Monday

Recently Something Valuable Went Missing

Received Monday, January 7, 2008-Rant
This is a little rant and rave one I would like to get some opinions on.
OK so I have been a nanny for the same family for five years. They have a eight year old boy and a four year old girl. Recently something valuable went missing. My bosses claimed they looked everywhere and could not find it. They said they were going to have to file a police report in order to get the insurance value. Well...my bosses started questioning me. At first they just sort of asked if I had noticed the maids or gardeners in their rooms etc. But then they straight up asked me if I took it, and even went as far as saying it's OK we just want it back so if you did take it you can still keep your job if it is given back. For the record: I did not take anything. A week later I came into work and saw the missing item was sitting right on the counter in the kitchen. No explanation and my boss said nothing about it. I asked the older boy and he said that they had found it in the younger child's room and she had hid it because she wanted to play with it and didn't want to get in trouble. It has been a week now and my boss has yet to mention it or apologize for accusing me. Should I confront her for an apology or just leave it alone? I'm a little upset that after five years of hard work for them they would even think that I would steal from them. Can I get opinions on the matter from both employers and nannies please.

50 comments:

9:14 said...

To be honest I don't think that you are going to get an apology. I would be completely embarrassed if I accused someone and found out my kid took it. I would try to be the bigger person and say something like, you truelly are a great employee and give a gift or something. But that is just me.

Leave it alone, the know they F'ed up.

mom said...

I wish you had said right away, "Oh good! Where did you find it?" I can't help wondering if they set it out for you to see to see if you acted guilty, or would say anything first. They might think you tossed it in the girl's room out of guilt after they questioned you. Maybe next time you see it, or see her wearing it, you could ask, "May I ask where you found that?" That will at least open the door for her to apologize if she knows she was wrong and feels embarrassed.

My husband had a couple of valuable items go missing when the kids were small...and coincidentally right after the housekeepers had been there. He would pitch a fit and tell me they must have stolen it...and he expected me to either confront them or fire them immediately. Well, I had formed a relationship with our housekeeper and knew she would not steal from me, and I told him so. I refused his demands to accuse her and told him I expected him NOT to do so either. Sure enough, the items inevitably turned up...one in a toybox, and the other somewhere it was clear that a kid had been playing with it.

As an employer, I would rather file a police report and let them deal with questioning anybody they felt necessary. I think it would ruin a relationship completely to tell somebody you believe them to be capable of theft.

The mom here needs to apologize and somehow make this right if your relationship has a chance. This was very wrong of them, in my opinion. They may be embarrassed, but hey, they screwed up and it's time to face the consequences, as any rational adult should be expected to do. Perhaps they might think of how EMBARRASSING it was for you to have to look them in the eye and endure such a terrible accusation from people who you have worked hard to earn...and fully deserve...complete trust.

curious nanny said...

That is terrible!

Isn't it funny when people accuse you of doing things and demand that you fix the situation... and you didn't actually do it. Then when they realize there was no way you could have been the one to do it, still no apology!

I've never been accused of theft that I can remember, but I once had a spoiled roommate accuse me of "ruining" her shower curtain by getting a hair dye stain on it (the spot was smaller than a finger print and very hard to detect). She demanded I buy her a new one and that if I didn't, her mother would withhold the amount owed from our security deposit when the lease was up! At the time, I had a new puppy and was spending hundreds a month taking him to the vet as he was quite sickly. Her parents bought everything for her, and she had a scammed a high-paying sitting job from me so she was rolling in the dough. Anyway, when she accused me it was in front of friends and she yelled at me, quite embarrassing. After about two weeks of a strained relationship, I was still angry and hurt by the way she was reacting. I had indeed gotten dye on something else, but didn't think I'd gotten it on the curtain. I compared the color of the stains and found them to be very different. So I tried gently cleaning out the curtain stain with water and hand soap and it nearly disappeared, which permanent dye obviously doesn't do! I brought this to her attention immediately. Instead of feeling awkward and apologizing for being a brat, she was just like "oh how strange, I wonder what the stain could be!"

Sorry for the rant, just trying to give some empathy. Things had already started going downhill for our relationship and it did not improve after that little episode so you may want to address the issue here. Maybe wait a few days or until the end of the week; if she still hasn't gotten over it, you should sit her down and ask what is going on because you noticed you are having a lot of odd chores to do, which was never part of your job.

marypoppin'pills said...

