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New nanny - unreasonable?

(74 Posts)
Mamafoof Mon 09-Sep-13 12:07:26

I really need some perspective here as each little thing that is happening with new nanny is starting to snowball and I am worried I am becoming resentful and unreasonable!

I'll start off by saying nanny started 3 weeks ago. She is very fun and likeable, Seems like a genuinely nice person. She had a difficult start in life but seems to have pulled through. My kids are 4 and 2.

She worked one week with us which was ok but not great. The place was an absolute mess on first day but after I mentioned to her the issue, the place is tidy when I return – not perfect but fine. She seems to lack common sense though. Dishes piled up dry on the kitchen counter – she doesn't think to put them away. Tiny bit of leftover pasta in a massive bowl which doesn't fit in fridge so she leaves it out and I have to deal when I come home. Open yoghurt pots in fridge – not cling filmed. She doesn't label kids' drinks so they end up drinking each others' which isn't ideal.

She texted in sick for whole following week with 45 mins notice. She was ill – bad case of food poisoning so we had to deal with the inconvenience (and we paid her half pay – as we felt bad to just give her statutory but she had only worked with us for one week). Then when we were expecting her to come again on Monday, she texted again on Sunday to say she couldn't come in as she was ill again. Apparently, the food poisoning wasn't treated properly. So she missed a further three days.

Generally, she is not responsive to texts, emails and calls unless she is requesting something. I find this very annoying as I really do value quick responses. She is getting better but it's still not great.

She also requested holiday, which I then had to request at my work and then she told me, she got dates wrong so I need to cancel and reapply with my work. I get the feeling she is not very organised, just by the questions she asks. She runs out of the door telling me 'she thinks the keys are in the bag but not sure'. She doesn't give me great de-briefs of the day and tries to remember times of feeding, naps, despite me asking her to write stuff down.

Then today, she was 2.5 hours late. The trains were terrible (I checked) but she waited 1.5 hours on the platform before deciding to take a bus so she could have been a lot earlier. It worries me that she lacks common sense. She has also asked for 10 days unpaid so she can study – this is over and above all her holidays. I feel like I am fitting my life around her at the moment and we wanted to get a nanny to make our lives easier.

Am I being too picky? I need to raise this with her but the common sense point, is something I think will be hard to change? I don't want to overwhelm her but am getting v frustrated with all of this.

saintlyjimjams Tue 10-Sep-13 21:43:47

Hm. Maybe set out clear rules and give her some time. Although tbh it does sound rather as if she isn't going to naturally do what you would like or want & it might take rather a lot of effort to change her.

valiumredhead Tue 10-Sep-13 21:49:47

Do you have a dish washer, is it not part of any nanny's job to clear away/fill and empty the washer ?

valiumredhead Tue 10-Sep-13 21:53:29

When you say you had to coat up the pasta what do you mean exactly? A pan with cling film, is that all? Or was it just the pan cooling down?

valiumredhead Tue 10-Sep-13 21:53:43

Clear up

Mamafoof Tue 10-Sep-13 21:59:54

Pasta was in pan on hob since lunch. So I had to empty it and wash the pan. Not a big deal but it would be nice to have the kitchen as I left it. We have a dishwasher and I had run a load this morning. It wasn't emptied but wouldn't expect it to be, to be honest. My previous nanny would have done it anyway but feel like i have to expressly ask this one to do stuff. I am not bothered about dishwasher as it is not related to her duties so thats fine.

valiumredhead Tue 10-Sep-13 22:04:49

I think the dishwasher is related to her duties a she should clear up after making meals and you can't without emptying the washer.

I think you need to tell her that the kitchen must be left tidy unless the kids are ill or something.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Tue 10-Sep-13 22:08:36

It doesn't sound like organisation or being very reliable are her natural characteristics. She can learn how to be like this but only if she really wants to if it isn't how she naturally is.

I don't think you're making it clear to her how important it is that she does things like do a proper hand over / be on time / reply to your texts. Can you sit down with her and make it clear that you really need her to do these things all the time and reliably as a core part of the job?

As for the kitchen stuff, you need to give her really clear instructions and see if she follows them. Just leaving it and hoping she ll get the message won't end well!

Good luck

valiumredhead Tue 10-Sep-13 22:11:36

Double is right. Make a list and go through it with her all this stuff was in my contracts when I was a nanny. My last contract was pages long but it was really good as everything was very clearly laid out as to what my employers wanted.

Wickedgirl Wed 11-Sep-13 04:08:14

Did you ask her why she hadn't tidied the kitchen after lunch?

ifink Wed 11-Sep-13 05:00:19

my previous nanny would never had called in sick with only 45 mins notice...and if she was running late would have been in constant contact as to what was happenning/asking whether she should get a cab etc. She was completely and utterly aware that my employing her meant I could WORK and earn her and our keep. Your nanny doesn't seem to get need to have the chat i.e. improve or you are out and only give it another week or so.

