Sunday

Judging a Book by it's Cover- Sunday Roundtable #3

Received Sunday, October 7, 2007
I don't know if you are still having the Sunday Roundtable discussions, but I have something to discuss. I am in the process of interviewing for my first nanny. Can you judge a book by it's cover, or at least eliminate a book by it's cover? I read this site and childcaregonewrong on a regular basis and the photos you recently posted of the two nannies, both who burned the children's feet with scalding water- and it does make me wonder. Anyone else?

source: Childcaregonewrong.blogspot.com

55 comments:

emily said...

i am 100 percent certain i would not have hired the nanny maggie based on her appearance. i have seen nannies who look like her, like angry brutes, walking around park slope, unsmiling and i always wonder, WHY????

Anonymous said...

No, you cannot judge a book by it's cover. A tricky bitch will be able to fool you. I would however look for a babysitter who smiled naturally and often. So many of them do not. One thing I recall about my favorite nanny is that she was always smiling.

Anonymous said...

From a nanny's prospective.
No, everyone puts their best face on for an interview. You must speak extensively with their references. Don't limit your questions to the practical issues. Ask what kinds of activities she did with the children, and if she took the initiative to make plans and think up fun and stimulating activities. Did you see genuine affection between her and the children, did you hear them laughing together, did the children talk about what they did during the day. Ask these things even if, or especially if she will be starting out with an infant. This will give you a sense of whether this is a woman who chose to be a nanny because she enjoys working with children, or one of the "park bench nannies" for whom your child is just a paycheck.
NYC Nanny

Lindsey said...

Well I somewhat disagree. While you will probably be right when you don't hire someone because of the way they look, most times it give you a bad vibe. That doesn't mean that someone you hire who looked nice and normal didn't completely fool you. I just looked at the three photos that childcaregonewrong had and I would not have hired any of them. I have no problem saying that I would not hire someone based on how they looked. The black woman looked ferrocious. She looked like she was ready to tackle someone. Hideous if you ask me. The best thing to do is always check references, do a thorough back ground check, do a few trial runs. And by God people if you see an odd bruise DONT LET IT SLIDE. Jesus why would anyone wait and putin a nanny cam only to have it happen again. ITS IDIOTIC. This is why I stay home with my kids. The saying "YOU CAN TRUST NO ONE." Reigns true the majority of the time.

~Lindsey, SAHM~

Anonymous said...

I hate to judge by looks, but I'd have to say when it comes to my children, if anything *ANYTHING* made me the least bit uneasy, I would not hire that nanny. Regardless of her (his) stunning resume and references.

look here said...

are you looking at maggie's picture?
would you hire this nanny?
http://childcaregonewrong.blogspot.com/2007/10/wednesday-septmber-27-2007.html

Alicia said...

YES, you can judge a book by it's cover! First impressions are everything!

anonymous1 said...

I'm afraid your wrong, alicia, dear. Some people are shy and hard to get to know while others are an open book. Shy doesn't equal good, either, since many well known serial murderers were known to be very shy. It's important to ask pertinent questions and in doing so, try to ascertain the sincerity of the person responding. After making a decision, one must always hope for the best, of course, but considering how many asswipes we having serving in public office, I'd say it's hard to really get a true grasp of what a person is like until you observe behavior. Talk is cheap, is it not?

Nanny Dana From Philly said...

I'm a nanny and if you brought someone in for a meet and greet and something was bothering you, even if it was just the look of the nanny, then I would not hire her. Even if there is anything slight that bothers you when it comes to you hiring someone to take care of the end all and be all of your existance, just move on from the person.

Alicia said...

Okay, then maybe I just have a really good read on people when I first meet them. Ie: several times in the process of being a nanny I have come across "sleezy" men who I know cheat on their wives...well, it always ends up coming out later on that their marriage is in shambles b/c they are, in fact, getting a divorce for cheating on their wives.
So, I guess it depends on the person as to whether or not you can 'judge a book by it's cover'.

anonymous1 said...

Alicia, you may well be right, but I think it is a person with good intuition, perhaps with even a bit of the psychic within them, that can more often than not correctly judge someone from the get-go. You may well be one that is blessed with this inherent ability. Of course, when it comes to men, especially those with money.... wouldn't you be right in most cases anyway (sadly enough)if you had a feeling that a man was a sleazy cheat?

paulette -no longer anonymous! said...

After I have gotten it down to 3 or 4 candidates, I have them meet my sons. And this nanny "Maggie" would make my children cry.

Frightening.

Anonymous said...

I agree that if they give you that "feeling" then you should never hire them. I don't know about judging them based on looks though. We have had a wonderful nanny for two years now and she is not one that someone would choose because of looks becuase she has several tatoos and an eyebrow piercing. But, she is fantastic with our kids so looks can be decieving.

