Wednesday

New Nanny Caught in Lie About Lineage

Received Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Perspective & Opinion 2 weeks ago I hired a nanny. Things seem okay. In the beginning, you do realize that in the first two weeks you are getting to know each other and learning to trust. Well, unfortunately during the course of the interview, the nanny presented herself as Irish and Italian. This came about when I asked her about her last name. Today (Day 11 of her employment), I find out that she is half Columbian and intentionally lied to me. Besides the trust issue, how do I deal with this? I have no idea how to go forward.

53 comments:

aml said...

Could be a green card issue? Do you have her social security number and did all the backround checks?

Nanny in Cali said...

I personally do not think what she lied about was important.. however,that is strange that she would lie about her race. On a personal level, I believe if she lies about something like this, then she is capable of lying to you about other stuff in the future, which may include some larger lies concerning your child (ren)!
I don't know how you found out the truth, but I would ask her why she told you she was one thing when she was another. Find out the reasoning behind it. If it seems fishy, go w/your gut and just let her know after your "trial" period, you don't feel it is a good match and let her go. If it really seems her lying was to impress you or whatever, then I would let it go, but tell her that being honest is very important to you in a parent/nanny relationship and you would appreciate it if she was upfront and honest w/you in the future.

Best Seller said...

What Nanny in Cali said.
Good post.

jj bloom said...

Hmm, I think OP has her hands full now with a Columbian Nanny. It's kind of like getting a Dominican Cigar when you want a Cuban. Isn't that the problem?

Kelly's girl said...

The biggest question right now is -
WHO IS SHE? Is she all the way who she says she is or did she just lie about lineage? Sometimes people only recite the lineage they have been told...

Jacqui said...

Maybe she knows that sometimes nannies of different races are typecast as cheap labor and didn't want to be put in that category when looking for a job she feels she is fully qualified for.

Best Seller said...

Ouch, JJ!

NannyInCharge said...

I would just ask her straight up why she lied about such a thing. Her answer may surprise you, or it may make you even more weary. If you have a bad feeling after that, just let her go.

Yucky said...

What do you mean, OP, by "presented" herself as Irish and Italian?

Did she say it? Or act it out in charades?

Columbians ARE nasty and untrustworthy, practically gangsters who go blowing stuff up, not like the Irish and the Italians, so you should fire her immediately for being a dirty brownskin.

I mean really, why did she lie? because she could probably tell you'd judge her about her lineage.

N carolina 72 said...

I worked as a counselor for a nanny agency and let me tell you something, people order up their nannies like they order up their Whoppers. I had calls from people requesting a Brazilian, telling me not to send any Jamaicans, ordering up an Israeli, a Russian, someone white and young, but fat and frumpy. Someone thin, no fatties. Someone who didn't wear a lot of makeup and could wear her hair in a pony tail. A Portuguese nanny under 30. A grandmother like Polish nanny who was still active. A trilingual American who was unmarried and not dating.

So who knows what this OP's problem is, but you're kidding yourself if you think people don't get to choose exacly who they want in THEIR house taking care of THEIR children.

ericsmom said...

I agree with Jacqui. Maybe, she felt that if you knew her background you would offer her a lower wage.

But Nanny in Cali has a good point. How do you know shes not capable of lying about other things in the future.

Agency Ad said...

OP, did you happen to reply to an ad that stated your nanny was Irish/Italian? I ask because there is an obvious agency ad that gets posted all the time on message boards advertising herself as "an American born nanny of Italian and Irish descent" (sometimes gets switched to Polish). It's obviously an agency, but presents as one person. Wondering if you replied to this ad thinking you were getting the lady in the ad, but were bait and switched out to someone else.

mom said...

What nanny in cali said. It's probably important to figure out why she lied. But if oyu are going to have lingering mistrust issues it's best to let her go during the trial period. If you do let her go, tell her why so she won't make the same mistake again. Explain that you wouldn't have cared what her nationality was,but you do care that she wasn't honest. Explain to her that she is probably best off not working for a person with prejudice against Columbians anyway (if that turns out to be the reason she lied), so she is best all aorund to tell the truth up front next time.

I personally have trouble trusting anybody once I know they have been able to look me in the eye and lie, but honesty is one of my "must haves" in any relationship...and everybody is different.

oh well said...

Not sure what you mean. "Besides trust issues, how do I go about this?" So you don't want her to nanny for you because she is half-Columbian? Or you don't want her to nanny for you because she told you a lie?
I think the lie would be a deal breaker for me.

chick said...

I am confused as to why she would lie about her nationality.

Did you specify in your ad/with your agency that you wanted and Irish/Italian nanny only?

If so, maybe she lied/was told to lie in order to get the job.

Ask her why she misrepresented herself, and then decide after that what to do. If she was told to lie by the agency you hired, fire them first then decide what to do about nanny.

Mich said...

Did the agency say she was Italian/Irish or did she tell you she was? Maybe it was what agency ad said,the bait and switch thing or maybe she was afraid you'd lower her wage if you knew she was Columbian. Or maybe she's all 3 of those things and doesn't always mention each ethnic background?

