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How to handle this situation(19 Posts)
We hired a very experienced nanny nearly a year ago, through an agency, two long term previous positions, checked references. Most recent reference had niggles about tidiness but otherwise positive. She is paid a good salary, 11p/h net - so equivalent to a full time salary of nearly £30k. We gave her an xmas present of over £100 and she gets a £1k bonus after a year's service.
She has been ok with us but not brilliant - never goes above and beyond in any way shape or form. We have been scrupulous about treating her fairly and have never once been late. I rush home from work and usually arrive at about 15 mins before her end time, so that I can have a chat with her about the day before she leaves. I want to hear about what the children have been doing etc. She is not forthcoming but will usually talk when asked. She has 3 hours every day to herself (paid) in term time when my younger kid is in pre-school. She is supposed to cook for children/do their laundry and any other child related tasks in this time. Older kid is in school till 3.
So basically, I feel that she has a well-paid position and we treat her like a professional, rightly so. Recently, her attitude towards us has been quite frankly rude. One example from a few weeks ago. She got pissy with me because I forgot to do the online shop for children's food this and also becuase I'd asked her to ensure the children ate plenty of vegetables. She wrote a rude note for me, which she left for me to find after she had left for hte day. We had a chat the following day and felt we could move on.
Then tonight, I was a little stressed as the children were going mental when I got in, she was putting her coat on to leave without speaking to me about the day (10 mins before her leaving time), and my tone of voice was probably a little short as I was trying to get details out about the day. She walked out on me mid-conversation (5 mins before her due leaving time).
Is there any way forward from this? Don't want to get another nanny as she is the third children have had in 3 years - worried about attachment disorder/long term emotional damage; poor kids. But equally i'm here in tears tonight about her rudeness and don't know how to move forward. She's 4 days a week 10.5 hours per day and I see kids every morning and evening most days for about an hour if that makes a difference.
Just talk to her?
Tbh I don't really see the issue.
Firstly you forgot to order food for the children, what was she supposed to feed them? Did she have to use own money to go and get stuff in? If you hadn't ordered food how could she give them ' more vegetables'?
Presumably you have usually come home and she can leave when your home as not needed. I think 5 mins update is fine, surely you don't need a 15 mins full daily details every day? If you want that I suggest you get her to keep a daily diary as at 6pm it can be hard every day to remember exactly what happened at 10am. I would only want a basic yes all is well, or x has had a sore throat or something so I can keep an eye on it. Daily full length detail isn't needed
Er, she was supposed to go to the supermarket (v close to our house) and use the money we leave in the kitty for it... On time that I am paying her for and when her contract states that her duties include food shopping for the children
She should not be walking out until her contracted hours are up unless I say she can leave, which 99 times out of 100 I do.
I can't think of any other job where you would simply walk out and still expect to be paid for that time!
I agree with Artandco and from reading your reply to her response I can probably see why your nanny is like this. It seems like you begrudge her leaving all of 5mins early???
You need to talk to your nanny. 15mins handover isn't really needed - get her to write a daily diary to keep you updated. Tbh when my nanny boss returns from work I usually have coat and shoes on ready to go and we have a quick 2-3mins handover.
Also what happened with your other nannies?
It's simple - you either talk to her about your 'issues' and work it out or find another nanny!
I think you need to sit her down and ask her if somethings bothering her/upsetting her.
Ask her if she's happy, question her change in attitude. Tell her you aren't a mind reader - if you've done something to upset her you need to know.
Open up the lines of communication.
A surly nanny and pissed off employer = a recipe for disaster.
I was a nanny. I kept a daily diary and would write everything of interest in it for the children. I would chat with the parents about the day but not everything.
I wouldn't need telling to feed the children more veg and if the shopping had not been done I'd be offering to do it.
Once, in all my jobs I had my coat on when the mother got home as it wasn't the first time she was late that week and I had had enough of being taken for granted.
As a nanny I have bosses that get home anything up to half an hour before my finish time. I would never leave early unless I'm told I can go (which they usually do)
I'm a bit of a chatterbox and would usually give my boss a quick run through of our day and anything the children have achieved or funny things they may have said - I do keep a daily diary but really only have time to write what the children have eaten, times they have slept and where we have been.
Re the food - maybe she was planning on a batch cook whilst the kids were at nursery and she was annoyed at not having the ingredients and had not factored in time to go out and get them - not that that excuses her being rude about it.
You need to ask to have a meeting with her (child free) and run through things with her - things that are going well as well as things that may need to change.
Blimey, Foresitters and Artandco, yes I do begrudge it when I am paying her for that time. I am happy to let her leave early but only when she is given leave to do so by her employer ie me. She never, ever arrives even a minute early to work and is often several minutes late. I can't imagine walking out of work early without making up the time elsewhere.
I will try and open communication with her - I have previously (at the time of the previous incident) said she should feel free to call me at any time during the day if she feels she wants to talk about something and I will make time to talk with her, either there and then or we can arrange a time when both my dh and I will get home early so one of us can sit down with her without the children.
X post with other responses. Yes we need to have another talk with her but frankly am feeling quite upset and feel like we are bending backwards so she can walk all over us. I feel if she thinks it's ok to walk out on me mid-conversation that is not a good foundation for a relationship.
Sounds a bit of a nightmare to be honest. My nanny stays until her finish time (6.30pm) no matter what time i arrive home - even if that's 5pm. Gives me a chance to have a bit of a tidy up, chat with her, play with my DS whilst she cleans up the tea things... It wouldn't occur to me that she leave as soon as I came in!