The same exact thing happened to me. Only it was (of all things) a Barbie Doll! The Mom used to collect them, and kept them all (still in the boxes), in her closet. She called me one evening after I got home and practically accused me of stealing it. I freaked out, as I would never do such a thing. I loved my job and would never in a million years jeapordize it.
Needless to say, I refused to go back.
Two days later she called saying she found it, begging me to come back. I asked her where she found the doll - and it was in her daughters room. (She evidently wanted to play with it but was scared to tell Mom she had it after seeing her Mom have a fit over it).
And she never once apologized.
Bottom line, it's hard to go back to normal after being accused of being a thief.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny, you work for someone for a long time, and they still treat you like a stranger. Knowing how they reacted they would probably tell the police to interview you. I think thats a shame. If you trust someone for five years to raise your children, why do you think they are going to steal from you.

Anonymous said...

You may have a "shifty" look about you. Some people do. They can't help it, and often they get blamed for things they didn't do.

Anonymous said...

so she lost a good nanny, because of her tirade

OP here said...

For 3:02...I am the op and I don't have a shifty look. In fact I nanny for them part time and run a teenage ministry at a local church part time. That is partly why I am so upset about it because I am not the type of person that is noramlly accused of things like this.

Anonymous said...

Shifty looking people are usually the last to know that they affect others that way, sadly. I am sure you are very honest and trustworthy and did not mean to offend you. Have a lovely day.

TX Nanny said...

I think you should ask where it was found and be honest and say that it really hurt your feelings that they don't trust you after 5 years of watching their children and if they don't apologize then you should probably put in your notice because they don't deserve you.

mom said...

TX nanny has given you some excellent advice. It's probably the best and only way to salvage this relationship.
They need to know they have hurt and offended you without cause. And you need an apology, and some sort of assurance (which will admittedly be hard to provide following this incident)that they think better of you than this.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Tx Nannies' advice was very good. You should air out the issue.

Anonymous said...

My daughter recently got a tiffany necklace and it's missing part of me suspects the housekeeper but most of me adores her. Maybe I have my head up my butt? Maybe not.

we need a nanny union said...

Those richies can never keep track of their stuff. I worked for a family where every week she lost her credit card and had me call all the places she'd been to looking for it, and look through all her armani suits and coats she had worn in the past week. I would never find it, and a few days would go by and I would ask her if it had turned up yet and she'd say, Oh, yeah, it was in my purse. She never looked in the most obvious place, but loved to send me on wild goose chases. The credit card was the most frequent one. Some weeks it was a certain sock, a certain shirt, scarf, glove, etc etc. Needless to say, I no longer work for them!

Anonymous said...

8:27 If you have young children in the house, more likely than not you'll find it tucked away in a secret hiding place somewhere. Look in drawers, in the closet, in boxes and bags, in piggy banks--you'd be surprised where kids tuck things away. If she's school aged, check her backback and check at the school's lost and found. If you trust your housekeeper, don't ruin your relationship by accusing her. I WOULD mention to her that it is missing just in case it gets sucked up by the vacuum or something and ask her to keep an eye out for it as she is cleaning. If your child wore it to bed it could even end up in the wash with the bedding--have her check the washer and dryer filters.

Honestly, even if she was a thief, it just doesn't make sense that a household employee who has access to all your belongings chose to take a child's necklace. I would think cash, credit card information (your bills are likely in your home) or your jewelry would be a more attractive target.

alex said...

She is probably embarrassed to tell you. If it bothers you I would say something. Since you have been nannying for them for so long, I would hope you at least know each other and have the relationship where you can bring things up. And if it makes you feel better to ask her, then go ahead and do so. I'm sure it would make me feel better.

Anonymous said...

I would be devastated if a family I'd been with for five years questioned me like that. I second TX nanny, tell them how hurt and insulted you feel, and if they don't offer an adequate and sincere apology, I would look for another job.
A nanny

just the nanny said...

you should tell them, how bad you felt after they accused you of taking it. say it sincerely and see how they react. 5 years is a long time, they should definitely apologize, but maybe they're just clueless.
i am a key klepto, that's what my boss calls me. everytime they can't find a car key or a house key they ask me, call me on cell, yell down the stairs to my room, to check my pockets, purse etc., and sure enough there they are. it's no biggie i don't even know i do it! at first i was insulted when they *lovingly* gave me the nickname, but it's true, and i realize,there's no need to fret about it.

