Tuesday

Errand Girl

Received Tuesday, July 8, 2008 - Perspective & Opinion
Background: I am a nanny for 2 children. Both are in camp all day long this summer. As in from 830-5. I am still being paid my same salary even though I basically work 1/2 hour in the morning and an hour at night. The deal was that I would run errands to help the parents catch up on some things and get ready for the school year and vacation.

I have been doing this for two weeks. At first, the mother was leaving me lists. Flip flops for this child, dry cleaning drop off, pick up tuna salad at the deli, mail this package to her sister for her birthday, etc. Last week, the father started adding on his errands. The mother doesn't know what the father asks me to do and the father doesn't know what the mother asks me to do. Normally, this would not be a problem. The father has a job that is of some importance, but not nearly as important as he thinks it is or he is. He takes a lot of steps to guarantee his privacy. For example, last Tuesday, he had me drop off some film to develop at his friend's private home because he couldn't risk pictures of his family getting lost at CVS or a photo kiosk. When he has me run errands, regardless of the errand, he always tells me, "make sure they know it's for me". Usually, I will say, "I'm XYJ's nanny, but he wanted me to remind you that this service is for him or but I am dropping off his suit or he wanted me to ask you to inspect his scuba equipment. I mean, he all but said to drop his name. This part is just a rant because it's only a little annoying. I can see the people roll his eyes when I recite my "It's for XYJ" speech. Last Thursday, he asked me to pick up a package at an apartment. And so I did. The package was wrapped in dark blue paper with little stars. He added this errand to a list of about 7.

I was shocked to realize I had actually driven into a whole complex of projects. I didn't even know such things existed in this area. The person who gave me the package didn't look like my employer or anyone he would be getting a gift from. I thought nothing of this. I remind myself not to be judgmental. Today, he calls me at work and asks if I could pick up a package at the same location. And so I do. He asks me to put it in the top drawer of his chest. I do. Same man. Same gift wrap. Same approximate shape. No exclamation. And this is the only errand I run where I don't mention his entire name. *Usually I use his first, middle and last name. Both times I have gone here, I have asked for the gift for "X".

Besides the fact that he has made me his errand girl, I am just wondering about your opinion on this. What legitimate item could be contained in this gift wrapped package?

Update:
7/15/08
I do appreciate all the advice you have given, but I haven't taken any of it. I am still running the same errands I was last week. I have been back to the projects once. I am just not assertive enough to use your advice, I doubt that is what you wanted to hear. The good news is in 4 weeks the whole family goes to the Hampton's and I am off for 2 weeks. When we all return, I am back to my regular routine which does not include errand running. -JL

78 comments:

emily said...

I am a HUGE believer in listening to you "Uh-oh" voice--the little feeling you have that something is just not right. We pick up on a lot of subconscious hints from the people around us and I don't think that you should dismiss them in a situation like this. Although you may not be able to put your finger on what's bothering you, something clearly is.

But, I'm not sure what to tell you to do. I don't know if I'd be able to confront my boss about something like this. I also find it very hard to say no to any errand that comes up when I'm basically being paid for 10 hours of work but only doing 2 hours.

Do you think you could put out some hints to your boss that you're uncomfortable? Could you manage to go the passive agressive route and say something like, "Wow, I feel all secret agent with these mysterious errands." At least that would clue your boss in to the fact that he's giving you some pretty odd things to do in your down time.

mpp said...

I would never, and I mean NEVER, pick up a package under sketchy circumstances for ANYBODY without knowing it's contents, sorry.

You need to put your foot down on this one. Do you really want to be held liable for what's in that package should you get stopped for going 6 miles over the speed limit? It's not worth it.
What if it's drugs? What if it's some kind of illegal pornography?

Either he clues you in, or you kindly tell Mr. X you cannot do it any more.

P.S.
Don't forget to update us if you find out the contents of the package!

manhattanmamma said...

The package thing is creepy and could put you in whole lot of trouble very quickly. I suggest refusing to do it anymore.

