Tuesday

Thank you gift for worst employers ever?

Received Tuesday, August 24, 2010
perspective and opinion Looking for some advice on this...
I have been working for my current family for just shy of a year and they recently told me they have to let me go. Now over the past year I would have to say the parents and I have not created a "connection" like I did with my last two families. I felt like a member of their families. My current employers never really took the time to get to know me and the few times I tried to make "small talk" they didn't really reciprocate. The whole nanny thing seems to be very business like to them. Besides that, I am not very happy with how they let me go... They went back and forth about whether they were going to keep me (one week they were keeping me,the next week they weren't until finally they weren't). They are letting me go before my contract is up (only by a couple weeks) and they are giving me two weeks severance but they were so back and forth that I didn't really start looking for new jobs so now I am only left with three weeks to find something new.
In the state I live in, full time nanny jobs are pretty hard to come by... They say they are letting me go because one of the parents took a pay cut at work (which could be totally legit) but I feel like it is because they found a "housekeeper". I say "housekeeper" because this poor woman does EVERYTHING!!! She does ALL of the cleaning, ALL of the laundry, ALL of the cooking, cares for the kids in the very early morning and all evening after I leave. She is a live in so she literally works 14 hours a day, 7 days a week and she told me what she makes and it is a fraction of what they pay me for 50 hours a week. I LOVE their kids and will miss them terribly :( My question is, do I get the parents something to thank them for the past (almost) year of employment? Even though, they were honestly the worst employers I have EVER had? I am planning on getting the kids something of course but I am stuck about the parents. I would love to hear what any of you nannies have done in similar sitiations or just what you think I should do. Thanks!

41 comments:

No Way said...

I don't think I woukd ever get the parents a gift after being fired (unless it was because the kids grew up). Certainly not after they put you through all the back and forth. I might consider getting the kids somethingn

Former AP said...

I was an AP for a family that I was not crazy about, and I didn't bat an eye about not getting them a goodbye gift. I bought the kids something, of course, because I loved them to death but the parents? Nope. The day before my train was scheduled to leave, I mentioned getting to the station and Dad boss says, "Oh, you're leaving tomorrow?" Don't get them SQUAT.

xyz said...

I don't think you need to get the parents anything. As you said, they kept the relationship very businesslike, and it sounds like your only emotional connection is with the kids. So get the kids a gift, and just wish the parents the best for the future.

ATL Nanny said...

I agree wholeheartedly with the previous posters. Get something meaningful (but not expensive) for the children, and nothing for the parents. If this relationship is purely business, it makes no sense to get them anything. If you got laid off from a corporate job, you would not get your supervisor a gift. A nice letter or card thanking them for a year of employment and the opportunity to work with their wonderful children is not a bad idea, if for no other reason than it seems like a nice way to end this relationship. Leaving on a good note benefits you since they'll be called for a reference in the near future.

Play it Cool said...

ATL Nanny is right--leave on good terms so that you can use them as a reference in the future. You might consider a card or note rather than a gift to keep it cool and professional. Consider this being "laid off" rather than "fired." Don't burn any bridges--even inadvertently.

ericsmom said...

Why would yo have to get them anything???

ericsmom said...

I wouldn't buy anything for the kids,either. Save your money. Because it will not be easy finding employment right away.

You can always do something that is nonmaterialistic with the kids. Like have a picnic at the park. Take them to the zoo or something special. They will remember things like this more than toys.

nycmom said...

I would never expect a gift for myself and my husband from our nanny for anything - ending a long employment, xmas, bday, etc. I do appreciate gifts for the kids (even handmade things, doesn't need to cost money) because I know it is meaningful to my children. However, I would never expect a gift from our nanny. A couple of nannies have gotten us small gifts in the past, and while I appreciate the gesture it makes me feel uncomfortable because I'd much prefer they used the money on themselves. Give the parents a card saying a generic thank you and trying to identify some positives about the year, even if it's things like always being paid on time; not having to work late; being respectful of your authority with the kids, etc. No gift is necessary.

for god's sake said...

Do not give these parents a gift. If you do, it will be saying to them "You can get away with treating people like crap. It's ok. You're better than everyone else around you."

If you want to give the children a gift, do so. But for God's sake, why would you give a gift to these people?

lovesthegirls said...

if you are really troubled, perhaps make something for the whole family. For example, I shadow box with a picture of you and the children filld with beach sand or ticket stubs etc... from somehthing you did together. Or just make it or something else for the kids. Perhaps a friendhip bracelet? I wouldn't spend money if you are unemployed!

FrogBabyNanny said...

I don't understand this. Why would you even consider getting them a gift?!

Anonymous said...

