It's a Small World

Received Monday, December 13, 2010
Opinion 4 Omigosh! I have a little bit of a dilemma here and I need the solid advice of both nannies and parents alike. This situation is kinda weird and it may sound like I made it up, but honest to God it is the truth. Just another reminder of the small world we all live in.

Anyway, I had a job about 2 weeks back that I found on Sittercity. To make a long story short, I only stayed two days with that family and left abruptly. Yes, unprofessional, but honestly I could not give any notice because the parents totally blamed me for everything plus the working environment had already turned hostile. Basically, they misrepresented the job to me. They said they would only give me minimal house chores while the baby slept (i.e., cleaning baby's bottles, dishes, toys, clothes, linens, etc.) during the interview, yet once on the job, they had me doing their own laundry, cleaning the kitchen & bathroom, walking the dog, etc. So while I remained civil to them, I also told them I could not continue the position effective immediately and would not be returning since they misrepresented my duties.

Flash forward to today. I was recently hired for a new position (yeah!) with a much nicer family. They assured me I wouldn't have any other duties that did not pertain to the child and even had the duties drawn up into a Nanny/Parent contract that we both signed today. Well after talking to the family a little about their jobs and where they worked, it turns out the Dad boss works at the same exact company and has the same type of work of my former Dad boss. Now this may not mean anything and they may never mention anything about nannies at work, but I am worried they may know each other since they both are around the same age, are of the same ethnicity and culture and hold similar work positions. When if my new Dad boss mentions one day how they just found a great nanny, etc..blah, blah, blah and then tells this other guy all about her (me.) After doing some talking, they both come to realize it is the same person!! Then my former Dad boss will tell this new family how I left abruptly plus he may say other bad (untrue) stuff about me because he was angry at me for not being happy with my job.

When I interviewed with my new family, I never mentioned this other job since it was only for 2 days and didn't end well. I simply said I was looking for a job and had been unemployed since Nov. 13th (when I left my other long-term position..on great terms by the way, the little girl I watched started pre-school.) If they find out from this other worker that I just left and other negative stuff, do they have a right to be mad that I didn't tell them about it? I mean, would you guys? At the time of our interview, I seriously didn't see why I should. Do you think if they do find out, they will believe the other guy (former Dad boss) and fire me? Even if weeks have passed and I have a chance to prove to them what a great Nanny I am? Should I mention to them before I start my job (in a week) so that I appear trustworthy and honest?? Please help. Thanks so much in advance guys.


Anne said...

I think this can be handled quite easily. One day in the near future when you're talking with the mother you should say something like, "I'm so glad that your family has turned out to be such a good fit for me. I thought I'd found a great job just a few months ago, but . . . " Then tell her just briefly about your experience with the first family. Don't be a gossip, but be honest about what your problems with the job were. Then if it ever does come to light that your new family knows the other one, you won't be back-peddling to get your story out.

Leaving after two days speaks to a fundamental mismatch between employer & employee, not to your unreliableness.

MissDee said...

If they do cross paths, and I hope for your sake they don't, I would simply explain that you felt the position wasn't working out for you in terms of the environment and job responsibilities if your current DB asks about it. I also hope for your sake you and DB-MB have your jobs duties clear to avoid any problems.

. said...

You did nothing wrong. You were working for the other family on a trial basis as far as anyone is concerned. It did not work out. Two days is nothing.

If your family ever brings it up, tell them the truth: you tried working for a family for two days, it was not a good match, and the rest is history. Most likely by the time they ever find out, they will be so impressed with the good job you are doing for them that they will thank their lucky stars you are with them and not that other family.

Unless of course there is something you are not telling us.

Hungrycollegestudent said...

That other family probably doesn't even remember your name by now. If they were simply trying to use you, I'm sure you have been one of many that chose to walk out. Don't sweat it, and don't mention it. If it comes up later down the road, I would follow Miss Dee's advice.

MediationMama said...