I don't think that's something that should be lied about,I mean what does that matter anyway? Your race or nationality shouldn't matter as long as your legally allowed to work.

ATL Nanny said...

Is it not possible that she is both half Columbian AND of Irish-Italian decent (the other half). If her heritage came up in the interview as a result of your curiosity about her last name (as you say in your post) isn't it possible that she explained only her paternal heritage because it is the source of her last name? If she later mentioned being half Columbian, my assumption would be that this was her maternal heritage, not that she intentionally lied. What evidence do you have (her own confession?) that she specifically lied or hid her ethnicity from you? If she did lie, I would want to know why. But I would hesitate to jump to that conclusion.

Upstate Mom said...

I think I agree with ATL nanny, in that maybe she is Irish Italian because she was raised by her mother. Only her last name is Columbian, and she might not identify with that half if she didn't have a relationship with her father. I'm not saying she didn't, I just think there might be an explanation as to why she doesn't think she lied, and you do. I'd ask her.

whatever said...

that was my first thought too. I am irish/english, but also portuguese. Does it really matter?

Best Seller said...

I'm Irish/Indian & Polish, but I hardly ever reveal the Polish.

Dr. Cool said...

Ummm, you be NOT a racist and realize that she lied because she smelled judgy-ness on you.

honest nanny said...

I would find out why she lied, if it is reconcilable then move on. But if you are feeling "ify" about her already then it is not a good fit. These are YOUR CHILDREN. I wouldn't fool around with someone who can't be honest with you with something as simple as her race.

Did you do background checks and verify her citizenship? These are crucial steps that too many parents overlook. I WANT my families to conduct these checks on me so that I know and THEY know I'm a safe person to watch their children.

cali mom said...

Perhaps she can smell a racist a mile away and decided to take your word for it that you aren't an a$$hole. So all in all, maybe you two are now even. WTF is it to you if she is "half Columbian"? As long as she is here legally and you are paying her on the books (busted!) it matters not.

Manhattan Nanny said...

The issue isn't her nationality, or race people. (Columbian is not a race btw). It is her ethnic background.

OP,
You didn't ask her country of origin, current citizenship, or legal status to work. You asked about the origin of her surname. She answered your question. Apparently the origin of her name isn't Columbian, so how is that lying?

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aleirbag~gabriela said...

columbia is a university. colombia is a country. sorry to be the spelling police. =)

cali mom said...

Yes, thank you aleirbag~gabriela. I thought it looked a bit odd :)

EFG said...

nobody said anything about the op not paying taxes?Calimom how did you come to that conclusion?

cali mom said...

Just a hunch, but I suspect that the type of person who would shit bricks at the horrifying discovery that her nanny is "half Columbian" would also be the type to pay cheap and off the books.

So, OP, did you verify her legal right to work in the US, and are you paying her on the books? I guess OP could just "deal with this" by saying to the nanny "sorry nanny, but I do not employ any "half Columbians". You're fired."

Author said...

When I considered hiring a nanny, I concerned the make up of the neighborhood. There are two families that have Jamaican nannies and many of the American/Italian/Irish nannies do not schedule or host play dates with them. The English nannies will work with American nannies but are similarly not so fond of Spanish nannies. The best families in the neighborhood have American or English nannies. I'm sorry if you think by reporting this fact, I am a bad person. I'm not. I'm just playing the game, and yes I wanted my children to be included in the preferred circle of play dates. That the nanny chose to represent her ethnicity to me is huge. It is a common fact that different nannies do things differently. I don't know what route to use, but we do plan to terminate her Friday after work. I have met 2 suitable candidates today at coffee shops. Neither of who has me excited and I don't intend to rush in to this.

cali mom said...

So, are you hiring legally and paying on the books?

Just middle class said...

OP author,
"The best families in the neighborhood....... I wanted my children to be included in the preferred circle of play dates."

Oh man, I'm glad I don't live there!

Mich said...

What a lame reason to fire a nanny or not hire one,her ethic background. What a bitch you are OP!

You're racist and it seems like your showing your children to be as well.

honest nanny said...

Author,

I commend you for "playing by the system!" I am an American/English nanny and I get snubbed by many of the intercultural nannies out there. I'm not a racist by any means, my Haitian husband is laying next to me as I write this, but it is true that certain cultures will not intermix despite my best attempts. It doesn't hurt me, it hurts the children as they deserve to play with whomever they befriend. As nannies we shouldn't not allow "our" children to play with kids at the park or schedule play dates just because we won't be able to communicate or get along with the kid's nanny! Who are we working for again?

I'm in the Chicago area, if you happen to live in this same metro I would be happy to meet with you and interview for your open position.

LA Mom said...

I didn't have time to read all comments so sorry if I'm repeating. Being Colombian is like being American. Unless you are a native Indian, you are descended from immigrants. Irish and Italians immigrated to Colombia just like they immigrated to America. Thus, you can be ethnically Irish and Italian but have your nationality be Colombian (Colombian citizenship). Just like you can be Irish and Italian and have your nationality American (US citizenship). To further elaborate, she could be descended from Irish and Italian immigrants to Colombia. Then she HERSELF immigrated to the US. Thus, she can call herself Columbian but really that's a cultural identification if nothing more.