Kelly said...

I agree with NYC nanny at 2:30pm. Ask a whole lot of questions at the interview. After all the nanny will be spending a whole lot of time with your precious little ones. Scan the resumes and grill the references, and don't be shy about it. Also remember your very own gut feeling.

Anonymous said...

I think you have to like the cover before you go any further in your evaluation of the person. You can be fooled by a polished appearance and hearing the "right" answers - so don't stop at the cover.

anonymous1 said...

I fail to understand what the issue is with Maggie's picture?

jo l said...

maggie the nanny- the one who boiled the feet of the little boy she was supposed to *take care* of is a scary looking person.

TX Nanny said...

I love being a nanny and am very happy that the families I work for trust me and that I get to spend my day taking care of kids. That being said when I have children I will stay home with them. I don't know how people do it. I just couldn't trust a stranger with my kids and obviously since I love children so much I plan on giving my own all the attention and love that I give to the kids I watch. There are great nannies out there but obviously there are terrible ones too, why anyone would hire a person that looks as scary and just wrong as Maggie looks, is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

I was a nanny for 7 years and I love children. When I met the kids I will talk to them and ask them questions or complement their clothes or hair. I always gave attention to the kids to see how they responde to me. I asked questions too to the parents. I asked how do they disipline their kids?

Anonymous said...

Judge your book carefully for you never know when you are dealing with agencies. The agencies goal is to make the placement fee which explains why the applicants are coached on everything from how to dress to how to ask how to hold the baby to make sure NOT to mention salary. The agency will tell the nanny to make sure she washes her hands before you hold the baby. To make a display of it and to wash her hands thoroughly. Imagine the false reassurance the germaphobe father gets when the candidate comes in, rolls her sleeves up to her elbows and scrubs her hands and forearms twice before she asks to hold the baby. It doesn't mean she'll ever do it again, if not "on stage", hell she may never pick the child up. I have seen some pretty dead wood coached through a nanny interview. I have even heard of agencies giving specifics on the family, such as where the mother went to school, or a negative experience a mother might have had with a previous nanny or worse. Believe you, me. Get you own application, (google it) and place you own ad. Don't speak to anyone who can't send you the application back completed in full with the specifications you require.

Agencies are....
get ready for it....
BOOKJACKETS

Beware.

Anonymous said...

I am a nanny who no one would ever pick on looks. So is Supernanny Jo. Because this society judges people on weight and fat is ugly in this society.

However the families I work for absolutely love me and especially the kids.

That said Maggie is scary looking and its not her weight, or her race its the expression on her face and the look in her eyes. She is scary.

Anonymous said...

What Maggie did is horrible. As for her picture however,I don't think most perps smile for their mug shots. She probably grinned from ear to ear at her employment interview.

Anonymous said...

what about maggie the poster?

kelly said...

11:50pm,

There are two Maggies that are currently pissing people off:

Maggie #1: Maggie Williams, the evil nanny who burned a child's feet. You should check out her mug shot, very scary. childcaregonewrong.blogspot.com

Maggie #2: Our very own blogger Maggie, who said some nasty things about the things you find in nannie's drawers.

I hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

You don't get mad cow disease from eating undercooked hamburgers. It's actually just a small percentage. Never the less, I cook my meat thoroughly and there are just some people I won't hire. But since the government wants to pass a law saying that young men cannot wear baggy jeans, how long is it until we are told who we have to hire in our homes?

kelly said...

Back in the day, baggy saggy pants were not worn too low. I don't know what is happening lately, but we are getting mooned left and right. I was at the library a few days ago with my kids when one of the staff came around to organize the books. He bent over in his really really low saggy baggy pants, and pretty much mooned us all. He was wearing translucent white briefs, and everything was visible. It was a very offensive sight. I think freedom to dress as one wishes is a wonderful thing, but when that freedom is abused and everyone is exposed to hairy butt cracks, the govt just might step in because honestly, being flashed on a daily basis interfers with my freedom to live without people's pubies in my face.

vi said...

oh dear sweet kelly,
yes the pants can be offensive, annoying and outright disgusting.

I don't wear them. But I'll be damned if I'll live in a country where the government tells me how I can dress.

Your civil liberties are at stake here. It's bigger than thug pants.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully you can use your mothers instinct and do more than one interview if you just don't know. Of course ask many many detailed questions of the references.

Anonymous said...

