Thursday

The Oh So Secretive Nanny....

Received Thursday, June 19, 2008 - Perspective & Opinion
I am looking for opinions on whether I'm making something out of nothing, or if I am right to be concerned.

My husband and I relocated to New York City from the Midwest last year and we went through an agency to find a nanny for our DS (age 5). We had what might be a unique request- we were looking for a live-in until DS started Kindergarten, and hopefully someone who could then transition to after school care at that point. The agency had us interview with a several potentials, but mentioned specifically "Jeannie" may be especially suited to our needs.

Well, Jeannie has been in our employ for six months and in most respects has just been a dream- very high energy, organized, well-spoken, creative, tidy, and DS just adores her. She has the additional advantage of being a native NYer, so she has my complete trust as far as planning outing for DS, and is an excellent cook- my husband and I joke that DS is eating better than we are!

So what's the problem, right? It's that Jeannie doesn't seem to have any friends/social life, and she can be private to the point of verging on secrecy. The reason why the agency thought we would be such a good fit is that before we hired Jeannie, she and her husband had moved back to New York City from North Carolina, after he was discharged from the Army. However, at some pointed the army recalled him to duty ("start-loss"? I think she called it) and sent him to the middle east for approximately a year. This was all explained in the interview, and is why she would be available to transition to an after-school only position around the time we needed her to.

As I said, Jeannie seems to have no social life. She goes out on evenings and weekends, generally to museums or films, alone. The only calls I see on the bill for the cell phone we provide her are occasional call to what I believe is her father and one to a number in Brooklyn, which I think is her one friend, "Charlie", whom I've been able to gather is an old friend of her and her husband- from what I can gather they occasion go out to dinner or spend time with his family.

And that is actually part of the issue that set off this e-mail. Jeannie is off duty from approximately 6:00 pm on Friday until 7:00 am Monday morning, it her her time to do with what she wishes. Well, last Saturday morning my husband was up with DS very early in the morning and noticed that Jeannie wasn't in her room. When there was no sign of her by mid-day (and no mention that she had plans and no note was left) I became concerned and called her cell. It turns out that she had left at 4 am to join Charlie and his family on a camping trip in upstate NY. I expressed concern that she hadn't mentioned it to us and we had been worried. She apologized for worrying us needlessly. My husband at that point said we should just let the subject drop.

And this isn't an isolated incident- she seems reluctant to discuss anything outside of her duties. Even casual "how was your weekend?" type questions are answered with one or two word responses. When I ask about her husband or family, she is polite, but definitely seems to be telling me to MYOB. On the other hand, if the subject is say, literature or current events, she is highly articulate and an intelligent conversationalist. I have also asked DS if she socializes with any of the other nannies on their outings and he said no.

In summary, she has given me no reason to complain on a purely professional basis. As I said, she is excellent with DS and uniquely suited to our needs. However, I can't ignore my "gut" feeling that something is amiss with her personally, and perhaps in the long run all of us would be better off with someone more sociable. Thought?

P.S. In case you are wondering, my husband says I'm nuts to worry about this.

82 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't 'socialize' with my boss. I've learned first hand that it's usually better to keep things 'business' She asks about my personal life and I do tell her occasional things but for the most part when she asks how my weekend was I say "oh it was great, thanks for asking. How was yours?"

It makes things easier if any problem should arise. If she does something you don't like then it's much easier to tell her than it would be if she was your friend.

If you suspect she is cheating (which is what I get from your post, forgive me if I'm mistaken) Then it's best to let it go.

Some people just aren't as sociable as others. You didn't mention how long she has been away from NY. Was it several years or just a few months? That makes a big difference too. She may just be one of those persons that takes a lot longer to make friends.

Miserly Bastard said...

It is called a "stop loss" order, not a "start loss" order, and is essentially an involuntary extension of active duty service as permitted by the enlistment contract.

Our nanny doesnt like the small talk, which is fine with us. I would respect her privacy. Also, dont forget that you've only known her for 6 months, and some people take more time to open up.

Anonymous said...

Your nanny sounds like a military wife who is serving you while her spouse is serving all of us. She is probably "all business" because working is business. Maybe she doesn't share because she feels others wouldn't understand her relationship with a friend (who is male) while her husband is deployed. As a military spouse, I don't always share what and where my husband is deployed for his safety. I agree with your husband wrt your "gut" reaction; not everyone participates in total disclosure employment practices. If she is, in fact, a wife who is caught up in the "Stop Loss" policies of today's military, congratulate yourself on hiring someone resilient, flexible and (most importantly) well versed in the life of serving others (and the best qualities of America).

sprak said...

She may have more of a social life than you think, but what difference does that make when she sounds like such a great nanny? I imagine that she's not without worries about her husband and may want to keep her outside activities private for her own personal reasons.

Casey said...

It sounds like you treat her like a teenager in your house and not an adult woman. You check her phone records to see who she talks to and when she went on a camping trip when she was off duty the entire weekend you freaked out. She isn't a child, she can come and go as she pleases when she is off the clock.

