Sunday, January 09, 2011

I also thought it was over and done with

Last week as she's running out the door Nanny V tells me she needs to go renew her asylum.

No urgency about it, nothing.

So I said something like, "what were those THREE DAYS about then?"

She tells me that while they're waiting for their work permits to come through, their asylum permits still need to be current.

So I said we'll speak about it later in the week.

Totally forgot and she didn't say anything til Thursday night.

Again running out the door.

She says, "so what about tomorrow?"

And then only tells me her asylum permit expires on Friday and she has to go renew. And, if they renew after the permits expire, they have to pay more. (She earns a good salary by other nannies' standards, but of course, not in comparison to us, so I feel a twinge of guilt.)

Now I feel strong-armed (which I hate!) and I can't think clearly and my dear son is screaming from the bedroom as I was supposed to let V out quickly and then get back to him to pray, close curtains and turn on the sleep music. MandyE, do you like that they are children of routine?

So I tell V I can't think straight but we are both not prepared for tomorrow (Friday last week) and we will phone her later.

After the babies are prayed over and settled, I go find D (who is STILL sick!) and tell him the story.

He also freaks out which warms my heart a bit because I now know I am not being totally unreasonable.

We agree to have supper to cool down and think rationally.

We then agreed that if we give her the day off, she needs to come and work on the Sat as we had taken these extra days off to have some "couple time" which now gets messed up with this new plan.

D phones her (him being slightly more rational than me) but can't get through at two different times, so eventually we send her a text which my phone later tells me is undelivered. Grrr.

Friday morning rolls around and V comes to work.

I hear D talking to her about this whole business and telling her she can leave (7:30) and go do her asylum but she says it's too late because the queues will be too long.

And that's how we left it.

So again, we have just discussed, plotted and planned and here is the new plan. D's mom will come babysit (she is actually being really good about it as she is on leave) on Friday morning, and I will take yet another half day and relieve her for the afternoon shift.

D asked me why I'm still so cross about this.

I don't know why exactly but I feel like it's because of lack of communication and planning, and she always talks to me about these things as she's leaving and then I'm forced to make these split-second decisions.

That and the fact that I thought I never have to think about this work permit/ asylum thing ever again!

So tomorrow I am putting my word of the year to the test and I will take courageous action and talk to her about how

1) if she knows she has to talk to me about something, to tell me in the morning so I can come home early enough (before the supper/ bath time craziness) so we can talk properly

2) she needs to give me ALL the details and not spring it on me at the last minute (like the fact that she now has to pay more for this asylum permit)

3) we also have jobs and can't just spring things on our bosses as there are meetings scheduled, work deadlines, etc.


Are you better at thinking on your feet than I am? How would you have dealt with this?


  1. You know I love routines! (I promise I'm not just superstitious!!! But you won't catch me messing with routines, particularly when it comes to sleeping and eating...and really, what else is there???) :)

    I think you handled the situation as well as you could, and I think those are great points to discuss with V for future needs.

    I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, about the dear lady whom we both use as a housekeeper. She is such a wonderful person...our girls actually call her "nana"...and she would do anything in the world for us that we needed. BUT, the LAST thing she can be described as is a business person.

    We don't have a set day of the month that she comes - usually the first week of the month sometime. She'll call, though, and ask if she can come this afternoon, or tomorrow morning. Uh, no!!! She doesn't return calls very well, and she never asks if it's a good time for me to speak when she does call.

    In my case, because by now she falls in the "family friend" camp (and I don't remotely want to think about finding someone else I can trust to clean the house), I don't really feel like I can say anything to her...I just deal with it, knowing that's how she is...but it drives me CRAZY!

  2. I do think you handled it as best you could, and more importantly you are dealing with the issue of her timing and requests. In any other place of employment there are proper procedures to take for leave. I don't think in your setting it is mandatory for her to fill out papers for a day's leave, but a week's notice isn't too much to ask.

    I like to think I am better thinking on my feet, but I'm usually not. I have to write everything down, that always helps me. I think you need to clearly spell out what you expect from her and possibly develop some system. Is there a calendar she could mark on or a dry erase board where she could leave you messages? I'm not sure how "professional" your relationship is with her as it's a one-on-one in your home set-up vs. a business but do you think that she might be taking advantage of her employment being less formal?

  3. Erg...I don't mind confrontation except when it comes to someone that I need working for me. I don't handle employee confrontation well at all b/c I'm afraid they'll bolt!

    I don't think it's unreasonable for her to give you adequate notice (say a week?) for anything that would change your days. Enough email, a note, a conversation...doesn't take that long.


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