From HostMom Needing Guidance:
Dear Au Pair Mom readers —
We’re 7 months into our year with our current AP. It’s been a good year so far and she is a great AP. She’s good with the kids and fairly easy to live with, and we’re starting to think about whether to extend. However, I have a recent issue that touches on two of our favorite topics here on AuPairMom…. car usage and money.
I’m not sure how to handle the situation and I would love your input.
Here’s the story: Our regular AP car was in the shop for maintenance, and our AP was using my car. I needed her to do some work-related driving during that time and told her she could use my car. (I drive a fairly new, nice car, so I rarely let my APs drive it. This time I made an exception because I feel comfortable with the driving skills and maturity level our current AP).
She had an out-of-town AP friend over during that time, so she also used my car on several occasions for outings with her friend. I was fine with this. During one of these outings with her friend, they somehow lost the GPS navigation CD that is used in my car. Our Au Pair said they went out at night on a brief errand, took the navigation CD out to play one of their CDs, put the GPS on the center console, and then when they took the car out the next morning, it was gone. They were the only ones who used the car during that time and it was parked in our driveway overnight.
Our AP admitted it was odd that the CD was missing, and she doesn’t really have any explanation for it. I have an odd suspicion that her friend may have had something to do with, like maybe she accidentally broke it or lost it and didn’t want to fess up, but I have no proof.
However, my issue is not so much that she lost it (things break, get lost — we are understanding of that) but that my AP has not displayed any accountability and does not really seemed to be at all concerned about it.
When we first discovered it was missing, we asked her to look for it, thinking that it has to be around somewhere. We had to keep going back to her to ask her if she had any luck finding it, versus her reporting back to us. Then once we started to realize that it is just not turning up anywhere, I walked through the scenario again with her in detail, hoping to either jog her memory or give me a better understanding of what happened, since it didn’t make any sense that it would just ‘disappear.’ She agreed that it was really weird, but didn’t offer any apology.
Even if she didn’t do anything wrong, I was still expecting some concern or acknowledgment from her that this is a fairly big inconvenience for us, both financially (a replacement CD costs $200) and for practical purposes, since it leaves me without GPS in my car. And, not one word from her about offering to replace it.
HD and I agree that we are going to ask her to pay for (at least in part) replacing it, but I am not sure whether to be cut and dry about it and just tell her how much she owes us or also to talk with her about my disappointment with how she handled the situation.
She is fairly responsible about our household and has not damaged or lost anything else that we’re aware of, but this makes me wonder about other situations. I wonder now if she would have any expectation of paying toward the deductible if she had an accident with our car, etc?
It just bugs me, because I would of course offer to replace someone else’s property if I was in any way responsible for damaging or losing it.
I’d really appreciate your thoughts, not only on what exactly to do or to ask for, but also how I should (or shouldn’t) let this affect our relationship.
Image : DrWhimsy on Flickr