Friday

"If she admits it and promises not to steal again"

Received Friday, March 16, 2007
My new nanny who has been employed for about seven weeks has been stealing from me. I noticed last week that a very large change jar was missing from the pantry. I searched high and low for it. You may not think this is a big deal but it had at least $150 because my husband and I just drop change in this big jar to deposit in our children's savings accounts every once in a while. I hated to think that it was the nanny but there really was no other explanation. When the nanny was offered employment, she agreed to clean once per week while my kids were in school. Today was her day to clean and everyone was gone. There was a smaller change jar on my bedroom dresser which I decided I would "set up" hopefully in an effort to disprove my suspicion that it was the nanny. When I came home and checked the change jar, sure enough the 8 quarters that I strategically placed at the top of the jar were gone. I know it is only $2 but it simply gave me the proof that I needed because in my gut, I knew something was wrong.
After reading many blogs regarding situations like these, I know that I need to sit down and confront her to see what she has to say. I would have been happy to give her a raise or a pay advance had she told me that she was having financial difficulties. I feel the trust has been broken and I cannot trust her to care for my kids anymore.
If she admits to it and promises not to steal again, do I believe her and allow her to keep her job or do I proceed with firing her?

58 comments:

heather said...

To keep a thief? No.

did you see this quote by Angelina Jolie, "I have four children and caring for them is the most important thing for me at the moment. I am very proud and happy to be their mother." Now that's poetry.

Anonymous said...

Sit her down and feel out the situation...maybe she really needed that money for something serious, like a medical bill, and had a lapse of judgement. Otherwise, send her packing.

AML said...

First off I'd like to say that I am a nanny. Trust is a big thing in any relationship including one work related. You know have a stigma about her in your head (and rightfully so!) and even if she doesnt take another thing or does everything she is supposed to do it will forever be in your head that she stole from you.

She did something apprehensible, she stole from an employer and whether you work retail, at a mcdonalds, in an office, or for a family you should be fired for even having the gall.

You seem like a nice person to work for esp. stating that you would have given her a pay advance if you had known she was in hardships. You are being taken advantage of. PLus i doubt she was even in financial hardships, some people just like stealing.

Someone who would have the audacity to steal from anyone obviously does not have the right traits to care for children. If you keep her you risk being further stepped on and risk having negative traits instilled in your children.

sh said...

I had a nanny who used to steal barbies from my daughter. When she was caught she cried and told me how my family had too much, so much and that it wasn't fair and that her niece had nothing in comparison.

I don't give a rat's ass why someone steals. You don't steal!

Having said that, the only thing worse than stealing is falsely accusing someone of being a thief so make sure you are correct!

Anonymous said...

i am very surprised that she would compromise your trust in only seven weeks! she is there to take care of the most important things in your life! i would be suspicious about what else she is doing behind your back! once you lose trust in a person (especially a nanny) you can't ever 100% trust her again!

Signed,
a nanny

Anonymous said...

I'm a nanny and I would never steal from an employer. I would never steal from anyone. I think it's absolutely unacceptable. I do think if she has been stealing, she should be fired. In my opinion, someone who steals may have a low moral balance, so I would also wonder what else she thinks is OK to do. I don't agree with the idea that she may really need the money. If that were the case, she could talk to you about it. I could always use some extra money, but that doesn't mean I go steal from my employers. It also seems as though she's stealing the change under the impression that you won't notice, afterall, it's just change, or at least that's what she thinks. Good luck!

Mandy said...

I am a nanny as well. It is part of my job to set the example for the children that I keep. It is my job to teach them (alongside the parents).

You want a nanny you can trust your children with. One that practices good values. Children are always absorbing what we do and what we say.

I say let her go. There are plenty of nannies out there with good values. Best of luck.

-----Nanny leading by example

Anonymous said...

NO....go with your gut! I had an incident (not related to money but to lying) with a fabulous nanny that I had to let go because I knew in "my gut" something was wrong. It was a very hard decision but stay true to yourself and your kids. Stealing (lying etc...) is never ok.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

it is 537 PM and I have 5" of snow here now.

sprak said...

Just where is that snow, 5:37? In your head replacing brain tissue? But back to the topic at hand.
Fire the thief and good riddance.
Don't look back and don't waste your pity.

Anonymous said...

You need to fire your nanny. Giving her another chance is like leaving a candle lit all night long. Nothing may happen, but there is a small chance she may take revenge. I've read here with my own two eyes numerous nannies who joke about making copies off all their employers personal information for blackmail purposes. Maybe it was in jest, but why take a chance? Do yourself a favor and find someone you can trust in your home and with your children.