She might be depressed with her husband gone or she might just miss him and be waiting patiently for him to come home. She doesn't sit in her room all weekend, so I'm assuming she isn't depressed. She moved back to NYC, and since she works as a nanny, that doesn't really give her much opprotunity to make friends. She does go out, so I think you should let it all go. You sound a tad controlling and your husband is right. There is nothing to worry about just because she doesn't want to chat it up about her weekend.

UmassSlytherin said...

OP,
I think you should leave the nanny to her own devices when she is on her own time, and not be concerned if she goes to the movies or museum by herself, with a friend, or with an imaginary friend.
Please try to relax.
If your nanny is tight-lipped about her private life, please try to respect that. You cannot make a stepford nanny: that is to say, no nanny is going to fit the perfect image that you have in your mind. If this nanny is as wonderful as you say she is, thank God you have found a good one instead of creating drama.
It sounds to me as if this nanny has alot to deal with, what with her husband being in the service and all. She needs your understanding, in my opinion, not your controlling criticisms. I don't want to sound harsh, but you do seem a bit controlling.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of the ideas expressed in the posts above, although I think everyone is a bit harsh on you. You sound like a really nice person, probably the outgoing and friendly type. Your nanny seems to be a bit of an introvert, she is probably going through a lot. So wait and see.

Anonymous said...

She sounds a little shy, to me. It's really not any of your business what she does in her off time unless it's illegal.

Also, you've only known her for 6 months and some people take longer to open up. Don't be controlling... just let her open up when she wants to and make her feel comfortable. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I am a nanny and I am a very quiet person. I tend to read a lot and do quiet activities. I have a couple very good friends but I don't go out much. I like to garden and sew. I like peace and quiet when I am off. That is just my personality. Some people are just more outgoing than others. What she does in her off time is her business. If she does a good job with your kids, she probably just wants her privacy. I am sure she misses her husband a great deal.

Yaya said...

Maybe she's been burned before by a family knowing too much about her personal life, so she is keeping you at a distance so it won't happen again. Don't take it personally, but so many employers don't want to know about their nanny's personal life, so she could be confused that you actually care enough to ask.

amy said...

OP,
I get you.
You care about your nanny. You were used to her being there and all of a sudden she was gone. If something had happened to her, her family would have been in an uprage asking you, "didnt you notice all of a sudden she was gone", "don't you care about her".

I think my nanny shares positive stories about her personal life with me. She has a topsy turvy relationship with her life partner and when they are fighting, I don't hear anything. In fact, I know they are fighting because if I ask about the weekend, she will just shake her head.

I think it's kind of a great quality that our nanny only wants to share the positive points of her life. When her grandfather passed away, she didn't tell us. I found out much later, after she had dealt with the loss. She said she didn't want to talk about death or anything that would make her start crying with me, particularly because my children have very large, looming ears.

Since you like her so much, I would just tell her that you appreciate and respect her privacy, but if there is anything she ever needs that she can always come to you.

H said...

Ok, or....
"Jeannie" isn't from North Caroline. Her husband isn't in the military and she is a drug addict who loss track of time this weekend when she went to hang out with her bookie/pimp and fluked out on heroin. She doesn't talk much because she can't remember all the lies she's told you.

mimi said...

I'm sorry but to me you don't come off as caring...you come off as nosey. Caring ISN'T checking phone records OR calling your ADULT nanny on her time off....it's being nosey. Period. You need to back off. If she is simply amazing as you said consider yourself blessed and leave her alone. What she does on her off time is NONE and I mean NONE of your bizz. It's a shame that her personal life is taking up so much of your time, put down her phone bill and play with your daughter, because your priorites are jacked up. Maybe she's so intelligent that she read you like a book and knew if she opened up about her personal life you would dive in and give unwanted advice....just a thought. But really lady...back off.

Anonymous said...

I think your husband might be right....

nanny said...

As a nanny of several years, for a few different families, I will chime in by saying that it takes a while to feel comfortable in someone's home, and to develop a social relationship with the parent(s). I've been told by many of the families, with whom I am still close, that they thought I was shy initially. Also, the reason that she may not have many friends, is, as others have said, that being a nanny does not facilitate easy friend-making, particularly if you do not fit into one of the predominant cultures that tend to be nannies. I am a graduate student, and most other nannies will not give me the time of day. I tend to make friends more easily with moms, but moms who want to socialize with nannies are few and far between.

In short, I think you need to relax about your nanny. If she was overly active in her social life, you'd be complaining about that. She may just be an introvert.

Anonymous said...

forgive me op but for not wanting to complain you sure do it well. your nanny is a grown woman who,in your own words has provided fabulous care for your child. She has also shown an interest in culture and art when you engage her in such conversations.

Why do you need to know what she is doing on her time off? It is none of your concern, now, if she is mia on a workday, that would be cause for concern.

If I were you i would step back, take a look at the gem you have and do all you can to respect her privacy . I would also be thrilled to have such a wonderful person working for your family.

