¡Hola! Pensé que ya no iba a escribir hasta después de tener mi visa y todo eso que leemos en otros blogs. Peeeeeroooo, una chava preguntó en un grupo de au pairs en Facebook acerca del trabajo doméstico que debe de desempeñar como au pair. Yo copié y pegué algunas de las preguntas y respuestas que vienen en mi cuenta de Au Pair USA (InterExchange), (igual a la de los impuestos -taxes-) acerca de este tema. La encontramos de igual manera: en una lista de preguntas con respuestas sencillas.
Igualmente, creo que esto aclarará dudas para quienes apenas están decidiéndose si esto de trabajar como au pair es una opción viable para ellos. Ahí les va:
AU PAIR DUTIES AND SCHEDULING
HOW MUCH HOUSEWORK DO I HAVE TO DO?
YOUR PRIMARY JOB IS CARING FOR YOUR CHILDREN. UNDER THESE DUTIES YOU WILL ALSO HAVE TO HELP CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR CHILDREN. YOU ARE ALSO PART OF YOUR FAMILY AND EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE TO HOUSEWORK EQUALLY, AS A NORMAL FAMILY MEMBER LIVING IN THE HOUSEHOLD.
DO I HAVE TO CARE FOR THE FAMILY PET?
YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO CARE FOR THE FAMILY PET AS PART OF YOUR AU PAIR RESPONSIBILITIES. IF YOU LIKE PETS, YOU CAN HELP OUT JUST LIKE ANY OTHER MEMBER OF THE FAMILY. THE DECISION IS REALLY YOURS.
DO I HAVE TO HELP WITH YARD WORK?
YOUR PRIMARY JOB IS CARING FOR YOUR CHILDREN. YOU ARE ALSO PART OF YOUR FAMILY AND EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE TO HOUSEWORK EQUALLY, AS A NORMAL FAMILY MEMBER. IF EVERYONE IN YOUR FAMILY HELPS WITH THE YARD/GARDEN, AU PAIRS CAN BE EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE AN EQUAL AMOUNT.
DO I HAVE TO COOK MEALS?
YOU WILL NEED TO HELP PREPARE MEALS FOR YOUR HOST CHILDREN. IF YOU ENJOY COOKING, YOU CAN OFFER TO PREPARE MEALS FOR THE FAMILY AS A FAMILY MEMBER.
HOW SHOULD I BEHAVE AROUND THE HOME?
* Clean up after yourself and the kids throughout the day. Put things away in the same places where you got them from.
* This is your house too! Act like a family member, in the same way you would in your own family. For example, you might bring in the mail, take out the garbage, bring in empty garbage cans from the street... small things that are helpful on a day-to-day basis.
* Lock the doors when you come home. Discuss with your host family what they would like you to do if you are the last one home at the end of the day/late at night. For example, turning off the lights.
* Do not give out any information about yourself, your family, or your home, especially to strangers, unless you have your host family's permission.
* Don’t download anything on to the computer without asking your host family first. It is not your computer, and you might accidentally damage it.
* If you have an accident or spill something, please tell your host parents immediately. They can help you remove the stain. If stains are not taken care of right away, they usually become permanent.
* Do not leave empty dishes or glasses in your room. Any leftover food or drinks need to be disposed of immediately to prevent bugs or mice from coming into your room!
*Close your windows when you leave the house, in case it rains.
* Turn off the TV, stereo, lights, curling irons, water, etc. when you are not in a room. These things can get really expensive if left on unnecessarily.
* Never answer the door to anyone whom you do not know unless your host parents have let you know specifically ahead of time.
(OK, ESTO SÍ LO COPIÉ Y PEGUÉ. ES QUE SI NO, ME IBA A TARDAR DOS DÍAS. YOU'RE WELCOME ANYWAYS).
CAN I WORK MORE HOURS FOR MONEY?
NO. YOU ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO WORK A MAXIMUM OF 45 HOURS PER WEEK. YOUR HOST FAMILY CANNOT ASK YOU TO WORK MORE THAN THE 45 HOURS PER WEEK.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY HOST PARENTS PAY MORE MONEY FOR MORE HOURS OF WORK?
IF YOU ARE CAUGHT, YOU WILL HAVE TO RETURN TO YOUR HOME COUNTRY IMMEDIATELY (PAY FOR YOUR OWN PLAIN TICKET) AND YOU MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO RETURN TO THE US AGAIN IN THE FUTURE. BY MAKING MORE MONEY THAN YOUR WEEKLY STIPEND, YOU ARE BREAKING THE RULES OF YOUR VISA.
