Received Saturday, January 12, 2008- Perspective & Opinion
For three years, I had a wonderful nanny from Columbia. She had been in the US for 14 years and was legal, a hard worker and the kindest person you would ever want to cross paths with. When that was coming to an end, I began to ask around to find a replacement. I have a friend/frenemy who has the perfect nanny so naturally I approached this nanny and asked her if she might know anyone. As it turns out, she did. To make a long story short, her friend came to replace our wonderful nanny. I didn't think we could ever replace our nanny, but somehow this replacement came close. She lacked in some areas, but made up for it in any areas. We met her salary requirement ($900 per week on the books.) She asked about health insurance, I told her we would be willing to consider paying half of it after six months. She seemed fine with that. At Christmas we gave her a bonus of $2500.00, this despite the fact she had only been with us for five months at that time. Everything had been smooth sailing. I should say here that I really like this individual. She is personable, intelligent, optimistic and has many fine characteristics. The problem I am having is one I must wonder if one that can even be managed. The nanny's friend has been with my friend/frenemy for almost a year and a half. She and I both live in the same vicinity in comparable houses, drive comparable vehicles and send our children to the same schools. I would suggest we our economically similar, if that makes sense. It seems that since our nanny has come to work for us, my friend has been showering her nanny with gifts and perks that we are not ready or yet willing to provide. I could certainly see myself indulging our nanny with nice gifts and perks down the road, particularly is she stayed for awhile. Is this a ridiculous situation? I feel my "friend" is hell bent on making me look like a bad employer, when I truly think I am a good employer. She also goes out of her way to tell me, often in the company of the new nanny who is looking for a nanny and what they are willing to pay. The things that makes this situation unavoidable is this "friend" is the sort of friend that has her hand in every one's business. She contacted the husband of another of our friend's to get tickets for both of our nannies to attend a NYC taping of "a show" and then gave her nanny the time off and told her, which in my opinion set me up to look like a buzz kill. We are both stay at home mothers, so we have some flexibility but I also have younger children. I don't see a way to work through this without alienating a friend, (the sort of friend who is the class mother, head of the fundraiser, throws the end of the year class party, etc.) or causing this nanny to resent me and our family. I am sure because it is rather apparent that we both live "blessed" lifestyles, my nanny is going to take personally any failure on my part to provide "extras".