Wednesday

20 Steps to Your Perfect Nanny (?)

Received Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - Perspective & Opinion
These questions should be asked to the nanny, not handed to her.
1) Nanny, tell me about your earliest childhood memory.
2) Nanny what sports do you enjoy?
That is the opening question. Prepare to follow up. If she says soccer, ask her what position she plays and where she plays. If she plays tennis, ask her how often and what her best shot is. Everyone is going to say they play a sport. Follow up. If she roller blades, ask her if she owns a pair of roller blades. Ask her where she got them and how she likes them. If she says she hikes, ask her where. Ask her what she wears to go hiking and how long she usually hikes for and with who.
3) Ask the nanny about her family. Where is her family? What do the other grown children in her family do for a living. Where are her parents. Are they retired, if retired from what. Ask her what she did for Mother’s Day. The tone of all of these questions should reflect a profound interest in her as an individual and not an interrogation.
4) You will have weeded out anyone who smokes on the phone, but ask her again if she smokes. Ask her if she has any objection to having her hair follicles tested for tobacco usage or exposure. Watch her reaction. The last thing you want is someone smoking in your master bathroom with the vent on or being completely on edge because she doesn’t have access to her chosen poison.
5) Study the nanny’s outfit. How is she dressed? If it is cold outside, make certain it is warm enough inside for the nanny to remove her coat. Is she wearing appropriate undergarments? Are her clothes clean and neat? Is she overdressed? The nanny should be able to chase a child in the shoes she is wearing and easily sit down on the floor and erect a block castle without splitting a seam. Is her clothing too tight? Perfume too strong? Evaluate all of this.
6) Ask the nanny about arts and crafts. Does she enjoy doing arts and crafts projects? This is essential when children are young. What kind of crafts does she enjoy? Does she create art or crafts projects in her own time? What kinds of things did make with the last family she worked for. Get details. You need to assess the creative energy she is bringing to the table. The last thing you want is someone who can barely follow the directions on an Alex Craft kit.
7) Bath time. Ask the nanny how she would handle bath time for your child. This is relevant whether the child is 10 months of 5 years. If there are other children in the home, ask her what the other children would be doing or where they would be.
8) You should have weeded out all of those who were NOT r and First Aid certified, now ask to see those licenses as well as nanny’CPR driver’s license and social security card. Make a copy of all of them. Ask nanny if she has ever had an emergency with a child. Ask for specifics. Ask about how she has cared for sick children in her care. What did they have? What did she do for them? How did she dispense medication? Did she take the child to the doctor? Pick up the
prescription? What would the sick child do all day long? What are the signs of an earache? How does nanny take a child’s temperature? Does she know to add a degree to an axillary taken temperature?
9) Give her your children’s ages a few hints as to what they will not eat. Ask her what she would prepare for each child for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Do not allow her to be evasive. This is a good time to get a sense of her eating habits.
10) Ask the nanny if she would be willing to submit to a physical examination. Ask the nanny if she is currently on any medication. Has she had any surgeries? Has she ever filed for workmen’s compensation? Press for answers by speaking to her with optimism and genuine interest.
11) Ask the nanny for a list of work references. These would ideally be childcare references. Press for details about each of the positions. Is she still in contact with the families. Does she see the children? What was her least favorite part of each job. Every job has a least favorite part. Ask her if you are able to contact each of these references. Ask her if she has ever been fired from a position. Watch her reaction. Was she fired from a nanny job? This should not necessarily
Be a red flag. Many parents and nannies simply have unmanageable personality issues. Nannies have been fired for doing to wonderful a job or getting too close to the children in her care.
12) If you introduce the nanny to the children, study their interaction. The nanny should display genuine interest and ask questions of each of the children. She might ask about favorite toys or games or their rooms. Too much affection is unnatural for both the nanny and a child. Many parents feel they should offer the nanny the chance to hold the baby or that the nanny should ask to hold the child. It is common knowledge among nannies good and bad that parents want you to hold their child. I don’t go in for that. Depending on the age of the child, you could suggest a specific interaction between her and the child. I have had parents tell me they have asked the nanny to change the baby’s diaper. I don’t think that is a good idea and for a number of reasons.
13) General Intelligence must be assessed. Regardless of the age of your children, the nanny should be able to speak, read and write English correctly. The nanny should be able to help any children with mathematics, English, History and any other basic subjects. The nanny need not know trigonometry or Latin. The nanny should comprehend what good study habits are so that she can encourage and foster those in your child. The nanny should know how to use the appliances in the home, comprehend how to double a recipe, understand the dynamics of a family, most importantly your own. You would be surprised how many normally appearing persons you could weed out with one intelligence test.
14) Conduct. Politeness is hard to assess because most people are on their best behavior During an interview. A nanny spends much time with your child and should serve as a role model. Talk to the nanny about this and gage her responses. This is the time you want to discuss the other rules of the home. Is their sibling rivalry? How do you handle it? Has she ever dealt with sibling
rivalry before. Ask her how she teaches children empathy. Is compassion important in your home? Is lying ever tolerated? Children cannot help but become liars when they are lied to. What are the punishments? Give her a few scenarios and ask how she would handle the discipline there of. How was she disciplined as a child? Does she have her own children? How does she discipline them? Ask for an example of loss of privilege.
15) Your pre-screening will have weeded out any non drivers. Inform the nanny that you will conduct a DMV search of her record. Ask her about any accidents or tickets. Ask her when she learned to drive, who taught her how to drive and how many states she had a license in. Inform the nanny that before she is hired, you will need her to do a road test with you so that you
feel safe about her driving your children around.
16) Your pre-screening will have weeded out any non swimmers. Does she have any swimming certifications? If so, take those and copy those. Is she a strong swimmer? Where does she swim? How long has she been swimming? Before any person should ever be left alone with your child in or around a body of water, you must personally assess their swimming ability. The nanny should be able to retrieve objects from the bottom of the deep end. The nanny should also comprehend the danger of pools. If you have a pool, she should inquire about the shut off switch, the lighting, the rules of the pool, the drain cover, etc.
17) Common sense is quite hard to assess. Common sense is essential. This covers all areas of child development. A nanny who reads child development books is desirable. A nanny with an active and ongoing interest in issues related to children is a good bet. But common sense means not leaving a child alone in the bathtub or car for a single second, not suggesting the dryer as a hiding place during hide and seek. Is nanny the type to fall for an Internet scam? Does the nanny have a Myspace of Facebook page. Ask her.
18) Agencies have lengthy applications. Create your own. I rely on a medley of Psychiatric tests. The Rotter Incomplete Sentence Blank (RISB) ,Online
Cognitive Psychology Test, Emotional Intelligence Test , Anger Test, Thematic Apperception Test, etc. As an employer, you should not feel badly about asking a nanny to partake in these tests. Many employees do. Target won't hire someone to work a register without passing their psychological testing, don't you think your child deserves at least that? When you present these to the nanny, you should clearly state, you would like her to answer these questions but she does not have to.
19) The nanny must read. What does she read? What is the last book she read? Zero in on this. Where does the nanny get her news? What sorts of television Does the nanny enjoy on her own time? Are they shows you think she might end up watching on your time? What is the nanny’s favorite childhood story? What is her favorite story to read to a child?
20) After the interview is complete, I send the nanny on her way with a thank you. I immediately telephone her references. I do not accept cell phone addresses and will always ask for a home and or work number for her reference. ( (Phone Validator) ) I block my number when I am calling. I will telephone the reference back and ask them open ended questions. What was your favorite part of having Leeanne work for you? When did she start working for you? Did you provide her annual raises? What was she making when she left? Etc. I will take the reference number I have just spoken to and Reverse Look Up the address of the home. I will also Google the name of the reference and look up their home on GoogleEarth. This helps ascertain whether someone is really a reference or Just a friend or family member. I then verify the nanny’s social security number and certifications she has brought to me. I always make sure to get the nanny’s email address. I Google the nanny and I use her email address to look her up on social networking sites. I review her application materials. I look for spelling mistakes (for which I have no tolerance) and the answers She has given to the test questions. If everything looks good at this point, I contact nanny and let her know that I enjoyed meeting with her and the children really liked her and I feel her out to see if she is interested in joining us. If it sounds like she is, I will pay to have a complete background check completed on her. If this checks out, I will invite her back to spend a day or half day with myself and the children. During this time, I would plan to observe her driving at some point. I thank her and send her home with pay. I ask her to call me later and let me know how she thinks things went. If the Nanny is interested in the job, I make sure she understand the schedule. I make certain she understands what days I am willing to provide to her holidays and vacations. I stress that I am looking for someone who will show up punctually and without fail, excepting only an emergency. I really feel her out on this because it is important to me. If she sounds like she fits the bill, and all checks are clean, I usually send her to my mother’s home where the nanny can demonstrate her swimming abilities in an in home pool, regardless of weather. If that works out well, then I invite her to come and work for us on a trial basis of between 2 weeks to one month.

If you follow all of these steps, you might still end up with a dud. But it is much less unlikely. Just remember you cannot demand respect, you must behave respectably and treat others with respect to be respected. -submitted by "H", longtime ISYN reader and fan

122 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? On top of the questionable legality of asking some of these questions, a bunch of them are flat out none of an employer's business. How ridiculous.

