Tuesday

"I always feel like I am being watched."

Received Tuesday, July 22, 2008 - Perspective & Opinion
I need this to be posted anonymously. I am a 25 year old nanny who moved to Fairfield County from my hometown to work as a nanny. I left the first job I had when I realized how easy it would be to make more money. I know- karma. Here is the problem. I am living in a huge manse near the water, working for a family that is super generous with money, never asks for receipts, doesn't care how much I spend on personal groceries and they seem nice too. But, I feel like I am on camera all the time. I don't know why. I can't put my finger on it, but I feel like I am being recorded. I am even nervous in my own personal bathroom. I don't dawdle in the nude. I get dressed in my bedroom lickety split. I always feel like I am being watched. This is my question. If I know a time when both parents and some of the other home employees will be out, I want to have someone come in and check my private area for cameras and microphones. I may work for rich people, but I'm not rich. I do make about a thousand dollars a week. Does anyone know who does this or where I can buy the equipment to do a bug search or camera search myself? I am not a paranoid person. I did work for my first family, (who were also wealthy, just not in the same circle as these people) and live in their home for 5 months without a single thought like this. Any advice from nannies, employers or techies would be super.

26 comments:

Ask said...

What if you just ask your employer? Say that you totally understand why they would have a nanny cam but you just wanted to ensure that you had privacy while changing and using your bathroom.

cfg said...

Hopefully they'll tell the truth when asked -- but this is a really interesting post! I would first go to one of those spy/electronic stores, tell them what's going on, and ask them just what you asked us. I'm pretty sure there is equipment that they would let you rent to do this.
Good luck.

fox in socks said...

I think you should just ask your employer. You mention that they are very rich. Well, the cameras that they have are probably not primarily to watch you. If they are that rich they probably have cameras everywhere that are continuously monitored at a monitoring station. Security and alarm companies will live monitor people's homes and that is probably what is happening where you live. There are probably workmen there a lot, or other household help, and they may feel that cameras that are continually monitored by a company help protect the homeowners' safety and security. So, when you bring this up with your employer, you could ask about any cameras that they may have for security. Ask if your private areas are on camera as well. Good luck and please let us know what happens.

Midwest Nanny said...

I'm assuming you're live-in, right?

I think you could get in huge trouble having someone else come in a private home (that isn't yours).

The best route is to directly ask them, but having someone else come in, without their knowledge, is asking for it. Because the truth is, if they ARE recording you, then they will find out. And I can't see that ending well. Perhaps a lawsuit against you?

Phoenix said...

I had this friend who thought his roommate had put little itty bitty cameras everywhere in his apartment because he woke up one nights and saw a bunch of tiny red dots all over his room. Not saying that you are being paranoid but this guy was acting crazy. It could drive you mad.

Ever think that it's not cameras, maybe they have a ghost that watches you.

Emily said...

I think you need to stop and take stock. You're talking about bringing in outside people to search a home that is not yours! If there are cameras how are you going to explain what you've done.

If you're feeling this uncomfortable I think you should talk to your employers or look for a new job.

kathleencares said...

I agree with Midwest nanny - if they are in fact recording you, they will know if you have someone come in to check out the place; I don't think you want that. I would just ask them what the deal is. Be honest, and tell them that you are concerned about being watched in the bathroom and you feel uncomfortable about it. I don't think that is unreasonable at all; I don't know anyone who wouldn't feel strange about that.

Liv said...

http://www.ehow.com/how_2252765_detect-hidden-cameras-microphones.html

https://www.counter-surveillance.com/?gclid=CJbE6tr_05QCFQWVFQod7jPQkQ


I think you should definitely do some checking around by yourself. But do not bring strangers into the house as that could probably get you into a lot of trouble.

Liv said...

Sorry, that first link didn't work for some reason. Just go to ehow.com then type in "How to Detect Hidden Cameras and Microphones."

MissDee said...

OP, it's almost as if you feel like your employers don't trust you. It's kind of like doing your job and looking over your shoulder and hearing that tiny little voice in yyour head saying, "they are watching you! They are watching you!" While you may be a wonderful nanny/employee, and I bet you are wonderful-they might be the type of employers where nothing is perfect for them. These are often micromanager employers, and they are a headache to work for! Does anyone remember earlier this year when JD had that posting about the bad daycare/school in NY? Then JD asked us for the worst daycares ever? Well, if you remember, there were two of them posted, E.K. and J.L.H, in Milwaukee, WI. I posted those and someone asked me for the names-OK, what the hell! The first one is Executive Kids, and the second one is Jasmine's Learning House. Both of these employers watched me like a hawk, and it wasn't because I was a bad employee, it's because they, the owners/directors of these centers, didn't know what they were doing when it came to daycare. At Jasmine's it was a little worse, since I wasn't allowed to discipline the children in any form whatsoever. A 3 year old child was screaming because I made her sit in a time out, and the owner got pissed at me because the little girl was screaming. Not only did I get watched like hawk, if a child wouldn't listen to me, I had to call for "support" and the "support" consisted of bringing the child into the office for a treat. I was even accused of stealing the owner's checkbook, and her theory that I stole it was that someone tried to cash a check on her account the same day I was off. When I was bitten, scratched, kicked, or slapped by a child, I was watched. I was watched to see what my reaction was going to be, and told that if the children hurt me, they hurt me, that there is nothing the owner could or would do about it. She laughed the day her cousin, a 3 year old girl, slapped me in the face, and the same day a 2 year old boy repeatedly scratched me. So I know all about being watched. It makes for a horrible work environment, and a bad workday. I would start first by stating your concerns to your employers, OP and let them know how you feel.

