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Is my aupair lazy or is it me !!

(57 Posts)
Newtothisstuff Sun 09-Dec-12 19:29:54

I'm currently on week 3 of a trial before our aupair starts properly in January (when I go back to work)
She is turning into the complete opposite of what she assured us she was.
She said she was a confident driver (the main part of her job is to do the school run) she has only driven once and that was around the housing area we live an refused to go on the main road, even with my husband instructing.
She hasn't got out of bed until 8.30 every morning and doesn't get dressed until 11.00 I've tried dropping hints that I have to leave at 7.30am when I'm back at work and that she should come on the school run but she says its too cold.
She's also so untidy. She doesn't do the tiny bit of cleaning that was expected (emptying dishwasher, loading washer/dryer), that's not too much of a big deal tbh but I don't want to have to clean up after her constantly like I am doing. I have 2 kids and have enough cleaning up after them !!
She also keeps disappearing out with her friends, during the day, she will have some time off during the week as my DH works shifts but maybe only 1-2 days plus evenings and weekends, so far out of the 2 weeks she's been here, she's probably disappeared 10 of the 14 days.
Am I being totally out of order expecting her to at least follow the schedule a little bit even tho I'm not back at work yet ??

Newtothisstuff Sun 09-Dec-12 19:30:34

What I didn't mention is she offered to come for the 3 weeks to get used to the kids routine and she's being paid £80 a week whilst she's here !!

Spero Sun 09-Dec-12 19:35:34

Stop 'dropping hints' and tell her clearly what you expect from her. You can't expect hinting/mind reading to work.

You are unreasonable expecting her to follow a schedule if you haven't discussed it with her.

The driving is a worry however. again, don't tip toe round it, say explicitly that you are worried she is not up to the driving and suggest some ways to change that.

If someone won't do what you have very clearly asked them to do then at least you know they are taking the piss and you deal accordingly. But if someone doesn't do what you are 'hoping' they will do, that way madness lies - in any type of relationship.

ContinentalKat Sun 09-Dec-12 19:40:02

Having been an au pair myself a century ago I would sit her down ASAP and tell her what your expectations are. You will trust this girl with your children's lives, and if she is not up for it you will have to look for a replacement quickly!

fraktion Sun 09-Dec-12 19:42:11

You have to learn to manage her.

Tell her that you want get to come on the school run. Tell her that there will be a couple of trial days this week where she does it and you tag along. Create a list and ask her to make sure she completes them.

Popping out with her friends is fine but start holding her to the hours. She's had a bit of time to settle, which is all well and good, but at the moment it's a bit of a holiday and she risks an almighty shock when it starts for real.

fraktion Sun 09-Dec-12 19:45:01

Also I'm a bit confused about the hours. £80 is standard for about 5 hours/day so that's 7.30 til 9.30ish and 3.30 til 6.30ish. The rest of the day should be free unless you guarantee a 4 day week and add 5 hours cleaning. She shouldn't be working all day for that wage.

MousyMouse Sun 09-Dec-12 19:45:11

is she from another country?
ime other languages are much directer than polite english.

you need to tell her directly in clear language what you expect. hold off and should/would/could = too indirect and confusing.

it is much easier to say 'no' if asked 'could you unload the dishwasher please?'
'please unload the dishwasher (now)' is much better phrased.

MousyMouse Sun 09-Dec-12 19:46:27

* hold off any...

IslaValargeone Sun 09-Dec-12 19:48:03

Honestly? I don't see how she'd manage to change from the person you have described, to the person you need.
I can understand that people are saying you have to work out a schedule and tell her, but I would be expecting a bit more of an effort seeing as she's on trial.
I think I'd be looking for a replacement so that you are not left in the merde in January.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 09-Dec-12 19:48:14

You need to tell her specifically what she needs to do. Do you have a contract that lists what she is expected to do and when, how much she will be paid, holidays etc. You need to have that. It would also be a good idea to make a handbook for her with details of what she needs to do, where things are, directions for the local area, maybe recipes for kids favourite things if she needs to cook.

The getting up in the morning this is fine, unless you've told her she needs to get up. I start work at 8am, but I don't get up at the same time if I'm not working.

Au pairs should only work 25 hours a week and do normally have their days free for language classes or similar. What hours are you expecting her to work? Why doesn't she have her days free?

JustFabulous Sun 09-Dec-12 19:48:25

Where you are going wrong is letting her think she has a choice in which bits of the job she has to do.

Sit down and tell her.

She has to be ready to work at x o'clock and that means dressed and has eaten.

If she is not a confident driver, even though she said she was, maybe pay halves for lessons. I certainly wouldn't be letting her drive my children if she can't hold it together in the car.