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FormrNannynowaMom said...

Are you out of your goddamn mind?
Seriously
Have fun with the neurotic basket cases you must be turning your children into

Unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

I love it!!!
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

As a professional childcare provider, I have to respond to all your points. WARNING THIS IS LONG!!!

My interview with you, following these guidelines would go something like this:

1) Nanny, tell me about your earliest childhood memory.

A. I remember baking Christmas cookies with my mother and burning my finger. She soothed my tears, put cold water on it and let me lick the bowl. (Completely made up because like most adults my childhood memories are a jumble of nonsense. Also in my age group, most moms still put butter on burns which of course made them worse but figuring the type of person you are I would know better than to be truthful about that) Actually, the best way to deal with a burn is to wet a paper towel and apply ice to the paper towel then put it on the burn. This lowers skin temperature and prevents blistering. This is also the best way to handle bleeding AFTER allowing the wound to bleed for about 30 seconds while running it under warm water. Bleeding is the body�s natural way of expelling any impurities that might enter the wound site and cause infection. Using warm, not cold water will cause circulation to increase in the area thus expelling more impurities. After about 30 seconds, use the same treatment for a burn. Apply cold and pressure to promote clotting. Cold water also caused broken blood vessels to constrict and retards bleeding. After about 5 minutes, you should have a nice, clean wound to examine and determine what further treatment is needed. Of course, this doesn't apply to bad cuts, arterial cuts or anything where severe bleeding is occurring. If something has pierced the skin or impaled the victim DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE IT! Call 911. BTW, I was a volunteer on my local ambulance corps nearly 2 decades ago but everything stayed with me. I have no updated licenses but have had to correct people with certifications in their actions, lest they do more harm then good.


2) Nanny what sports do you enjoy?
That is the opening question. Prepare to follow up. If she says soccer, ask her what position she plays and where she plays. If she plays tennis, ask her how often and what her best shot is. Everyone is going to say they play a sport. Follow up. If she roller blades, ask her if she owns a pair of roller blades. Ask her where she got them and how she likes them. If she says she hikes, ask her where. Ask her what she wears to go hiking and how long she usually hikes for and with who.

A. I was never very good at sports, and being a mature woman I am not about to pick any up. I enjoy the beach with my family and we travel to both NJ and NE beaches.

(Where I buy my beach attire and what I wear is really none of my employers business)


3) Ask the nanny about her family. Where is her family? What do the other grown children in her family do for a living. Where are her parents. Are they retired, if retired from what. Ask her what she did for Mother�s Day. The tone of all of these questions should reflect a profound interest in her as an individual and not an interrogation.

A. I don't see how this is relevant, can you please tell me what information on my parents and other relatives has any impact on me or my ability to do my job?

(There is no way I am going to provide this sort of personal information to someone I met about an hour ago)

4) You will have weeded out anyone who smokes on the phone, but ask her again if she smokes. Ask her if she has any objection to having her hair follicles tested for tobacco usage or exposure. Watch her reaction. The last thing you want is someone smoking in your master bathroom with the vent on or being completely on edge because she doesn�t have access to her chosen poison.

A. I don't smoke. I have a social life and friends that smoke. Last time I checked smoking is NOT illegal. So if you want to spend good money on a hair follicle tests for exposure I can save you the trouble.

5) Study the nanny�s outfit. How is she dressed? If it is cold outside, make certain it is warm enough inside for the nanny to remove her coat. Is she wearing appropriate undergarments? Are her clothes clean and neat? Is she overdressed? The nanny should be able to chase a child in the shoes she is wearing and easily sit down on the floor and erect a block castle without splitting a seam. Is her clothing too tight? Perfume too strong? Evaluate all of this.

(Is she wearing appropriate undergarments are you serious???? Who are you the underwear police? Obviously, a nanny should look professional but really, your statement is creepy)

6) Ask the nanny about arts and crafts. Does she enjoy doing arts and crafts projects? This is essential when children are young. What kind of crafts does she enjoy? Does she create art or crafts projects in her own time? What kinds of things did make with the last family she worked for. Get details. You need to assess the creative energy she is bringing to the table. The last thing you want is someone who can barely follow the directions on an Alex Craft kit

A. I enjoy a variety of arts and crafts such a clay modeling, painting, coloring, nature art, etc. While I will come to work with a planned activity in mind, I am not sure what you mean by create these projects on my own time. My own time is my own time and I generally don't color or paint on my own time.

7) Bath time. Ask the nanny how she would handle bath time for your child. This is relevant whether the child is 10 months of 5 years. If there are other children in the home, ask her what the other children would be doing or where they would be.

A. I would handle giving your child a bath by giving them a bath. Soap, water, rag, shampoo. Not sure what sort of answer you want here. As for what the other children should be doing, that's more up to you than me. You set the rules I simply follow them.
If they should be reading, coloring, watching TV or doing homework then that's what they will be doing. However if the child is too young to bathe themselves it is virtually impossible for me to leave them in a tub alone while I attend your other children so we need to come up with this solution together.

8) You should have weeded out all of those who were NOT r and First Aid certified, now ask to see those licenses as well as nanny�CPR driver�s license and social security card. Make a copy of all of them. Ask nanny if she has ever had an emergency with a child. Ask for specifics. Ask about how she has cared for sick children in her care. What did they have? What did she do for them? How did she dispense medication? Did she take the child to the doctor? Pick up the
prescription? What would the sick child do all day long? What are the signs of an earache? How does nanny take a child�s temperature? Does she know to add a degree to an axillary taken temperature?

(See my answer to the first question as far as certifications and licenses go)

A. Medicine needs to be dispensed according to its directions and with your written permission. A sick child is a sick child and needs to stay in bed and rest as much as possible since the body can only heal itself when it's sleeping. Signs of an earache include but are not limited to, biting down hard towards the back of the mouth, swallowing a lot, touching the ear, touching hair on the side that hurts, hard blinking of eyes, tilting the head to one side, toe-walking and in severe cases fever and/or vomiting. But as every child is different any malady can present in any given way so please inform me of what your child does to indicate something is not right.

As for giving you personal information like my SS card, license, etc. that happens after I have a letter of hire pending my background check of course.

9) Give her your children�s ages a few hints as to what they will not eat. Ask her what she would prepare for each child for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Do not allow her to be evasive. This is a good time to get a sense of her eating habits.

A. I will prepare the food you provide as you instruct. I would like the liberty to reward your child on special occasions as I
see fit.

10) Ask the nanny if she would be willing to submit to a physical examination. Ask the nanny if she is currently on any medication. Has she had any surgeries? Has she ever filed for workmen�s compensation? Press for answers by speaking to her with optimism and genuine interest.

A. No. I will provide you with a note from my doctor stating I am in good physical condition and am able to perform my job including participating in outdoor activities.

(My previous surgeries are none of your business thank you. How is my C section 15 years ago or the abortion I had relevant to my job now? Also if I ever filed for WC is also none of your business and this line of questioning would likely be where I thank you for your time and walk out)

11) Ask the nanny for a list of work references. These would ideally be childcare references. Press for details about each of the positions. Is she still in contact with the families. Does she see the children? What was her least favorite part of each job. Every job has a least favorite part. Ask her if you are able to contact each of these references. Ask her if she has ever been fired from a position. Watch her reaction. Was she fired from a nanny job? This should not necessarily
Be a red flag. Many parents and nannies simply have unmanageable personality issues. Nannies have been fired for doing to wonderful a job or getting too close to the children in her care.

(I would answer this question honestly and it is so far the only one that makes complete sense)

12) If you introduce the nanny to the children, study their interaction. The nanny should display genuine interest and ask questions of each of the children. She might ask about favorite toys or games or their rooms. Too much affection is unnatural for both the nanny and a child. Many parents feel they should offer the nanny the chance to hold the baby or that the nanny should ask to hold the child. It is common knowledge among nannies good and bad that parents want you to hold their child. I don�t go in for that. Depending on the age of the child, you could suggest a specific interaction between her and the child. I have had parents tell me they have asked the nanny to change the baby�s diaper. I don�t think that is a good idea and for a number of reasons.

(Actually holding the baby and changing the diaper is VERY important! I replaced a nanny who swore up and down she had experience with newborns. However, when left alone with the baby she did not realize that breast-fed babies tend to have messier poops. Mother came home to find baby up to her chest in painful, burning poop and the nanny saying ewww I didn't know something that little made that much of a mess!)

13) General Intelligence must be assessed. Regardless of the age of your children, the nanny should be able to speak, read and write English correctly. The nanny should be able to help any children with mathematics, English, History and any other basic subjects. The nanny need not know trigonometry or Latin. The nanny should comprehend what good study habits are so that she can encourage and foster those in your child. The nanny should know how to use the appliances in the home, comprehend how to double a recipe, understand the dynamics of a family, most importantly your own. You would be surprised how many normally appearing persons you could weed out with one intelligence test.

(This also makes sense.)

