Received Sunday, May 2, 2010
I recently gave notice to my current employers, whom I have been with just shy of three months, that I would be leaving for a new job. One of the (many) reasons I left is that the parents are completely disrespectful of my time; they would give me "days off" with NO notice and then not pay me for them and they would often make me stay late (15-20 minutes) without pay but if they told me to come in a half hour late (because the baby had an appt, or mom was going to work late), they would deduct that time from my pay.
Then I heard from a nanny up the street that my family was going to Disney World in May (heard this the last week of April) but only found out from my employers when I asked. Even then, she "didn't know" the exact dates but said it was "around Mother's Day." I knew that I would not be paid for this.
I'm not a selfish or greedy person and I don't think anyone goes into childcare for the money (because even in great positions, the money- even in the affluent NYC metropolitan area- is still less than what I could make using my degree elsewhere). But, I'm a professional, and though I chose this field for the intrinsic rewards of working with kids, I still have bills to pay! It was impossible to budget to pay my rent and expenses when the family would constantly cut my hours or give no notice about unpaid weeks off, so when I was offered a better position, I took it without hesitation. The day after being offered the new position, I talked with my current employer to tell them that I would be leaving and that I'd be happy to offer them two weeks notice. They said that was insufficient; they couldn't find someone new in two weeks, especially because they were leaving for Disney the second week of my notice period. Well, this was the first time I'd even be given the dates for their vacation! She wanted at least a third week, but that means I'd need to delay taking the new position (which really requires me to start NOW, as mom is going back from maternity leave) for three weeks. I told her I'd see what I could do, but tell me: what's the etiquette when your second/final week of notice falls on a week when you're not due to work anyway? Does it make a difference if you were never given adequate notice of being off that week in the first place? I want to be fair...