Thursday

Honor my commitment or get out now?

Thursday, June 26, 2008 - Perspective & Opinion
I am a nanny with a big decision to make: should I stay with my current family and honor my commitment until March 2009 or get out of there now?

I can't tell if I am being unreasonable or if I really should leave. I feel as though I am being taken advantage of, but I would like some perspective from employers of nannies. Here's my story:

I have been with the family for one year and three months. I work about 46.5 hours a week and I live out. There are three children ages, two, four and six (who is currently in school.)

Since working with this family, they have taken three vacations. The first vacation was about a year ago, for about ten days total. The family did not pay me while they were away, but luckily I found enough work with another family and earned enough income.

The second vacation was a three and a half week trip out of the country during December and January. I was given one week's pay, Christmas and New Year's Day pay, and earned the rest of my income through other families. I did manage to earn almost my regular pay, but I did not receive a bonus or gift of any kind.

Then, in March I talked to my employer about my financial situation and we negotiated a better deal for me. I received a .65/hour raise and she promised I would be covered for any future vacations the family takes. This meant I should still seek other employment while they were away, but that she would pay the difference between my regular pay and whatever income I found, if I could not find enough. She also promised to give me a $20/week raise this September. At this time I accepted her offer and committed to working for the family until March of 2009.

Now, a few days ago, and right before the third vacation, I had another talk with my employer. Because I commute about 32 miles round trip to get to work, and I don't get reimbursed for gas money while I drive the kids, I asked for a cost of living raise. I explained that I was experiencing financial hardship because of gas prices and other bills going up. She said she would think about it and get back to me.

Yesterday she came home from work exactly at the time I was supposed to leave, and over an hour explained the following to me:

In response to my raise request, she will give me the September raise of $20-25/week early - as soon as they get back from their trip.

Because I was unable to find any work to earn income while they are away on their third vacation (they leave early tomorrow), she said I could just house sit and do things around the House for them. She came up for a two-page list of things for me to do while they are away. They are having their kitchen cabinets painted while they are gone and will need some help preparing. The two page document of my tasks includes:

-bringing in mail, watering plants, general house sitting stuff
-preparing for painting: peeling stickers and removing artwork off cabinets, assembling boxes and removing and boxing contents of all 25 cabinets and 15 drawers in kitchen and downstairs bathroom
-review painting, give feedback, record potential problems and give painters paycheck
-put everything back in cabinets after the paint is dry
-organize and re-arrange playroom including: arranging new art tables and craft closet supplies in playroom, move v-tech desk into close, and sort through all toys into throwaway and giveaway bags and general re-organizing of everything
-spring clean in the bedroom: rinse plastic under covers on beds, sort out puzzles drawer, clean scribbles of the walls with softscrub, clean surfaces of kids playroom and bedroom with lysol
-move one child's clothes from dresser in parent's room into bedroom shelves, sort out other child's wardrobe and remove dressy clothes to put in other closet

After she got done explaining my tasks, the topic of sick days came up. I had taken one on Friday and still needed my paycheck for last week. At this time, she informed me that she didn't feel right about giving me sick days this year. I told her I did have four sick days last year. She said she just couldn't justify paying me for any sick days if she is also paying me my regular income to do part-time work while they are away on vacation. Also, she pays for six major holidays each year. I told her that I felt that all people deserve a few sick days, especially since I rarely call out sick and often the kids get me sick. I also made the point that I work for her full time and rely on her for my full income. She said she understood, so she would let me make up any sick days I take by babysitting evenings for them. I was in shock so I said okay. :( I don't know why I said it but I did.

Now I don't know what to do or what to think. Is this really fair? Am I just being too picky or is this wrong? It feels wrong but I am not an employer. I am ready to look for another job but I have committed for another nine months. Plus I am in love with those kids and would miss them like nothing before.

I am also doubtful that talking to my boss more will help.Through these conversations and other casual ones, I feel like I have exhausted the subject of my financial hardship. I can only wonder why would she be so reluctant to give me paid days off? As someone with a nanny, what do you make of this?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

46 comments:

mnanny said...