Everybody go back and look at what TX nanny said at 5:00. It speaks volumes. IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, raise your own children! She is a nanny, so she knows what goes on with other nannies--and she does not seem to be impressed overall. She would not trust her children to anybody, even though, being that she loves kids and sounds like she is probably one of the good ones, she knows thare ARE some good nannies out there. Still, she wouldn't trust ANYBODY else with HER child. Because, you just never know. YOU REALLY DON'T! But, most importantly, BECAUSE SHE LOVES CHILDREN, she wants to be there to watch and help hers grow, every step of the way. Please get a clue Moms. Don't cheat your children,or yourself, out of the first and most important relationship your child will ever have. Why is it the most important? Because it sets the tone for what they will expect in all of the other significant relationships for the rest of their lives. Do you really want to teach them that they "aren't all that important" to you?

Anonymous said...

If you want to understand the scientific validity of judging people based on first impressions, read the book called, "Blink."
First impressions are almost always right on target. We just find reasons to dismiss these initial feelings because society tells us it isn't nice to judge, especially based on looks. But there is more to it than just looks. There are signs, real signs, that we register only subconsciously. Believe your first instincts every time. Check out the book, it's pretty amazing, all of the information they have to prove this point scientifically.

Better yet, leave your kids in the care of somebody you know with 100% certainty will not mistreat or harm them--somebody who will show them genuine love and affection throughout each and every day---somebody who will never leave them. Hopefully that's you!

mom said...

Everybody who employs a nanny or babysitter needs to visit childcaregonewrong.blogspot.com immediately.
I doubt any of these parents anticipated what happened to their children either.
After all, it always happens to "Somebody Else."

TX Nanny said...

Thanks 10:22, I do have to say though, that I have only met one nanny that I thought should be fired and I did everything I could to make it happen and the family still keeps her because she works for very little money. Where I live many nannies get together for playgroups a couple times a week and we are all very attentive and loving and good at our jobs.We do all feel sorry for the parents because they are missing out on such great fun times with their children. Before long they start school and we have spent the majority of their first years shaping who they are going to be and when I have kids I want to be the person who does that, not have someone else spend most of my child's waking hours with them.

erics mom said...

Thats great tx nanny. I feel the same way, I have a almost 2 year old son. I am staying home, but have to start working this winter at least part time. Just wanted to state not all moms want to leave their kids. Sometimes, we get overwhelmed with bills. I know we should all live within our means. We are doing that and still struggling. We have one car 96' we share. A one bedroom apartment. Haven't been on any vacations not even a honeymoon, etc. I can't even afford to go to the dentist. I don't want to leave him but have no choice. Someone, has to work for health insurance, etc.
If your husband doesn't have a good job, its a struggle.

mom said...

Hats off to you TX mom for wanting to do the right thing. I think a child knows the difference between a parent who does what they have to to support them, and one who just likes to be away to be "personally fulfilled." I hope things work out for you so that you can get back full time with your son really soon. Good luck to you.

TX Nanny said...

I have lots of respect for mom's that have to work, at least you got to spend full time with your son for the first 2 years. I have worked for moms who worked part time to help ends meet and they were some of the greatest moms and taught me a lot as a nanny about patience and having a good time with the kids:)

erics mom said...

Hi Tx

Yes, thats what I am planning to do, is working part-time only. I have a great husband that tries his best.

In time it would be nice to have our own house, but with the prices in my area on average of $400-500k its impossible.

Do you have kids yet? You sound like you will be an awesome mom.

TX Nanny said...

Aww, thanks! We are actually trying to get pregnant now. I lived in San Diego for a few years and moved because I knew I would have to be a gold digger to be a stay at home mom:) Thank goodness where I live you can find a very nice house for under $200,000.

Anonymous said...

Eric's mom--
Maybe you can work in a daycare facility and bring your son along?

I wonder if there isn't somebody out there that feels as I do about a nanny bringing her own child to the job? If I had to have somebody watch my children during the day, I would want somebody in my home.
Further, I would appreciate a mom with a child. First, if it was a mom who really wished to mother first, but had a financial strain that forced her into the workforce involuntarily, I would admire her maternal instinct and want such a person to care for my child. I would also love to help somebody else out who was in that situation, because I know how I would feel if it was me. I wouldn't expect her to put my child above hers, nor would I allow her to put mine second...it would be important to me that both children were treated equally. I wouldn't want my child to grow up feeling spoiled and superior, or for her child to grow up feeling second best. I would then fill my home with plenty of legos, art supplies, play doh, and any other fun thing I could provide...and enough of everything for both children. Then I would hope the mommy who came to my house to watch both of the children would do all of the fun mommy things she would do with ther own child if she was able to stay at home with him, and include my child in the fun. BY hiring such a mommy, I would feel more assured that my child was being played with, taught and supervised by a real mom type. (Of course, I would first meet with her and her child several times for playdates to make sure she had good parenting skills and that her child and my child were compatible...and I think the nannying mommy would also want to see that the children get along.) Maybe there is such a situation for you out there somewhere?

Anonymous said...

5:47 pm, you sound like a great person. But how could you be sure that the mom would not - even unconsciously - be giving more attention to her own child? I have met so many mothers - true, not in a nannying situation - who always try to make their
own kid come first...

erics mom said...

