Monday

"Wait, who are you?"

Received Monday, January 12, 2009- Rants & Warnings
Let me start by saying the following is going to sound incredibly absurd to the point one may believe it to be made up. It's not. When I told this story to my current employer she said "Wow, I've never really thought of it from your side, we (employers) are always so worried about our own safety we don't realize the risks you guys take with just an interview."

I'm not that naive, I'm young, I'm not new to this and I understand that people are not always who they say they are. That being said, here is my story.

About two weeks before Christmas I got the boot from my former employer, my first nanny job I found through nannies4hire. Not an ideal job, but not terrible. No severance pay, nada. So I was stuck in a bind. I had no money coming in apart from my part-time job which currently was case-less (I am an IEI therapist, so pay is case based.) Nannies4hire doesn't offer much for areas in Maryland that I am willing to cover. So I expanded my searches to Craigslist, GreatAupair, Care and some unknown, sub-par, lousy services. I generally trust websites where employers have to pay (only in this field, for obvious reasons.) So I was ecstatic to get a call from someone on GreatAupair. I did research and saw few negative reviews, so I figured it was a safe bet. Right?

Well, my phone call was from a single father with two kids, looking for a live in. Of course this situation in itself, at least to me and in my area, is out of the ordinary. There are very few single fathers with full custody of their children, especially so young (ages 1 and 3.) So, automatically, I am wary of the simple fact that the person seeking my services is male, without a partner of any sort. Again, for my area, this is uncommon. I'm sure there are others who can understand where I come from with this. On the phone, he was a bit, pushy, shall we say? But I accredited that to his situation. He said his nanny of a year or two had gotten home sick and engaged over the break so he needed someone within the next two weeks. Desperation, okay. So he wanted to have an interview that night. He was the first to suggest that it be somewhere public, as he understand that a male in his situation is often awkward and sketchy. We talked about a few details over the telephone, he went out of his way to explain to me that he was looking for someone to perform the duties of a wife--but not in the bedroom (which he reiterated more than enough.) He wanted a companion and a mother for his children. I understand that.

So given all the circumstances, I decided the Starbucks in a place that I knew very well. Conveniently located directly across from my boyfriend's house (who is a 6 ft 4, easily angered Irish man ;).) Normally I meet families in home, this was the only exception. So I was still hesitant even after making the plans, but my mother talked me into it and convinced me I was just uncomfortable because he was a man.

Well, on the way there I got at least 2 phone calls from him asking where I was, knowing I was in rush hour traffic. Understandable, again, he has 2 children that are waiting for him. Third phone call is what gave me that gut feeling. He told me that he would be sitting on the hill, in his silver Camry with his lights off. I was baffled, why not just go in and say "I'm wearing _____" So I say okay. I have no intentions of going anywhere near his car or even letting him see mine as I am becoming more and more wary of the situation as I get closer. Now, I know I will probably get flamed for being stupid, but I had a hard time distinguishing that gut feeling from actual fear or stereotyping. I figure in a public place there can only be so much harm. So I arrive and park my car on the other side of the building, call him and tell him I am inside.

We meet, he seems nice. I'm an outgoing person, generally pretty abrasive. As was he, but above and beyond what an employer should be. He told me he wanted a live in, which we discussed earlier and I'd informed him I was not interested in that, I lived close enough that a commute was not a problem, as he'd earlier confused my area with one much further away.

He told me his life story, in entirely too much detail. About how he'd had a child with another woman that he didn't know about 13 years ago and how weird it was that he has a son that he never sees. Then he asked me about my life, about my boyfriend which he'd asked about on the phone earlier. I understand the questioning about a boyfriend. I am not a parent but if I am entrusting my child's care to someone for extended amounts of time, especially, I want that person to have good people in their lives. But he seemed more interested in my relationship than my actual qualifications as a nanny. He also told me that if the opportunity arose to move on with my boyfriend (as in get engaged or married) that he did not want to "stand in the way of love." Sweet. Then he asked if he (we'll call him W for now) would pose a problem to my relationship. He asked how close I thought my boyfriend and I were to being engaged, which completely shocked me, as he knew that I was only 20 and honestly, the idea of marriage this young is pretty foreign to me. This led into the discussion of how he met his children's mother, now ex wife.

W tells me they met in Miami while he was on business and she was a fresh 18, he was about 32 or 33. He found out she was stripper, they got married anyway. She is 22 now, a "druggie" and "crack head" and just up and left him and their children. This is what kind of set off something in my head. He kept complimenting me and telling me that if things don't work out between me and my boyfriend that he'd love to date me, he commented on how tiny I am and how he likes tiny girls.

