No good deed goes un... How does that go?

Received Tuesday, July 22, 2008 - Perspective & Opinion
I am in the process of renovating my home and I am fortunate to employ some in home help. Everyone is aware of the renovation in process and the fact that I will be replacing much of the existing furniture and decor. My nanny of three months expressed an interest in my eldest daughter's bedroom set. I told her that she was welcome to it but she should make plans to have it moved out by Friday of this week. Yesterday, my housekeeper informed me that the nanny brought over someone to look at the furniture. I explained to the housekeeper, (who had asked for the furniture after the nanny) that she probably needed to have the furniture sized up so her friend/family member could have a better idea of what size truck or van he would need. My housekeeper looked at me with what I believe was exasperation and walked away. Two hours ago, my housekeeper told me that the person my nanny showed the furniture to decided to take it and that was $1500 for her pocket. I confronted the nanny who told me that she did need a new bedroom set for herself, but she decided if she would fare better to sell the set I had given her and use the proceeds to have a new set delivered to her home. The housekeeper is upset about it and upset at me. (My housekeeper has been with me 7 years). I think myself a very laid back and generous person, but I am very upset that the nanny placed an ad on Craig's list and welcomed a stranger in to my home to show him the furniture. Am I wrong? The more I think about it, the angrier I get. The man who came to look at the furniture is allegedly returning tomorrow afternoon to pick everything up. The man has not paid her. I would really like to suggest to the nanny that she phone him and tell him the furniture is not for sale. I would further like to advise her that if she cannot USE the furniture, the housekeeper was very hurt that I hadn't offered it to her. No good deed goes un... How does that go? Help!


KC said...

That is just plain rude. My grandparents once had a garage sale in which they pretty much gave a bedroom suite away, for nearly free, to some neighbors who were good friends. They later sold the suite and pocketed the money. Most people would prefer to have the money if the person they are giving furniture to will not use and appreciate it. What your nanny did is just not in good form.

UmassSlytherin said...

To me, what the nanny did that was wrong was inviting the CL guy to come to your home without your knowledge. That was just plain stupid, and potentially dangerous to your family. I know that may sound dramatic, but it really is the truth.

If the nanny had moved the furnature out herself and then sold it, and you found out after the fact, you couldn't really complain, could you? But you know what? You can complain now. This girl screwed up. (Come on. Come ON, nanny, for gods sake!)

I'd be pissed if I were you, and you know what? I'd tell the nanny that you have to say the nay-no on this one. No strangers from CL in your house.

Just my two cents.

H said...

In my experience, nannies and housekeepers rarely get along. In fact, the only time I have ever known the two to get along was when they were scheming to get one over on me.

Your nanny lacks tact. I would deem this a firable offense, but then I don't dabble in the debauchery that permeates Craig's list and I certainly don't invite or permit my staff to invite strangers into the home.

She wouldn't work here anymore... said...

The nanny--who has been with you for a few MONTHS--brought a STRANGER into YOUR house. This person was not only a stranger to you, but to her as well. She met him through an ad on Craig's List!

In my book, that shows poor judgment and she should be let go. She didn't just take advantage of your generosity. She placed your family and your home in danger in order to benefit herself.

Emily said...

I have to agree with everyone else. What the nanny did was plain rude but moreover it was stupid and I don't think I could continue to employ someone like that in my home.

I have a contract that explicitly forbids my bringing visitors into the home without my employers knowledge. But you know what? I don't need to have that clause in a legal document to know that it's just plain inappropriate to bring strangers into anyone's home without their knowledge.

kathleencares said...

That is really tacky! I would tell the nanny that the furniture goes to the housekeeper if she is not going to use it herself. I can't believe she would have the nerve to do that! And I agree with a previous response, the fact that she let a man from Craigslist into your home shows really poor judgment. I would be really upset about the whole situation if I were you.

my two cents said...

I do not like what the nanny did, but OP, I do not think you handled this well in the first place. You got rid of your old furniture by giving it away to your nanny. That she choose to keep it or burn it or sell it after you have given it to her is to me strictly none of your business. Of course her having strangers on your premises for whatever reason certainly is your business (more on that later). I think you did not realize that your good deed, which was essentially handing a check for $1500 to the nanny to get rid of your old furniture, was in fact doing an injustice to your housekeeper. $1500 is a lot of money to some people (certainly is to me). You should be more careful when giving stuff away, especially to employees. That they would prefer getting new stuff for themselves than keeping your old things should be expected.
However, it seems obvious that none of your employees should welcome strangers in your house (even if they know them, they are still strangers to you, they should ask for your permission). So I think I would let the nanny go, while using more caution next time I want to do "a good deed".

I agree with "my two cents" said...

If the nanny had taken the set out of your home, then, yeah, what she did after that wouldn't much be your business. You can't place conditions on a gift, so if she decided to sell it once it was in her possession, there's not much that could be done about it.

However, bringing a stranger into your home was VERY WRONG. I don't think I would be able to trust her judgment after that at all.

And while I'm tossing in my own two cents, I don't think you did right by your housekeeper, either. ;) Personally, I'd be upset you offered it to someone who's been with you for three months over my 7 years of seniority, too.

mom said...

Do not allow the nanny to complete the sale. Tell her the deal is off and the furniture goes to your housekeeper, who can actually USE it. She didn't sell it when it was her property. (Which I still would think tacky under the circumstances. She asked for it. You didn't even offer it to her. From the way you describe here, it seems that she showed admiration for the set, as if she might like to use it in her own home...and duped you into doing her a kindness...only to betray your good intentions behind your back.) She sold it while it was still YOURS and in your home. Not only that, but I presume your children were at home when the total stranger she found on Craigs list perused your home and belongings in your absence...and clearly without your consent.

She seems to lack judgment in a big way...and ethics to a great degree also. Not the kind of person I would trust with my kids AT ALL. Get rid of her.

And if you care where your discards go (I do. I prefer them to go to a legitimate charity to benefit those in TRUE NEED...or to the use of someone close to me.) be sure to ask next time if the person intends to use or sell them. Then you can explain that you have people you know, or a charity you support, that you would rather give them to than see them sold for pocket cash.