Shame on you for going through her cell phone bill..pay it and MYOB.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't really matter what she and Charlie are doing when they go somewhere. It really is no ones business but hers.
If she spends the weekend away from your house where she goes and when is also her business. I think OP you think she and Charlie are hainvg an affair and even if they are it is still no ones business but hers. You need to stop snooping.lol

erics mom said...

Oh god.

Why are you treating her like a baby? Or like your teenage daughter. It sounds like you don't have a life.

Why do you care what she does on her off time? She may have a social life but she doesn't have to tell you.

cali mom said...

And you "need" to know what she does in her off-duty hours because...?

If you want to fire a nanny for not caving in to your nosy questions and prying into her personal business, I feel sorry for your son. Why is her personal life ANY of your business?

Anonymous said...

perhaps she is a bit shy around others. perhaps she is the type that doesn't have a huge social network or a large group of friends. maybe she likes it that way.

people are different. what may seem odd to you is normal to another. and seeing that it is on her off time, i don't see why it should concern you at all.

you said she is a fantastic nanny to your son. you raved about her. that's what you should be concerned about it. if her lack of a life interferes with that, then there is a problem.

she may do a lot more than you think on her off time. she may have her own cell phone that she makes calls on. she may just not feel like being personal with you.

your husband is spot on.

Sheena said...

Some people, myself included, are considered "introverted". We enjoy our own company, and enjoy spending time on our own (even in public). Especially when we've spent a good deal of time interacting with others. We normally have a few close friends, but don't tend to "go out".

If your nanny seems happy with her life, and continues to do her job well, let her be.

You are too nosey said...

OP

Mind your own business. what the nanny does on her time off is HER own business. oyou have no right whatsoevre questioning her, she does not associate with you or your family on her time off, so what. she is not your daughter and i believe if she were you wouldnt question your daughter anyway. can the nannies have that right at least to be left to their business on their time off. you are really sick and more sneaky than the nanny. look at yourself, take a step back and look in the mirror and you will see who is being secretive. you are writing about a perfectly good nanny on the internet, going through her phone bills, i even believe you have checked up on her militry story and the charlie character, shame on you!

Get a damn life and keep out of hers!

mom said...

So everybody...do you think OP gets the point YET?

It was a valid question, so don't attack her. She was just asking...and I think she has her answer.

OP, sounds like the consensus is that you don't need to be concerned since she is a good nanny. Hopefully she will now know that it would be courteous to at least let you know if she is going to be away for days on end so that you don't aworry about her.

Sarah and Mitch said...

It's really nice of you to be concerned about her, especially when it may seem like she doesn't have anybody there to personally support her. If you want, I'd mention something like "Hey, I know your husband is gone and it must be really hard for you. If you'd ever like to go grab a cup of coffee and have girl time, just let me know, I'd like to be here to support you through what I know must be a difficult time."

And leave it at that... if she was waiting for you to say that, then she will probably come around. If she prefers her privacy, for whatever reason she likes, then that's ok. Also, maybe do things WITH her, so instead of asking about "her" weekend, you can all talk about the day you spent together. If you want to connect, and are that concerned, just try it on your own time, so as not to pressure her into feeling obligated to spend it with you. Even something like coming home early on a Friday to go catch an afternoon movie... pay her for the two hours you go- it's not going to hurt the bank for such a simple effort.

Otherwise though, it really does sound like you have a great nanny! She is married, isn't used to anyone keeping tabs on her, and is there for you when you need her during working hours. She also has good, stable friendships, and from how it sounds, is great with your son! Just open up the communication line, don't expect anything, and keep on going with daily life... good luck!!

Anonymous said...

I think it is common courtesy to tell someone if you are not to be expected for a weekend. I always told my roommates just so they wouldn't worry. But I think checking her phone records is going WAY too far.

Sydney said...

One thing that people have failed to mention is that this Nanny is a military wife, with a husband who is on his second tour in Iraq and is most likely very scared for his safety and missing him terribly. It seems to me that she is simply getting through a terrible time by doing her job, keeping a stiff upper lip, and distracting herself with art and movies on her time off. OP, your nanny is a married woman with a husban at war...do you expect her to be going out dancing with the girls? I think that this is a situation of what you see is what you get - and she doesn't want to talk about her personal life. Sometimes, with a live in employee, that can be a blessing!

Anonymous said...

8:54: You said what I was thinking. OP shouldn't be speculating about her nanny's personal life. Who she calls is her business. However, it is not like she is living in rural Kansas. If someone is not where you expect them to be, the right thing is to check they are OK. The nanny should have told her employers she has plans (or left a note if it was sudden that she decided to join her friends) just so that they don't worry that something happened to her. OP: If she is a good nanny, just let her know that you appreciate that her personal life is private, but she should just let you know if she is not going to be home so you don't worry. I also like the suggestion of letting her gently know you appreciate that things are difficult for her with her husband out of the country and you are available if she ever needs to talk, but don't expect her to take you up on the offer. I would not tell my employer if I was depressed or upset because I would be afraid they would think (and look for) it impacting my performance.

Anonymous said...