OP here:

Thanks for the comments and I am happy to hear that people agree with what I was thinking all along! I was really only asking because I have never left a job feeling... happy! Of course, I will miss the kids but not having to deal with their parents anymore gets me so excited that I haven't really cared about being unemployed yet!

I was not thinking of buying the kids toys... I was thinking of giving them each a picture frame with a picture of me and them (so they won't forget me!). I will consider getting the parents a card just thanking them for the time I got to spend with their kids... Because spending ANY time with them was always the LOWEST point in my day. Thanks again everyone!

Err said...

Paremts? No! Children? Yes!

oh well said...

I think what you plan to do sounds good. I would never expect a gift from a nanny I had to let go. A thank-you card for the parents would be appropriate, because I suppose they will be future references. And I would spend as little money as possible on the children, just be creative and put my heart into it. Good luck

Poker Face said...

I pretty much agree with everyone else. Get the kids something small and get the parents a CHEAP card.

Meme said...

No...getting the kids something is enough.

ATL Nanny said...

A framed photo of you and children together is exactly the kind of "meaningful (but not expensive)" gift idea I was talking about. I think that's perfect. You might even want to think about letting them create the picture frame. Michael's (and any other craft store) carries very cheap wooden frames meant to be decorated. You could do a special craft with them and let them cover the frames with paint, glitter, sequins, etc. It would be a fun craft and it would add another layer of meaning to the gift.

Jillian said...

Absolutely not! If anything, get the children a gift as a way to say thank you to them! They are the ones you had a relationship with. And even giving them a gift is generous! Save your money! You're on the job hunt and need to be cautious! Good luck!

Black Sheep said...

The fact that you were even considering getting the parents a gift shows that you are very thoughtful and nice. The truth is they don't deserve a thing from you! If anything they are totally screwing you over. A card is a good idea though because you want to use them as a reference. I would give them a flaming bag of sh** personally, but I guess it really is better not to burn bridges.

I wish you luck in finding another job too! Next time if a family is being wishy washy about keeping you do yourself a favor and take that as your sign that you need to start looking for another job. They had no right to play with you like that.

Karma will bite them in that ass if they really are using that other woman and paying her so shabbily. And you will be better off for taking the high road.

Village said...

Oh hell no.

Creepy McCreepster said...

Am I the only one who thinks giving a photo is kind of creepy? I mean, chances are the kids will barely remember you if at all when they're older.

If I were a parent and someone gave my kid a framed picture of themselves and the child, I would never display that. I would probably thank them and then quietly dispose of it.

My previous position my MB gave me a Christmas gift that included an ornament with the baby's photo in it. A few weeks later, she let me go in order to become a SAHM. Did I keep that ornament? Hell no! Would I have displayed a picture of someone else's kid even if I'd stayed with them? Nope!

chgonanny said...

Um, I'm leaving my nanny job tomorrow after nearly 3 years, and I spent about $40 on a really nice photobook from Shutterfly. Yes, I over spent on this, but I have LOVED working for this family and am completely devastated to be leaving (the kids are getting older, and I'm moving out of state).

Creepy, I would hope they'd keep this book! I don't think it's creepy at all to give a photo of you and the kids! Why would that be creepy?

Anonymous said...

OP Here:

I HARDLY think it's creepy for a Nanny who, in most cases, spends more time with children to give them a photo or any other "personalized" gift. When we work so close with a family... it is impossible not to become attached (at least to the children). My former charges have pictures in their rooms of me and them as well as pictures of them with their nanny before me! I still have pictures of my former charges on my fridge! I still send them birthday cards and visit frequently. I think that is part of being a great nanny... I have to say I totally disagree with you Creepy.

Thanks for that tip ATL Nanny! I LOVE the idea of having them decorate their own frame :)

And thanks again to everyone for all of the supportive comments! It is very helpful :)

another nanny from atl said...

Atl Nanny, this is way off topic, but I also live in Atlanta and just wondered what your luck with the local agencies has been here? Thanks!

ATL Nanny said...

another nanny in atlanta -- I'm not a huge fan of agencies in general. I've been represented by a few in the past, but I've never accepted a job from a family I met through an agency. I feel like I do a much better job of finding families who are a good fit when I work for myself -- putting profiles online, using word of mouth advertising, etc.

The job market in Atlanta is really rough right now. I moved to the suburbs a few weeks ago, so I've been looking casually for a job closer to my new house for a few weeks. What I've seen so far has been pretty discouraging. I'm feeling very lucky that I have a stable job that I can stay in as long as necessary until I find something else.

Another Nanny from Atl said...

Atl Nanny-Thank you for your response. I contacted several agencies when I moved to Atlanta pretty recently. My experience with agencies hasn't been the greatest, and also had luck using my own resources. I only used agencies in my old town, so it's frustrating and disheartening to see the quality here in Atlanta are not the greatest (lack of professionalism is the main culprit here).