Anonymous said...

Ignore anyone who tells you to show pity to the theif. In my experience, be very careful of employees that resent you for having what you have. When they aren't stealing from you, they are gossipping about you behind your back and trying to make you look like some sort of fifies prude just because you happen to have some sort of common decency!

And what a random and bizarre comment on the snow. But on that note, I am in Armonk and we have over 6 inches.

maggie said...

606, #1-
The nanny manifesto, right?
That was entertaining!

Anonymous said...

She stole from you. She's done. Fire her, and make no apologies about it. How could you possibly consider letting her stay??? If she's sneaky and theiving, how could you allow her to continue to care for your children? How do you know she isn't going to lift a lipstick the next time she's at the drug store with your children? Great example to set for your kids. If you must hire somone to raise your kids for you, maybe choose someone with a little impulse control. I mean really, she's desperate and pathetic enough that she just had to steal $8 in quarters.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? Out she goes with no reference! Do not refer a thief to the next unsuspecting family. Duh.

Anonymous said...

FIRE HER!!!!

Its a lot harder to lie and cheat than to steal...if she is stealing be sure she will do the rest of it. PLEASE fire her unless she has been using the money for your children somehow!! If you don't I guarentee that you will find her doing something else behind your back; this time it only hurt you, next time your children may not be so lucky!!

jmt said...

Your new nanny has stolen from you twice that you know of. You don't owe her anything. She should go ASAP. Without a good reference, I agree with 8:35.
Good luck.

BTS said...

If every nanny that had ever stolen from her employer was fired tomorrow at noon, there would be exactly nine nannies left working at 12:01 PM.

People who come in to your house to work for you resent you. And if you forget to say hi one morning, you know you are paying for it somehow. A box of tide, a roll of quarters or a book of stamps. Most nannies seem to think thievery is one of the perks of nannydom.

I've had 13 nannies in 4 years. I know of what I speak. I don't use just one nanny camera. I have an in home surveillance system trained on 7 rooms in the house.

Anonymous said...

What's with the snow competition on this board? Anyone else want in on the contest? Anyone care?

Anonymous said...

Is this a joke? You want to reward her with a raise for stealing? It's mothers like you who pass their bad nannies along to the next family with a glowing reference to boot. You're nuts.

Anonymous said...

BTS- 13 nannies in 4 years?
Is that because you did not do a background check?
How many of those "nannies" were legal?
How many of those "nannies" did you pay on the books?

It is true that many "unqualified" nannies do steal from their empoloyers and that many immigrants from poor countries come to America and see how wasteful most families are- and how much we have here- and that makes them resentful- and steal or not care for your children properly.

Is it right? no...

If I were the mom in this situation, I would confront the theif-
and want to know why she did it?

By the way....
How much are you paying her per hour?

In any case, she has shown she is NOT trustworthy- do you really want someone like that in your home and caring for your children?

Please next time- do a complete background check!

BTS said...

Each of the nannies I used was legal and I retrieved using the services of a nanny agency. Some agencies were better than others.
The nannies were paid between $12-$16 per hour.

It is impossible to find good help!

Anonymous said...

You should deduct the stolen money from her wages and then fire her.

mp said...

bottle of change in the pantry that you deposit into your children's savings? Seriously? If that is all the savings you have for your children, I would seriously consider firing the nanny and using all money that would be payed to nanny wages to invest in your children's futures.

There are so many great nannies out there. There are also nannies and housekeepers who theive from their employers to supplement their wages. But she sure isn't doing much supplementing with your chump change!

Good riddance to her. And start calling the police on these nannies. If a nanny truly steals from you, call the police. Then she will have to deal with a record. Maybe then she won't rob the next people blind!

Anonymous said...

bts If you have gone through 13 nannies in 4 years, I think you are the problem. Either you are doing a poor job of screening, are looking for a cleaning woman and calling her a nanny, or you are just a nightmare to work for.
Anyone can have bad luck once, but 13 times, no.

Anonymous said...

Amen 12:50!!

Anonymous said...

BTS- I agree with 12:50 you are probably the problem. I know a ton of nannies as I am one and none of us would ever consider stealing from the places we work. And no not everyone resents the people they work for, I love the people I work for and I work for them because I want to and am in college, not because I have to. Maybe all of your nannies think stealing is a perk but for people who have some morals they would never think that of their job. I feel bad for your children having to go through so many nannies in such a short time.

Anonymous said...

