbutteredcrumpetsandtea Wed 08-Nov-17 14:25:15

I think I would say to future au pairs at the interview stage that you were happy for them to take extra work EXCEPT for this woman. Make it clear that they can't work for her

You absolutely cannot do that, and anyone with any sense would not think of working with someone who tried such a stupid thing.

brasty Wed 08-Nov-17 14:28:30

Bloody hell I would run a mile if an employer tried to say that to me.

Hissy Wed 08-Nov-17 14:28:44

provided that they don't clash with their normal duties

THIS is the issue. this woman IS taking the au pair that you have sourced and interviewed and contracting her to work for her sometimes clashing with the hours YOU need her for.

If I were you I'd point out to this woman that she is perfectly able to find her OWN au pair and her OWN cleaner or perhaps she'd like to pay you your finders fee? It's not about being difficult, it's about her systematically treading on your toes and not even having the manners to recognise this. Her requirements for the au pair YOU hired for your family are clashing and as YOU hired the au pair first and foremost, it's unacceptable to you to hand over your cleaner too.

I agree too that I'd make it a stipulation of all au pairs that they are welcome to seek other work and jobs that don't clash with the hours you want them to work for you, AND to be honest I'd suggest that they stick to jobs that are not related to au pair roles for this very reason.

ConstantlyPuzzled Wed 08-Nov-17 14:29:07

Thank you all - I feel a bit better just venting here. Rather than being drawn into a bickering match with her (very tempting though it was to reply to her abuse) , I have blocked the lady in question from my callers, so I don't have to hear from her again.

brasty Wed 08-Nov-17 14:29:28

OP stop being petty. But make it clear to future aupairs that they have to do any additional work, around your work.

SilverSpot Wed 08-Nov-17 14:31:25

I'd just let the AP know that this woman can be difficult to deal with, and that you will give the AP [1 week/3 days/whatever] notice for babysitting and it is not acceptable for her to have a clash with other paid work.

ConstantlyPuzzled Wed 08-Nov-17 14:33:12

And just to clarify - until today, I have not ever stopped any of our au-pairs to work for this woman (yes, I was begrudging but always privately smile ) This is not the issue

My issue is that this woman got my number of someone (yes, previous au-pair should not have given it) and demanded a contact for our cleaner and when I politely refused she sent me an abusive text back.

Fortunately our current au-pair found another job before this all happened so I hope we are done

BorisTrumpsHair Wed 08-Nov-17 14:33:26

NC fail OP?

Hissy Wed 08-Nov-17 14:35:28

I'd forgotten about the live in nature of the au pair too! Absolutely correct to limit alternative earnings to non au pair related stuff, as it's BOUND to clash somehow.

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