AP - what would you do?(4 Posts)
We have had our AP for 6 months and she is due to stay another 6 month, and up until yesterday we had absolutely no issues with her. She is quiet, polite, gets on well with boys and has been extremely reliable.
Anyway, we got back from holiday yesterday - AP had been on 3 weeks paid leave and was due back to London on Sat.
Sunday evening there was no sign of her. DH managed to speak to her on phone about 8pm, and it is possible that there was a bit of a misunderstanding, but we expected her home late that night.
This am, no sign of her. I rang a number of times, but got number unavailable. Tried her French phone and got answer phone. She knows she has sole charge of DS1 today for the first time (no misunderstanding potential there). I am due to leave for work as usual at 7am; DH leaves at 7.30.
By 7.30, I am really concerned and phone her parents. Maybe she has changed her mind and is in France, maybe there is a problem. I know the intention was to go to Notting Hill Carnival with a friend. Parents have no idea and can't shed any light on things. I ring the police, and while speaking to them, AP rings me. She is ok.
She is incredibly apologetic and explained that she was in a hotel in Kings Cross ??? and had overslept. She is mortified that I have spoken to her Dad. She finally arrived home about 9.30, looking pretty rough (although I don't think hungover) which makes me about 3 hours late for work.
So, question is, what should I do? I think a serious chat is in order. We don't want her to go, but will make it clear that if this happens again it would be unacceptable. Financially should we do anything? We have a week's pay (last week of holiday pay) of £70 that we are due to give her. Incidentally we give her a lot more holiday than the minimum - she has had 4 weeks and will get at least another 3 before she goes next March.
Only other thing to mention is that this weekend we have a wedding to go to - she is coming and is staying in the hotel too. Last time this happened we paid her an extra £20 (as well as her being a guest at first half of wedding and having all food etc paid for).
Anyway ladies (and men too), is a firm talking to sufficient or would you recommend anything else?
I think having called her parents has probably given her enough of a shock - if this is really is out of character, that will have done the wake-up trick. Beyond that, I would say to her "I'm sure we both realise that what happened was a mistake that cannot happen again" - if she agrees (fervently!) with you, then I should think no further action ... but keep an eye on her attitude. Often people do note that APs have a sort of 6-month 'life', and attitude tends to slip thereafter.
If you get any sort of defensiveness or reluctance to accept responsibility, then I would (a) dock her hourly wage for the time she was late this morning; (b) tell her clearly that if she is ever uncertain of what's expected of her (re: the possible misunderstanding you mentioned) she MUST ask and make sure you all understand each other - it's her job to be clear just as much as it is yours; and (c) that this is a formal warning, and another incident will mean you have to part company.
Her father called me back and said that he had made her cry. I think she is mortified.
I would have the serious talk and agree with blink that it should be made clear that this is a formal warning (consider whether or not you want to put it in writing - if everything else is good I would probably not).
Consider whether you pay her less for the weekend (£10 or £15 only) and say the balance is hours you owe her.
The calling the parents is often the ultimate threat, our AP recently returned late from a weekend away (in her defence we were abroad and she got confused by a foreign rail network) and was incredibly relieved that I hadn't called her parents!
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