Plese write back and tell us this careless nanny is NOT watching your kids anymore!

Rachael Dawn said...

I would totally fire that Nanny. Sounds to me like she doesn’t have any darn common sense and i would not trust her with your children.

Minneapolis Nanny said...

hey. you gave it to her. get over it, lady.

Minneapolis Nanny said...

Racheal Dawn...

you would FIRE her? i feel bad for your children. then again, if you fire them so quickly, it leaves little time for attachment.

mom said...


Yes, but if she doesn't fire her quickly her children may just end up having a very long attachment...to some weird stranger from Craig's List...while OP and the FBI spend years searching for them. Ever hear of Elizabeth Smart?

You just can't be too careful these days about creeps. If somebody did what OPs nanny did in my home, it would be her last day.

And no need to feel sorry for my kids, thank you. And I suspect OPs are just fine too.

fox in socks said...

OP, I think you should tell her that she is not entitled to sell the furniture, nor is she entitled to it in any way. Tell her the deal's off. Tell the housekeeper she can have it. I also think you should fire the nanny.

She lacks judgment, has been dishonest in her dealings with you about the furniture, and has great audacity to actually have a buyer come into your home to view the things he would like to buy.

I think that you also could have handled this better: if your trusted employee of 7 years came to you about it, it would have been better if you pressed her about what she wanted to communicate to you. The housekeeper has probably lost a bit of respect for you on this. But I'm sure you can be redeemed on this.

If you end up keeping the nanny (which I don't recommend) you now know that you cannot fully trust her.

The nanny may quit over this, if she has any semblance of self respect. She may be too embarassed that she has been caught at what she did.

But if she is not embarrassed and on the verge of quitting due to being ashamed, it tells you even more about her.

Keep us posted! Tell us now things go.

ericsmom said...

I feel like the nanny should have been honest with you. She could have told you what she had planned. If she said I was thinking of selling it to buy a brand new bedroom set, I don't think that would have bothered you.
It sounds like she gave you the impression she was going to use it for herself. Probably no mention of sale. Now thats what is annoying to you.

Marypoppin'pills said...

Wow. You've got a problem. If you tell the Nanny not to complete the sale, who's to say this stranger from CL wouldn't be really upset about it ... he does know where you live now, after all.
So, for the sake and safety of your Family, allow the Nanny to take the Furniture "off-premise" to sell it, do NOT allow the stranger back into your home .... and inform the Nanny that what she did was dangerous and irresponsible, and to consider the sale of the furniture her severance, and fire her.
Then, find a way to do something kind for your HouseKeeper who was doing a good job looking out for your Family -- maybe buy her a new Bedroom set?
She definately deserves it.

UmassSlytherin said...

I usually have a very laid-back attitude about things. But with this, I have to agree with the posters who have said to let her go. This woman does not understand boundaries: you do not, under any circumstances, invite strangers into the home of your employer when the children are there and in your care. This is an extreme, extreme, error in judgement. It wasn't like she left the hose running in the kiddie pool, or left the house in a mess, or forgot to feed the dog. Come on. If this person invited a CL person into the home for any reason, what else would she do? Something here seems way off to me.

OP, I would begin looking for a new childcare provider.

chick said...

OP, I think you can go 1 of 2 ways on this:

1) Discuss your policy on strangers entering your home with nanny. Explain to her that she is now on probation, and you will be setting up nanny cams to randomly tape her actions. Tell her that ANY further violation of your rules (and spell EVERY SINGLE rule out for her, typed, and then signed by you both, 1 copy for her, one copy for you) will result in her immediate firing. Tell her that being fired will mean no severance and no reference other than a statement of employment.

2) Fire nanny. Tell her that bringing complete strangers into your home is a firing offense, and that she is no longer in your employ. Take any housekeys from her, and get a locksmith out ASAP to change your locks. She gets no severance, and you can offer to type up a brief statement of employ for her, while suggesting she might not want to encourage any potential employers to call you.

And the bedroom set? That goes to your housekeeper, along with an apology for not offering it to her first. That will encourage her to keep an eye open for more idiotic things done by any nanny you have now or in the future. Heck, you might consider giving her a bonus just for telling you what nanny did!

To give you a little perspective, I have never worked for any family for less than 3.5 years. I would NEVER do what your nanny did no matter how long I had been with a family. She showed an utter lack of good judgement and respect for your home and family. In your place, I would fire her as of this minute.

Let us know what you decide to do please!

chick said...

And I think that on whatever day this CL stranger is supposed to come and get the furniture, you (and your SO) should stay home, so you can tell him he's out of luck, and get the police out if he refuses to leave.

Letting nanny take the furniture after this would be rewarding bad behavior.

Marypoppin'pills said...

I agree with you on everything, except I would be too paranoid that this CL guy would be pissed about having wasted his time, expecting the furniture, and not getting it.
Taking that chance just isn't worth it ... I wouldn't care about the money or the BR set. I would just want to get that Nanny out of my house, and not give the stranger any reason for ever wanting to come back.

NomDePlume said...

I agree with MPP. This nanny willfully disregarded the safety or her charges and the family by allowing a stranger from the internet into her bosses home. That's grounds for dismissal, OP, and I hope you fire her immediately.

OP can't take "back" the furniture, it was a verbal agreement to give the nanny the furniture and it's binding.

a texas nanny said...

I agree with MPP on this one.

Let her sell it and keep the money as severence. I feel that asking for the bedroom set with the intent to sell, while giving the impression that she wanted to use it, is almost tantamount to asking you for a $1500 bonus.

Families that I have worked for have often offered to give me things (usually not such large/generous hand-me-downs, though I did once receive an older washer and dryer), some of which I have accepted (whether because I wanted it or to be polite) and some of which I declined; for items I declined, I would never have dreamed to say "Well instead of picking up that sandwhich for me, could I just have the $5 you would have spent?" I realize it isn't quite the same, but seems a similar situation... in fact, to make that scenario more similar with this situation it would be more like if I knew the mom was going to stop at subway and said "While you're there can you buy me a sandwich? You will? Actually... nevermind, could I just have the $5 you would have spent instead?"

