23 October 2010

car seats: what fresh new hell is this. . .

"Something has to make you run
I don't know why I didn't come
I feel as empty as a drum
I don't know why I didn't come. . ."
-Norah Jones, Don't Know Why

I went to Palermo Soho today to meet a single
dad and his kids so he could see if I'd be a good fit for babysitting. I have to admit, I was a little nervous when his e-mails said things like, "I'm on good terms with my wife but need someone to watch the kids while I have them" and "Please send me a photo with your CV" made me a little nervous. Then I googled him, and found some encouraging information (he's a real person, not a creeper, and he owns his own company), and checked the address of the apartment (a good neighborhood), and I changed my mind.

In the end, I didn't even have to go up to the apartment straightaway. Instead, I met him and his three sons at the barbershop across the street (the daughter is too young to be away from her mother for very long). We talked there for about an hour while the boys were having their hair cut, and then he asked if I'd like to hang out with them for a bit, and we ran some errands and went to McDonald's and I built a Lego police station with one of the boys and played catch with another. I ended up staying for around three and a half hours, and he paid me 50 pesos for that amount of time, which I think is pretty fair considering it was supposed to just be an interview and he also got me lunch. Honestly, when I heard he was a venture capitalist I was hoping for a little more money but in all fairness, I'm basically being paid to hang out with him and his kids. Plus he's going to talk to his wife about how much to pay me the rest of the time so hopefully she'll be good to me.

I also applied to work for a nanny agency this week. They have a very strenuous application process- first there's a basic application, then there's a skype interview, then a much more detailed application, then an in-person interview, and finally a PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION. Intense, right? So far I've completed the two applications and the skype interview, and I'm waiting to hear back about a formal interview. Working for an agency would be nice because they'd find work for me and also screen out any potential creepers.

In other news, the garbage strike appears to be over! And might I add that the garbage collectors here are a relatively classy bunch? They whistle at me less than both a) their American counterparts, and b) other non garbage-collecting Argentine men. It is appreciated.

Oh gosh, what else. . . my two American charges have been good. They are just very, very naturally adorable. The 18 month old (and he officially turned 18 months just this week, the very same day that my dear baby sister turned 18 years, what are the odds?!) has been a bit fussy with me lately. He won't let me change his diaper at all. And I don't like that, because if I've actually bitten the bullet and decided I'm going to change a diaper, I need to get it done and over with before I change my mind. But we still have lots of fun, and I know they like hanging out with me as much as I like hanging out with them (which is a lot).

So I'm continuing to string together jobs, all the while working as a freelance essayist and editor online. Oh, and I'm going to be putting the link to my Zazzle store up here soon. I know it looks like I'm selling out, but I've had that store open for about two years now, selling prints of photographs from my travels as well as t-shirts and other random things, and it's been moderately successful. I don't expect my family to buy anything from it, but I know I can get more traffic to this blog by linking it to other webpages and that's going to somehow benefit all of us. . . right? Anyway.


Anonymous said...

Using the nanny agency is a great idea! Let someone else worry about screening out all the weirdos. Good plan.

Anonymous said...

Nice experiences there with babysitting!!! Im going next summer to Argentina, and have to look for an apartment for rent in Buenos Aires yet. I wanna do something like that. Where did you get the ingo of that agency?? please help me found some place to work!!

Lizzie said...

Victoria- I've found most of my work through craigslist, surprisingly enough. That's how I got in contact with these families and also where I saw this agency listed. Just be careful and do your homework before you give out personal info or agree to meet anyone! Good luck!