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AIBU?

in my assessment of whether our ex nanny is being reasonable in her expectations in life?

68 replies

confuseduntildinnertime · 05/07/2017 18:11

We live in central London. She was with us for 18 months. Her English was okay, but her accent was very thick. She was a 40 year old Ghanian woman and she also spoke french. Thick accent in French too, apparently. But regardless I think she's amazing for speaking more than one language as I can't. (accent thing is relevant btw, not just me being a cow..)

She told us after a while that she wanted to work as a PA and not with children anymore. As we considered her part of our family we gave her time off to search for a job, and we even introduced her to a few other people who might have a PA job to offer (actual companies.) We continued paying her full-time salary throughout this, even though she was only working three days a week while she looked for another job.

Everybody (who we introduced her to) said that neither her English nor her french was clear enough to take on such a communicative role in an English-language or French-language speaking company. They all also said she had no previous experience as a PA, and should gain some experience before applying again. All these companies were in central london.

We suggested to her that she becomes our nanny and our PA combined , gets some experience and moves on later. She said she didn't want to do that, she wanted to work in the office of a central London company, she wouldn't accept to move somewhere else in England. She said that she would resign and job-hunt without having to look after the DC during office hours.

We said, okay, bought her a present and wished her well. We kept in touch and saw her a few times socially where she said hi to the DC. She emailed us a lot after she left asking if we could introduce her to more companies to be their PA, but we had exhausted the people we knew so couldn't help her. She didn't seem to understand why we couldn't be the answer to her problems.

It's been a year now, and she has done lots of work experience in offices, but she doesn't have a job. And she hasn't had a salary since we last paid her, apart from some babysitting and overnighting she is doing in people's homes as a childcarer on sitters.com - and she is on benefits.

We have since found a new nanny and are very happy with her. But ex-Nanny has now come back saying she feels really desperate and really needs our help and her job back in order to pay her rent, but still maintains she wants to work as a PA eventually.

I feel quite torn because I am all for people holding on to their dreams and working towards them. She and I are the same age, so there is a lot of me imagining myself in her situation and knowing that if I tried to get a job as PA in central London now (I currently work for myself) after having 3DC, then I'd probably be having trouble too.

But I'm also aware of my own privilege. Being married and having two salaries, being white, being in the country I was lucky enough to be born in and only having to speak my mother tongue. So there is a side of me which is tempted to send her some money, or offer her some work as a PA to DH and I (we both work from home) to help get her to where she needs to be.

The other side of me feels that she has acted quite entitled and that her expectations are out of whack with reality?

OP posts:
Creampastry · 05/07/2017 18:15

No way! Keep the new nanny!! The other one is a bit delusional and taking the Mickey! Say sorry but no and move on.

GandalfsWrinklyHat · 05/07/2017 18:16

You have done more than enough and I would gently step away. It really
is not your problem (am also an immigrant).

RaspberryBeretHoopla · 05/07/2017 18:19

We had a similar situation with a nanny but she had been with us for much longer. You have done more than enough to help and introducing the instability back into your childcare arrangements is never a good idea.

Drawward · 05/07/2017 18:19

I think you have done more than enough for her and don't think I would take her back if I was you. You set her up with companies and even offered to give her PA work to round out her CV which she refused. What would you do with your new nanny if you took her back? one of two things will happen if you take her back, She will drop you with little notice if she gets her dream job or she will know you are a soft touch and the arguments of I wont be able to pay rent etc will convince you to keep her on indefinitely.

notanevilstepmother · 05/07/2017 18:20

She is guilt tripping you. You gave her a job, you tried to help her get another even though it was to your detriment, people told her she wasn't good enough, you offered her a compromise job and she refused it, ffs this isn't about privilege it's about her being delusional and entitled. You have a nanny, you no longer need flakey nanny that doesn't really want to look after your children, you were her employer not her mum, you can't put her dreams above your children's stable care and their right to a nanny that wants to look after them.

Bluntness100 · 05/07/2017 18:21

I think you e done enough too. Tell her if it doesn't work out with the new nanny you will call her, but the kids ar settled and you would feel terrible firing the new nanny, and that you expect she understands as you wouldn't have fired her in the same position.

I wouldn't give her money either, I'm sorry, that's just opening a whole can of worms,

Rossigigi · 05/07/2017 18:26

No way! She is not your responsibility. You've done all you can and you were not good enough for her- remember that.
Say thanks for the offer but you can not help her, and leave the communication there.

BritInUS1 · 05/07/2017 18:27

It was her choice to leave, it hasn't worked out, she will need to look elsewhere.

You have done everything you can, so no need to feel guilty and definitely don't loan her any money x

Jayfee · 05/07/2017 18:29

If I was 40 working in France as a nanny, I would not expect to get work as a pa in a company unless I spoke near perfect french and had the relevant skills and experience. I wouldnt want a nanny who felt she wanted to do a different job as it might be that she felt nannying demeaning and just a means to an end.

annandale · 05/07/2017 18:29

I would say that you would continue to be happy to give her references but based on the role she did for you.