I personally am cautious to socialize with my employers because I have experienced a situation where my past employer tried to make me more of a friend then her nanny and that made things complicated. She wanted me to date her brother even though I had a boyfriend. Then when I became engaged to my now husband she was furious. She started taking advantage of me by coming home late without calling me and asking me to work weekends which I assumed I'd be payed for and then wasn't because she started treating it as a "favor". Maybe your nanny is just trying to maintain a professional relationship to keep things less complicated.

Anonymous said...

She sounds like an INTP. Go look that up and then you'll understand her. If you want to engage her in conversation, talk about books, and don't nose into her private life - she doesn't want to talk about it.

Team OP! said...

Oh please, everyone- are you for real? Are you seriously going to sit on your fat asses and type-type-type away, pretending that you wouldn't take a peek at a cell phone bill you were paying? Are you going to pretend you would have no curiosity about someone who LIVES in your house? I freaking hate you phonies. Be real! If it were me nanny, I would look at the bill. If she were a live out, not so much, but a live-in? And I would feel terribly weird having someone LIVE with me who knew so much about my family and my life but was so closed mouth about her own!

Thank you OP for taking the time to write an honest post and out these big phonies for the fakes they are. Hiding behind the cloak of anonymity or their masked identity, they still have to be PC and say "the right thing".

Give me a freaking break. I'm a nanny and I've looked at my boss's email, her browsing history, in her drawers and at her checking account statement. And before you tsk me, suck on the reality of this statement- real people- REAL people- thinking people are curious. Those who are dumb as doors and dense as wood have no curiosities.

Phonies!

Anonymous said...

with my housekeeper and sitters, i let them share what they wish, but never pry. they actually end up sharing quite a lot this way b/c i'm an open ear. but if they don't want to share personal info, it's okay b/c i have a lot to worry about on my own! your concern is understood to a point (you want to make sure the person taking care of your kids is not doing anything dangerous or illegal), but she sounds like a great nanny. she is likely sad about her husband and introverted. i wouldn't rock the boat, b/c she might find a job elsewhere...she sounds highly employable!

Anonymous said...

10:03, you are a perfect reason for nanny cam installation

Anonymous said...

Maybe so, but I'm also the only honest person on this blog!

seattlenanny said...

anon 10:18

Kuddos for being honest!

Stay out of your employers drawers and email though. Not nice..

Anonymous said...

You are HONESTLY scary!
No, decent people DO NOT do this!

UmassSlytherin said...

team op:

If that is your definition of "real" I'm pretty glad to not be real by your standards.

I don't snoop in other people's personal belongings or financial records, and I never have.

I wouldn't even do that if I were nannying for Michael Pitt because if he ever found out, then I'd never have a chance of making out with him. I wouldn't want to make out with someone who does that. Would you? It's just not the right thing to do. You should stop doing that. You really should.

Anonymous said...

With a *LIVE IN* nanny who disappears without a trace for more than a day...

I can see being concerned for her safety. It would be kind of her to let you know she'll be away so you don't worry that she was in a car wreck, abducted or worse. No details necessary, just a quick "I'll be gone for the weekend but back on Monday bright and early" would be nice. At least someone would know to look for her if something did happen.

For a *LIVE OUT* nanny, as long as her performance isn't suffering and you don't think your child(ren) are in danger, MYOB. She'll share what she likes and there's no reason to expect anything more.

Anonymous said...

10:18

I admit, if my employers leave things on the kitchen table, in plain sight, I will look. However, I would never look through drawers, check their e-mails (although most leave their accounts on), or anything else you mentioned. I do think it's natural to be curious, but your going overboard, and invading their privacy!

Anonymous said...

Yeah yeah yeah.

Op is doing everything right. She brought someone in her home, she'd be negligent if she didn't get to know that person.

Or what land do you live in where total strangers move in your house and don't reveal a single detail?

"Charlie" could be a code name. Many people use "Charlie" for cocaine.

ro said...

^ That was me ^

thisisboring said...

um, how does this lame question make it on here and my cool, interesting question didn't?

Sprak said...

Of course that was you, ro. Who wouldn't have guessed? As for thisis boring, what cool question of yours didn't make it on here? Since you feel things are so boring, perhaps you'll resubmit it so that we can all be sublimely entertained and captivated at last?

Anonymous said...

She is free to do what she wants and to go where she wants on her time off! How nervy of you to even keep track of where she is on a Saturday morning? Concerned? NO, you are just nosy! Leave her alone, she is not a child. She takes good care of your son , thats all that matters. ITs none of your business what she does and where she goes on her time off so get over it lady. She is not your property.

Anonymous said...

i would not worry about her too much. I am a military wire and when a spouse is deployed there are all kinds of feelings she may not wish to share with someone outside her situation. She may just want to spen the year working and trying to forget what danger her husband is in. Maybe just ask her if she minds letting you know if she plans to be out for a weekend just so you don't worry. If she does not want to then just remember she is a maried adult and may just want to have ehr job be just a weekday job and nothing more. Continue to be friendly and kind and shw will continue to do a good job with your son, which is what really matters to you.

Anonymous said...

I'm really disappointed with some of the malicious comments on this thread directed at OP. Perhaps those people who employ live in nannies should be the only ones offering advisement?

