The Weight Obsessed Boss

Nannies quite often end up working for people who are infatuated with image. Many women who don’t work hire a nanny to do the school run so they can go to Pilates in the morning, before going for a run in the afternoon and a gym sesh in the evening. These women can spend fortunes at their local bookstore on diet books. Last week’s fad was the Dukkan diet, this week the 5:2 next week, the I won’t eat anything but baby food diet. You may think that these women have too much time on their hands to be thinking about their weight so much, but what happens when they become obsessed with yours?

I have been brought up to not talk about people’s weight. If someone is fat, thin, wide…whatever, you do not mention it unless they want some kind of compliment for weight loss or sometimes gain. Weight is a sensitive issue. I remember a friend of mine asking a colleague how many months pregnant they were only to be told they had their last baby five years ago. Awkward right? Well my boss thinks it is fine to comment on my weight and when she does I notice two distinct looks on her face…

After being very ill with bronchitis I definitely lost weight. I mean I had to take two weeks off work something I have never done. So when I returned my jeans were loser, my collar-bone more prominent. I let myself into the house and my boss asks me how I am (she is actually very nice!). I’m much better I say, as suddenly her face contracts and she purses her lips. Ooh she says you have lost a lot of weight. Yes, I say, I have been pretty ill. She looks me up and down and I see her look at my legs then at hers and back again. Oh yes, she says you have lost a lot. Then seeming somewhat forlorn she leaves the room. For the rest of the day, whenever I see her she comments that my legs look very thin, my face looks a bit hollow and very, very pale and that my wrists look like those of children. If this was a stranger I would be well, fuming. Fuming over the rudeness of it all. But I know this lady so I let it slide and get on with the next couple of weeks, be it surrounded by her sadness/jealousy of my sickness conduced weight loss.

Two weeks later I am feeling a lot better, eating more putting back on weight, good for me right?. So I get back almost to my usual slim self. I come in after the weekend and the first thing I do is ask my boss if she would like a cup of tea. Oh, she says, (with ill disguised glee) scouring her eyes over me. You’ve put it back on! Put what back on? I say thinking does she mean my jumper…The weight! She grins, your face is looking more fat. And your legs don’t look so skinny. She is happy once again! I raise my eyebrows, hold my tongue and say yep, and silently think to myself, if only I had so much free time…

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Liebster Award

I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by theREALkk so a big thank you for that, I am very excited!

The Liebster Award has been set up to help readers discover new blogs, you know the blogs that are smaller in followings but still awesome. It gives other people the chance to read something they might not stumble across. I think it is brilliant.

If you get a nomination you need to:

Thank your nominator

Display the award

Nominate ten bloggers and give them ten questions

Answer the questions

Notify the people you have nominated

My questions and answers were:

Favourite book?  Stones from the River by Ursula Heigi

Favourite website? Couchsurfing.com

Do you have a favourite animal? What? Platypus

If you could have one job for the rest of your life what would it be? Dancer

If you could have one superpower what would it be? To fly

Favourite photo? Me and my brother on the Great Wall of China

Favourite song Private party

Favourite Harry Potter book? The first one!

Favourite holiday food? Thai

How many siblings do you have? 3

My questions for my nominees are:

  1. What is your favourite drink?
  2. Where are you from?
  3. What is your favourite country?
  4. Which dead person would you have loved to meet?
  5. Do you have any pets?
  6. Do you like spicy food?
  7. What is the best book you have ever read?
  8. What is your pet peeve?
  9. Who is your favourite actor?
  10. Do you have a phobia?

I would like to nominate:

Little Panda’s Travel Diary

Rent A Local Friend

Life and Love Through Anxiety Colored Glasses

NannyCover

Full Time Nanny Part Time Human

Go With DND

Nordic Noir Book Club

Nordic Noir

The Dancing Irishman

Forever Black Effusion

Nanny Homewrecker

I have just been reading this

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/30/the-curse-of-the-celebrity-nanny.html

about how us nannies are on the prowl for the fathers of the kids we look after – wives and girlfriends beware! (apparently). I wonder if anyone really takes thought to the nanny’s side on this?!

