Friday

Nanny tires of Mom not answering the door

Received Friday, August 15, 2008. - Perspective & Opinion
Hi everyone
So, I need help--- or at least advice. So, I am a nanny between families. I am seasoned with an impeccable resume. In addition to local agencies, I am also on online nanny finder web sites. In addition to waiting for families to contact me, I also send my resume out to families I think that I will fit well with. Anyhow, roughly two weeks ago, I emailed my resume to a gal looking for a nanny. She responded to me promptly and apologized that she had JUST hired someone that day; but was so impressed with my background and qualifications, asked if she could post my resume on a Microsoft job site. I, obviously, enthusiastically agreed. Well, sure enough I get a TON of hits. Some what I was looking for, some not. I replied to every message. One of the families I had a good rapport with agreed to meet. We had one interview scheduled, which had to be rescheduled on my part due to a bachlorette party that I hosted gone wrong. Of course, I called in with plenty of notice, three hours to be exact and they completely understood--- indeed as the hostess of the event, I could not leave the individuals that had a bit too much fun in the hotel room that I paid for. Please note I have NEVER missed an interview and under any other circumstances, other than being the host, I would have let the party animals fend for themselves; but I digress.

We all eagerly scheduled another interview and things went GREAT! I thought how lucky to have kind, funny, understanding employers. After the interview we do a "trial run." Okay, this is where is gets interesting. So, I show up for my first day of trial 10 mins before I was scheduled to be there. I knock on the door twice, and ring the doorbell-- no answer.
So, I think to myself, maybe they are out with the baby, and will be back RIGHT at the time I was scheduled-- no luck. I go back exactly when I was due on shift and, again, knock and ring the doorbell. This time after about 2 mins the dad comes from the backyard and said he happened to hear the doorbell and the baby and mom were sleeping. So, I tiptoe in, lo and behold mom is awake. Then dad pulls me aside and said the mom, we will call her "K" - had told him I had been out there a while. Then he said, yeah "K" had been signaling me.... I guess I didn't realize she was telling me you were at the door. (SIDE NOTE: if the mom and baby were "sleeping" then how was she signaling you through the sliding glass door to let you know I was here).

Anyhow, after this, "K" goes to shower and asks me to sterilize the bottles. When it looks like both of them are going upstairs I have to take the bull by the horns and ask how they like to sterilize their bottles, since it appeared as though I would have to figure it out for myself if I didn't ask. SO, after a vague explanation, I go to do the work. As I am taking the bottles upstairs, I find them both just hanging out--- um, thanks for coming down to see how I am doing in your kitchen that I HAVE NEVER BEEN IN BEFORE!!!!. Again, I digress. After setting down the clean bottles, the dad leaves and mom goes to express. I play with baby. Who, you are not supposed to set down, except if you have to for short SHORT periods of time. Anyhow, I feed the baby, and he goes for a long nap. At this point I am thinking great! Time to get to know mom! NO luck! I am sent to organize the baby's room. Please note-- I know this is a typical duty, but couldn't it have waited until I was employed??? And for that matter don't you want to get to know me??? Anyhow, I do so and then baby wakes. I play with him and then I am asked to unload the dishwasher.... no mention of which cupboard is which. LUCKILY I get out of this because it was time to go. Now, understandably, I am NOT an idiot and could have figured out where stuff went.... but really! So, within this day, I am also low-balled on my rate and NEVER offered food or drink-- despite my stomach growling LOUDLY in front of mom and her asking if I had eaten--- to which I said "No, not yet."

