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Question
Posted by: Nia | 2010/11/18

The Dikbek Nanny

I have a 22 month old toddler and am 5 months pregnant. I have a domestic to clean the house and a nanny to take care of my toddler while I am at work. My problem is with the nanny. She is not educated –  no matric. I sent her on a few courses though, so actually she is a domestic that watch the child. She has started working for me when my toddler was 3 weeks old. At that time she was very friendly and happy-looking, greeted friendly, made some conversation with me and it was nice to be around her. For the past few months she has changed. She is “ dikbek”  every morning when she arrives at work –  especially on Mondays. When I greet her she sometimes ignores me or just say “ hello” . When I ask how she is, she just say “ Fine.”  When I ask what’ s wrong she just says “ nothing” . She also comes about 15 minutes late every morning and then I am late for work as well.

I believe in treating people like I want to be treated, so I think I really treat her well. She works from 7:30 –  15:30 and if I ever ask her to work overtime I pay her well for that. It has only happen 4 times in the 2 years that she’ s been with me. I pay her R3500pm which I think is good. When it’ s her or one of her children’ s birthdays I give her R300 extra for cake and gifts. She also gets Christmas presents and a 13th pay. I recently paid to have her eyes tested and I bought her glasses for R1500. When she is sick I give her money to go to a doctor and time off to recover. When I get off work, I give her off as well. She gets 3 weeks leave a year, but I give her more, so this year she already had 3 weeks and she will get another 3 weeks in December. She gets all the old clothes that I throw out, curtains I don’ t need and from time to time I buy her new clothes. She gets to eat the same food we do and sometimes I make her a dish to take home to her children. I send her to sewing classes once a week. I don’ t fight with her or criticize her or boss her around. I talk nicely to her. I have only reprimanded her about something 3 times in the 2 years and then she stays grumpy for weeks after that. I treat her and the domestic exactly the same but she earns more salary than the domestic.

I don’ t want to lose her as she is good with my child and he loves her to bits. She knows the rules in my household and stick to it. She does not steal and she is at work every day, but I can’ t live with this grumpiness any more. How do I know that she is different to my child when he stays behind? I don’ t want him to be with this unhappy person the whole day. Btw –  he is starting school in January and I want her to take care of the new baby for two years.

I am really at my wits end with her. I am a friendly, not moody person, and in my house we laugh a lot and make fun. I don’ t want someone like that put a damper on the atmosphere in my whole house. What must I do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Not my area of expertise - I might be tempted to get a "Nannycam" to see what she gets up to when you're not there. Or at least ask the domestic to explore this for you. Sounds like she has been lucky to get a job where she's treated better and more generously than most others she could find. Though she has apparently been good with the child ( so far as you know ) would it really be impossible to get someone else more cheerful and appreciative ?

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5
Our users say:
Posted by: rrs | 2010/11/18

Try to ask her about her kids and her background, you will be amazed what some people are going through but she doesn''t have to take her issues to work, talk to her.

Reply to rrs
Posted by: joe | 2010/11/18

Let her go, she has detected that you cared. People do that when they realise that you actually care about them. Let her know who is the Boss and she must change if not let her go

Reply to joe
Posted by: Whena | 2010/11/18

Does she not maybe have troubles at her home?

Reply to Whena
Posted by: mel | 2010/11/18

tell het to stop acting as if her lifes so bad she has got it good
Tell her your child can pick up if she is negative and you dont want that if she doesnt improve tell her as this job is clearly causing you depression you are welcome to leave there that will shock her back to reality

Reply to mel
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/11/18

Not my area of expertise - I might be tempted to get a "Nannycam" to see what she gets up to when you're not there. Or at least ask the domestic to explore this for you. Sounds like she has been lucky to get a job where she's treated better and more generously than most others she could find. Though she has apparently been good with the child ( so far as you know ) would it really be impossible to get someone else more cheerful and appreciative ?

Reply to cybershrink

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