14 April, 2008

Names Have Been Changed to Protect the Innocent...

Received Monday, April 14, 2008-Perspective & Opinion
I worked as a nanny for a period of time and was told I should write a book about my life as a nanny. I never wrote the book, but did write an article for a magazine and finally, on Friday, I received word they were going to publish the article in it's entirety. I will receive a byline for this article and here is my question, how would employers feel about reading their nanny's account of life in their home in a national magazine? The names, locations, ages and dates have all been changed, however those people who know me are going to know me and see my name in a magazine know who I worked for. This is not a story gushing about how wonderful life as nanny is/was, in fact quite the contrary. I was ecstatic on Friday when I heard from the magazine, but now I am bordering on nervous. Employers?

65 comments:

george said...

The nanny diaries changed names to protect the innocent or not-that-innocent. If you changed their names, etc, the families aren't really going to call attention to the fact that they were written about in such an unflattering way. If they do, then people know them for being asshats, or whatever they were to you.

Where will you be published? Do you know what month it'll be? I'd love to read it!

Anonymous said...

i think that is awesome!!!!!!!! good for you, I hope they read it and are stung in the ass! :)
you go, sister!!!
-former nanny

Anonymous said...

Unless these are people you still work for or see, what do you care if they will be upset or not? You did change names, dates, etc. so they can't be identified by anyone else. If they recognize themselves, big deal!

Anonymous said...

I am a firm believer that you can't complain about the truth. If they get pissed, too bad...they shouldn't have acted like that. If you live your life like a good person than you don't have to worry if anyone wants to publish an article about you. Also, your publisher probably wouldn't print your article if they thought there was liability.

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha Ha LMAO.
About time.
And if it is unflattering all the better. If I was an employer of a nanny who wrote a tell all, I would say, "oh that wasn't me, that was the person she worked for before (or after me). What kind of idiot is going to admit and complain that it is them? Like, "look what our former nanny wrote about me. She told everyone how I x'd and x'd and x'd. Damn her".

Awesome. Just brazilliant.

Please send us a link when it gets published.

inspector gadget said...

Now I finally get it. Why parents hire illegals and bench nannies. These people cannot speak proper English, They don't know grammar, they can't form full sentences and they are also lazier than all get out, so Bench Nanny = No possibility of a tell all.

Mystery Solved.

april said...

I WANT TO READ IT!

Anonymous said...

okay, so the reality is this:

nanny writes a tell all about her former employers. this is as close as a nanny can come to owning her employers.

sadly, as an employee of a domineering family now, generous but always reminding me that I am cog in the machine that is their family (for real), i say i wish it were me.

i made the mistake of signing of confidentiality agreement. dont ever make that mistake. nanny tell alls are big bucks. and if the right person reads the magazine article, maybe they will want you to write a book.

i signed the confidentiality agreement when i started my job so i didnt get anything for it. i have a friend who worked for an actor in beverly hills who signed one when she was released/terminated and she got $25,000 to sign it plus one month severance and a 24 karat gold letter of reference from the actor HIMSELF. A letter that never mentioned that she was fired not that she was fired for anything bad, she just couldnt work with some new people they brought in their home.

Anonymous said...

The family I worked for would be pissed because their life is a sham. They act all goody goody and nice on the outside, give to charity, etc. How they are in their home is another story. They are good to their kids but fight like cats and dogs and whenever I am around and they are fighting they spill details of their past in front of me on purpose. As in husband will say to wife, "Wife, why don't you tell --nannny-- what you were doing when I met you, why don't you tell --nanny-- that and why don't you tell --nanny-- that one of the first things I did for you was to pay 26,000 to have your teeth fixed so you could open your mouth in public". They fight all of the time. They throw things around the house, have smashed televisions, sliding glass doors, picture frames. And the other half of the time, they are giving each other the complete silent treatment. Sadly, this is when my job is best, when the parents just keep their mouths shut. Those poor little babies whose parents dont realize they get the discord in the house.