14) Conduct. Politeness is hard to assess because most people are on their best behavior During an interview. A nanny spends much time with your child and should serve as a role model. Talk to the nanny about this and gage her responses. This is the time you want to discuss the other rules of the home. Is their sibling rivalry? How do you handle it? Has she ever dealt with sibling
rivalry before. Ask her how she teaches children empathy. Is compassion important in your home? Is lying ever tolerated? Children cannot help but become liars when they are lied to. What are the punishments? Give her a few scenarios and ask how she would handle the discipline there of. How was she disciplined as a child? Does she have her own children? How does she discipline them? Ask for an example of loss of privilege.

I would answer most of this truthfully but draw the line at discussing my childhood again it's really none of your business)


15) Your pre-screening will have weeded out any non drivers. Inform the nanny that you will conduct a DMV search of her record. Ask her about any accidents or tickets. Ask her when she learned to drive, who taught her how to drive and how many states she had a license in. Inform the nanny that before she is hired, you will need her to do a road test with you so that you
feel safe about her driving your children around.

(The road test thing is a good idea and I will provide you with my abstract.) Again personal info like DL numbers gets given once I have a written promise of employment)

16) Your pre-screening will have weeded out any non swimmers. Does she have any swimming certifications? If so, take those and copy those. Is she a strong swimmer? Where does she swim? How long has she been swimming? Before any person should ever be left alone with your child in or around a body of water, you must personally assess their swimming ability. The nanny should be able to retrieve objects from the bottom of the deep end. The nanny should also comprehend the danger of pools. If you have a pool, she should inquire about the shut off switch, the lighting, the rules of the pool, the drain cover, etc.

(Ok I guess if you want nanny to swim. Swimming is not a requirement at my job never has been.)

17) Common sense is quite hard to assess. Common sense is essential. This covers all areas of child development. A nanny who reads child development books is desirable. A nanny with an active and ongoing interest in issues related to children is a good bet. But common sense means not leaving a child alone in the bathtub or car for a single second, not suggesting the dryer as a hiding place during hide and seek. Is nanny the type to fall for an Internet scam? Does the nanny have a Myspace of Facebook page. Ask her.

(You needn't ask. Just google her name. You can do this after the phone interview before wasting her time. Speaking of common sense)


18) Agencies have lengthy applications. Create your own. I rely on a medley of Psychiatric tests. The Rotter Incomplete Sentence Blank (RISB) ,Online
Cognitive Psychology Test, Emotional Intelligence Test , Anger Test, Thematic Apperception Test, etc. As an employer, you should not feel badly about asking a nanny to partake in these tests. Many employees do. Target won't hire someone to work a register without passing their psychological testing, don't you think your child deserves at least that? When you present these to the nanny, you should clearly state, you would like her to answer these questions but she does not have to.

(I'm sure since an interview with you must take hours you reimburse candidates for their time? I charge for any interview that is going to last more than an hour. My time is valuable too)

19) The nanny must read. What does she read? What is the last book she read? Zero in on this. Where does the nanny get her news? What sorts of television Does the nanny enjoy on her own time? Are they shows you think she might end up watching on your time? What is the nanny�s favorite childhood story? What is her favorite story to read to a child?

(This question is good but quite easy to give you what you want to hear, like the childhood memory one. Anyone with an ounce of sense isn't going to say I watch soaps all day. I wouldn't be honest. Not because I watch soaps but because I am an avid horror movie fan, and that is frowned upon. I am also a professional and would never expose my charges to horror films.)

20) After the interview is complete, I send the nanny on her way with a thank you. I immediately telephone her references. I do not accept cell phone addresses and will always ask for a home and or work number for her reference. ( (Phone Validator) ) I block my number when I am calling. I will telephone the reference back and ask them open ended questions. What was your favorite part of having Leeanne work for you? When did she start working for you? Did you provide her annual raises? What was she making when she left? Etc. I will take the reference number I have just spoken to and Reverse Look Up the address of the home. I will also Google the name of the reference and look up their home on GoogleEarth. This helps ascertain whether someone is really a reference or Just a friend or family member. I then verify the nanny�s social security number and certifications she has brought to me. I always make sure to get the nanny�s email address. I Google the nanny and I use her email address to look her up on social networking sites. I review her application materials. I look for spelling mistakes (for which I have no tolerance) and the answers She has given to the test questions. If everything looks good at this point, I contact nanny and let her know that I enjoyed meeting with her and the children really liked her and I feel her out to see if she is interested in joining us. If it sounds like she is, I will pay to have a complete background check completed on her. If this checks out, I will invite her back to spend a day or half day with myself and the children. During this time, I would plan to observe her driving at some point. I thank her and send her home with pay. I ask her to call me later and let me know how she thinks things went. If the Nanny is interested in the job, I make sure she understand the schedule. I make certain she understands what days I am willing to provide to her holidays and vacations. I stress that I am looking for someone who will show up punctually and without fail, excepting only an emergency. I really feel her out on this because it is important to me. If she sounds like she fits the bill, and all checks are clean, I usually send her to my mother�s home where the nanny can demonstrate her swimming abilities in an in home pool, regardless of weather. If that works out well, then I invite her to come and work for us on a trial basis of between 2 weeks to one month.

(This is where I think you are half a nut. You make the nanny demonstrate her swimming ability, regardless of weather? Nanny is a human being NOT a seal! And for her next trick she does what? Roll over? Play dead?

You sound like a loon.

By the by, you can't abide spelling errors but you stink at punctuation. I'm not one to point that out but since you made such a point of it....

TX Nanny soon to be mommy said...

Helaine, that's the way you hire your girls huh? I agree that you should do most of these things, but the swim test where you have her retrieve objects from the deep end? I think a lot of this is just too much and most self respecting nannies would just choose a more laid back family to work for unless you are paying enough to have her jump through all of your hoops.

Anonymous said...

546,
Its hard to type in this little square and dot all of your i's. But wow. Who do you think you are? First of all, lots of people are losing their jobs. That could be your or your boss. If you get a chance to interview with someone who is going to respect a real nanny, than I suggest you take it. And by the by, I don't know a single professional nanny who doesn't swim. Supervising activities at the pool and on the beach and traveling with the family to many swimming destinations is a part of my job. It makes perfect sense to me that someone would want to see if I could swim. Everyone says they swim. Do you know how dangerous that could be?

And your background is relevant. Your refusal to talk about your childhood suggests there are demons in those hills.

Go back to your piddly 750 a week job and leave the big bucks for nannies who can handle the baggage that goes with it.

Anonymous said...

5:55 take the time to read my post, there is no way you possibly could have read it through and responded in 6 minutes.

And I happen to be a very strong swimmer, surfer and scuba diver. But swimming is not part of my job description and never has been.

And if there are demons in my childhood they are mine to deal with and share with people I know and trust.

About two thirds of the questions asked in her "guidlines" are illegal in the corporate world. A shame the laws that apply to most employees don't apply for us. This inequality just lends to the popular belief that childcare is not a real job. And there is no way I am going to "retrieve" on command anything for someone else. Let her feed her ego on someone else's time. Then again she makes "her girls" wear scrubs. SICK.

Anonymous said...

This is totally ridiculous. I'll bet that people quit on you left and right. You probably think that they're quitting because they can't attain or maintain your high standards, but they're probably quitting because you're a control freak.

No nanny should ever submit to a physical exam or having their hair follicles tested. I can understand the desire for a healthy nanny, but you have no business diving into their medical history. I'm a teacher, and the most I've ever had to do was get a health form signed by my doctor - it sounds like you're looking to preside over a complete physical exam, which is unnecessary and intrusive.

This isn't what I'd call "behaving respectably." It's intrusive, rude, and controlling. Good luck finding a nanny to meet your impossible standards.

ro said...

sorry, But I have to say I loved it!

Anonymous said...

Right now I am thanking the good Lord that I work for a nice normal family, making 800.00 a week and not putting up with this sort of nonsense. Keep your big bucks. My self respect is far more valuable to me.

Anonymous said...

While OP is searching for the holy grail of nannies, hubby is likely in bed with all the inferior ones! I mean anyone this controlling must be the queen of the Ice Princesses.

Anonymous said...

If you're going to go to these lengths, OP, why not just watch your own kids? It would take much less time and energy!

just anonymous said...

Stupid.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a joke. Is this a joke? If not, wow. I thought I was a control freak, but apparently I have a lot to learn. I don't think this type of interrogation and application procedure is likely to produce the best candidates. Anyone who is well-rounded, honest and self-respecting would run screaming!! It's not at all respectful of a prospective nanny to interrogate her about her childhood and demand that she submit to hair follicle tests. Give me a break! This checklist is a lot of over-the-top nonsense mixed in with a few sensible things that most people already know to do. But it gave me a good laugh, anyway!

meet your new nanny said...

20 Steps to Finding a Good Employer

First, you must weed out those employers on the phone who sound too difficult, controlling, prone to micromanagement or just plain greedy. Schedule in person interviews with the employers that sound appealing, but do not allow your meeting to be relegated to a diner or Starbucks. Insist on meeting at the home.

