Tuesday

It's not me, it's you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010
A day in the life 10 I am a nanny with a nanny agency who occasionally goes on temp jobs...there is one family who has a baby I have filled in with on several occasions..I have never had a problem until yesterday..

I arrived at their home and their full time nanny answers the door..she has no idea that I am coming but lets me in and tries to call the parents, who don't answer. At that point, she calls the agency because that is where she got this job. (We both are with the same agency) The nanny agency owner has no idea what is going on and said that she assumed the nanny needed to leave and that's why I was there..a few minutes later the dad comes home and suggests that we go for a walk..the nanny starts to get the baby ready and then the dad says he wants to talk to her. I head downstairs and am putting the baby in the stroller..I hear him tell her that its not working out, they really like her but its not a good fit, etc..I hear her wailing and crying hysterically and then she screams "thanks a lot, now my boyfriend is going to give me a beating tonight". At that point, I ran out of the house because I was scared..I felt so bad for the nanny. This girl was so painfully thin, she looked one step away from death and was so anxious. I called the agency owner and told her what happened..later on the dad told me that they did give her a severance. She had worked there a few months..I absolutely would not want that drama in my household..but I feel awful. That poor girl..I almost wonder if she had an eating disorder, she was like a walking skeleton. I wonder what I could do?

22 comments:

bostonnanny said...

Wow, that was an unnecessary way to fire someone. He could have told her when her shift was over or before she came in, that way she never had to meet the "new" nanny. She does sound like she has a lot of baggage but she's the only one that can help herself. You have to want to be helped in order to be helped.

Anyways, I don't think you can do anything. You don't sound like you know her at all and you don't want to get yourself stuck in the middle of some crazy drama.

As for that family, I would avoid working for them they sound cold hearted just by the way they fired her.

Phoenix said...

You can't do anything sadly. It is her life and she is choosing to live it the way she is. Sometimes things just don't work out. YOu can't give yourself un-needed stress for scenarios that are out of your control.

TC said...

I would mention to the nanny agency what the other nanny said and then leave it at that, there is nothing else you can do.

I would think twice about working for this family, even on a temp basis because he handled that wrong. There was other ways he could have handled that situation. At the very least he should have informed the agency he was planning on firing the nanny

HungryCollegeStudent said...

I actually agree with Phoenix here. Having worked extensively at DV shelters, I can absolutely say that you cannot help someone unless they actually want help. Stay out of this situation. You do not know her and while you may feel terrible for her situation, reaching out to a stranger in this situation is liable to leave you with a bloody nub. I do agree that this was not handled well at all. Wow.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I would not work for this family because one day it will be you on the chopping block and I agree with the other posters that this father did not handle this well at all. It was mean of him to allow the new nanny to come face to face with the old nanny and it was mean of him to fire her in the manner in which he did so. Imagine how he will treat you in the future. He obviously is too cowardly to fire his nanny in a mature and thoughtful manner.
I am sorry for the other nanny, poor woman! But you can not worry about her, just pray for her.

NannyB said...

It was either incredibly rude or an incredible mix-up that you were there at the same time as the (former) nanny. BUT, it sounds like this girl had major problems and from what you've described.... I can completely understand the family wanting her out. Whether or not she has an eating disorder, she doesn't sound well. And to scream at her boss that her boyfriend was going to beat her?! Wow. Crazy stuff going on there. If they gave her a severance, that's great. Hopefully she will seek some help.

DowntoEarth said...

I would give the family a chance. There must have been a reason why he fired he like he did. Could be that she was bringing her personal probelms into their house? Did the beating boyfriend show up there and start trouble? You don't know and it seems like he wanted or had to fire her NOW and not wait one more minute. Her leaving statement about "now her boyfriend will beat her" tells me that something happened and this family did not want to leave their child alone with her any longer. There is always more then just what you see with your eyes that is going on. I would ask the father about it and then make a decision if I want to work there or not. I have to say I would not feel comfortable if the Nanny watching my infant was being beaten by her significant other and coming to work black and blue because how am I to know that he won't come there and do the same thing? There are 2 sides to every story.

OP..the temp nanny not the new nanny!! said...

I am not the "new nanny"..I was there as a fill in..I probably won't go back. It was just a super awkward situation and not worth the stress it put me through..I talked to the owner of the agency and she said the nanny denied anything happening and that she was not sure what to even do. She felt bad too. The family called her after they fired the girl to tell her they needed a new nanny. I still feel awful for her, did in fact say a prayer and am just glad that's not my situation. I did talk to another nanny who works for them part time and she said she and the family sat down with this girl and had an unsuccessful intervention.

I still feel bad!!

ohionanny said...

I guess I don't understand why you feel bad. You didn't do anything. You didn't know anything. As for the family, if this girl had such issues that they attempted an intervention with her, it tells me that they ended up fearing for their child and needed to get her out immediately. You have no idea what happened prior to your arrival that prompted such an immediate need of you, and subsequent firing of her.

If they attempted an intervention, they did more than I would probably have done if it had to do with the safety and well being of my children (if I ever had a nanny). You can feel badly for someone's situation yet not take it on as your own problem. If they did try to help her with her issues, this tells me that they might be a decent family and the situation just happened to be an unfortunate one. :(

OP again said...

