Sunday, December 5

The adventure of a Galician babysitter in the United States


“A roller coaster of emotions and economics.” Miguel Vidal Fernández (Vigo, 1988) came to sleep on the streets of New York after his arrival in 2016 and it ended up being one of the mannies –The masculine equivalent of nanny–, most valued by families with the highest purchasing power in the country. Back in Galicia, he has just captured his adventures in a book in which he recounts what it is like to share the luxury life of his employers in exchange for giving up his personal life and with which he also wants to encourage readers “to get out of their safety bubble and realizing that dreams are usually fulfilled when you put yourself in a complicated place that requires sacrifice ”.

Edited by The Red Circle in Spanish and English, ‘El nanny manny’, which has had to pass the filter of lawyers due to confidentiality issues, is now on sale on the main platforms and all profits will be donated to the NGO Save the Children to continue helping other children.

Despite his youth, Miguel has already reinvented himself on several occasions. Del Seis do Nadal went to the Breogán quarry, but an ankle injury forced him to leave professional basketball at the age of 17 and studied INEF in A Coruña. Later he worked as a manager at Decathlon, in Manresa. Her chances of progress were high, but she went to London as an au pair: “I had three goals, cultural, improve my English and financial. In Spain I was not rewarded ”.

After a year he decided to make the leap to the United States, where he has dual citizenship because his father is from New York. And there his book starts. “Being an au pair is the slavery of the 21st century on an economic level and I thought that in The US, where there is a professionalization, there would also be a certain dignity and respect, not only economically, but also in the recognition of a job that is as important as that of a doctor, an architect or any other professional. And there, too, it is very unusual for men to be in this job ”, he points out.

“I spent seven days sleeping on the street and even queued at an Upper West Side church to pick up food.”


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Through agencies specializing in hiring caregivers for very wealthy families, she began conducting interviews and tests. Due to salary and feedback from potential employers, it was ranked among the top in the US.. But his first year was not without difficulties: “I have been in very difficult situations. I spent seven days sleeping on the street and even queued at an Upper West Side church to pick up food. Calling my parents and giving up that American dream was always there, but I wanted to get things done by myself and know what the limits were. ”

His “escalation” begins when he meets with a father who lived with his 12-year-old son in San Francisco. And since he had already accepted his offer, he rejected another that doubled it in salary: “I was contacted by the founder of one of the largest technology companies in the world located in Silicon Valley. He interviewed me for three days in his salon and selected me from among 77 candidates. But I explained to him that he was a person of his word and of complete confidence how I had told him and that he could not accept her ”.

So he moved to San Francisco: “I liked the job, although it absorbed absolutely everything from you. The family situation was complicated, the mother was fighting for custody and I had to go to court. They were four completely intense years. You went from being an almost paternal figure to the son, to an older brother or a friend. It was very difficult to know what was best for a child with childhood trauma and a lack of affection and affection. Sometimes having all the money in the world, as in this case, is not enough ”.

Miguel collaborated with the team of psychologists and psychiatrists who treated the child: “I learned a lot. Being with the most professional top San Francisco gave me enormous knowledge. Over the years I realized that my job was none other than to provide him with the tools of life he needed to be an independent person, because when I left I was not going to have the accompaniment of a family member or close person ”.

Their availability was 24 hours from Monday to Sunday, as well as the emotional involvement. “It takes a lot if you are an empathetic person and you like working with children. It is a job with an expiration date because your personal life is always in the background. And it’s something you know from the get-go. I did not come to Spain for two years, you could run out of vacations, they would notify you at 11 at night to stay with the child because the father had to leave or, suddenly, without prior notice, you had to go with them for five days to Aspen . And they demand high levels of punctuality and perfectionism. They do not want failures and it is a pressure that you have to bear ”, he says.

“If they trust you they treat you as if you were family, but it is a borrowed life, you have to be at all times with your feet on the ground and realizing that it is a mirage”


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“You live the luxury of multi-million dollar families and one day you find yourself sitting in a restaurant next to Lady Gaga. If they trust you, they treat you like family, but it is a borrowed life, you have to be at all times with your feet on the ground and realizing that it is a mirage. You must know who you are and what you will find next. But it was a very interesting stage, something that I liked living ”, he acknowledges.

Six months before leaving, Miguel spoke with the boy, told him that he wanted to redirect his life and encouraged him to start disconnecting from him and looking for friends: “He understood it and then I communicated it to the father. He was a little scared because I was the person who solved problems at home, but he also accepted it. They are very grateful people ”.

Back in Galicia since this year and established in Pontedeume, Miguel He plans to recover that part of his youth “stolen” in New York and San Francisco with a great trip around the world for at least a year. Perhaps from his new adventures another book will emerge that includes a very special visit to San Francisco: “I am looking forward to being there the day he graduates from High School, as a final point to that stage and to know that all the effort and the education that I gave him paid off and that his life will go forward and well ”.


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