Thanks again! It's good to see other people from around here on this site :)

Kelly C said...

Being a nanny for two years I totally understand your situation, unlike most of the comments I say you DO get the parents a little something (box of chocolates, flowers, a food they like) something that is one gift they can both use. I say this because you never know when you will need another good recommendation letter or need their help down the line. It is always something to keep in mind when leaving one job, GOOD LUCK :)

Anonymous said...

oh God. Here is a present for firing me???????

ericsmom said...

sorry it showed as annon

Puppay said...

Ericsmom, It reminds me of the poster who was upset because she didn't like the present the parents gave her when she quit :P

CanadianMom said...

We let our nanny go as we put our kids into preschool (she always knew we were going to do that when they were old enough). We gave her some gifts but we did not expect anything from her - certainly not for us, and she didn't get anything for the kids. I didn't see that as a problem. She had bought them nice birthday and Christmas presents in the past so they already had something to remember her by. I don't think her giving us a gift would have meant she got a better reference. In fact, I would have found that a bit weird. I know it's a very different situation, but if my employer were to lay me off, I certainly wouldn't give them a gift!

Dear Abby said...

Get something for the kiddos, but not the parents. A goodbye gift for them is not warranted at all.

cali mom said...

Just having to weigh in...I don't know why anyone would find it "creepy" to have a picture of a friend/relative/nanny with your kids or of the kids you used to care for?

Unless you hated their guts with a seething passion and hoped to hear of their death, it's a thing called "memories". Yes, kids may not remember a nanny when they're older. That's why a photo can be a good thing. And I guess creepy absolutely hated her charges if she threw out the picture of them?! to me, THAT is creepy.

OP, no present for the parents. A nice thank you card for the time you were able to spend with their kids would be totally appropriate and all that could possib;y be expected.

MB said...

As a parting gift for the 3 little girls I took care of I took them to "Family Funland" and bought them pizza. It's kind of like Chuck E. Cheese. I don't think you need to get anything for the parents. You have more of a connection to the kids. Good luck with finding your next job! Hope you get a better family.

Nanny Consultant said...

I still have photos of my favorite children hanging in my apartment. I love those kiddos and the memories I created with them. I like you photo idea, OP. When I left my last position I didn't do anything for the parents or child, but I did make a photo book for myself which I keep with my other albums, occasionally I pull it out and remember those sweet moments. It's a tough job being a nanny - getting attached and letting go.

Will said...

I agree, it's not necessary to get the parents something, although it depends on your relationship with them. If you worked in an office would you get your boss something...?!

MissMannah said...

Weighing in on the photo issue...

I don't think it is "creepy" at all, but I still don't think you should do it because I highly doubt the parents will display it. People who are all businesslike have the "out with the old, in with the new" sort of attitude. You've already figured out they don't value their employees so why do you think they are going to teach their children to cherish the memories they had with you? I would instead suggest getting them a book with a lovely message written inside the cover.

ericsmom said...

I like MB idea. Of taking the kids out somewhere fun.

I don't know about pictures and all. When I was younger I worked for a family, for almost three years. I thought we had a great relationship. And I enjoyed taking care of their son. But once I left. They were living in California at the time.

I never heard from them again. I tried getting in touch with them. For awhile, I would call them. And they were always nice when I called them. Happy to hear from me. But it was never returned. No calls, no emails. No pictures of the kids growing up (via the internet). So after trying to call them once inawhile. I gave up. Figured out of sight out of mind.

There were pictures they had of me with their son. But I guarantee by now they are in the trash.

Anonymous said...

OP Here:

I do also like the idea of taking the children somewhere but my options would be very limited because the children are so young (toddlers).

My last day was actually yesterday and I did give the children pictures in frames that I crafted... They loved them (especially the oldest) and the parents actually seemed very appreciative! I gave them a card and developed all of the pictures I have taken of the children over the last year and gave those to them. They were very nice and even gave me some giftcards and flowers. All in all, it was not a bad departure. Thanks again everyone for all of the advice... it truly helped me! Now I just need to find a new job :) I am hopeful for new/good things!

Andrea said...

Hey Honey, and only honey because I know who this is, Do NOT give them a gift. I know the whoel story and they treated you like crap the whole time. Why would you give them a gift??? As I am writing this I am realizing that you may have posted this a while ago since your last day has passed, I hope that you did not waste any of your hard earned money on the parents.

Andrea said...

Dear Creey McCreepster,
You obviuosly have never been a nanny or had a nanny whom you loved. I am a Nanny and I have never given anyone in the family that I have worked for for 4 years a pictures of myself with or without the children, but there are pictures of myelf with the kids all over the fridge. You do not understand what a nanny should mean to the family that they work for.