Anyhow, story gets better.... so I go for my second day trial run already gun shy. On this day I show up, this time 15 mins prior to my scheduled time and walk up to the door. Knock twice, ring once.... no luck. GREAT! So, I hang out for a while and begin to feel like an idiot chillin' on their porch. So, I go back to my car, which by the way is parked in plain sight and wait until the EXACT time I am supposed to be on. Go back-- knock once, wait. Knock again this time HARD, then wait.... no answer. Go back to my car, wait some more. NO answer. Could not call, because I did not have the number handy. Finally at 12:15, I leave. Go straight home and email. I politely told her what had happened and asked for the payment for the first day as well as for my scheduled time today. (SIDE NOTE: industry standard here for a "temp" job is a minimum of four hours paid REGARDLESS of cancellation. I also gave up a temp job at $15/hr to work for them at the low-balled rate of $12.50). So, I wait for an email. A bit later I get one saying she had never heard the knocks/doorbell, and she was concerned I wasn't there, and that I was more than welcome to come back, they were there. My thought is... if you are expecting someone, shouldn't you be on alert for the door? And second... if she was all that concerned why didn't she call????? She apparently sat down to check her email first.... I don't know! I mean, they seemed sweet, nice home, funny, and an ADORABLE baby... but I am bugged by the events. I have since emailed her back saying I am also sorry for the "misunderstanding," and that I thought their baby was adorable. But at present have not agreed to come back. The advise I need is.... does all this seem weird? Or did I screw myself out of a potential job by not going back today???? Did I owe them more because they were so understanding about the bachelorette party gone wrong morning after??? Furthermore, should I pursue the job further?? I have a gut feeling to some extent, but never know what to REALLY think!
Thanks :)

48 comments:

nycnanny said...

I wouldn't stress it. I would have left too if I had been standing outside all of that time. They sound really strange and I can't imagine them being pleasant to work for. The first impression that they gave you wasn't so good-thats probably just how they are. I say move on and find a better position. There are plenty of jobs out there. Don't feel bad, you did nothing wrong. Good luck!

JerseyXJacqui said...

You don't owe them anything. They sound flaky as hell. From what you said, you're definitely worth more than this bizarre treatment, so just go find yourself another job. It shouldn't be hard for you. You've already wasted enough of your time with these people.

Kate in CO said...

Here's my only question.......after all that, why would you want to work for such obviously weird people?!!! They are already treating you like dirt! I hope you don't go back and you find a wonderful family. You sound like a great nanny.........don't sell yourself short.

Im the nanny said...

Thanks everyone.... I feel better :)

mom said...

Um, no. Your job is where you spend the majority of your waking hours. Work somewhere that you will be happy...with people who are not insensitive and selfish. I hate that they left you hingry all day. That's such a horrible feeling. And remember...people are usually on their BEST behavior during the beginning. Imagine what they are like when they "let it all hang out?!"

Sam said...

You sound like a really braggy high maintenance nanny...

mom said...

sam,
did your nanny not show up this morning? maybe you ought to go look on your doorstep?

the nanny said...

yeah.... you are right sam.... that what I am. WTF???? I didn;t realize telling details about my day and desiring a glass of water was high maitenance. My bad. Have a wonderful day.

the nanny said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BayAreaMom said...

The family might be weird, but you sound less than wonderful yourself.

Why do you show up 15 minutes early?

Why didn't you have a phone and the family's phone number with you when you showed up?

Why can't you ask for a glass of water?

Why do you show up for a 4 hour stint hungry and expect to be fed?

classis case of blame the victim said...

I never said it was a four hour stint bay area. I said industry standard is a MINIMUM of fours hours regardless of cancellation. IE: A family requests a temp nanny from 8-5 but only uses said nanny 8- 11... nanny is expected to be paid for AT LEAST 8-12 or a MINIMUM of 4 hours! Thank you :) And I am wonderful. I am a GREAT nanny, but dont like to be disrespected.

mom said...

Really guys, must we attack EVERY OP?
These were OBVIOUSLY very strange people she interviewed with. Quit picking her apart.

Maybe they weren't able to get to the door early. (That has actually happened to me before where I was expecting someone at a certain time and still getting dressed when they arrived early...or stepping out of the shower whet they arrived REEEAAAALLLY early.) But they should have been reasdy for her at the appointed time. That's just rude.