I think you should ask her for a review meeting and sit and talk though all your concerns and ask if she isn't happy in her job. I often think and open and honest discussion can really help these situations.
Also re the food.. Why couldn't she have just used the kitty money and just popped the shop? My nanny has done this with no issue whatsoever. It seems a bit precious.
Honestly, I don't think she's for you.
A nanny has to be professional, but also is virtually a family member. Being short about doing reasonable duties, walking out early, it's just not on, and I don't know how you can come back from that.
3 nannies in 3 years isn't ideal, but kids pick up on this kind of stuff, I think it's back to the drawing board - you're paying a totally fair salary, you need to be happy (and I understand the dread at starting over)
She's your employee, not your friend. As long as you are polite and respectful then it's ok to draw her attention to her job description, hours of work and the fact that it's not ok to speak to you the way she has or to walk off and go home while you are in the middle of talking to her and during time that she is still employed to work. Doesn't matter that it was only 5 minutes before her leaving time it was still before her leaving time and it is bloody rude to walk out while someone is speaking to you. It shows utter contempt.
I don't know of any other job where the employer would be the bad guy for pulling up an employee when they were not doing the job that they were paid to do. Any other job where the employee didn't do some of the things in their job description, wrote their employer a rude note and walked off and went home 5 minutes before their contracted time was up and while their employer was mid sentence - would find themselves in the middle of a disciplinary procedure. It is no different just because she is working from your home or because her job is looking after your children.
I don't mean to worry you but if she is offhand and rude with you how is she treating the children?
I think you need to sit down and tell her that she is coming across as rude and unhelpful. And that her assuming she can leave early is grating if she hasn't done what you expect, i.e. Handover. Plus tardiness at the beginning of the day coupled with early leaving is making you think she isn't interested I. Keeping the job. Plus I don't care what your transgressions were vis not shopping for food (in which you sound perfectly reasonable), she should not be leaving pissy notes about it or being overtly rude.
Have a think about how you would go about getting rid of her. I think it's a shame when there are many helpful pleasant nannies out there to get stuck with the surly one who gives you attitude.
I'd be worried that the outward show of animosity would translate into something worse behind your back, or if she can't stand the job she could leave you in the lurch, go on long term sick, anything really.
This is your home and your life and your children. You are paying her well to be made to feel uncomfortable and dissatisfied.
I think wringing your hands over the nanny changes is silly. Get one you like and set your mind at rest. Chances are you won't need to change again if you find one you like.
Totally agree with arfarfanarf. I do not see how anyone could justify what she did: she was extremely rude to you. She sounds as if she does not LIKE you very much and when you have someone looking after your children, you need that confidence that she is in your camp, on your team. New nanny required.
I just think you need to re-enforce yourself as the employer. Its very easy in a nanny situation to become too friendly with your nanny.
Sit down and explain that you expect her to stay until her finish time each day, go through her daily diary and I would also say that you'd also like to pass on the food shopping to her as well. I think if you re-form your employer/employee relationship you might not need to have a new nanny.
Seems weird she walked out in middle of you talking
She shouldn't be late each morning tho also shouldn't be few mins early either
I don't think a 15mins chat is needed daily. Quick email :text : diary and few mins chat
Sounds you do begrudge your nanny leaving few mins early / tbh if you are home early and all has been said then let her go
The no food is annoying but assume you said please go and get some bits using the kitty money once youngest is at nursery
3 nannies in 3yrs sounds bad. How long were last 2 there for and why did they leave?
Will she be getting the £1k bonus after she's been there a year. Does she know about it!
I would never walk away from my boss while she was talking to me (even though she'll sometimes ask me a question then get distracted by her phone and I know she's not listening!)
My boss gets home an hour before my finish time 6/7 times out of 9 (9 day fortnight) I would never leave before she said I could finish, even if I have everything done (I even prep their dinner 2 days a week, but do it at lunch time) although on a Monday night I go to the local pub quiz and I have my coat on when she walks in the door but this is a long standing arrangement and she will let me know at least a week in advance if she cannot get home (or gets my DB to get home early)
I don't think a 15 minute handover is always needed either, if there is a problem with my charge I will text my boss and let her know, if he is under the weather, if he has an odd rash, if he's been a bit of a pickle, if he's had any medication etc,.if he's done something funny or sweet or we've made something - biscuits, crafts, painting or play doh I put a message/photo/video on the family group chat so grandparents can see too, but you pay her until xxxx time and she is not free to leave until you say, great thanks have a good night/weekend, see you tomorrow/Monday.
I agree with others, you should talk to her. You have an anniversary coming up, book for both you and DH to finish an hour early and tell her that you will be home at xxxx for a yearly review., write a list of things you are happy with and a list of things you are not, start with something you are pleased with and gush about it and then go on to one or two things that you feel she is not doing to the best of her ability/to the standards you require and could she pick up her game. End on we think you are great for xxxx reasons and hope that we can move forward happily from here.
I also would not be giving her the bonus! (I might be clouded by the fact I have never had a £1k yearly bonus and I have been a nanny for almost 30 years! To be fair to my employers, they have all been great and I have got some nice bonus' and 'anniversary' presents.) if she doesn't know about it then maybe buy her a little present, if she does, I'm not sure what you can do! You tell her she hasn't earned it, she'll be pissed off and may look for a new job and leave you in the lurch! If you give it to her and she doesn't pull her socks up/quits in a few months you will be pissed off!
May just be better to find someone new and let her go before the bonus comes due!!
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