A very long day...........

Received Monday, June 23, 2008- Perspective & Opinion
My work day starts at 7 and ends at 7 however the parents go out almost every single night leaving me with the monitor till 10/11pm without extra compensation. (I am salaried) Also It was understood I would get sat and sunday off however since arriving I am now working Saturdays as well. Not as long hours but still I need at least 2 days off if I am working that much. Another thing, I can do light housekeeping when the children nap but washing and Ironing the parents clothing seems a bit much dont you think? Ecspecially when I was told I would only have to do the childrens laundry. I feel trapped, Like I am a slave. Since I came from another state I feel that I am helpless when it comes to this. What do you guys think I should do?


Casey said...

Instead of posting on this site, you need to sit down with the parents and outline what your hours are and the appropriate compensation. If they want to go out and you are willing to work, then they need to compensate you. Also, explain you don't have time to iron clothes, you can only pick up after the children.

You need to get a backbone and stand up for yourself. If you can't do that, you will be a miserable doormat. Good luck.

mpp said...

I'd also like to add that if you're that unhappy, and the Parents won't meet you halfway, please buy a plane ticket on the next flight home.
You shouldn't have to live this way if you're that miserable.

Stand up for yourself.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing worse than hearing a nanny say she feels like a slave.
Don't let them take advantage of you!

Anonymous said...

I am a live in as well, so I understand what the job entails . HOWEVER--I signed a contract with them detailing what hours I work , my weekly salary and OVERTIME. I am on salary as well but It is a salary from 7-6pm and anytime after that I am paid overtime $18/hour. Also, I am not expected to work overtime its only if I want it and if I dont feel like it, I dont work it!!! It is SOOO important that you understand your job details otherwise, yes, you are a slave!!! I would sit down with them and ask to draw up a job contract stating all of these above things as well as what your housekeeping duties are as well. I also would NOT do the parents wash and ironing if you were told youd only have to do the childrens laundry. Stick up for yourself and dont let them take advantage!! And if they arent willing to make a fair contract then leave them ASAP. There are PLENTY of nanny jobs out there with very nice families who won't abuse you. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last post, you need to sit down with the parents and work something out on paper, this is what I did with my nanny BEFORE she started. If they still continue to abuse and take advantage of you, you need to leave. No one should be treated like that.

Anonymous said...

Tell them that when you're OFF--you're leaving! Then, leave. Go out to dinner, go to the mall, do something!!!!!!!! And let them watch their own KIDS! As far as their laundry does--don't do it! Not in the contract, you don't do it...tough!

Trisha M. said...

I had a boss like this once. A single father. He was all about his 2 boys until I showed up. I guess he grew confident to leave his children with me and he started working longer hours. (His wife died and he had been working 3/4 time). I was good with the boys but that ended up biting me in the ass. Soon I was working from 7-7. He paid overtime. It was great at first, I was making a lot of money. He started coming home at 8. So now I am working 7-8 and exhausted. He asks if he can meet his friends for a drink after he puts the boys down. I say sure, after all I am beat and am just going to go watch tv. So I watch the monitor. We don't really negotiate anything and I start doing that more and more. Then he gets a girlfriend. Pretty soon I have the monitor all night. He doesn't want the boys to know he is seeing a woman so he is there and goes straight to work and the boys think he left for work early. (He was a decent guy but didn't want the boys to feel he was moving on from mom too fast- and yes, he was!). He started to ask if I could babysit Sunday nights. And then watch the monitor. He was paying me for babysitting but not the monitor. He was working more and making a lot of money (IB). One day, I am at the end of my rope and ready for a sit down about all the time I am on duty. He comes home and tells everyone to come outside, that he has a surprise. I think he is about to unveil his woman friend. Nope, he has purchased a brand new mazda tribute. brand new. It isn't a nanny car because I am already driving the nanny car. He tells me this is my car. I am blown away.
Later after the children are tucked in, he tells me how I am helping him get his life back in order and he is actually having fun and thinks everything will be okay. He tells me he knows I am working long hours, but when I leave, I can have the car. So long as I stay for my one year committment. My one year committment was already 3 months old, so I think I can do it. It ended up being rough. He and I had some knock down, drag out fights. I had this brand new car with a great sound system and I never used it because I was always working! The good news was they had garage space for all the cars.
When my year was approaching ending, we had even more fights because he wanted me to stay. He tried to guilt me into staying becauset he boys had grown attached to me. Now they would lose me, after they had lost their mom? We ended up compromising. He would get me a job with his company and I would have two days that I worked there and only there. I would also have one entire day off per week. We would bring in a new nanny and I would work with her for some of the time and she would work solo when I was out. If I could committ to this for six months, he would pay my rent on an apartment for six months. This way, I would still have a time that I was off and be able to have my own life. I thought at first it was a trick, but he kept his word on every thing. He even surprised me by allowing me to pick out furniture at his expense. There were a few times when I was excited to go to work at my 'real job' and dressed in my skirt and real shoes when he told me I was needed at the house. I was furious, but it didn't happen that often. The first nanny didn't work out well, but we tried again and found a really great nanny who is still there. My former boss is now engaged (to a woman I have not met) but I am invited to the wedding. I worked for his company for about a year. He always made me feel important when we crossed paths. When I decided to move on from that job, I had letters of reference from my supervisors and from him-which carried a lot of weight. I still see the boys about once a week. When he travels, the boys will occasionally spend a weekend with me. I still drive the mazda!