Encourage her to find more nanny work, basically.

erinaceus · 05/07/2017 18:31

This is a tough one but you have done what you need to do and more. You do not need to employ her further nor help her any further.

Guilt is a difficult one to live with. You might have to endure it for a while, especially if she continues to contact you, which she might.

Truckingalong · 05/07/2017 18:36

As well as everything else, you can't just get rid of your current nanny just like that anyway.

Groupie123 · 05/07/2017 18:40

She has a point. Most PA recruiters in London now seem to want burned out company secretaries. It would be hard for her to get a job without experience. And this is on top of the burden of being non-white.

What was she like as a PA when she worked for you and DH? Was she good? If it's just a skills gap (rather than a personality/ethics gap) then yanbu to pay her minimum wage to get some PA experience. If it's her personality at fault then yanbu to tell her to do one - her issues aren't your problem.

littlebird77 · 05/07/2017 18:42

You have been incredibly kind and considerate already.

Do not give up your new nanny it is not fair on her, and also I have feeling your ex nanny would just be unhappy again anyway. If she doesn't like working with children very much why would you want her looking after your dc?

I am sorry but I wish her luck with her new job and give her some numbers for agencies that are recruiting nannies, she could have a job tomorrow if she wanted one.

Questioningeverything · 05/07/2017 18:45

Good god I'd be sending back a simple reply along the lines of
Hi x, sorry to hear of your troubles but we are unable to help. We employed you for x months and we are more than happy to provide reference to this for future nannying jobs but that is where our help ends.
Good luck with your future endeavours

You owe her NOTHING.
You were very generous and supportive to her and she's taking the piss now thinking she can have you sack off your nanny so she can have a job she doesn't actually want. I wouldn't want someone like that looking after my kids, because she doesn't want to do it! Looking after kids is something you do because you love kids. Not so you can keep looking and pestering your employers for jobs in a different area entirely.

Just. Say. No.

Andrewofgg · 05/07/2017 18:46

You've done your bit. A polite but firm No is called for.

BoffinMum · 05/07/2017 18:47

She sounds a bit weird TBH

Serialweightwatcher · 05/07/2017 18:49

I think you've done more than enough - you even offered for her to work as part P/A and part nanny and were extremely generous whilst she was wanting to leave you - you were forced to look for a replacement because of her dreams (wherein she didn't consider your needs and what if you hadn't found anyone in time) ... let her go elsewhere - she blew her chance more than once

memyselfandisolodjsjajaj · 05/07/2017 18:52

Wtf. She seems a bit nuts tbf. Stay away from her.
You were more than kind & friendly.

icelollycraving · 05/07/2017 18:52

Seriously, no. Step away from this madness.
You are clearly lovely with a conscience but she needs to get a job on her merits. If the job she can get is as a nanny then she needs to understand exactly why. Has anyone told her why she's unsuccessful in her applications?
Your nanny would probably lose some respect if the flakey nanny came back in any capacity. Do not send money,you won't send it just once!

CheshireChat · 05/07/2017 18:52

But you'd be making your current nanny jobless so there's no end to it.

As a foreigner I'd like to add that it's bloody hard to ditch your accent- I moved to the UK over 3 years ago and I was fluent to begin with and it still took me over 2 years to sound near native.

Mind, now I speak with the dreadful local accent and hopefully we'll move away soon...

HipsterHunter · 05/07/2017 18:53

If she speaks English with a strong Ghanian accent she will find it very difficult to get PA work in London - she will face prejudice for being black, African, and also there can be a culture missmatch between a western office environment and a Ghanian one.

I wouldn't underestimate the amount of prejudice she will face in the corporate environment - in our (massive international company) the catering workers are all eastern European, the receptionists are a mix of English and eastern European, the cleaners are almost exclusively
black African and the PAs are mainly women from Essex or Kent.

NellieBuff · 05/07/2017 18:54

You have a nanny you like and it would be unfair to replace her for your old nanny,

Your old nanny was a 40 year old woman who made her own choices in life, For example she could have still have been your nanny and completed a few night classes to develop her PA skills.

You did your best for her but she is not your problem and you did a great deal for her whilst she was in your employ. Please do not allow her to guilt trip you into giving her more assistance,

An I agree that a very firm NO is all that is required from you.

QuiteLikely5 · 05/07/2017 18:54

ypu are clearly a decent person - help her if you want to - not because you feel you have too

Even if she works for you as a PA would any company take that seriously? Your nanny then your PA?

She should volunteer

IHateUncleJamie · 05/07/2017 18:55

Good god, she's an ex employee, not a family member! I think you've been more than reasonable.

Plus if you take her back as Nanny you're being incredibly unfair to your current Nanny. If you take her on as a PA you could risk damaging your business if she's no actual good.

I would simply say that you've given her all the help you're able to and can't do any more than give her very good references as a nanny, but you wish her well for the future.

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