Received Tuesday, May 18, 2010
My nanny job of almost 5 years is about to end in the fall and the area I live in is really struggling. Nanny jobs are far and few between around here, so I've started expanding my search. I was contacted by a family who lived 3 hours away from me and within days I was off to their house to meet them. On the phone the job sounded good. Private bedroom and bathroom, children's laundry, housecleaning only pertaining to myself and the children, dinner for the family, everyday care and transportation of the children in the families cars, and watching the children on 2 nights/month so the parents could have a date night. This was all for $300/week, which I know is low, but this was for a four day work week, which would mean I could come home for a long weekend once or twice each month. Plus I figured my only expenses while living with them would be my clothing, car, and cosmetics.
So I spent the weekend with them, got to know the children, met the ex nanny, and really liked them. Although their master bedroom was bigger than my entire home, they were completely down to earth. The only thing that really concerned me was when they took me along to pick up the one of their cars from being detailed. I realized the dad is completely anal about his cars, and I would be scared sh**less to leave a crumb on the seat. No one is perfect though and I figured every family was going to have it's faults and if this was their worst fault, it really wasn't that bad.
Sunday afternoon rolled around and the parents asked me have a talk with them. They came out with a ten page contract and went over every point with me. As we got further into the contract, I realized they were asking for a lot more than we had previously discussed. Now they wanted me to do the family laundry, help out with extra tasks around the house, keep the kids for an extra evening as needed, text or call the parents every time I leave the house with the kids, grocery shop, run errands, set up and oversee household repairs, work late for no extra pay when one parent is traveling, keep children overnight for $40.00/night when both parents are traveling, keep children for a weekend every three months. In addition my bathroom would now be shared with their overnight guests, and the real kicker is that they now decided to tell me that it will be a five day work week. I told them I would need to be compensated for the extra day and they were only willing to pay $25.00 more/week. I would have considered all of these extras had they been brought to my attention before the last day of my trip. At that point I felt like I had been bamboozled and the job was suddenly a lot more than I had bargained for. They said the job was really like a $600/week job as they would be paying for my living expenses including an iphone. After researching the area they live in though, I realized that what they are paying is the absolute bottom of the barrel. I could probably make more than that piecing together babysitting jobs around here.
So 2 hours later as we were going over the last point of the contract and I was sitting there with my mouth hanging open, speechless, the oldest child walked in and asked if I was going to be their new nanny. The dad told her to ask me, and it broke my heart to tell the child that I would love to be her nanny, but had to talk things over with my family at home.
The children were dolls, and the parents and ex nanny were extremely nice, and made me feel welcome all weekend. As people I totally like them. As employers, I'm not so sure. I feel like I'm being swindled.
In my heart, I know this job is all wrong. If they would throw all of this on me after a weekend, how many more responsibilities will pile up once I move in? But then the practical side of me keeps saying that there are no job prospects here, and I'll regret it three months from now when I'm sitting here on food stamps begging for a job a Burger King.
Can you please tell me that my decision to turn down this job is the right one, or should I take the job for the sake of having a job, even if it is faaaar from ideal.