"I was fired tonight...."

Received Sunday, January 18, 2009
Perspective & Opinion I need some advice: I was fired tonight because I didn't get permission from the parents to take the baby out. I've taken him out before, and I just wasn't thinking to call. I didn't realize my cell had died and when they tried to find me via calling, they panicked. I messed up totally...and I take full responsibility for this. I'm going to miss the baby so much and I wish I could undo the damage I did,...but I can't. I've been with him since he was a week old. The mom doesn't work, but they are a high profile family and are very busy, so she needed a full time nanny. I was on call, as needed and traveled at their beckon call as agreed upon at the interview. I never asked for a raise and didn't take vacation time because it was hard to schedule something with my family because of their need for me. I wish there was something I could do or say to this family to soften the panic I induced when they couldn't reach me, but I feel there's nothing I can say or do. It's like a marriage almost...when the trust is gone, there's nothing left. I sent them an email asking if they would still allow me to visit the baby from time to time...and I haven't heard back yet. Hopefully, they will allow it. I was with them for over a year and got really attached.
I guess I'm just looking for some feedback...trying to feel better about screwing up so badly.

Update Monday 1/19:
Hey everyone...thanks for all the thoughts and insight. The lady called a little while ago and they have decided to give me another chance. For that I'm so very thankful. I promised to never put them in that situation of panic again and to always let them know where we are and what we're doing. I need to keep my thoughts straight from here on out and pay attention to what I'm doing and where I'm going. Thanks again for all the feedback.


cali mom said...

Whoever they are, IMO, they sound overly paranoid and unreasonable. If you had been with them for less than a week and this happened, I could understand, but you've been with them for over a year and you still have to get specific permission to take the baby out every single time? I'm sorry this happened, OP.

mom said...

I'm sorry. That really stinks. But I also understand that the parents were terrified.
It's just one of those all around bad things where everybody involved ends up being hurt.
Unfortunately, oyu're going to have to just move on and learn from this.

Leave it in their court now. If you keep trying to contact them because of your attachment to the baby it may only scare them. They may have thougth that you stole the baby when they couldn't reach you...and if you make repeated pleas to see him, may just reawaken those feelings they had when you were missing with him.

BTW, how long were they looking for you? Was the mom home when you left with the baby and you didn't tell her? Because that would scare almost any parent if it was out of the ordinary. I'm sorry to say that unless they rethink on their own and contact you, you're pretty much going to have to chalk this one up as a very hard learned lesson.

Pink Nanny said...

Well, personally, if you have been a good nanny for a year, I think the parents reacted harshly.

I would think they would have been upset but would have been able to work it out with you. After a year, I would just think they would trust you more.

So, things being what they are, I would just leave them alone. They sound very unreasonable and borderline paranoid, and it would probably do no good to continue to contact them.

Unfortunately, they overreacted and ended your relationship with them. Whether they realize it later or not, the ball is in their court.

nyc mom said...

I agree with Cali Mom. I can't imagine employing a nanny for over a year and still requiring her to get permission before she take my chid out for a walk. Of course if I could not reach her I would worry a bit, but assuming you were out for just an hour or two, I would not freak out at all. How long were you out? Why do you have to get permission every time you leave the home? I honestly don't even get how you "messed up totally" here.

lovesthegirls said...

Hey OP--

My heart is aching for you. I know what it feels like to just have a child ripped from you like an old band-aid. So, I am not going to agree/disagree/lecture or whatever else with you. I am going to give you what you need- a hug. So, now, take your right arm and put it over your left shoulder. Now, take your left arm and put it over your right shoulder and now squeeze tight! Hang in there OP. I don't think this warranted you being let go.It is not fair. I wish I could hold you--becasue I TRULY know how you feel right now. Hang in there. I'm going to say a prayer for you--

Nanny from Fargo said...

I hope they paid you severence? This sounds harsh. I understand that they panicked, to an extent. They have had you as their nanny for a YEAR! If they can't trust you, what are they doing? I just feel like this was a slap in your face more than anything.

I'm sorry :(

I would try to simply move on. I know, easier said than done!

Miss Gaver said...

That´s terrible. I know how it is, I have been fired to. The first week after I felt like the smallest person on earth, but now, 6 months later, I´m fine. I have a new job now.

Nanny in Cali said...

OP, don't be so hard on yourself. I agree, the fact that you have been w/this family for over a year should give them good reason to trust you. Sure, it might have been a little unsettling for them to not know the wherabouts of their child, but since you have been w/them over a year, they could have just given you a warning, instead of straight out firing you on the spot. You can try to explain in detail what happened and acknowledge your mistake and that it will never happen again, you can stress how much you care for the child and want a second chance. If they are decent and really truly care for their child, they would consider. However, since they have not responded to your email, it seems they have written you off. How immature!!
Good Luck.

you know you love me xoxo said...

I have nothing to add, OP. You summed it up. The feeling they had in their gut when they could not contact you will never be erased and I doubt you will get to spend any quality time with the child ever again. When you realized your phone was dead you should have found a pay phone, borrowed a cellphone, or used the phone of where ever you were at to advise the parents of your "out of pocket" situation. Lesson learned and time to move on. Sometimes it is a very painful lesson, and of that I am truly sorry for your position.