If you had offered, she accepted, and then after the fact she decided to sell it (once it was NOT in your house, thus not inviting an internet stranger-danger into your home) I still think it would have been nice for her to ask your permission; but she ASKED you for it to begin with, which seems to me that she may have planned this from the start and was manipulating you.

Sorry to ramble so much, once I started thinking about it I realized I had more to say than I had thought!

cfg said...

I agree also. And I like the example a texas nanny used! It may be off base a bit, but same difference.

You offered the furniture. She accepted. If she were to actually have the nerve to take you to court, she would win. Let her have the stinkin' bedroom furniture. Then fire her. What she did was wrong and dangerous and you don't want that stranger to have any reason for coming back. Let him be the nannies problem!

Don't forget to reward your housekeeper. I imagine her feelings may be a little hurt, but you can make that up to her.

Phoenix said...

i would be extremely pissed. If the furniture is still in my house then it's my furniture. i would give it to the housekeeper an arange for it to be moved out during the night so the nanny wouldn't know.

cc said...

I'm so curious if OP is going to speak to this guy tomorrow herself, or make the nanny call him? Either way, I hope you fire her for what she did. I can see that overwhelmingly, that's what everyone here says you should do!
Boy, does she have some nerve, inviting a stranger into your home!

the mrs. said...

If the nannies common sense was out to lunch when she invited a perfect stranger into your home, who's to say you would be able to trust her anymore where your kids welfare is concerned?
I completely understand how upset you must be, but your families safety and well-being must come first. You need to fire her asap.
Forget about the furniture. You gave it to her.

Yaya said...

Okay, sorry, but I've had a glass of expensive wine tonight....so.....my opinion is that you probably aren't paying your nanny enough...

Marissa M. said...

Who the heck are these entitled people that are upset because the nanny got the furniture first? What happened the being humble and respectful to your employers who have the right to do what ever they want with their furniture. I don't care who has been working with you longer.

I would not give it to the nanny however. I would give it to your housekeeper.

She had intentions from the get go. She should've asked if she could sell it on CL first for a new set if the housekeeper didn't want is. Or if she could sell it and split the income with the housekeeper if both expressed interest. That is fair.

To be honest, I'd fire her tomorrow morning for doing what she did without consent, she by all means is taking advantage of you and much worse inviting a stranger into your house!! Time for her to be taught a lesson and tact!

Then give it to your loyal housekeeper and thank her for looking out for you. And tell her she may sell it at any point if she wishes. As long as she brings no one into your house like your nanny. A lesson well learnt for both of them!

And yes you have the right to be angry!

the mrs. said...

You must be out to lunch, too. What does her not paying the nanny enough have to do with the danger the nanny put her family in?
Nobody here is talking about wages.
We're talking about common sense, and responsiblity.

UmassSlytherin said...

you sure it was one glass, hon?

What in the name of Salazar does that have to do with the nanny inviting someone from CL to the house?

snarkymama said...

What the nanny did was wrong and you are on the right track in telling the stranger/buyer the bedroom set is no longer for sale. I would not even let that person in your house. If they give you an argument tell them someone on the household staff made a mistake and you are sorry.

What the nanny did was look at a room in your house and said to herself "I should sell all this stuff." What if you come home next week and the sofa and dining set are gone? I know that is a bit over the top but what she did is totally tacky and immature.

I would certainly tell her that because of her behavior you are giving the set to the housekeeper. Not because the housekeeper is mad at you but because the nanny invited a stranger into your home and put your address on Craig's list without asking you or telling you.

I would also return to a very strict reading of her contract and go over the house rules and terms of employment again with her. Maybe your relationship is better off as just employer/employee and not friends. She sounds like she needs time to mature a bit and until then the rules need to be clear so that this does not happen again.

mom said...

I don't believe that the "verbal contract" is binding...or even a "contract" at all. I believe a "contract" consists of "consideration" being given on both sides of the agreement. (Which means, each party in the contract gives something and gets something in exchange.) This was one sided and, at best, a potential gift. The "gift" has not yet been given, and the giver may change her mind at any time.

I understand your concern, MPP but I don't have huge concerns about the CL stranger becoming violent...especially if the OP and her hubby explain that it was not hers to sell in the first place. But then again...that's the danger with strangers...you never know if they are normal or psycho.

I just hate to see nanny be so underhanded and then walk away with a big windfall...especially since housekeeper is going to feel hurt and OP is going to feel violated and duped. If housekeeper gets the furniture...plus a big thank you for alerting OP to the nanny's behavior, all will be settled. Hey OP, maybe you would want to go one better and make it up to housekeeper a bit by paying for delivery of the furniture to her home. This could serve as a thank you for her vigilence in protecting your family and an apology for overlooking her in the first place.

bebe said...

Great. So not only do we have a potentially dangerous stranger walking around pissed off that he didn't get the furniture, we now should piss off the nanny by telling her she can't have it either?
I'm sorry you're in this mess, OP -- but you really need to think this through! Your family is more important than some peice of furniture, and I would be concerned I now have two people mad at me over this! Your nanny sure put you in an awkward position. I sure hope you fire her.

Marissa M. said...

ok the potential pissed of person is another reason to fire her butt....

mom said...

OK OP, I have been thinking. I put on my "underhanded" thinking cap for this one.

Get a U-Haul TONIGHT, before nanny comes back to work. Take the furniture directly over to your housekeeper's house. (Or tell housekeeper she can have it if she comes to get it tonight and promises not to tell nanny.)

Then when nanny gets to work tomorrow and asks about the furniture, act surprised that she has asked. Then tell her that some people came and picked it up the night before, and you had assumed that it was the people she had sold it to (you know, a nondescript couple of meduium build, with medium brown hair and meduim complexion)....but OOPS....you must have been wrong and now the furniture is gone. Too bad, so sad. Now she won't be able to sell it after all.

That's if you don't want a confrontation.

Otherwise, I would simply say, "You asked for this furniture and implied that you wanted to use it in your home, otherwise it would have been offered to housekeeper first, as she has seniority as an employee. I would not have consented to you selling it when my housekeeper wanted it for her home, and would never have agreed to your taking it under those circumstances....which I have a pretty good idea you knew, since you concealed the fact that you were selling it from me and invited a stranger into my home in my absence to look at it without my consent. Since you have not yet taken the furniture, it still belongs to me and I am giving it to the housekeeper.

