Received Wednesday, August 27, 2008. - Perspective & Opinion
I am going out of my mind. I am a nanny and I work for a couple. The mother and I get on really well. She is a hard working professional, a super mom, completely trusts me and treats me like a professional and is a pleasure to work for and on those few occasions she is home-with.
The father is another story. I take care of just one child. Because of this, I have activities planned so we get out or have playdates over or do things that stimulate his mind. We have a schedule. It includes a nap time and even video time.
I noticed when I first began here that the father would call in sick fairly often. He is a large man of about 6'2, 180 lbs, muscular but I have seen him come through the door at 10 AM because he had a stomache ache or call in to work because he has a sore throat or come home at 11 on a friday because he was "getting a cold".
When he is home, he spends most of his time up in his bed. He plays video games up there and watches television and sleeps. He comes down to eat and to do just enough with his son to rile him up or distract him or to assure that the little boy will be calling "Daddy..." up the stairs for a half hour. I just cannot take it when he is home. In addition to the distraction he causes, he acts like a baby and I have heard him get in fights with his wife on the phone because she didn't call to check on him.
Imagine my face when I saw that he was home from work again on Monday. He had (miraculously) done some yard work and pulled a muscle in his back. This of course required a trip to the emergency room (as does every sore throat and stomach ache). He apparently came home on Sunday with doctor's orders that he take two days off work.
By Monday mid afternoon, I realized he was way over exaggerating. One thing he does is sail past the child and I when we are doing a puzzle or something and pick the child up and zoom him around like an airplane. He did that many times on Monday. I am responsible for the child, his dishes, laundry and keeping his room clean. The mother came home yesterday and I heard her ask him if he got a chance to start a load of laundry. He acted like a baby and said, "I can't lift laundry. Are you kidding. Do you care that I have a back injury?"
Yesterday, the father repeated his same MO. He wants his son to run to him and get excited everytime he sees Daddy, but then he disappears back up to his room. I see that is messing with the kid's mind. The kid doesn't know what is going on. When the mother came home yesterday, she asked me if I could wait while she changed her clothes. I said, of course. (Notice how she cannot ask the father).
The father is outside smoking a ciggarette now. She goes outside and asks him if he can hold the garbage bags open so she can put another bag inside. In essence, double the garbage bags. Again, he freaked out and said she was disrepecting him and didn't realize he was injured. The mother said, "fine, I will ask *me* to help". The father said, "Fuckkkk you" as she was coming inside. The windows were open, so I heard the exchange.The mother came inside and said in essence she needed to get the bags sealed up and asked if I could just hold the bags open for her. It wasn't my job and I was angry that the father didn't help her, but like I said, I really like my boss and of course I helped her. We then dragged the bags to the curb for pick up. It was lawn clippings.
I leave with the hope that the father is returning to work today (Weds).When I arrive his car is still here. I ask my boss if he is going in. She looks mad and embarassed and says that he made an appointment with another doctor and he is going to try and get a week off out of this, so he wants a doctor to give him more time off. I go about my day. The father leaves (walks up and down the stairs just fine, sits outside in his chair to smoke and gets up without trouble). When I return from the park, his car is gone. I am happy. I put on music and set up his toddler video camera on him and he dances for the camera.
We are having all kinds of fun when in comes Dad. According to Dad, he will now be off until Tuesday. He doesn't know what I think of him or have heard from his wife. He tells me he saw a specialist and it is just too risky for him to return to work and that his back is important and he can't take chances with it, so he is off until Tuesday of next week. He interacts with his son for three minutes, has a ciggarette and goes upstairs. In the meantime, his wife calls me on my cell phone. She asks me if he has come home yet. I say he has. She asks me what he told me and I tell her. You can tell she is holding her breath, trying not to lose it. I wonder what it is like to be her, the main money earner, the main parent and the one who takes care of everything around the house. I feel for her but try to think of something to say to fill the silence. "Well at least he has sick time left". She says, "You are kidding, right. He used that up. He is planning to go on short term disability". Our conversation ends and I am in a terrible mood.
I don't think I can work all of these days with him home, doing nothing and complaining about his back. I, too have pulled a muscle in my back. I went to work, even though at the time, I was a nanny for two children who were 2 & 4. I just told them that I couldn't do much lifting that day. THAT DAY.
Help. Someone tell me how I can quickly get over the desire to kill this man. The sight of him makes me sick. I have no desire to show up to work tomorrow or the next day or the next day.... And who knows now if returning to work on Tuesday is even definite?
Has anyone been there? Done this? Lived to tell about it?