Employer said...

I hate snitches.

ty said...

If you behave decently and treat your nanny and children with respect and don't embezzle funds from the government or have affairs on your wife or run a fraudulent business, why should you be concerned?

I am an ordinary mother, probably considered boring my most. Not only would I not be upset by my nanny talking about her time with us, but I have reason to suspect no one would bother reading it.

Snoozefest. But we're happy!

Anonymous said...

i hate snitches?
i hate crappy employers.
hahhaahahahahhahhahhahahahhahahhahahhahahahahahahhhaohohohohohohohohoohohoho
:)
:)
:)

Anonymous said...

There are nannies who have left positions that have me wondering if they will ever write their story. I'm not proud to admit it and probably wouldn't do so publicly, but I would be right there buying the magazine or book.

Anonymous said...

I am not a nanny nor have I ever employed a nanny. My first response is initially anger at someone who would betray the privacy of another's homelife. That anger is then replaced with the realization that for a nanny to leave her employ and write a tell all about her work environment, she must not have been treated very well. And then I wonder, how on earth you people live with yourselves? You people who recruit, coherce or cajole these nannies to come in to your home and care for your children and then you treat the nannies like garbage? I pity the children that grow up watching this behavior. I'm guessing they will grow up cold, hollow and of course pro choice.

Anonymous said...

Do not give them any advanced warning! Do not let anyone know who is publishing it until it published.

Anonymous said...

If you are really concerned about them knowing you could always publish under a pseudonym. (But you already know that.) I suspect you are actually quite proud of youself and looking for a few pats from the angry nannies who regularly post here.

ro said...

What would the point of being writing if you used a psuedonym? I mean if your goal was as much to write as it was to expose. Of course if your goal was to expose, then I would use a psuedonym. But hell if I had an article appearing in a magazine, even gardenia monthly, I would want to see my name in bold type.

cali mom said...

2:35, I *bet* you do!

OP, please post the link when it's published!

Anonymous said...

Pop a xanax and deal. If what you wrote is at all decent, be glad you used your real name, because publishers are HUNGRY for nanny type stories. Anything that is a peak behind a door SELLS. See real housewives of NYC, OC, all that crap, it sucks but it sells. Big $ market. I know because my husband has not been succesful getting his work published. Serious literature doesn't sell. Quick reads with $2 dollar words, that sells.

lauren said...

I know where my former nannies live, so if this were either of them, I would have a visit paid and have their tongues carved out and fingers cut off. No more story telling for them!

But seriously, the worst thing about this is going to be the supposed friends of the people this is written about. They will join in cursing the nanny and damning her to well, meanwhile they will trample each other to get the first read. And ONLY if it is a tale of misery. If it's a happy tale, which you indicate it is not, who cares? People want to read about other people's miserable lives. Or glamorous lives.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows it was Mike Ovitz in "You'll never nanny again in this town". I don't think Susanne Hansen gave a rat's ass. Her previous employer did threaten to destroy her, claimed she would never work in this town again and boy, she got him good, didn't she?
And if some hollywood bigwig cants do anything but keep his mouth quiet and pretend IT ISN'T about him, what are your piddly ole employers gonna do?

Sit and spin!

Anonymous said...

for anon at 337 pm.......i loved what your comment said. you thought it all out and realized what lies behind the whole deal.

i'm a nanny who has often thought about writing about the families i've worked for in the past. honestly, i never thought of doing it to get at them. however, i thought of doing it as a warning for other nannies and as something other parents who hire nannies or are thinking of hiring nannies should see.

and op? please send a link when the article is out! i'd love to read it.

Anonymous said...

lauren,
you sound scary.
your poor nannies. :(

lauren said...

I was kidding, did you really not get that? The reason I know where my former nannies live is because they are still very close family friends!

Anonymous said...

sure they are, lauren.
sure they are, dear. :(

Anonymous said...