I have never stolen from one of the familys i work for, not even when cleaning there house. my very first job they would hide money all over the house and if i found it i put it in a dish in the kitchen. or i left it where it was. i also came in handy when the mother went looking for all the money around the house cause i knew where it was and she didnt remember. but this was a habit of hers, even after not working for her for the past 2 years and not being in her house she still calls me to ask, where she would hide her money.

Neenernanny said...

If you don't have proof, i.e. video proof, saw her do it, she can turn around and sue you. I've personally had a cleaning woman steal diamond earrings, David Yurman bracelets, sunglasses, and jewelry a previous employer bought for me on trips and I was advised to just let her go without an accuasation.

Anonymous said...

4:09.
again sonds like she can't really afford a nanny. I would suggest she put her children in daycare and stop putzing around trying to have a nanny.

sam said...

The dirty truth is some employers/women can't handle having smart women with moral values around them. So they choose not too. And instead, like BTS go through 13 nannies in 4 years. Apalling! Your poor children!

Anonymous said...

BTS: 13 nannies in 4 years? Geeeez. Yeah, you are definitly the problem. If notthing else, the mere fact that you are expecting these people to steal from is attracting thieves.

I was a nanny, and never once resented or stole from my employers. Now I have a nanny, and if I ever needed to, I'd trust her with my debit card. I have trusted her with my Visa.

http://childcarehorrorstories.blogspot.com/ Parents are sometimes the problems too.

Anonymous said...

5:07 p.m. assumes that the parent's can't afford a nanny and suggests putting her children in daycare.

The cost of daycare for two children is usually more than having a nanny.

Plus, if you find a qualified nanny-it is worth much more to have your children home on their schedules than to have them trying to go with the flow of the school- and being one of many children.

Do you all realize that in daycare-the adults usually address the children as a group?
and the children really don't get much individual time at all.

If a child is sick- the nanny can still come- and if need be...hold and comfort your child all day.

If your child needs an earlier/longer nap- a nanny can accomodate the child's need.
In daycare- they are the group's schedule.

Also, you don't have to drag your child back and forth. And of course nannies usually can come earlier/stay later- than a daycare's hours.
(The turn-over of employee's in daycare's is unbelieveable.)

The nanny can tidy up- run errands-do the children's laundry.

So what's the better choice?
Daycare or finding a qualified nanny?

The investment into your child(ren)'s 1st five years of developement will be reward enough.

Anonymous said...

"the nanny can tidy up"

are you out of your mind? Nannies are not housekeepers and they will slap you for even suggesting that they tidy up!

Katie in Colorado said...

There is NEVER an excuse for stealing from your employer!!!! FIRE HER IMMEDIATELY! Katie in Colorado

Anonymous said...

MP:

That's why you're ppor. You don't see the value in a change jar. I do the same as the OP, and I've banked a bundle for my kids that way.

Anonymous said...

I'm hardly poor- not that I would argue that point on a blog. I take our coins to the grocery store with the children and they use coinstar. The machine totals the money and the children can choose then and there to donate the money to a charity.

Anonymous said...

These comments are insane: I am a nanny and I would never steal from anyone. I am also a parent and I would fire anyone who I knew stole from me. (Just make sure that if you have older kids, it wasn't them instead of the nanny.)
13 nannies in four years? Are your kids horrible or are you?

Anonymous said...

13 nannies in 4 years is excessive, I def. agree with that. I am a nanny, have never stolen a thing in my entire life. Nothing. I would never consider stealing from my employer, she is like a sister to me. She lets me carry around one of her platinum credit cards, has told me where she keeps all of her expensive jewelry, given me a key to her house and told me that while they are out of town I am free to use the house to have a party ( I would never do that though), but the most important item that she trusts me with is her daughter! OP if you can't trust your nanny not to steal 8 bux worth of quarters you can't trust her to watch your child.

AnonyMouse said...

1. How is there no alternative to who stole the money the first time? Are you kidding? When I was a kid, I'd take stuff like that all the time. I know it pains you to admit so, but your kids may have done something (or your spouse.).

2. You placed 8 quarters on the top. What if she moved the jar, jostled the jar, and put the jar back when she was dusting? That would displace the quarters.

Now, you may have reasonable explanations to my doubts, but without them right now I cannot condemn her without her side of the story or clarification. And for the record, NO I'm not a nanny. I just don't go around believing people who set others up in a very unscientific or concrete way.

My God, what if you are wrong? And please get rid of this mindset of "confronting" someone. Why can't you simply "ask" her? You go in with confrontation on your mind, it can't end pretty for either of you.

:(

Anonymous said...

