Tuesday

Should I quit?

Received Tuesday, June 15, 2010
perspective and opinion I have been working for two families since last December both with children the same age. Family #1 I work for Tues/Thurs 8-6, and Family #2 I work for MWF 8-5.

Family #2 I have a much more casual agreement with; if I work, I get paid for it, if I don't work, I don't get paid.. that has been a bit of a problem when I get a call at 6am that day not to come in, but the bigger picture is that I have much less of a commitment.. which to me feels like much more freedom not being completely tied down (I am a college student, so they understand when things come up). The family is incredibly nice to me, and they show their appreciation and constantly thank me for taking such good care of their baby. I truly enjoy working for them.

Family #2, however, has a "verbal" agreement with me. They asked me for a 1 year commitment, 3 weeks paid vacation, and 3 paid sick days. They also asked me if I ever need a day off to ask one week ahead of time. They treat me like the "help" not the person who cares for their baby. They have started "job creep" asking me to do laundry and grocery shop (which were not in the agreement). They also had a big problem with paying me the minimum hourly rate I was asking. I work for an agency also, so I usually use their rates as a reference, then ask for a range a few dollars less than theirs for my personal jobs. Family #2 is paying me 3/hr dollars even LESS than my already reduced rate. The father also works from home, and as most you nannies know, this in itself makes things difficult. Since I have started I have always felt completely taken for granted and under appreciated.

This brings me to my current problem: I asked both families for a day off. I needed both Thursday and Friday off, and I asked both families on the previous Thursday for the day off.. so one week ahead.

Family #1 made a tremendous effort finding coverage for me (as did I). They said it was a bit of a problem, but they made it work, and I made it very clear how much I appreciated it.

Family #2, instead pretty much flat out told me no. I explained to them I needed a day off because after my Father's recent major heart attack, my sister, mom and I wanted to do somehting special for father's day (we wanted to go up to our house in Maine and my mom planned it last minute and we would only be up for 2 days) since it is a miricle he is even still with us. I told them how important it was to me to be there with them, and that I would really appreciate it if they could find coverage for just that one day and I did not expect to be paid. Again, they said no, but they said we could talk about it on Monday.

When I got into work today, both Mom&Dad came out to "talk" to me, but it ended up in a complete gang up. I was not arguing with them about coming into work, and I decided if it was that important to them, I would come to work on Thursday. Even after I said this, the father proceeded to ask questions and in a sense "scold" and yell at me for even asking for a day off and that I was expected to only go on vacation when they did. I tried to even compromise and ask for half the day off and they refused that too. FInally I just said if I had to work, I probably just wouldn't go away.. and the father then interrogated me about why I would choose that. By the time the conversation was over, I was in tears and in complete shock.

My question is: Should I quit? I cannot believe this is the way a family would treat me for just asking for ONE day off. I have been contemplating leaving based solely on the way I am treated in general.. but is this enough to call it quits?

Any opinions would be much appreciated!

25 comments:

Yes, Quit! said...

Yes, you should quit. I would not work for a family who showed me that much disrespect. If it was the other way around and the parents wanted a day off they would not expect their boss to treat them this way.
In fact I think I wouldn't even give notice, I would would go be with my Dad on Father's Day and tough for them.

Tasha said...

I've been in a similar situation, as a college student no less, and I'm not sure how you can describe short notice cancellations as more freedom. I'd see it as less. You're severely limited in what you can do with a day without some idea before.

And this lack of understanding over a HEART ATTACK, holy crap. Family #2 is clearly taking advantage of you and yes, they just see you as the help.

You've got family #1 for a reference, and for job history, so dump family #2. Dump them now. Go tomorrow, have a normal day, say good bye to the children and quit at the end. No notice, just like their cancellations. Be nice, but have shoes on, and be by the door.

It's in your best interest.

repost for anonymous said...

Hi there,
If these are all of the true facts about their reaction....I believe that you should quit...if you have to leave a meeting with your boss in tears, if your boss makes you feel guilty about taking a day off,if they rely on you so much that they can't even find help if you give them a whole week's notice, if your boss reacts in a cold manner when you tell explain that your father had a heart attack and you want to be with your family on this special day - then they are not only unprofessional and uncaring, but they probably won't be very understanding in the future if other things in your life come up. Basically, with family number 2, it just isn't a good match. You need to find a family who's more flexible. I hope this helps...