In short, I gave up alot to have the monitor and work pretty much all the time for a year, but my boss helped me get on the right path.

When I tell people the story, they are always impressed and specifically impressed that he, as a man thought of all these things.

He is a great father, a succesful businessman and although I helped him and his family thru a very difficult period, he more than returned the favor.

So now I ask you, what are YOU getting out of this?

Anonymous said...

Yawn.And he didn't marry you too?


aliana said...

yeah are a slave to these people, they are taking advantage of you and you should seek legal action if you have a contract, i know it sounds drastic but , i dont know how you can deal with it!

Anonymous said...

3.31 You should have married this guy, was there any sort of attraction between the two of you?

ATL Nanny said...

I hope you have a work agreement that outlines -- in writing -- the hours you are responsible for working. Any hours beyond those agreed upon hours, should be voluntary and compensated for above and beyond your salary.

If you don't have one, you need one. ASAP. You should outline your hours and your duties. This will clarify the laundry issue as well.

If your employers refuse to honor your work agreement, or refuse to sign one based on the verbal agreement you have, then you need to get out. Stay until you can find a new job, if possible. If not, move home or crash on a friends couch. And next time, make sure you don't move in until you have everything in writing. And until you've spoken to their previous nanny (if there is one) to make sure they honor their commitments.

Good luck!

mpp said...

Bravo to 3:31!
If this was what you wanted to do, and you got what you needed out of it, I say good for you!

Too bad not everyone negotiates what their worth.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the plan to go out. Make plans right for the time they should come home. They do not need to know what you are doing. Also make plans for Saturday, take a class they can't talk you out of going to.

As for the laundry, just leave it. Don't touch it. The message will be pretty clear. When aske why it is not done, tell them it is not in the contract so you are not doing it anymore.

You are going to have to establish the rules of engagement with the family. Get out the contract and highlight the areas of difficulty and remind them that they agreed to certain terms. Otherwise make a list of things you may be willing to do and what you charge for the work on an hourly basis. Them post on the firdge for them to see the daily hours of extra work.

I had a family that came home hours late most days and I finally took my young cahrge out to dinner with friends and they came home to an empty house. they called and I told them I would be home soon. They wanted to spend time with the baby but I said I was not done with diner yet and he was happy so I would be back when I was done. They were never late again without calling to check my plans.

Anonymous said...

This sounds exactly like a family that I do eve nanny work for. The poor daytime nanny was being worked to death and was here from another country and felt totally trapped. She worked from 7am-9pm and then w/monitors the rest of the eve til the parents came home. She cleaned the entire kitchen and everything else pertaining to the two little ones. All for $500/wk. She finally did speak up and they hired me to do four eves, 6pm-whenever. It was anywhere from 10pm to 1am. Majority of time it was midnight or later. At my encouragment, daytime nanny asked for more $ and they upped her to $600/wk BUT got rid of the housekeeper. Nanny ended up feeling like she "needed" to do the housework, too and little by little was doing floors, bathrooms, laundry, etc. At this point, she is SO wore out, that she wants to quit and go back home. She keeps begging me to take her daytime position, but I wouldn't even consider it. They can't/don't maniputale my eve hours, but I can see how easliy they'd try to keep putting more and more on the day time nanny. All this to say ...You've GOTTA speak up. It won't get better on it's own...they'll only take more and more from you.