IF I AM SICK AND CANNOT WORK, WILL MY HOST FAMILY STILL PAY ME MY WEEKLY SALARY?
YES. YOU MUST RECEIVE YOUR WEEKLY STIPEND NO MATTER WHAT.
CAN I GET A PART-TIME JOB SOMEWHERE ELSE DURING MY YEAR?
NO, AS A PARTICIPANT IN THE AU PAIR PROGRAM, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE ANY OTHER JOBS.
CAN I VOLUNTEER IN THE COMMUNITY?
YES, AU PAIRS ARE MORE THAN WELCOME TO VOLUNTEER AT A SCHOOL, HOSPITAL, COMMUNITY CENTER, ETC. TO GAIN EXPERIENCE AND/OR BECOME MORE INVOLVED IN THEIR COMMUNITY. HOWEVER, YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED TO RECEIVE PAYMENT FOR YOUR TIME THERE.
CAN I GET A U.S. PASSPORT WHILE IN THE UNITED STATES?
CAN I DRIVE MY HOST FAMILY'S CAR WHEN I AM NOT WORKING?
THIS IS SOMETHING YOU WILL NEED TO DISCUSS WITH YOUR HOST FAMILY.
CAN I GET MARRIED AND STILL BE AN AU PAIR?
DO I HAVE TO GET A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER?
YES. ALL AU PAIRS ARE REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. EVEN IF YOU DO NOT NEED IT IMMEDIATELY, YOU MIGHT NEED IT LATER IN YOUR YEAR. THE LONGER YOU WAIT TO APPLY FOR A NUMBER, THE MORE DIFFICULT IT IS.
IF I HAVE WORKED IN THE USA BEFORE AND ALREADY HAVE A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, DO I NEED TO GET A NEW NUMBER?
NO, ONCE YOU GET A NUMBER IT IS YOURS FOR LIFE. YOU WILL USE THE SAME NUMBER YOU USED THE FIRST TIME YOU WORKED IN THE USA.
WHAT IS "ONE AND A HALF DAYS OFF"?
YOU RECEIVE AT LEAST ONE AND A HALF DAYS OFF PER WEEK. FOR EXAMPLE: SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING OR TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, ETC.
CAN I STAY ALONE WITH THE CHILDREN OVERNIGHT?
YES, IF THESE HOURS DO NOT TOTAL MORE THAN 10 HOURS PER DAY.
HOW CAN I BE SUCCESSFUL AT MY JOB?
* Be ready for work 5 minutes before you are scheduled to begin. This gives your host parents some time to give you any instructions for the day and for you to ask any questions you might have about the day. This means you should be up on time, showered, dressed, and ready for the day!
* Say "Good morning" and smile when you first see your host family and host children! It's a nice way to start your day!
* Have fun with your work! Try to stay positive, out-going, and enthusiastic.
* Bond with the children. By getting to know them, they will know that you really like and care about them and they will trust you more. This will also make your job easier in the long run!
* Make sure that you are ALWAYS on time! This is really important, and applies to starting work, picking up the kids, taking the kids to school and activities, putting the kids to bed, meal times, and your curfew. If you are late a lot, the host parents and the kids will lose trust in you.
* It's always a good idea to write reminders for yourself, just in case. This is really good for changes in a normal schedule or upcoming important events!
* When you are working, you need to make sure that you are always working. You need to either be watching the children, or doing childcare-related things. This is the time that the host family is paying you to work, and should be treated like any other job, meaning: no television, no hanging out in your room, no showering, no personal errands, no letter or e-mail writing, no personal phone calls, no playing on the computer/internet. You wouldn't be able to do these things at any other job, and this job should be treated no differently!
* VERY IMPORTANT: Never leave the kids alone!
* Never use the words "stupid" or "hate." These words are very powerful, and if used incorrectly can offend and hurt your host family and the kids.
* Make sure that you never compare your situation with your host family to another au pair and his/her host family. Each family is different, and while some things may seem better, a lot of things are not.
Y, cómo ven? Les sigue gustando? Es algo que podrían hacer? Les fue útil?
Seguramente notaron algunas preguntas y respuestas resaltadas; son las que normalmente nos hacen dudar un poco más, es un tema que se deja en el aire.
Por lo pronto es todo. Si tienen alguna duda de lo que sea, don't hesitate en preguntarme :D Aquí somos como Alcohólicos Anónimos: un montón de au pairs con las mismas dudas y pasando por lo mismo.
Gracias por leer :)