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How do I write a ref for my AP who is reluctant to do housework & still needs encouragement to interact with dd and ds?

(44 Posts)
Justeat Sun 18-May-14 16:31:22

AP since Sept 2013, goingvmid-June.
I had to keep her cos I had a c-section end of Oct 2013, which she knew I was having when she agreed to work for me.
DD is 6 and DS nearly 7 months.
I can't rely on her to do housework properly (dislikes dusting & pulls a face when I ask her to clean the unsmelly bathroom).
When she feeds or plays with ds, she only smiles and talks to him if I encourage her to.
I want to write that she works well under supervision.
IMO, she wanted to come here to London for a year-off and do the bare minimum.

nannynick Sun 18-May-14 18:12:09

Stick to facts, so things like how long they have been with you, ages of the children, if it was shared care, how much sole care (if any).

If you have raised housework issues with her, given opportunity to improve, then you can write something about reluctance to do housework duties.

Write about good things - such working well under supervision. If she has come up with good places to go with DD such as parks, museums, and used her initiative to do trips out when appropriate to do so, then mention that sort of thing. Try to mention the good things and leave the not so good things unsaid, instead invite people to contact you to discuss further.

Justeat Sun 18-May-14 20:33:31

No sole care with me out of the house.
I'm not happy to give her a glowing ref, cos she acts as if housework is beneath her.

Justeat Sun 18-May-14 20:33:40

No sole care with me out of the house.
I'm not happy to give her a glowing ref, cos she acts as if housework is beneath her.

Justeat Sun 18-May-14 20:33:40

No sole care with me out of the house.
I'm not happy to give her a glowing ref, cos she acts as if housework is beneath her.

Justeat Sun 18-May-14 20:34:23

Bad computer!

DocDaneeka Sun 18-May-14 20:56:52

What about what the big companies do? Just confirm that you employed her, her duties and the dates. No need to say more than that.

Justeat Sun 18-May-14 21:02:25

Am thinking of doing that Doc D.

Karoleann Sun 18-May-14 22:27:28

If you weren't happy with her then a bare minimum reference is fine. Put a number/email on the reference so that you can be contacted.

However, au pairs should only be doing light housework, I wouldn't ask ours to do a bathroom or dusting unless it was in the children's room.

BackforGood Sun 18-May-14 22:35:42

I agree with others about just stating the facts - eg, how long she's been with you, that she worked well under supervision, but I too am confused about you wanting her to dust and clean the bathroom - I understood she wasn't here as a cleaner hmm. My (I concede, limited) knowledge of Au Pairs is that they are there to look after the children, in exchange for a place to live whilst learning the language, not clean for you.

leeloo1 Sun 18-May-14 22:48:13

I'd say state the dates she was there and that it was shared care, then could you mention the things she is good at - e.g. was always on time for work'. And/or 'followed instructions when clearly stated'.

Then it'll speak volumes about what you're not mentioning!

Justeat Sun 18-May-14 23:03:08

AP's do light housework, wiping over a damp bathroom isn't particularly onerous.
Anyway, I listed various jobs in the specification I sent to the ap agency and told ap on Skype before she accepted the position.
have a weekly cleaner to do a deeper clean, as I am re-babyproofing the whole house after a loft conversion.
I can't leave her with the children as she isn't animated with them.

blueshoes Sun 18-May-14 23:07:42

My current aupair is very average. She got a glowing written reference from her previous host family who did not return my call when I left a message for the host mum to call me to chat about the aupair. I had to hire in a hurry and so offered before I could speak, whereupon it did not make sense to call the referee any more.

I now think I know why the host mum did not want to speak to me - the aupair was really just passable and in many ways like your current aupair. In hindsight, words like "very obliging" in the reference were a red flag, meaning the aupair needed to be reminded to do things a lot but then did them when you asked (hence "obliging"), then forgets a week later so I have to remind her again. But she is "obliging".

I don't think references that only pick out the few good points like that do anybody any favours. The aupair is the wrong fit for my family - she could have found herself a family whose parents were around more and could supervise her more easily. dh and I work ft and end up getting irritated because she is not an independent worker.

I would stick to the HR-type reference and not put anything glowing if overall, you would not hire her again if you had the choice. We are all working parents. I did not appreciate picking up someone else's dud to assuage their conscience.

blueshoes Sun 18-May-14 23:09:44

All my aupairs do housework. It is in the timetable. They know before they accept the position. I don't get this idea of how housework is somehow beneath an aupair. I do housework, my dh does. If we can do it, so can anyone else who lives in my house.

Justeat Sun 18-May-14 23:12:34

Thanks all for your help.
TBH, she takes the p%=s sometimes, not picking up a damp towel after dd has showered and letting dd use a whole tub of hair conditioner in the shower!
Letting ds cry and not offering him water or a cuddle and not calling me for guidance, when I'm just upstairs tidying up!
I have other help in reserve, so if my next ap can't get her act together, even after a few pointers, I can send her home.
I wanted to send this one home when ds wss a month old, cos she didn't work well after my csection, house was covered in dust and smelly, until I hauled myself out of bed to inspect and supervise.
I had to get a cleaner in who demsnded to know what ap was doing, cos house was grimy and dusty!

Justeat Sun 18-May-14 23:14:44

I agree with u blueshoes.Tell some of these ap nevrr to leave home, cos housework is simply tooooo demanding!

Justeat Sun 18-May-14 23:17:00

Sometimes, it's like she only arrived in my house yesterday and she's not sure what to do.

blueshoes Sun 18-May-14 23:22:55

Justeat, I take what I said back. My aupair is not like yours. Yours is 10x worse! Just get rid. It is better to be without her than to face the aggro of having to manage her and have her underfoot.

In the meantime, if you have not already done so. Start to write out a timetable with clear instructions on what the aupair has to do during each part of the day. I start with what time she has to be up and ready to what she should be doing each hour of the day. I also have houserules, like whether they can bring friends over or keeping their rooms tidy.

Clearly, whilst your dd is little, any timetable will be subject to change but you can always tweak it as you go along.

It would be helpful for when you get your next aupair. This one is probably unsalvageable from what you describe.

Justeat Sun 18-May-14 23:37:55

She's going anyway in 4 weeks and my summer girl starts, so any laziness and a warning, then off she'll go home.
Current ap not totally useless, just unpredictable in her attitude.

Justeat Sun 18-May-14 23:41:37

Am sick of managing her.
She knows to do some things without being asked, but it would be nice for her to ask if she should do x, y or z ( like make my bed).
She does as little as she can get away with.
My mother was v angry after my csection and told me ap was taking advantage of me being in bed.
I know for my next one!

Justeat Sun 18-May-14 23:42:43

I did a time table, she ignored it and didn't ask me if she had any questions about it.

Justeat Sun 18-May-14 23:43:29

Timetable was in Oct 2013.

LadyWithLapdog Sun 18-May-14 23:52:05

You want your AP to make your bed?

I've had two APs, so not huge experience. I haven't asked either of them to do anything else than look after the DCs and very light tidying of the kids' rooms, or else to guide them in how to tidy up. I had a cleaner to do the cleaning and I did a lot too. Each with their own rules.

PixieofCatan Mon 19-May-14 06:36:35

I'm wondering if you're asking too much of her tbh. Light cleaning, fine, but why is she making your bed?! dust the kids rooms, fine, but apart from maybe grabbing cobwebs in the rest of the house if she sees them I wouldn't expect more. She does sound shit, but as I said, I'm also wondering if you do expect too much too.

Brabra Mon 19-May-14 06:48:00

Making your bed? Really? You sound awful.

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