Furthermore, I feel duped by this whole situation. And your having brought a stranger that you met over the internet into my home, with my children present, without my consent and behind my back is grounds for immediate dismissal.

I will provide you with a letter stating your dates of of employment if you would like. But frankly, you might be better off leaving this time as a brief gap in your employment history because I don't know how I could possibly recommend you to anybody else with a clear conscience when you have endangered my family in this way."

To the man who thinks he is buying th efurniture, if he comes knocking, I would say that you never consented to have any of your furniture sold and the employee who put the ad on Craig's list has been terminated as a result of having placed the ad. No reasonable person would be mad at you for that.

Marissa M. said...

Mom that was an excellent post!

OP keep us posted please!!

anonymous1 said...

gee mom where'ya been? vacationing? good post!

lghost said...

Can't argue with anyone and I totally agree that this nanny should go.
What disturbs me the most is that this nanny chose her own needs and convenience over what is safe, tactful and courteous. Her decision making came down to the almighty dollar. The smart person would have taken it out of the house and done their business out side of your home.

Sarah said...

What your nanny did was very, very wrong. I think honestly, that if the guy picks up the bed and gives money, it should go to you directly. That is absolutely wrong of her to sell something of yours like that.

You should explain to her that you gave it to HER with the impression that she would be using it. Since that is clearly not the case, I think you should definitely NOT give it to her! If nothing else, ask her to cancel the transaction (who would want a creepy stranger in your daughter's bedroom anyways???) and then offer the set to the housekeeper if you like. Sell it on CL yourself, but DO NOT let your nanny advantage of you.

TC said...

OK first of all let me say that the nanny should NOT have done what she did. Inviting a stranger into someone's home is wrong and is NEVER acceptable. She should be fired for that and that alone.

Now, on to the bedroom set. When you give someone something it should be no strings attached. Meaning you can't tell them what they can and can not do with the items once you've given it to them.

If you do decide to fire her, then fire her before she takes the bedroom set.

chick said...

MPP, I can see your point, and having thought further, I think I would do the following if I were in OP's position.

Tomorrow AM, fire nanny, and tell her the furniture must be gone within 1 hour or you will retain possession.

When CL guy shows up, tell him your nanny either:

a) has the furniture, and he can find her at XYZ address.


b)was fired for offering the furniture for sale, and he can take it up with her at XYZ address.

The thought of nitwit-nanny profiting from her shady dealing offends me, but if OP can get rid of nanny and set CL guy on HER trail for the furniture, it's all good.

The essential thing is for OP to protect her family, and the first thing to do is fire the nanny.

anonymous1 said...

the nerve of some people eeee gads!

Marissa M. said...

What ever you do don't sell it to the same person who came to your house as others have advised. That would be grounds for a law suit. She has nothing on you for now. Rather sell it on cl yourself or give it to the house keeper.

Westchester nanny said...

I do not agree with other comments saying that when you give something to someone you have no say over it anymore. You gave these items to her because she said she needed them, not that she needed money. If she cannot use them then they should go to your housekeeper. Selling something after telling someone you can use and accepting it as such is tacky and rude. Of course the simple fact she brought a stranger into your house without letting you know is grounds for letting her go to me. I believe this situation shows the kind of person your nanny really is and the question is do you want to continue a relationship with someone like that?

mom said...

I really don't think a gift becomes the property of the recipient until it changes hands.
For instance,
what if some lovely young heiress promises her boyfriend a huge diampnd ring for his birthday. Take it a step further and say they go shopping together and he tells her which ring he wants and she purchases the ring and puts it in her purse with plans to give it to him on Friday, which happens to be his birthday. Now the ring is owned by the heiress and promised to the boyfriend. She even says to him, "I am giving this ring to you on Friday." He is counting on that ring to pawn for cash and buy some crack cocaine and a couple of diamond encrusted g-strings with animal heads on them, but does not share this information with his girlfriend. But on Friday, just as she is reaching into her purse to retrieve the ring, which they have chosen together and she has promised to give him, she sees that she has missed a text message on her platinum and sapphire bejeweled iPhone. She pauses for a brief moment to read her message and sees that it is a candid photo of her boyfriend wearing a leopard boa and a gold lame thong, and getting it on with her pool boy. The ring she has promised to her boyfriend is in her hand and he is reaching out to take it, but at that very moment she closes her hand and decides not to make a gift of the ring as promised. Does the ring belong to the boyfriend? No. Can he make a valid legal claim of ownership based on the promise? No. She said she would give it to him. She changed her mind before it was given. Too bad, so sad.

cfg said...

I think in just about every state, there are specific laws governing the gifts of rings anyway. They are given in contemplation of marriage. If this princess sees fit that her BF no longer deserves the ring, then absolutely by law, she's allowed to keep it.
Now .... if it was a beautiful, white flokati rug, which could run into several thousand dollars, lol..... but I freakin' love your story, Mom.

TC said...

Well mom that's a little far fetched. Though it was funny picturing the thongs ;-)

My grandmother gave me a house, should she be allowed to tell me who can live in my house? When I can turn the lights on? If I'm allowed to paint it? And when the time comes that I sell it should she be allowed to tell me when and if I can sell it?

What the nanny did was tacky, rude and down right dangerous and I do think she should be fired for it bringing a stranger into the home.

cc said...

I am picturing the boyfriend mom described, in his gold lamè thong, laid out on the white flokati rug .... lol!
I used to have a white flokati rug (genuine, from Greece, my in-laws gave it to us as a wedding gift, and my brother spilled Hawaiian punch on it ... I had to cry over that one.)

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m said...

I too am appalled by this nanny.
What she did was in poor taste- should you fire her? Well it depends.

My employer pretty much knows me and knows the kinds of things I would or would not do. If I were to do that (which I certainly would not) she would be shocked.
People really can't hide who they are, so the question really is, how comfortable are you with this nanny, and what are your standards.