shel said...

three words: GET A CONTRACT.

let them know that you would like to be clear about what your position entails and therefore would like to sit down with them and draw up a contract. once it is to your liking, make sure you all sign and date it.

have it list your specific duties as well as hour hours and compensation. if they aren't willing to do this, you need to get out of there, no matter what. if it's this bad already, it will only get worse.

did you go through an agency? contact them if you did and ususally in the first year, the agency can act as a go between.

what they are doing to you is wrong. and by you allowing it, they feel they can continue. let them know you won't stand for it. get that contract or get out.

Anonymous said...

In most states unless you work on a commision you get OT for anything after 40 hours. Check with your local labor board.
In Ca you get time and half for anything over 8 hours.
I am on sallary and if I work anything over my 80 hours every 2 weeks I get time and a half.

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh i hate when people say you're a doormat. like it's so easy to just get on a plane and leave a job. maybe it is, but most likely it's very hard. i don't think there's anything wrong with posting your question on here just to see what others think either!

well, what i would say is i would start checking out other jobs on craigslist and through other agencies. just look up nanny or childcare agencies online. definitely register with agencies and start corresponding with people who may be interested in you before you say anything to your current family.

make sure the agencies and new people know that your current family doesn't know you are looking for a job and not to call them until you say so.

depending on how you feel about talking to your current family, you may want to wait until you actually interview with a family or two and have a family tell you they are interested in hiring you.

timing is very important as you begin to search for another job, because you will have to talk to your current bosses at some point. exactly when you decide to talk to your bosses depends on how comfortable you are with them and how easy they are to talk to, and the liklihood of them making your situation better. also consider what you will and will not settle for. write down all the things you want to change in order to be happy there.

also think about how much you like your job without the extra chores and long hours. do you like the people, the kids, the house? is the job fun otherwise or does the day drag? are they generous with you in other ways?

i believe you can find something better because many people who can afford a nanny either are more caring or have the money to hire their own housekeeer. that is my instint but you will be able to decide once you begin the job search process. good luck!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you're in a crap situation. I've been there before so I know how you feel. I tried several times to remedy things and they would be good for a week or two, and then resort back to their old ways (just to warn you). I might start poking your nose around to other nannies to see if they know of anything opening up.
Good Luck.

UmassSlytherin said...

Good luck, OP: you have gotten some great advice here! Keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

Even though that family was 100% wrong for making you stay late, you should not have taken off with the kid. I would've fired you for that .... but then again, I would've never been late, either.

I hope you proved your point, and they don't do that to you anymore, because what you did was very serious!

Anonymous said...

Even though that family was 100% wrong for making you stay late, you should not have taken off with the kid. I would've fired you for that .... but then again, I would've never been late, either.

I hope you proved your point, and they don't do that to you anymore, because what you did was very serious!

8:40 PM


I don't agree--I think what she did was brilliant! She was off, she had plans...she didn't leave a baby alone in the house...but she also didn't sit around waiting for the parents to dilly dally and come home at their dear sweet leisure. With a nanny/employer relationship--the respect has to go both ways! And I think when the employer doesn't respect the nanny's time...she has to do what she has to do. And it sounds like the point got across! In other words, employers don't "OWN" nannies. BRAVO!!!!

Anonymous said...

And to add to what I just posted about thinking that was brilliant...I have a good friend who has a home daycare. When the parents don't pick up their kids on time (and yes, she does allow a grace time)--she takes the daycare kids with her and goes about her evening plans with her own kids. The parents have to wait until SHE gets back!

Anonymous said...

I'm just horrified to think of people treating their nannies this way. I have never been a nanny but I've been in a really awful job where the logical solution was "find another job" but it wasn't easy for many reasons, so I feel for the OP.

And how sad for kids whose parents literally hire someone to raise them and keep the house. There is nothing, wrong with hiring a nanny and/or housekeeper, but if your nanny is working this much, there is something REALLY REALLY WRONG. It's just not OK. How can such an arrangement properly be called a 'family'?

cali mom said...