Leave.
She is totally taking advantage of you! It is one thing when they go on vacation for a day and don't pay you (but I believe they still should) but more than a week!?!? That is crazy. How does she expect you to pay your bills? Then NOT paying you for a sick day?
GET OUT of there!!!!!! Go find someone who will pay you well and not screw you over!

emily said...

I say leave as well--but if you're comfortable enough, I would say you should lay it all out for your employer. You can be an education for her. Let her know that:

-Sick days (usually 5 per year) are things she should just provide and they have nothing to do with vacation days.

-The family's vacation time should be the nanny's PAID vacation time. This is a bare miniumum kind of thing, most nannies get 2 weeks vacation IN ADDITION to the time the family goes away without them. If you seek other work while on your PAID vacation time, then it's none of their business and I would not even mention it to them.

-Money you spend on gas driving the children around during the day should be reimbursed 100%.

I reccommend you write these things down before you talk to her and make it clear that these aren't requests, they're the conditions under which you're going to work, for her or someone else. Let her know that you'd like to be loyal to her as an employer and honor your comittment through March of next year, but unless she's treating you with the very simplest courtesy as your full-time employer, you'll need to withdraw the promise to stay. You might not help things for yourself, but this woman needs to hear that she's not being a good boss, it may help her nannies in the future. They aren't unusual requests, they're normal things that employers do. I'm sure her job isn't docking her pay because she's on vacation.

Good luck, no matter what you decide to do!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Emily.
Most professional nanny jobs follow the same exact criteria.
OP, please don't sell yourself short.

Your employers are not being reasonable, and I feel bad for you because I know you really care for those kids.

Ultimately, you need to decide what's best for YOU.

Sarah said...

You're right. Talking to your boss again won't help. You already did and she is an inconsiderate bitch so she's not going to change anything for you. You are obviously in touch with other families if you can find employment every time they leave. Find permanent employment elsewhere! These people are taking complete advantage of you. You are a nanny and when they are gone they are trying to turn you into a maid. The painting thing is ridiculous.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

OP--you should be suspicious of people like Sarah who recommend that you not attempt communication with someone in your life like your boss. Sarah has nothing to lose, it's easy for her to be negative. This is your life, and you shouldn't shut out possibilities just because you think it might not help much. If you decide you're going to leave, then what have you got to lose from reaching out to your boss and trying to get her to understand how you see things?

Anonymous said...

Get a new job!!!!

Anonymous said...

Quit!
And outline all the very relevant reasons for it.. but use these two weeks when they are gone to find your own new job.

Get out now, people who try this crap never, ever stop.

Get a new job and outline that stuff from the beginning.

atl nanny said...

Get out, get out, get out! As a full-time nanny, you should be paid your full salary 365 days of the year regardless of how often they travel. That is absolutely STANDARD. I know of no nannies whose pay is docked when the family goes on vacation. Absolutely unacceptable. You did not request that time off, therefore you should not be penalized.

All of the other issues just confirm in my mind that this family will take and take and take until they can take no more. Start looking for a family that will treat you like the professional you are.

No need to be nasty or argue with this family because you've obviously reached a crossroad. Just find another job, give your two weeks notice, and tell them you've found something that better suits your needs. I wouldn't bother outlining the exact reasons for your departure -- I'm sure they already know they are being unfair to you.

Anonymous said...

lol-.65 raise!! wow! That is pathetic and insulting. and how dare she give you that torture list of things to do, i would have shoved it up her ass. QUIT!!

Anonymous said...

Quick question to the other nannies on this blog...

Let's say in your contract it states you get two vacation weeks a year (plus holiday and sick days etc..). One of the Vacation weeks you choose yourself and the other one is a week off when the family is on vacation. You're told 3 weeks in advance before their vacation so you can plan your own vaca,

Fair?

Kate in CO said...