Warning her does not change who she really is; the fact of the matter is that she lacks good judgment-apparently that is not learnt. Who knows what she will do next with her poor judgment.

Firing her gives you the opportunity to be more discriminating in your next nanny search.

There are 2 parts to this:
One is legal and the other is ethical.

Legally, the furniture is the nanny's. You verbally gave it to her. What you thought the intended use is is of little legal value. A gift is a gift whether or not it has changed hands. A verbal contract is binding in a court of law.
Legally she did absolutely nothing wrong. The furniture is hers to do as she pleases- sell it, dance on it, dismantle it, you name it. You can do whatever you wish with your property.

Now ethically is quite another story.
What she did was underhanded and speaks of her character.
She attempted to deceive you by seemingly pretending to need that particular furniture, when it is almost obvious that she probably had been thinking of selling it from the moment the renovations began; it is no wonder that she got to you before the housekeeper did.

The questions remains: What kind of person do you want in your home watching your kids?
One who lacks proper judgment?

I'd be so embarrassed if my employer gave me something and I tried to sell it. I get gifts from my employer quite often (without asking) these are new items in boxes that I get. I truly have a lot, not to mention what I already own. I would never dream of selling them, even though they are quite popular items that could fetch a pretty penny.
I certainly make her see me in them whenever I can to show appreciation. Perhaps after wearing them after some time I can GIVE some away, which I'm sure she would not mind- even though she has given them to me and they are mine, I still show respect to her for always thinking of me and giving me these gifts. They are well appreciated.

On my last job in another state I bought a really nice recliner (I had no chairs in my room) and when I was leaving I decided to give it away to a friend. He now has it in his apartment.
If he had just taken it and posted it on Craigslist I would have been so annoyed and would never give him anything again. I certainly could have sold a less than year old chair for a good price; now if after sometime he decides to sell it I would be ok with it.
Of course the way I feel about what he does with it is neither here nor there because the minute I gave it to him, I no longer have a say in how he uses it.
Good luck to you. I know firing a nanny is easier said than done, but always follow your gut, or else you may live to regret it.

mkat said...

I think it was pretty clever of the nanny to sell the furniture. It gave her the money to buy the furniture she really wants. As far as the housekeeper goes, give her a $1,500 bonus. That way, things are fair and square.

sara said...

Give the housekeeper $1500. Are you an idiot?

First of all, no one who works in that house is entitled to jack shit.

I think the emplyer sounds too damn nice. Did she say yes just because the nanny asked? Perhaps. Perhaps the housekeeper wouldn't have thought to ask. Perhaps the housekeeper was waiting for it to be offered.

This nanny is a piece of crap.

The nanny isn't clever. She's a hustler and a jerk.

Cancel the sale. Tell her the housekeeper wanted it for herself and was crushed when she found out the nanny had asked for it. Tell her that when you learned she was selling it for profit to a stranger, you realized the set was better off in the housekeepers's hands. After all, who polished it for 7 years?

This nanny should be fired. And I'd let the housekeeper kick her ass just for fun.

This isn't a good nanny. She showed her true colors. Greed, opportunism, sneaky, conniving.

No, no, no, no.

pissed off nanny employer said...


Are you drunk or dumb?

You don't know what this nanny is making. There are plenty of people who take and take and take and plenty of people who want something for nothing and who want more, more, more. And they aren't all peasants. They're lawyers and doctors and CEOS and oh yeah, overpaid nannies.

m said...

My post should have read the 'question remains'

nyc mom said...

I agree with Mom on this one. A verbally promised gift is not a legally binding contract. As best I can find for the legal jargon -

25.2511-2(b) "As to any property, or part thereof or interest therein, of which the donor has so parted with dominion and control as to leave in him no power to change its disposition, whether for his own benefit or for the benefit of another, the gift is complete."

The OP clearly has the ability to change the furniture's disposition still as it is on her property. Thus, the gift is incomplete and revocable. I'm sure there is some room for legal interpretation here, but I think nanny would lose this one hands down should she choose to pursue it. And open herself up to lititgation for attempting to sell OP's property.

cali mom said...

Wow, trying to catch up here. First off, OP didn't say she offered it to the nanny and not the housekeeper. She said the nanny ASKED her for it. I'd assume nanny asked first, so OP didn't know housekeeper would have wanted it, until it was too late, so this makes sense.

Second, it's totally tacky and unacceptable for the nanny to do this this way. I mean, re-gifting is socially accceptable AS LONG AS it's done discreetly, so you can't just hand someone a gift with a tag that still says "from Aunt Martha to Your Name", with Your Name crossed out and Your Friend's name writen in. And selling a gift for cash must be handled delicately as well, IF it is to be seen as anything other than horrifyingly tacky.

And finally, I agree with virtually everyone else here, it is 100% unacceptable to allow some stranger inside your home without your permission. So she should be fired. I also agree with MPP that it'sprobably best to not have a disgruntled stranger knowing where you and your children live, so let the sale go through but inform the nanny that the $1500 from the sale of the furniture needs to go to you, as the furniture was not hers yet to sell, and take her to small claims court if you need to. Probably just the lack of a referene from you and the immediate termination would hit home hard enough, but this shows that she is VERY irresponsible and disrespectful of her employers.

cali mom said...

Actually I like Chick's suggestion of firing the nanny, making the furniture unavailable, and referring the CL guy to the nanny for resolution of the unfinished sale.

And Mom, LOL at your ring scenario!!

NVMom said...

While I think what the nanny did is a fireable offense, I don't agree with sending the CL guy to her. If there's a chance he's a threat to anyone, it's not ethical to let the nanny deal with that without warning.

Otherwise, I agree with most of the above posts that the housekeeper should get the furniture, etc. Sorry for any typos, this font is WAY too small!! :=}

Anonymous said...

Calif nanny here...I have received many large househould items from a few families I have worked for...most I kept for myself, a few I gave to family members, I informed the family they were going to my brother or mom or whomever. NEVER would I sell anything I got for free from them. Sounds greedy to sell something that was given to me like that. And to have a total stranger over to appraise the item..terribly tacky and unsafe. I too would question the nannys judgement.