A good way to get everyone on the same page would be to approach them both together. Tell them you value your positron and are willing to purchase a calk board or dry erase board so they can simply write the days instructions on it for you. This way you can see it all at once and create an efficient route each day to save time and gas. That is if you wish to stay.

Good luck!

UmassSlytherin said...

drugs. :(
emily's right: listen to your "uh-oh" voice...

Anonymous said...

8:39 that's a good suggestion!

Persnickety Ticker said...

The previous commenters basically summed it up very well. Listen to the little voice. Put your foot down. Let them know you feel uncomfortable with the whole name dropping and secret missions.

Also think about whether this position is worth your life or freedom. If there is something illegal going on, you can be found guilty by association.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have become a drug mule. If you get pulled over it will be very hard to claim no knowledge of the contents of the package. Srop now and find a safe job, he is putting you in danger.

kate said...

I think everyone is going a bit overboard with the drug thing. It could be a present for/from his mistress, or for/from his gay lover. It could be a lot of different things that are not illegal, but that you definitely don't want to get mized up in.

UmassSlytherin said...

kate, wake up and smell the Polyjuice Potion. Come on.

It's drugs.

a texas nanny said...

Hmm... odd. I wonder who was picking up his package for him before if he is so concerned with his... celebrity. ;)

Anonymous said...

Well it sounds to me that he is getting drugs but it also sounds a little fishy about the film. YOu would take your films to someone like he is doing if what is on it is porn of some kind.
I think if you tell him you are uncomfortable picking up this "package" you may be looking for a job. YOu also could be puting yourself in danger by picking this up for him and letting him know you are suspicious
of what you are picking up. Take some tape with you and open the box LOL J/K there is no reason for you to be sticking yourself in this posistion and if it is drugs you are going to be in deep trouble . I would get the hell out of there.

UmassSlytherin said...

yes, I would leave this job. Come on, use your head!!!

The only way I would keep this job is if Michael Pitt is the dad in question. If he is, then by all means continue to deliver his drugs. In that instance, it would be the highest honor. And from what I have read about old Michael on the internet, he is not yet a father. So I am certain it's not him.

If it is anyone else, please quit.

Anonymous said...

Like they say, if it looks like a dog, and barks like a dog, it is probably a dog.
Get out of there before you get arrested!

givelove said...

Just tell the dad you don't feel safe as a young woman alone in that kind of neighborhood. That way you won't appear suspicious of the contents of the package. And try to do it when the parents are together, and watch for the look on the mom's face when she finds out where you've been going!

Anonymous said...

Well, this summer they are paying you to be the "errand girl" so I wouldn't complain about that. BUT listen to your gut! If you believe that the gift wrapped package is suspicious, it probably is. What bothers me the most is that you are being sent to pick it up every week. While I do think that there is a possibility it's not drugs (like someone else said, gifts from a mistress, whatever), YOU can't take that chance. Don't do it anymore- listen to that voice.

Anonymous said...

OMG! The guy is dope head and you are picking up his drug of choice!!! Of course he would pick it up himself before or he wouldn't be able to give her such precise directions. He must think you are very naive and frankly if this hasn't gone through your head already, I would have to agree with him. You are going to be the one sitting in the clinker when you get pulled over with the dope! Do you think he'll fess up and tell the cops "It was mine, I take full responsibility", hell no! Stop running this errand now, I don't care if they are paying you your full salary.

lindalou said...

i'm usually very trustworthy, but i think i'd have a peek and then rewrap in this case. you have the right to know if he;s using you as a drug mule.

Anonymous said...

This post reeks of smack! I don't believe this for a second.

Anonymous said...

Of COURSE it's something illegal. When I was a personal assistant and production assistant (that's basically a gofer in the film industry) I was constantly asked to do sketchy things. Sometimes it was overt, with people asking me outright to buy drugs for them or married dudes arranging hotel rooms for girlfriends to visit. I picked up drugs unknowingly one day from a bar. I had funny feeling and unwrapped the package, which was supposed to be a prop rental.

