Take Two...

Received Thursday, October 7, 2010
reader submission I sent in this posting a few months ago, and then asked ISYN to please not post it, as I got paranoid that my bosses might see it and know it was me. But in light of the fact that I recently quit, and that I just saw another poster write in about cell phone snooping from the bosses, I thought I'd re-submit this now. P.S. Mom boss, if you're reading this, I think you're a crappy mother and an even crappier employer. Leaving you turned out to be the best employment decision I've ever made!

I'm ready to get bashed for admitting this: I totally snooped on my employer's blackberry. She left it behind by and I peeked.

I didn't expect her to be talking about me, so it was a surprise when I found the following text msg sent to a friend: "My nanny ate a box of our ice cream sandwiches! I went to grab one and they were gone!?"

Yes, I did eat about three of them from a box of eight over the course of 6-7 work days. I saw mom eat them every afternoon, and she had told me when I started to "help yourself to anything in the kitchen" and "we want you to feel at home here." Ice cream sandwiches wouldn't normally be my choice for an afternoon snack, but that was really the only thing in the house and with work days of 9-11+ hours, I was hungry!

It was hurtful to hear her talking like that behind my back. I KNOW I shouldn't have snooped. She's been so nice to me and seemingly so appreciative, and I love her baby so much and take such good care of her, that it just hurts to have her talk like that about me. Especially about something so trivial- and something she'd welcomed me to do!

Just a vent, but if you want to argue or advise or whatever, I can take it. :)


AMom said...

Umm, what's so bad about what she said? it wasn't nasty or anything, she just stated a fact.

LovingNanny said...

The only person who made a mistake was YOU. How dare you touch her phone? And if you like the ice cream bars, why don't you stop at a store and buy them yourself? Put them in their freezer and eat 6 a day if you like.
The mom just stated a fact, you did you their ice cream.
Is it possible that you are new to the States? A lot of times people say things to be nice and polite, but they don't mean it. Maybe that was the case in your situation.
You have to learn to read the spoken language.
And if you eat 3 bars, why wouldn't you replace them?

another mom said...

ah, I feel that mom's pain. I had an au pair once and she was constantly polishing off the last of things (or worse, eating all but 1 cracker and then putting the box back in the cupboard. I had a running grocery list on the fridge and kept asking her to write down when she used the last of something. She would if it was milk, eggs etc - but any goodies/treats/snacks she wouldn't - she'd just polish off and not mention it- it was especially frustrating because I have 3 kids lunches to pack every morning and go to get something only to find it gone. It drove me crazy - and I could totally see myself venting to a friend about it in an email. Of course the mom meant it when she said "help yourself" but it might also have been nice if, when you took the last ice cream sandwich (knowing that she enjoys them too) you left her a note or mentioned that you took the last one. What's funny is I have a friend whose after school sitter (she worked for her 3 hours a day) was going through a gallon of ice cream a week (all her, she wasn't giving it to the kids) and she vented to me on more than one occasion that she went to get some ice cream - thinking the tub is full only to find 1/2 scoop left along a bottom edge of the tub. I think the take away lesson here is that everyone likes ice cream - no matter if you are a child care provider or a mom - but I don't think what that mom said about OP was awful - and like OP said, it wasn't meant for her to see

let's get real said...

Yeah I really hope this is not the only reason you hate your boss so much. I mean, who cares if her friend (who you don't know) thinks you ate all the ice cream sandwiches? Your boss probably thought that if she said "Yeah I really want an ice cream sandwich but I already ate through the whole box!" that her friend would think she was gross or something. So she blamed it on you. And it's not even entirely false blame because you did eat a lot of the ice cream bars. But seriously...who cares? Like AMom said, it's not like she said anything nasty about you or your work performance or anything. And it was TOTALLY WRONG of you to snoop. You may feel like the ends justified the means since you found out your boss was texting about you, but how would you feel if suddenly all your texts were public and everyone you know could read them? Would they be pleased to see what you had written? Unless you've never said anything about anyone behind their back, you're really in no place to judge. What's on your boss's phone is really none of your business. Sorry, OP, I don't think you're gonna win any sympathy from anyone here with that example of how your boss was crappy.


wow, guess some parents lives are so bland that they talk about what the nanny ate. all the working moms I have worked for, well were not very attractive and shouldnt be eating ice cream ever!

