$50 to make you hollar

Received Friday, July 10, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN I was hoping to receive some advice about my current situation:

I've been blessed to stay with an amazing family this summer as a live-in nanny. The hours are great and the family is lovely, but I've had some issues lately. The mother hasn't necessarily been paying me on time, and this last week, the payment was $50 short. I know fifty dollars is fifty dollars, and I'm not sure if it was a mistake, but I'm uncertain of how to approach her without the conversation being really uncomfortable. It's just a rough spot to be in since I'm living in the house with them and I don't want things to be awkward. On top of that, when I first decided to work for the family, they agreed to pay me back for the flights here and then home. I've been living with them for a few months now, and also need advice on how to ask her for money to cover the flights. Should I ask for half now and then half when I leave? I need advice!


SAHM said...

I would ask her about the money. When we had a babysitter I would forget how much we agreed on (although I think I was overpaying and not underpaying her). It was probably an honest mistake and one she won't mind you bringing up.

CuriousDad said...

This is a two parter:

Take a deep breath, talking about money with any boss is always uncomfortable. Request a sit down chat with at time when they are not over tired or over committed and you also are not over tired or over committed. Wear decent clothes; perferably something that is not a "I am going out" or "I am going to the yard/pool to play". Take another deep breath and ask this of her.
"I believe I was short on my pay on XX day, I received X amount. If she was short, then she should then arrange too pay you what you are owed. Now that said, do you know if she is taking out your taxes and other wage deductions? She may be taking your State, Federal and all other taxes out and this is what you seeing missing. Ask her to help you out by showing you how everything is calculated.
After that conversation, Then you can go into asking about how they are paying you back for your plane ticket and arranging your flight back. Your main interest of course to insure everything runs smoothly for them and you.

CuriousDad said...

Second Part:
Amazing family my ass.

If she has not "necessarily been paying me on time" as you say and has "Forgotten" the correct amount, then you are possibly in big trouble. If it happens constantly, you can be pretty sure the family is in financial difficulties or the woman just does not have a clue. You very well may not get your plane tickets reimbursed.
In which case, I am really sorry.
A verbal promise is generally not an easily enforceable contract.
Especially if these words are used "We will see" Or "We might be able to"

You might want to think about finding a better job. One that pays on time and correctly.

The again if you can live with the rest of the time being late or short, and enjoy being with this amazing family. GOOD LUCK!

NannyDownSouth said...

It is quite easy to mis-count cash(IF that is how your are paid). In your situation, I would simply bring it up at a time when the kids are asleep and you have Mom's full attention. It was probably a simple mistake. Just say you needed to ask her something, that you're sure it was a mistake, but that your pay last week was short $50. From here, she will either realize she accidentally shorted you, or she will then bring up whatever reason she had for purposely deducting $50. If you're paid by check, then it was obviously purposeful, and in that case I would ask to have a sit down with both Mom and Dad and broach the subject. Say that you noticed your check was $50 short, and say that you asked to speak with them because you want to know what you did to have that deduction so that you can fix the behavior. This will make you seem totally clueless, and they will hopefully have a good reason.

Regarding your trip home. This will be MUCH easier to bring up than the money issue. They previously agreed to do this, so all you have to do is say "I was looking online last night to find the cheapest deals on round-trip flights to X(your home town). I found a great deal for $XXX. Is that about the amount you were expecting to pay for my trip?". You will be totally innocent and the employer will basically have no choice but to agree, unless of-course she's already planning on backing out of her commitment.

To the PP who suggested taxes might be the cause for the $50 missing. It sounds to me as if this was not her first pay date, so if it were taxes being taken out, she would already know by now that was the cause of any deduction.

CuriousDad said...

Nanny Down south:

Yes, I caught the bit that this was not her first pay check after I had posted and reread it.

But that all said, I like what you wrote about the looking for plane tickets online bit and asking the boss(es) about it, I think the OP should use that.

Kaitlyn and Daniel said...

Fifty dollars is a lot of money, I think, so you should definitely say something about it. Just be as polite and cordial as you can be and tell her that you think there was a "mix-up" with your paycheck and maybe you can write down the hours on a piece of paper to give to her. As for the flights, stick to your guns about them paying for it. They SHOULD have paid for your first flight up front. Tell them, at the same time, that you would like to go ahead and book your flights so you would appreciate it if you could get that flight money now. If they are honest, decent people I don't foresee a problem. However, if they're not, I hope you guys signed a contract; otherwise they may weasel out of their promise and you may be out the flight money. But since you said they are amazing I don't think it will be an issue--just some advice about contracts for the future! Good luck!

NannyDownSouth said...

Thank CuriousDad, I'm quite passive aggressive, but I'm still good at getting what I want while still being that way, lol!

fox in socks said...

I think that you should speak with them immediately, as soon as possible, about the $50. Leave them a note, if that's the fastest way to reach them. For something like this, you should notify them as soon as you notice that they didn't pay you the full amount. The more time that goes by the less "valid" such a claim becomes, so don't wait.

As for the plane tickets, you say that you are waiting for them to pay you back, so this means you already paid for the tickets. You should immediately give them a note along with a copy of the receipts for the tickets (just something that shows how much you paid), and in the note say something like this, "Here is a copy of the receipt for the plane tickets for which I laid out the money. I really appreciate your having promised to cover this expense. It's been a nice summer so far." This also serves them to remind you that they have agreed to pay for this, otherwise you would never have made the trip.

It is bizarre that they haven't reimbursed you for this large expense sooner. One would think they would reimburse you the moment you laid out the money or the moment you got there.

I'm not too optimistic that you will get paid back for the tickets at all, quite frankly.

If you think the dad will be more receptive, perhaps you want to leave him the notes instead of her. Use your judgement.

Please come back and post again to let us know what happens.

fox in socks said...

Just wanted to add something because I reread your original posting. I didn't realize you had been there for a few months already! That is a very long time. I think you really need to get the money for the plane tickets back immediately. This may not be pretty. People don't just "forget" about something like that.

Just approach them and say you haven't yet been paid back for laying out what is a very large expense for you, and you just can't finance the charge on your credit card any longer, that you really need the money and can you please get it right away.

I think they are just hoping you are not going to ask for it, or hoping you forgot about it yourself.

Manhattan Nanny said...

There are a couple of big red flags here. Number one, the employer should have paid for the plane ticket in the first place, it is very simple to do, five minutes on the computer. That is customary even to fly a nanny in for an interview.
Second alarm, they don't pay you on time.
Third, short changing you. Could it be a mistake? My pay was once short $100 the second week on a new job. I was very uncomfortable, and asked DB to check and see if he had an extra $100 cash. He said no, no, I'm sure you're right, and said he made mistakes like that frequently, and apologized profusely. They turned out to be a wonderful honest, pay on time family. I don't think this was a mistake in your case, given the first two issues.
My opinion: GET THE MONEY NOW! If you wait until nearly time to leave, you are not going to get it.

fox in socks said...

and I don't necessarily think you oare going to get it even now . . .