Unless you have a contract with her...I have to agree with the majority here....quit! This woman is totally taking advantage.....you sound dedicated and articulate...you should have no problem finding another job quickly. (Let the cheapo find someone else to house sit.) They should compensate you for when they leave town.....and you should not have to do their grunge work. Good luck.

UmassSlytherin said...

I would look elsewhere. It sounds as if they are taking advantage of you.

Justification? Ha! Tell her this is the way to justify it: I'm a great nanny and you should keep me happy by being fair to me!

Sheesh. Some people! Good luck op, and keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

I am a nanny and if I were you, I would not put up with these conditions. All employees, whether domestic helpers, governesses, chauffeurs, WHATEVER, deserve sick days and vacation pay. If they expect you to make a commitment to stick with them, then they need to make a commitment to you. I always make a deal with my employers that they don't have to pay me for vacation days I ask for, but they do have to pay me for the ones they take--because like you said, it's hard to find other work.

Since you love the kids so much, I would try talking to the parents once more--it can't hurt the situation. Good luck!

TX Mommy said...

You are doing a real job and should be compensated like any other job. How would your empolyers feel if they didn't get paid vacation and sick days, they would think it was crazy. I know they can't be paying for your health insurance either since she can't be bothered to pay you for sick days. The nerve of this woman.She is taking complete advantage. Give notice and in your next job please negotiate paid vacation, sick days and mileage reimbursement before you are hired. You are providing a much needed service to these people and if they can't afford to pay you fairly then they should look into a different kind of childcare that is less expensive than a professional nanny.

cali mom said...

I don't see any issues major enough to justify you waffling out of your end of a contract. They didn't give you a bonus, you didn't get paid time off when they were away, but you get paid holidays, a raise SOONER than they had originally agreed to, (although she will no longer include sick days in your contract,) you are getting full pay for doing PT work while they are gone. It sounds like you have some flexibility in your hours, and don't run into major issues when you need a sick day, although from now on sick days will be unpaid. This sounds about average for most jobs I've worked at and many jobs in other industries. The only thing I think you would be justiied in absolutely demanding is gas reimbursement for driving the kids and a car maintenance budget, if you are driving them in your own car. YOUR commute to work and back is never your employer's problem, assuming you knew where they lived when you accepted the job.

Am I understanding correctly that your contract was just re-negotiated to include a raise and some other changes as well? I'd say you'de be fairly unreasonable to break your contract essentially because you are unhappy at no longer getting sick days paid, and if you were my employee, I'd give you a strictly neutral reference and mention that you had failed to fulfill your commitment in staying on.

cali mom said...

Seems I am in the minority here, but: Emily said, "I'm sure her job isn't docking her pay because she's on vacation."

Um, if you seriously believe that most corporate employers in the US provide 6 weeks or more of paid vacation time to their employees, you are very mistaken. Usually first year gves 5 days, 2nd year gives 10 days, 3rd year 15 days etc, up to a maximum of 4 weeks and it sounds like they have travelled much more than 4 weeks in a year already, so I wouldn't bet on your statement being correct.

OP, are you paid salary or hourly? This makes all the difference in whether YOU get paid because THEY go on vacation. I've had hourly jobs at companies that shut down for 2 weeks between Christmas and New Year and hourly employees did NOT get paid, salaried employees did. I think you should take into account what HER employer gives HER before you quit. The argumenht that because they can afford a nanny, they obviously have money to burn, is useless. For all you know, she gets 2 weeks paid vacation and they are losing income whenever they travel. I just think a lot of posts here imagine that nanny jobs are entitled to all the perkls that Fortune 500 CEO's get, and seem to think everyone BUT nannies get these perks, and it just ain't so.

If you really want different employers or different terms, look for a new job, but yes, I think you are being unreasonable.

ashley said...

leave.

emily said...

Seriously, Cali Mom? What kind of jobs have you worked or known about where your employer would simply inform you that you're not going to get paid for two weeks straight several times a year because of decisions your boss made and you did not? I think you'll find that you're in the minority here because you're wrong.

Anonymous said...

