I saw that AuPairWorld were looking for experiences. Well I couldn’t resist the temptation, a bit like strawberries and cream on a hot day.
You know what, we had it all. My wife is heavily pregnant with number five, we have four kids and live in the English country side and just waved goodbye to another quite brilliantly unsuitable au pair agency. We are miles away from a bus stop, every one wants to go to London and we have a huge and beautiful 11 bed-roomed house.
Basically no one in the world wants to be our au pair! They all think, too much work, cut off and they want to be in London. But aupairing is not about work. First and foremost it’s about co-habitation with different people. It’s about a partnership and above all, its about either side getting on with each other sharing and giving and liking each other! We made a mistake, a big mistake. We used an aupair agent, again!
I am still kicking myself. They supplied what our kids would describe as the au pair from hell. She just wanted the money to send home, I’ll spare you the stories. Her agent just wanted the money and our agent did too and stung us £375.00 for the experience! In my opinion after using agents for a number of years they work too fast, they only send you half a dozen profiles and rush you into choosing and equally rush the au pair that does not want the job anyway that was forced into it by agent and parent. The results nearly always end in tears, on both sides.
Last week I was stranded with the au pair going to London, a pregnant wife who can’t even pick up socks from the floor in tears with the £375.00 bill in her hands and no replacement in sight. OK, I am not writing this just to get my free premium membership. Its so important to listen to this. I am saying that I signed up with AuPairWorld and wrote the truth about how tough it was for us and how we never thought we would get anyone. Agents only let you tick boxes in your applications, so I told the truth about how we needed an au pair that could do anything and come to help us!
I wrote a profile on AuPairWorld in an upbeat style and moreover put up amusing photos about what our family is really like. Not just the all too common profiles like: “Look at my wonderful darling kids and we are just such a wonderful perfect English family.” We are all realists so pretending how wonderful you are when we all know we are not, never works. There is an old saying that says: “if all else fails, try the truth”.
So that night I signed up with AuPairWorld and wrote everything that happened. I think I said ”help, please! Dad with four kids, too many pets, business to run, and a pregnant wife (only weeks to go) that can’t even cut her toe nails!” And I waited too see. You get out what you put in. It’s true, au pairs mistakenly think that the best jobs are a single child family in London. They fail to realise its about WHO they live with, not what they do. The following morning I prepared an au pair letter to email anyone interested with another humorous shot of the kids and waited.
The result. My wife stopped crying, the kids are upbeat and even the rabbit’s ears picked up in great anticipation. We straightaway found 4 au pairs that wanted a real challenge. We never thought anyone wanted to help! Two from Australia, one from Denmark and a really mature girl from Holland and agreed with everything I wrote. I was shocked. This is not an advert for AuPairWorld by the way. I like writing anyway, read my books, I am an author! One day I will write one about all the tears and laughter we have had with all our au pairs. It's volumes!
In the end, all sides have to be 100% honest. Agents skate over the truth just to fleece the fee from both au pair and family and in my opinion, after years of being a host family, AuPairWorld offered the right mix. We have 3 au pairs that now actually (still pinching myself) want the job right away and two reserves ready to start in January 2012, all really honest and decent people. I am kicking myself about the agent fee still today. £375 is a lot of money.
They keep offering the most inappropriate replacements and its brilliantly satisfying to be smug and to say, forget it guys, you should see what we got from AuPairWorld for 10% of the costs. Who ever invented AuPairWorld this is for you my fellow entrepreneurs. I want to thank you for putting smiles and hope on my kid’s faces for looking forward to our new placement and honestly, for making the tears dry from wy wifes cheeks. I’ll keep you posted. Until then.