Bostonnanny said...

Why the hell would you look through someone elses phone, especially your bosses? I would have fired you.

To be honest if you ate a bunch of my ice cream sandwiches that I enjoy every afternoon and one day I went to grab one but there was none left, I'd be pissed. I would have texted something a little worse. Their is nothing like craving a snack to find out none was left.
Rule of thumb, don't eat your employers food without asking first unless your a live in. If you get hungry mid day pack a lunch. They are not family and you should always ask, no matter what they say.
Nannies want to be treated with respect, but respect is earned and by invading someones privacy you lose all creditability and should feel ashamed.

Also I'm sure their was a moment when you complained about your boss, why can't she about you?

It's true she could have said something to your face but maybe she didn't think was a big deal and was just trying to vent.

Jacqui said...

Ummm, OP....she didn't say anything hurtful...what's the issue?
You're the "crappy" (as you put it) person for looking through her phone. I hope she DOES read this and thanks her lucky stars that you quit.

And I think when she told you to help yourself to anything, she was probably being sincere. However, I don't think she expected you to eat the last of anything that's not yours. That's rude, period, but especially if you KNOW she enjoys one everyday....

I don't think either thing had to be a huge issue (you eating the ice cream or her telling her friend), but for whatever reason you took something seemingly innocent and mundane very personally.

Dear Abby said...

OP I think it was very unethical of you to snoop through your employer's blackberry. I am a nanny and would NEVER think of doing such a thing to my employers. Why did you do it? Boredom on the job? Yes, I know Nanny work can get boring at times, but couldn't you have just brought a magazine or book to read? Curiosity perhaps? We all get curious, but never so curious to do that. These people are paying you to do a job, they are entrusting you to not only care for their child, but also to respect their personal space and stuff, etc. What you did was a major violation and they are lucky to not have you as their nanny anymore. If you love their child so much, how could you do such a thing to their parents?
Anyway..moving along...the mother really didn't say anything bad about you. She simply stated a fact...a fact that even you don't dispute at all.
Please learn a lesson from this and do not violate anyone's privacy like this ever again. Snoop is a minor word for it...I would call this a serious offense since you took possession of her property w/out her permission.

just sayin' said...

OP, sometimes ignorance is bliss. I don't think I would be better off for knowing any of the things my boss might text about me. And I certainly wouldn't want her to see what I text about her. It was tacky of her to text her friend like that; it was way worse for you to violate her privacy.
I think another mom got it right: "Everyone likes ice cream;" Buy more at every opportunity.

KiKi said...

OP here. I expected to be bashed for snooping, which I admit was wrong, but for eating some ice cream, which she had welcomed me to do? I'm a college educated American- not new here or unfamiliar with social etiquette- and prior to just leaving the nanny world for greener pastures, I worked for MANY very affluent, classy families. All of them always invited me to help myself in the kitchen and to tell them if there was anything in particular I liked so that they could add it to their grocery lists. This mom was not an exception, but she didn't keep a grocery list, and further, although I ate three of the ice creams, I did NOT take the last one or leave the box empty- I assume it was her husband who did. In any case, I had no idea people would be so petty, or like Monkey said, their lives so dull that they had nothing better to talk about than what the nanny ate. I may have been a snooping nanny, but I loved her baby more than she did, and I treated her better, too. I'm much, much happier in the business world now, but I feel so badly for her child. Oh, and by the way, she did have an ENORMOUS ass- skipping the ice cream was probably not a bad idea!

Jacqui said...

Kiki, you sound like an entitled brat. You loved her kid more than she did? She has a huge ass? Grow up. You're creepy. Why are YOU allowed to say horrible things about this woman on a public forum, but it's SO incredibly offensive to you that she made a passing comment about you eating ice cream to a friend on HER private blackberry. How old are you?

Proud Live-out Nanny said...

I don't at all condone the snooping, that was clearly wrong. Eating the last of something (if that is what happened, which is not clear from my understanding), especially a treat, is also quite impolite, though not as bad as the snooping.