Cali mom, there's zero reason for the OP to consider what the parents get from their jobs. All she needs to consider is what SHE needs from HER employer. It's common in this industry to get paid 52 weeks a year, whether your on vacation, the family is on vacation, etc. You may argue that it shouldn't be that way, and you can pay your nanny what you'd like--but don't be surprised if she leaves you for someone who shows she values her service more.

Anonymous said...

Cali mom, there's zero reason for the OP to consider what the parents get from their jobs. All she needs to consider is what SHE needs from HER employer. It's common in this industry to get paid 52 weeks a year, whether your on vacation, the family is on vacation, etc. You may argue that it shouldn't be that way, and you can pay your nanny what you'd like--but don't be surprised if she leaves you for someone who shows she values her service more.

chick said...

Cali mom, if the employer cannot afford to pay their nanny 52 weeks per year regardless of how the employer chooses to use paid and unpaid vacation time at THEIR job, they need to find cheaper childcare.

They will likely be shocked to learn family daycare and corporate daycare all charge 52 weeks per year regardless of how often you use their services.

OP, I would start looking for another job, and keep in mind Emily's advice about pay and paid time off. Once you have another position, give 2 weeks notice, and if they ask why you are leaving say that you had to find better pay and benefits than they could offer.

I would also find ANYTHING else to do while they are gone, and let 'em clean out and prep their own cabinets. What gall to offer that list of chores up?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Emily, it was a publishing company that shut down for 2 weeks and hourly employees did NOT get paid. Most of my jobs since then have been salaried, which as I said, makes an important distinction. That's something to consider when deciding whether or not to accept a job.

Of course the nanny is free to abandon her agreement, but it sounds as if the employer is NOT breaking any contracts - just offering some terms that OP would be unhappy with. So IMO, the nanny is being unreasonable in feeling that she is being cheated or abused, and as her employer, I would be annoyed at what I'd percieve as her reneging on her end of a deal.

And IMO, it IS relevant what her employers get. If they pay 100% of their own medical insurance (most companies DON'T pay 100% of employee's health insurance) and get 4 sick days and 1 week paid vacation, I think it's unreasonable for their employee to expect insurance paid 100%, 6 sick days and 3 weeks paid vacation.

cali mom said...

Hmm, that was me. Again, I thought my name was there.

Sue Doe-Nim said...

OMG.

That list has nothing to do with Nanny'ing.

RUN.

But darlin' if you're willing to work that hard run to my house, I don't need a Nanny but I sure could use a wife.

xoxo
Sue

Anonymous said...

Quick question to the other nannies on this blog...

Let's say in your contract it states you get two vacation weeks a year (plus holiday and sick days etc..). One of the Vacation weeks you choose yourself and the other one is a week off when the family is on vacation. You're told 3 weeks in advance before their vacation so you can plan your own vaca,

Fair??

Anonymous said...

Quick question to the other nannies on this blog...

Let's say in your contract it states you get two vacation weeks a year (plus holiday and sick days etc..). One of the Vacation weeks you choose yourself and the other one is a week off when the family is on vacation. You're told 3 weeks in advance before their vacation so you can plan your own vaca,

Fair??

Anonymous said...

How do crappy employers even get away with this?! Two weeks paid vacation is standard in the industry. If they choose to leave, you should still get your paycheck. Do they give up their paychecks when they are out of the office?

emily said...

The OP hasn't weighed in, but it doesn't sound like she's got a contract, more like a verbal agreement (OP, please correct me if I'm wrong).

Even if she does have a contract, being a household employee is an at-will position, Cali Mom. That means that she can give notice at any time & the parents can fire her at any time w/o having to buy her out of her contract (if she has one).

The market really determines 'reasonableness' in the workplace, and, as I and many others have assured the OP, she can easily get a new job that offers the bare standards of a secure full-time job. You, or her employer in this case, can be annoyed all you like, but you could also be w/o a nanny.

Marissa M. said...

Sweetie quite now and don't you dare do their house work!

One Fabulous Nanny said...