Upon arrival, assess how the employer greets you. She should greet you as Mrs. Or Ms. Until she is instructed to do otherwise. She should invite you in and offer you refreshment in a comfortable room within the house. The children should be away at this time, as there is much to undertake and their presence would prove only a distraction.

Ask for a tour of the home. Be sure to visit every nook and cranny. Take a tour of the grounds, too. If you are to be a live in, do not hesitate to suggest improvements to your quarters. I carry a few pages of some of my favorite home living catalogues so that I am quickly able to pinpoint my desired color schemes and textures. It is absolutely important that you assess that the employer has at least one full time housekeeper in her employ. If she does not, set your cookie down, thank your host and exit the home.

Get a visual with regard to the number of televisions and computers that are present in the home. I once interviewed with a family that had televisions in every room, including the playroom, kitchen and master bathroom and yet the mother prattled on about how they were not a “TV family”.

Spend a good amount of time in the kitchen. Check the refrigerator and pantry. Both should be amply stocked with human food. Do not get yourself tied up with a crunchy
Family or family addled with gluten allergies. The shelves should be full. The cupboards in the kitchen should be adequately stocked with new devices. There should be a high tech blender, juicer and most importantly, an espresso machine. Be sure to ask if you will have a designated shelf in the home and what day the shopping is done. Where is the shopping done? Ideally, Trader Joes and Whole Foods products dot every shelf. Store brands are a big turn off.

Are there computers in the house? How many? You will need access to your private email account as well as easy access for casual surfing throughout the day. What sort of computers are they? Dilapidated or updated and sparkling new? Is the computer area comfortable? Lumbar support is essential. Feel free to make ergonomic suggestions to your host.

Is there a pool on premise? If weather permits, try out said pool. Is there a Jacuzzi? Make sure it is fully functioning. These can hardly be considered as perks unless they are correctly operating. Assess the architecture of the pool area. Will you get enough sunlight or will you be relegated to a pasty pallor all summer? What are the lounging opportunities? Are the chairs comfortable, fully reclinable and padded?

Ask your host what she is offering in the form of wages. Whatever it is, it isn’t enough. Ask for more. Now is a good time to look over her financial records. To peruse, have her furnish her checking and savings statements for the last three months and any stock holdings she may retain. To get a feel for her worth as it relates to you, speak about the expense of the house. How much did it cost and when did she buy it? If she is carrying a mortgage, how much is it? Does she pay cash for her vehicles or make monthly payments? Are her children in private school? Does she belong to a private country club and of what caliber is it? How is the golf course at the club ranked? This is all extremely relevant to a nanny. Many nannies are paid late or docked for strange and mysterious nothingness. And yes, it is true that many a rich toad is a greedy mother f, so now you might want to evaluate the greed issue. Ask your host/future employer about her charitable donations. Ask her what she does with her old clothing when the season is over. If she sells it, run. If she saves it for the next season, run. If she gives it away to her housekeeper Esmi, continue to consider this host’s potential to employ you.

Next, you will need to know about any pestering relatives that may hinder your job performance. Provide for your host a United States map and ask her to indicate where each and every of her relatives and in-laws reside. Should any person live proximal enough that a drop in could occur, let your feeling be known about unscheduled visits.

Now you will need to assess whether your host/future employer has any mental problems. Insist that she be immediately forthcoming. You can ask to see her medical records, but she may not allow such. Instead, have her take you on a tour of medicine cabinets and chests. Visit each and every chest. This is a good time to pause and look for evidence of illicit drug use or alcohol abuse. How many empty bottles of wine are in the recyle bin?
Why is there a bottle of Everclear on the nighstand? Feel free to poke around in the medicine cabinets and write down the names of the medications you do not immedialy recognize. Write the doctor’s name down at the same time, perhaps he will avail himself to answer your questions.

Who are you really working for? Sign on to the internet and view their windows history. Trust me, there are some people that are not safe to work for. You need to know what they are doing on the Internet. Should you desire to accept empoloyment with this family, consider installing a spyware program that emails you detailed print outs of their online activities.

Assess their stereo system. Where is it? Is it readily equipped to make the wall rumble and the windows quake? If it is built in to the house, make sure it is easy to use. A house must have music. Turn it up, make sure you can feel the music.

What sort of phone system do they have? They should have a minimum of two lines coming in to the house. I like to provide my friends the second number, then I have right of refusal when it comes to even answering the first line. Will office supplies be available to you? Paper? Pens? A fax? A fax is essential. A nanny never knows when it is time to move on.

Ask your host/employer what sort of cellphone and plan she intends to provide you. If it is not to your liking, take her online to AT&T or Verizon and let her know what you would like. She will appreciate the feedback. She needs the feedback. You are supernanny. All she wants in the whole world is to please you.

Now is the difficult part, the husband. Sit her down and address her husband’s sexual needs. Time and again, I have found myself on the receiving end of some less than desirable attention from a husband simply because his wife was too distracted to provide him the proper sexual nourishment. Make certain your host/future employer is on top of things in that department. This is not a work load you intend to take on.

Once that question is out of the way, feel free to discuss wardrobe. Encourage the host/future employer to subsidize your bikini purchases as they are work related. At the same time, your host/future employer should consider offsetting the cost of a pair of quality name brand athletic shoes, 1-2 pairs of loungewear for winter afternoons and a pair of houseslippers.

With regard to smoking, make certain neither the host nor any member of her family smokes. Do suggest to her that some mornings and mid afternoon, you like to imbibe in just a skutch of marijuana. Let her know how it relaxes you and allows you to better tolerate the screaming banshees she calls children. Be considerate, ask her where she would prefer you to smoke and what she prefers you do with the remnants.

Ascertain the children’s needs. Children with special needs are +10%. Tutoring any child? A minimum of $40.00 per hour extra. Tutors make $60, so you are saving a bundle.

Assess which holiday’s the family celebrates. Talk up your birthday. Mention your email address so that she can find your Amazon wish list online.

Is the temperature in the house to your liking? Really think about it because this is the time you want to lay down the law with regard to heating and cooling.

Where is the nanny vehicle? If they don’t have one, run. If they share a car with the nanny, run. If the vehicle is not to your liking, explain why. Is the color off? Perhaps she can paint it. Is it the whole style that rubs you wrong? Tell your host why. Make suggestions. If a nanny is the clearest representation of a family, then the nanny vehicle surely must reflect your status as well as the nanny’s sublime comfort.

cali mom said...

6:34, I couldn't be bothered to read Helaine's self-absorbed novel right now, only the comments, but YOURS is the best thing I've read on this blog in many moons, possibly EVER.

Jane, thank you for hosting this site! Sometimes the subject matter is weighty and disturbing, sometimes just hilarious and entertaining. In any case, it never fails to interest! :)

Emily said...

Why the prejudice about non-drivers?

I actually can drive and have a perfectly clean driving record, which my employer or perspective employers are free to check into, but I won't drive children. As a nanny, my job is to care for your children, not to chauffeur them around. How could I ever really focus on them if I was trying to focus on the road as well.

I suppose, H, if you live in the suburbs and can't afford a chauffer, or at least a car service, you are somewhat forced into asking your nanny to also be your driver, but you wouldn't pass my phone screening!

Anonymous said...

You really have no tolerance for spelling mistakes? Maybe you should have spell-checked your own post, you hypocrite!

You have misspelled:
auxiliary

Therefore, I have no tolerence for you or your stupid, long-winded, neurotic and pathetic post.

Sprak said...

exactly, CaliMom-
Sometimes I like my quiet, uneventful life out west! It's not that there are no weirdos around here, but gosh, they just don't seem to compare to back east! One guy told me that he would never, ever, even consider dating someone from N.Y. He was wary of me simply because I visit there a lot. Entertaining, always!

TexasNanny said...