When it came time to look for my last nanny, I had the benefit of guidance from someone all of you know. Her advice has solidly been to get to know your nanny thoroughly.

In fact, said person was at my home when my nanny's sister came to pick her up one evening. The sister had just went to the airport to pick her mother up. As I was about to simply wave good bye and wish her a good weekend, said person suggested that I tell my nanny that I would like to meet her mother. Truthfully, this was much out of my comfort zone, but I did just that. My nanny seemed a little unnerved at first.

I walked out with her and warmly greeted her mother and sister. I asked the sister about the traffic and the mother about her flight. I told the mother how lucky we were to find her daughter because she takes excellent care of my children. My nanny climbed in the backseat, I wished her a good weekend and bid them all a farewell.

Like I said, it wasn't something I would normally have done, but I was so happy I did it, probably in part due to the fact that both mother and sister were warm, intelligent and just as sweet as my nanny.

My nanny is a live out, so once she leaves for the day, she isn't directly on my mind. It's ludicrous to suggest that you should share a home with someone and not be mindful of where they are!

Before I was married, I had two roommates. I had answered a roommate ad, so these were not friends of mine, just the same as roommates, even if they weren't directly communicative, we always had some idea of where the other was.

OP is not wrong here.
The living situation she is in would make me very uneasy. Her nanny doesn't have to be doing anything 'wrong', but the lack of normal exchange is offputting to say the least!

Anonymous said...

Maybe she didn't let you know she was going away for the weekend because you are so nosey, and she didn't want to be interrogated about her plans.
Your snooping into her private life goes over the line of "getting to know" the person living in your house. Be careful, you may lose a good nanny.

Anonymous said...

Checking phone records? Calling during free time? Women like you are what cause nannying to be such a difficult profession. YOu are paranoid and extremely insensitive to your nanny. She is a PERSON! Leave her alone and let her do her job. Have you ever worked for someone? Would you have appreciated your boss doing these same things to you... especially during a difficult time in your life.. with your husband deployed? I don't think so. Reading your post made me furious to think what this woman is putting up with behind her back. (Because you are OBVIOUSLY not comminicating your cocerns to your nanny...) Why? Because you KNOW already it is nuts.

TEESEE WOMAN said...

I would suggest that the majority of stories on childcaregonewrong involve nannies the parents know nothing about. If you let someone care for your children who you know nothing about, your an idiot and if something happens to your children, you deserve to be imprisoned.

I don't care what my boss would do. I don't live with my boss. I take care of his Canadian clients, most of whom are grown men. A nanny takes care of impressionable children, children who can be coerced into silence or children too young to speak for themselves.

Comparing any other job to that of being a nanny in someone's home is just idiotic.

Not taking the time to get to know someone who is living in your house is negligent. Someone who shrouds her life in such excessive secrecy would raise a red flag with me.

If you are coming and going from someone else's home and they ask about your weekend, how can you stay mum? Your life INVOLVES their life.

If you are that private, then a live-in job is NOT NOT NOT, repeat NOT for you.

PS are you all just ripping into the OP out of sympathy for some poor sap who got shoved back to Iraq to fight for the rich oil barons of the US?

Are you pissed that Exxon Mobil Corp. was let off the hook for some of the $2.5 billion the energy giant was ordered to pay as punishment for a massive oil spill in Alaska nearly 19 years ago. Despite jaw dopping profits??

Take you anger up with Exxon:
R. W. Tillerson Chairman of the Board
M. W. Albers Senior Vice President
M. J. Dolan Senior Vice President
D. D. Humphreys Senior Vice President and Treasurer
L. J. Cavanaugh Vice President-Human Resources
A. T. Cejka Vice President
K. P. Cohen Vice President-Public Affairs
H. R. Cramer Vice President
S. J. Glass, Jr. Vice President
H. H. Hubble Vice President-Investor Relations and Secretary
A. J. Kelly Vice President
R. M. Kruger Vice President
S. R. LaSala Vice President and General Tax Counsel
R. A. Luxbacher General Manager-Corporate Planning
C. W. Matthews Vice President and General Counsel
P. T. Mulva Vice President and Controller
R. D. Nelson Vice President-Washington Office
S. D. Pryor Vice President
S. K. Stuewer Vice President-Safety, Health and Environment
A. P. Swiger Vice President

Anonymous said...

12:04,
You are a truly sick person.
My little cousin is in the service and his tour of duty in Iraq just ended, for now. He is not a "poor sap." Rather, he is one of many brave, hard-working, selfless soldiers fighting for us, unfortunately also fighting for people like you who do not appreciate what you have. Regardless of the reasons for the war in Iraq, to me, people who do not support our troops and offer them anything but kind prayers and wishes, in my humble opinion do not deserve to live in America.

teesee woman said...

When did I say I didn't support the troops? I support the troops. And not by running my mouth off on a blog but by actively supporting the troops financially and through programs I participate in.

Just the same, anyone who thinks they are fighting for "us" is a poor sap. And all the innocent guys and gals over there who were tricked to go over there, told it was a noble cause, yeah I feel for them.