Marypoppin'pills said...

M - Great post!

Cali mom - "so you can't just hand someone a gift with a tag that still says "from Aunt Martha to Your Name", with Your Name crossed out and Your Friend's name writen in." .... Hilarious! lol

snarkymama said...

So what happened? We need an update from the OP.

fg said...

YOur nanny did a very foolish thing but she may have been thinking about her daughtrer and getting her the kind of bedroom set that she wanted and not thinking that she was handling this all wrong. We all make mistakes. I dont think she should be fired but set straight about what she did wrong.

NomDePlume said...

Actually Mom, a verbal agreement depending on the state you live can be legally binding. A quick google search will tell you that.

I've taken courses other than early child care education and remember it from a business law course.

mom said...

A verbal contract is completely binding...provided you can prove it happened. But I really believe a contract is not a contract unless there is "consideration" given to both parties in the contract. There was nothing given to OP in exchange for the furniture so it is not a contract, but a gift. Or more accurately, the promise of a gift. Once the gift is given the deal is done and it belongs to the recipient. But before the gift is given, it still belongs to the owner.
Plus, I would guess if they were going to get really technically legally, the OP may be able to claim some sort of fraud (kind of a strong word...but they use strong words for some pretty small stuff...like "assault" for a threat.) in that she agreed to give the furniture to the nanny because the nanny duped her into thinking she was going to use it for a purpose other than what she actually intended. Had the OP had all the facts, she would never have agreed to the "gift." A promised gift based on a lie is going to be pretty hard for the nanny to enforce...if she even tries.

That said, I don't think that OP should send the furniture buyer looking for nanny if he's angry. (Which I doubt he will become enraged anyway...maybe irked at most.) That's going too far and nanny doesn't deserve to be assaulted for her mistake if he did turn out to be some sort of nutcase. In fact, if the money had changed hands already, I would say to just let it go and fire the nanny and tell her the money she got is her severance. Because if he had already paid, then the man would have every right to be mad. But as it is, he has maybe wasted an hour looking at it...which would have been wasted if he chose not to buy it anyway...that is a risk you take when you get furniture off Craig's List...or really any time you shop for furniture. He might be irked...but I don't see how he's going to go on a vendetta against anybody since he has paid no money and they can easily tell him that the employee who tried to sell the furniture has been terminated. I would guess that a man spending $1500.00 for a child's bed set is a more stable sort than your random serial killer, or vendetta seeking homicidal maniac.

cfg said...

I'm sure I speak for many OP:
Can we have an UPDATE, Please!!
What did you decide to do??

UmassSlytherin said...

yeah, enough with the political crap. I want an update too, please.

does this moniker make my butt look big said...

Okay, took my girls to see Golden Gram for a few days..am a little late reading this but this is what I would do...
Fire the nanny who gave your address to a complete stranger off of CL.

She put your family at risk and that is a BIG NO_NO.She does not get notice or severence. She endangered your family by allowing a stranger in your home without permission. We have all heard the horror stories about CL.

{You would be able to show just cause for firing her if needed.}

When the man from CL arrives,Collect the $1500.00 dollars.
Allow him to take his furniture.

Give a $750.00 bonus to the Housekeeper and use the other $750.00 towards an agency for a new nanny.
This is your home, take conotrol sister!

Sorry if this is a repeat! I have yet to read all the comments!

-Exhausted OP said...

If I haven't updated, it's because everything went haywire when I confronted the nanny about placing an ad on Craig's list. She responded irrationally, "the children weren't home when he came over". This was true. I told her as nicely as possible that I love giving things away to people who can use them and the housekeeper was very upset that I didn't offer it to her first as she had wanted it for the longest time. The nanny responded by saying, 'how is that my problem if she doesn't speak up for herself'? I told her I would rather give the furniture to the housekeeper and she started to cry. She said she didn't think she was doing anything wrong and felt that not only was she being punished but that the housekeeper and I were talking about her behind her back. I was taken aback by her crying and calmed her down and suggested we wait and see what "Mike" (husband) thinks. I knew it was a cop out then, but I wasn't prepared for the crying.

The children came home from camp and nanny was playing with them outside and brought them in the kitchen for an afternoon snack. The housekeeper claims that the nanny "checked her". I said, "what do you mean by she checked you". The housekeeper claims that she was in a hallway and rather than say excuse me, she pushed past her, bumping the housekeeper in to the wall.

I have to back up and say, before she started crying, I did tell her to remove the post from Craigs list and inform the would be buyer that the furniture was no longer for sale. The nanny did do that before the children came home.

I spoke to my husband by phone. He had little tolerance for the entire situation. I spoke to the nanny and told her that we would be getting rid of the youngest daughter's bedroom set in about four months and she was welcome to that set. I told her she could remove it from the home and sell it or trade it or keep it. I then told her the housekeeper would be receiving the eldest daughter's bedroom set.

The nanny did not look pleased. The eldest daughter's bedroom set is real wood and an known brand. The youngest daughter's furniture is not real wood, nor is it a known brand, so it will not resell well. I told the nanny that this was my mistake and not hers. The housekeeper had been here for such and such a period and I should have asked her first before giving away an entire bedroom set.

I told her I was disappointed in her judgemnet regarding placing an ad on Craig's list and welcoming strangers into our home to view the furniture. She started to argue with me on this point. She said she spoke to everyone by phone first and the guy who ended up coming over communicated with her from his company email which had his full title, address and multiple phone numbers. I think she missed most of that point.

I'm exhausted. I used Craigslist to hire a man with a van type of crew to pick up the housekeeper and the furniture this morning at 730 and take it to her home and then return the housekeeper to the house.

The nanny and housekeeper aren't even acknowledging each other at this point.

Thank you for your advice. It did help.

UmassSlytherin said...

poor OP! :( sorry this has sucked so bad for you! hugs!!

cali mom said...

What a mess. I do have to point out however, the irony of being SO upset at having some stranger from CL come into your house to see the furniture, and then hiring some crew of strangers from CL to come into your house again to take away the furniture, not to mention to drive your housekeeper. Either we are terrified of random strangers we find through CL, or they are perfectly OK to conduct business with. This just sounds like it's OK for the goose but not the gander.

cfg said...

