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My mum and a guilt trip

(49 Posts)
bubble99 Mon 28-Mar-05 20:18:00

It has been a particularly crappy week. Our son's cremation on Monday, a newborn baby who has taken to partying at 4am and two lively DS's excited at the prospect of two weeks away from school. Add to this a new business (children's day nursery) with two new premises. Staff who, despite being specifically asked to switch it off, left on Thursday afternoon with the heating on full blast (and as a result, if we hadn't discovered this on Friday morning, heating 150sqm of empty building for the whole of the bank holiday) - also leaving dirty floors and porridge oats all over the 'home corner' and surrounding area. Step this way vermin and we've even left food out for you

Should say at this point that we are resonable employers. The nursery has just opened and we have only got 5 children in at the moment. The staff are paid for 40 hours and at present, with our blessing, they are working about 20. We said we were happy for them to 'make hay while the sun shines' as long as the nursery was properly run. That is why we were so pissed off to walk in and see this on Friday.

I am covering the albeit small amount of cooking at the moment as our chef pulled as he was offered his own franchise, completely understandable but shit timing for us.

And to top it all I've had my mum leaving messages saying " Where are you? I can't believe you're not there" - No mum, I'm fast asleep as I was up all night with party boy. And "I'll 'phone tomorrow at 09.30am" - But mum, I might not even be here!
I know she's just being a mum and she's worried about me but I really resent the tone and expectation that I should be there when she wants me too. I tried to 'phone just now and got the answerphone with a sad little message on it no doubt recorded especially to make me feel bad. Well mum, it's working.

Okay. That's it and thanks for listening.

LGJ Mon 28-Mar-05 20:23:58

Ignore your Mum if you can.

Bollock the staff from a great height on Tuesday, either verbally or by Memo. Point out that you can only pay 40 hours with a low occupancy rate if you can keep overheads to a minimum i.e not heating empty space, other wise you may just have to review the situation. Bet that will get their attention.

And as for the left over food, hope you left it for them to clean up on Tuesday.

wobblyknicks Mon 28-Mar-05 20:32:31

Definitely bollock the staff until they never want to do it again. Don't know what to say about your mum, parents can be very odd and VERY selfish sometimes but so sorry you've had such a bad week.

Christie Mon 28-Mar-05 20:33:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hub2dee Mon 28-Mar-05 20:37:36

Bit harsh but could you calculate cost of heating for the weekend, and either make it clear how much it cost, or dock it off future wages ? (Esp. if they are being paid for 40 but working 20).

And, in my famous 'Mr. Practical' mode - you could invest in a programmable thermostat. Program different temperatures by time of day (ie. 15 overnight, 20 during the day, 16 all weekend) that way this sort of thing couldn't happen. Perhaps link it to a PIR for commercial premises so it's only operating when there's someone in the building ?

Hope things settle down for you.

bubble99 Mon 28-Mar-05 21:03:39

LGJ- Yes, left it all for them to clear up tomorrow morning.
Sent an email to the nursery office spelling out our views which they will get first thing tomorrow. Mr Bubble wanted it to be in writing in case we get any grief with disgruntled employees in the future.

Also pointed out that we have a child starting full days tomorrow and we hope the nursery was clean and tidy before they arrive.

wobblyknicks (inspired choice of name BTW )
I'm new to this being an employer thing and I'm still learning. I've always been an employee and I've got to learn how to deal with people as a 'boss' Mr Bubble is from a family of employers. An immigrant family three generations ago, his dad started out selling hard-to-find comics in Brick Lane at the age of 14 and ended up with a tidy little 'Empire.' So, they are very pragmatic in business while I tend to be 'fluffy'. I hate bad vibes but I suppose if a situation is handled properly it needn't come to that.
Christie - One nursery is in Richmond upon Thames and the other is in Hampton, Middlesex.

hub2dee - Good suggestion. There's something obscene about wasting energy isn't there? It also explains why the heating bills have been so high since we opened. It's crap that I now feel I'll have to go and spot check the nursery to make sure the place is clean and heating is off. Why are we employing a manager FFS
A manager who is fantastic with the children and parents BTW but needs to learn to 'kick ass' I suspect.

