Monday

Free Weights

Monday, November 8, 2010
Opinion 4 I am responding in part due to the post where the mother wants o buy the nanny a gym membership. I don't think that is a good idea and let me tell you what happened to me. I am a live-in nanny and have always been a large person, recently became an even larger person. Those are the facts. Last night, I return home, make some pleasant chit chat with the mother and children and then the mother told me, "Look in your bathroom, I brought you a suprise". So I walk in to my private bathroom and there is a beautiful new brown rug. I say, "Thank you, I love the rug". She said, "No, not the rug, look behind the door". So look behind the door. And what do I see? A bathroom scale. I say, "Oh". And then I wasn't going to say anything else because I was kind of overwhelmed and in a good way. Later, she brings it up and tells me that I need a scale. She tells me she got me a good one. I knew this because I had studied the box by then and it weighs people up to 380 lbs! I am uncomfortable, ashamed, sad, disappointed in myself, humiliated and resentful. In my opinion a gym membership would have been a whole lot nicer but might still cause your nanny to feel the same things.

22 comments:

TC said...

I'm so sorry that happened to you.

I honestly would be looking for another job had that happened to me.

TheOriginalDenverNanny said...

wow. How rude!
I have to agree with TC: I would be searching for a new job asap!

HungryCollegeStudent said...

I completely agree. I don't know what possessed her to think that was in good taste, but how disrespectful can someone be? Your weight is your business, and if for some reason she thinks it has begun to interfere with your job, a candid conversation would have gone a lot further. That being said, I doubt your weight has and sincerely believe this is a classic example of either sheer idiocy or extreme passive aggressiveness. Either way, neither of those characteristics make for a pleasant employer or work environment.

Nannies Are People Too! said...

OP, I am so very sorry you have a boss that is totally, completely rude and mean! This is uncalled for! This makes me so angry! She has ZERO right to judge you on your physical apperance let alone tell you how to alter it! Okay, I do not understand why your boss would care what you look like in any respect! I understand you live/work in tight quaters but you are her employee and she is an employer how you look does not have to do with how you do your job! That is unprofessional of her and just out right wrong! You need to find a new job!

If I were you I would talk to her ASAP! Get right to the point. Say "Mrs.X, I need to speak with you about the scale you bought me. If you have a problem with how I look and if it is interfering with my job I would appreciate going forward that you come to me and have a conversation instead of giving me a scale. It was hurtful, mean, insulting, and unprofessional of you. I signed up to be a nanny not be judged on my appearance!" You have to say something she is way out of line here! How would she like it if you bought her a membership to Jenny Craig!

Bostonnanny said...

Bitch.

simple sara said...

Well she wasn't lying. It was a surprise!

MONKEYSHINES said...

what a bitch, this is what you do, call up a plastic surgeon or a med spa and say you would like some brocheres mailed out and give your bosses adress
I am not big but am not yt people skinny, I am 6' size 12 and built like a brick house and let me tell you these husbands hate their bony wives and are always looking at the curvy girls and when I was a nanny a mom made a comment about my body and I told her she could use breast and butt lift and some lasering for her sun damaged skin and some vaginal rejuvination because after having 3 kids sex is probally not like it used to be for your hubby!

Village said...

One word. Regift. But make sure the new recipient has been looking for a scale.

Or sell it on Ebay. I wouldn't keep it. It will encourage her to continue to 'help' you.

Rocket Scientist said...

Wow, that is very rude! Your MB sounds like she was trying to send a message and didn't care how it made you feel. In the other post, I do think the MB actually cared. It's just that people who don't struggle with weight (or think they do when they need to lose 5 pounds) sometimes simply don't understand how hurtful it can be to mention it, even when trying to help. If I were you, I would have to look for another job. Don't let her get you down!

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Geez OP...I am so sorry this had to happen to you. You sound like a great nanny/person in general and do not deserve this treatment. Your employer is 110% tactless and her heart must be made of steel for her to do such a thing. As I stated before, this is only my opinion and the other posters may not like it, but I truly believe that as long as your appearance is not affecting your nanny duties, then how you look should NEVER be an issue. People should appreciate what they have and they have a great nanny and should just enjoy it instead of trying to change it. I hope you get lots of positive support on here as this is one of the meanest things I have ever heard of. I wish I could bop your boss on her head..if I did...probably nothing would fall out.
I agree with the posters who said you should search for another job ASAP. One where you are treated with decency and respect.

MissMannah said...

This is appalling! I'm trying to envision how I would react to this "surprise" and I think I would have to go find a new job. (I'm also overweight and can be very sensitive about it.)

I'm imagining a conversation where you are playing dumb to your boss. Come straight out and ask her why she bought the scale, especially since you've never expressed an interest in wanting one. It will put her on the spot and hopefully make her uncomfortable. That would also be an ideal time to give her your two week's notice. Maybe she'd put two and two together and see that when her actions offend, she will lose good employees.

And I am rambling...

rosie said...

I'm not often left speechless, but this was one of the rare occasions when it happened! I'm a plus size lady myself, but it has never affected my work - otherwise, I would not have held my first nanny post for ten and a half years and been in my current one for nine years so far. I'd start looking for a new job NOW, because if your current MB is this shallow the nitpicking will only get worse...

Gladys S. said...

Maybe the employer was taking a motherly interest in her nanny and was concerned that her weight was at an unhealthy level? I like to see a positive side. What would Jillian Michaels say?

Mommy Dearest said...

If that's motherly, I wouldn't want to be her kid. And I don't want to be "mothered" by my employer.

Unpopular Post said...

You know what, grow up. Weight needs to stop being a forbidden topic. I struggle with it too, and no, not by five pounds. More like sixty. Eighty not too long ago.

