Saturday, October 9, 2010
I went for an interview/trial day with a family of 17 month old twin girls recently. The mom found me on a sitting website, and had emailed me with minimal details-ages of children, expected hours, and location.
I arrive at their house on a brisk day, dressed somewhat nicely since this is an interview and I want to impress, while not looking over-dressed, since I anticipate some interaction with the children. When I stepped inside, I immediately knew my outfit was a bad choice-family were sloppily dressed and inside their house was extremely warm and I was in a sweater.
I sat down with the parents for an interview. At this point I did not know I was going to be expected to stay that day for a trial day as the mother had never asked. We chatted a little bit and I became a bit wary about their expectations. Firstly, the mom had said 20-30 hours a week, which worked well for me since I am a graduate student. At the interview, she began talking about 35-40 hours a week, including Saturdays-something never mentioned. I told her that I wasn’t sure I could commit to all Saturdays, but we could discuss setting a schedule.
Secondly, she began mentioning all that she expected of me with regards to the job. They do not have a large apartment, but she expected me to vacuum and mop frequently, including kitchen, play area, and dining room. I am willing to do light housekeeping in general, and I understand why it’s necessary, but I am thinking this is too much. Also she wanted me to be responsible for all of the family’s laundry. I am willing to do the children’s, but I’m uncomfortable with theirs. Apparently she does not like this answer as she has a snarky reply. She then brings up taking the children to the park daily. Very active, rambunctious, wobbly children at the park every day? I don’t know…
Then she springs it on me that I am expected to stay today for a trial…Since I really needed a job at this point, I agreed, at which point she immediately left me with the children, who are very upset since their father just left, and she disappeared. They don’t know me, and she is behind a closed door. I try to calm them and distract, which works until mom appears to tell us it is time to go to the park.
Since I did not anticipate the park, or the insane heat in their house, at this point I am uncomfortable and sweating. We head to the park, which is not too far from their home, but which is a series of hills. When we arrive, I see the park as very dangerous for 1 year olds. It is built on a hill, with a series of jungle gyms around. Great for school aged children, but not so much for these. While there, the mom and I are constantly chasing one from going down the steep slides, falling off the edges, or falling down the hills. There were two of us and it was difficult. I could see it being a weekly trip, but daily?
On our way back, I have decided not to take this job. Too much work for not enough money, but I stick out the day. Lunch is a mess (as it normally is with toddlers) but the mother feeds them inappropriate foods for their ages. Seeing as how I am not the mom, I do not say anything, but come time to change the diapers, I see the results. Not to get graphic, but it looked like they had very upset stomachs. I know as a nanny I would have to feed them as the parents wish, but I would not want that daily.
Finally they are down for their naps and I am free to go. She paid me less than what she had said and seemed to think nothing of it. I simply accepted and left, hoping to not see them again. While the girls were sweet, I could not deal with that regularly.
Two days later she offered me the job via email and I declined. Immediately she called me demanding to know why I turned them down. I am a truly nice person, and I hate to insult people, so I said I found another job which had better pay and better hours for me. (I hadn’t yet, but I did after a few weeks) I’ve noticed she keeps taking down and reposting her job, so I’m guessing others have found fault too.