Anonymous said...

did you ever "steal" their underwear?

Anonymous said...

?? ... huh?

MissDee said...

*LOL* I'm not laughing at the OP, since I know how hurt she is, I'm just *LOL* at my bitch of an ex boss who was pissed about her "lost" checkbook. The reason why I say lost is I don't think she really lost in the first place.

She called everyone into the office, and 1 by 1 she questioned all of us. When it was my turn, she aksed me if I knew where he checkbook was, and I told her I didn't know, because I didn't know she had a checkbook in her office. And had I found her checkbook, I would've called her to let her know that I found it, and would've hid it somewhere so nobody could take it. After I told her I didn't see it, she tells me I was the last person in the office and I had to have taken it, since I was the only one in there at the time. Then she points out that SOMEONE tried to cash a check and the bank contacted her about this matter. Furthermore, she told me that it was funny that I called in sick on the same day that someone was trying to cash a check. She went around the daycare center snapping at everyone, and telling us the police were on their way upto the center to arrest someone. Did the police show up? No. Did she apologize? No. Did she find her checkbook? I don't know.

It really was the silliest thing I ever heard, and the entire stff was pissed that day, including me. This woman ALWAYS walked around with her finger pointed in people's faces. I was her target. Was I hurt by what she accused me of? At first I was, then I got over it. She was such a bitch and too much of a bitch to own a daycare center, she made me start a childcare support group and made me appreciate myself and others in my profession-nannies, teachers, baby nurses, etc. that much more.

OP: I agree with Texas nanny. Talk to them, and if they don't apologize, then it maybe time to move on.

mm said...

I am a nanny in Greenwich and make close to six figures. I work with two housekeepers and there are many service people coming to the house on a weekly basis. I love my employers and they trust me implicitly, but there have been times when things went missing or misplaced. As an employee who has access to everything and has been here for three years, I loathe the feeling of unrest that comes with something missing. Even though I know I wouldn't be accused, we are all wondering of each other who took it and obviously things don't just walk away. Most things turn up. One time my employer had a pair of really nice shoes go missing. As it happens, we wear the same size. It caused me to be very unsettled but in the end, my boss concluded they must have gotten thrown out with the garbage.

Anonymous said...

I was a nanny in the 90s for this rich woman in Beverly Hills. One day she was stressed out and wanted to smoke some pot but she couldn't find it in her closet. She gathered the whole staff, questioning us if we stole it and since none of us did, she had us all search the house for it. When her daughter came home from school, she asked her if she had been playing in her room and taken something, the daughter answere that she had found her pot and flushed it down the toilet! LOL - Well done kid! The mother did end up apologizing to us but she was furios with her daughter (then 11)

Sarah said...

I don't really think you are owed an apology, but it wouldn't be inappropriate for you to mention that your feelings were hurt by her questioning.

I really do think if she thought you had taken it, you wouldn't have been asked to come back the next day. It is fair for her to ask, and fair for her to investigate others in the house. I had a similar thing happen before, and the family definitely asked in a few different ways, then they left it alone and decided to trust my answers. When the missing object turned up, nothing was ever said except that they had found it in the baby's toybox. Since it is valuable to them, it is totally okay for them to question the other people in their house, as I am sure they retraced their own steps over and over as well.

Anonymous said...

Sarah
Right - but I think the point being made is there are ways you can ask nicely - and then others, like here - sound accusatory.

mom said...

Yes, they crossed a line when they as much as told her they thought she had stolen it by offering to let her keep her job if she gave it back. It's one thing to say, "Have you seen this missing item?" and quite another to handle it the way they did. I would feel like a real creep if I did that to somebody and didn't AT LEAST have the decency to apologize. I don't know how this can fully be made up for, but an apology is where they need to start. I understand how humiliating that will be for them...but they made their own bed. Perhaps having to share some of the shame they were all too willing to heap on this nanny's head will help them remember to be a little more tactful in the future. Sure, the item was valuable and perhaps difficult to replace...but isn't the nanny also both of those things to them?

aint no way said...