After that, I requested a PO and went to accounting to verify that the address belonged to a vendor. If it didn't, I invented some reason not to go. Usually, it was as simple as saying in a puzzled voice,
"Do I have the wrong address? Accounting's never heard of this guy." and they would back off.


Keep in mind that if the package is large enough you can be charged with intent to distribute or trafficking. And god forbid it's kiddie porn or something like that. You will never be able to get a child care job again.

THe mom sounds completely nuts as well. I know we all have different boundaries and "danger voices" but this sounds like a terrible situation. I would start looking for another job, but be careful to leave on good terms.

MissDee said...

Who is Michael Pitt?

Well, if I was their nanny and the "mister", as my friend Lori would call him, asked me not to develop film due to his "status" or asked me to "pick up a package", I would think a few things are going on that the lady of the house is unaware of. And yes, if you do get pulled over and have that "package" in the front seat, you will get that car searched, taken in cuffs, and the car impounded. If it is indeed drugs, well, YOU take fall if you get pulled over. Stop and think of what this can do to your future, and the mere fact that if something like that happens to you, his wife will find out EVERYTHING. Child and household related errands are one thing, "personal" errands and "runs", "riding in traffic", or "secrets errands" are NOT part of a professional nanny's job description.

Anonymous said...

Your employer should NOT be sending you all by yourself to a bad area! I used to run errands every day for the family I nannied for and I always knew what I was getting, where I was going, etc. Once, I felt uncomfortable doing a certain errand and I told them so. You have to speak up, otherwise they will keep asking you to do the same thing.

Ask XYJ (I think it's so funny you give his full name btw!) what it is exactly you are doing in the projects. You could even say something like "my dad (or boyfriend) is concerned about my safety when I go to that neighborhood."

Anonymous said...

Oh wow. Wow. I like manhattanmamma's idea of purchasing a dry erase board for a joint errand list.

Also as many others have said, go with your gut. Who knows what's in those boxes. Scary.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with being the errand girl, I mean, the kids are in camp all day and they are still paying you your full salary. I say they both have a right to ask you to do anything they want.

BUT, this one package pick up does sound very fishy. I would be very leery of that!

erics mom said...

I agree with most of the above posters. And personally I wouldn't confront your employers about this in their home. You never know what they may do to you. Just because someone is married with kids doesn't mean they wouldn't try and hurt you. If you are leary about it mention it to them outside their home. Front yard, etc during the day.

Your being used to pick up his drugs so in case something happens the blame goes on you. No one else. It won't hurt him or his career this way. Hes smart, he knows what he is doing. Besides, how do you know the person you pick up this package from one day doesn't try to hurt you? In a physical or sexual way. I wouldn't put myself in that situation.


Please be careful....

Anonymous said...

Hi I would go to the police station and tell them whats going on. Give them the package maybe they can ex-ray it for you. Then you can see whats inside

Anonymous said...

Wow. It could be legit but then again it's probably not.

I would tell the dad, I don't feel comfortable picking this up. If he tries to persuade you to tell him you'll have to talk to his wife about it first.

My uncle works the narcotics division at the sheriff's department in his hometown. Being as close to the border as he is I've heard quite a bit. You really need to be careful because even if the cops believe that you had no knowledge of what's in that package you will have to endure a lot and I'm almost positive you can still be charged with a crime.

mimi said...

I worked for a major..make that MAJOR family who did the same stuff. I was sometimes told to protect thier privacy and sometimes I was to drop the name...its sooo tacky. But I tell you this mostly because Mom and Dad smoked weed...not in front os me, not in front of the kids, and not to my knowledge until well into my years with them...it was a once and a while thing...but I am just saying that could be what's in those boxes...so I would not go back there again.

Anonymous said...

I remember the tale I was told by a former housesitter for a family I worked for. Seems the parents forgot their stash for their beach house. They had the housesitter bag it up and hide it in another bag for the unwitting housekeeper to deliver to the house. The route to the beach house is swamped with Highway Patrol pulling traffic, and it's a wonder that poor woman didn't go to jail forever with the half pound of pot unknowingly in her car.