The family I work for frequently takes "mini trips" and has taken 2 vacations since I've been with them (just over 10 months) one of which I went on, and one of which I didn't. I am paid the same whether they are in town or not. The way my bosses view it, it's not like I have a choice of whether or not to work those days that they are out of town. During their week long ski trip, the mother asked me to purge and organize the play room, which I honestly didn't have a problem doing. As for the list you were given, I, personally, would expect double the pay conisdering it's not a nanny job, but a much more labor intensive (peeling stickers off of cabinets, are you JOKING? It's nearly impossible and takes hours!) job and not your normal duties.

As for the sick days, I am the pot calling the kettle because I don't have sick days, but EVERY job should afford them. 5 per year is standard. Look up your states laws, and see if they can give you any guidelines.

I would have a "come to Jesus" meeting with the woman as soon as possible and state exactly what you MUST have, and if she can't meet those expectations, tell her she'll need to start looking for a replacement nanny. I know you are crazy about the children, as I am about mine (usually lol), but in order for you to give them your best care, YOU must be taken care of first.

I haven't taken the time to read everyone else's responses, so I apologize if this is just a repeat! Best of luck, and keep us updated!

Sarah said...

9:29 -- Did you read the post? She did articulate her concerns to her boss several times. The boss is not giving her what she needs. How am I being negative? I'm telling her what I think needs to happen for her life to improve.

It's MeJulia said...

Hello, it's Julia the OP.

I need to respond first to Calimom because she was the only one who played devil's advocate for me, which I appreciate.

To answer your questions, my schedule is not flexible - it's 8:15 to 5:30 MWF, and 8:15 to 6p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I get paid per week, no salary.

Also, I can run into obstacles when trying to take a sick day or personal day. In fact, just to illustrate, during the 2007 October Wildfires, I called to make sure the I wasn't supposed to come to work. Her neighborhood was not too far from an evacuating area, and she informed the family had been up all night packing to evacuate as a precaution. She told me they had been counting on me to come up to work for a couple hours so the parents could nap before they evactuate. I told her I was hesitant to leave my neighborhood which was in the safe zone. I was afraid of getting stuck in bad traffic in the event her area was evacuated. She told me that she was disappointed and would not pay me for that day.

Just an example.

As far as our negotiations for the new contract, you are right. I got a raise and the promise of being covered while the family takes vacation. I said I would seek other work and she would cover the difference so I didn't have to worry. We did not discuss chores.

But I do want to say that before any of this, I already offered to take on more and more for the family. In addition to offering to drop off and pick up the oldest daughter, I was also watching her friend's child for three hours every Thursday. (The friend's mom would drop off "my" oldest girl two days a week in exchange) I don't know how to explain but I would try to do extra things to make life easier, try to teach a little more to the kids, and give them little treats here and there. For instance, I really try hard to help the four year old with her reading. These things came from the heart.

So you are right, Calimom. She may and probably will think I am unreasonable. Maybe I am. All I really wanted was for her to want to give me something, and want to show me generosity.

Tell me, how can she show me she appreciates me?

JuliaAgain said...

Oh, two more things...

We don't have a contract, it's a verbal agreement.

Also, Calimom, you said:
"... I think it's unreasonable for their employee to expect insurance paid 100%, 6 sick days and 3 weeks paid vacation."

I actually don't have health insurance, or expect it from them. I don't expect 6 sick days, it was actually 4. (But 5 would be good). And I don't expect 3 weeks paid vacation either. I actually don't get vacation days. I just want to be covered when the family takes off to go have fun. If they left for three weeks I would seek work and I would want them to pay the difference.

I just got done empyting all the kitchen cabinets not long ago. They have TOO MUCH JUNK! I hope they have fun putting it all back because I am not going to do that. See, I am putting my foot down a little bit.

Sheeple said...

I could never work for your employer, Julia. The lack of respect for how hard you work and that you have a life to support would drive me crazy.

