They Are Moving? Who knew? Not me!

Received Thursday, August 5, 2010
perspective and opinion I have been with my family over 5 years now. I think I have a pretty good relationship with the parents (more with the mother, who even tells me a lot of private things).

It has come to my attention through another employee of theirs that they have had an inspection on a new house. I also overheard the dad talking to the mom about the inspection reports and it sounded to me as if everything came out fine and they would be buying the house.

The house is about 45 minutes away from where they live right now and about 1 hour for me to commute to. They would probably want me to start working earlier because they would have a farther commute to work as well and they would probably want me to work later, given that they would have a longer drive back home. I already work close to 60 hours each week and that would add another 3 to 4 hours each day including my commute to work!

They have not mentioned anything to me and I find that a little odd. Shouldn’t they let me know that they are planning to move in the near future (especially because they are moving quite a bit away … still in the same county, but far south)?

I would like to know if and when they are moving, so I can figure out if I want to stay or find a new job!
How do I go about asking them (I don’t think they have any idea that I know about it) about the subject and about possibly changing work hours?


djembe said...

"I'm not sure if I have it right, are you going to be relocating soon? Should I be planning on a change in my working hours?"

There's no way to get a definitive answer unless you just come right out and ask. Is there some reason the other employee who clued you in would not want it known that he/she spread the word to you?

Teacher in a Combat Zone said...

My first instinct is that they weren't/ aren't planning on asking you to "move" with them. I could be wrong, but as soon as I read the title, that's what popped into my head.

I hope for you're sake that not's the reason, but if other household employees know, I feel like there's a reason why they didn't tell you.

Meme said...

My fear is there is a reason they havent told you perhaps they are planning to let you go. I hope that is not the case, but it is really odd they havent told you anything.

I would just flat out ask them. You dont have to say who told you.

You need answers ASAP...and on the off chance they are planning to let you go (or even ask you to live in) you deserve some notice on that.

my 2 cents said...

Why would another house employee know and not you? Because they are probably going to let you go. Why have they not told you yet? Because they don't want you to up and quit early and leave them high and dry, making them look for someone else right before they move, or maybe they fear their children might not get the same level of care if you know they are leaving and are not inviting you to continue your employ with them.

My opinion? They are manipulative asshole-users who are only looking out for themselves.

lynn said...

maybe they haven't said anything because they don't want to mention it until the move is set in stone - until then, things could fall through - that said, I think if you want to know, you need ask them - say something like "since I'm here so much I've gotten an inkling that you are moving - is it a sure thing? Will you still be employing me as your nanny and if so, under what terms?" Then just tell them that you understand that everything is up in the air but you'd like to be prepared whether it be looking for a new position or altering your hours - maybe they would hire a 2nd person to cover the longer hours--

TC said...

Are you sure they are going to want you to work for them after the move? That's the impression I got after reading your post, that they haven't told you because they are planning on letting you go

I would be direct, say ____ said you guys were moving, are you? And then wait for the answer, if it sounds off then start looking for another job

Anonymous said...

OP here,

I should have specified:

the emploee who told me about the home inspection is not another home employee, but someone who works at their office and has access to the office calendar. I am not sure if my employers have disclosed anything to this employee or if she just saw it on the computer. I will have to ask her.

Her other employees at the house (housekeeper and part-time nanny did not know about it when I asked them and were very surprised). So they seem to have not told any of the domestic workers. I doubt they want to let all of us go. The housekeeper has been with them for over 10 years and the part time nanny has been there for 2 1/2 years.

I will just have to go to them directly and ask.

MannyLuc said...

It doesn't necessarily mean anything. My boss has moved the family twice (within the same area) while I've been with them. She usually gets so overwhelmed with work, paperwork, etc. that she forgets to give me the important details.

One time it was a Wednesday and the mover showed up and announced he was here to give a quote for the move on Saturday. The six year old behind me says 'We're moving??' It was a surprise for everyone!

tx mommy said...

A family I worked for got a lot of paperwork for a house in another city and I got worried they were moving and not saying anything so I just asked if they were moving and the mom laughed and said no it's a rental house that we own. It could be that simple but I guess you need to ask.

Lola said...

Contrary to other opinions, my first impression was that they have not told you because they do not want you to have much time to think about your options. As in, you won't have time to look for a different job, give proper notice, or whatever, and cannot leave THEM high and dry. Perhaps they want to just swoop all you household employees south bound with them and when the dust settles you can all worry about the new commute, hours, etc. Many people like to leave certain details to the very last minute as a way to deal with stress. In light of your update, OP, I highly doubt they will be dumping three long term (and therefore likely loyal) employees. Especially with the stress of moving, with children, I am sure they don't want to be interviewing and filling in for two nannies and a maid!

bippityboppityboo said...

I agree with what others have said unfortunately. I assume they may not be using you at their new home. Either way I would start looking at options in case they do keep you and the commute is too long.

MissMannah said...

I completely agree with Lola and I think it is a jerky move on their part. I know MannyLuc said it has happened, but come on! You have to be a complete moron to plan a move but not tell anyone who lives/works in your house about it. They are purposely not telling "the help" (as I've come to believe that's how they see you guys) because they don't want you to have time to think about finding another job. If it was me, soon after the move, I'd be looking for other work anyway because an extra 3 hours everyday wouldn't be worth it.

