Received Friday, May 15, 2009
I am looking for some advice on my current situation because all my friends and family tell me I am really being mistreated but they dont have nannies and have never been one. I live in the tri-state area and I work for a widower with 5 children. When I first took the job I asked for $15 an hour and he asked if I would be willing to start at $13. I should have never agreed to that but I was anxious to get a job. The minute I started the job I realized I should have asked for even more. There are about 10 hours a week when I am at their home and all the children are at school. I agreed to do laundry, change the beds weekly, light vaccumming, dishes, and organize toys and clothes during that time. From the beginning he went beyond our agreement and was constantly asking me to do other things that weren't really part of my job like "helping" the kids put away Christmas decorations, clean out kitchen cabinets etc. The thing that always gets me is that he expects me to know where any little thing might be in his house and asks me to "hunt it down". How should I know where you put your stuff? Asking me if I've seen it is one thing but telling me to find it is another.
The children are completely spoiled by their grandmother, especially because they have no mother. She lets the kids do whatever they want until she can't stand it anymore and then starts yelling. The father has no patience either and as a result the children barely react to anything but yelling. I have my job cut out for me to get these children to obey. Homework is a nightmare; crying, fits and screaming at siblings. The children need a lot of help with their homework but it is very hard for me to help 3 of them at a time because sitting together at one table is impossible. They talk or fight with each other constantly, jumping around and chasing each other with pencils. Then of course while all this is going on I am trying to figure out how to keep the 2 little ones occupied enough to give us some quiet. Oh and I am also responsible for getting dinner ready most nights. (once in awhile Grandma will make something but her appearance is more of a hiderance than a help.) I've been working with the family for just over 6 months and the kids are finally realizing that they can't get away with anything with me and that I mean business. Sometimes I feel that I am being too tough but they need someone who will stand up to them after all the freedom they've been given in the past.
Ever since I started, my boss was always making excuses to cut my hours. I made it clear to him in the beginning that I wanted as close to full time as I could get and he promised me a MINIMUM of 38 hours. He is always saying that the grandmother wants to spend time with the kids and ends up cutting my hours to less than 38. Ive said something to him several times reminding him that I need my hours and yet he still does it. I expected that over the summer I would be getting well above 40 since the kids would be out of school. But lo and behold he gave me a prelimary schedule for the summer and has me working 30 hours. I was livid. I called him up the minute I saw the schedule and told him I needed my hours and that he promised me more. He made light of the whole thing and we have yet to work it out. I am still holding on to hope that he will come through and give me the hours he promised.
The other concern is that I think its time to ask for a raise and I think I deserve well above $15 an hour doing all that I do, but I think that would be too much to ask. I think I can ask for my original request of $15 an hour even though that is a $2 raise seeing as that is what I asked for in the first place. (and I know he can afford it, he is always buying new things for the kids and taking them on destination vacations.) He expects me to do far more than my what was agreed upon and never thanks me for anything. He is ungrateful and unapproachable. My mother thinks I should just look for another job but I am not sure that I can find another one in this economic time and the children really do need me.