One of my best friends is Puerto Rican and tells people that. But her last name is Italian. Her ancestry is of Italian and Spanish immigrants to Puerto Rico. Thus she has American nationality, Puerto Rican cultural identity and ethnically is Italian and Spanish.

OP, you need to be more specific here before we can say you have been deceived???

mom said...

Wow LA Mom. That could explain everything. That would mean nanny didn't lie at all...for any reason.

Manhattan Nanny said...

Re: nanny clicks.
It is natural for nannies with a lot in common to hang out together. I don't think they are "snubbing" me as a Caucasian nanny, but leery of the kind of prejudice they might encounter.
Any child my charges enjoy playing with will be invited for a play date, and I find if I go more than half way in reaching out, I get a friendly response. I work in an area with nannies from all over the world, and have learned so much about different religions and cultures from all the interesting nannies I've gotten to know. I consider it one of the perks of my job.

desperado said...

I sincerely hope that you find a good nanny for your children, OP. With the kind of education (or should I say rather lack of education) you seem to be giving them, they obviously need all the help they can get.

Jacqui said...

Amen desperado.

mom said...

Manhattan Nanny,
You make a good point. For whatever reason (I suspect because they're shy and polite) my kids attracted practically every new child at school as a new friend...and at our elementary school there were so many kids from so many different countries that caucasion was by no means the majority. Darn if most of the people weren't just as nice as they could be. And we were able to learn a lot about a lot of different places. People from somewhere else are typically very hungry for friends, but may be wary of encountering prejudice...but if you are just nice to them, they open right up.

We only had one bad "ethnic" experience and it was with jerk of a man from Saudi Arabia...although his wife was as sweet as could be....so I suspect it was mostly just that that guy was an ass.

chrissyma said...

Other than any immigration issue, which I don't recall the OP mentioning the person was foreign, I don't see how this really matters.

mom said...

chryssma,

I believe Manhattan nanny was making the point for OP that she might best hire a nanny who will make an effort to get to know the other nannies, because the kiddos might be best off realizing that its best not to stick to just one group of people to associate with. I am seconding that.
And kids can't help who their parents hire as a nanny, so it's a shame to write off certain kids because their nanny might not mix well to the other nannies. Maybe that nanny across the park, even though she looks standoffish, might just be shy and she might really like to be invited to a play date.

So, don't choose your nanny by her nationality. Choose her by her willingness to get out there and mix with the nannies of the kids your kids like.

spelling police said...

As someone wrote before, the name of the country is COLOMBIA with an "O". NOT "Columbia". Columbia with a "U" is the name of an Ivy League university in New York City. Typically I think spelling errors should be ignored on this blog but I think that it's important that we, as adults, should know how to spell the names of different countries.

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NNJ said...

I couldnt hire a Jamaican because they obviously have no reading comprehension (the multiple anonymous posts, when wouldn't have been so easy to be "Jamaican Nanny").

I couldn't hire a Jamaican nanny because even if she were top of the world, the Jamaican nannies in my neighborhood are a click of lazy, bench sitting, constantly eating, talking on their cell phones, sluggish, glum and BORING nannies. I would never subject my dog to that kind of care, let alone my defenseless 2 year old.

I agree! said...

NNJ
You said it girlfriend! Just once I'd like to see a "Jamaican Nanny" come on this board and type coherently without a bunch of misspelled/misplaced words.

I guess their laziness must extend from top to bottom!

also agree said...

Fact: The average Jamaican Nanny working in the NY Metropolitan area has a fourth grade education.

Fact: My children are getting in to a good school and because I work, my nanny has to help the children with their homework and school projects. I require just a little bit more.

go American said...

That is so sad! Having to make sure your nanny has more than a 4th grade education so that they can help your kids with their homework!

Maybe there's some kids out there that can teach these Jamaican nannies something more than a 4th grade level, lol.

honest nanny said...

I think we're getting off track here with all this racial discriminatory argument. The OP's issue here seems to be more about how to deal with the lie/not lie told so early on in a shaky relationship. Whether she shoul have hired a Colombian or other nationality or not wasn't really what she was asking advice on.

Many nannies come from countries who have poor education systems, poor economy's, etc. You hire them for the relationship and safety they will provide to your family. Let's not sit around here and diss on nationalities and pretend that "WE THE WHITE AMERICANS" have all the answers.

If a particular Jamaican nanny or group in your area are lazy asses then don't hire or associate with them, but don't automatically assume that all Jamaicans are like that. That's when racism wars begin.

My husband is Haitian and he doesn't come close to matching people's negative stereotypes! In fact he is quite the opposite in many areas.

Shame on all of you for "judging a country by one man."

I'm just saying said...

Also agree,

Into is one word. I agree, you need a nanny who can help your children with homework, (and teach them the definition of prejudice.)

cali mom said...

Um, just since we are now on the topic of Jamaican nannies and THEIR supposed lack of education, I'd like to point out that the word in this context is "clique", not "click".

Manhattan Nanny said...

Thanks Cali Mom,
I never comment on anyone's education, or lack thereof, because I do make dumb mistakes myself!