my boss wouldn't dare ask me if I stole something. She afraid to ask me to work on Saturday. That's the way it should be. You putting up with way the hell too much to work for whitey. I got a raise this year and I didnt say nothing about it. My girl boss who I see was all sweet and stuff bringing my cocoa from starbucks and stuff. she let me go early on friday of last and before she did she was all **i just wanted to make sure you was happy with your raise**. I gave up one nod. That will make her wonder what she can do next. To the op of this post you done lost the balance of things. You taken care of them kids. Ever heard of the hand that rock the cradle ruling the world? If I were you I would skip asking for an apology, theys a punk ass family anyway. What you do is step to them and tell them you need something. Maybe they dont pay for your train. Or maybe you want to take next Tuesday off. Or maybe you want to start leaving at 5 on Fridays. You step to them and you say your peace. Dont leave room for no negotiatins. I would be putting them on notice. Dont think for one second I would put up with that.

mom said...

11:03
Although your post was obviously meant to be a joke...sadly there are actually nannies out there who think and act that way. And how anybody could leave a helpless child with somebody like that to save a few bucks is a real mystery.

Anonymous said...

Mom, Are you kidding? Ain't no way I thought Aintnoway's post was a joke!! Of course it was real. I can't imagine why you think it was a joke! Where've you been living that you would think it's a joke?

mom said...

The spelling, syntax and grammar are too mixed and inconsistent in that post to have been written with sincerity. There are hints of a level of education that is inconsistent with what the writer intended to convey. Look again.

cali mom said...

I think so too Mom, and although this might not be the usual boot licker grovelling for her fix, it's just someone who wants to stir the shit around here. Like the usual drama isn't exciting enough?!

a said...

I don't know Moms- I just read childcare gone wrong and I am wondering who these awful people are and how many are walking around waiting to strike. Combine this with the gold tooth with diamond dollar signs and ... well I don't have a hard time imagining this to be true.

Anonymous said...

It's me, anonymous at 11:22, who doesn't think ain'tnoway's posting is a joke.

I am appalled at "the usual bootlicker grovelling for her fix!" What kind of talk is this! Ain'tnoway does not come off as a "bootlicker!" Quite the contrary! She has balls and will not put up with mistreatment from her "girl boss," who sometimes can also be referred to as boss lady. And I don't like how you referred to Ain'tnoway as the USUAL bootlicker! Very obnoxious and seems to hint at racism.

aint no way said...

syntax my ass. i'm tired of seeing nannies act like they owned by their bosses. what way is that to live? its my way or the highway and if you knew my boss you'd know thats true.

cali mom said...

4:29, (again?) you are either new here or haven't been following along. You obviously have no idea of the frequent poster I was referring to as the bootlicker, and if you don't know her name and her antics, I wont fill you in. Just try to catch up with the rest of us.

Aion't no way, IF you are not the usual phony suspect, you are in the wrong line of work. Anyone who advocates intimidation tactics and has the education of a lima bean is NOT a nanny, more like an entitled babysitter, and should NOT be left in charge of anyone's children. Your boss could certainly do better than you.

helaine-written quickly said...

Cali mom,
I agree the comment sounds a bit false. But 2As wasn't all bad. She is a high paid nanny in CA and does have valid contributions to make. If she ever came back, I would welcome her input. As long as it was genuine.

I hate to comment on the comments rather than the posts, but I do have to say that I have 3 or 4 friends who in varying levels live in fear of their nannies. I wanted to write a rant post on them because it is so infuriating. Here are some examples (Westchester County, NY):
I am out shopping with my friend of 6 years. We are shopping leisurely and suddenly she looks at her watch and panics. Asking, "is it X o'clock already"? I say, "yes". She says, "I have to run, if X (her nanny) has to take X (her 2 year old) with her to pick up X (her school aged child), she will be pissed". I know for a fact this nanny makes $750 per week cash off the books for what I would call "bankers hours".
Example 2. My husband and I arrive to another friend's home closer to the city. We are going to see a play. Her husband is not back. My friend apologizes, saying "I'm sorry, X (her nanny) wanted X (an ethnic food) for dinner and he's caught in traffic. He should be back any minute". As it was he was back in 5 minutes, but the nerve! I know for a fact that this nanny feigns ignorance in the kitchen-not only can she not do anything to help them with their meals, but they cook for her!
My last example was this afternoon. I called my friend X on her phone. I hear she is driving. "Where are you", I ask. "I am in Yonkers returning something", she says. "What did you buy in Yonkers", I ask. "We got X, (her nanny) a stereo for her new house, but she said she would rather have the money, so I took it back".
Bile rises....
Perhaps it is a cultural thing. I don't know but it really turns my stomache.

fg said...

