Two Weeks Notice: Part 2

Received Thursday, May 27, 2010
perspective and opinion I wrote a few weeks ago about whether 2 weeks notice was appropriate to give to a family even if the second week of notice fell during their vacation. Since then, I've moved on to my new job (with new baby!) and it's been great.

You may recall that my main problem with he previous family was that I was paid hourly, and the parents jumped at every opportunity to cut my hours-mom would take a day off, come home early, not pay for holidays off- leaving me with an unpredictable income source.

Given that experience and the fact that I had two job offers, I felt comfortable telling my to-be employers that an unpredictable income was the major source of my discontent with my last employers. They assured me that I would be paid the same weekly salary even if they didn't need me for all of the hours. I've already had a handful of early dismissals and days off (like when Grandma is in town and wants to babysit) and I've always gotten my salary as promised.

This week, I got a text early Monday morning saying baby was in the hospital with a virus and not to come. They called Monday to say they'd been ordered to stay overight so I was off Tuesday. Same call on Tuesday. Wednesday's call was that they expected baby to be discharged Thursday afternoon, but they took the week off so I was off, too. A full (unexpected) week off. I asked if there was anything I could do to help and she said I could come by 2 days to walk the dog and sanitize the baby blankets. I did that and also straightened up so they wouldn't come home to clutter.

Today, my boss called and said they were discharged and baby was doing well and should be good to go next week. She also said I could stop by tomorrow to get my check. I know this was our agreement, that I get paid even when I'm not needed, and I do need the money, but I feel horrible accepting it! Should I refuse? What's the appropriate thing to do here?


mom with a nanny said...

no. you should not refuse. the appropriate thing to do would be to accept the money.

take it from me: I have a part time nanny who gets a flat rate even though she usually works 4 days instead of five.

take the money. it's yours. the people who care for your children are precious: don't underestimate how important you are.

Amy said...

You shouldn't feel horrible. Accept the payment because you were "on-call" and able to go to their home to do chores. I think you just feel horrible that the baby was sick and not so much that you're getting paid for a laid-back week. Salary is salary anyway you cut it, it doesn't matter the reasons you didn't work those days, you still get paid for them.

Ravenswood Nanny said...

no you should not refuse! you accept the money and do what you can to help out now that the family is home. it isn't your fault and the family knows that - they also know that this is a job/income source for you and they've agreed to respect that. if they value you they would want you to have the money.

so happy you found such a great family.

Village said...

Take the money. A deal's a deal. I imagine there will be plenty of times when you go the extra mile for them.

You are lucky to have found such a good family. Enjoy it. YOU DESERVE IT!

Nanny Sarah said...

You should have signed your post "Nanny with a Heart" because that is what you are. And they are excellent employers to keep their word. This sounds like a working relationship w/mutual respect and I wish you and them the best!

Sarah said...

I do not think you should refuse either. That is great you found such a great family!

Maybe to make it up you can offer them a "date night" on the house? It seems like after such a stressful week with the baby they could use a break too. I am the same way about when it comes to situations like this, and giving them a few extra hours is a nice way of showing your grateful (if it is something that works for your schedule).

xfileluv said...

I agree with Sarah. Express to them your feelings and let them know that you'd like to offer them an evening of free sitting as soon as the baby is better. They may well refuse, but I'm sure they will appreciate the offer weather they accept it or not. And then your guilt can be lifted and they can be confident, yet again, that they have a conscientious, caring, thoughtful nanny.

Manhattan Nanny said...

Congratulations on finding such a nice work family.
Don't feel guilty. It is a two way street. You need to be able to count on the income, but they also need to be able to count on your availability for the time they need you. That is why employers pay your salary even when they don't need you.

Seattle Nanny said...

You're reacting exactly as I would. Take the money, it'll all be even in time.

Your employers wouldn't happen to have any similar thinking siblings with families needing a nanny, would they? :D

Nanny feeling less guilty now :) said...

Thanks, everyone! I do cognitively "get" why it's the right thing for them to pay and for me to accept, as such is the very purpose of salary. In any other job it would be a no brainer; I'm sure Mom & Dad won't feel bad taking their checks! =)

But from my perspective there is genuine affection for and attachment to the family and my sick little buddy, so it just felt weird. But you're all right... even though I love it, it is still my job, and I deserve the check. I'll just use some of it to get a welcome home gift for my little buddy. =)

sunflwr_134 said...

Take the money -- we pay our nanny the same way. She's on salary, and gets paid whether she works or not -- it's been this way for going on 5 years now. We SO value the work she does with our 2 kids, and she is irreplaceable. We even paid her full salary for 3 months last summer when she was on maternity leave! Don't feel bad -- your emplyers value you!