So .... I guess you're not gonna fire the Nanny? I think it's a mistake, especially if she's "checking" the Housekeeper!

Oh well, maybe the Housekeeper will put her in her place and knock her a good one!
That'll teach her!

Soory you had to go through this.

mom said...

Yikes! Your nanny had the nerve to not apologize, but further challenge you, disrespectfully, when you spoke with her? Then she refused to even see your point that it was wrong to bring a stranger into your home? Then she physically shoved your housekeeper! And you are KEEPING HER ON TO WATCH YOUR KIDS!? And rewarding her with more furniture?

How many rational, normal adult women do you know who act out by shoving one another?! This shows such a high degree of immaturity and lack of judgement that IMO it is even worse than the furniture debacle as far as indication of character. And to cry when she didn't get her way? Immature, manipulative, baby...but we all told you that after the furniture incident anyway. This just drives it home.

And she had the nerve to blame the housekeeper for not ASKING for the furnture first? This was her response? MAYBE your housekeeper has enough grace and class (which your nanny obviously does not)to realize it is the height of tacky to pick over and ASK for items in somebody else's home. Maybe she assumed that if you gave things away you would come to her first, and so she waitied patiently and POLITELY...which is why she was hurt to be passed over when the nanny got it.

Now you are making your housekeeper work in an environment with a woman who actually pushed her into the wall?! I can hardly imagine the tension in your home. And if you are trying to appease both sides, you are being quite disloyal to your housekeeper, who was an innocent victim, and assaulted on the job. Now, if nanny hurts her again, and housekeeper so chooses, she can successfully sue you...since you now know your nanny has physically violent tendencies and are keeping her on. If housekeeper chooses to quit because of nanny, she can also sue you for making her work in an inhospitable environment. If nanny hurts your kids, you will also be held accountable for keeping her on after having knowledge that she is capable of physical assault.

Well, all I have to say is that I hope she "punishes" your kids with a lot more maturity than she punished the housekeeper.

I would never let her around my kids after any one of the things you describe about her here...let alone the whole lot put together! I hear they are thinking of reviving the old television show "Roller Derby." Maybe you ought to suggest she audition for that. Also, I hear Tanya harding is accepting fighting challenges in Japan. Or maybe the Russian Womens hockey team would be a good fit for her. Role model for kids...I think not.

I am surprised your husband is not putting his foot down on this one. Mine would have her gone in 2 seconds flat. He's very cautious about our kids....and has always had an aversion to leaving them home alone with nutcases. Go figure.

UmassSlytherin said...

"He's very cautious about our kids....and has always had an aversion to leaving them home alone with nutcases. Go figure."


now that's funny. :)
great post, mom! :) heheheheheheh

Marypoppin'pills said...

I must say ... definately one of your best!

I think it is a bad choice that OP has decided to keep the Nanny in her employ.

m said...

Does my Butt...I loved your solution!

I feel kind of sorry for the OP. Clearly, confrontation is not her strong suit, to say the least.

She may be a little afraid of this nanny, and she totally does not deserve this, I can't say the same for every employer.

I think she panicked when the crocodile tears started to flow, which was manipulation on the nanny's part.

Op, if you are still checking these boards, I'd allow the husband to handle it. Both the nanny and the housekeeper have pulled you in the middle of a war in your own home! It is quite unbelievable. You have to take back control over your home , and sacrifice either of the 2 of these workers.
I really think they are both manipulating you.
My vote would be for the nanny, if we were voting, because her attitude reeks- unnecessarily. You seem a kind soul being taken advantage of

For those who are saying 'get rid of the nanny' is it always that easy?. some people have to plan things and have the dots connect before they 'get rid of someone' it is obvious she's not heartless.
The nanny exercised poor judgment among other ills, and clearly she is not going to get any better missing the point and all, but I believe her time is coming soon. She's going to go too far and the husband may give her the boot yet. Here's hoping!

mom said...

I agree totally that OP sounds like a kind hearted and non-confrontational person. I was actually thinking after I posted that I might have actually gone to jelly in the face of the tears myself. Yes, it is easier to be tough over the internet than in person! I agree totally.

That's why my husband has had to fire almost every person I have ever let go over the years...except one. I have fired (well, made my husband fire...hehehe) a total of maybe five or six housekeepers/gardeners/pool maintenance people over the years...all with great cause...and still it is hard for me.

ANYWAY....who ever said doing the best thing for our kids was always the EASIEST thing? Sure it's EASIER not to fire people and to just let things ride out...even uncomfortable sometimes. But this is YOUR KIDS' caretaker. And also, think about how your housekeeper (loyal for 7 years, did you say?) feels. She was hurt by the giving of the furniture and now again by your not being outraged and taking action at the treatment she is receiving. And the person with the most influence over your kids' lives, after you, is incredibly immature, manipulative, completely lacking in judgement, disrespectful to you and your other employee, entitled, and apparently vicious when she is ticked off. Not a good childcare resume, if you ask me.

Let's look at it another way. Say this nanny comes to your house for an interview and the following conversation transpires:

You: I see that your last job lasted only three months. Why is that?

Her: The lady I worked for was remodeling and I asked if I could have her bedroom set. I pretended it was for me so that she would think I wanted to use it in my house and that she was doing something nice for me...but really I advertised it on Craig's list instead and made a deal with a guy to sell it for $1500.00, which I intended to pocket and say noting to my employers. But the buttinsky housekeeper ratted me out, and even told my employers that I had invited the stranger I met on Craig's list into their house when they weren't home to look at the stuff. The lady got all weirded out about it...even though I TOLD her her kids weren't home at the time...geeez! Besides, the man had a legitimate looking e-mail address and a lot of phone numbers on his e-mail...and everybody knows you can't just make up your own e-mail address or phone numbers and shit...geeez! I told her she was being all weird and paranoid about it, but the wench seemed to expect an apology or something....or for me to admit I shouldn't have let a stranger in her house. Sheesh! No way was I going to give her that satisfaction when I did nothing wrong! Then she had the nerve to tell me she was giving the furniture to her maid instead, since she had been working there longer and actually wanted it for her house. I was like, 'Ugh. Is it MY fault the maid was TOO STUPID to ask for it first? Nooooooo!' I mean really. Then she offers me this crappy non-brand furniture to make up for giving the high dollar stuff to the maid. I mean really, how much am I going to get for that crappy stuff on Craig's list? $500 bucks...maybe? I tried crying...which I thought would get me my way, but then she wussed out and gave the furniture ot the housekeeper anyway. I was SOOO pissed! The next time I passed the housekeeper in the hallway I body slammed her into the wall. I don't care...I mean she like totally DESERVED it! But the wench ratted me out to my employer and she like totally freaked out and fired me. Good riddance to those ungrateful people. I mean they like totally all didn't realize how entitled I am and that everything is all about ME! Who could work for people like THAT? Really!