Gro Geschenke said...

My advice to you would be to just let it go, if you talk to much about it, it only gets harder. I have a book where I write about problems that really can´t be solved. That way I can get my anger out, and then put the book away. It makes me feel like I actually put my anger away with it.

I will always love you xoxoxo said...

The feeling in their gut that the parents have and can never erase should never have presented itself. If you really trust your nanny, you imagine things like "her phone must have went dead" instead of crazy, antagonistic thoughts.

mom said...

xoxoxox...I totally agree...except that as a parent sometimes oyu just cannot help where your mind runs, no matter how much you try to reason yourself out of the fear, and no matter how much you rationally understand that your fears are probably unfounded.

Maybe OP came home at the height of that fear and got fired. Maybe they will rethink today and call her back. But it is up to them at this point. OP, I really feel for you though.

fox in socks said...

I just don't think it's that nutty to want to know where your baby is at all times, especially for a stay at home or work at home parent. It seems normal to want to know this.

You imply they are a high profile family so maybe there are special concerns here that we don't know about too. Just wondering.

Sorry this happened to you, OP.

#1 Fan said...

If I couldn't find my nanny for a short period of time, I wouldn't freak out. There are areas she drives where there is no cell service, and yes, phones do go dead. It sounds like you were working for nuerotic people. Perhaps you put up with a lot during the course of your employ because you cared so much for the baby.

Never fear, there are many babies out there looking for wonderful people such as yourself to care for their children.

debt to wealth said...

wow i really feel bad for you, but I can also understand where the parents are coming from. Even though I think they over reacted, the feeling of not knowing where your kid is has major impacts. Sorry to hear about this.

NannyInCharge said...

I agree with pretty much every one else here, but, OP - have there been any other incidences lately, big or small? This could have been the last straw. Even though you are a good nanny, perhaps they were annoyed by something else you did and this confirmed their want to fire you. The only reason I say this is because after a year, they definitely should have had a little more trust for you. Were you gone an hour or two? Or were you gone all day with a dead phone? Those factors matter as well.

I would say if they don't contact you again, wait a week or so and at least contact them to see what kind of reference if any they can give you. It would suck to have that one year gap in your employment history but it would also suck to have that bad reference. If they don't contact you, or are still mad after a week, you'll just have to move on and make sure you have a charged phone at all times.

I'm pretty religious about making sure my phone is charged and carrying my charger in my car just in case, because of the nature of my job. The one time I did arrive to work with a dead cell I made sure to tell the Mom and she provided me with an extra phone for the day.

Sorry this happened to you OP, let us know how it goes!

Wow. said...

What did she think, you sold the kid on the black market? Sounds like she was a nut job.

ericsmom said...

I wouldn't call or email them. Like someone on here already mentioned.

You know they are really angry right now! Let them cool off you never know they may call you back. And then maybe you can sit down and work out a plan for when you go out. Maybe, they can get you a beeper besides the phone. So if one dies out hopefully the other will be working.

And maybe, when you leave put a note on the fridge door. Where your going, when you will be back, etc.

Take care
let us know what happens

Humpty-Dumpty was pushed said...

Trust had nothing to do with the terrorizing feeling the parents endured until they knew everyone was safe. If the child AND the nanny were missing, could not be contacted vis ANY of the nanny's contact numbers and disappeared without a trace - The panic the parents had not only for THEIR child's safety, but probably also the nanny's can not be erased. Once the truth came to light was when the trust was broken. Sometimes trust can't be glued back together again, no matter how trustworthy someone WAS or how much you loved them.

fox in socks said...

I do think that Humpty Dumpty Was Pushed explains some possibilities very well.

As I was suggesting in my post, we just don't know all the factors here.

It seems silly to doubt the employers' genuine fear,especially since the OP herself doesn't doubt it, but realizes she made a big boo boo!

Anonymous said...
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millows said...

Im sorry this is a tough situation. Because you were with them for so long, maybe after the intial panic passes they will reconsider. I can understand why the freaked out but you were with them for a year and not a stranger.

Faith said...

OP - can you explain more why they were so freaked out? Is she a control freak? Were you gone a super long time? Is it because they are "high profile" and someone might hold the kid for ransom? We need more details (not because they will help but because we are nosey) :)

Sprak said...

too bad... Maybe the parents will have a change of heart after they get over the initial shock and fear. Of course, they may not change their minds at all and it's really up to them, after all. I truly can imagine how frightened they were and that's hard to forget.

honest nanny said...

whew! i'm so relieved for you!!! someone mentioned earlier that if your cell is dead you should find a pay phone or other means of calling and i agree. i recently was working for a family that was REALLY strict on calling when we left and returned so i understand the arrangement you have here. but i also told them that there may be times when they call that i would be busy with the baby and they should leave a message and call again in a few minutes. always have a back up plan. :) you are legally responsible for their child's care, which is a great responsibility! good luck to you, i hope you and this family are able to move past today's tragic panic!

lovesthegirls said...