Run said...

and never look back.

Bostonnanny said...

You know what you need to do. I would quit professionally tho. I would sit down with them and explain that you are not their child and they should never speak to you in that manner. Tell them that you are also not their maid. Keep yourslef calm and just explain everything to them. Then at the end flat out quit and walk out the door. Remind them that you won't be needing their reference and wish their child well. Stand up for yourself don't just not show up. I would also make sure you do it the day after you cash your paycheck at the bank the check is from they can't fight it or cancel it). I know people say you don't owe them this sit down but you owe to yourself to really get your thoughts about the situation out. Good luck.

See Ya said...

I also say quit-and go on your family vacation. You gave them the required notice and it's not your fault they couldn't find coverage. ONe of the parents could take one of their own days off to cover your day if they could not find another sitter. I would just tell them on the last day you want to work that the arrangement is not working out and you won't be back. They won't be happy but too bad. Maybe they will think 2ce before treating their next nanny that way. Good luck:)

BURNTOUTNANNY said...

QUIT!! these people sound like the family I used to work for

Mom in Illinois said...

We love our sons caregiver and would never think of treating her like that. NEVER. Her own son came in for college and I asked HER if she wanted the day off to spend with him. She said yes so I took a vacation day so I could accommodate her. My point...I value the woman who takes such good care of our son. I would do anything in my power to make her happy/make her job easier. She cares about my family...I care about hers. Maybe that's "blurring the line professionally" but she loves my son. For that reason alone, I love her! Find another family who will feel that way about you. One that will at least respect you. I work in an office and even in my office I am treated more professionally and warmly than you are being treated. If I were you, I would tell them WHY you are leaving...although I suspect they are selfish enough that they won't care. Good luck!

TX Mommy said...

I never understood a family saying no you can not have a day off. They can say we are not going to pay you for that day if they want to be a-holes. I mean what are they going to do, hold you hostage? You should most definitely quit.

formernannynowamom said...

Please do yourself a favor, and tell your employers you can no longer work for them. I used to nanny, and now I have a one year old. I try very hard to accommodate her nanny, as I know how hard it is to find reliable, trustworthy people. I don't know what I would do without her, and I respect her requests...if she needed to see her father for Father's Day, there would be no issue with that. I know the economy is tough, but working for people who do not value you, and respect your personal needs is a losing battle in the long run. You will be able to find a better situation, and the people you work for can find some other unfortunate person to abuse.

Lola said...

Quit.

If I could have just two days with my dad, I would do pretty much anything in the world, barring serious injury to my family, say. Point being, no amount of money, no job, nothing like that, is important like your father. Like you said, it's a miracle he is even here. Make every moment you can have with him count, and TAKE every moment you can to spend as much time as you can with him. Life is precious. The fact that those people acted like that, makes ME sooo angry, I imagine you must feel upset. But realize that if your father were to pass (God bless his health), imagine how you would feel then. Actually, don't. Sorry, that is a horrible feeling.

Geesh, I am getting too worked up! Anyway, quit if you have to. Better yet let them fire you (unemployment pays for reduction in work hours too you know). BUT, under NO circumstances, DO NOT miss that time with your father. PLEASE.

cali mom said...

Yes.

You have the advantage-you won't be unemployed. You'll still work for the other family and these assholes will need to find a new nanny. Spend the time with your dad and tell them they can go screw themselves.

nannyneedsanap said...

Holy Crap! Walk away and never look back!

cali mom said...

You know OP, I read an article today about "how to identify your customers from hell" and when it's time to part ways with them.

These people seem to fit into ALL the categories described in the article (bullies, impossible to please, demanding that the world revolves around them and ONLY them), so I really hope you can just walk AWAY.

cali mom said...

You know OP, I read an article today about "how to identify your customers from hell" and when it's time to part ways with them.

These people seem to fit into ALL the categories described in the article (bullies, impossible to please, demanding that the world revolves around them and ONLY them), so I really hope you can just walk AWAY.

Nanny Sarah said...

