Received Friday, September 26, 2008
I am completely surprised and shocked by the comments that my post received.
I am stunned by the fact that a majority of posters felt that I accused Ronda of theft or stealing.
Maybe you all misread my post. Ronda was in possession of a debit card that I gave her. She was authorized to make charges on the card to pay for expenses. I did not ACCUSE her of using the card.
When I told her that the account was overdrawn, she told me she didn’t know how that happened because she had checked the balance prior to making a charge on the account for candy at a store that I had asked her to do.
I told her there was a charge at the local grocery store in the same shopping plaza near my home on the same date as the day she picked up the candy on the way to pick up the girls at school.
She said she didn’t make the charge and that she never shops at that store (which is not true b/c she has picked up supplies for me at that store at my direction).
I accepted her denial that she made the charge that overdrew the account and told her I would dispute the charge with the Bank. I then called the bank to find out how to file a dispute.
I did not accuse Ronda of lying or stealing.
In addition, I don’t consider my requirement that she be reasonably available by telephone unreasonable. And I don’t think it has to rise to the level of an emergency to warrant a telephone call.
For example, my mother wanted to take the girls swimming after school with Ronda. That required a telephone call to inform her and let her know to bring her bathing suit. That call, of course, went unanswered. So, my mother had to wait and wonder whether or not Ronda even got the message and whether they would be taking the girls swimming after school.
As for asking her long-term, live-in boyfriend about what happened, I felt that was an appropriate line of communication because when Ronda was sick, she had her boyfriend Mike call in to tell my mom, not me, that she would not be coming into work.
And I am not controlling in the least. Ronda was paid a flat rate to come in and do the work at the hours she set with the exception of picking my children up from school. She only had 5 hours (4-6:30) of which she had to account to me. The rest of her work was done in the time she decided and that was fine by me as long as the work got done.
As for my children’s feelings, yes, I do believe they are paramount to a 40+ something adult nanny’s. Adults should act mature and professional in their dealings. They should make accommodations for children over their own self interest.
Also, the fact that many of you stated you would walk off your job with no notice, shows me just the type of people you are. I am an attorney by profession and under our rules of ethics, we cannot just dump a client who displeases us. We have a fiduciary duty to our clients.
Walking off a job without notice is unprofessional in any profession.
Do you think it would be fair to a Nanny to fire her by voice mail message without offering her severance pay?
That is tantamount to “quitting” without notice, as in “I’m quitting paying you, you’re done working here.”
As for what I told my children, well, I’m in the fortunate position of being able to write the history here. I told Raquel last night that Ronda didn’t want to work for us anymore, that I tried calling her, but she would not answer. I told her that she got something screwed up in her head, but not to worry, we would make new friends who didn’t have something screwed up in their head. Raquel agreed that she didn’t need a friend with something screwed up in their head.
As for Ronda, I sent her a text message and told her that I told the girls she was dead.
Vengeance is mine....
Received Saturday, September 20, 2008 - Perspective & Opinion
What do you tell your children when your Nanny quits with no notice?
I employed Ronda beginning when my twin girls were 3 months old as their night nurse. I transitioned her into day time care for a couple of days a week. Ronda always worked hard and did things above and beyond the call of duty; washing cloths, cleaning up, etc…Ronda even took my children for sleepovers at her house on occasion and my children grew to love her very much.
Ronda was not without fault however. Ronda was stubborn to a fault, should could not stand to have anyone around when she was caring for the children, you could not reach her by telephone after hours to ask her about scheduling, and she NEVER asked for time off but would go behind my back and asks my mother if she could care for the girls in her absence and I was only informed after the fact. But, my children loved her, so I took the bitter with the sweet.
Even when Ronda took a job with another couple who required her to travel, I put up with her frequent absences as I agreed to that condition so she would continue working for me. When she was absent over 50% of the time she was supposed to work, I was forced to enroll them in pre-school at the age of 18 months so that I would have reliable childcare.
But, just to keep Ronda in the girls lives because they loved her so much, I agreed to keep her on 2 half days where she would continue to do their laundry, make their lunches, and pick them up early from school. I paid her for 10 hours of work at the rate of $15, which included only 5 hours of child care.
Last winter, when her husband was unemployed, I fired our maid and allowed Ronda to do the cleaning so she could get additional pay. When the other couple fired her because she refused to travel with them, I got her a new job 5 months ago with a friend of mine.
I maintained a bank account and gave her the debit card to charge expenses for my children and groceries. Right before Labor Day weekend, I noticed the account was overdrawn and bank charges were accruing. I called her up to tell her not to use the debit card until I could replenish the account and I asked her about over drafting the account.
She told me that she did make the charge that caused the overdraft. I was puzzled because the only way to get money out of that account was by using the debit card, which she had possession of. I told her I would dispute the charge with the bank.
The next day, a Friday, I noticed another debit charge to the account made in our City when I knew that Ronda was traveling out of town. I believed that someone had gained unauthorized access to my account. Since it was 6 p.m. on a Friday, I panicked. I called the bank and they told me it was possible to block the debt card. I tried calling Ronda several times to get the number off the debit card and when she didn’t pick up, I got exasperated at never being able to get in touch with her on the telephone and left a message asking her “can you EVER answer the phone?!”
After a series confusing calls with the bank to block the debit card, I discovered that I was the culprit. Earlier in the week, I had received a debit card that I believed to be linked to the account I use. When I tested it out, the ATM machine said I used the wrong PIN. I had the PIN reset to my normal PIN. It was me making the debit charges with the card linked to the expense account.
So, I called Ronda up, and as par for the course, could only get her voice mail. But I left a message explaining what had happened. I also sent her a text message that we needed to discuss the telephone access issue because I could never reach her by phone when I needed to.
The next day, she called me up and we discussed the incident, I apologized for my messages and we left it at that. She worked the next Tuesday and Thursday as scheduled. I called her at 6:30 on Thursday because I was going to be late and she said she could stay until me or my husband got home. My husband arrived before I did and she left without saying a word.
On Friday morning, Ronda left a voice message on my work phone at 8 a.m. stating that she was resigning and that her letter of resignation was in the cabinet above the desk in the family room. Ronad knows I never get to work before 9:30.
I tried calling her several times to discuss this and she would not answer the phone as usual. I called and spoke to her live-in boyfriend who explained that “She told you she didn’t use that card…” He also told me how upset she was on her vacation by the voice messages that I left trying to contact her about the debit card.
I asked him whether he thought that quitting without notice by voice message was reasonable and his response was that she quit and I should just move on. I asked him if he thought it would be fair to Ronda if I were to fire her by leaving her a voice message. For this, he had no answer.
Since then, I’ve not heard from Ronda. I have made up excuses to my children as to why she is picking them up from school. It breaks my heart, like when this morning, my daughter told me she wanted to go see Ronda and her daughter Amber. I told them she was out of town.
What do I tell my children?
They are only 3 years old and I don’t want them to feel sad since they’ve lost a friend so sudden and unexpectedly with no explanation.
Btw, the letter that I finally found after emptying out the entire contents of the cupboard stated that she was quitting because of “unresolved differences”. She never spoke to me EVER about any problems. She did however tell my friend who she works for that I accused her of something she just can’t get past. This just never happened.
I can't express how bitter I am about allowing this women to endear herself to my children and then betraying us in this manner. If she didn't want to work for me that is fine. To quit her employment in such as passive, aggressive and hostile manner, with no regard for my children is unconsionable.