I made sure that when I was driving their vehicle filled with suitcases to another state to go through everything. No way was I going to jeapordize myself for their childish antics.

MaggieMae said...

Totally drugs. Even if you can't, in your wildest dreams, picture this man as a drug addict, you'd be surprised.

Tell him that you don't feel right taking or dropping packages and that you won't do them anymore. I'm pretty sure he won't press the issue, especially if he doesn't want his wife or anyone to know.

Sometimes these employers really think we're idiots, huh?

shel said...

trust your gut instinct. it's never wrong.

let mom and dad together know that you feel uncomfortable with the errands he is having you run. make sure that mom knows what dad is having you do.

if they are good, they will not have you doing the uncomfortable stuff any longer. if they insist you keep at it, high tail it out of there. you don't want to be in the middle if something goes wrong.

One Fabulous Nanny said...

Bahaha this is too awesome :) All the speculations about the package cracks me up. I mean, I'm totally in agreement that she shouldn't be picking it up, but I love the ideas people are coming up with. I'm personally going to go with the idea that it's a gerbil and he's pulling a Richard Gere on all of us.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't pick up any drugs with out getting a per mule cash bonus or if it was killer weed, i take 10 percent of the haul.

all in a day's work.

Fred said...

This doesn't sound at all unbelievable. Lots of people do drugs. What is the part of doing drugs that most people dont like? Getting the drugs. Yep, I'd send someone for Charlie Brown if I could, but I can't so I won't.

Anonymous said...

speaking of drugs, I have been looking at craigs list at the nanny ads and what not and i noticed that they use the phrase "wanna ski" for "wanna do coke with me" and H20 friendly for people who like to smoke the pot, but can anyone tell me what "ROCK cLIMBING" is?? And that is how it is written. All caps but a little C?

kathleencares said...

The first thing that came to my mind was that it is illegal pornography. I would have a talk with this man!

Anonymous said...

If it is drugs, and I think it is, it is quite likely that the mom knows, and shares.

Yaya said...

Oy! Been there, done that job...yuck! Will never go back! Finally got fed up w/ being their 'personal assistant' and quit.

Anonymous said...

5:46 this is what I found for rock climbing

Rock Climbing love it 16 up, 54 down hate it

Drug Terminology often used in personal ads refer smoking crack. As opposed to skiing which refers to cocaine.

Anonymous said...

black mail him!
he'll pay you to keep the secrettttt
hahahhahaha

Jojo said...

UmassSlytherin,
Darling would you want some trollop scurrying about the world wide web cyber stalking your beau of 3 years?

Exactly, and neither do I.

Like all the other little hussies, you must have fallen in love with him as you wore out the pause button watching the extended DVD edition of American Dreamers.

Take a guess as to who was frying up turkey bacon and eggwhite frittatas for him during when he came home too tired to take off his own shoes while performing The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek? It was me. I was there then and I'm here now.

Anonymous said...

i think i would look for employment elsewhere. in the interim, i agree with poster who said that dad/boyfriend does not want you going into that neighborhood. that you are also scared and feel worried, sometimes you think of calling a police escort when you go in (that should scare him). if it's not drugs, he should be able to get a courrier to deliver the package

mm said...

I love all of the rational responses from rational people. Never mind you are likely dealing with an irrational, entitled, cocky, dick type.

Let me tell you what you do. This works best if you are a live in or if you are driving their vehicle to run the errands. You go on mapquest and look up the location of where you have been going for this guy. Then you look for the next corner away from him. Futher in the "hood" if possible. Now, you ask the father to talk privately to him (whether the wife over hears or not- this is not your concern). Act upset and scared. You tell the husband that you were pulled over by the cops (make sure you have the name of the town right). Tell them "I felt like he was harassing me. He said he followed me from X street and Y avenue and that isn't even where I was coming from. Then he asked me what I was shopping for in 'that' area. I told him that I wasn't shopping. He looked me up and down. I asked him if I could ask him why he pulled me over and he said "no". Then he stared at me for like 30 seconds straight saying nothing and then waved me away. So I drove off. I was shaking the whole way home. ....

