Wednesday

I don't want all the way out.

Received Wednesday, June 30, 2010
rant 2 I have gotten entangled in something I did not mean to. My employers just had a fifth anniversary this May. They have a large home and two little buildings on the home so during the anniversary party which was kind of like a wedding, since they never had a real wedding, I got in very tight with the family. I was taking care of the children of my employer. Many times they would play with cousins at the adults feet when gathering so I would sit and chat. They seemed genuinenly interested in me. About four days after they returned home, I got a $250 gift certificate to Bloomingdales which was directly relevant to me talking about my husband moving up in his job. So she thought of me, I know because she had told me specifically to shop the sales at Bloomingdales and I would always have good party attire. So then, I get this gift certificate. I called and told her. I felt I had to mention it to my employers. One morning I said, "This weird but wonderful thing happened to me, I received a gift certificate in the mail" they both looked at me, "and it was from Mrs. X" (My male employer's sister). So he just smiled and she shook her head. The husband said, "they couldn't say enough about how great you were with kids". I didn't meantion the amount not to defraud them but because hey they aint paupers and neither am I. Anyway two days later I get an email from sister #2. She sent me some links to some blogs about parenting tips and things. I wrote her back. She wrote me back. I didn't mention this to my employers. First, I never saw it going anywhere and second, I don't report to anyone. In recent days it has escalated on a very bad side. They keep saying (in the nicest words) the worst things about my female employer and how she is a gold digger and telling me about her past. They even gave me a google article about her. The whole time they are talking to me, they are just concerned for their brother. And pumping me gently for info. I haven't given ANY info, I haven't. And that isn't my problem. I can distance myself from them gradually and keep doing my job. The problem is I need my job. Now I know a whole lot of stuff I shouldn't know and they know I know. I just don't know what happens nest. Sister #2 called me once today and sister #1 called me four times today and twice yesterday. I shot back one breezy email. I don't want all the way out. I just want to keep earning and keep my head above water.

19 comments:

NanGal said...

these people are really really rude to do that to you! you should thank them politely for the gift certificate but tell them you refuse to gossip about your employer. also save any nasty emails they sent in case they say anything negative to your employers about you so you have proof it was all them...

MissDee said...

I agree with NanGal. If your employers find out there has been gossip, they could fire you, simply because words could be twisted. Save EVERY email you have, so if this happens, you can prove to your employers that you haven't been saying negative things. Is she calling your cell phone? Save every call that comes in, because most bills (I am a Sprint customer) will have "incoming call" without a number. Another thing you could do is if they start gossiping, politely but firmly say, "I understand that our opinions of them differ, and I would appreciate it if you stopped talking about them." Do keep us updated!

what a mess said...

I would try to avoid taking sides while making it clear you can no longer engage in this kind of communication. For example, "It seems you are quite concerned about your brother. I'm sure you can understand, however, that in my position as the nanny, it would be inappropriate for me to talk about my employer behind her back. It might be better to talk to your brother directly. Thanks again for your generosity" etc, etc.

priya said...

Gossip within families can by pretty complicated. I've come across it numerous times with my current family, at birthday parties, when the grandparents come to vist, etc. Its important to distance yourself from the drama that the family is wrapped up in. If I feel uncomfortable about an issue, then I make it a point to say to the gossiper "I know you mean well but that is not appropriate to discuss right now" If they continute to push about it, I talk to my employers about it so they can then talk to their own family members about it. At first I was uncomfortable but eventually it sank in that I shouldn't feel bad about being professional. Good luck

Village said...

Yikes-You do need to get yourself out of this. It takes two to gossip. In the future when you get an Email, shoot back, 'Sorry, with the children.' If you are off, ignore it.

If your employers ask you about it, I would say they Emailed you for awhile after you met them, and they are wonderful people etc etc, but your first priority is the children. If they want details, say it went in one ear and out the other. You were concentrating on the children, and just didn't have time to chat with them.

These two only have their interests at heart, which are in direct conflict with yours. They want dirt on the Mom. You need to stop the chatting. You can't chat and work, and they are not your friends that you would socialize with after work. They have no place in your life, IMHO.

Phoenix said...

i would tell the wife immediatly. THis isn't your fault! The bribed (sp?) you. I kind of want to know what was so wrong with this woman that they felt they need to inform you about her and try to get information on her and their brothers welfare. They sound like they didn't want anyone taking him away from them. She can't be that bad.

oh well said...

I hope that you didn't use the gift certificate (you know what they say about free lunches). These people are using you, and bribing you shows that they are not really nice people to begin with. I would lie low, be aware that anything I say or write could be held against me. Good luck.

Psyber Chica said...