I believe what was hurtful was the claim that the nanny ate all of the sandwiches in the box, not just some of them. A small thing to let bother you, perhaps, but not the nicest thing to have said about you, either. ("Ignorance is bliss" seems to be the lesson here. Snooping helps nobody.)

However, Bostonnanny, I am a live-out nanny and have worked for the same family for 3 years. They are great and we get along so well. They even help me out by loaning me their extra car when mine is in the shop. They have told me from the start to feel at home and help myself to anything in the kitchen, etc. etc.... And I do. And I do not feel guilty about it just because I don't live in their home. I am there for most of my waking hours every workday, caring for their child and helping with the household duties, so why would I not be able to eat the food they offer? Not to mention the fact that if I called Mom Boss at work to ask if I could have a snack, she would probably see that as just a bit strange, to say the least. It sounds to me like you have a problem with live-out nannies, for some unidentifiable reason.

Phoenix said...

Woman, if you ate all my ice cream sandwiches I would have been pissed to! I get mad when my family doesn't show enough respect to leave me a tasty treat. You don't mess with a woman's sweets. In my house that a sin

nycmom said...

another mom,

Your story made me laugh. I have had the *exact* same experiences with an au pair, right down to the putting the box away with one cracker. Sometimes she would even return an EMPTY box to the shelves or fridge. Also, she would NEVER put things on the grocery list either. Very frustrating!

As far as the OP, I agree with everyone. You shouldn't snoop! I was sympathetic to your issue until you made the juvenile comment about mom's appearance. It is uncomfortable to be in someone else's home 50 hrs a week and I always want our nanny to feel comfortable eating what she wants. However, there is a give and take with common courtesy dictating not to eat the last of something, not to eat a prepared food for a child's meal, etc.

Anonymous said...

My nanny used to leave her email or Facebook account open on our laptop sometimes. I never looked at it and if she had left for the day I closed it down without taking even the tiniest look. That's what I would expect from her, so why should I treat her any differently? Did your employer treat you in a disrespectful way that made you think this was ok? Your post is confusing because towards the end you say she was quite nice to you, but at the beginning you have slagged her off.

I think there will always be the risk of some tensions between parents and nannies on issues such as food - it's not the food itself, necessarily, but the issues of honesty, respect and trust that seem to be attached to it. Our nanny used to use up all the maple syrup; we hardly every used it but it was annoying on the rare occasions that we did want it to find that it was either almost empty or the entire bottle would be gone. She had a really sweet tooth and went through large quantities of sugar and honey too. She was free to help herself and I would have had no problem if she had added what was used to the shopping list as I had asked her to do, but she would only add the things that the kids ate, not the things that she did. It was like she didn't want to acknowledge that she consumed these things ... why? She would also eat things that we had prepared in advance for lunches and dinners - I ended up labelling everything with sticky notes, e.g. "Thursday night dinner"! The weirdest thing was when she clearly took home almost half a large brick of cheese. She was pretty well paid and not broke, and she had lunch and snacks with the kids, so I'm not sure what that was about. If she needed some cheese for a recipe or something she could have asked to take it! It was so strange because I didn't know how to deal with it and otherwise I felt we had a pretty open dialogue. I just decided not to say anything, I didn't want to make an issue of something that wasn't related to childcare.

got you beat said...

This is nothing. I've read an email my mom-boss wrote about me. She called me a fat ass and a no good nanny. I quit 2 days later. I know she didn't say it to my face, but if she was thinking that then I had no business being their nanny. She was a disrespectful B*TCH and she shouldn't have left that email open on the communal computer - maybe she wanted me to read it...

another situation more humorous - one of my previous mom-bosses wrote as her facebook status: my nanny is obsessed with lifetime, someone please save her from herself and Tracy Gold. when I read it I was laughing SO HARD! LOL.

Bostonnanny said...

Proud live out nanny, I am a live out nanny and have been for years. I also work full time and do household duties. The families I work for have always offered their food to me; however, I bring my own food. Maybe I was raised differently but I always ask before I eat some elses food.
I have a different view as a nanny, I try to keep it as professional with the parents as possible. I don't believe in "part of the family", I like "respected employee" more.

pk said...