Alot of big ole white guys just keep getting richer and richer. American oil is blood money.

My point however was not what is going on in Iraq but the sympathy we all have for this 'unknown soldier' and his 'wife'. I, too have sympathy but at the same time I can realistically say, a stranger does not belong in your home!

Anonymous said...

many of the "poor saps" are willing to risk their lives for the chance of a better education.
Many beleive in what Bush has told the American public, and it doesn't matter why they did it. The thing is they were willing to go over there and fight just like
good Americans have done for many moons.
For you to call them names and then tell everyone how you "support" the troops is a joke lady.
People who do not agree with you are not saps they just may be more educated than you are.

Not a poor sap said...

Poor sap? Wow what a horrible person you are. My husband is in Iraq on his 3rd tour and 5 of my cousins are over there right now, and one who just had his first born last month will be leaving in July to go to Iraq. NONE of them are poor saps and your comment is degrading to them and to me and everyone else who knows someone in Iraq.

Bad choice of words on your part.

I don't agree with this war whatsoever but you do NOT degrade the soldiers, they didn't ask to go to war and they don't have a choice in this matter either.

Anonymous said...

Well said. Never degrade a soldier! How tragically ironic that so many gave their lives to defend your right to degrade them. I personally think that should be punishable as treason, especially during a time of war.

Sprak said...

1:46 Your comment:

"People who do not agree with you are not saps they just may be more educated than you are."

People at many various levels of education may very well disagree with the insensitive poster who called our soldiers "poor saps" , and in spite of this, would still know better than to demean our military so.

And to the poster who considers herself as the only honest poster on this blog: Really? Do you really? You just gave us a synopsis of your lack of integrity on the job and your invasion of your employers' privacy and yet, you claim to be honest? Does that mean whenever a thief or other admits his crime, he then becomes "honest" as a result? Seems to me like you are the one who isn't being realistic about yourself.

Anonymous said...

BRILLIANT post Sprak...every paragraph!

UmassSlytherin said...

Agreed, Sprak, and all posters with kind words to say regarding our men and women in the service.

My cousin just got back from Iraq and we are all very proud of him.
The comment about "poor saps" was pretty offensive to me as well.

Anonymous said...

So if I am a nanny, and I suppose to tell the family when I have sex with my husband?? Whether it was awesome or not. Likewise, can I ask my boss did she have sex with her hubby this week. When did she last get her period...what type of birth control does she use.

Anonymous said...

i didn't read the other responses. my feeling? you are a friendly but kind of nosy employer, and she is a very private person. maybe not the best match?

mpp said...

Well, I will say, my circle of friends is very small.

When my son and I go out, he will socialize with other children, but I usually keep to myself, unless I'm playing with him.
Rarely do I strike up a conversation with others.

I guess some people could see me as introverted, but around my friends, I am a total cut-up and they enjoy my company. (At least I hope, otherwise they are just humoring me.)

Some people are just quiet around others, for no particular reason.
I suspect it may have to do with what's called a "comfort zone".

Anonymous said...

It kind of sounds like you are trying to find something to be unhappy about. You said yourself she has the weekend to do whatever she wants, so why should she have to check in with you? She should be able to come and go as she pleases (when not on the clock) without saying a single word to you. I'm a nanny and I have worked for families who want to get totally personal and have a hard time separating personal from business. Even though she lives with you, this is just a job to her, so let it be. I guarantee you if you keep snooping through phone records and nit picking, it's going to show and if you lose her, who IS a dream with your DS, you might find someone else who is NOT so great with DS. Let it be, just let it be!

chick said...

OP, while it's nice to see an employer showing concern about her nanny and an interest in her life, I think you may have gotten the point now that you are going past the boundaries nanny has established.

I would guess you are an extrovert, never meet a stranger, and love to chat with anyone you meet. It sounds like nanny is an introvert, who enjoys her own company, doesn't become close friends with others quickly, and tends to keep a lot of things to herself.

You know she has a husband in Iraq, which I can imagine is quite stressful. Feeling pressure from you to be more open and outgoing could, quite easily, drive her away from your employ. If you truly want to be kind, back off, and let nanny be. If you are concerned about the care she provides, ask neighbors to drop by and borrow something, or come home early occasionally.

It would be a shame for you to drive this nanny away because you want to know more about her adventures and her innner feelings than she chooses to share.

chick said...

team op!, I am sure that eventually your employer will figure out what a nasty little snoop you are. Good luck finding another job then, with a rotten reference.

I consider myself a naturally curious person, and yet, somehow, I manage not to read my employer's email, look in their drawers, or otherwise violate their privacy. I prefer to exercise my curiousity on larger issues, like reading new books, going to see new exhibits, and generally learning new things.

Try my way. You might be better off in the long run. Sordid curiousity killed the sneaky nanny, don't you know?

Anonymous said...

Wow! Excellent posts, Chick!!!!

Anonymous said...

Your husband is right, your nuts!!

vi said...