I am thrilled to hear this! Thank God! Congrats OP!!!!

NAnny Sarah said...

To avoid this situation again. Have a cell phone charger, if you can, either in the home or better yet in the car. Also, a good idea, plan the activities ahead of time- write them down. Knowing they may change for one reason or another. Also maybe have a visible calender where everyone can see. "Calender saids We are going to the library today" Just a few nanny ideas. I am glad everything worked out!!! Best of luck.

Nanny M said...

Thanks for the update. I am so happy to hear they are giving you another chance. I would make sure cell is charged at all times. I would even take the extra step in calling when you get to your destination and when you come home.
When you go back it might be a good time to sit down with them and have a review.
The other advice was good as well. Have a daily plan.

We can all learn from our mistakes. I wish you the best in the upcoming year.

mom said...

Yeah!!! These are just very cautious parents. (I understand because am was one.) I thought they might rethink after the calmed down.
AS everyone has said, tell them when you are leaving since that's what the mom likes, and make sure you are available. She just wants to know where her baby is at all times. That's probably a good thing, because it means she is very connected to him and he is very important to her. At least you're not working for the kind of people who don't give a darn what you do with their kid as long as you keep him out of their hair and thay don't have to be bothered with him!
Congratulations OP!

Humpty-Dumpty was pushed said...

That is good news. From here on out you all know where you stand on issues - back up batteries to back up batteries. May the rest of this journey be uneventful with you and your charge.

oh well said...

I am really happy for you, OP. Good luck to you!

MissDeeLovesJohnCena said...

Sprak: I missed you! I am so happy to see you!

OP: When I read this yesterday, my heart went out to you. I can imagine what the parents were thinking and feeling when they couldn't reach you, and how you felt when you got "terminated". I am so happy today to see that you resolved the issue. I have a wall and car charger for my cell, and my employer will only call to tell me if she is done with work early or has to work late. Other than than, she rarely calls, and I always make it a point to have J home early, before lunch and nap.

Sarah: Excellent idea about the calendar. I thought about doing it myself, but decided not to since my employer trusts me. Yet I do think the calendar idea is great, since that way should something happen, the employer will know where to find you.

OP: Good luck!

Nanny in Cali said...

Congrats! I was hoping that the parents would cool off and give you a second chance. They probably acted out of panic and haste.
Yes, I am sure you learned a lesson here.
Good Luck in the future OP!

I do matter said...

i wonder what they would do if you quit on them for over reacting like that. people can be so rude to their nannies. i get crap from my 'boss' all the time and am sick of it. because of the crappy economy, i can't find another job and am stuck with this controlling lady. wouldn't it be nice if the boss just literally got down on her knees and begged you for forgiveness with her overreacting? And with that, a raise too...for all your trouble.
GOOD Nannies are hard to come by and I felt your pain when they fired you (when i was reading). That is a horrible feeling. You feel like a total failure and it's almost impossible to move forward. I think Nannies are sooo underrated and unappreciated. Most of us would take a bullet for that kid we take care of.

NannyInCharge said...

Thanks for the update OP! Congrats and I hope nothing like that happens again. I know the last way you want to be viewed by the parents is irresponsible! We all make mistakes, just do your best.

mom said...

geez I do matter,
The OP of this post sounded very mature in that she accepted her responsibility for what happened.

Yes, the parents overreacted...but wait until sometime you are scared witless (rational or not) about the person you love most in the entire world and see how calm and rational you are at the height of that fear.
The parents apologized, as they should have and they and OP had what sounds like a mature discussion about how this could be avoided in the future.

Everybody is happy...and frankly they all sound like nice enough people to me. Why would OP want to demean herself by making people grovel after they have already apologized? I really got from the maturity of her original post that OP is a classier sort than that.

Good for you OP...and that is probably one of the reasons your employers came to their senses and called you back the next are probably a mature and classy person all around.

nannyinmanhattan said...

OMG!! I'm seeing this post for the first time. Thats horrible what happened to you OP. Something similar happened to me a few years ago; I took my charges out to an eye appointment that ran way past our curfew. (My check out time)The dad was FRANTIC! He came home and we weren't home yet. He called and called my cell phone and my boyfriend, suggesting something dreadful happened. He was worried sick. He even wanted to call the cops, and I had been employed there for a couple years already with an outstanding record in all aspects.
(Honestly, I think he blew it out of proportion)
My cell phone died. It was a disaster!
That eye appointment took several hours which we didn't cater for, and I took the bus home with the kids in NY, in rush hour, (to avoid the trains with two toddlers in NY rush hour) Big mistake!
I paid for that with my life! (My two babies)
Thankfully today I have two more babies whom I adore and I have learned from my mistakes.
People can be absurd at times.
Don't let anything anyone does surprise you.
Good for you it worked out!

Kelly's girl said...

OP, sorry to hijack your post area, but I found "i do matters"'s post to be concerning. Your employer may be as bad as you say, but if your attitude has deteriorated to this, you owe it to the kids to leave, bad economy or not.