It ups the cost of healthcare in this country for all of us. Being overweight shreds your brain, ruins your heart and causes all sorts of diseases. It is not something that should be accepted by any means.

I'm not suggesting that blatant insults should be considered acceptable and no one should go into a depressive spiral over their weight, but it needs to be recognized as undesirable. As something not to hide, not to shun, but to fix.

If you had to use glasses and had a broken lens, would you be insulted if your employer bought you a new pair?

If you had to use a wheelchair and it was broken, would you be insulted if your employer bought you a new one?

If you were ill and offered the day off? If you had a headache and you were offered Tylenol?

Insulted? This is a cultural thing and it is not sensible. It needs to change. You need to be grateful. You're being given a gift and one you can use to work towards a worthy goal. Whatever the cause, this will help you identify whether or not you're effectively combating it.

Gym membership? I'd give my employers a big hug. Those things are insanely expensive, at least in my area.

MissMannah said...

Unpopular...those are all valid arguments, except for one little difference. The scale (and gym membership in the other post) was unsolicited. If the employee makes no mention of her weight, then the boss is butting her nose where it doesn't belong.

And, as a matter of fact, yes I would be insulted if my boss randomly bought me a new pair of glasses. If I break them, I will pay to fix them myself. That's why I have a job, so I can take care of myself. And back when I was in a wheelchair and insurance refused to cover the cost, I never dreamed of asking my boss to buy it for me. I scraped the money together myself, because that's what adults do. (I just wish I could sell the damn thing now and get some of that money back!)

You said she is being given a gift. That's true, it was a gift. But the gift said "You are not good enough the way you look" instead of "I appreciate the work you do for me" which is the only message a gift from a boss should say.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Unpopular..the problem with judging someone on their weight is that weight is such a subjective issue. What is fat to one person may not be fat to another, etc. Plus, there are many people who think they are fat and die every day from eating disorders and such. So this topic needs to be approached delicately. I would not categorize it in the same category as needing to get your eyeglasses fixed or buying a new wheelchair as those issues are more objective in nature. I agree that being overweight causes multiple health issues, but it is a gray area so therefore cannot be approached in the same manner as someone who just busted a lense on their prescription eyeglasses.

Unpopular Post said...

MissMannah, this is not about what adults do or don't. This is about adults getting offended by others daring to help them for reasons that have no basis in sense. Are you telling me you would have refused the wheelchair had your boss bought one? I didn't think so. We're nannies, we're party of the family. That this is unsolicited doesn't mean a darn. It is a situation that needs to change. It is a condition to be treated. If I am ill and someone tries to give me a cure, or even a thermometer, getting pissed is the wrong way to respond.

Just My Two Cents, to health weight is not subjective. It is absolutely in the same category as needing to get new glasses or a new wheelchair or having Tylenol for a headache. We only pretend it isn't.

I knew from the get-go that mine was a minority view. Still, it needed to be said and hopefully someday for the good of so many, it won't be so minority. I think OP needs to face the fact that she has a problem and needs to work on it, and that all else is nonsense. No man or woman is an island, take all the help you can get.

Rocket Scientist said...

Unpopular,

To start off, not all nannies consider themselves to be "part of the family." Yes, the position is unique because of the nanny's involvement and proximity to the family. That, however, does not mean that a nanny's employer has the same level of involvement in her life. Although I do have a good relationship with my employers, I agree with the responder above who said that her employer is not her mother.

Secondly, I think most people would agree that ours would be a much healthier society if weight were not so tied to self-esteem. It would be healthier not only physically, on both ends of the weight spectrum, but also psychologically, emotionally, relationally...you get the picture. The idea that one employer can just bypass all the cultural and personal issues involved in this matter, however, is simply untrue. It is so clear that the employer's actions did more harm than good, further tying the OP's self-esteem to her weight. It did not help. It hindered.

Furthermore, weight is fundamentally different from things like eyesight, headaches and dependence on wheelchairs. Weight is something that (in general) can be controlled. When I eat dinner, for example, I know that a hot dog is not a good choice, but fish and veggies are. And I have a choice. After work, I know that taking a walk is a better activity for my health than sitting down to watch Modern Family. And I have a choice.

On the other hand, I have no control over my need, or lack thereof, for glasses or a wheelchair. Those needs are caused by genetics or accidents. Additionally, headaches come and go. And actually, I almost never take medicine for them, even for the bad ones. There are multiple reasons for this choice, but in the end it does not matter, as my head will feel better sooner or later, with or without meds. A headache has no relation to my self-esteem.

Not only are the situations so fundamentally different, but also, a scale does nothing to "cure" a person who is overweight. It shows how much progress is being made. That is all.

Of course those of us who genuinely struggle with our weight have a problem. But it is not as if we don't know that. It is something that is almost impossible to get away from in our society. Not only that, but we are literally seeing it in the mirror every day. Rude, demoralizing "gifts" are not the way to help someone lose weight.

Rocket Scientist said...

Sorry for the book :)

MissMannah said...

"That this is unsolicited doesn't mean a darn. It is a situation that needs to change."

This is everything that is wrong with what you're saying. Unless her weight is interfering with her ability to care for the children, as far as the boss should be concerned, the situation need not change. It is none of her business. As for nannies being a part of the family, I completely disagree. I am an employee, not a daughter. But I would say the exact same thing to my own mother: "Mind your own business!" In fact, I do often say it to her, just not necessarily about weight issues.

Actually, my wheelchair example was a bad one because I was working as a secretary at the time, and we certainly didn't have a "family" atmosphere at the workplace, but the bosses were incredibly accommodating after my accident, but not so much that anyone offered me anything more than a carpool pick-up and bringing me lunch.

Vanessa said...

Uh forget the "motherly" excuse. No. Just no. If I want to eat myself into weighing 5000 lbs, that's my problem, not my employer's.