OP?
What did you decide to do? Were these comments of any help to you?
I think you should just watch her from a distance and make sure everything is okay. Don't crowd her right now. I offer that advice because you said she is fulfilling your nanny need.

I'm all for privacy but living in someone else's home and behaving secretively? I think she is in the wrong. You have EVERY right to be curious about the goings on in your home. If you don't have a general idea of when she comes and goes, what are you supposed to do when you hear a bump or crash in the middle of the night?

My nanny doesn't tell me that much about her life and I kind of like it that way, but I do know in general what she does. I know that on Friday nights, I can expect to hear her come in around 2 because she has told me they always close the bar down on Friday. She never goes out on Sunday, she likes to stay in and have down time. She has a sister who lives 3 towns over who sometimes comes and stays for a night so they can go out to the bars together. She told me of these plans first. In fact, now that I think about it, if she is ever away all weekend, she does tell me where she is going. She'll say something like, "I'm going skiing with Kelly and will be gone this weekend. I'm sure you won't need it, but just in case, I wrote the number of where I will be down and tacked it to the bulletin board in my room.

Of course my nanny is only 24. And the truth is if anything ever happened to her, I would be somewhat concerned if her mother called and I had no information for her. She takes care of my children, she doesn't need me to take care of her, but I think we all need each other looking out for one another.

vi said...

Oh, it's late.
Grammatical errors in abundance above.

G'night.

Anonymous said...

OP here,

Wow, I was not expecting so many comments! And the fact that they are pretty much split down the middle as to whether or not I'm overreacting really makes me feel like maybe it is a difference of opinion between the nanny and myself.

I just want to clarify a few points:

1. I do not "snoop" through her phone bill. We provided her with a cell phone for which we pay the bill and she is free to use for personal calls. The bill comes to me, so I see the incoming/outgoing calls printed on it.

2. My nanny is not a teenager- she's in her early 30's.

3. I honestly don't know whether she may be having an affair with Charlie or not. I've never met him, he could be gay for all I know. She has mentioned that she spends time with his whole family, so someone is sometimes chapparoning their time together.

As I stated, jeannie is scheduled to go to after-school, live-out this fall, so maybe I should just suck it up for the next few months? I really want to stress that she is terrific with my son and he just loves her.

Anonymous said...

So your nanny wants to remain professional and wants to keep her personal life just that... personal.

BFD! Get over it or hire a nanny that better suits your personality and your family.

mpp said...

OP

"Suck it up"? .... you make it sound like she's behaving abominably.

You sound like you have a real gem on your hands.
You should really busy yourself with something more important, and try not to worry so much about her.

chick said...

I'm not pulling punches here, because I think you need clear and specific responses to your points. Clarity is good, so here goes:

"Wow, I was not expecting so many comments! And the fact that they are pretty much split down the middle as to whether or not I'm overreacting really makes me feel like maybe it is a difference of opinion between the nanny and myself."

I saw many more comments advising you to let nanny alone than those advising you to keep trying to force intimacy on her. I counted 40 posts suggesting you back off, and about 10 max saying you should keep on prying. Not exactly an even split.

And this is not a "difference of opinion" unless you forgot to post what you and nanny disagree on. This is a difference in personal openness, a difference between extravert and introvert, and a difference between one without personal boundaries and one with personal boundaries.

"2. My nanny is not a teenager- she's in her early 30's."

I believe the point was that you are treating her like a teen, not a grown married woman.

"3. I honestly don't know whether she may be having an affair with Charlie or not. I've never met him, he could be gay for all I know. She has mentioned that she spends time with his whole family, so someone is sometimes chapparoning their time together."

This is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Get out of the nanny's life and give her the privacy she seems to desire.

"As I stated, jeannie is scheduled to go to after-school, live-out this fall, so maybe I should just suck it up for the next few months? I really want to stress that she is terrific with my son and he just loves her."

Suck WHAT up, exactly? The fact that she doesn't appear to want to be your friend, simply your employee? You hired her to be your child's nanny, not your instant BFF, correct? She does a "terrific" job being your child's nanny, correct? You are only upset because she keeps her private life private, correct? That is what MANY employees of all sorts do as professionals. Most people do not tell their BOSSES who they slept with, what their favorite way to get high is, or whether they like to see porn on-line. Because that is PRIVATE, not business material.

Ease off of this nanny or she'll be quitting before you can ask her 10 more intrusive questions.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, Chick! What an EXCELLENT post!!!!
Loved it, from beginning to end.

Anonymous said...

(OP here)

Chick,
I don't know who piddled in your Cheerios this morning, but I think you're taking parts of what I said way out of context.

I think everyone can agree that a live-in is not by any means a traditional employer-employee relationship. When an employee is living under your roof, it requires common courtesy and flexibility on the part of both parties.

Additionally, even in "traditional" work enviroments, it's not uncommon for friendships to develop, no? As a few others commentators mentioned, there probably aren't many in the Nanny community who share her interests in background, which are infact closer to my own.

I'm the first admit that what I am talking about here is the fact that while Jeannie is a good "fit" for our son, she may not be such a great "fit" with me.

Anonymous said...