I just have to say, MP, that change jars add up fast. My husband and I got the idea off Dr. Phil. A guest shared how he saved over 100,ooo for his sons college from the day he was born. The dad would only pay with dollar bills, never change. He would add the change to a jar, and when full, take it to the bank and invest it wisely. 18 years later=college money. Smart. Besides, the OP never said that was the only savings she had for her children.

Anonymous said...

I'm all about the change jar. Love the change jar! Paid for the past 5 summer vacations that way since my kids were born.

Anonymous said...

9:16 said-
nannies are not housekeepers and will slap you for suggesting they tidy up.

Another ignorant poster....

are you all so closed minded and one-sided?

A nanny does help tidy up-
the areas used by her and the child-she does load/unload dishwasher/do light vaccuming.

Most nannies WILL do light cleaning.

Most nannies WILL NOT Do heavy srubbing.

It's when a parent expects the nanny to clean the parent's area's /srub showers/ clean toliets/ wash windows- is when a nanny is NOT a nanny anymore- but becomes a "HOUSECLEANER" too-

Therefore, two seperate job titles-two seperate salaries.

Please read some nanny sites-
and get educated on the nanny profession.

I wonder how many of you who post on here have the slightest clue as to what a nanny is/does...

Anonymous said...

you sound like a tight-ass (or broke ass ho) trying to get away with something. Nannies don't vacuum! They take care of the children. Compare nanny care to the daycare rate in your area. And that is just for having the luxury of someone come to you, all weather, sick child care. Playdates, your meals, child's activities, etc.

Anonymous said...

i'm starting a change jar!

Anonymous said...

I have a cleaning lady who comes in twice a week to clean my home. She has been cleaning and stealing from me for over 6 years. She steals TP, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc. Never too much at one time and never money - I too have set her up for that and the money has always remained. I have never mentioned it to her because she is a FABULOUS housekeeper and I really don't mind losing what she takes. However, she is my housekeeper, NOT MY NANNY. I trust her to clean my home, not care for my children. I don't have a nanny, but if I did, she would be gone for stealing anything from my home. A nanny should be held to a much higher standard simply because she is caring for children - an awesome task to say the least. Nannies are to be examples and to be trusted with the very well being of your children. A nanny who steals, regardless of the reason, is a poor example and untrustworthy.

helen said...

oh 355,
you make a valid point-
good help is hard to find.
I too tolerated much from a housekeeper. Then the day came when I needed a nanny. Wouldn't you know the two of them became thick as thieves? I overheard an argument once. They both had empty large size ziploc bags and were fighting over who's week it was to take tide. (Tide laundry powder).
After I overheard that, I paid just a little bit more attention. I confronted the nanny first who told me, "Well X has been here 3 years and she takes, so why should she and not I". Yes this was a serious conversation. I had to fire them both. Of course. No more theiving. I have a housekeeper who speaks 19 words of English and I love her to death. I hired a nanny who was from a different class. I have found that when you employ someone poor, someone who grew up with nothing- that they can sometimes resent you and feel entitled to share in your spoils. That is not the case with my present nanny- who while she was never wealthy definitely grew up with many advantages.

Hire a nanny who was raised well. And if you hire other help in the house, best bet is to make sure they don't speak English. Triangles never work. (A quote from a famous friend of mine who has grown grey and tired from dealing with the spats of her domestic employees).

Anonymous said...

if you start a change jar and have a nanny, make sure you give that money to the poor!

Anonymous said...

oh my word, a nanny from a different class.
sounds like you have no class. you deserve to get you tide nicked...

Anonymous said...

501pm

Um, I have a change jar and a part time nanny. I will not give my change to the poor. I posted about the Dr. Phil segment above, and know that little bit added every day will pay my son's way thru any college he wants.

My family pays a full 10% tithing to our church, donates outgrown clothing to various charities, drops money into Salvation Army buckets, and we also donate family time to help out in our community.

We are by no means poor, nor extrodinarily wealthy, but that jar represent a lot to my son. When we invest the money, we show him how his college fund is growing. Since he turned three, we have been giving him an allowance. 10% goes into a tithing jar, 50% into the school jar, and the remaining 40% into a personal spending jar. He is now 5, and understands money very well.

I highly recommend teaching children when they are young. When my son askes for a new game or toy, I help him do the math (An action figure is $6.00 = 24 quarters) He works hard for his allowance, and will think twice about using his own money for something he does not need. While I provide well for him, there is no place for entitlement to anything he wants.

Maybe families who don't have to think about money can teach their children about saving their coins to donate to a worthy cause. In my family, where I am a SAHM, those coins stand for my son's future (as well as numerous other investments we have for him..we are being realistic about how much we may/may not be able to save in change)

Ok, my rant is done.