Ask her if she has any objection to having her hair follicles tested for tobacco usage or exposure
~~~~~~~~~~~~
I stopped reading your crap after that sentence. There is NO WAY IN HELL I would work for someone that asked me that question.

Get real lady, with your 'questions' you aren't going to find a nanny.

Carissa said...

I SMELL A TROLL!

take that, employer! said...

**standing up and giving "meet your new nanny" a standing ovation. that was fracking BRILLIANT! i am a sucker for sarcasm and wit. :)

Anonymous said...

Dear OP,

Why don't you take the gazillions of hours you spend on interviews and use them to raise your own damn kids! Lord knows you have the time ...

Sincerely,
Professional Nanny Who Makes Big Bucks, Swims, and Had a Golden Childhood

TX Nanny soon to be mommy said...

Meet your new nanny, that was hilarious, thank you.

UmassSlytherin said...

If I were interviewing for a nanny position and they started asking me personal questions not job-related, especially in regards to my family, I would get up and leave.
And not look back.
Sweet Merlin, but you're weird...

melamonk said...

Emily,
are you 106 or from the Islands?
Every nanny drives! Unless you live in NYC. What a ridiculous comment you made.

Anonymous said...

650,
You are a complete asshole.
How do you do it?
Did you run the whole post through your WORD program?

Because you missed this:
Temperature measured at the axilla is an axillary temperature. For the dumbos onboard that means under the armpit. Got it?

emily said...

7:35--I do live in NYC, but I've worked in the suburbs as well. You are wrong to say that every nanny drives (as you'll be wrong about pretty much any statement you make starting with the word "every").

I don't think my comment was ridiculous in the slightest, and it hasn't been hard at all to find families with drivers in the city and outside it.

BTW, what's 106?

Anonymous said...

106 years old.
The only people who hire non driving nannies are those who are threatened by intelligent people. sop they stick with elderly and people who are just off the boat.

emily said...

Yet another gross generalization, 7:35/7:47.

I've never in my life seen a connection between intelligence and being able to drive a car. Plus, I already stated that I can drive, but that I don't put myself in the position of driving children who are in my professional care.

I work for fabulous intelligent people, and I never ever have to worry about a parking spot.

Anonymous said...

"proper undergarmets" What are you looking for with this one?

I don't think this was a serious post. A joke more like it.

Anonymous said...

someone who does not drive is not self sufficient. you must be some sort of terror behind the wheel if you are afraid to drive a child. even my nervous nellie aunt pat used to spin around the block with four kids in her car. of course, i guess it would be nice to just sit on your ass and be chauffered, it just is kind of weird. most of the people i know who could afford drivers for themselves would never give up the ease or convenience or power of being in charge of their own direction. kudos to your employers for putting up with you and your baggage.

Anonymous said...

My nanny doesn't seem to wear underwear with her sweat pants. She is young and firm, so she does not jiggle. Unfortunately, I have noticed that she leaves a wet circle where she has been sitting. We aren't sure how if ever to address this with her. Certainly, making proper undargarments the rule from the get go does seem smart. Of course, back then, how would I know?

Anonymous said...

I think you're confusing baggage with being able to afford a certain level of luxury, 8:19.

Anonymous said...

OMG 8:21. That's horrible! Do you think she's completely unaware?

Anonymous said...

wet circle???

that is so gross. i am a nanny for a 10 month old and she puts everything in her mouth. the thought of leaving a bodily fluid on the seat and her little hands in her mouth half the day.... oh jesus. the thought alone make me want to puke.

tell her!! thoughtfully tell her.


ps. the op has lost her mind. it is nice that she can afford to take off work to do these intense interviews. i have a feeling most don't last more than ten minutes. it is hard to interview a nanny who has walked out the door.

Anonymous said...

7:37—fine, I'll give you that one. But how do you explain grammatical mistakes such as:

"Give her your children’s ages a few hints as to what they will not eat."

(That doesn't even BEGIN to make sense.)

Also, lots of random capitalized words for no reason ("During" in #14, "Just" and "She" in #20,

"Does the nanny have a Myspace of Facebook page"

I'm sure there are more, but these examples are sufficient enough that I win the argument between you and me.

Anonymous said...

Oops, I forgot to close my parenthesis on the previous post... see how thorough I am?

chick said...

So, Helaine, you subject potential nannies to THAT, and then you add insult to injury by calling them your "girls" and making them wear uniforms?

How many nannies have you employed, and how old is your eldest child?

If the number of nannies employed exceeds the child's age by a factor of 25%, you are a "difficult" employer.

If the number of nannies employed exceeds the child's age by a factor of 50%, you are a "challenging" employer.

If the number of nannies employed exceeds the child's age by 75%, you are a freaking psychopath.

Cheers!

H.D. said...

The best nannies interview YOU, not the other way around as they are in high demand and know it. Simply put: You need me more than I need you!

I have searched off months before finding a suitable family. No more than 2 children, parents who I like enough to want to be friends with, kids who are bright and self confident, a housekeeper, pool, car for me to drive, a list of perks, enough pay and similar disapline styles.

I also require former provider refs. if they have had nannies or sitters in the past.

I have been with the same family for 3 years. They trust me completely, I bring my son over all summer long and they give me at least one paid day off most weeks just because. The buy food I like, offer everything they have to me, have kept my neice clothed these 3 years with expensive hand-me-downs, they take me on vacation, out to lunch, give me furniture, always remember my birthday, treat me with respect and actually loaned me $4,000 I needed in an emergency.

They go above and beyond for me and I do the same for them.

anyasnew said...

Meet your new nanny, that was indeed hilarious..and right on par with the original psycho, if only she were being sarcastic as well!

Dear Original Psycho,
Would you like me to strip and show you my "under garments" to ensure that they meet your expectations? Is there a particular brand you would prefer I wear? Would you like my bra size as well? During my "physical exam", do you require a gynecological exam as well? Is it mandatory that you watch to insure I don't falsely relay back the results? When will you be placing the nanny cam inside my "suite"? Is is okay that sometimes I wear sneakers hiking rather than hiking boots, or is that a deal breaker? Is it alright that sometimes my undies don't match my bra? I'd really like to know if it's okay if I keep my coat on, I am naturally cold. Would you like to come to my house as well, and meet all of my friends? You can go through my drawers at this point. I know they have nothing to do with your children or my job, but it seems you're more interested in my personal life, than my working ability or skills, so I figured I'd make it easier for you!

So what are your undergarments like? Can I borrow them? What was your childhood like? Didn't your mommy stay home with you? If so, why aren't you following in her foot steps? If not, did you miss her? I'd really like to meet your mother. When was the last time you roller bladed? Can I see your roller blades? Can I go through your drawers and check your clothing to ensure it's suitable for a woman who is often around children? Can I please see all the art projects you've done in the past 2 months either with your children, or solo? When was your last Doctors appointment, and why were you there? I need you to jump into the nearest pool and retrieve my car keys, than I'd like you to complete a relay race in my car (obviously, in order to prove your capable of driving with children in the car.) I'd like your drivers abstract (gotta keep my charges safe!) I'll need to see your marriage license in order to ensure you truly are married. Can I see your bank statement as well? I must ensure you have the money to pay me each month. I'll need your birth certificate to ensure you are not committing fraud, and you are who you say you are. And though I could go on, much as you did, I'd rather not be compared to you in any way! SOOO, last but not least, I'll need to meet with your health professional to ensure you aren't crazy! Thanks, I'm sure you've got nothing to hide!

viva la raza said...

Some of you are really not that bright. How wonderful that you have the time to take someone's writing and spell check it for them. Are you serious? How bored are you? What's wrong did H make you feel little and small? I would think so given the fact that some idiot is making a capital case out of undergarments. Guess what? In my office, everyone is expected to wear the appropriate foundation garments. It's unfortunate that we have to mandate that, but old wet circle tells us that we must. I understand why H has to interview like she does. She has crossed paths with one too many of you crazies.

How are you nannies liking the recession? Hold on to your nanny caps (and lack of skills) because here comes the depression.

Anonymous said...

re:
If the number of nannies employed exceeds the child's age by a factor of 50%, you are a "challenging" employer.

So, if I have a 5 year old and have had 10 nannies, I am merely "challenging" I think your formula is way off. For one thing, some employers get lucky and end up with a marter who will do everything for them for nothing in return for years and years and years. And then when they go to replace her they blow through 6 nannies in one year. If nanny A was there for 9 years, then what?

Anonymous said...

LMAO MYNN and AnyAsNew! Great job!

And my sister is a nurse, top of her nursing school class and never drove in her life. She is completely self-sufficient thanks!

Anonymous said...

If an employer ever thought to ask about my underwear, I would stand up, turn around, bend over and give her a good view of what's in them!

chick said...

9:28, I suppose everyone has their own standards. IMO, if I were to have the misfortune to interview with a family that had had 6 nannies in 4 years, I would opt out of the position with a murmured, "Well, I think it's possible it would be too challenging to work with Mrs. X..."

I would be thinking "HELL to the no! This family can't have just had "bad luck" 6 times in a row - I am not interested in being their 7th ex-nanny!"

Anonymous said...

Well-said, 9:33! Hopefully these fantastic comments will be enough to shame "H" off the boards and into rethinking the way she treats her employees!

Seriously, who makes their nannies wear uniforms? Maybe she requires them to wear the proper undergarments so she doesn't have to worry about contamination when she passes them onto the next unlucky contestant.

meganslaughing said...

Dear Viva,
Your post is rude. I'd also like to mention, that some of these posts are a joke, and damn hilarious at that! (Thanks anyasnew, and meet your new nanny, you totally cracked me up!)

