Nanny Accuses Housekeeper of Being a Territorial Thief

Received Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN I have a nanny who works 4 days per week, and a cleaning lady who works once every 2 weeks. So, the nanny and the cleaning lady overlap once every 2 weeks. Last week, the nanny complained to me about the cleaning lady, saying that she uses my things (such as applying my make-up), makes fun of me, and that she suspected the cleaning lady was stealing. She also said that the cleaning lady told her not to steal her job, and not to touch the kitchen b/c it was her turf. Now, I've had this nanny for a couple months, and I've had the cleaning lady for over 2 years. I haven't ever caught the cleaning lady stealing from me (some stuff tends to go missing here and there, but it generally turns up eventually - my place isn't that neat!). Also, the cleaning lady is always soft spoken and I have never even seen her wear make-up, so it was a shock to me that she would be nasty and territorial. Now, maybe the nanny wants to steal the cleaning lady's job, but I remember during the interview with the nanny she said she only wanted to attend to the baby's need and no housework. So, what do I do??

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Previous nanny? said...

Did you have a nanny before this one? If so, how did she get along with the housekeeper?

Ns says said...

Set up a camera- if you suspect anything. That way you will knowfor sure

MinuteMuggle said...

Previous Nanny? has a good question. What kind of a nanny is she in most regards? Maybe she has a communication problem and doesn't want to get along with anyone, or she can't. Some people are like that. Perhaps she just resents the cleaning lady for being there.

To me, the cleaning lady is the employee who you have employed and trusted for so long and should at least for now be given the benefit of the doubt. Maybe if you did set up a nanny cam you would be surprised at what the NANNY is doing.

From your comments, OP, it sounds like the nanny is trying to start trouble. Telling you that the housekeeper "makes fun of you" is not a nice thing to say: and it is hearsay too. As far as accusing her of stealing, "suspecting" that she is stealing, that is a very serious accusation. If it is true, that really stinks. But what if it is not true?

This nanny sounds like trouble! Keep us posted, OP!

UNOME said...

Some of these accusations are nasty and some are criminal. Accusing anyone of stealing is a very heavy accusation.

I would handle it this way.

Talk to your nanny and ask her again if she is certain she saw the housekeeper steal. Then explain to the nanny you are thinking of pressing charges and plan to have the nanny called as a witness. You can also ask your nanny to write up a sworn statement and plan to take her to have it notarized so you can present it to the police when you file. Make sure nanny understands the police WILL need to question her.. Thank nanny so much for being so loyal as to bringing this crime to your attention, and if she balks and says it's only minor things being stolen, explain that that's called petty theft and still can be prosecuted, even as a misdemeanor. Explain that a thief is a thief in your book, and you don't plan on letting one get away with it in your house especially with an eye-witness. I've a feeling the nanny will never agree, probably back-pedal, saying she does not want to get involved, to which you can reply, I understand, but you already are involved and again I can't thank you enough. This would be a good way to find out if the nanny is lying without accusing her in anyway.

However, be prepared for the nanny to not show up for work anymore. Then again if she's a liar who wants her around the kids right?

If the nanny agrees to all this then she's probably telling the truth. Most people won't perjure themselves for jealousy.

Good luck.

Only Dad Here said...

I say...

Cage fighting match.

Whoever wins gets to clean the kitchen.

… I know, completely unhelpful. I’m feeling a little cranky today.

mom said...

What UNOME said. Very clever.

UNOME said...

OP, I should add you don't have to mean what you say, just sound sincere when saying it. It's not even really being deceptive on your part, since if the nanny is truly witnessing theft and willing to to sign a notarized statement, and tell the police about it, maybe you would want to consider taking action against the housekeeper.

Once again, good luck!

And thanks Mom. :D

Unknown said...

I can't imagine the housekeeper being territorial about anything-- how could she when she's only there a few hours every 2 weeks?! And stealing makeup when she doesn't even wear it? Maybe the HK caught nanny doing something and nanny is trying to discredit HK to prevent losing her own job...?

I keep thinking somebody needs to start a business that rents out nanny cams... Not many parents seem willing to invest in one, so rent one for the first few months-- call 1-800-EYE-CYOU today!!

Feel like a referee... said...

OP here, Thanks for your comments and I definitely would appreciate more help!

For those of you who asked, I never had a nanny before. Other than this, the nanny seems really good. I've come home early and in the middle of the day and eavesdrop outside my door and everything sounds great. She talks and sings to the baby all day. Not sure if she's applying my makeup while talking...