Helaine...
You think 2a's wasn't all that bad? I think she was pretty bad with her deceit, her hateful posts and lack of respect for this board. Highly paid nanny in CA? Doubtful.

helaine said...

fg,
she was quoted in the ny times article, wasn't she?

Anonymous said...

helaine
I don't know if you are speaking of the same nasty, hateful, fight-picking, name-calling, name-changing 2xAs? (I think that's it) --
She didn't have all that much to offer, except her ability to be the spelling and grammer police. She's still here, I can feel it ... the air is thick with her stench! She changes names often.
Be afraid, be very afraid!

mom said...

She's here all right. She even posted in her own name with that drag queen looking photo a day or two ago. (I think she got bored that we all stopped mentioning when we recognized her, so she came back "out" in order to get something nasty started again.) That's why I simply try to avoid responding to really stupid or intentionally inflamatory posts.

And, BTW, any number of fools and phonies are quoted in the NY Times, and every other newspaper, every single day of the year. That's nothing to brag about.

She has serious emtional problems. I kinda feel sorry for her...but not enough that I'm willing to knowingly waste my time conversing with her.

Anonymous said...

the last time she posted on here, she said something like 'this blog is pretty cool after all" or something like that. so a person signs on to a blog and it rubs her the wrong way. then she changes her mind about it. no biggy.
where are all the postings?

mom said...

Maybe the last time she posted under her old name. Do you remember the nutcases...I can't even remember their (her) name(s) posting simultaeously a few (possibly several) weeks back? One was posing as the "Christian" lady who swore a lot and judged everybody (except the nanny who was sleeping with her boss, who she thought was just swell)...and the other had another thread all bogged down in pointless grammar wars? When we recognized that she was both people using different names (and a few others also, all at once) she went completely psychotic, ranted incoherently for a bit, and then "disappeared." But she has been recognized all over the place ever since...mostly as "anonymous," but also using a few new and different monikers. Her posts are not kind or useful, and seem rather to be generally malevolent. She is no friend or fan of ISYN.

fg said...

Mom
I wondered if "Helaine" was
2a's. Why would anyone defend a deranged beast without a motive?

cali mom said...

I think I remember that in her blog, she claimed to live in London. She's been in the blog pages of sfgate.com talking about the tiger attack at the SF zoo, claiming San Francisco as her city, but here she said she was born and raised in Piedmont. Anything so inflammatory as racial slurs, IMO, is likely to be her trying to stir things up.

mom said...

fg,
You may be right. I'm always very suspicious of anybody who comes to her defense because in the past is has always turned out to be herself using different monikers and, of course, anonymous, to post comments in defense of herself. You are right that nobody else in their right mind would do so.

I now remember two of the names she used...Peace and Em. I know there were others but can't remember them now. I believe she was last named here as "Bootlicker." But I don't know if that was one of her chosen pseudonyms, or simply somebody else's apt descrittion.


What a sorry creature she is at any rate.

cali mom said...

Mom, that was me who called her that, and all I meant was that she sure does prostitute herself here and do whatever it takes to get the attention she's after.

marypoppin'pills☼ said...

It sure has been (kinda) nice and quiet around here lately. ☺
I'm waiting for the bottom to drop out at any minute, though.
People like 'her' can only control themselves for so long.

mom said...

Cali Mom,
Yeah, actually I knew that. It was funny...but I wasn't sure if you would want me to point that out. I like it better for a nickname for her...suits better.

MaryPPs,
She is here, always has been, and occasionally does try to divert the threads to suit her own twisted agenda. But, as you say, she is not able to control herself for long...and her writing is transparent...so even at those times when she gets a little something going, somebody usually recognizes and outs her, so she doesn't get very far. Mostly, I see that people simply ignore her attempts altogether (presumably having recognized her outright and not wanting to give her even the satisfaction of being mentioned...since negativity seems to be what she thrives on.) I still think simply ignoring is the very best.

§marypoppin'pills§ said...

Mom
Right. And it looks as if it's working. But it really feels creepy knowing she's reading all of this, lol.

Cherri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.