The fact that a nanny can be seen as a homewrecker is the polar opposite of how she is meant to be seen, a facilitator in the home making! It is a fact that it takes two to tango so why is it that it is the nanny who is under suspicion? Has anyone taken into account the absolute arrogance of some men?

Let me tell you a tale or two!

First of all let me tell you of my experience with the older man. I say the older man as he was 25 years my senior. I had a serious boyfriend at the time which this family had MET! We spent a lot of time at their pool and I often felt like he was watching me. He would never go in the water unless I was in there and all of a sudden would turn from the business minded I have no time for my kids man to superdad, the craziest, funniest dad around! About 4 months into the job he propositioned me. I was dumbstruck. First of all I was kind of annoyed! I was a slim, 28 year old girl with a hot guy on my arm. This man was beer bellied, and old enough to be my father. I decided to take it as a joke, but when two weeks later he put he hand on my ass he got a slap around the face. Instant reaction I couldn’t help it. But that along with the , line of I will tell your wife seemed to nip it in the bud.

Another family I temped for, the husband was about ten years older than me. Initially I thought he didn’t like me or just didn’t want to acknowledge my existence. I thought he bloody rude, but thought I am only here for a week with them, so I’ll suck it up. This behaviour went on til the last day of the trip when I had to drive with him and his children to an airport hotel so they could catch as flight the next day. The wife was at home. We checked in, got the kids into bed and I said goodnight. Half an hour later I get a call to my room asking me if I could pop over to his room quickly. Sure I said. I knocked and he opened the door. I expected him to say can you prepare this, that and the other for tomorrow but no! He said he would like me to drink a bottle of chammpagne with me to say thank you for my help. Warning signals started going off in my head – this guy had not spoken to me or looked at me for a week unless it was absolutely necessary. I said I’m tired we have a long day tomorrow, he persisted. I then got the line me and my wife aren’t happy, a pleading, puppy dog look in his eye. I told him that has nothing to do with me and goodnight. I left and went back to my room where he texted me asking me if I was sure I didn’t want to join him! I didn’t but needless to say the next day was AWKWARD!!!!

This has only happened to me twice in working for about 20 families and this number is higher than most. So it hardly ever happens! However when it does happen I would put money down that 90% of the time, good old pops is the instigator!

Fellow nannies, wives, partners, girlfriends…let me know if you have experienced anything similar. Funny tales much appreciated!

K x

What Makes a Bad Agency?

As a temp and thus often wandering nanny, I am signed up to a few agencies in London. They all have one thing in common in that when they are registering you, they are lovely. However, once that part of the process is over the differences between them become extremely obvious.

One agency I have had a couple of jobs with are great. They are a small London agency with varied jobs on their books. They have got me a temp job and a permanent job, both based in London. First of all, they have only sent me through job descriptions that have been applicable to me. Second of all, when I have started a job they have kept in touch with me via email and telephone calls to make sure everything is going ok. Basically the standard contact I would expect.

Another agency I am signed up with has perhaps the largest number of nanny jobs on their books of any London agency I have come across. Here I am signed up for temp work only. The interview went well and then I started getting emails and calls from their temp recruiter. At first she seemed nice enough and enthusastic but I noticed a stark difference in the way she was so obviously hungry for her commission. She would call me with jobs and wouldn’t inform me if the client was not interested so I was left hanging. If a client was interested and I went for an interview she would text me before the interview was over asking how it went. If I said the family were nice but not for me she would try and push me to take the role (is this good for the family?). I have had a couple of jobs through this agency based abroad. On both occasions I had no contact to see if I had even arrived in the country safely. During one job I had a problem and emailed my temp recruiter for advice; her response was to just sit it out – I was in a foreign country and being made to feel very uncomfortable.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for how agencies can behave. One large agency who I was also registered with got rid of me when they found out I had seriously injured my back and couldn’t work for four weeks. The way they did it? They simply ignored me until I got the message. Charmed I’m sure.

