Sunday I woke early as usual to open our doors and take care of the shift change. I'll have to explain more about our staffing schedules later. On this particular day three of our nannies head out for their two-day break. I have to search their belongings (sigh....yet another blog post) and I usually chat with them about how the children did during the night. This day, one of the ladies told me that one of the 2 year-olds had a fever in the morning. She actually said, "her temperature was high". I asked if she had passed on the information to the new shift and she said yes.
I said goodbye to two of the ladies (the third was not yet ready to leave) and then walked into the nursery to check on the child and confirm that the new staff had received the information about her illness. I discovered that the new shift had just gotten a very abbreviated passing comment. Since this shift was just coming off their own two-day break they didn't have any idea what the 'medical history' was for this child. I pulled the log book off the shelf and checked. Not only was the notation missing that she had had a fever in the night--but there was no log entry at all for Saturday.
Furious, I rushed to the door and called the two nannies back--they were waiting at the corner of the road for the third nanny to join them.
When asked why the day nanny hadn't filled in Saturday's entry she shrugged and said, "I made a mistake." The night nanny insisted that she had written about the night but that she had written it elsewhere in the book "since I thought that was the right page." I was absolutely livid. The entry she had written was in between days so, clearly out of place and was painfully short--"she had a high temperature". No details about what time she had had the fever or if she had been restless in her sleep or anything else. I knew the child had had a headache the evening before but due to the day nanny not writing it down, the new shift would have had no idea.
Another reason I was so upset is that this was not the first time these two nannies had been 'called on the carpet'. They had both shown a pretty lazy attitude toward their work. I told them off sternly--emphasizing the importance of paying attention to details when caring for kids--and had them fill in the missing information in the logs before leaving for their time off.
Monday evening, the day nanny was supposed to report back to work. She didn't come and the following morning had still not shown up. I called her phone but she told me she "was too busy" to come. I asked if she was really telling me she had quit working. She said yes. I asked why she hadn't let me know out of courtesy that she was quitting so I could arrange a replacement but she had no answer.
If I tell you I was angry I'm not lying at all but I was also a little relieved. This girl (because she truly is that) had been a difficult worker and I would like to see someone with more passion for the kids in her position.
I, later that morning, got a text from her saying that she had quit because "U don't know how to work with people, U like talking too much and U shout at people". I admit this is the point where I felt the need to stomp my feet a'la Scarlett O'Hara. Aside from the obvious untruth about the shouting (Oh, Lord, how I would have loved to from time to time--I actually hadn't given into the urge--not even when this happened), this girl had received reprimand upon reprimand and mercy upon mercy.
I know it is normal to want to blame others for our own failings. Heaven knows I do it often enough. I know that quitting a job can feel, too often, like a breakup. "Surely it can't be me failing, it must be my ogre of a boss."
The other feeling that was really strong for me was, and is, sadness for the young girls in this country. There seems to be such a lack of motivation and initiative. This is such a big topic that it deserves its own post. I will write about this on Saturday.
In the meantime, please pray for me. I need wisdom in leading this project. Oh, how I wish I could take off my 'boss' cap. And please also pray for God to send the right people our way who can really be here for the kids.
What is your best boss advice for me? Do you have now, or have you had in the past ,a boss that made it a pleasure to go to work? What was it about them that did it? Or, do you have an ogre boss story to tell that will make me feel better?