I absolutely agree that while it is an unfortunate situation, I would never put my child at risk..its twofold-1. I would be afraid for my child's safety..if the nanny met up with her boyfriend, what if he hurt the baby? Obviously this girl can't stand up for herself, much less a baby. 2. I would not want someone who puts up with that nonsense spending 50 hours a week with my child..I really believe children need to see women be strong, powerful role models.

I felt bad because that girl was crying her eyes out and because I am sure her boyfriend is going to beat the hell out of her..

Texas Nanny said...

"I would not want someone who puts up with that nonsense spending 50 hours a week with my child..I really believe children need to see women be strong, powerful role models."

OP, you are being sexist and victim-blaming here and perpetuating the kinds of stereotypes that lead people to ignore domestic violence and disrespect its victims.

When you are being abused by a partner, you are not "putting up" with "nonsense", you are terrified for your life, and you feel like you have nowhere to go and no one that can save you.

I was abused by my boyfriend in college. I'm a white girl from an honors program at a good school and a middle class family. He started by making comments about how I looked. First he devalued my appearance, so I felt lucky that any man put up with someone as fat as me (I'm a size 6). Then he made me feel like my thoughts and feelings were trivial, and that I needed him to take care of me because I was too stupid to look after myself (I have a 142 IQ). Then, then when I felt like leaving him would be leaving my only chance at a relationship, he started hitting me.

I am strong - I escaped. I am strong - I speak out about my experiences, so that other women realize that it's not just immigrants, minorities, and the uneducated who deal with domestic violence. I am strong - I spend 45 hours a week with two children under 2 after all!

But all my strength, all my intelligence, all my family and friends and education STILL did not make me immune to the desire to be loved.

CuriousDad said...

OP, did you show up early? Was the Dad running late?

The family needed to let the nanny go. He could not leave his child alone and did not want her knowing he was letting her go while she had custody of his kid.

You were there only as a temp to help out a family in a crisis. Not to actually take over the other nannies place.

looks like they tried to do the right thing and you just got to observe part of the ending of it.

MissMannah said...

Texas Nanny, you and I have a past abusive boyfriend in common. We also are both strong, intelligent women. This fired nanny is neither strong nor intelligent and the family was 100% correct in firing her. I also *kind of* suspect she's not even being abused. She might have just been yelling stuff to make OP and the dad feel bad. I know in my case, I would NEVER have admitted if I was going to go home to a beating...and sometimes I really did know I was going to.

Just my thoughts here...I might be totally off, but it is what immediately came to mind. OP, don't let it bother you. You have nothing to do with it.

Texas Nanny said...

MissMannah, I would agree that the family was correct in firing the old nanny if she was bringing drama and potential danger into their home, but it doesn't change the fact that the wording the OP used reinforces a stereotype that women "let" themselves be abused and that any woman that "allows" herself to be treated that way is stupid or weak-willed, which is obviously false.

I can't look into this nanny's mind and see if she was being abused in truth or what she may have done, but I can correct assumptions like this that do harm do every woman who has been abused.

JD said...

I haven't had anything THAT horrible happen, but when I lived in, the parents decided to talk about how the moms bestfriend was going to fire her nanny because the nanny had gotten pregnant. The poor nanny didn't see it coming and I couldn't warn her (not my place, and didn't know her except by name).

Alex said...

uh wow. That is a horrible way for them to fire someone, I mean why would they do it that way? I wouldn't work for them or ever go on their calls. That is not how you let someone go.

As for the other poor girl, I would mention it to the agency. She does need help.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Whether the old nanny was (is) being abused is up for debate. If she is, then that is a terrible, terrible thing and I sympathize with her 120%. But it is really unprofessional for her to bring it up at work. Work is not the place to bring up such issues unless of course the abuser shows up there and causes trouble. I always leave any personal problems at home and am always on my professional best while on duty. There is a fine line between the two and they should never be confused. It is kinda manipulative to tell that to a boss anyway if you are being fired. I am single mother and struggle to pay my bills, yet if I was fired, I would never toss that to my boss. It's like saying, "I am now going to live in a box because of you!!" I do not believe in guilt trips and am fully realistic that no one but me and my loved ones really gives a damn about my personal issues anyways.

another domestic violence survivor said...

Texas Nanny:

I thank God there are smart people like you in the world: you said it, in a nutshell!!!!!!!

I really cannot stomach victim-blamers and people who are so wildly misinformed as OP is regarding domestic violence.

OP again- said...

I am not trying to blame the poor nanny..of course she does not deserve any of what is happening to her! I certainly was not trying to offend anyone but I am not sexist and I am not misinformed and I don't appreciate being called names..its my opinion.

sharon said...

as a business owner, i have had to work with and disengage from people with life drama. The phrase 'thanks alot, now my boyfriend will beat me" says alot - she is blaming them for her life.

probably not the first time.

people like that suck you dry and when you disengage they blame you. We can monday morning quarterback about how the dad could have done better but he needed that person away from his kids asap

that family needs a well rounded nanny for their kids - good luck to them

CuriousDad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CuriousDad said...

Would the blog owners please check on this oriflametr poster? I think it is Spam. Same words posted across several articles in the blog. It looks like they are just posting so someone will click on the link in the name.