I agree w/Lola 110% OP, imagine if you stayed and God Forbid something happened to your father, etc.
If this family is so uncaring like this, that they cannot even make accommodations for your fragile situation...leave and do not give notice at all. They only see you as a hired hand and not a human being who provides the best of care for their child. In the long run, you are much better off w/out this family in your life and I shudder to think of the poor new nanny that will have to fill your shoes.

Alex said...

That is really rude and the fact that they cannot understand that your father had a heart attack is ridiculous! If you can afford it, I would quit. I wouldn't work for someone who treated me like crap.

pro-nanny mama said...

Yes quit and enjoy your time with your family. What heartless parents to not care about your father. Would they like that from their child's future employer in similar circumstances? If everything is so "casual" from their point of view they shouldn't have much of a problem with no notice, they certainly do the same thing for you with their schedule. That said, stay professional and tell them family is most important, and when they couldn't accommodate your request you had no choice but to give resignation effective immediately so you could still go away with your dad.

Some advice: at the next job have a written agreement. You followed all the rules of the verbal agreement in this case and it got you exactly nowhere.

nanny2 said...

For me, I think I would have to quit. Because one of two things will occur. Either 1)You will visit your family as planned and they will have an issue with and hold it against you (forever), or 2)You will stay and work and miss out on that time with your dad and resent them for that (forever).
You did exactly what they asked (one week notice) for a very valid reason, and they said no? And then berated you? These people are just plain not nice.

cali mom said...

Pro-nanny mama said it perfectly! Op, ***GET OUT!***

Katlee85 said...

That disturbs me on so many levels. QUIT OP. Not only quit, but make sure on your next job that you have a WRITTEN agreement.

p said...

Quit! They are inappropriate on so many levels and you should never be browbeaten by an employer.

no moniker said...

Yes you should quit! Look, you care for their family with a full heart. You should have some flexibility for when YOUR family needs you! I mean your dad had a heart attack not the flu!! What is wrong with these people they should be ashamed of themselves!! How dare they make you feel terrible for wanting to see your ill father that is recovering from a serious and possibly fatal health problem. I just do not understand this line of work sometimes. I mean you bend over ass backwards for these families and its never enough, and when you need to take care of your life and family it is unacceptable for the family you work for. Total bs. It's almost as if nannies are not allowed to be real people. I am sure many other nannies will agree with me it is VERY rare to find a family that is fair and does not treat you like you are an object and slave. They cannot expect someone to work for them and not give them time off for vacation or sick days, its just wrong!

I do feel you should keep your personal feelings out of this matter when you speak to them and no need to get emotional or explain yourself. Calmly and cool the next time you go into work give her your 2 weeks notice (or whatever time frame you and the family agreed to,) "Mrs. Jane Doe, I am sorry to bring you this news however I can no longer work as your nanny." Then keep your reason short, sweet, and to the point. So CALMLY & NICELY say "I have come to realize that this position as your nanny is no longer working out. I need a job position that is able to be flexible for vacation and sick time and after our last converstation you made it clear that is not going to work for you."

So there you go! No matter what they say even if they offer you the moon you decline kindly, and say "Thank you for your kind offer however my mind is made up." You do not owe them anything, you gave a clear and honest answer. Good luck!

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Tell them ASAP that you will be spending time with your father. Don't allow them to bully you into working. If ythey fire you, then start looking for another position that will pay you your normal rate, and make sure you have a WRITTEN work agreement as well.

Good luck, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend with your family.

no moniker said...

re-post for Anonymous said...

I am a nanny and my dad just died of a heart attack about two months ago. My dad had no health issues and it was completely unexpected. The day I got the phone call, I called my boss right away and told her. She is a pediatrician and her husband works full time also, but she immediately came and met me at the park and told me to take the time I needed and not worry about watching the kids, she would handle it. I flew home for a week and was so glad to have that time.
Quit immediately! You are lucky that your father is okay and that you have the opportunity to spend time with him. No job should come before your family. People who do not recognize this, especially with you asking a week in advance, are not worth your time. If my pediatrician boss can immediately leave her job and cover for her kids without any notice, why can't your boss take a day off if necessary with a week notice? You should not even consider working for such a selfish and uncaring person anymore.