You: (stares stonefaced into space)

Her: Now, do you have any more questions? Because Jerry Springer is on in like 45 minutes, and I think it's episode I'm on.

Would you hire this person if she weren't already working in your home? NO!

chick said...

So, nanny argued with you about her actions, sulked about not getting to sell your furniture, and then physically attacked the housekeeper.

If nanny will shove the housekeeper because nanny is angry at her, what is she going to do to you? I mean, certainly she is angry at you, because in her mind, you gypped her out of a cool $1500.

Hey, I bet she will be too smart to take it out on you personally. Maybe she will just be nasty to your kids! That'll teach you not to screw up her moneymaking activities!

Please OP, fire the nanny. She sounds irrational, and obviously doesn't manage her anger well, if any of what the HK said is true.

If you can't fire her, have your Dh do it, as soon as nanny shows up tomorrow. Heck, you can even ask him to play the "bad cop" if you want to remain as "good cop".

Fire her before she takes her anger out on the kids.

m said...

So you are one of those softies, then you can certainly see why the OP chose the easy way out.
That's quite a story you wove there. lol.
Of course I'm not saying that she should keep the nanny. I'm just trying to show the difficulty in this OP firing. I mean, if this woman could carve out work time for her daughter on the job, she wields a powerful influence.
I am suggesting that this is not somebody that will be there long term.
In the same way you had your husband do the 'dirty work;, she also has that- of course I know all husbands are not created equal.

Anyway, I think the same way some nannies are taken advantage of and people wonder why they don't just leave; it's the same reason, they feel intiimidated.

mom said...

Are we talking abut two different threads here?

You mention carving out time for her daughter on the job, which makes me think you might mean the vacuum incident nanny's daughter.

I am talking about the nanny who sold the furniture, backtalked to her employer and body slammed the housekeeper.

At any rate...I understand why OP was soft herself, yes. I let things go too long myself because I hate having to let people go...but mine are not people dealing with my kids. I think she ought to have her husband do it. I just think such a nanny sounds like the type we might later read about on here taunting the kids at the park, pushing them, throwing sand in their faces, or being emotionally cruel when they misbehave. She does not sound like a mature, rational adult. An adult caring for kids needs to be far more mature than her charges...not on the same emotional level...which this nanny sounds to be. I think this is how we end up with bad nanny sightings...people who have no business being with kids at all working as nannies. Plus, I think housekeeper deserves better, and the tension in the home would be terrible at this point. Uncomfortable? Yes! Necessary? Yes!!!!!

m said...

That's funny, it was late and I guess I mixed up the posts...lol, and I don't even drink.
I do agree with you Mom, but I think in order to get the OP to actually do it is to encourage her.
People can tell you to do things, but sometimes you like to be given ways to do them.
Varied perspectives really helps.

I do however agree with you 100% on the reasons it is bad to keep her.

mom said...

OP, do you need encouragement?

I encourage you to call your husband and convince him of all the reasons why HE should be the one to let nanny go. (hehehe)

My husband has tried convincing me that if I am going to hire people, I need to learn to fire them as well. While I admit he makes a good point...I mighn't ever admit that to him!

I reason that he is used to firing people because he has done it a lot in the course of his regualr job...which means he must be sooooooooo gooooood at it. (If you say the "sooooooo goooood" in excatly the right tone of voice, with the right expression on your face, he will know you are buttering him up (oh, who are we kidding...manipulating him)....but he will like it enough that it will at least soften him to the idea. And plus, since you both know what's going on...it's kind of a little fun and flirty anyway. (And, conveniently, works in well with the "reward" portion of my program, which you will find at the end.)

Then he will be listening all the more intently while you explain to him that YOU have to see these people every day....whereas they are virtual strangers to him...so it will be far less embarrassing for him than for you. (This is not entirely compelling as far as reasons go...but at least it adds length to your list of reasons why he should do the deed....which I feel adds weight to the overall argument.)

Then remind him about all the things about said employee that he has mentioned not being happy about. (I am lucky in this regard, as my husband generally loses patience with an employee long before I am willing to give up on them.) Make a big point of how all the tension in the house will disappear once she is gone....whatever will entice him most. You know your own man.

Finally, when you see he is considering cracking...go in for the kill. Snuzzle into his chest and rub it with one hand while saying, "pleeeaaaase." As soon as you feel the big exhale of defeat, smile up at him really big and say, "Thank you!"

Then run and grab him a phone before he changes his mind. (Mine won't stay home from work to do it, but then we don't have but one day a week employees....so they can be let go by phone.)

PS It's always nice to give him a big thank you reward...(Besides, he will be expecting this if you have done step #1 correctly.)

See? You get sex and an end to your evil nanny all at the same time. What could be better?

UmassSlytherin said...

I hear you, Mom. I run a volunteer program on the weekends in addition to my full-time job. It involves mentoring with kids, and one time I had to let one of the mentors go. It's doubly hard to "fire" someone from a volunteer job. But I had to do it, being that she was not a good role model to the kids.

I didn't enjoy it.

Marissa M. said...

Great post mom.

OP I would tell the nanny infront of the HK that if they can't get themselves under control in your house that there will be someone loosing their job.

Ps. Don't even try to upset the housekeeper. Who knows, she might clean the toilet with your tooth brush.

lucy said...

what a thing to do
what a thing to say...