I have just registered with a new agency called NannyCover. They are a small and personalised and so far I have had one temp job through them, but I think they have the right idea when recruiting nannies and maintaining a good relationship with them. Maybe it is because the people running it used to be nannies themselves? Maybe it is because they don’t send your CV to just anyone. Whatever it is, so far it is working so power to the smaller, personalised, people focused agencies out there!

To the nannies out there looking for an agency that gives a damn, check them out:

http://www.NannyCover.com

Dealing with your family’s family

In a long term position, a nanny will find herself getting to know the children’s extended family members for better or for worse. For better the lovely Gujarati Grandmother of two children I looked after, who would talk to me about Indian cooking, and her husband who was so pro-women and gender equality that he was wonderful to listen to.

For worse, the uncle of the boys I looked after who asked me to accompany them on a ten day break offering me 25% less in wage than he knew I was being paid by his own brother. I was invited to their house to discuss going with them and to meet their baby boy. I had been told that this couple had enormous difficulty conceiving this child. Initially the mother said to me how about we pay you this much per day, an amount I agreed on. Within 5 seconds however, that deal had vanished. The husband piped up and said well this is what we paid so and so last year will that do…I was put in a very awkward position. I wanted to help this couple for the sake of their relatives, my employers, but at the same time I felt that something wasn’t quite right. Finding it difficult to talk about money I said let me text you this evening when I have had a think. In the meantime, this man went ahead and booked me onto a flight. Evening came and I sent the text saying I would be happy to come if they would increase the wage by one pound per hour, an extra 80 pounds for the whole trip. No reply. I then got a call from my employer saying that this couple had been in touch with her saying they were about to have a huge fall out with me. So here I was hearing that somebody I didn’t know, who I might be going away with for ten days, who owns a four floor house in one of London’s most desirably areas, was pissed because I was asking for an extra 80 pounds (this by the way was still a pay cut for me).

A week later I got a phone call from the wife of this couple saying we agree to pay you what you asked for. My response was I’m not going. She was shocked by my reaction. Why? She asked. Well I said, I text you as by agreement and haven’t heard back from you until now. As well as that I learn you have been complaining about me and not saying the nicest of things to my employer, which is childish and disrespectful and embarrassing for me. Her response was, we don’t know you very well. For me though the lack of respect shown and the pettiness and childlike behavior of this couple in their forties! just meant there was no way I was going anywhere with them. She tried to shout at me a bit and said what about the baby, what is he going to do with you you? Tearfully she said you can pay us back for the airfare. I said I don’t think so and that was the end of it. My old employers, their brother and sister in law still employ me from time to time and this couple and I have to be in the same room, but we don’t acknowledge each other. I’m not surprised, before this happened I would bump into him occasionally whilst looking after his nephew and he didn’t even say hello to him.

The lesson here for people employing a nanny is you probably need them a lot more than they need you. Treat them how you would like to be treated in a similar position. Be respectful. You are not being taken for a ride, you get what you pay for. And for someone with years of experience, a rude couple offering a crappy salary is not going to cut it.

What is it that you do?

When people ask me what I do for a living and I tell them I’m a nanny I get one of two responses;

(Sympathetically) “Oh that’s nice, you must really love kids.”

(Pity fueled)  “Oh so how long have you been a babysitter for? How old are you?”

It seems that to many people today that nannies are uneducated, underpaid and undervalued. Many seem to think we have an easy job. Others say they don’t understand why we do it. All seem to think we are submissive servants to the upper classes.

Our employers often have a superiority complex towards us and as a result we spend a lot of time biting our tongues. I must stress that this isn’t everyone I have worked for, but believe me, the hardest part of being a nanny is not the children, its the parents.