That Ovitz book was nothing compared to what those deviant kids did in their teens. The schools they were kicked out of. The torture tactics they used on other kids. The hush money paid to a certain horse trainer/assistant because of unwanted sexual advances. Ovitz had it good for to long.

Anonymous said...

i think the worry isn't exactly the former employers, because no one will know who they are and as folks have pointed out, they would need to identify themselves to friends in order to be "found out." But what about future employers? If you saw this article, would you hire the person who wrote it? Would it matter?
just curious...

Deni said...

I'm writing an article about a nanny experience I had- total nightmare! How did you shop it to publishers? I'd love some info :)

Anonymous said...

Well Ladies, when it comes out and your friends call you and start gasping about the story,it is going to be pretty plain who the Nanny wrote about LOL
If I were this Nanny I think I may have used another name because those that know those former employers are going to recognize her name and out 2 and 2 together and figure out just exactly who she is talking about lol

Anonymous said...

To play devils advocate here, if all the names etc were changed, that should include yours, or else that is pretty fake to say "all", but then to say those who know you will recognize your past employers. Unless you have nannied for many, many families, it should be easy to figure out who you are talking about. I also agree with 6:51, I would not hire you if I were a future employer, in any capacity. Finally, I would hope they had nothing "on you" during your employment that you did not want revealed? I also work in a field where I know a great deal about peoples confidential/personal lives - more than you would almost really want to know about many (not a nanny though) and could and would NEVER publish it, under alias or not, despite how hilarious/entertaining many people would find it as it seems sort of lowlife to do so.

That being said, let me say that I agree with treating your nanny well and with respect and them doing the same. After all, they are caring the most important people in your/my life. If they treated you poorly, shame on them.

Anonymous said...

Jane?
Any direct comment from you?

Anonymous said...

It depends what your article covers. As an employer, I wouldn't want my personal life made public by someone I welcomed into my home, but if you are discussing how you were treated by your employers, that's fair game.

When someone is in your home, they really do see everything, the good and the bad. For example, although we consciously have private conversations behind closed doors, I wouldn't be surprised if our nanny has overheard some arguments between my husband and I not intended for her ears. She's also walked in on us a few times during romantic moments when we thought she had retired for the evening (nothing pornographic-but still made us blush to be caught kissing). I wouldn't want private discussions and moments my nanny inadvertently stumbled upon made public-that's the same as eavesdropping/spying and reflects poorly on your character if you chose to share them.

But, if your article covers discussions and events where no effort was made to keep them private, or the article is based on direct conversations with you and events that happened in your presence, your employers' chose to have you part of those things. If your employers did or said something to you they should be ashamed of, they deserve to be shamed.

If you have a good relationship with any of the families you wrote about and their opinions matter to you, send them an advance copy, but if not, why do you care?

Anonymous said...

I wish more nannies would do this: perhaps it would make families think twice about the way they treat them.
Regarding confidentiality agreements, as a nanny I would personally ask for one that goes both ways. I once nannied for a family who spread untrue rumors about me and my lack of reliablility when in actuality I had never gone over my allotted sick time: the family realized too late that they did not have a back-up plan in place in the event that I got sick (or pregnant in my case and had to use sick time for OBGYN check-ups) and they were supremely irritated that I had the audacity to go and get pregnant with my husband. :) When I approached them about using sick time, they responded by saying, "well, we just can't miss work. We can't."
Losers deserve to be outed. If you can do it a creative way and get paid for it: you go girl!!
:)
:)
:)

Anonymous said...

When The Nanny Diaries came out, everyone on the Upper East Side knew who Mrs. X was based on, because authors used their own names. It was very easy for people who knew the employers to see the connection and the info. spread like wildfire.
If you don't want that to happen, use a nom de plume.
On the other hand, the author of You'll Never Nanny in This Town Again (the threat Mr. Orvitz made when she tried to quit) named names and got her revenge!
I'm keeping notes myself, but my book will be funny.
UES Nanny

Anonymous said...