WideWebWitch Mon 28-Mar-05 21:08:05

I'm sorry her message made you feel bad bubble. Can you call and throw yourself on her mercy by asking for some help, explaining all you've told us? I don't know how well you get on so sorry if this isn't realistic but I bet she didn't mean to make you feel bad. It sounds like a horrible week. Bollock the staff, they won't do it again. Hire a new chef asap. Get your dh to deal with party boy for a night so you feel human. Or ask your mum to be there for 930 to let you sleep/take your ds's for a bit. Sorry if these are crappy suggestions x

Christie Mon 28-Mar-05 21:10:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bubble99 Mon 28-Mar-05 21:26:10

Cheers www Not crappy suggestions at all.
Trying to hire a new chef but it's going to take some time. Mr Bubble is off to Barcelona for a weekend in a couple of weeks time for a wedding. We were all going to go but as we thought we'd have the two big bubble boys and newborn twins in tow we thought it would be so much hassle that it would be easier if just one of us went. As he doesn't have boobs it seemed logical if he went to represent our family. As it turned out we only have one newborn but everything has now been booked and sorted. My mum is coming down from Northumbria (how she ended up there is a long story, we're a family of Southerners), to help me while he's away so she'll enjoy that.
I just feel annoyed that she's adding extra presure at a time when I really can't cope with it. Oh well, they do say parents regress and the roles reverse, maybe this is the beginning of it.

bubble99 Mon 28-Mar-05 21:32:26

Christie. Good suggestion but it's already timed to come on for 15 minutes each hour just to keep the temperature constant and they've worked out how to fiddle with it. OFSTED, quite rightly, have strict guidelines on minimum working temperatures. I suspect that if the temperature even hovers near that minimum then they whack it up full. We really don't mind this, it's just the leaving it on when there's no one there that pisses us off.

hub2dee Mon 28-Mar-05 22:08:15

Hi bub,

That 15 mins / hour sounds like a bit of a strange way to regulate heating temp IMO.

A thermostat would do you anything from 0 mins / hr (say the place is perfectly warm in Summer without heat) to 60 mins / hr (say it was needed full time on a super-cold Winter's day).

A programmable stat, as I mentioned let's you simply set target temp, but VARY this by day part / weekend etc. etc.

Sounds like you might want your sparky / plumber to come up with something. A programmable thermostat starts from perhaps £20 or so... if you want to describe boiler / heater models / layout I can try and suggest something but I am NOT a pro.

The joys of capitalism, eh.....

Beetroot Mon 28-Mar-05 22:10:14

Message withdrawn

bubble99 Mon 28-Mar-05 22:24:12

Will defo go for the thermostat. Don't know why the plumber didn't fit one with the boiler. We'll need heating 'zones' as the building has different rooms. We have TRV's.

Joys of capitalism? My arse! I'm a lefty at heart which is why I feel so let down/hurt by the way our staff have repaid our easy going-ness. I'll just have to sharpen my suit and turn into "PowerBitch"

bubble99 Mon 28-Mar-05 22:25:10

Thanks Beetroot

hunkermunker Mon 28-Mar-05 22:28:23

I'm so sorry this is your thread, Bubble, having seen the title. I hope your mum is more supportive than guilt tripping when you do talk to her - hugs to you all. I think you're amazing - you have so much on your plate and do it so well xxxxxx

(Hub2Dee - you are a marvel, a living wonder - you always give fab advice! )

LGJ Mon 28-Mar-05 22:29:29

Yay Bubbles way to go.

I know it is not easy at the moment, but if you have to turn into bitch troll from hell and then hide in your car a gibbering wreck, for the moment, well so be it. If they see you mean business and PDQ, well then, in a few weeks God willing that will be one less thing you will need to deal with, they will be running on rails. From a combination of fear and fair play.

Much love


hub2dee Mon 28-Mar-05 22:53:45

More advanced programmable thermostats can also handle different zones, driving different motorised valves too which enables zones to be turned on and off independently.

If your buildings have been laid out like this, 15 min / hour sounds totally bizarre.

