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Irritating things that au pairs/nannies do...

92 replies

Tanzie · 21/11/2004 20:55

Following on from the other thread, and apart from seriously evil stuff that my last nanny used to do, I would (perhaps rather pettily) include the following:

Piling up the rubbish in a huge pyramid on top of the binbag so she doesn't have to change it yourself.

When the pile topples over, scatter carrier bags full of rubbish from the kitchen bin randomly around the overflowing bin (so someone else will deal with the mess and not her...)

Diluting the washing up liquid (an Eastern European thing I think)

Removing the cardboard tube from the loo roll holder and chucking it on the loo floor, but not bothering to move three feet and replace it with a new loo roll.

Saying "It depends what you're having" when you ask if she will be eating with the family that night.

Dumping clothes in a crumpled mess on top of the tumble drier so she can get her stuff in it, instead of folding it so that it doesn't need ironing.

Having to be asked every week to do one simple thing (eg use the brush when you've had a poo, put the children's clothes away if they're clean and folded on top of thewshing machine...)

Feeding children processed crap that she has bought herself (eg microwaveable burgers) rather than grilling fish fingers and making mash to go with them (too much effort).

OP posts:

Ameriscot2004 · 21/11/2004 21:02

Oooooh, where do I start?

"filling" the dishwasher with just two or three things - cups upright, big knives in the small cutlery basket, plates on the top rack etc.

dumping children's clothes in just any old drawer, regardless of what the item is or who it belongs to

leaving exposed food in the fridge or out in the open


copey · 21/11/2004 21:06

Hello, am new to mumsnet. Would anyone recommend a good au-pair agency?


Tanzie · 21/11/2004 21:10

Ameriscot - yes, on the dishwasher! Despite unloading it every morning (and presumably seeing how it shouldbe stacked), just shoving stuff in willynilly (and being surprised when it doesn't get clean!).

Copey - not an agency, but if you are in/near London, would recommend Simply Childcare. It's a magazine where you can put your own ad in and read those of au pairs who are looking for jobs. People who run it are v v helpful. Can't do links, but should find it for you.

OP posts:

Caligula · 21/11/2004 21:23

Dumping the children in front of Cbeebies so that they don't have to engage with them.

God yes, the bin one.

Leaving crumbs on the work surface because they melt into thin air within an hour or so, don't they?

Washing up stuff that they have used themselves, but not the other 2 dishes that have been left in the sink.

That's all for now - might be able to come up with more later!


Tanzie · 21/11/2004 21:31

We had one that used to slump in front of daytime TV with them all afternoon. Got a bit suspicious when DD1 started to warble all the theme tunes to daytime TV programmes! We also deleted Cartoon Network pdq as well.

OP posts:

Caligula · 21/11/2004 21:33

Ooh yes, when they start humming stuff from MTV and you see them watching semi-pornographic videos with cavorting, jewellery laden models...


Tanzie · 21/11/2004 21:35

Thankfully MTV doesn't come on until the evening. But there is an irritating similar Dutch channel which regularly runs an advert for something (can't remember what, some beer I think) which says "If the music's too loud, you're too F*ing old!" We have deleted that one too!

OP posts:

Caligula · 21/11/2004 22:36

Just thought of another one: turn off Radio 4 and have Invicta FM, complete with moron with a drum machine behind him, blaring out inanities in my kitchen. Puts me off me porridge!


hattiel · 23/11/2004 20:09

Using our cosmetics, shower gel, hair stuff.

Overloading the dishwasher.

Never pass on phone messages

Form the day she arrived Our first Au pair tried to convince us she was Mary Poppins. She said she did'nt drink alchol ( in fact never), did'nt have boyfriends, did not eat chocolate, or smoke. As if we would believe all this!!

The second was true she never had boyfriends, instead she would go out on a date - usually with an unsuspecting male for an expensive meal, or expensive nights out then dump him with no explanation. We would sometimes be left with either upset or irrate messages on my answer machine.

Drinking alchol - well maybe she did'nt do it often I think i know why!!! It wasn't unusal for our family to be woken by a drunken Au pair in a heap in the hall way, and the house alarm blarring out, she would normally be reaking of booze ( on one occassion had a bottle in her hand, staggering around looking for the light switch, my 6year old did a good impression of drunk au pair looking for a light switch.

She was also the A-Z of night clubs and pubs in our area.

Chocolate... i don't know any one who can put on 2 stone in 3 months by just eating the meals i cook. She use to raid the childrens sweets in the evening, and hide chocolate.

smoking .. yes like a chimmney


Caligula · 23/11/2004 22:02

PMSL Hattiel

Especially at the 6 year old drunk impression!


hattiel · 24/11/2004 14:02

  • Yes we laugh about it now.

I can't stop thinking about irritating stuff i was discussing this with DH...and

Putting her washing in tumble dryer, not hanging it out on a blistering hot day.