Viva, though I'm sure you'd like us to believe that your office violated the law and asks you about your underwear, I'm not buying it. But what I hope you'll buy is this: a sense of humor!

Peace and love darling!
Megan whose not a nanny, but likes to laugh
p.s: Most adults can dress themselves in the morning without being told what to put on their bodies! One silly wet bummed nanny doesn't mean the world needs their employers telling them what panties to wear!

chick said...

P.S. to 9:28

Just a quick math note: 5 years + 50% = 7.5 nanny ratio = "challenging"

A 5 yo with 10 ex-nannies is a family with a turnover rate of an astounding 100%. That family would be way past challenging, even past freaking psychopath, and all the way into "WTF? Call Dr. Phil and Supernanny, STAT!"

And no, I have no idea where you find 1/2 of a nanny, or even how you decide which half you would choose to employ. Possibly you would choose the half that wears appropriate undies?

anyasnew said...

Haha, thank you Megan and 9:30. :)

AND Viva, if you were referring to me, I'm not a nanny. I was a nanny during University, but have long since moved on. I just call "crazy" when I see crazy, and yes, I do believe a dose of sarcasm and humor is good for all!

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I leave wet sweat spots and I wear undies. Gross I know but she brough it up!

Anonymous said...

viva-

thank your lucky stars someone would work for you. you are disrespectful. the fact that you've hired people without "skills" is no reflection on most people who have chosen the nanny profession. god forbid your nanny quit. i have a feeling you couldn't manage without us. you would really miss the skills we do possess that make your life easier.

Anonymous said...

OP- you are f....ing nuts. i bet you dont have any kids or a husband because no human being i mean man could be with you because he would be icier than you and there is no kid that deserves a mommy like you. go thaw out in hell

LindaLou said...

you forgot the daily body cavity search. :::nods:::

mpp said...

Meet your new Nanny ~
What an absolutely clever and brilliantly written post!

Bi-coastal :) said...

"lack of skills" lmao

I am a nanny, a business owner and a photo journalist for a major newspaper. I likely make more than my employers. I also have a degree in nursing another in child development and am working on my MSW.

Perhaps you're just jealous? I mean, your life is miserable I'm sure and to top it off you hire some "unskilled" reject to do the job of raising your children?

Now WHO has the problem? Right.

Anonymous said...

how many poor nannies have you gone through? It just seems like by writing this you have gone through a ton. I hope you treat your nannies well after all they go through to work for you.

That being said, I do not find a problem with everything you ask. (Maybe the pool test no matter what the weather is kind of harsh though). I think more parents should take the time to find out more about their nanny and know what their nanny will be up to. Although, some parents take all the best steps in ensuring a nanny for their children and still end up with horrible ones :(

Anonymous said...

How does everyone know helaine wrote this??

Anonymous said...

6:34pm OMG!

Priceless!

Too wonderful!

You just made my day.

fee to see my panties said...

My standard fee for full-charge live-in nanny care is $850/week, net. Live-out is $950/week, net.
Considering my college degree, my extensive experience, glowing refs and supernanny qualities, my fee is quite reasonable.

But my fee for an inspection of my "undergarments" is $850/hour, net plus reimbursement for the "inspected" panties and bra since I will be replacing them after they've been handled during the "inspection". Add to that a $100 humiliation-fee to compensate for my time spent undergarment-less, shivering in the WC whilst aforementioned inspection is taking place.

A girl's gotta pay her bills, after all.

lmao

Anonymous said...

Perhaps no one will agree with me. BUT, isn't it better that an employer get all her concerns/wishes out there with the very first interview? I mean isn't this better than this same employer giving an shorter less rigorous interview, hiring an incompatiable nanny and then FIRING her! That upsets everyone's life. The employer will have to go through the whole process again, the nanny will need to find a new job, and the poor kids!

Anonymous said...

Calif nanny here...OP you have way too much time on your hands. Seriously...you must make yourself nuts with worry about all this stuff up.

America First said...

Viva La Raza-take your Mexican flag loving American hater hiny back to your country. We are sick of you $5 dollar an hour illegals taking our beginner nanny jobs. We also speak English here so need for your peurile attempts to look intimidating.

The very rich who don't rely on jobs that were outsourced or those in industries that tend to grow even during the worst times will be fine.

As for "depression," it's recession and they come and go all the time. Don't throw the baby out with bathwater just yet.

Long live America and it's Constitution.

Anonymous said...

Nanny A likes to go in the water and get her feet wet. She likes to paddle around in the shallow end where she can stand. She doesn't ever go in the deep end. She owns 7 sexy little suits and one modest flowered number. She is excited about her interview today at Rolling Estate, NJ. The interview goes well. The pay is dynomite. The children are dolls and the employers seem cool. When they ask her if she swims, she says yes. She says, "Oh I just went suit shopping yesterday". They all share a laugh. Two weeks later nanny is in the pool with a six year old who can swim quite well. Nanny is fluttering around in the shallow end. The baby is in her floatied carrier floating around the shallow end. Dad is at work in Paramus and Mom is at her office in NYC. The six year old is on the edge of the deep end saying, "watch me. watch me". The nanny watches him and tells him how wonderful he is. He stands to do a backwards jump and just as the nanny says, "no don't do that", he slips, hits his head and disappears in the deep end. The nanny jumps out of the pool and runs over to look down at the deep end and see where he is. She yells to him "come up, come up". But he doesn't. She gets on her knees and tries to reach her hand down but it does not go far. From her knees she looks up and sees the baby carrier is now empty, the baby having been tipped over, now betwixt the deep end and the shallow end.

Seriously, you don't verify that your nannies can swim? What kind of idiots are you?

Anonymous said...

The advice is actually very good. Especially because employers fail to realize things they don't like initially and then punish or fire the nanny for it. Or they forget to make known their preferences. It is unfortunate that a nanny should have to be observed to see if she is wearing undergarments, but I am guessing OP has had a bad experience. We had a nanny once from the midwest who thought it was perfectly fine to walk around in just a tanktop and shorts, no bra. and when she went swimming? She didn't want to wear a suit, so she wore just a tshirt and shorts. Nothing else.

Anonymous said...

"betwixt"? now there's a word you don't hear often! lmao
great story, but it kind fell to a blind eye when I saw that word, lol!
are you british?

Anonymous said...

Helaine-

All great ways to keep your "girls" in line. Thank God I don't work for you and would have left that interview thinking the same thing.

Once-a- life-Guard-Now-a-nanny said...

8:10

How's this for a scenario?

Nanny goes for her swimming test at the estate of megalomaniac Ice Queen. She really needs this job, so she jumps in the pool to begin her test, ignoring the darkening skies and winds whipping up. Ice Queen doesn't care because she makes people test regardless of weather. Just as nanny is retrieving the dolphin stick from the deep end, a bolt of lightning strikes the pool, frying the nanny candidate to bits. Ice Queen doesn't care, just moves onto to the next candidate. until Ice Queen gets hit with a whopping lawsuit for allowing someone to swim in unsafe conditions. So do the parents. This scenario is about as plausible as yours.

Scenario 2
Nanny candidate really can't swim but thinks she can. She jumps in and makes for shallow end and promptly drowns or close to it. Yay lawsuit!

Seriously, these scenarios are far more likely, especially scenario 2, as I have seen that happen at the natural pool I belong to. Every year some ass that thinks they can swim jumps in and can't and nearly drowns.

Now I will point out the major flaw in your scenario.

Truth be told, no one person can successfully watch two children who can't swim. No matter how strong a swimmer they are. Unless you are going to have the Nanny take a Life Guard rescue course, and advanced rescue as well. The events you describe can only result in tragedy, as nanny would only be able to save one child at a time. So, by your example, you need a nanny for each child.

Also, it should be known that saving a person, even if you are properly trained as a lifeguard, can be an extremely risky venture. People who think they are dying are incredibly strong, even children. They may fight their rescuer and try to drag you down with them in an attempt to use you as a flotation device. That's why you always see at least 2 lifeguards at any public pool in NJ.

Also having your nanny retrieve a brick, or stick or whatever from the deep end will not determine if she can rescue an unconscious child from the deep end. Only a Life guard rescue course will teach her the proper way to do that.

A nanny with common sense and who is on the ball would do all she could to prevent this situation from happening in the first place, weather she can swim or not. But accidents do happen and the one you describe is over the top and makes no real point as no matter who the nanny was, nor what her abilities in the water are, one or both children would be likely to suffer severe injury or drown.

This quote of yours speaks volumes "She owns 7 sexy little suits and one modest flowered number."

I think this is a great example of your attitude towards nannies in general. Sorry honey, not all of us have to buy our bathing suits from Omar The Tent Maker. You know the kind. With the skirt to hide the thunder thighs and the designer gelato ass.

Anonymous said...

Angry nanny, alleged lifeguard,
You are ridiculous. First of all, she said the nanny could demonstrate her swimming in a pool located inside her mother's house. Second, as a lifeguard, you really don't think a nanny could watch more than one non swimming child? Mine did. And she did so succesfully. Here is the truth, it seems like overkill to ask your nanny to demonstrate her swimming. It might even embarass the parent with the request, but it needs to be done. Setting aside all the children that drowned last year because their nanny's fell asleep on the sofa or lost track of the child, allowed the child to sneak out of the home, the real tragedy is when you are right there at the pool and you cannot save a child.
You are absurd! Why do all of you nannies have such a mega chip on your shoulder?

Anonymous said...

Ahh-Hahahaha! good post!

Anonymous said...

Ummm... my employer is regulated from asking me these types of questions. Why the flip do you think this nanny deserves to be ridiculed. What if her parents just died and you are asking where they are! what an inconsiderate mofo you are OP. Test hair follicals for tobacco - okay but make sure that she doesn't live with someone who smokes, or talks to anyone who smokes, or has never smoked before in her life. People like you are disturbing, are you going to insert a camera into your bathroom so you can see what color her bm are? OP you are crossing the line and make people feel uncomfortable, there is a fine line between safety and invasion of personal space.