As long as you are a good employee at the new place, if and when your employer hears about your brief stint with the last family, he won't pay much attention to it, since he already knows your work quality. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

a mom said...

What's with all the secrets and wait and see?? I'd bring it up now. Just tell them you are an honest person and wanted them to know that (insert the story here without badmouthing the other family) Say that you didn't bring it up beforehand because it seemed so insignificant since it was only 2 days....however, in light of the fact that you think they may know each other, you don't want it to come out later and sour your relationship with them. If they are truly a good family to work for they will appreciate this and understand. Sure you can keep your fingers crossed that it never comes out, but IF it does your employers will view it as a bit on the sneaky/dishonest side.

TC said...

I agree with a mom

Just mention what happened but make sure you don't bad mouth the other family. Just be honest as to why you quit.

If you use the wait and see approach you run the risk of the family finding out and being upset that you 'hid' something from them

Just keep in mind that they very well could be friends and hang out outside of work so be nice when you explain what happened.

nanny consultant said...

I agree with Anne.

I had a similar situation happen...
I worked for a family for 3 months and quite effective immediately after it was clearly not going to work out. I was concerned for my own mental/emotional safety with them.

Then I was hired by an awesome family. The 2 families live 3 blocks from one another and quite often frequent the same parks. They did know I had just quit a job and it was under bad circumstances, but they never asked what they were. A few months after I was working for them I explained to the mom all the details and she was so affirming to me.

It gave them time to judge me for themselves. Now we all mention from time to time how thankful we are that I quit that job.

Besides, you are borrowing trouble worrying about it - you aren't even sure they know each other! I'd say bring it up in a few weeks or if they ask you about it. You didn't do anything wrong - and your current family will see that if they value you the way you deserve to be, even if a bunch of trash is said about you.

Village said...

I wouldn't mention it.

If they bring it up, I'd say, 'It was a trial period, and it wasn't a good match, and as you know, a good match is essential for the well being of the child(ren).'

Don't give specifics and don't say anything negative about the parents. If the guy is a two faced creep at home, he is probably a two faced creep at work. Your new employers may be thrilled it didn't work out, otherwise, they wouldn't have you, the best nanny ever.

Original Poster said...

OP Here.
Anne, I like your last statement, it is true, it was a fundamental mismatch since I am a very reliable nanny. :)Miss Dee: yes I have a contract/work agreement this time which clearly lists their expectations from me and mine of them. To.said: I have disclosed everything. I am assuming my former family will not say good things about me since they were none too pleased that I left after two days, but if they were honest and decent folks, they would simply say it was not a suitable match.
To a mom: I see your point, but don't you think it would be wiser to bring it up perhaps after I had a chance to demonstrate what a good/effective nanny I am? I am worried that if I mention something now, it may be a potential red flag for them and they may be on guard. I guess the job market out where I live now is not so great, there are many people, nannies incl. who are out of work now and I hate being unemployed around Christmas time.
I'll keep you guys posted.

Lisa said...

Another point: honestly, the likelihood that either of them will talk to each other about their child care arrangements in enough detail to identify you is very very very small. Watercooler talk among men just doesn't seem to venture into this territory (coming from a mom married to a man who actually does WAY more than most other fathers I know). Sure, mention it casually if it decreases your anxiety level that you will be "found out" or that your leaving will be misinterpreted, but try not to over think this one. Oh, and another point, as an employer: when I find someone who meshes well with the family and is a good fit, that's way more valuable than anything else. If you're a good fit for their family it's unlikely that something like this could ruin it.

alex said...

I am really thinking that guys do not talk about that stuff BUT I agree with what Anne said. That would be an easy way to get it out. I don't think you have to mention it (legally) because for two days I would still consider that the "trying out" period. The completely misrepresented the job to you and they are at fault for that. It is better that you didn't stay with them and try to work it out since you knew it was not going to work out. I really think two days is a trial period and if your family ever brings it up just tell them the truth.