Complaining constantly about the weather, English food, that the house is too noisey at weekends and the children wake her up, and my house is too draughty. ( I bought her some ear plugs and draught excluder).

storing food in her room and opening food then leaving it
Hogg the telephone.

One girl was like the rottweiler of Au pairs, she could reduce children to tears at the park if they dared the push in front of DD on the slide. DD found it most embarrassing.

oh yes the televison on all day!! Au pair use to humm and sing the tune or come out with phrases from teletubbies and tweenies,

This seems silly, but It use to irritate me that she could make me paranoid, by telling me she was going to church for confession ( what i consider to be too often).

any way I'm sure they could all write a very long list about me!!

hattiel · 24/11/2004 18:07

just remind of another.

nice words in front of children - DS repeating 'bloody hells bells' when he trapped his fingers in the drawer.
AU pairs fav words,


Caligula · 24/11/2004 18:48

Ah well, bloody hells bells does have a nice alliterative quality to it!

Thought of another - putting hot food in the fridge.


Amanda3266 · 24/11/2004 18:53

They can't all be awful. My friend's au-pair is fantastic. Lots of fun and the children love her. Okay so there may be differences in behaviour and habits but if the relationship with the children and the family is good - who cares.
This thread is sounding a bit "Polly Filler". (Check out "Private Eye" for explanation")


Caligula · 24/11/2004 18:58

But that's the joy of it! I spend all my time being reasonable and nice about these things, I like coming on here to Polly Fill! You just can't get the staff, dahling...

God can you imagine a thread called irritating things host families do? What would you be guilty of?


Caligula · 24/11/2004 19:01

Probably my au-pair's number one would be letting the children run around shouting on a saturday morning when he's having a lie in!


Amanda3266 · 24/11/2004 19:06

Caligula - you are quite right - nothing like a good old sound off.


Aero · 24/11/2004 19:12

Please people - I used to be a nanny - This is not a nice thread. I had the utmost respect for the family I spent the longest time with - still do for that matter. I have worked with many families and have got on well with all but one.
I worked with a certain family and I would not like to begin to list the annoying things some employers do/don't do - beginning with not emptying their own overflowing bins!! Nannies do get annoyed with being taken for granted and expected to do these things every time. Not to mention having to wash up dishes after a dinner party the night before just to have something to cook their child's breakfast in and serve it on.
These are just a couple of things and that working relationship didn't last long as I felt an enormous lack of respect for the work that I did with their child.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not above emptying bins and never minded doing it anywhere else - it was the fact that it was left for me to do every time. That's simply not on.


Aero · 24/11/2004 19:14

Crossed posts Caligula - didn't want to start that thread though. No hard feelings to most employers!


ernest · 24/11/2004 19:37

this all sounds like you're describing my dh. nearly every point! esp laundry, bins, tv, changing loo roll etc etc etc


cuppy · 24/11/2004 22:08

Very interesting to see employers points of view. I'll be sure not to do any of the listed things.
From a nanny's point of view, here is a list of employers irritating things.

Being late home from work without warning.

Ringing 5 mins b4 you're due to finish to ask if its ok that they're going to be late ( they obviously knew that 1/2 hr ago)

Not emptying the bins

Leaving the dishes stacked ON TOP of the dishwasher so they can miraculously jump in by themselves to be washed.

Mmm , I cant think of anymore, I must have really good employers


Uwila · 24/11/2004 22:30

Yes, some nannies are lovely, some aren't. I used to have one that I could rant about for hours, even now. Selfish cow! The one I have now is lovely. She's not perfect, but she's very good. And, must admit I'm not very good about doing my own dishes (although that was agreed as part of her job). But, anyway, just thought I'd say that some nannies are wonderful.

However, I do fully understand the need to vent about a bad nanny, and I thinnk this is the place to do it. So I think that all nannies needn't be offended here. If you are a good nanny, this thread isn't about you.


morocco · 24/11/2004 23:05

let ds eat all the choccie biscuits so there are none left for me when I get home!


Tanzie · 24/11/2004 23:18

I started this thread to let people vent their spleen about the little things that au pairs (primarily, but nannies too) do that annoy you. It wasn't meant seriously, or to voice serious concerns. Just minor irritations. I am perfectly aware that I am not the perfect employer - I am sometimes home late from work without warning - I don't enjoy still being in the office at 9.00 at night either, but sometimes it happens with no warning. It is now 12.15 am here, I have just got in from a work do (which I had thought was going to be drinks and ended as dinner). I am cross eyed with tiredness and will have to be up again at 0600 tomorrow morning. My au pair doesn't have to be up until lunchtime tomorrow and has probably had a nice evening in front of MTV. I have another work related event tomorrow night as well...

OP posts:

Aero · 24/11/2004 23:26

's ok Tanzie!. I'm not a nanny anymore - vent all you like. Am sure someone might start a thread on the other side of the coin, but it won't be me. I was a happy nanny on the whole.

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