Who was nanny diaries based on? I loved that movie.

just anonymous said...

Don't change your name. Be proud of your writing. Who cares what they think, you don't work for them anymore.
Congrats on getting it published!

Anonymous said...

I don't believe in airing dirty laundry in public. And, as an employer, if I knew you had ratted out your last family I would not hire you, no matter how badly they treated you. Stories have a way of chnaging to make them more interesting, incidents get blown up and expanded upon. I am a nanny who believes in loyalty to my employer. If an employer treats me badly, I move on. Then again, I don't get this society's obsession with watching and reading about other people's misery and dysfunction. Perhaps it helps people forget their own?

Anonymous said...

Well if you are going to write something dirty and down, I would make sure I had corroborating accounts, paperwork, notes, documents, etc. The worst thing would be to write this really great story and then have it called in to question for it's authenticity.

As for airing dirty laundry, if someone asks me to hold and clean their dirty laundry, it becomes mine. My story. So suck on that.

I'm not a nanny but I work in a field where if I had the ability to reveal what I know, heads would fly, people would be fired, charged, fined, jailed and most def it would be a best seller.

A word to the wise, when you urgently give someone something to shred, we always want to know what we are shredding. And not everything gets shredded. Atleast not in the winter time, thank G for layered clothing.

ty (ciao) said...

Before I fade away, I just want to say this. Writing about your nanny job is a very bad idea, especially if it is negative. To me, I can see why some people justify writing tell alls. I see it as the same way some people justify stealing, ok to steal from a corp but not an individual. It just seems like a big attack for a family to bare/bear.

Anonymous said...

I think writing about your nanny job is a great idea. :)
:)
:)
:)
haha to all of you employers (or employers claiming that you are nannies when you know that you're employers. hahahah) because if you had treated your nanny well she wouldn't have anything bad to say about you.
:)
:)
:)
hehe
heehee
:)

Anonymous said...

9:20
I applaud you for your ethics.
When somebody hires a nanny to be in their home all day every day, the nanny is going to
be privy to some very personal information/interactions. To exploit that trust for personal gain later down the line is morally questionable, depending on what is said or written.

If you want to write about your own personal experiences as a nanny, great, and congratulations on getting published! But I hope your article does not contain any unnecessary embarrassing personal details about the family you worked for simply to shame and embarrass them publicly because you are mad at them and see this as a good way to get back at them.

Nobody wants to fight with their spouse, especially in front of somebody else, but it happens. Nobody wants to be crabby to their kids, but even the best of parents have bad days. I'm sure we all want to be nice people and to be viewed as such, but we all have bad times. The more time you spend with anybody, the more you are going to see of their flaws, and we all have them. There are no living saints, and I doubt any of us human folk would want our worst moments to be observed and written about in a way that makes it almost certain people are going to recognize who we are, and possibly judge us based on one sided or out of context information.


Personal accoounting of ones OWN experiences (especially humorous, as one poster said she is planning)=GOOD

Revealing Exposes about somebody in order to hurt or humiliate them = SHAME

Anonymous said...

I should have written a book about the last family I worked for. I was with them 17 months and then fired for something akin to insubordination. (???) As I walked out the door, I said to the two of them who stood there, "Burn in hell, burn in hell".

Not my finest moment.

ro said...

Some people need to be shamed. It is the only way they will wake up and realize what horrible jack asses they are.

Anonymous said...

I think most people know that there are 3 sides to every story.
yours theirs and the truth. LOL
If there are dirty little secrets coming out in this article I am sure there is going to be a law suit by someone.

Anonymous said...

yeah well good luck to the parents if they decide to sue since they will lose.
ever heard of freedom of speech? if she doesn't use personal information, dates or locations then it's not illegal: just delightfully funny!
hahahah on you you shitty employers! hahahahahahahahahahahahhahhahahah
:)

Kix said...

Sure they could sue if they had a confidentiality agreement, if not- tough going.