Just act upset.

You cannot deal with irrational, dishonest people honestly or rationally.

Anonymous said...

That is a good idea to tell him you were followed but I would tell him it was an unmarked police car and that they followed you for miles. THEN a black and white pulled you over blah blah..Watch his reaction.
One other thing it has to be well known in that area if in fact drugs are coming out of that place, and you could get ripped off or hurt or even killed.
If he doesnt seem too concerned then maybe it islt drugs, but why the birthday wrapping paper?
I would leave it on the bed and let the wife think it is a gift for her and let her open it LOL
Guess you would find out in a hurry what it was.

UmassSlytherin said...

jojo,

geez.

just...geez. :(

manhattanmamma said...

JoJo insecure much?

Seriously are you speaking in code?

Are you saying that you are S/O of Michael Pitt? Whom I have never heard of and have no idea who he is.

What's your point?

UmassSlytherin said...

8:25,
It's called a joke. :)
I thought it was pretty damn hilarious, personally. I liked Jojo's post. did you click on the link? It's pretty chucklishious. :)

Anonymous said...

@ JoJo

HAHAHAHAHAHA

nice.

Anonymous said...

manhattanmama..why don't you MYOB!!

You always have a negative outlook and all of your posts reflect that!

You need to lighten up and learn to be a little less bitchy and a lot more positive.

Maybe you could take a few pointers from umass! She is a class act !! Not so tightly wound like you!

cali mom said...

12:19...um, "MYOB"? Are you unclear on the concept that this is a PUBLIC board where people post their opinions, and then others post THEIRS? That would mean that MM is as fre to post her input as you are to spew yours. Yes, she missed the fact that Jojo's post was a joke, but YOU sound a bit "negative" and "tightly wound" (to reapeat just a couple of your favorite and oft-repeated expressions).

Anonymous said...

aw..calimom to save and protect all the regulars!! You are so predictable!!

Anonymous said...

calimom & manhattan mama .. are always angry posters!

I adore Umass..she has a fabulous attitude and wonderful confidence, unlike cm & mm who have to force their opinions down everyone's throats and are unable to laugh at themselves or deal with constructive critisism.

Anonymous said...

Manhattanmama's posts have always been mean and angry but something must have happened to calimom cause her posts have slowly turned angry and very bitter sounding.They were not that way in the begining.

Are you okay calimom? I sure hope so.

UmassSlytherin said...

I like Miley Cyrus. And I'm not freaking afraid to admit it. She rocks out so spectacularly.

And I like Cali Mom and MM, and incidentally, I also like any anon poster who either a) googles my screenname or b) says good things about me.

Just saying.

JerseyXJacqui said...

I didn't get the joke either.

I still don't :-/

Is that the guy from Murder by Numbers?

I love Ryan Gosling.

UmassSlytherin said...

lmao jj! yes, michael pitt was in mbn. and the joke is that that is not his girlfriend in the pic, of course! His girlfriend is like a famous model and stuff! lololol

p.s. I like Ryan too. :)

Anonymous said...

umass, I understand that you like MM & CM..you seem to like everyoone..you are good that way!
I just cannot stand how bitchy and mean they both are! I can see you smile when you post. I see them with middle fingers flipped up in the air and a ciggy hangin' from a lip!!!

UmassSlytherin said...

I wish I had a ciggy hanging from my lips. Unfortunately, I quit years ago. :( Lately I could use one though. Laced with angel dust.

Just kidding.
No I'm not.
Yes I am.
(No I'm not...)

I can be pretty bitchy though to be honest. I'm flipping you off right now, as a matter of fact.

:)

Anonymous said...

UMASS..YOU ARE HYSTERICAL!! OKAY, I will give it a rest..I can take a hint!!
I still hope others will aspire to be more like you and less like themselves though!!

cali mom said...

1:01, as evidenced by your standard response, you ARE one of the regulars.

mpp said...