But again, I highly doubt even if the men do cross paths they would talk about nannies. :)

Nanny Maria said...

I can see how stressful this feels, but I don't think you have to say anything. You are under NO responsibility to tell them about this previous job, and you didn't do anything wrong. When I'm interviewing I don't tell the family about jobs I've held for short periods of time anyway.

Also, the chances that the dads are going to have a long talk about their nanny situation is unlikely. If, in the crazy off-chance, the new parents do bring this up, simply say that "yeah, you tried it out and it was a bad work environment, so you left." No big deal. Ensure them that you are very happy with them and there is no need to worry.

MissMannah said...

I agree with those who say you don't need to tell them anything. First of all, it is none of your current boss's business. Two days is not a job, it is part of a trial period so you have no need to even mention it as part of your experience. Secondly, it likely won't ever come up. How many men do you know who sit around and gossip about their childcare arrangements? Particularly while they're at work! It just won't happen.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

I wouldn't even mention it. If the issue ever comes up, you can simply say, "Yes, I did some trial days with that family and it wasn't a good fit."

If the new family continues to probe after that, say that you felt iot was more discreet and respectful of everyones privacy to not mention it.

domendothat said...

I don't know might be worrying about men really sit around the break room talking about their nannies??

only me said...

I don't think you should rush to tell them. It could actually backfire and end up making you look guilty. In the first place, I doubt it will come up between the men at work. In the second place, if it does come up and the other family speaks badly of you, you then have the high road, and will have the opportunity to demonstrate how diplomatic and discreet you are by saying how you did two trial days and it wasn't a good match from either side. You can add humor by saying it's a good thing because otherwise you wouldn't have found your current family.

Original Poster said...

OP here..thank you all for the great advice!! :)
After reading all the responses I am in agreement that the men probably will not discuss their childcare arrangements at work. There is always a slim possibility that they may, but I am willing to take the larger chance that they will not. *fingers crossed*
I feel if I tell my current family, while they probably will not fire me on the spot, they will be guarded about me for awhile. While truth is a good thing, it can also be a double-edged sword (as in my situation.) If I tell them what happened to me, then it will take much longer to prove to them I am a good nanny.
Anyway, I like the answer of those who said 2 days really is not a job and that it was only a trial period anyways. 2 Days will not affect my resume either.
I will let you guys know later on if my worst nightmare comes true and they do talk about nannies at work, but hopefully by then my new family will be so convinced I am the greatest nanny ever that one person's opinion of me will not matter anymore!!!!

the truth hurts said...

"domendothat said...
I don't know might be worrying about men really sit around the break room talking about their nannies??"

I guess it depends on how big her boobies are, lol.

Jenn said...

Yeah..that is true,..if the Nanny is hot then maybe they will talk about her. So maybe you can tone down how you look at work OP. LOL. That might be the best foolproof solution to your problem.

CuriousDad said...

To all who think that if the nanny is actually hot that her "toning" down her looks will in anyway mean that the boss will not describe his “hot” nanny to another guy he is friends with needs to have another think coming.

Do you honestly think we really care whether a woman is dressed to the nines or not, to be able to consider you hot or not?

That said most guys do not talk about home life at work beyond generalities or in a standard formulaic patois, we also try and stick to what we consider harmless subjects. There are of course exceptions to the above rules narcissism on the part of the guy, idiocy, best buds, marriage down the tubes.

Kristin said...

I think you are overthinking this! #1-doubtful that the dad will ever speak to his coworkers about you at all, much less call you by name and describe you! I don't think any of my husband's friends or coworkers would know the name of our nanny, and she is fantastic. He just doesn't talk about that kind of stuff with them, and I think most guys are that way.
#2-people who are creeps in one area of their life are usually creeps in other areas too. So if the old dad pulled all that stuff, I bet the new dad knows he is off and wouldn't blame you for wanting out.
By this time, I'm sure the family knows you are great--and that's the most important thing! Everyone knows there are a lot of unreasonable people out there who try and take advantage.