There are a ton of other things that made me want to just up and run out of the Starbuck's after that, but I'm sure that it doesn't need to be said as you can see why I think this person is such a creeper. So not long after this I decided it was time for this interview to end, get out of there as quickly as possible. So I go to leave, he walks beside me and tells me he is going to walk me to my car, this is where I was stupid. I was a little panicked, I didn't know what to do, luckily I was in an open area. I walked over to the car, he pulls out his phone as I'm trying to leave and tells me to look at pictures of his children. I do. And rather than a handshake or wave good bye, he goes for a hug. Not beyond weird, but just not something I am comfortable with, or anyone in my position would have been.

He gives me his business card, I leave.

Lucky for me and hopefully someone else reading this, Maryland has a wonderful online court system (the actual judicial system is another story) in which you have complete and total access to all Maryland court records. With someones first and last name, you can find out if they've ever been in the court system. So for you employers and employees or anyone in Maryland, make use of this.

I had such a bad feeling leaving this, I did my research. On his business card, it had his first, middle and last name. I plugged this into the website, and got over 30 hits on HIS name. I verified this was indeed the same person I'd spoken to by making sure the birth date and area was correct (he'd told me when I'd mentioned mine, since they were pretty close.)

I looked through as many as possible, nearly every single one were serious criminal charges. He had been indicted for kidnapping, charged and convicted of Rape 1st degree, 2ND degree, false imprisonment, multiple counts of domestic violence, peace orders, restraining orders, battery & assault, violating exparte/peace order, possession and distribution of both Marijuana and cocaine, burglary, theft and multiple counts of alcohol/drug abuse (which he'd told me in the interview that he was now a recovering alcoholic, albeit he left out the part where it is a forced clean period.) assault 1st degree, reckless endangerment, deadly weapon with intent to harm/injure.

Another record showed that he'd recently been let out of department of corrections and was in the Penitentiary that was in Jessup.

So, the reason I am posting this is to ask if anyone else has interviewed with this man, and knows who he really is. His business card that he'd given me said that his first name was Warren, however when I looked at who hotlisted me on GreatAupair, his first name was Alan. You'd think maybe it was a middle name he goes by, but after searching through the records, I found that this was never a known name.

So please ladies (and gentleman?) be careful. Employers, think about how you worry about your own safety and reverse the roles; someone who doesn't know you is coming to your house, in a crazy crazy world where anyone can pretend to be somewhere else.

29 comments:

not a park slope nanny said...

Wow, what a scary story! I'm sure the hairs on the back of your neck must have went up after you got home and found all of this out! I'm glad nothing happened, and at least you thought enough to meet this creep in a public place. We should always be a little leery of strangers because you just never know!

Sarah said...

I'm glad you are ok!! ALWAYS just listen to your gut, it knows more than you think.

Mum of 2 said...

We should all listen to our "Blink" moments - that gut feeling. Too bad you didn't have his full name to check his background before hand.

Jacqui said...

You handled the situation well...You made smart decisions every step of the way. (except maybe having him walk you to your car, but I think most people would have done the same. I would have.)

I've learned to trust my gut more than anything or anyone else. Sometimes its your best defense.
I'm glad you're ok. I really hope no one else falls victim to this man. However, with a criminal record like that, it seems likely he'll strike again and again.

Phoenix said...

Can you report him for something? Well actually you can't. I would report him to all the Nanny service sites that you used. he gave them a false name! Tell them your story and don't let them send any more girls to him. They might send over a nanny that doesn't have as much sense as you or any gut instinct at all... someone could get hurt. i would even call the cops and see if he is violating any kind of restrainging order. And wouldn't he need to be listed in the sexual offender database for rape?

I am happy that you are ok... these situations are very scary.

kc said...

Oh man. Scary stuff. I'm glad you're ok!

Miserly Bastard said...

All women should read "The Gift of Fear", by Gavin de Becker. In a nutshell, the book explains why instinctive fear is an evolutionary survival trait; your subconscious mind assembles "clues" about danger, and expressed them as "fear", before your conscious mind can even articulate what makes you afraid. If you are afraid, trust your instincts.

alex said...

Wow! Did you report this to the website? I mean, I wonder if this guy actually has the kids. Since he went into such detail it seems like he does and basically is using them to find a wife. Although what judge would give two young kids to that guy?

But please, always trust your gut! And please report him to the website. I don't know if you can report him to authorities because he really didn't *do* anything but you could try to find out if he did anything that violated his parole.

Best Seller said...

Great advice, Alex & Phoenix! Maybe if OP goes back to the Agency that he found her on and tells them her story, more can be done to stop this guy.

NannyInCharge said...

I'm really doubting this guy even has kids!! There is no way he'd get custody with that rap sheet if he does.

I once responded to a childcare ad and it was the Dad corresponding with me. He did sound kind of weird but just in a granola kind of way. I met him in a public place at the mall and he had his son with him. I ended up not even meeting the wife until the first time I worked for them. It was the weirdest experience ever (however not scary like yours, just weird) as they did not have a thing in the house. No books, no tv, no food, nothing. After I put the baby to bed at 8pm I literally sat on the couch staring at the walls for 5 hours. It was a nightmare. I looked their names up on the internet and they were in swingers groups! I never worked for them again!!!