When sonebody asks if you have eaten and you say, "not yet," the polite thing is to them offer them something to eat. Otherwise, why even bring it up?

Water is not fillig.

And why would she expect to have to call them form their front door?

As an aside...Once my kids stood outside the piano teacher's door for about 5 mins, knocking periodically, and she never came ot the door. I was sitting in the car watching, waiting to see that they were safely inside. Finally I called her home phone number and she answered the phone by YELLING into the receiver, "I'm on the can!" Now really...how does one respond to that? I never felt the same about her after that.

nycnanny said...

I feel for you OP. This lady is rude and unkind! Don't let these mean people get to you. I can tell you are strong person. I give you many blessings that things go better for you!

LindaLou said...

i think you did the right thing. at minimum, these people showed how inconsiderate they are.

snarkymama said...

they sound a bit odd to me. You are right, if you are expecting the nanny you would listen for the bell. Odd indeed. I am sure you can find a family that actually needs the nanny to COME IN and watch the baby! Sounds like this family just needed you to keep the porch warm with your butt.

nycnanny said...

haha, someone stole my url name! :(

nycnanny said...

Ok-I made a google/blogger name so people know that its me and not the imposter..hehe

fox in socks said...

I don't know for sure if the people are strange or what is going on. I can see it being difficult for them (perhaps) to open the door early if it's before 8am, but before 12 noon? That is weird. Besides, they would have known from the day before that you're early to arrive, so they should have been prepared to see you arounf 11:45 that day.

Some people don't want to train you I guess. They wanted you to train yourself and they wanted to see how independent you would be and how little time and effort they could put into it, while reaping the benefits of having the child care/free time. I myself prefer to train people and work closely with them until they know what to do and where things are, etc. But I guess this family was not like that.

As for the lunch thing, surely they assumed you'd bring your lunch, and surely you seem to have assumed that they'd provide it.

I think that if you did not speak directly about it beforehand, nannies should bring their lunch, at least until the point is discussed and everyone is on the same page. This way you will definitely know you will eat, at least!

nynanny said...

NYCnanny (in blue)
I don't think anyone is trying to impersonate you. It's understandable that nyc & nanny are going to probably be a popular pseudonym. I didn't realize someone else was using it, besides you even, because that's not me at 1:43. So, I'll try nynanny, until somebody comes on to yell at me about that. Hopefully it's not being used.

the nanny said...

thanks mom :) and nycnanny (s) :)

and everyone else for your thoughts!

Lizzie said...

honestly I feel like its weird that you would have to knock or ring the bell anyway...a nanny is supposed to feel welcome as part of the family while she's there on her working hours anyway. The family I nanny for even gave me a key? The last family I worked for gave me a key too.

I think that this family sounded sketchy and uncomfortable. The nanny is not being high matenence if she's left by the door. Perhaps she arrived 15 minutes early because she wanted to make a good impression.

And usually its a given that if you're spending that much time in someone's home that you can eat their food. Unless they say otherwise. Obviously, you should not eat constantly, but for mealtimes, why not eat with the children?

nannyinmanhattan said...

You owe them nothing...I'm surprised you actually went back for a second trial run after what you experienced on the first starting from they not even answering the door knowing you were out there waiting.
Keep looking...you'll find whats right for you.

Puzzled said...

I can't think of a good reason to take the job and NO, you don't owe them anything!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A REPOST FOR AN ANONYMOUS said...

I AM REPOSTING THIS FOR SOMEONE THAT LEFT IT AS ANONYMOUS, BEFORE IT GETS DELETED, I THINK IT NEEDED TO BE SAID:

Anonymous said...
I am always surprised by how badly nannies are treated. I mean, first of all, they are being hired to basically raise your children. Argue all you want with that, but as a nanny most of my experience in NYC, I have never in my life seen so many absentee parents. Not only that, but you expect us to work ungodly hours for ungodly pay.

