Nanny is Fed up with PA Duties

Received Wednesday, April 28, 2010
perspective and opinion I feel strange doing this, but I'm nearing the end of my rope...

I am a nanny, and I have been working for this family for almost two years. This is my first nanny job, but I have eleven years of experience working with young children. I also have a B.S. in Early Childhood Development. That being said, while I love the boy I care for very much, I am having a myriad of problems with my boss, his mother.

Recently, she has been assigning me tasks that I don't feel are my responsibility: taking/picking up her dry cleaning, walking the dog, taking the dog to the vet, going to department stores to pay her bills, etc...

Now, its not that I think I'm too good to do these things, I actually enjoy being helpful, but I signed on to be a nanny, not a personal assistant. I would love to be able to just focus on her son, but as she gives me more errands to run and chores to do, her son isn't getting all the love and attention from me that he deserves.

The most upsetting part of all this is that recently, say over the past six months, she hasn't been paying me on time. If I do get a check on "payday", it's never for the full amount. This upsets me not because I'm greedy, I just feel unappreciated and unimportant. Also, my fiancée, who has been helping me bridge the gap financially, is livid that she doesn't pay me on time and has urged me to quit. I would feel awful leaving this family, especially the little guy. I guess I feel a sense of loyalty to them.

I am desperate for a way to talk to her about my paychecks that wouldn't cause her to get defensive and thus angry with me. Please give me some suggestions!


Nanny Sarah said...

Unfortunately, I am in the same boat as you. If the family thinks highly and willing to work with you- sit down with them and have a meeting. Tell them how you feel- would be a good idea to write out everything- for later use- if needed. If you have an raise- coming soon- anniversary date- you may want to speak of that, too. If the meeting doesn't work and nothing changes- then you know its time to move on. Best of luck.

monkeyshines said...

you feel loyalty to them?? I was a nanny for 25 years and the minute you have a sit down and try to work things out it is never the same. I would start looking for a new job, I know you get attached to the kids but they are not yours and you are not family. when push comes to shove the family always does what is best for them not for you. I know this sounds harsh but I am just speaking from my own experiences

Nanny in Beautiful San Diego said...

Wow...I can identify with your dilemmas, it is sad that these are all common aspects of the nanny profession. Why is it that families are like this? I have encountered this over and over and I still cannot figure out why families treat those that love and protect their children when they cannot like slaves? Well that is another post.
OP, I feel for you and have been there. Job creep is when you are slowly assigned other tasks on to pf the ones you already have, and that is not fair at all. And not paying you on time is worse!
The only thing you can do is speak up and tell her (in a gentle manner) what you have just told us. If she is a decent person, she will understand. Say you have rent, bills, etc. food to pay for and that you need to be paid on time. She should understand after all, so does she, I assume. Maybe she just needs a little clarification. But if she gets offended or does not comply, then it is time to look for other work. In times like this, when jobs are STILL scarce, it is a tough call, so you need to weigh whether you can do this or not, maybe you can look for another job while you still have this one, just make sure to give notice. I know you feel loyalty, but truthfully it is only a job and it is what it is.

MissMannah said...

Are you nuts? You've been accepting paychecks for 6 months that haven't been the full amount?? No wonder your fiance is livid! I think mine would have approached the mom himself by now.

Now that's off my chest, I have got to tell you...this woman is taking advantage of you. Why? Because you are letting her! Remember the anti-drug campaign? JUST SAY NO! You have to stand up for your rights or you'll be rolling over like a puppy for this woman forever. She isn't suddenly going to change.

If you don't have a contract, you need to write one up immediately. It should clearly explain your duties and pay schedule. Mine is ridiculously detailed--you'd probably think the mom and I are totally anal-retentive if you read it. But that's the way it has to be. I'm covering my butt and so is she.

I don't think any amount of "talking it out" is going to work for this mom. She is selfish and a manipulator, and sadly a lot of bosses of nannies are. They know our caring nature and use it to their advantage. If any are available in your area, start looking for a new job.

nycmom said...

There's no way to address this except directly. Write an email or sit down, but explain in very specific language that you need to be paid on time the full amount. If she cannot afford that, start looking immediately for another job. Just as there are things in a Nanny I would not tolerate as an employer (lateness, excessive cell phone, etc), not being paid my salary on time is one I would have ZERO tolerance for as a nanny. Tell her you need the full back pay by next Friday or you are going to have xxx consequences. Put it in writing. Then get a new job and sue her in small claims for what you are owed.

About the PA tasks, I have asked our nanny to assume varied duties over the years as my kids go to school in order to justify keeping her on full-time. But I have always discussed these things with her, written up a new Work Agreement, and made sure she is willing. Time for you to also get your Work Agreement in writing and refuse to compromise going forward. I know you love the child, but you deserve better than this!

One other thing, prior to instituting the above, I recommend asking the mom for a written letter of recommendation for church or school. So if things go sour, you have proof of your good peformance. Too many bad stories on here of nannies being given unfair poor references.

cali mom said...

Jumping ahead, there is no reason in the world that you should be expected to accept late paychecks or less than what you are owed. Maybe once you can make an exception but when someone makes a habit of that, they are taking advantage of you and will continue to do so as long as you let them. Same applies to the personal errands, though that could conceivably be considered a job duty, whereas accepting late payment or incorrect payment can NEVER be.

Some people wil stop taking advantage if they are called on it, some people will only stop doing so once the opportunity is gone (ie, YOU are gone!). Try talking to the woman, and don't be shy because she is definitely screwing you over on purpose because she CAN, and start looking for a new job. In this economy, it won't be easy, and you may have to just suck it up till something better turns up, but try to make it work better as long as tyou are with this woman. You do NOT owe her any loyalty. I can guarantee you she feels none towards you.

Vanessa said...

Expecting your employer to pay you on time is not being greedy. It's what she MUST do and what you agreed on. You're not doing her favors, you're doing a job.

I will always be grateful to have the most fantastic bosses anyone could ever ask for. I am very lucky.

BS said...

leave them. they don't appreciate you. and this kid is not your son. end of story. he is their son.