Anonymous said...

The hair follicle test will be able to tell whether someone has routine exposure or is ingesting. Same way they test babies for exposure to meth.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line is she should ask any questions that she feels would help her to entrust her children with a stranger. If you don’t want to answer the question don’t. End the interview and move on, but don’t get angry with her for asking questions. After all, she is not forcing you to answer them.

cali mom said...

I'm guessing that Viva La Raza is actually Helaine, in a Mighty Foul Mood right about now. She's probably just lost her 4th nanny in 3 months.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't going to say anything Calimom, but I thought the same thing.
Now watch them flame us for "thinking they were somebody else because you're not supposed to assume who is posting" ....
Ah, piss off about that, you know?

Sprak said...

Sometimes someone can nail a description of a person with just a few words and this is one great example:
megalomaniac Ice Queen= Helaine. Once-a-Lifeguard-Now-a-Nanny!!! Good job! Loved it!

Sprack said...

Whether Viva is the Ice Queen or not, she's at least a shit-stirring troll.
The questions that IceQueen demands that her nanny answer sound like something from a psych test given to pilots and potential law-enforcement recruits, for example. Could she possibly be qualified to interpret the nannie's answers?

Anonymous said...

Oh my God. For the first time I am at a loss for words. Are you serious with this post? It seems more like a SNL sketch than real advice on how to interview and treat a nanny. Seriously, if you're that neurotic, forget hiring a nanny and just stay home.

Anonymous said...

By the way OP - the word is spelled g-a-u-g-e, note "gage."

Anonymous said...

OMG, my 17 year old son just went to Petco to apply for a job and he had to take a 20 page psyhological test. So I can completely understand why you might someone who works alone with your child to be subjected to something other than a standard application! My son will work supervised by a manager, assistant manager, store manager, branch manager, senior cashiers and floor manager and surveillance tapes and the constant influx of customers. But your nanny, alone in your house? You best be very certain she isn't one of these psychos!

Anonymous said...

I agree with 4:26. If I ask a potential nanny a question during an interview and she refuses to answer my question, I would immediately tell her thanks and send her on her way. An honest person has nothing to hide.

Anonymous said...

I actually think it is sick, perhaps this lady should take a "cognitive psychology and emotional test herself". Or better not, she would have to fire herself then.

mom said...

Meet your new nanny, BRILLIANT! I LOVE to laugh! And I have a great appreciation for good writing. (And I am now no longer even close to the longest winded poster on this board.)

So thank you for your post...on several counts!
Write more. I love your style.

cali mom said...

OK, just read Helaine's (or "H's") submission and speaking of zero tolerance for spelling mistakes...Ahem: there, not their. Thereof is one word, not two. I won't bore myself or anyone else by completing the tedious task of proofreading her overly long post, but suffice it to say, She is either Pot or Kettle, they're both the same.

Life-guard-turned-nanny said...

10:08 Am

I was pointing out that I don't think anyone, even a fully trained lifeguard, could possibly save two drowning children at once. To properly respond to your scenario, nanny would have to first remove baby from the scene and secure baby in a safe area then return to save the unconscious, drowning older child. Since you have less than 4 minutes to do this before brain damage and/or death happens, unless you have hired a nanny that hails from the planet Krypton, there is really no saving both kids, whether she can swim like Esther Williams or not. Of course people supervise more than one child in a pool at a time, but by the very logic of the scenario presented, that would be unsafe.

And forgive me but I have seen more parents and grandparents than nanies almost let their children drown due to negligence or allowing them to ignore the posted rules or life guards orders.

Also if you are at a beach or lake or public pool and your child gets in trouble while swimming it is definitely NOT the nannies place to jump in and play hero. Nanny or parents or guardian should be attentive of all times of children in the water. At crowded pools and beaches, select bathing suits for kids that are bright and unique in color so you can spot your child or charge easily. You should be supervising your child close to the guard stand. This way if you child gets in trouble you can immediately notify the guard and let him or her do his or her job. Lifeguards are trained to respond quickly, are familiar with the area and any underwater hazards that might exist and are not emotionally involved. I keep my LG certification up to date but would only go in to save my charge as last resort or if I truly believed I could get to him first. And then I would still say "6 year old in yellow trunks in trouble going in I am a guard" This way, the guard on duty would be aware and informed.

And indoors or out, no one should be swimming in a pool, or in a tub, or in any sort of water during an electrical storm, Just so you know.


Thanks Sprak!

Anonymous said...

"Ask her if she has any objection to having her hair follicles tested for tobacco usage or exposure"...?

Helaine said...

While I strongly agree with the bulk of this post, I cannot claim to have been the author. I reside in the city and driviing is not now nor has it ever been a requirement for my employees.

Kaitlyn said...

What does having a myspace or facebook have to do with "common sense"? Seems to me the submitter needs to attain more of that increasingly rare spice for herself.

saranordmann said...

Does the OP really think that she is going to get good answers in response to the book question? After being a nanny in NYC, I realized that most of the women I saw nannying were poorly-paid, poorly-treated, disadvantaged immigrants that probably couldn't tell you a book title in English...if they had the interest to read Madame Bovary or whatever is up to your standards. (Probably more like Glam or Redbook.)

College-educated nannies? Sure, they're out there, but after doing it myself (as a current college student), I don't know why anyone else with the advantage of a college degree would want to take such a slavish job. (Yes, even with a great family. I'd rather go out to dinner with the nice family than watch their kids because it is like so totally awesome and fulfilling.)

Anonymous said...

I am in the process of recruiting a nanny (I live in London, UK) and will most certainly use most the questions provided by the OP, they are amazing, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Sarahnordmann: It doesn't sound like you're the greatest nanny material if you're not really a fan of playing with kids. But, to answer your question: I'm college educated and I choose to be a nanny. Why? Because I make 90K a year and I love it.

If you don't love your job and don't feel appreciated, get a new one. And that goes for any industry.

manhattanmamma said...

Yup Petco, Target, Wal-Mart and all those other stores give hours of testing to their employees.
The end result?

They STLL can't find someone who, is capable of thinking on their feet and basic math.

Want to prove my point?


The next time you shop in one of these stores pay in cash. If your bill comes to $167. 58 Hand them $180.00 and the $.58 cents. Being conservative in my estimate, I would predict that 8 out of 10 times doing this, you will baffle the cashiers mind. about half of the time they will ask their neighboring cashier for help and at lest 2 out of 10 times management will need to be called in to help figure it out. And if you really want to send them into a tizzy; hand them 2 hundred doller bills, 7 dollars and the .58They will argue that you gave them too much and the $7.58 is not needed, or they will simply give you the wrong change back. All this after the hours of testing!

manhattanmamma said...

Yup, a lot of the big box and chain stores give hours of testing and still can't manage to find people that can think on their feet or do basic math.

Ever have a bill in one of theses stores come to something like $67.58 and try to give the cashier $80.58? Or better still a one hundred dollar bill, plus $7.58 They will look at you like you have 3 heads, argue while you stand there and try to teach them basic math. Ultimately they either ask the other cashier for help, call in management for assistance, or give you the change back you want grumbling under your breath that you will cause their draw to be wrong at the end of he day and get them in trouble.

manhattan mamma said...

OOps sorry for the double post, I hadn't realized comment moderation was on. Sorry jane must be dealin with trolls again.

manhattanmamma said...

Most nannies don't make 90K a year or even close to it.

Since the vast population of America isn't extremely wealthy, it stands to reason that a small percentage of nannies, babysitters and childcare providers would be making upwards to 100k per year.

Average National Nanny Salaries

Live in (average 45-50 hours - $400-$600 weekly)

Live out (average 45-50 hours - $500-$700 weekly)

Mother's helper (average - $8-13 per/hour)


*Overnight Care -- Anything over regular working hours can be paid in an hourly wage or can be done on a set wage basis (if it is longer than a couple of days


and go here for a further breakdown

http://www.nanny.org/INA_Salary_Survey2.pdf

Of course, Pay averages are higher in NYC, LA and other affluent areas.

Anonymous said...

The INA is supported wholly by agencies. To get employers to use agencies, they have to be able to hand them something, so they hand them skilled employees at below what they would otherwise be paying. I am talking about the bulk of nanny agencies who support the INA. I would never work with any of them. Instead, if you want a top notch nanny, you have to work with a firm that specializes in headhunting or estate staffing. Of course these ridiculous nanny agencies aren't going to be able to get nanny 90K. I got my last nanny position ($103,000 before taxes with insurance fully paid by my employer after 3 months) by answering an ad for a staffing agency in NY. They handle mostly executive assistant positions.

The truth is, if you are an educated nanny, especially if you are in your late twenties/thirties with no children and have long term references, you can make a ton of money. The only thing that I have seen hold some great nannies back from making the big bucks is their personality. You have to know how to work with these hedge fund wives. Part of the job is to consistently congratulate them on their mothering skills, their fashion sense and how young they look. Make sure you let her shine, no matter how pretty you are or how great you are with her children.

Metronnanny said...

Manhatan Mamma, you are quite right in your comments.

While there are a few lucky nannies who make awesome salaries, as those who work for people like the Trumps, The Pitt-Jolie family, Royal households and other super-rich families, the vast majority of us are not in that pay range.