I agree with the advice from "what a mess". Don't talk to the sisters on the phone, keep the communications to e-mail for your records. How long have you been with this family? Maybe your employer set this whole thing up to test your character.

Yum said...

Your post was confusing. I thought the employer was the one who gave you the gift card and didn't understand the problem until late in the post. Try making more sense.

In any case no, you should not be saving emails for proof or anything of the sort. If something blows up later, it's your duty to walk away and separate yourself from them, not defend yourself and cause more problems in an already troubled family. That's family. You just work for them. Know your role.

Next time, don't entertain gossip. Maybe you really didn't add to the conversation, or maybe you did and you just don't want to admit it (My money is on the second one). Either way, learn you lesson and move on. You should have put a stop to it as soon as it started. You should know better.

I'm aware my opinion will be unpopular. Oh, well.

I heart drama said...

I agree with Village. It takes two to gossip.

OP should have not even replied. At this point, the damage is done. Keep us posted to find out what happens though. I love a good nanny drama.

yumfan said...

yum:

I agree with everything you said. great post!

BB said...

Yum I agree. And you should return the gift certificates at once. If you already used them, then write a check for the amount. This way you at least will have proof that you did return it should you be asked. Like it or not, you are in the middle. And I am sad to say this likely won't end well for you as the employee. Live and learn.

What A Headache! said...

I agree with NanGal 100%!! Listen to us, keep your distance and nothing will happen. That is just incredible! I mean unless the husband, and children are in danger there is no need for them to put you in the middle. Wow, this is seriously unfair to you. Good luck and don't let them use you as ammo.

Ho Hum said...

I was curious as to why OP accepted the gift certificate when she hadn't really done anything to deserve it (first red flag) and then continued to communicate with these people? It sounds like she had pleanty of opportunities to say no, sorry, I won't gossip about my employer. Please leave me alone. OP, if you get fired over this, don't be surprised. I am not sure what you were thinking.

lurker said...

I don't see anything wrong with OP accepting the gift certificate. She probably ended up taking care of the cousins at this wedding in addition to her usual charges, so perhaps the sister was just acknowledging her help with that. I say enjoy your shopping, OP, but definitely do say to the sisters when they call, "I appreciate your concern for your brother, but it's really not appropriate for me to discuss my employers' personal lives with anyone. I'm sure you understand." They will get the hint.

britneybaby said...

Yum
that was kind of rude. the Op did make sense. How is saving emails not knowing her role? Even if she did gossip the brother's sisters shouldnt drag her into this because if employers fire her then they arent going to hire her. Her employers could fire and give her a bad reference so she needs to protect herself in case the brothers family lie Why shouldnt she defend herself this is her work. That is the professional thing to do is document everything. No one is saying save emails to gossip with but why would she walk away from her job if she gets lied on? This is how she makes her money not a clique in high school she should have to walk away when she has legal recourse

Icia said...

You completely missed the point, baby Brit.

Totally agree on all counts with Yum.

Icia said...

Also, all the email saving in the world can't make someone give you a good reference. What would you do, bring the old crazy emails to a future employer and try to explain? Please. And legal recourse? Get a real job before all that is considered. Being a nanny is not like being a CEO.

food for thought said...

When OP makes the statement: "I don't want completely out" when referring to her budding friendship and communication with her boss's extended family, it shows that she is partly to blame here. It seems to me, that giving back the Gift Certificate is no longer an option, because this was given sometime ago in the past. Since this time, a sort of "friendship" has blossomed via email, blogging, phone calls etc which all started because of the aforementioned gift card (and which has continued via regular phone calls, and emails) NOW, she realizes that all of the gossiping she's been doing could eventually get back to her employers and thus, get her fired; - ie, I want out, but not totally (I want my cake, and to eat too)! What OP really wants, is friendship with the entertaining gossips AND a paycheck! (Without having any regard for mom bosses feelings, or appropriate "work environment" behavior or boundaries...)

OP, you crossed a HUGE line here. This is something you could easily be fired for! Even if you haven't been "spying" and "reporting" back to these sisters you've most certainly been letting them lead you around by the nose. My guess is that mom boss isn't exactly fond of them either, and seeing as her husband has CHOSEN to marry her (and didn't choose who his sisters were going to be) I can only guess who they'd BOTH choose to keep around if push came to shove...

You have two options:

A.) Cut out the "gossip girls" and keep your job.

B.) Keep your friendship, and most likely lose your job... however, remember one thing, anyone who derives that much pleasure from talking behind another's back could just as easily be talking behind yours in two years...

Lastly, there is no drama like family drama and there is always two sides to EVERY coin! Make your mom boss uncomfortable enough (digging up a past that perhaps she'd rather keep buried) and she'll fire you if only for a fresh start...