OP, you are clearly being taken advantage of and it is up to you to speak up and make it stop, because if you are letting them take advantage of you now, they will continue to do it worse and worse.

I think 4:44's action was brilliant as well. As long as the child is just taken to a restaurant for dinner, I see no difference between taking them there for lunch while you are on-duty, or for dinner while you are SUPPOSED to be OFF-duty. If the parents don't want you to go anywhere with the child after your official work time has ended, then they better get home and relieve you so you don't HAVE to take the child along.

My only concern would be that then they'd thkink it was a great solution, and stay out as long as they pleased all the time, and expect YOU to then take the baby along on ALL of your evening plans. With some people, they'd take advantage of that too!

Cel said...

Take some time and relax... that is what you should do.. take care ;0

Emily said...

OP: Have you talked to your employer? If you're a good nanny, I'm sure they don't want you to leave. They need to know how you're feeling!

Please let us know how you're doing.

Anonymous said...

I thought of that too, when I read 4:44. Who's to say the parents wouldn't have gone Yipeee!, and the plan backfire?
But still, if a parent wanted to be a jerk, they could call the police and say that the childcare provider wasn't allowed to take off with the child, and it could be kidnapping -- in extenuating circumstances, and why take that chance? It's not worth it, especially if parent has a lot of money, or "special ties", if you know what I mean. It happens ....

Anonymous said...

6:57: I can only see that working IF the nanny really isn't allowed to leave the house with the kids. Most nannies leave the house numerous times in a day with the kids, taking them to dinner isn't unusual.

Anonymous said...

I am the OP and just wanted to let you guys know that I have already talked to my employers. They seem sympathetic for a week or so then its back to the same old stuff. Their solution now is to all sit down on a sunday where they will proceed to tell me what days they are going out past 7. Of course I will not be given extra pay. You would think these people would be fair with the nannys watching THIER children. They have had 5 nannys in the past two years. I wonder why? hopefully I can get another one soon, so if anyone knows of one let me know :) thanks for everyones advice

mpp said...

I am so sorry, OP, that it didn't work out for you.
Giving you the "respect" of what days they plan on staying out late isn't enough. You need to be paid for your time.

I hope you find something better very soon.
Good luck to you, stay strong.

kate said...

You know, these parents aren't doing anything wrong. They've hired a nanny to work on the basis of a salary, and have an expectation that she will be there during the day as well as the evenings that they need covered.

I'm a nanny and that's exactly how my week works. I don't get paid extra when the parents are out late, I don't get paid extra if we travel, I don't get paid extra if I'm needed on a weekend. There's nothing wrong with that kind of scenario. It works because my salary is aproximately 90K/year and I feel that my time and moreover, my flexibility is valued and respected.

I don't know what these people are paying you, OP, but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that it's not enough to make you happy. Perhaps you are just not the right fit for this kind of highly demanding family (and perhaps they can't really afford to pay for what they need in terms of childcare). My advice is to look for a job where you will be an hourly employee and then have a signed contract before you begin to work for them.

Anonymous said...

kate: Wrong. Salary means your hours are guaranteed and you are expected to work for X amount of hours for X amount of money. Overtime should STILL be paid but most people won't mind too much if it's an hour or so extra a week.

It's funny how everyone says that people with office jobs work overtime for no extra money so nannies should too. People work overtime because they COULD get a promotion so they are getting something back for those extra hours. Nannies don't.

Anonymous said...

10:21, I don't know what kind of workplace you've been exposed to, but most salaried positions are what's called "exempt" which means overtime does not apply. You don't know what you're talking about.

mpp said...

10:21 still has their heart in the right place.
She makes an excellent point:

"It's funny how everyone says that people with office jobs work overtime for no extra money so nannies should too. People work overtime because they COULD get a promotion so they are getting something back for those extra hours. Nannies don't."

Bottom line is, if you're salaried, make sure you earn enough to cover the possiblity of working some extra hours.
Which is why it is acceptable to Kate.
She makes a good living.

If you don't, you'll end up unhappy like OP.

fox in socks said...

OP, I'm not clear on one thing. Did you tell them outright that this is just not working? That they are expecting you to work/be responsible for kids using the monitor for just far too many hours?

