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'Mum says she's going to fire you!!'

(41 Posts)
MadHattersWineParty Thu 25-Feb-16 17:12:19

I've worked at my current position for nearly two years. One charge, 9 year old girl. Dogs that I walk/look after.

Never had an appraisal/pay review in that time even though I believe I earn below market rate (live out and in central London) I sometimes do proxy parenting and staying over as MB is a single parent and goes away on business quite regularly. Some weekend work too at same hourly rate as mon-fri.

I was very much a Nanny initially but over the past year or so it has lapsed into more of a housekeeping territory, with expected tasks creeping in that were not in my initial job description but I've just sort of accepted as girl is becoming a little more independent (I say a little, as she needs constant badgering to shower/brush hair/ teeth, do homework etc etc)

Last week the girl and the mum went skiing. The day before was half term Monday so has my charge all day. We went for long dog walk, finished a project she had to do for school, baked a cake, went shopping, then she had time on the iPad while I ironed all her clothes and put them out ready to pack, as instructed. Packed her toiletries. Cleaned her shoes, washed and dried her hair, cooked dinner from scratch for her and her mum. Kitchen tidy and clean, dishwasher on. Mum had text earlier in the day to say I needed to find and pack a certain pair of trousers. Did not find them- haven't seen them for months- I am sure she left then when she has a sleepover party.

Mum gets back at 7:30- I'd been there for 12 hours at this point. First thing she asks about is the trousers. She was annoyed I hadn't found them. Said I needed to be better organised. We went together to my charge's spare room school uniform wardrobe as she said it was in a state. (It was- I'd been looking for the trousers but as it was half term planned a big tidy of it while they were away)

It's difficult as I constantly pick up after my charge- she will literally chuck her clothes off where she stands and leave them there, hair bobbles all over the place, constant mess and rubbish on the sofa when she gets in from school. Maybe it's par for the course but she is nearly 10. I feel like I'm forever picking up after her.

Anyway my boss seemed really frosty with me and as I was dog sitting while they were away sent me a list of jobs to complete- washing all the towels, sewing buttons, tidying the pantry, cleaning the fridge, things like that. Tone was that I was lazy and needed to do more!

I've always done my charge's washing and ironing, keep her room tidy, no issue with that.

Sure enough when they got back my charge was full of 'mum wanted to fire you before we went away! She was so mad because she says you don't do much!' (Didn't say in front of mum)

Is this unprofessional?! Could she actually just fire me? What would she be able to say the reason was? Would I have any rights? Notice period on contract is one month. She seems okay with me at the moment. Has not said anything directly. But feels like a big black cloud.

I do want to leave and have had a couple of interviews since Christmas but the last one that was promising wanted to fiddle the tax and do under the table payments and I'm not prepared to do that.

Sorry it was so long. Wanted to vent and seek any advice if possible!

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MadHattersWineParty Thu 25-Feb-16 17:30:46

Just bumping

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Vixxfacee Thu 25-Feb-16 17:34:09

Do you have a contract?

I know you're looking for a new job but sounds like she is taking the piss out of you and it is time for you to go.

Did you write another thread about her a short while ago?

MadHattersWineParty Thu 25-Feb-16 17:38:14

I have written about her before.

Not a contract as such but when I used her as a referee for the flat I rent, she stated that we had a one month notice period. It says that on my original job offer too. Never had defined hours as they am expected to be quite flexible.

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Sixweekstowait Thu 25-Feb-16 17:38:17

Keep quiet, get a job and then leave without notice - you sound a bit 'soft' - learn from this re scope of duties, overtime rates etc. With your experience you should get done hung legit soon. Little girl sounds like horrible entitled brat

Sixweekstowait Thu 25-Feb-16 17:39:36

done hung something

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Thu 25-Feb-16 17:41:54

Can you keep a log of things you have done in the day? And show her?

It's full on and 12 hours plus a day plus extras is huge without a pay rise or extras

MadHattersWineParty Thu 25-Feb-16 17:42:51

It's funny as am regarded as pretty assertive by everyone who knows me. Sadly not in this area. Think I'm always worried that with such high outgoings I'd be stuffed if I rocked the boat and she let me go.

Girl can be a brat definitely. some of it is typical pre teen attitude and some is just blatant entitlement and a lifetime of people pandering to her.

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MadHattersWineParty Thu 25-Feb-16 17:43:25

Thanks- a log is a really good idea actually!

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MadHattersWineParty Thu 25-Feb-16 17:45:17

I requested time off in lieu for evening and weekend work- that was ignored. I still get basic holiday allowance. Really really want to go away for a couple of weeks with my boyfriend this year- I asked back in December if she could let me know a workable a time- too difficult to accommodate apparently until she goes away herself in August.

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VimFuego101 Thu 25-Feb-16 18:06:27

TBH i suspect she won't want to keep paying nanny rates to look after a 9 year old for much longer. So based on that alone let alone the other bad behaviour i would start looking at what else is out there.

MadHattersWineParty Thu 25-Feb-16 18:16:29

She first really pay nanny rates at the moment- I'm on £10 hour gross.... But yes the charge is starting to need a nanny less, it's the trips away that I think she really needs someone for. Girl doesn't even sleep through the night!!

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MadHattersWineParty Thu 25-Feb-16 18:16:55


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venys Thu 25-Feb-16 23:55:00

The nanny job aside, this is normal human behaviour to underestimate what other people do all day. (I am sure I constantly get judged by visitors on the sorry state of my house as a SAHM even though I work my ass off without a break every day). It's just a little unfortunate though that your boss is being less than empathetic. If you feel the relationship is strained, I hope that you can find another job soon and call it quits on this one. In the meantime, perhaps talk to the employer about ways you can help the child be a bit more responsible about the house if you feel she would be amenable to that?

