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Afraid I'll never find a job I'm happy in, am I the problem?

(47 Posts)
pandaeyez Wed 11-Sep-19 12:38:00

Not so much AIBU, maybe just somewhere to offload as I don't have many people I can speak to about these issues. Apologies if I've posted in the wrong section.

Walked out of my job yesterday after a heated discussion with my manager and HR. HR lady could see I was getting upset and stressed with all the questions she was shooting at me yet continued to do so and smirk at the same time whilst I was welling up. She made certain comments about my health and that I had "made myself ill, not work". At that point I grabbed my bag and walked out without even speaking to anyone. My auntie has reported me sick this morning as I just couldn't bare the thought of speaking to them.

I work in a busy day nursery and have pretty much worked In all types of child care. I absolutely loved working as a private nanny and in a school (never had any issues in those roles) however I have worked In 3 private nurseries over the years and they have all been awful. Current one was the worst but it makes me wonder, am I the problem?

I seem to work better on my own which I was I think I enjoyed nannying so much however I managed fine when I worked in a school with a team as well so perhaps it's just all nurseries in general. Maybe I'm just not suited to them.

I was planning on sticking it out until I had another job lined up but after yesterday's comments I just couldn't bare another minute in the place.
I would love to be a nanny again however there isn't much opportunity with nanny roles where I live.

It would take me forever to detail everything that's happened and the circumstances leading up to yesterday however it was on going for months and I think it all just came to a head yesterday. I'm not the sort of person that will just put up and shut up, I do stick up for myself which is perhaps why they don't like me.

Absolutely panicking now as I live on my own and have rent and bills to pay. I've been applying for jobs all morning, anything just to pay the bills and get me through. My auntie is a union rep so she's taken over with the situation as I have no idea where I stand now.

I have never walked out of a job before, feeling like rather irresponsible now.
I suppose I'm not after advice, maybe just a hand hold.

nowayhose Wed 11-Sep-19 12:59:31

So sorry this has happened to you sad

Hopefully you will get another job soon and also that your auntie can help with things for you.


OnlyFoolsnMothers Wed 11-Sep-19 13:02:19

if you loved being a nanny cant you go back to that?

from123toabc Wed 11-Sep-19 13:14:54

Without any honest details it's hard to tell if you are being unreasonable

reading between the lines you don't sound like a team player

Span1elsRock Wed 11-Sep-19 13:26:47

Can you register as a childminder? And have you looked online at The Lady magazine for job ads as a nanny/mothers help?

My DD went into working in nurseries aged 16 as an apprentice. She did one day at one and was so badly bullied she had a panic attack and ended up in A & E. I took great pleasure in reporting the Manager. They can be incredibly hostile environments, similar with care. Too many women working together can be a disaster.......

familycourtq Wed 11-Sep-19 13:31:04

Sympathy - in the last few years I've been fired from a job I loved and walked out of it's replacement. It's not easy and it seems form my experience that employers are getting more and more unreasonable and less accepting of true diversity whilst claiming the reverse.

IceAndASlice123 Wed 11-Sep-19 13:34:16

Nurseries can be tough environments to work in. As has already been mentioned, they can be very itchy environments.

Have you looked for before nannying school jobs/after school nannying?
Childminders assistant?

Icantthinkofanynewnames Wed 11-Sep-19 13:45:31

Agree with a PP that it’s hard to say whether you are the problem without knowing more info?

SuperSara Wed 11-Sep-19 13:59:17

I'm not the sort of person that will just put up and shut up...

This is the problem.

It's like when people are quick to say, "I speak my mind", or "I don't suffer fools".

It often manifests itself in offending others or not toeing the line rather than respectfully disagreeing with a policy/practice but then carrying out whatever it is.

I wish you well in finding another role you're suited to, OP. But honestly, if you're in a precarious position financially, you can't really afford to piss employers off.

lvsel Wed 11-Sep-19 14:21:53

Because you been through it before dont mean you're the issue that's like saying because I been through DV more than once means I'm the issue

pandaeyez Wed 11-Sep-19 14:38:08

Thank you for your replies

Without rambling on too much, I will try and make it short and sweet

Have worked for the company as a supervisor for nearly a year, as I've mentioned before they aren't the best company. Very high staff turn over and the owners are more interested in money rather than the children or the care they receive.

As soon as I started with the company I noticed how the ratios were not kept to. I'm based in the baby unit which is 1-3 and I was often left on my own with 5 or 6 babies. I brought this up to my manager as a concern for the children's welfare plus the fact I didn't think I should be held responsible if anything happened to one of the children in my care as we were over ratio. These concerns were never taken seriously. I felt personally my manager had a very relaxed attitude to these sorts of things.

There were also other minor issues such as not getting adequate lunch breaks, working a 10 hour shift with maybe a 10 minute break however they would still dock our wages by 30 mins (that's how long we're suppose to have). Due to the high staff turn over there would always be a different staff member with me each day, there was no consistency for the children I found and because there was always new staff starting, they would not be DBS checked for weeks which meant I was unable to leave the room all day. There were some days I would have to wait hours just to use the loo as managers and supervisors were unavailable to cover me to leave.