Multi-zone programming will require a higher-end thermostat though, but I am sure it would pay for itself very quickly. I've never used one as I've only ever tinkered with domestic stuff.

hunkermunker -

bubble99 Tue 29-Mar-05 00:34:54

Thanks hub2dee

I'll pass your advice onto Mr Bubble as I'm a lady and enjoy ladies things,like kittens.

Am off to bed now. Nighty night all.

Bubble XXX

hub2dee Tue 29-Mar-05 08:37:10

I hope you re-read that and


Tell Mr. bubble that when he's not administering to the kitty that he should check out DIYnot's plumbing and central heating forum... MN is to babies as DIYnot is to heating.

BTW - FWIW, I doubt the heating bill from the extended weekend would amount to much, it's not been terribly cold during the day, and I guess your buildings have some kind of insulation... but, I know, it's the principal of the thing, like kittens need to learn to behave in the house and get dirty outside, stuff like that.

I'm glad you're starting to smile more, bub.

Good morning and have a lovely day.

bubble99 Tue 29-Mar-05 09:43:58

Thanks hub2dee

It's the weekends over the last 2-3 months when we now suspect the heating has probably been left on for which have annoyed us. Nothing we can do about it now, but it would explain why our last heating bill was so high.
I'm going to the nursery today to cook, taking the DS's with me to be looked after, definately a perk of having a nursery. I expect to walk in and find the place gleaming

I'm certainly finding it easier to smile, it's still early days but Bo's death is not on my mind continuously and some sunny thoughts and feelings are getting through.

Have a good day hub2dee

hub2dee Tue 29-Mar-05 10:51:18

Didn't realise it was ongoing - the weekend heating.

How irritating.

'Time heals' has got to be one of THE most annoying sayings. So hard to hear.... but there is some truth in it.

OK. Go sort out the troops with your Large Capitalist Stick !


LGJ Tue 29-Mar-05 18:27:37


Hope you sorted everthing out, and had a better day.

vict17 Tue 29-Mar-05 18:32:43

wow Bubble, you certainly have your hands full at the moment Hope you are okay and much respect to you too - have you not heard of maternity leave?!!!!

bubble99 Tue 29-Mar-05 20:23:49

Needs must vict17. We didn't plan our last pregnancy (yeah, like we planned the previous ones ) and we've spent two years getting this business up and running. Limping at the moment- more on that later.We've struggled to find premises and negotiate the exasperating planning process and when two premises that we'd been negotiating over came through we thought "Why not?" Buildings with D1 nursery usage are very hard to find in London and are usually snapped up by the chain operators. We sold ourselves and our ethos to the owners. Rent is rent I know but all commercial landlords want to know that you can pay it. Certified organic food (fairly traded where poss) freshly prepared none of your re-heat stuff, only one trainee in each nursery, staff who are paid well above the average wage (to encourage retention.) Buildings which have been completely refitted with extra touches like vegetable gardens for the children to grow in (plants that is, not the children) All in all we want our nurseries to be fantastic.
Why no maternity leave? Well the chef we interviewed and offered the job to has pulled out as he has been offered a franchise. We'd also been messed around by builders and consequently couldn't give him the start date we'd promised. I trained as a chef many years ago before I went into nursing so it was down to me to re-do my "Basic Food Hygeine Certificate" and step in.

You still awake vict17?

I have quickly realised that no one will take the same amount of care over our business and reputation as we will. I initially asked the staff to cook and it wasn't a success. Bear in mind we're cooking from scratch. Our staff are not trained cooks so it would be unreasonable of me to expect them to do it as I would like- so I'm now the chef.

Today I was there with baby Elijah and my two half term buddy elder DS's. The nursery is quiet as we've only just started getting children in and as we have 3 trained nannies there I can get on with work while they are looked after. So it's not so bad. But I am knackered.

Left another message for my mum and got the kids to leave one too. That should make her smile.

hub2dee. Got there at 11am to find the building cold and the staff and children wandering around in jumpers. Our email had scared them senseless and I think they are now all afraid of the boiler. They were eyeing it with the same expression as Mrs Doyle in "Father Ted" when she gets given the automatic tea maker.

bubble99 Tue 29-Mar-05 20:27:26

Thanks LGJ

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