I am a live-in nanny, and I do not tell my hostfamily where I am going. They know that I have my cell phone with me, and should they need to get ahold of me, they can call. What I do on my time off is my buisness. I do not need someone demanding to know where I am, who I am with, and when I will be home. I have a mother for that, and do not expect such behavior from an employer!

UmassSlytherin said...

I have to agree with Chick's post. OP, sadly I predict that this nanny will not be able to continue with you for the long haul. It sounds like a personality conflict. I am sorry some posters did not tell you what you wanted to hear, but maybe it's good to see it from the perspective of a nanny.
But good luck and keep us posted!

erics mom said...

O.P. It sounds like your lonely and looking for friendship. Maybe, you can join a mothers group in your area.

If your nanny is good with your son, be happy about that. I would try to encourage her to get together with other nannies and their children. Maybe, arrange a playdate in advance at your house?

chick said...

OP, I told you at the start oif that post that I was doing "tough love". If that bothered you, I am sorry. I was not angry or otherwise upset, promise! :-)

Now...

"....way out of context"

I quoted you. How can that be out of context?

"I think everyone can agree that a live-in is not by any means a traditional employer-employee relationship. When an employee is living under your roof, it requires common courtesy and flexibility on the part of both parties."

And it sounds as if she is being courteous. She is not snarling at you when you speak to her, she is not refusing to be sociable. She may not meet YOUR socializing needs, but she's a terrific nanny to your son.

If her going away for the weekend without calling bothers you, ask her to do so in the future, explaining that you are just a worrier, and it would make you feel better to know her general plans. That makes you "silly" and gives you the chance to get a minimal amount of info without hounding her.

"Additionally, even in "traditional" work enviroments, it's not uncommon for friendships to develop, no? As a few others commentators mentioned, there probably aren't many in the Nanny community who share her interests in background, which are infact closer to my own."

I was not "friends" with my bosses when I worked in traditional environments. I was respectful, I made small talk about mutually interesting topics, but I was not their friend.

I have not considered any of my nanny bosses my "friend" until I left their employ. I liked them all, I enjoyed talking with them, I respected them, but I was still their employee. The boundaries varied, but they were definitely there. My current job has become the most casual environment, because I get along easily with my bosses, and enjoy their company. However, they are not interested in hearing any of my "deep dark secrets", and I wouldn't share if they were interested.

(Not that I actually have deep dark secrets. I am a nanny. I am as moral as Mary Poppins. ;-))

"I'm the first admit that what I am talking about here is the fact that while Jeannie is a good "fit" for our son, she may not be such a great "fit" with me."

Well, then your choice is whether to let a terrific nanny who is a great fit for your child go in favor of finding a nanny who fits YOU best. Of course, that nanny might be a rotten fit with your child, so....

If your need to have a close relationship with your child's nanny is that strong, you might need to re-evaluate your priorities.

Anonymous said...

Wow! AGAIN, great post Chick!!!

I'm sorry OP, but Chick is dead on.
Please think about it!!
Don't let your feelings get hurt, this is YOUR SON we're talking about, bottom line!

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Maybe waht's REALLY going on is the OP is jealous of the close bond between her son and his nanny, and resents that fact that she is not also allowed into the nanny's inner circle.

It sounds like she is an excellent nanny who just chooses to maintain a polite, professional relaionship with her employers. Which IMO is a wise approach in any line of work. And IMO also, this is like a boss complaining that if a subordinate refuses his advances, she is unsuitable for the job because they just don't "click". OP, if you felt that whoever you hired needed to be comfortable freely discussing every aspect of her personal life with you just to satisfy your idle curiosity, you should have spelled that out in the job description. Is she your first nanny, or did your previous nanny have no problem spilling her guts to you on demand and providing you with a detailed itinerary of her plans on her off-hours?

cali mom said...

That was me. I thought I had entered my name?!

Sunshine said...

Big deal, so your nanny likes to keep her life private. Go find your drama somewhere else. Her personal life is none of your business.

And your husband is right. You are whacked.

Anonymous said...

Bravo Chick!

Sorry OP, but chick is 100% dead on.

If you are seeking friends OP, join a club or group etc...nannies aren't hired to be YOUR friend, and friendship shouldn't be a job requirement for ANY job. Don't fire her because you are lonely for female companionship, that's very selfish on your part. Your husband is totally right here, and I honestly feel you have her job description extremely confused-going out to lunch with you and gossiping about the gals down the block has absolutely nothing to do with being a good nanny.

Leave the nanny alone, and get yourself some girl friends!

Anonymous said...

This post is obviously old, but I had to respond.
Teesee is obviously on crack to think that employers should know employees business.

I have one such employer. I am a very outgoing person but also very private. I do not like to share my private life with anybody- period and there's nothing wrong with me.

My employer does not have to know the details of my weekend- most times I just give her a blank stare- like 'are you kidding me" get a life. I'm not telling you who I'm dating and how it is going

Nosy! Nosy! Nosy! Oh how it disgusts me.
Get a life and mind your own damn business. I'm your nanny not your new best friend