I don't care what industry standards are. If you are being payed less than what a family would pay for daycare, then they need to be sending their kids to daycare.

Obviously, there are some bad nannies out there. But, take it from one who does this for a living, a good one that can hold out for those amazing jobs, great hours and perks because of her references.

You pay for what you get parents. And nannies, $12, 15, even 20 an hour is low. Don't settle for anything less. You are after all, raising someone's child. And that isn't easy.

END QUOTE

Manhattan Nanny said...

It is common practice to provide people who work full days in a home, housekeepers, nannies, PAs, with lunch.
All the employers I've worked for have told me to help myself. I usually bring my own, because I like health food type things, but it is very important to me to work for a family that is kind and considerate. If they don't have the good manners to offer, that is a job I won't take. It isn't about the food, it is about the attitude.

OP, a trial week goes two ways, it is OK to let them know it isn't a good fit for you. Find yourself a nice work family!

cali mom said...

I seem to be the odd one out again, but it is RUDE to show up for an appointment 15 minutes early, and ruder still to expect to be welcomed in and fawned over when you were not even supposed to be there. It does NOT show conscientiousness, it simply shows a lack of respect for other people's time, as much so as being late.

That said, it's weird that they still wouldn't realize you were knocking or ringing at the time you WERE expected. But if you're hoping to make a good impression on potential employers, come prepared. Not hungry and thirsty, expecting to be provided for, and without their phone number, and so daunted at the notion of finding your way around the kitchen that you feel helpless. What if you'd had a flat tire on the way and needed to call them? And why should they want to sit around and chit-chat with you when they are paying you to watch their baby? Perhaps they are paying someone because they want to have a few hours to get things done, or just relax, without distractions?

To answer your question, this would obviously not have been a good match for you because they seem to want someone who can work independantly and take initiative. But since you are such a fantastic and experienced nanny, you'll no doubt find the perfect family soon.

nannyJ said...

Why are you there so early? Ever think that it's possible that they don't need you until the time that they tell you to start? I'm not saying that makes them not answering the door acceptable... but hey, it was your choice to show up early.
I think the fact that you left was a little... rash. I wouldn't have known what to do, but I wouldn't have wasted the gas to go home.

minneapolis nanny said...

hey- you know you rock at what you do. so never take a job you don't have a GREAT feeling about. remember... families can be replaced.

lovesthegirls said...

Calimom---

I think it is nice the she arrived early.. as the old adage goes "to be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is unacceptable." As for the food, I agree with the previous poster that it was manners. AS for your other comments.... you try fumbling your way through someone elses house and see how awkward you feel. As for the chatting.... yes, they did bring her in to watch the baby.... but a trial run IS NOT JUST to watch the children... it is also to get to know one another. She will be watching their CHILD! She has the right to know a little about them and visa versa.....

TO NANNYJ--

The girl also stayed well AFTER the time scheduled.

I usually don't dissent too much with other posters since I have stumbled upon this website, but I have to say I agree with this girl. It is summer... it is HOT too hot to wait outside waiting to wonder when they MIGHT hear the door. And EVERY nanny job I have had the pleasure of working in has provided food--- even temp nanny jobs and babysitting.... granted she could have asked for a glass of water, but give the poor girl a break... she was TRYING to make a good impression. As for all of you that berated her.... YOU GO TO YOUR OFFICE JOB and wait around for THEM to open the door whenevcer the mood strikes them....

To the Nanny
hang in there.... RESPECT is pivotal. I am richly blessed by who I work for, They are great of, and I told my employer your story and she laughed at them.. and then said how much she appreciates it when I arrive early.

TAKE CARE!!!

nanny d said...

Eff that woman, on interviews if they dont answer the door in a timely matter i leave, i wont be left standing for more than 5 minutes. they need to have respect for us. as its our time they are taking.

lovesthegirls said...

Amen to that nanny d....

DowntoEarth said...