I read a case about an employee who was sued by her former employer for slander. The former employer who was a housekeeper went to court and proved with depositions and documents that everything she said was in fact true. The employer only made things worse for hisself because he just had all of their trash bared in court in black and white and it circulated all around. Believe you, me- it was served right along with the foi grass, brie and triscuits.

Anonymous said...

5:57
Confidentiality agreements protect the employer and YES, they can sue the former employee if it is breeched.

Anonymous said...

5:57
Confidentiality agreements protect the employer and YES, they can sue the former employee if it is breeched.

Anonymous said...

and most likely they will win.

boston b said...

Lots of people DONT have their nannies sign confidentiality agreements. In fact I think the number is comparable to the number of women who are asked by men to sign prenuptials.

FNG said...

Does no one stop to think about the children involved in these expose's? Their pain will be forever recorded to posterirty for all to know. Growing up knowing your faimily is dysfunctional and living with it is bad enough, having everyone else find out is terrible. Yes, certain people shouldn't have kids but is it the kid's fault? I'm with 9:20.

mom said...

Who does care about the kids? Apparently some of these nannies whio claim to "love" the kids they work for, stop loving them as soon as the paychecks stop.

I was thinking that about Rob Lowes nanny last night. When the interviewer asked her why she would work there for SEVEN years if it was so terrible, she replied that she loved the kids. I wondered then, how she could possibly now turn those same kids that she "loved" so much lives into such a nightmare. She apparently loved them so much that she was willing to live in constant fear (PUHLEEESE!)in order to be with them. She was even willing to "forget about all the pain and fear" for a cool 1.5 million in her pocket...but absent that financial windfall she is going to turn their lives into a living hell? HUH? She thinks Rob needs punished for his sexual misdeeds...well, unless she gets a bunch of cash, of course...in which case, "justice be damned."

Jane Doe said...

Well said FNG, I completely agree.
The OP didn't specify for how long she was a nanny, but I do hope she thought of the children as she wrote her magazine article. Everyone has a certain amount of dysfunction in their family.

There are so many people eager to tell all. If you want to reveal yourself to all to be judged, that is your prerogative, but to write a tell all about a family seems incredibly disloyal to the children involved.

marypoppin'pills said...

Jane,
You make an excellent point, and I can't help but think about the young daughters of these wives, and just how much of a voice they had in airing their Families' dirty laundry for the world to see.

The kids' embarrassment says it all ... loud and clear.

ro said...

Jane,
WTF is that? That dancing is worse than Elaine on Seinfeld. OMG

And until you wrote that, I guess I was thinking only about getting back at the employers, who in most cases deserve it. But you are right, the children don't.

Janet E. said...

Where and when will this be published? I've got to read it!!

Anonymous said...

Awww, sweet janet is about to come up out of her chair! Please tell me you don't rubberneck car accidents! Down girl, down! lol

marypoppin'pills said...

Elaine on Seinfeld?! ROFL!
Thanks, ro! I got a really hellacious visual!

Janet E. said...

1:05 I must be really dumb but I have no idea what the heck that means....

Anonymous said...

janet -
Your just being playfully teased, nothing mean.

It seems you're REALLY excited to get your hands on that book (and you were coming out of your chair.)

And rubbernecking means to allow a car jam (because you drive very slowly so you can look at the accident.)

It's cute.

Anonymous said...

-- it means you like gossip, not minding your own business, and other peoples dirty laundry.

Janet E. said...

What planet have I been living on..... thanks for clearing that up though I didn't think it was intended as mean.

marypoppin'pills said...

Teasing can be fun. As long as it's not done in a way that hurts someone's feelings ...
You have a really sweet nature about you, Janet!

jennifer lecarlo said...

I feel like a hypocrite, because I understand what Jane is saying but at the same time, I'd want to read it.

Anonymous said...

I dont see the problem here. and oh yeah inspector gadget, you're so dumb for saying all that bs about illegal people, not nice at all.