UNOME, sounds like a good idea, but the nanny said that she couldn't say for sure that the HK was stealing, just that she was acting weird by closing her purse when nanny asked about my stuff.

Denver Nanny - whats that 1800 #? a company that installs nanny cams?

MinuteMuggle said...


thanks for the update: I love it when OPs write back.

I personally think that if my nanny told me the housekeeper was saying something bad about me, but only in the sense that it shows she gives in to gossip.

If I were a nanny and the housekeeper said something about my employer, I would not engage, or I would merely say "that's not a very nice thing to say." To run and tell you that she said stuff is very immature. And to accuse her of stealing when she is not at all sure is very odd.

MinuteMuggle said...

**meant to say that if my nanny did this i would have a problem with it, but only in the sense that etc."

Manhattan Nanny said...

I think DenverNanny may be right.
"Maybe the HK caught nanny doing something and nanny is trying to discredit HK to prevent losing her own job...? "

She said the cleaning lady used your makeup, and yet you have never seen her in makeup. She said she SUPECTED she was stealing. It sounds as if the nanny doesn't like the cleaning lady, and wants to get rid of her. If this is the case, nanny doesn't sound like a very nice person. Maybe you could have a talk with the cleaning lady and ask how they are getting along, and what impression she has of nanny's care of the baby. You might get a better sense of what is going on.

lester said...

when i'm at work, i sometimes make fun of the things or people around me. i do it to ease tension. some people might see it the wrong way.

oh well said...

I agree with MinuteMuggle. She did not have to tell you that the housekeeper was making fun of you.
Lack of judgement at best, trying to stir up trouble otherwise. I would be very cautious about it all. And I like the idea of asking the housekeeper about her.

Unknown said...

Sorry, just a joke... but probably not a bad idea!

UNOME said...

OP it's great to hear back from you.

I also agree with MM. It's poor form for the nanny to be spreading this sort of gossip. Very immature at the very least.

Sadly, many employees, domestics included, make fun of their bosses. It's a fact of life.

I can understand why you feel caught in the middle and it does seem like there is a personality conflict between the nanny and housekeeper. The next time the nanny brings it up you could just thank her but tell her you really aren't that concerned about people who lack the courage to say things to your face. You could also thank the nanny for raising the concerns about stealing and tell her you will look into it. She might be an excellent nanny who is an insecure person. or she might be telling the truth.

A nanny cam might be an excellent idea in this case as well as taking closer inventory of smaller everyday household items you are not likely to notice missing. best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Camera! I suspect nanny is lying. Why would someone apply your makeup infront of a new nanny? This can be an indication of someone really being a problem- and she is taking car of your kids?
Get a nanny cam, you can't use the nannies word over your housekeeper. It's not fair.

same situation said...

I am going through the same issue myself, and have been for 6 months and it is driving me crazy. I have had my babysitter for almost a year, and I love her. She is unbelievable with my 5 year old daughter. I hired a friend of hers who also seems so nice about 6 months ago. Her friend is here one day a week. Something doesn't seem quite right, items keep popping up in strange places (that my daughter could never reach). I am not sure if things are being taken and used (like a tablecloth with a huge spaghetti stain on it that I never would have put away in that condition, and stain came right out in wash). I would lend them anything if they needed it, no problem. The most confusing issue is my clothing, things I have never worn are stained, labels are cut out, and there is dog hair on everything. Basically my clothing is getting trashed. My nanny is about a size 4 petite, and my housekeeper is about a 10 and 5'10". I am around a 6-8. Some of my clothes are really stretched out, some of the small (hope of the skinny day which will never come)stuff that I haven't worn in years is trashed. I am highly allergic to animals and am having reactions everytime I go in my closet. I asked my babysitter about it twice, and she seemed so hurt and offended that I felt terrible for asking. And when I asked her if it could be her friend she said that there was no way, that her friend wasn't into clothes and basically wore sweats all the time. I should also mention that my babysitter has 2 sons of her own 13 and 17 and seems like she has raised them with exceptional values. I am not talking about 5 or 10 things, I am talking about way over 50 (yes I have too many clothes). I have given my babysitter bags of beautiful clothing that I know I will never fit into. Tried to do security cams but how do you monitor 24/7? The most upsetting thing is that it seems absolutely contrary to both of their my eyes and allergies are telling me one thing and my inclination is telling me something else. I even left a printout of what is considered felony theft in our state lying around in an attempt to "scare" someone straight. I would hate to let someone who is not guilty go, especially when I like them so much. Has anyone else had the experience of having a babysitter, etc, "borrow" clothing, makeup, accessories on a consistent basis?