She got there 15 minutes early big deal. The traffic may have been lighter than expected. I would think that people would be a little more organized if they are having an interview with someone to be dressed 15 minutes early or not just be getting out ofthe shower.
You do not let someone stnd outside in teh heat or sit in their car because they got there early. How rude is that?? Plenty.
If i had never met this person before and there were there to watch my children I would have spent some time with her showing her around the house and where things were. What a sorry excuse for being rude, she was not "daunted", she should have been shown around the house. Period and had "chit chat" so they could feel one another out , sound to me some people just don't care who watches their kids as long as they are not early, not late and have no problem searching your house to find out where things are.
Just as long as you can escape your children and run upstairs and lock the door.
I for the life of me cannot understand why people are so cheap and miserly that they cannot afford to give their nanny a sandwich for lunch.
OP These people were rude and also think that they are "special", they are cheap too. Do not go back there. You were left on the door step because you were early and it was too much for these snobs to handle.

Manhattan Nanny said...

I am surprised by the criticism of op for arriving early. I always try to be five or ten minutes early so I can hang up my coat, wash my hands, unpack my bag, check in with mom, and be ready to pitch in on the dot. It never occurred to me that this might be annoying.
I once heard a mom criticize a nanny in her building for sitting in the lobby drinking her Starbucks until it was time to go up, saying she must hate her job!
I'd be interested in more opinions on this from nannies, and parents who employ nannies.

just saying said...

i once came to a job interview, early, and the family clearly was not home. I waited for a long time, at least half an hour. When I got homw I called the mom and she was clearly puzzled to hear from me and i asked her to clarify when we had planned to meet, she told me two days later than what i had written down. I ended up going to the interview then, not confronting the mom about the one she had totally forgotten about. But I ended up working very happily for them for years, it was something totally out of character for both of us, or one of us to make that kind of weird error.

that said this family sounds weird as f;;; and I would get out now.

nataliajay said...

Hey, I think you did the right thing. You should follow your gut, and I probably would have done the same. You shouldn't have to ask for a glass of water, and personally I would feel weird if I was expected to find where things go, because then I feel I would look like I was nosy. I think you made the right choice. Good luck finding another job!

mom said...

On being early:

I don't think its rude, but you should also understand if the person you are meeting is not yet ready. Some people run a tight schedule. However, everybody should be ready to meet at exactly the appointed hour. In this case though, I don't think early was the issue. I think these people are just incredibly rude.

Heres an even MORE rude story. We have some lifelong friends that I grew up with. One sister and two brothers. While all of these are exceeding kind and wonderful people, one of the brothers married the most self centered, standoffish, prima donnas I have ever seen. She is just rude and feels entitled ot be so. She is beautiful and the guy is so in love with her that he puts up with her crap. (You know how that goes..I"m sure everybody knows a "mismatched" couple like that.) So anyway...the sister and her husband drove from another state to visit the brother and his family for a week, and had been invited to stay at their very large, luxurious home. The brother had said to his sister that he got home from work about 5:00 on the day they planned to arrive and it would be nice if they could try to arrive then. So they tried...but as you know, a long road trip, over three states is hard to plan down to the minute. So they arrive a half hour early and decide to see if anybody is home. (Wife is a SAHM.)So they go to the house and ring the bell. Inside the house, they can see his wife wandering around doing basically nothing. They can see each other. But the wife does not make eye contact with them and does not glance in their direction again after seeing who it is at her door, and simply ignores the doorbell. They ring a couple of more times, and knock, in case the bell is broken...but remember, they saw her see them. Inside they see the wife walk over to an end table, pick up a book, sit down in a chair in view of the front door and proceeds to read her book until her husband arrives home...at which point she gets up and welcomes them into the house with him...having left them standing on the doorstep, staring in at her while she read a book and enjoyed a beverage for a half hour...knowing they had been in the car for 11 or 12 hours that day...with two small children.

lovesthegirls said...

