Friday, February 01, 2013


Its harsh, but here's how it works.

You can not learn much about a nanny or housekeeper during an interview.  This is especially true when you speak different languages and come from different cultures.  This is true because it is a very personal relationship.  Your housekeeper keeps your house just how you want it.  Your nanny cares for your children as you would.  You spend a lot of time together.

You interview, of course.  But then you settle into a trial period.  This trial period is sometimes explicitly stated in the interview.  Sometimes its not.  But its acknowledged in general customs and law, which states that no severance of any sort is required within the first 90 days of work. 

Its like dating.  You can't interview someone to find out whether or not they'll be compatible.  You go on a few dates.  You hang out.  You rely on each other a bit.  You help each other out.  And if you see that the boy is not right for you, you dump him.

Marilu worked for us for 4 weeks.  Today I had to tell her that it wasn't a good fit.  I steeled myself, knowing that she had been acting inappropriately.  Knowing that I am not wrong to do this.  Knowing that I tried fixing the problems this week, and they did not disappear.  Knowing that a kind conversation with someone who holds your keys and cares for your child is dangerous - best to just stop when you see you must be done.  You can't string the discarded boyfriend along - especially if he's got the keys to your house.  Its time to cut your losses and move on.

I steeled myself.  I knew I was right.

I practiced my Spanish.  I knew how to say what I needed to say.  (upon review, I did leave out one que.  she still understood.)

She argued.  She pleaded.  She bargained.  She wanted to talk to Dave.  She cried.  She left.

It doesn't matter that I was right.  I feel like a jerk.

1 comment:

cl03 said...

I went through nine Ayis before we found Mrs. Meng. And I was not the Tai Tai stereo type. Go with your gut, if it was uncomfortable for you. You made the right decision. No second chance in a foreign land and your children's help.