Another issue I faced (which I think started everything off) was a particular parent had an issue with me. All other parents (maybe 20) were happy with me and the care their children received bar this one lady. Now I don't mind someone complaining if their not happy with something however she would phone every week to complain, minor things normally and sometimes things I hadn't even done (occurred on my day off) however I would still get the blame. I think the final straw was when she phoned to make personal comments about me such as "I'm not happy enough, I don't smile enough and I seem very low". I was told by my manager to smile more after that conversation which I thought was unfair as I always greeted parents in a happy manner.

My manager also agreed this particular parent "had it in for me" as she never complained about anyone else. It was almost as if she wanted to push me out. I explained how uncomfortable the situation was making me as I was on eggshells every week waiting for a new complaint to be raised. I felt I couldn't do my job properly or concentrate on the other children in my care as all my attention had to go on this one child. My manager did agree it seemed this particular parent expected 1-1 care in a nursery setting which just isn't possible, but instead of explaining this to the parent they just put more pressure on me.

I was also reprimanded for completing paperwork whilst watching the children (there was literally no other time to do it) and I was asked to complete it at home instead. When I explained I don't get paid to take paperwork home I was told I was being awkward and not a team player.
(Also I'm pretty sure it's against data protection to take paperwork with children's details on home with us).

On one particular day, it had been extremely busy with around 10 children (one who was ill and very clingy to me), again we were over ratios with only 2 of us in there. Unfortunately when this particular parent arrived her child was crying (he wanted to be picked up) and at the time I was changing another child's nappy so I couldn't leave the child unattended on the nappy changing table. The other staff member was in the loo at the time so it was just me with 10 kids.

I explained to the parent her child had been fine all day and maybe just a little tired with it being the end of the day. She seemed ok about it but I could tell she wasn't happy. Around 10 minutes later I was pulled into the office by my manager who reprimanded me for the situation and said it was very embarrassing, I explained I was changing a child's nappy at the time and she then told me I should of put the child down (in the soiled nappyhmm) and cuddled the other child until mum had left.

I disagreed and explained I felt that was unfair and that children do need to learn to wait to be picked up as sometimes parents/adults can't just pick them up straight away. The conversation became very heated and she threatened me with a disciplinary as she was fed up with the contact complaints about me. I just burst into tears as I think the stress over the weeks just got to me in the end.

I explained I felt it was unfair to threaten me with a disciplinary as I really felt I did nothing wrong, I was trying my best but by god I'm only one person. I also pointed out that if they maybe followed the ratios properly these incidents wouldn't happen as their would be more staff to attend to the children.

After that day I felt absolutely exhausted by the whole situation and I just felt I couldn't go back. I needed a breather so I decided to book a Drs apt and get a sick note. I explained to the doctor what had been happening in work and she decided I would be signed off for a week with "work related stress". The week after was my annual leave anyway so I ended up having 2 weeks off in total.

I came back to work on the 2nd and was instantly reprimanded due to the fact I notified my manager of my sick note at very short notice. (I received the sick note on the Friday and notified her on the Sunday morning). I took responsibility for that and apologised however it was apparent that she was more concerned with her day off being ruined rather than the fact I'd been off ill due to stress. She never once asked me if I was ok or how I was feeling.

I was told I would need to have a welfare check meeting with her and the HR advisor to go over in depth what exactly had happened and what caused me to be off work. My manager said I would receive a letter in the post with all the details last week however I never received one. I explained to my manager this week that I still hadn't received a letter and that I felt I didn't really know what was going and what to expect and she said that she hadn't had a chance to speak with the HR advisor yet hmm (so I'm not sure why she said I would receive a letter then).

Finally yesterday morning I was told I would be having my appraisal and welfare check meeting in one and to write down any concerns/issues and bring them with me and we would all talk it through. When I was pulled out of the office the HR advisor explained she knew nothing about a welfare check meeting hmm and that she was expecting just to give me my appraisal. (HR advisor didn't even know the reason why I was off work confused). I explained that it was my manager (sat with us) who had told me I would be having a welfare check. I was then told they wouldn't be giving me one as they had decided to just draw a line under the whole situation and that it was "obvious that I was sorry for my actions" confused. I said that was fine however I still felt there were issues that needed to be addressed as I felt they weren't being taken very seriously.

We went through everything point by point and they just had an excuse for everything. I thought the HR advisor would be neutral however it was apparent she was defending my manager and her actions. Again, the conversation started to become heated as the HR advisor accused me of influencing the doctors decision in writing "stress at work" on the sick note. She also accused me of faking it and said my stress wasn't genuine, it was just pressure and I couldn't cope with it and she said I had made myself ill, not work. She also insinuated that I had gone off on the sick because I didn't get my own way hmm

I explained I went on the sick because I couldn't cope anymore and that it would of been nice to have been supported in the situation. She replied with "people with genuine stress would take longer than a week off". She then asked if I wanted to carry on with the appraisal to which I said no and grabbed my bag and walked out in tears.