ReallyTired Fri 26-Feb-16 00:07:11

Your nine year old charge is getting to an age were little girls do turn vile. Its the start of teenage hormones. She may have overheard half a conversation or coming out with a pack of lies. Young pre teens often test the boundaries to see what happens with people they love. (Ie. the nanny who they have had since they were tiny.)

It might be possible that your employer is thinking of making you redunant due to the fact that her child is growing up and having a nanny is a less appriopiate form of childcare. Even the best of nannies get made redunant when their charges grow up. Often prep schools offer wrap around or overnight care.

I hope you find a more suitable job. If you don't want to be a housekeeper then there are lots of childcare jobs.

MadHattersWineParty Fri 26-Feb-16 10:49:58

Do nannies get redundancy payments?

I have to hope she wouldn't totally screw me over if she did let me go. I know my charge is probably going to boarding school at 11, anyway.

We have discussed getting the girl to be a little more independent (basics like choosing her own clothes to wear, doing her own buttons up, putting her rubbish in the bin, drying her own hair or getting her own drink) never lasts though and her mum never introduces any consequences or incentives anyway, so she has no reason to change her behaviour unfortunately.

My current response when she says something like 'can you get me some socks ' is something like 'you've got arms and legs and know where your socks are kept' which works when I'm there but her mum does everything for her when I'm not.

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ReallyTired Fri 26-Feb-16 11:35:18

Nannies are protected by employment law as much as anyone. Statutory redundancy pay is not a lot though. Once someone has been in a role for 2 years it becomes hard to sack them.

I am surprised quite how mollycoddled your charge is. I think you are as much to blame as the mother. If you are looking after her 50 hours a week then that is plenty of time to teach her skills. If she is going to boarding school then she will really struggle if she has not got the basics of independent living.

Children respond best to rewards. Those rewards do not have to be expensive. Do you have any kind of budget for treats? Sometimes soft rewards like praise or a smile mean more than expensive rewards. I get the feeling you are blaming Mum and maybe Mum is blaming you for your charge's lack of life skills. The reality is that both of you are failing this child.

MadHattersWineParty Fri 26-Feb-16 11:46:30

Really don't think it's fair to say I'm failing the child.

And she's obviously at school during the day in term time, although of course I see her before/after.

Surely the parent has to be the highest authority in her life? This can be supported by other people of course. But ultimately they make the rules and ensure their offspring abide by them.

Anything I try to 'enforce' will need to be backed up. This child has everything. She has access to 'her' own money even on a child debit card thing. Yes I have a budget that I could spend on 'treats' but I choose not to reward bad behaviour with a trip to Starbucks. I praise her when she does something independently, of course. An almost ten year old is too old for star charts.

If her attitude and manners are unacceptable I pull her up on it and tell her she is not to speak to me like that. Then I do not engage further until she improves. She is not my child however, I can only do these things to a point.

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MadHattersWineParty Fri 26-Feb-16 11:52:16

By rewarding 'bad behaviour' I meant to say- I won't reward standard behaviour. I don't think I should heap endless praise on a child that manages to say please and thank you or put her own rubbish in the bin. That's a pretty standard level of expectation.

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ReallyTired Fri 26-Feb-16 12:07:23

Clearly your charge is in a different world to the average mumsnetter. I take your point that rewards are not going to work for the child who already had everything and sounds very spoilt to put it mildly. However even the children of the super rich often seek approval of those around them. Busy parents sometimes use money and lots of material items as a substitute for time and if I dare say it love. Maybe your charge likes being babied as a way of getting attention in a very busy household.

I still mainstain that as a significant adult in this child's life you should bare some responsibility for getting her to be a little independent. I assume you have known this child since she was tiny and you also look after her during school holidays.

Are you allowed to restrict electrical items like access to the Internet or phones or TV? Does your charge have lots of after school activites or homework. Can you use the holidays to teach her new skills?

ReallyTired Fri 26-Feb-16 12:08:08

Whoops I meant "bear" rather than bare. Drafted auto correct.

MadHattersWineParty Fri 26-Feb-16 12:18:34

Only known her less than two years- since she was 8.

Her old nanny has known her since she was tiny- a two year old I think. She still looks after her occasionally on the times Mum is away and I need a night off! It's fair to say she does baby her completely- she will give her a bath and wrap her in a towel and make her a warm milk. I refuse to have any truck with that- she'll get looking after of she's genuinely poorly but not other than that.

She has improved slightly, I think. She's stopped leaving as much of her belongings strewn about the place since I threatened to come along with a bin liner. Which I did. Cue huge tantrums and sobbing. (I didn't actually throw them in the rubbish chute but she didn't know that, and she did get the stuff back on the condition it was put away)

No screen/electrics might work. She refuses to read, that's an area she's really lacking on so am going to try reading to earn screen time.

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ReallyTired Fri 26-Feb-16 12:32:49

How many hours a week are you actually looking after this child? How many hours do you work a week? Are you primarily a nanny or a housekeeper?

MadHattersWineParty Fri 26-Feb-16 12:36:59

An hour in the morning getting ready/taking to school. 3:30-7:30 evenings. Do bits and bobs for her and the mum during the day. Plus dog care. 12 hour days in school holidays. Every two months or so overnight care when the mum is away. The odd Saturday or Sunday. Couple of late babysits a month.

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MadHattersWineParty Fri 26-Feb-16 14:52:42

Come to think of it, last week I was running late due to tube signal failure, so the mum said charge would be ready and they'd meet me at the bus stop to travel to school. Charge had unbrushed teeth and hair, sleep dust in her eyes, skirt buttoned up wrong, breakfast down her jumper and had forgotten half her sports kit. So maybe I actually do run a pretty tight ship in the morning, because that simply wouldn't have happened on my watch.

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