LolaCrayola Wed 11-Sep-13 05:20:16

You are bothered about the dishwasher not being emptied though, aren't you? Otherwise why would you have mentioned it here. Yes she does sound a bit flaky, but you sound like VERY hard work. I think she might be getting cold feet about working for the type of person who labels their children's cups!

mykingdomforasleep Wed 11-Sep-13 05:35:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Eastpoint Wed 11-Sep-13 06:00:06

I think you need to lo

Eastpoint Wed 11-Sep-13 06:01:35

I think you need to find a new nanny. She doesn't sound like a good match for you & at the moment you can just tell her she isn't working out.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 11-Sep-13 13:50:10

I think you need to find a new nanny - nannies are meant to make parents life's easier and yours isn't

Trains Etc so get delayed / it happens

Really don't understand the yog pots things - big ones have lids / little ones get eaten in one go

Drinks - labelled?? Really. Why?

Personally I prefer to unload dw rather then wash up

Maybe she was letting left per lunch cool down and then put in fridge /freeze it - clingfilm to stop flies

Do you trust her to cope in an Amergency?

Reinette Wed 11-Sep-13 20:14:38

I'm a nanny for young children and there is nothing you've complained about that I think is OTT (aside from labeling drinks, which is unusual but which I'd happily do if you told me it was important in your household).

Of course cleaning up after a meal is part of my job! Of course keeping food and dishes tidy and put away is a part of that. Of course I keep a detailed log for the parents and I always stay until my end time to give a daily debrief, I'd never dream of asking to rush out the door when they come home early to chat! As for being out sick, that sounds like some bad luck but her lack of common sense with regards to how much notice she gives you would be the last straw for me - I once went to work very, very ill because an hour simply wasn't enough notice for my boss to change her plans (although she kindly reciprocated by coming home early to relieve me).

Basically at work I think of any daily tasks like this - first priority: is this healthy/stimulating/appropriate for the children? second priority: is this making family life/running the household easier for the mom and dad? What's easiest or most natural for me does not factor in at all - I'm at work, not at home, and my job is to ensure those two goals are met every day. I truly think you should let her go ASAP and find someone who is more naturally on top of things, a little less absent-minded and better able to communicate with you. Yes, you'll need to manage any nanny you hire, but this one sounds like she needs much more management than you should reasonably have to provide.

Mamafoof Thu 12-Sep-13 21:50:48

Thanks Reinette - you sound like a great nanny and one that would fit well in our family! I think we will find a new one. She also has other commitments in evenings which wasn't allowing her to focus so I think it's best for her also.

MGMidget Thu 12-Sep-13 23:30:53

Drinks labelled because one may have a cold, the other doesn't (yet) so why make it a certainty that they will catch it by swapping their drinks around?

However, the big stuff for me is the lateness, the absence and the general chaos. 2.5 hours late because of trains rings alarm bells - is this a one off or is her journey to work going to cause frequent problems ( in which case you need to hire someone who lives in a less problematic location). Secondly, the sickness absence - several days for food poisoning and only been in the job a week. Did she visit the doctor? For that many days sickness I would expect a doctor's note, especially since she seems to have said the food poisoning wasn't 't treated properly. You mention she's looking after a sibling. Do you mean her sibling? I am wondering if the absence has something to do with that rather than food poisoning?

I suspect it's going to end in dismissal soon but you need to give her a bit longer ( not much longer) to see if she just had a run of bad luck at the start of the job.

mykingdomforasleep Thu 12-Sep-13 23:33:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mamafoof Fri 13-Sep-13 13:02:33

Thanks - the labelling is just so they don't pass on germs - I know it could be inevitable anyway but would rather do what I can to avoid it. She never did provide a sick note - she said she would have to go back and get one and pay for it and she didn't want to spend the money. I believe her though. Since I first posted, we had a chat and she hasn't improved - it's definitely an inherent trait to be disorganised and untidy. She is basically just a glorified babysitter.

TantrumsAndBalloons Fri 13-Sep-13 13:13:09

I don't think you sound like hard work.

Realistically you are employing someone to do a job. Therefore that is what they have to do.

If I employ someone at work and they are unable to follow instructions, turn up on time, take a lot of time off, I would review their position.

It doesn't matter if people think cling film on yoghurt a in unnecessary, that is what you have asked to do. It's not really a difficult task is it?

rabbitstew Sat 14-Sep-13 23:20:56

Well, clearly this nanny's kitchen hygiene gives her food poisoning grin. Someone who shoves half-eaten, uncovered food in my fridge and leaves dirty saucepans on my cooker for the food inside to solidify rather than clearing up after herself wouldn't last long in my house. It sounds like living with a student - oh yes, she is, really, isn't she?... I wouldn't trust her with a 2-year old.

Echocave Sun 15-Sep-13 04:09:57

OP, I don't think you're being too demanding either.

If your nanny is on probation, you should tell her what you want doing differently and if no improvement, let her go.

Sickness is tough and she may well have actually been ill but I think the rest of her timekeeping, asking for lots of leave immediately, only replying to texts when she wants something is a bad sign especially so early on.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 15-Sep-13 08:25:38

Different colour cups works instead of labelling. At 2 and 4 they are capable of knowing they drink from say a red or
Blue cup smile

My 16mth knows his cup from his 3yr brothers cup and brings to me if out at the park etc

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