Remain Calm said...

Perhaps they don't know how to approach the subject?

Look, if they want to keep employing you, move with them. Would they have room for live-in? If not, begin looking into apartments and mention it when the subject comes up.

In this economy, you don't want to go looking for a job unnecessarily. Bad relationship with a family, fine, but not this. You roll with this if you can.

One final thing, any chance they might be buying the house to flip it? Or perhaps you / the other employee misheard and they're helping a friend?

Think the best first.

AMom said...

my first instinct is that they haven't told you because they don't plan on asking you to go with them. Maybe after 5 years they are getting a new nanny or don't think they need one a t all. this would be my concern more than the possible extra drive.

nycmom said...

Regardless of why they have not told you, I think you are making a lot of assumptions that may not be true.

You already work 60hrs/week and are assuming they will expect you to cover the additional 15-20hrs/week. If they already have an additional part-time nanny, perhaps they are trying to come up with a different schedule that gives the pt nanny more hours and still keeps you around 60hrs/week (or hire a 3rd person to pitch in, etc). There are so many possiblities, that I think you are going to drive yourself crazy speculating.

Also, buying a house is a complicated process. Even if the inspection is acceptable there are SO many other steps before the purchase is complete. Are you even sure the other owner has accepted their final offer? Do you know what the closing date is? It could still be many months before a move, especially if they need to sell their home also.

You have been with them 5 years. If they have treated you well for 5 years and you have seen a pattern of honesty and respect, I think you can count on that continuing. I suspect you haven't been told simply because they don't yet know final details themselves. We actively tried to move to the suburbs for 3-4 YEARS with looking at houses 1-2 weekens a month, before finally deciding to stay in the city. At least 3 times, we got very close to purchasing a home - well beyond the stage of house inspection. I had told our Nanny for some time that we were looking, but stopped updating her on details because it would have been ridiculous given the uncertainty of the process.

If you want to know what is going on, just ask them and save yourself a lot of worry!

world's best nanny said...

U R being dumped.

tricky situation said...

I agree with nycmom- you are making too many assumptions. You don't know if they are for sure buying the house, you don't know for sure what they're planning to do with it (e.g. rental property, a home for the in-laws?), and you don't know that they would ask you to work longer hours. Even if they are moving, they may be stalling trying to figure out what they want to ask of you. Maybe they are planning to stagger their own work schedules, have one parent work from home, ask the part-time nanny to pick up more hours, etc. There are endless possibilities, but if they have treated you fairly for 5 years, I think you shouldn't jump to the conlcusion that they're trying to screw you over.

Jacqui said...

Maybe they're buying a second home somewhere?

Before it drives you completely insane and you make even more assumptions, I'd ask them about it. Simple as that....

Good luck.

cali mom said...

Well, my first thought was that just because someone got a home inspection done, does not necessarily mean they're about to move.

You have NO idea without asking them. As others have said, they could be buying an investment property or a second home. Or maybe they WANT to buy that new home but a lot could happen before anything is a done deal. I wouldn't tell all my employees that I was looking at houses. I'd tell them if I closed a sale on a new one that I planned to move into, but not before. So, ask. You'll drive yourself crazy with all kinds of scenarios that you really don't know about.

Woopty Woop said...

What makes you think they wouldn't get rid of all of their domestic workers? If they were planning on canning you because of distance, I'm pretty sure they would can the others and find that kind of help closer to their new house also.

Not saying that this is happening (hope it's not!) but I don't get the logic behind that thinking.

Please keep us posted if you don't mind!

ericsmom said...

I agree with some of the other posters. Now that house prices are down. Maybe, they can afford to have another house. May be using it as an investment. Renting it out to make a profit. Or could be thinking of when the kids get older. They could retire there.

Who knows. If you have been there five years. And are happy. I don't think they would do anything sneaky like that.

Let us know what happens!!

Margaret said...

From the parents' perspective, they should have had a conversation w/ you and ALL other household help/staff. It's not fair to "tiptoe" around having discussions about a home inspection (whether the household staff knows about it or not) without letting everyone know what's going on. Perhaps, this couple wants to finalize everything so that they'll tell you that, in fact, "Yes, we bought another house, and we're moving". Based on how much further away it is from the current house, it could be that they're re-thinking their budgets for household staff...maybe they don't know what's going to happen, maybe they don't want to scare you both into looking for new jobs just yet.

These parents should at least sit down w/ both of you (and ALl other household staff members) and at least present the situation about the possible move. Let them listen to your concerns, fears, etc. Let them know that their talking about it makes you uncomfortable to come forward to ask questions.

Honesty and facts can NEVER make an awkward situation worse, as long as these 2 things are handled at the VERY BEGINNING of possible changes.

If I were either / both of you, I'd just confront both parents together and just ask them the following:
1. Is the family moving? If so, do you know when yet?
2. Do you know if you'll still need us (household help/staff) to work with you?
3. Do you plan on discussing details about these changes with us together or individually?

These parents HAVE to know that THEIR family's changes affect YOUR lives, too. They at LEAST owe you both the courtesy of some kind of conversation.

Good luck, God bless!