Anonymous said...

I am a nanny and I'll admit sometimes I steal merchandise from stores, and I bet everyone thinks thats pretty bad huh?? Still I would NEVER even think of steeling from one of my employers... even when I've babysat for women who just flat out don't pay me, they say "ooh, ill pay you next time". And to that classy women who enjoys hey classy employees. Well I grew up with it all, my families been on food stamps, and WIC, and now my family lives in a ridiculous ten bedroom house. I had my morals either way, in fact I was probably a better person when I was poor. AND you are definitely not wrong for thinking it was your nanny, besides the fact that all the clues point her way, you are a Mother, therefor you have amazing instincts. For a nanny to clean... of course, how could you even think of leaving a mess for your employers, do you leave dirty dishes and food out on the table as well? I have NEVER resented an employer, I have so much respect for all of them and I learn from them as well. There is nothing wrong with wanting to give her a second chance, you have a good heart, but you definitely shouldn't keep her. However, I once went on a babysitting job with a friend and the women whispered to her "Do not let her upstairs, Abby has her piggy bank emptied up there and I know exactly how much is there so if you do let her upstairs I'll know" Peers, teachers, and adults usually say "you are the nicest girl I've ever meant" and "I get such a warm vibe from you". I think about her saying that everyday, it makes me nauseas that someone thinks I would steel a few dollars from their little girl. I'm sure it was justified in her head "she's poor why wouldn't she steal 2 dollars in change?" I guess my point is that it is incredibly offensive if its not true... you should be extra careful : )

Anonymous said...

I'm going through this same thing right now except my nanny is denying it. My thought is that you will never be able to trust her and she is taking care of your children - WHAT IF her dishonesty means that she'll STEAL a little sleep time during the day or ... who knows what. We just cannot keep them. Fire her today, I'm going to try!

Anonymous said...

Firing people is a pretty tricky subject. I thought a while ago that my housekeeper was steeling and it wasn't until she wasn't aware that I was home (she has her own key) that I actually saw her taking some of my clothes out to her car. I confronted her and she said that she was taking them home to clean. I have a working washer and dryer and the clothes that she had were old, lounging around the house type clothing - no way was she going to be spending her free time cleaning them. I even asked her if there was somewhere she needed to be and if thats why she was taking my clothes but she said no.
I no longer have that housekeeper and have found another one. Trust is a big issue for me I don't want anyone in my home stealing from me. A few friends have even stolen from me and thats ended more than one friendship. If your nanny is stealing from you how do you know that she isn't lying about things that she's doing with your children and teaching your children bad behaviors? She had her chance.

Anonymous said...

Firing people is a pretty tricky subject. I thought a while ago that my housekeeper was steeling and it wasn't until she wasn't aware that I was home (she has her own key) that I actually saw her taking some of my clothes out to her car. I confronted her and she said that she was taking them home to clean. I have a working washer and dryer and the clothes that she had were old, lounging around the house type clothing - no way was she going to be spending her free time cleaning them. I even asked her if there was somewhere she needed to be and if thats why she was taking my clothes but she said no.
I no longer have that housekeeper and have found another one. Trust is a big issue for me I don't want anyone in my home stealing from me. A few friends have even stolen from me and thats ended more than one friendship. If your nanny is stealing from you how do you know that she isn't lying about things that she's doing with your children and teaching your children bad behaviors? She had her chance.

Anonymous said...

Send her packing. Who knows what other things you might notice missing down the road. It sounds like you set it up perfectly --- putting the change there when NOBODY else was in the house. What you did was fair, and I was never a nanny but I baby sat a lot in my teenage years and would never have even touched a penny that was on the floor.

Anonymous said...

As long as you counted all the change in the jar before you left let her go. If there's a chance she jostled it while cleaning and the coins wound up in different positions.......try again. If you don't know exactly how much in change was in there before you left --- that is the test.

David Yurman said...

Stealing is a crime and can become an addiction for many. It is better to get rid of a thief when caught, they will steal again.

Anonymous said...

Do not keep a stealing nanny. She will on spiral further out of control and sometimes the stealing is not because they need money - they may have something else they are suffering with (drugs, alcohol, crying out for attention, etc) and so giving raise or letting her off the hook will only make matters worse.
Fire her immediately. I did not take my own advice and although my child is fine and nothing bad happened, I live everyday with the what if I hadn't finally kept employing her. She escalated in behavior and although was great with my kid small things started happening and I eventually fired.