Received Sunday, April 19, 2009
I have a very disturbing problem. I assure you that this is not submitted for any reason but to get advice from other parents. I am worried about the legal and moral implications. We have had a nanny for three months. We use a nanny camera. My husband reviews random nanny camera footage, since she is new. I am guessing that many people have found off things on their nanny cameras, anything from cheating spouses to robberies, but I think our situation takes the cake. We have two nanny cameras, one in the playroom and one in the kitchen which is the hub of the house. Our nanny is currently attending a wedding that she told us she needed to attend when she accepted our position back in January. My husband was making sure the nanny cameras are working because we are using a fairly new sitter. Upon reviewing the tapes, he came across something disturbing. I don't know how essential the exact details are, you may edit them as you choose. Here is what we saw.
The nanny comes into the kitchen with a water pick machine. She plugs it into a kitchen outlet and now the water pick machine is setting on the counter. She goes to the coffee machine and removes the caraffe. She pours the coffee in the water pick machine. She disappears from the room. She comes back two minutes or so later. She pulls down her pants, bends over the counter and inserts the water pick into what appears to be her "bottom". She makes some strange faces. She turns the machine off. Now she is standing, somewhat cupping her bottom, dancing back and fourth on her feet like she has to go to the bathroom. I am not sure what she is exactly doing. She disappears from the room, returns five minutes later. She breaks apart the water pick. I can't see how through she washes it because her back blocks out the camera. Then she turns, puts the plastic part of the water pick machine on the counter, the tip on the counter and then dries them off with a paper towel. Then she disappears from the room again. She returns about 15 minutes later and is cutting up fruits and vegetables. Our nanny camera is digital and can be monitored via computer. The images are very clear. What do we do with this? My husband thinks we should make a copy to keep for ourselves and then a copy for an acquaintance of ours who the nanny babysits for on Saturday nights. I think that would possibly cause us legal problems.
My husband and I are shocked, revolted and disgusted, but most of all we are very disturbed. The nanny is a very sweet, shy, Mormon girl, originally from Utah. She doesn't go out drinking, she doesn't seem to have a boyfriend and she has a few like-minded friends that she pals around with on her off time. As disgusted as I am, I don't see a reason to ruin her life or embarrass her, but we are both certain that we wish to terminate her. I think we should give her two weeks severance upon her return and let her go immediately. My husband thinks that we shouldn't give her anything. She has only been with us for three months, but she has in that time gone above and beyond her duties, been incredibly responsible and hardworking and kind to all of us.
The timing on the tape was during the children's mid winter break, and it does not appear that there were any children present in the home while she was "occupying herself". I would appreciate real suggestions and advice. Our nanny will return from the wedding on Tuesday afternoon. We placed an ad in the local paper that ran today advertising the nanny job and I have been flooded with responses. There seem to be a lot of well qualified nannies out there looking for work. This works to our advantage, obviously. I am planning to take tomorrow off and I have several interviews scheduled throughout the day. One question I have is, what do I tell the nannies when they ask about our current nanny? What is a satisfactory response that isn't too revealing? Given the quality of nannies that seem to be out there, I do want to make sure that our job looks appealing to a prospective nanny.