Sorry, I did ramble on in the end!

inwood Wed 11-Sep-19 14:41:31

Honestly you sound quite immature. Why is your aunt calling in sick for you?

I'm not the sort of person that will just put up and shut up...

When you're in employment you kind of have to within reason.

pandaeyez Wed 11-Sep-19 14:47:19

I appreciate it probably comes across that way inwood. What I mean by "put up and shut up" is that they were breaking the law in regards to the ratios with the children and I don't think they appreciated the fact I brought it to their attention.

I think it's unfair on parents who pay a lot of money for child care and the basic requirements aren't even being met.

RosaWaiting Wed 11-Sep-19 14:53:32

I doubt it’s you

Workplaces seem to get worse with their high expectations

But getting someone else to call in sick for you isn’t right, unless you literally aren’t able to call in.

RosaWaiting Wed 11-Sep-19 14:54:32

Only mantra to get through work is “rent/mortgage paid, mouth shut”.

I know it’s horrible flowers

pandaeyez Wed 11-Sep-19 14:58:45

In all honestly I had no idea I would even need to phone in sick after walking out, I just assumed I would immediately be dismissed until my auntie explained employment laws etc to me. I'll be phoning in tomorrow morning anyway until it is all sorted out. I have no idea what the procedure is now or where we go from here.

In all honestly I'm just glad to be out of there and hopefully find something more suited to myself, preferably not in a nursery setting as I think I've exhausted that option.

tierraJ Wed 11-Sep-19 15:10:01

Sounds like you need to work in a different environment.

Also join a union now to get advice.

It is hard to work in a place caring for vulnerable others (in this case babies) when rules aren't followed.
I work in a hospital & I'm happy in the ward I work in however there are certain wards with bad reputations for poor care where I would refuse to work.

Also horrible that one of the parents took s dislike to you.

You have to stand up for what is right sometimes.
But it just sounds like you didn't really go about it in the right way with going off sick & getting your auntie involved etc.

Learn from this experience going forward & get a job any job even cleaning just to pay the bills while you decide what career path / job options best suit you.
It may involve moving to be a nanny elsewhere or becoming a private childminder.

RosaWaiting Wed 11-Sep-19 15:11:32

It’s not about a nursery setting though

Some organisations and bosses take the piss hugely in what they expect from people

The tough part isn’t finding something you can do, but finding somewhere that doesn’t treat everyone like shit.

QforCucumber Wed 11-Sep-19 15:12:18

Ratios is a major issue.
Lunch breaks personally I don't think are such a problem, when you're in that kind of a role (similar to hospitality) you take your breaks as and when - this is common knowledge and if you've got to supervisory level I'd assume you'd know this and work with other staff to take breaks between you - be that a single 30 mins or 2 x 15 mins etc.

Paperwork again seems to be one of those things in these positions, no you're not paid extra to do it in your own time - but if you are the only person who is making a song and dance about it the manager is bound to think you're causing her problems rather than helping solve them.

I don't think a nursery setting is suited to you, why if you loved being a nanny and working in schools do you no longer do these roles?

pandaeyez Wed 11-Sep-19 15:22:20

In regards to the paperwork, I honestly had no energy to do it at home. I worked 10 hour days 5 days a week. There was no way I could come home and sit and concentrate on paperwork even if I wanted to. By the time I would get home, have dinner, shower it would be time for bed. Also the fact I had other commitments outside of work made it impossible to find the time to do it. (Most papers would be 16 pages or more of questions). It's not an excuse, just the reality of it really. I do feel they expect a lot from the staff, baring in mind we are all on minimum wage (even supervisors).

I would love to be a nanny again however I live in quite a rural area and they are few and far between. I have been thinking about moving away to work as there are plenty of nanny jobs in London etc, who knows!

downbutnotout2018 Wed 11-Sep-19 15:32:02

It sounds like a toxic and badly run place. You've done the best thing leaving!

ColaFreezePop Wed 11-Sep-19 15:43:28

Why are you working in a nursery if the role doesn't suit you? Find a job elsewhere even s temporary outside child care.

Lefields Wed 11-Sep-19 15:43:42

I think you’re getting an unfairly hard time on here OP. It sounds horrific and unsafe for all concerned and just because everyone else puts up and shuts up doesn’t mean you have to. I would look for the nearest nannying jobs to you, or try advertising childminding/ nannying on your local FB pages (bit unorthodox but I’m rural too and a lot of people do this and seem to get business) or, alternatively yes, look further afield for work. I hope something comes up for you soon

Hennysmommy Wed 11-Sep-19 18:12:16

Have you thought of doing something completely different? Retraining at collage or uni or just a completely different job altogether?
We had a childminder for our DS. Never liked private day nurseries.

downbutnotout2018 Wed 11-Sep-19 18:36:16

Home based childminder. Is that a possibility?

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