Can you just tell them directly that this must change: either 1) lots more pay for the current arrangement, or 2) they get someone else to cover all hours & tasks not completed past 7pm. (I vote for #2 but am just laying out the options.) Can you just tell them that this must change or you will be forced to look for another job ASAP?

Maybe they will shape up if you explain it very directly? It seems like perhaps you have not done that, or have not stuck with it, given that you say things go back to the way they were before after any conversations about things like this.

I love 3:31's story.

OP said...

Kate, I work 85 hours a week. All that for 500 dollars? I think not. In MY outline it states 7-7. Dont get me wrong, I would be more than happy to help a few nights a week but NOT every single damn night. I kid you not they have social "obligations" mon-friday, and of course lets through in yet another dinner on saturday. I stay at this house and only leave occasionaly when the girl has a playdate. If I was making 90,000 a year not 24,000 a year it would be a lot different dont you think? You are getting paid a lot so of course you would be expected to stay later, help on weekends, ETC. I would expect you to as well if I was paying that much. Im sorry we dont all have it as cushy as you :)

OP said...


Anonymous said...

And don't anyone say OP is jealous.
She is stating her opinion.
Just like Kate did.

Anonymous said...

Oh but I do know what I am talking about. Check your state laws before flapping your lips .
It is what I do for a living LOL
When I get the complaint that someone is getting screwed over on their pay, and it matters not what they do for a living I investigate
it. You would have a real opener if you actually read about your state labor laws.
People think becuae they have a nanny or a cook or housecleaner and they are paying taxes for this employee that they do not have to abide by state laws because they are "household help" and they are so wrong. Beofre you think about not paying your nanny OT you better check your laws.

kate said...

OP: you should definitely start looking for something else. I never meant to imply that you should work for less than you think you're worth.

But . . . I wouldn't call my job cushy--I do earn my salary by doing a whole lot more than your average nanny. But, I suppose your point does stand, because if you just find a job that makes you feel you're being paid what you're worth, you'll be glad to be at work and perhaps feel you've got a cushy job as well.

ATL Nanny said...

According to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, live-out nannies (and other live-out household employees) are non-exempt. That means employers are required by law to pay them time and half for any hours over 40. Live-in nannies are exempt, BUT they must be paid for every hour they work. That means that if you are supposed to make $500 for a 60 hour work week, then weeks when you work 85 hours should be compensated as $708.33. There is no such thing as a salaried nanny. Not legally anyway.

OP -- if you've already sat down with your employers and they refuse to listen to reason, you need to stop wasting your time talking them and just get out. Start looking for a new job ASAP.

Anonymous said...

ATL nanny..

Where did you find this information?

Is it the same in each state?


ATL Nanny said...

Here are a few relevant links:

And, yes, this information is applicable in every state because it is a federal regulation. States can give more rights/benefits to citizens (and there are some states that do -- higher minimum wage, requirement of time and a half for live ins as well as live outs, etc) but they cannot take federal rights away.

Hope that helps!

cali mom said...

OP, and of course Sunday is SUPPOSED to be your day off, so they are getting even more of your time for free.

If your agreed-upon hours, which I sincerely HOPE you have in writing, are 7-7, then any time worked outside of those hours is above and beyond your contractual obligation as outlined in your job decription, and therefore negotiable. In other words, they don't get to increase your working hours from 60 to 85 without having to reconsider your pay rate. Salaried employee is not like an all you can eat buffet. As it is, your salary has gone down $3/hr from them jacking up your work hours, so you coulkd tell them you will happily work 85 hrs/week for $710 instead of $500, which would bring you back up to your original salary of $8.33/hr. ($500 /60 = $8.33) Of course, from how you have described them, they will balk at that so you should give them your notice.

You don't say if you are live in or out, or if they are paing you on the books or not, but you should also look into the specifics of employment and salary laws regarding household employees. Ideally, do it before Sunday so you are prepared to have a very meaningful discussion with them. But start looking for a new job ASAP because they sound like people who are not worth the effort of working for.

seattlenanny said...

Thanks ATL nanny! That's some great info!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind posts.

Anonymous said...

OP, you are NOT helpless, just spineless. I know how these kinds of "add-on" hours and services can creep into your job, and before you know it, it's all expected of you. But... please start speakong up for yourself and begin to tell your employer "NO"! (and start saving for planefare back home).