My job isn't always perfect, but my employer respects me and I respect her. I've never taken a sick day off, but she gave me a day off when I was feeling sick at the last minute. The family took ten day's holiday in the States and paid me to stay home and sleep in, and they've done in again now that they're taking two weeks in France. I offered to buy in some food for them to come home to but she wouldn't here of it, and I'm taking a Monday off for my own holiday in August but still getting paid for it.

The point I'm trying to make is, good childcare is hard to find and there are families out there that are in such need of a good nanny that they'll be willing to treat you with the respect you deserve.

The parents you work for now should be ashamed of themselves.

cali mom said...

Emily, Julia's question was not does she have a legal right to leave her job. Of course she does. Her question was, would she be unreasonable to do so and my opinion was yes.

Julia, thanks for the details. I think pay per week qualifies as salary, since it is not hourly. That *should* mean however, that if you miss a few hours in a week, you get the same salary as you would for a full week, which it sounds like you don't. Also, I just threw in the example of health insurance because it is mentioned frequently here, but it doesn't apply here, so sorry to confuse the issue.

I'd say you would be reasonable to propose that instead of her making up the difference between whatever pay you miss when they travel and what you are able to bring in elsewhere, she just pay you for a set amount of vacation time (say 2 weeks) whether it's time THEY travel, or time YOU choose to go somewhere. Or alternately that they pay you a percentage (at LEAST half) your regular pay when THEY decide to take off. Either of those options would be much more predictable and I think more fair than just what she has proposed. After all, if you worked and earned much MORE money for some other family when she was gone, of course you wouldn't be obligated to pay HER the difference! It just seems a bit of a wishy washy plan, subject to too many variables. 4 sick days a year would be reasonable, and gas mileage reimbursement or budget is essentioal. I don't understand how they can feel it's not fair to give you that, or why that was never insisted upon before. And I do agree that it seems a bit uneven that you watch another girl for that long in exchange for not much of the other mom's time.

Anyway, I can see not accepting a job with these terms (essentially, the lack of pay when THEY go on vacation is the main issue?) but to stay in one for this long and then decide AFTER they have offered what they may think are fair compromises, is somewhat unreasonable. But if they won't pony up a bit better and one of the other families you've filled in for needs you FT and can meet your needs, that may be better for you.

emily said...

Cali mom, I know Juilia wasn't asking about legality, I was addressing your attitude toward her breaking her 'contract' (which, as I suspected, she doesn't have).

Anonymous said...

calif nanny here...When a family takes a vacation the nanny should be paid, full pay without having to worry about "other" work. The nanny is available and ready to work, I worked for a banker who had accrued 6 weeks vacation.. well guess what..I cant afford a 6 week vacation. I cant afford a 2 day vacation, so I dont take vacations. They paid me whenever they were gone. When kids go to private school or daycare they pay whether they are in or out...no deductions for sick days or whatever. Why would a nanny be different? And you arent the handy man or maid...that list is ridiculous. I dont get sick days or vacation days but I get enough time off with their vacations and the 9 paid holidays I get. I never asked for sick days. I have been out sick (gall bladder surgery) and was paid anyway though. Let this lady get someone else to run around. Next time write up a contract spelling all this out. I did...2 yrs INTO working with a family (its never too late) cause things started to come up that I wanted in writing.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to compare nanny jobs to other industries, fortune 500 Cos. etc. There are differences. Some businesses have retirement plans. Some provide health insurance. Some have stock options. In some there is the possibility of advancement if you do a good job. Why don't you mention some of those things. Oh, don't nannies get those things?

Nannies get paid 52 weeks a year. If the employer chooses to take more than two weeks vacation, that is THEIR choice.
In your next contract, make sure that is clear. Also the number of sick days, holidays, and gas reimbursement. In writing!

Anonymous said...

Whoever was asking earlier about the three weeks thing... absolutely not, in my opinion. I would never be able to plan a week-long vacation in three weeks. I am going to Florida in two weeks, and that has been planned for about 2 months. I am also going to NYC in October and that planning has been going on since April. The NYC trip is kind of an outlier since it's so far away from me, but I think I probably need 6 weeks MINIMUM to plan a weeklong trip (not to mention come up with the cash to fund it).

seattlenanny said...