Are you overweight? Maybe she thinks you did not need said treats. That is not an excuse, but perhaps why she thought it was okay to rant about it to a friend. Heavy people are targeted and badgered for their normal actions when it concerns food. Although if it were me nanny, she would just put the out of stock item on the list or buy it herself. If you don't give your nanny enough freedome, ie to shop, you are going to run out of tasties!

Jacqui said...

Huh pk?

pk said...

Well Jaqui, surely you have seen an overweight person at a buffet going up for seconds and thought, "Fright! She's going back AGAIN", when in reality lots of people of all sizes go back again.

Don't seat the small stuff said...

Sounds like this ice cream comment was taken way too critically. I can honestly say i have been in similar situations, and was told as a nanny to "help myself". It's frustrating, and while the nanny did not eat the "whole" box of ice cream sandwiches, it sometimes makes one feel better to exagerate when venting....which is all it is, venting frustrations. There was no reason for the nanny to be so hurt by something, when in all reality, she herself has probably vented to her friends on many occasions about the frustrations of her job. Two women sharing responsibility and household life for 1 child can be tough.
As for snooping on her bosses phone, she shouldnt have done it, and the nanny kind of got what was coming to her by snooping. I was in a similar situation. MB had asked me to go through her emails to find something she needed faxed and couldn't get to the computer. When I opened her email, there was an email response from one of her friends that had MY name in the title, so naturally, I looked at it. She was complaining to the friend about a few petty issues that were bothering her about me, some true, such as me leaving my coat on the dining room chair instead of in the hall closet, some a little less true, such as I ate ALL the chocolate kisses. Sure I ate some of them, but not all of them. I was a little hurt because she hadn't told me she was unhappy with those things, but I had no right to be, because she hadn't said these things directly to me or meant for me to see them. So...rather than get all bent out of shape about it, I took a mental note of those things, tried a little harder to hang my coat up where it belongs, eat less chocolate, and not sweat the small stuff.

Jacqui said...

I understand that PK...just a strange and somewhat random way to look at this particular situation..Could be though, who knows?

TC said...

When someone is in their home they are afford a certain amount of privacy....even when there is a nanny or maid in the house.

You were 100% in the wrong. You had no business snooping in her phone, and as someone who just had that happen to her (no I'm not the op from that article) someone like you that does stuff like that pisses me off.

You give good nannies a bad image

kiki said...

I was wrong to snoop. I'm glad I did, though. Knowing she was a two faced bitch made it a lot easier for me to leave. She cried when I gave my notice and said she loved me. Normally, I'd have cried too and tried to work something out. But, not for her! That poor baby, though... I feel so bad for her. She deserves a mother who actually wants to spend time with her! Hopefully the new nanny is a good substitute mom to her since the real mom is a useless hag.

Babyrn said...

You were hurt enough by a comment made by the mum that you quit a Job with a baby you love. Yet you take to a public forum to call her creepy, crappy mom, fat and you claim to love her own daughter more than she does. You wish aloud that you want her to see and read your rant. Your words were far more cruel and cutting than the mom's. Her simple statement was a private text to a friend She, by your account was always nice to you. This means she never thought enough about the ice cream to get back at you in any way- while you stew for months and finally post your come back on a public blog! All the while admitting that you invaded the womans privacy! You are the creep! And I do not know how many kids you have but I am very certain that this woman loves her child much more than you possibly be capable of. The comments that you posted about a mother's lack of love for the child only shows how little concern that you have for the child!

oh well said...

The message seems perfectly harmless. If you work in someone else's home, you should expect them to be annoyed at random things you do, and to have privacy issues.
Having strangers in one's home is not exactly stress-free, and if you can't understand that, it's a good thing that you changed jobs.
Snooping was of course completely wrong and unprofessional and what you say about your boss speaks volumes about you. Hopefully you are still very young.

na-na-nana said...