PS: When I am "watched" now, I get compliements and praise. As for the owner of JLH, well, she is facing a possible 20 years in federal prison, and over $1,000,000 in fines.

MN girl said...

hello? Can you say off topic?

MB said...

It would be good to come right out and ask your employer. I found a small camera that also had the capability to link up to the computer as a nanny cam. I worried and worried about it and finally when I asked them they said it was so they could talk to their grandma in another state and that it was not being used as a nanny cam. And sure enough, it was not on all the time.
I was so relieved when I asked.

chick said...

As awkward as it might be to bring up the subject of cameras, I think you need to ask for your own peace of mind. Start with asking about security cams, and was suggested above, then ask if they have used or plan to use a nanny cam. Ask if there would be any reason for them to ever cam your private room(s).

Good luck on this.

Yaya said...

Been there, done that....I knew they had a nanny-cam bc they would know specific details about specific things...weird. Anyways, I started searching every nook and cranny and never found that thing. So then I started watching everything I did and would only talk on my phone when out of the house, etc. It drove me crazy, I only stayed in that job 10 months.
Good luck.

Yaya said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MissDee said...

MN:

OK, I think I did go a bit off topic. *LOL* I was just trying to make the point that if Op is being watched and she knows she is doing a good job, that it can make the workday hell when you are treated like this.

Marissa M. said...

look for a cam finer on brickhousedetector.com it is just $99.00

cfg said...

Good grief! Missdee, don't pay people like that any mind! We love hearing what you have to say. Your story was relevent to the post, and it's not like you went off on some tangant about a completely different subject.
This post is called perspective AND opinion afterall.

Manhattan Nanny said...

If your employers have valuable art work, they probably do have security cams. Unless there is a Jasper Johns hanging in your bathroom however, I can't imagine why they would put one in there....well, I can, but you said they were nice people, so no.
Just ask, and put your mind at rest.

m said...

I am happy that you stopped by here first before running off to hire people to come into your employers home. That is totally unethical.
I agree with some of the posters who say you should do the searching yourself. You have to be able to be comfortable in your living and working environment.

"L" said...

I had that 'always being watched' kind of feeling too. I shared it with a few people who called me dramatic and paranoid. Cut to several years later and a nasty divorce during which time, techy father's 'listening station' was discovered. A well worn desk chair in the dank basement and a master phone that dialed into all calls and could record others. The house had to be swept for bugs following his exodus to the house. If you could have seen the monitors, cords, mini microphones, tiny cameras and hand made equipment the guys discovered...

It was ever so seriously all too real.

Rebecca said...

Nanny cams in the main areas of the house are, of course, totally legal and it's entirely possible you ARE being filmed while working. Nothing you can do about that. Your room is a different story.

If they have cameras in your BEDROOM AND BATHROOM - we're not talking main areas of the house here - asking them about it will probably get you nowhere. Because that's ILLEGAL. Why would they admit to that?

If you are a live-in, then your accomodations are part of your salary. In effect, you are paying them rent with your work, and therefore your room (and bathroom, if you have a private one) is your residence. It is ABSOLUTELY illegal for them to put you under any sort of surveillance in your residence (and would be illegal for them to film you in the bathroom, no matter if it is private or not). Since it is your residence, it is totally legal and aboveboard to have it searched professionally if that's what you want to do. If they have cameras in your room and/or bathroom they may see that you've had it searched - but if they have cameras in your room you could likely have them arrested, and could definitely sue them, so it doesn't really matter if they see.

HOWEVER, I think hiring people to search your room is probably overkill. Follow those links other people posted and just do it yourself. If you find something in your personal space you should GO TO THE POLICE. If you find nothing but still can't kick the paranoia...I don't know what to tell you.

snarkymama said...

Sounds like you are not worried about the cams in the main part of the house just your rooms and bathroom. In that case it sounds like ouare also not worried about what you act like on the job, so you must be doing a good job. You should get the equipment mentioned here and search your own room. Then make sure to only change and use the bathroom in your own quarters from now on.

sara w. said...

OMG-
warning to all you who are too excited to get nanny cams. My nanny camera caught my nanny eating ragu cheese pasta sauce cold out of the refrigerator with her finger while wrapped in a terry cloth towel. She bent over to look for something on the bottom back of the refrigerator and lost the towel. We had a nanny cam hidden in our air dionizer. Let me tell you, we were just grateful we only got the side view. I wasn't in any mood for crouching tiger, hidden dragon, if you know what I mean. And I think you know what I mean.

Don't put nanny cameras anywhere where you could possibly catch someone in an intimiate moment.

cfg said...

OMG!! So funny (not!) .... but it is!
"crouching tiger, hidden dragon"
LMAO!

UmassSlytherin said...

dude, that is just too gross.

she ate it right out of the jar? ghaa.