Jacqui said...

Miserly, I'm definitely going to check out that book. Thanks for the recommendation.

Philly Nanny said...

You should definitely report him to the aupair website. They should be able to ban his IP address--if they can't, they're probably not too legit and you should find another place to look for jobs.

amanda said...

did you contact the police? i'm sure this is a violation of his probation!

pervs are crap sacks said...

wtf, what a creep! So great that you listened to your gut OP. You're a smart woman.

Em said...

Here's a thought:
His ex wife is not on drugs. He doesn't have the children with him, she has full custody, but he was planning a kidnapping, or trying to marry you to show stability in order to get his children.

Greataupair should screen their parents and nannies better.


I so agree with you on the safety part Op. Sometimes parents forget that it's a two way street.
They need to be screened as much as the nanny needs to be screened.

Great lesson here on following gut instincts.

Thanks Miserly Bastard.

Glad you are safe Op. This will help somebody else someday.

AUstin Nanny said...

Miserly Bastard---That book is amazing. After reading it, I always listen to that "gut" feeling even if it seems irrational, like not heading down a street I've driven down 100 times or not parking in a certain garage even if it was well lighted and seemed safe.

OP, I'm glad you're safe!

Shannon said...

Report him to Great Au Pair. I know for a fact that they have an area specifically for complaints about families.

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

Something similiar happened to me. Only my defenses were off because I had been let go of one job because the children liked me too much and took a job with a family that I could not stand. So much so, I walked out and never went back. My boyfriend and I were just moving in and he flipped out and acted like I had quit without cause and wanted for him to support me. I was pissed off and made a ton of calls. One of the people who wanted to meet me was a male who was in town on business and relocating his family. I agreed to meet him at a neighborhood grill and bar. We sat at the bar. He was attractive and I didn't quite believe what he said. It all sounded too good to be true. He got me very drunk and I ended up having sex with him in his car before he dropped me off two blocks from my home. I stumbled home drunk and dripping with another man's spagoo. It was horrible. My boyfriend was asleep. I got in the shower, cleaned off and hit the sidewalk the next day. I ended up taking a job at a Subway sandwich shop and managing it 6 months later. No, that's not a great end to my story. It sucked. everything sucks. such as life. one big suckfeast after another.

2:30AM re-post for Anonymous said...

RE-POST FOR ANONYMOUS:

Anonymous said...

That's scary! I just moved from Maryland 3 months ago. You have to trust your instincts!! I didn't go on an interview the other day, because something seemed a little off.

2:30 AM

(You need a Moniker!!)

SillySpagooDumpster said...

O:

"He got me very drunk "

did he pinch your nose shut and pour the drinks in your mouth?

You got yourself drunk.

Kudos on the term "spagoo," though. I like that one

curious said...

is there a website for dc where we can search court records?

scary said...

Wow, that's really scary!

As someone else in the MD suburbs currently job hunting this was timely...

I'm glad you were okay. Hopefully you didn't go straight home in case he followed?

As far as job searching- try the local newspapers as well. Often overlooked.

chrissyma said...

Shannon-
It can't be left anonymously. That is my problem. This father does have my contact info, clearly, as he also has my resume.


And I will trust my gut from now on.

Curious, as far as DC records go, I don't believe so. I believe there are only 2 states that have this.

chrissyma said...

Phoenix, he is still being prosecuted (I guess, I just know from the site it is an ongoing case.) Feel free to send me a message through blogger and I can give you the link to the detailed reports. I'm hesitant to post it simply for harassment, as it lists his address(es.)

sickofthesickos said...

Amanda is right. If he is a sex offender and/or on probation or parole, his PO would DEFINITELY want to know about his "nanny search". I find it hard to believe anyone with this record, expecially the sex offenses, and having been in jail, would have sole custody of kids. I mean, where were they when he was in jail? It sounds like someone is up to his old tricks, or thinking about it, and maybe was scared off if you mentioned your boyfriend lived nearby. Thank God you are OK. Someone with a record like that is dangerous. Even if the police cannot arrest him, or even if it is not enough to violate parole/probation, I would think that authorities would really want to know this information. As someone who works in this field- I would ABSOLUTELY want to know.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
7:07PM re-post said...

RE-POST FOR ANONYMOUS:
Anonymous said...
please tell us the last name! I live in maryland and want to avoid this person. i'm glad you are okay.

7:07 PM
(You need a moniker)

chrissyma said...

Sickofthesickos and anyone else, I'm not sure what the deal is. For some reason I don't know (or believe) that he is the person he claims he is. If that makes any sense? I did search the database for sex offenders and I got nothing with his name, not even near matches. :(

He also said he used to work for the State's Attorney office,not that it has any significance.

As far as anonymous [deleted] goes, get about contacting me on here and I can help.