ARE YOU F ING KIDDING ME??????? That is the nost rude, ridiculous thing I have EVER heard. SOMETIMES I SWEAR.... UGH! PEOPLE!!

toreli said...

I hope by now, someone has killed that woman and shoved her book up her ass.

the mrs. said...

Wow, somebody need a xanax.

EB said...

Why do you nannies take it from your employers? Just like bad nannies make the rest of you look bad, you nannies who are doormats make it harder for the rest of your peers. Once a family has a doormat working for them, they have to be completely retrained by a regular nanny to learn what is and what is not acceptable.

I take my hat off to the Caribbean nannies, especially those 40-55. They would sooner swim in an inground pool before they would ever be as submissive as you. My neighbor has a Jamaican nanny and let me tell you, it is she who marches to the beat of her nanny's drum. Nanny sets the children's eating schedule. Nanny is the one who got Davey off of the pacifier. Nanny is the one who told the neighbor that a 10 hour day was too long (causing neighbor to totally revamp her work schedule to accomodate the nanny). Nanny has one story she watches every day. Neighbor is aware of this and realizes this is why Davey cannot do an art class this fall. (That's right there are no times that work with nanny's schedule). So instead, Davey will be taking a second gym class.(That's right, one that will allow the nanny to be home to watch her story). Nanny writes down whatever she wants on the grocery list. Neighbor buys it. When neighbor and I went to a certain store together, nanny told neighbor, "see if they have any gold and black bathroom towels". They did and neighbor brought them home and showed nanny. Nanny said, "these are just what I was looking for". She didn't even say thank you! And I know she didn't offer to pay neighbor back.

I dont agree with a lot of what neighbor's nanny does but it pisses me off a lot less than do the stories acquaintance tell of running their nannies in to the ground.

chick said...

Wow, 7:50, if I had to choose between being like your neighbor's nanny and being a "doormat", I'd be a doormat.

At least, I'd be a polite, thoughtful, kind, and accomodating doormat.

Kind of like your neighbor, right?

There's no excuse for nastiness and rudeness. Nannies can stand up for themselves and have defined boundaries without being bossy b*****s.

Your neighbor needs some assertiveness training. or just a new, nanny nwho fully comprehends that nanny is there to help mom, not vice versa.

P.S. Could nanny not watch her sacred show on tivo or DVR, thus making sure her charge gets to be in an activity?

mom said...

The nanny mentioned at 7:50 sounds onnoxious, rude and unprofessional.

Maybe we ought to lock her in a cage with my friend's wife and only one tin of caviar?

cfg said...

OP, this mom sounds like a nutjob. R-u-n, don't walk. Find something else.

mnnanny said...

All I have to say is WOW...this woman is asking for some advice and some of you are blasting her, others start making it about them etc....again wow!
First: Showing up early is a sign that you are responsible and eager to see what this job entails.

Second: If they didn't answer the door even after you knocked at the scheduled time then you should leave, don't look back, if they have no respect for you now they will not have any respect for you if you decide to work for them in the future, you can find a better job!

I have been in childcare in different forms for over 20 years..people should understand as a nanny our job is more important than the job the employer has, we are raising your children for gosh sakes!

I would have felt the same way if I had been in your shoes, it was a weird situation and I would never think about going back-go with your gut when you are interviewing, if it doesn't feel right then it probably isn't the right fit.
Good luck on your job search, and I hope you find a family that will respect you and treat you as well as you treat their children!

anonnanny said...

mnnanny
no, the blasting thing isn't cool. I don't like to see people do that to others that write in for help. but the whole "making it about themselves" bit? nah, that, as a reader, doesn't bother me one bit. why? because a lot of these posters have some great stories and experiences to share, and a lot of us could draw knowledge from it. so, I don't see that as such a bad thing at all.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kathleencares said...

That mom sounds really strange! I wouldn't want to work for her. I don't think you owe then anything, and definitely don't stress about the bachelorette party incident. It doesn't sound like that was a big deal.