Nordicmom Sun 09-Dec-12 20:06:02

I was an aupair too and to be honest I worked my ass off. Actually much longer hours than you were meant to specially in the summer. I did the school run in the morning, pickup then after school activities, dinner, bath, vacuumed the whole flat everyday ,cleaned the whole flat from top to bottom once a week and washed and ironed all the kids clothes. In the summer I had to look after the two kids for the whole day 12h and do all these chores. I was taken advantage off and clearly doing far too much but yours is not doing anything !!! Of course you should not hire her unless she starts actually doing the expected work!

Newtothisstuff Sun 09-Dec-12 20:20:30

I think ill do the whole schedule thing again. She asked for a breakdown of her day before she came.
She will only be working 3/4 days a week, some days only a few hours after the morning school run, so I think £80 a week plus use of the car, mobile and other bits is more than enough for her, she has lessons at a reduced rate because someone's doing us a favour.
We are definitely doing a trial few days, my DH is a qualified instructor so is more than capable of instructing her. As someone else said I don't want it to come January and her get the shock of her life and then decide to not stay..hmm

fraktion Sun 09-Dec-12 20:48:41

If she's on shifting hours it'll be hard to pin her down over the trial. Will she know her hours in advance? If so can you give her a schedule this week and say that's a 'typical' week so you expect her to work it?

Newtothisstuff Sun 09-Dec-12 21:14:27

It's kind of shift hours I suppose.
I think we are gonna have a couple of trial days this week, I'm going into work a couple of afternoons this week so I'm hoping she will start to get into the swing of things a bit.
I'm a bit nervous about trying to get my point across without sounding rude tho. Her English isn't great so it might be difficult grin

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Sun 09-Dec-12 21:18:08

If she is on a trial should she not follow the schedule she will work come January? How else can you and her see if she is a good fit?

SavoyCabbage Sun 09-Dec-12 21:24:31

I think you might have caused confusion with the trial as she thinks she hasn't started work and you think she has.

Newtothisstuff Sun 09-Dec-12 21:37:42

She suggested the trial. But I think your right, I think she's mostly seeing it as a bit of a holiday tbh. But it's my fault. I suppose I should have laid down the ground rules from day 1 !!
Will see what this week brings !!

BabyGiraffes Sun 09-Dec-12 21:57:24

You have to be much more direct with her - and this is a forriner speaking grin. If her English isn't great she may genuinely not have understood what you are asking of her, and you do sound quite polite in your posts. Sit her down, give her a spreadsheet and tell her exactly what you expect of her NOW: One, get up at x hour etc. And if she is unwilling to comply then tell her to get lost because she is taking the piss.
To be honest, from your description I feel it's the latter. I would expect an au pair on a trial to make an impression on me -positively!
I hope you have a childcare plan B for January...

Newtothisstuff Sun 09-Dec-12 22:03:14

I didn't want to offend her by giving her a spreadsheet as such but I'm thinking its the way forward.
I want her to be happy here but I don't want her to take the piss. We have been more than accommodating with her

Karoleann Sun 09-Dec-12 22:06:06

Okay.....the main issue is she's not confident driving the kids - I wouldn't be happy about this at all, car accidents and injuires are very common with inexperienced drivers, your children and very precious.
£80 + benefits is for 25 hours a week. If you need/want more than this you need a nanny or a cleaner or both, or you need to pay much more.
Even with experienced nannies you have to expect to manage them, you can't expect anyone to know what you need without this. So write it all down.
Monday: 7:00 come down and get kids up, get them dressed, give them xxx for breakfast (DD likes toast and cheerios) be really specific.
Its maybe worth a try as she's here already, but you need to make sure her driving is okay,.

BabyGiraffes Sun 09-Dec-12 22:10:51

Agree, forgot about the driving bit. That would really worry me!

Spero Sun 09-Dec-12 22:28:50

I think you both need to be very clear in your expectations of one another. I can't see how giving her a spreadsheet could be offensive?? It's making things clear for both of you.

But I do get uneasy when I see au pairs described as 'lazy'. She is not a nanny or a cleaner, you get away paying peanuts because they are not supposed to be doing that much.

A surprising number of my friends have treated their au pairs quite badly in terms of overloading them with work, then being surprised when they up and leave.

MousyMouse Sun 09-Dec-12 22:38:40

stop thinking of being rude to her.
english is a terribly confusing language, the basics are very easy but the fine tuning is incredibly hard.
wrt to the driving I would gently force her to drive with you or dh in the passenger seat, don't forget that (probably) for her you are driving on the [gasp] wrong side of the road. that takes some adjustment.

I would sit down with her tomorrow, explaining exactly in clear language what you need/expect from her. make it very clear that if it doesn't work (for all parties) that she will need to leave.

Newtothisstuff Sun 09-Dec-12 22:53:39

Would running the Hoover around, emptying the dishwasher and putting on some washing be classed as overloading someone ?? Even if she just cleaned up after herself that would suffice tbh. She tends to make her breakfast and dinner (we eat too early for her apparently so she's asked if she can eat later I.e 10pm) and explode over the kitchen and leave it for me to clean up !!

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