Soo funny that you guys say the mom is bland for having such a boring life that she has too talk about what the nanny ate and also how fat and unattractive working moms are. And let's see you two must just be balls of fire.And You two have such busy and exciting lives and jobs right? Why else would you be sitting alone in front of a computer, making nasty comments about something that happened months ago!!!! And you two are just so happy that you are worried about the size of another woman's body and what she eats? Hey I admit my life is a little boring and slow right now due to caring for an ill relative ! But you two are filled with delusions of your own grandeur!! Or maybe your just jealous that the mom has a good enough job that she can afford to pay a crappy nanny!!

Proud Live-out Nanny said...

Bostonnanny, I should have mentioned that I agreed with you on all points except the "don't eat their food" issue. I generally agree with your comments, so please forgive me for responding too hastily.

However I, too, think of myself as a professional. My MB and DB treat me with respect, which I return in kind. The fact remains that this type of employment offers benefits that others do not, especially in cases where the family and the nanny are a great match. One of those benefits, for me, has been a close relationship which is both friendly and respectful. I do not see anything wrong with your choice to keep more distance between yourself and your employers. I applaud you for finding a system that works for you and sticking with it. Neither is there anything wrong with accepting the benefits offered by an employer. I choose (at least with my current employers...who knows how the future will unfold) to maintain a close relationship with my wonderful employers. And I don't believe that you should try to assert that your system would be best for every situation and every unique employer/employee relationship.

Me-A said...

I am told to help myself to anything and I rarely do.
As a Nanny I keep things very professional.

When I worked in the corporate world, I fed my self and see no reason wny I should expect someone else to feed me now, regardless of what they say. Oh I have grabbed the odd fuit now and then but nothing more. If I ever ate three of anything from one box, I would replace the box, that's just good manners. And checking your bosses Blackberry is NOT.

Anonymous said...

The family I worked with actually had a shelf for me where they put snacks, tea, etc. and once in awhile asked me what I would like when they went grocery-shopping. That was so nice. I once fed the girls the leftovers that their mom had planned for supper but she didn't let me know. After that she always told me "This is for supper" or left a note.

MB said...

That was my comment above that accidentally came out anonymous. Oops.

cali mom said...

Coming into this a bit late but...

Freaky Kiki said:

"...In any case, I had no idea people would be so petty, or like Monkey said, their lives so dull that they had nothing better to talk about than what the nanny ate..."

Yes Kiki. It's one thing to have such a dull life that you snoop into other people's blackberries and texts and talk about what they said to their friends, but I agree, it's TOTALLY tacky for them to have such a dull life that they talk to their friends about their nanny. Much more acceptable to post about her on message boards.

Maybe she left it there on purpose, betting you'd snoop at it and walk off the job because she really wanted you to get the hell out of her life but figured if she made you quit, it would save her the trouble of firing your slimy ass?

Just a thought, but good thing you're no longer around to teach her poor child your nasty habits.

Lizzabee said...

Op, you are a mess.

1. you snooped into your boss's cell phone
2. you claim you love her baby more
3, you go on a public forum and declare war on her, when she only sent a private message that wasn't even mean, just a fact, to a friend...damn, she could have just said it playfully.

It also sounds like you are basing everything about her on this incident, she clearly cares about you as she cried when you left. you go and call her a hag.

you sound like a snob.

...whats weird is that before I read the side comments here I was on your side until you responded

Anni said...

You were wrong to look through her phone.

On the other hand, it makes me so angry when a parent says "eat what you like, this is your home too" and you do it and they have the nerve to bitch.

One lady I worked with for a very, VERY short period of time was supposed to include the cost of my food with the very low live-in pay.

Every time she went to the grocery, she'd forget. My days were booked solid, 7 days a week, except for one TINY hour in which I was expected to do chores, and despite her telling me to "eat while the kids eat", that would be followed up in half a second by "don't deny my kids anything for even half of a second". Then, of course, I'd have to bathe the kids and put them to bed, and for some reason covering the damn food was an impossible concept, leaving me to either eat hard, old food that had been sitting out for 2 hours, then clean the entire kitchen alone while she did whatever, or grab a snack.

This woman had the NERVE to yell at me for eating some damn oreo cookies. When I probably hadn't had time to eat ANYTHING ELSE all week long thanks to her "if my preshus waits even a minute, you are evil" bullcrap.