One Fabulous Nanny..

"come to Jesus" meeting

That's the funniest thing I've read all day. Thanks for the chuckle!

OP

Sounds like your employer is unfamiliar with how to treat a nanny. This is one of the reasons I went through the agency I went through. They have rules families need to follow regarding pay, time off, health insurance etc.. Maybe you should consider going through one next time.

kate said...

To the 3 weeks nanny: That's just odd. I don't think you could plan a family vacation in 3 weeks, so it sounds as if your family didn't clue you in as early as they could. I would ask for a meeting to 'touch base', go over various things (if you've got any other positive/negative things to talk about--and don't we all usually?). In the meeting bring up the fact that you only got 3 weeks to plan your vacation. Point out that you didn't have time to do whatever it is that you would have liked. Ask to ammend the contract for the future so that you receive at least 2 months (or how ever much time you think you'd need) notice.

Unfortunately, I think the boat has sailed for you on this years vacation time. I can't imagine they're going to give you a third week, but if you're calm about explaining your feelings to them (and you're dealing with reasonable people) then perhaps they'll find another way to compensate for their mistake. But, if they don't , at least you know it won't happen again b/c you've ammended your contract.

Sarah and Mitch said...

You need to insist that she pay you for the time that they are away. Also, if you are expected to come to the house every single day she needs to reimburse you for gas costs on those days... since you normally would not be driving to her house on those "days off."

In that time she is gone, look for a new job, to start as soon as you possibly can. This person sounds like someone who would tell you not to bother showing up the next day if you give 2-4 weeks notice. I still think you should give 2 weeks notice, but definitely have something lined up.

Also, now you have these problems to consider for the futre. Start typing an employment-agreement plan for yourself and have it be understood by the next family what you expect, in addition to what they expect/ask of you. This lady does not anybody's interest in mind but her own, and it is obvious she is very much taking advantage of you. Which is a shame, because you obviously care about the kids a lot.

Also, you need to decide what is reasonable for her to ask of you while they are gone. Spring cleaning is not your job. Reorganizing closets is NOT your job. Certainly, arranging the cabninets is absolutely not your job. If you will be spending more than 46 hours at their house in the week they are gone, you need to negotiate over time pay especially because you will be doing MUCH more work than you normally do in watching two children. Sitting and supervising the painters does count as time on the clock, since she is asking you to do it.


Get out of there. Don't let her walk all over you anymore. I understand the fear of not having a paycheck, but really, you need to make sure you have a backbone and can insist on what is fair. Good luck! I hope you can update and let us know how it went.

Anonymous said...

I get paid 52 weeks a year regardless of how many days each week I work. My family has been taking mini vacations every week for 6 weeks now. I still get my standard salary.

I was sick one day earlier this year and she paid me for it, which I wasn't expecting but it sure came in handy. She also didn't get upset with me for being sick and even sent me a text message asking how I was feeling later in the day.

The only thing that she doesn't pay me for when they go on vacation is gas, which I have no problem with. Because the gas prices are so high and I transport their children daily to activities they usually give me an extra 60 bucks a week, but since I only watch the kids about 3 days a week now because of all the mini vacations she doesn't give me the extra gas money.

Julia said...

Hey there it's Julia.

Thanks for all the advice. They are still on vacation.

Thanks, Sarah and Mitch and all the others who gave input. This is very interesting. I will definitely have a contract - I already have a list of things I require for next time. This will not happen again.

Regarding quitting, you're right - I will have to find the ideal job first. I don't know if I can or not right now. I just found out yesterday there is a very good chance I can't have kids one day. I had no idea. It makes it harder for me to say goodbye to these kids. I don't think this makes any sense to anyone but for some reason it affected me this way.

To the Anonomyous person at 12:48, 60 bucks a week for gas! all I can say is LUCKY!

Princes Raja said...
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Anonymous said...

Are they going away for thre months, because that is how long it may take you to rearrange the entire house?