Its Erics mom

Thanks for the comment. I tried getting jobs like that where I live. Honestly, I think because its such a wealthy area, most people rather have a nanny just one on one. And I had people tell me that. "No we don't want anyone to bring their child". Daycares, don't pay enough and they still charge you a fee if your child is using the facility. Its not much of a break. The daycares where I live are over $300 a week.
So I decided to work part-time, and get family to help out?? I hope.

Anonymous said...

Eric's mom,
Do oyu think if maybe you marketed yourself the way I put it, it might cause some people to think about it in a different way? Tell them that you just love kids and you really just want to find a situation where there is a mom who also loves her child, but is unable to be home...and that you could be a wonderful "mommy of two" to both kids. Empahsize that you would obviously be looking for enriching activities and fun games because of your personal interest in wanting the best for your child as well. I don't know if it would work, but it sounds like it would be good anyway.


6:51 I guess you can never really be sure. And I have definitely seen moms like that...which is a shame because it does not serve a child well to be treated as superior to another. But how do you know with any nanny how exactly they are going to treat your child. My hope would be that, by finding a good mom, she might be a person who has a love and compassion for all kids.

Anonymous said...

10:35
Good answer. I think the moms who favor their own child are narcissistic, their child is an extension of themselves. The other day I heard one say eeeww, I couldn't change a poopy diaper on someone else's baby. She certainly would not want a job caring for other people's children. A good nanny would treat children equally, whether they were hers, or someone else's.

Anonymous said...

10:22 Did you fall and hit your head on a rock? What mother doesn't favor her own child? However, showing favoritism to your own child or children is inappropriate in certain circumstances, one of which would be in a nanny's job while bringing your own child to work.

Anonymous said...

laughing stock at 10:22
google psychology 101 and then come back.

Anonymous said...

A mom will certainly love her own child more, and in that way possibly "favor" hers. But a mature and loving person can care for two children, one not her own, and not treat the children any differently. I have had children to my home hundreds of times to play with my kids, eat with my kids, whatever. Every kid in my home, mine or another, is treated exactly as if it were my own. (Although I did not punish anybody else's kids, but would certainly give them a little talk if necessary to correct behavior) It can be done. As the person above said, you just have to steer clear of the narcissicts.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, 2:47, I think it is different to treat kids
like your own for a relatively short amount of time -even a couple of days - on an occasional basis, and to be cooped up with them on a day-to-day basis as part of your work. I am not saying it will never work, I
am not saying that no mother can be fair if her child is involved, but I do not think this is an ideal situation.

Anonymous said...

10:40, & 11:42
No, I hit my head on a dictionary. Favor is not a synonym for love.

Favor, v. to treat with partiality.
favoritism n. a display of partiality toward a favored person or group.
I didn't say a nanny wouldn't love her child more, I said she could TREAT them equally while at work.
If you find this hard to believe, then maybe you are one of those narcissistic moms.

Anonymous said...

Dont judge a book by its cover or its gender either, if you happen to get a nanny who happens to be a male and is better than the other canidates or just another, hire the one who doesnt make your instincts go all haywire. i say this because the best person for your child can be a man or a woman, and as youve seen from those childcaregonewrong posts, absusers can be both.

make them go through a trial day where they interact and play with your kids, see how they respond to the nanny/manny. if they reject this offer, then reject them!! also check refrences.

hope you find the best one.

skyhigh said...

Yes, but even with a trial date to see how the kids interact isn't always a reliable source. The person could always put their best foot forward.

Anonymous said...

true, however typical nanny trials are a week or two longer. Furthermore, here during the trial the nanny to be will be put through everything that is thrown at them( in other words, what they dont expect) , a child driving off in a car, see how the nanny reacts. Some parents throw surprises at them, things that don't happen usually BUT COULD!! such as maneuverable driving skills driving(ala 0-60) etc. etc.

see how they act under REAL stress.

or just go straight for a poly graph if they can afford one.

erics mom said...

12:56

Are you on crack?? Your joking right???

Anonymous said...

No, sky high is the one on crack. But maybe she's also the impersonator?

Anonymous said...

what impersonator??

Anonymous said...

favor - a word that has several meanings and slightly different variations of meanings, not just the one mentioned above. I favor (the state of being held in high regard, prefer) my kids over other children but I can be very fair when among many children, including my own, with regard to the way I treat them.

Anonymous said...

referals referals referals, a few atleast. back ground checks. make sure she doesnt eat junk food or wear cheap skanky clothes. make sure she/he is young. i say go with a guy who's well, more feminine.. they are the best. get a nanny cam -no question!!! for your childs safety. i feel it should be mandatory to have a nany cam
from a fellow nanny