Umass
Tell me. Please. Just how did I miss Michael Pitt?
He is really cute!
I don't suppose you would mind sharing? :)

UmassSlytherin said...

mpp, if he were mine for real, I'd say no sharing. But as he is not, jump right in, baby!

mpp said...

Thanks girlfriend! lol

It was time I had a new crush ....

Not michael pitt but is still hawt said...

UMass
I know you like Michael Pitt and all, but do you think Ryan Phillipe is hawt? He sure has some of the same characteristics.

UmassSlytherin said...

yes, he is hawt. but he should have stayed with Reese. I freaking love her so much.

I'm Just Sayin' said...

MP kinda looks like a peddy in training if you get my drift UMass....

UmassSlytherin said...

8:25,

no, I don't get your drift. My mind is not in the gutter like yours must be.

Well...

ok it is, but my gutter is cleaner.

LindaLou said...

LOL, jojo. love the christmas card.

and 1:01, 1:07, and 1:09, was there some reason you couldn't fit all your mean comments in to one post?

Anonymous said...

LL
I think 1:07 & 1:09 are the same, but not 1:09. They hate cali so much, I doubt they would turn around and ask if she was ok.
Just sayin'.
But I love you, cali!

LindaLou said...

4:10, i really didn't consider the post inquiring about her well being to be sincere. i think it was just another passive/aggressive way to act like an asshat. just my opinion, of course.

Swiss Nanny said...

So, I am wondering what ended up happening? OP, please fill us in!!

W.P.N said...

Also this man sounds like an obnoxious prick. The name dropping is annoying because he feels that he will get taken care of better or have special treatment. Ermmmmmm.......there are way too many millionaires and important people in the city for this. And if he wants special treatment he needs to pay for it like everyone else does and not go through his nanny in this sneaky way because I am sure he does not walk around saying to everyone well yes but, I am blah blah blah..so......can we get this faster or done with golden treatment. Maybe he does! But, in my experience one who is someone does not need to do this and certainly this naturally happens in this world to the rich and famous and pampered. When you need to drop a name there is something a little sad about this. Unless he is getting drugs and special gifts from everyone!

Watch out........sounds classless and new to money if you ask me with a lack of confidence and let's say slimey for good measure!

W.P.N

Anonymous said...

OP,

I think it's gross this guy would send you anywhere he wouldn't send his own daughter. That's got to be your new way to gauge whether or not you should do something. If he wouldn't want his own kid to do it, it's probably not safe for you. Your someone's daughter too. Screw him. Even if the package is harmless, it's not fair for you to go to bad neighborhoods or not know what's going on. Thank goodness you posted this before something bad happened.

Anonymous said...

So where's the update? Can you tell us what happened, OP?

I always get leery when there's no update ....

chick said...

When mom gives your her list for the day, ask her whether anything can wait until tomorrow, because "DB wants me to pick up another package for him in abc neighborhood. I really don't feel very safe driving around there, but I don't feel comfortable telling DB that..."

If MB is unaware of what DB is up to, she will be informed. Her next reaction (do the errand as told, he makes you go WHERE?, etc.) will give you the chance to talk further.

If MB is aware of what DB is having you do, her reaction will make that clear, and then you can decide if you are willing to risk life, limb, and freedom for this job.

In your place, I would be looking elsewhere as of last week.

Nicole said...

So did we ever get an update about this? I am interested. I think I would either open the darn package and re-wrap, then being able to know what I was getting into OR do as Chick stated above.

I am super interested in knowing more about this one!

Marypoppin'pills said...

So sorry to hear this OP. I guess all we can do then is keep our fingers crossed for the next 4 weeks and pray nothing bad happens until your delivering duties are done.

Anonymous said...

You ask for help and you don't want to take it. Go ahead go to the projects. One day it will catch up with you.

And don't think you will be back to the same routine. I am sure he will ask you when the kids are in school to pick up his stuff.

Why don't you take our advice and look for another job?
Are you not afraid for your safety. How do you know this "business" will not follow you to the house you stay in. Imagine, if it is something illegal and your boss isn't paying up. They come to the house and kill the whole family.
Please find another job.

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