Most of us are making in the $800.00 per week range, give or take $100.00 per wweek or so either way with 2 weeks paid vacation, 5 sick days, and health benefits.

And i can't say i have ever worked for a family with a mother so shallow, stupid or insecure as 11:57. thank god for that.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for your kids....

Metronanny said...

I meant to say a mother so shallow, insecure and stupid as the ones 11:57 worked for. iw as not saying 11:57 was any of those things, just to clear it up.

Sarah said...

#17 -- What the hell does being on facebook and having common sense have to do with each other?

I'm a nanny, I'm 21, and I'm on facebook because I like to keep in touch with my friends who live across the country. And, I have common sense.

Common sense is hard to assess, you're right. Ask if she has a cell phone, friends, an e-mail account. Ask her if she stays in touch with her family, or every meets some girlfriends for coffee. These things could help look for common sense also.

Great post.. bitch.

Anonymous said...

Oy. I'd be really upset and end the interview if someone asked me about my family

"My mother? She's in the hospital getting chemo. Thanks for bringing that up! And my sister, she's bipolar and I'm constantly worried about her safety and sanity. My dad is a VP of marketing."

WTF does any of that have to do with me working as a nanny? I'm in your house to care for your children. What happens outside of your home on my time is my business alone.

Anonymous said...

viva la raza,

"How are you nannies liking the recession? Hold on to your nanny caps (and lack of skills) because here comes the depression."

Employers of top tier nannies are typically not affected by the recession. In fact, I just got a hefty raise. As for "skills" I have a graduate degree and teaching experience, so if push comes to shove, I don't think I'll starve, but thanks for your concern. You sound like a lovely person.

Anonymous said...

Haha about the giving change when you pay the cashier, I always thought this made so much sense (who needs MORE pennies), but get this strange reaction from cashiers and have to explain the concept to them. May be a testament to the state of public schools...

Anonymous said...

Unless you go into a store that uses a dinosaur for a register, I'm quite sure these cashiers don't have to count your change back. The math is figured for them once they punch in the amount.
However, the ridiculous thing is, these rocket scientists still figure out a way to screw it up.

MissDee said...

We don't know if Helaine wrote this, and we really can't say that she did. This could've been written by a man, and to be honest, we really don't know the person behind the nickname here. We don't know their gender, looks, etc. There are A LOT of inappropriate questions to ask during an interview, with regards to religious beliefs, pregnancy, sexual orientation, arrest/criminal history, and others than can land a hiring family or an agency in court, should they discriminate against an applicant. There are also the questions which have NOTHING to do with how well or how qualified a nanny is to do her job, such as:

"do you have a boyfriend? How long have you two been together? How does he feel about you taking this job? Are you planning on getting married?"

"what is your financial background? Have you ever declared bankruptcy? What is your credit score? How much money do you have? Are you taking this job because you need a job?"

I have been asked both those questions during interviews and it's not that I have anything to hide, I just don't feel it's anyone's business but mine if I do have a boyfriend, and does a family really need to know every detail about our lives together? Secondly, my finances have NOTHING to do with if I can care for an infant, show a toddler how to use utensils, fingerpaint with a preschooler, or build a Lego castle with school aged children. It's about my experience, qualifications and credentials, not personal questions. H, why don't we ask you about your sex life, your farting habits, and wether or not you have a high credit score? Why don't we see if you can swim, drive, and why don't we check your undies? You remind me of a father I once had the displeasure of talking to about a potential nanny position when he wouldn't tell me where the family lived, when the job started and ended, what the schedule was, what he did for a living, and anything about the children. His reason for not wanting to tell me anything was that I was a stranger, and he didn't want too much information out there. We all know that if a family won't give you details, that that is a major red flag. Instead, he asked me if I was single or married, what my boyfriend/husband did for work, how long we were together, was I physically fit and HWP, and then we get to the interview questions, and then he insulted me by saying, "there has to be a reason why you haven't worked in childcare in a long time. I can't believe you have such a low paying job? How do you support yourself?"....blah, blah, blah. Ironically, his name started with an H. And BTW: I am a female, and I know because I wear a bra. *LOL* OP: you sound like you need help. Sorry for the novel, gang, but I laughed so hard when I read this post and the responses! You guys are great! Thanks for the laughs!!!

Anonymous said...

Can anyone come up with any other emploment sector in this country (USA) where the person with the MOST responsibility (hello, the NANNY!) gets paid the LEAST? I had an agency recruiter tell me recently that I'd never be able to get my current salary for "just" nannying (I also perform housekeeping and house mananger duties). Why does doing laundry, shopping for groceries, or running to the post office justify a higher wage? I would think my background, education, and dedication to the care, protection, education and nurturing of children would be enough to qualify me for professional wages. As I search for my next family, I'm appalled at the wages being offered out there. What gives???? Any opinions? How do other nannies feel about housekeepers, gardeners, or handymen being paid a higher wage than they are? Based on the rigorous screening process "H" is suggesting, I would love to know just how "valued" a suitable candidate might be.

Anonymous said...

I just want to add to the original post:
Tip 21) Be prepared to provide nanny with an annual salary of 50k, two weeks paid vacation, five sick and personal days, health insurance, a company car with a credit card for gas and petty cash, and a designer purse for every holidays and birthday.

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha! .... right.

OP said...

Tip 21) Be prepared to provide nanny with an annual salary of 75k, three weeks paid vacation, health insurance, a safe, late model nanny vehicle, a generous gas allowance and make sure to keep petty cash on hand for the nanny so she is free to do things with/for your children without having to use her own money.

I don't pay for personal days or sick time. I do provide 10 paid holidays per year, (her birthday being one of them) and three weeks paid vacation. I cannot have a nanny call in sick. I know it happens but I need advanced notice to make alternative plans.

Anonymous said...

Advanced notice your going to be sick? HAHAHAHA!!!
How in the hell does someone know they are gonna be sick?

If I wake up one morning puking my guts out, and running a fever of 102°, I'll be sure to come and take care of your lovely children.

YOU, my friend, are insane.

Anonymous said...

LMAO you can't have a nanny call in sick without advance notice are you for real?

Thank GOD I work for a rational person who noticed I was coming down with a cold last week and gave me the day off to rest AND paid me for it!

So OP, I take it you get no paid sick time at your job then.

I make a little less then OP peays, but I get 2 weeks vacation, plus several bonus days off a year, and sick time of 10 days, which I hardly use but is there in case I do get sick, and all the other perks OP offers. AND I don't even have to share my taste in underwear for it!

Anonymous said...

I'm betting "H" is a SAHM who simply cannot tolerate the inconvenience of caring her own children. I'm picturing "Mommy Dearest", here.

UmassSlytherin said...

Nannies get sick sometimes. If you tell your nanny that she cannot have sick days (it is your choice to pay or not pay) it is not only insane, but it really sets a bad example for your kids. It is basically saying to them that your nanny is not a person and not allowed to feel things that you and your family feel, like...sick sometimes? Nannies have unexpected things come up, sickness, family and pet emergencies, etc. As the parent, it is your responsibility to find a back-up plan. You can find daycares, home daycares, and sitters who will be your back-up in case the nanny is sick.
And if for some reason, you cannot find a back-up, take comfort in the fact that The world will not stop if you need to call your work and tell them your nanny called in sick. It really won't.
Trust me.

mpp said...

Umass
Spoken like a champ!

Anonymous said...

Well OP, the good news about this whole thing is that as a self-respecting, qualified nanny I will never have to ever meet an employer like you. This website is teaching me and other nannies how to avoid people like you like the plague.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, 1:17!!

jennifer lecarlo said...

I really enjoyed this. If read correctly, an interested party could deduce alot of pertinent information and resource from this post.

Excellent.

Anonymous said...

Just think of all the room Jane will have on the front page of her blog when this stupid post finally goes to archives! Heehee.

Anonymous said...

I do have one curiosity. Though, some of her questions are pertinent, some of them are just way out of line. But what if she finds that ideal candidate, that is willing to go through with this kind of interview? I would love to take all those questions and answers, and all that happened during that interview, to a psychologist and get his/her opinion. I am not so much worried about the candidates that would reject the position because of the questions but about the ones that go through with it. If I had to hire a nanny and have her go through all this, and she would, then I would wonder if there is actually something wrong with her. As for the swimming, even if she dives and gets whatever you need her to get from the bottom of the pool, that won’t guaranty that she would be able to save your children. As any parent with common sense would do, you should be there the first time that she drives the kids somewhere, the first time that she takes them swimming and so on, and observe her reactions. And still you would get no guaranties…unfortunately accidents do happen some times.Babysitters are human beings too and we can only hope for the best. I used to work for a family and I would come to work in the morning just to find out that they were at the emergency room the night before and that the kids had to get stitches. And that happened a few times. I thank God it didn't happen while I was on the job, but still I don't think I was better then them at watching the kids, maybe just luckier.

studentnanny said...

As a law student im sure that some of these "questions" are in fact invasions of privacy. I think this employer herself needs to be screened and or reported to the proper authorities.

studentnanny said...

also I loved meet your new nanny's list...