Received Saturday, January 8, 2011
I have many years of nannying experience, and took a temp job over the holiday period. When I took the job, I was told that the family's former nanny, who was supposed to be emigrating earlier this week, would show me the ropes before she left - which I was fine with. However, I discovered upon arriving at their house and unpacking that this woman's visa had not come through and that she would be "helping" me for almost the entire period that the job would last; while I was less than thrilled about this, because had I wanted a shared charge position I would have said so in the ad I placed online, I decided I'd make the best of it. The problem lay in the fact that this lady clearly disliked me; I don't think it was personal, though, because I got the distinct impression that she felt nobody was good enough to replace her. The youngest child had obviously been babied by this woman, to the extent of still being spoon fed and having her teeth brushed for her at an age when either of these things is vastly inappropriate; she was going through a phase of clinging and whining, something which the previous nanny was adamant had never happened before - clearly insinuating that this behaviour started when I arrived. There was a fair amount of passive aggressive behaviour on the former nanny's part as well - things such as not telling me that the keys I had been given would not unlock the front door of the house, resulting in my returning with one of the children to find myself locked out and having to interrupt my MB while she was at work.
One morning each of us took one of the children on a separate outing; she proceeded to watch me bundle 'my' charge up and strap her into her stroller, only to stop me in my tracks once we were outside and re-dress the child (yes, in full view of passers-by) because she felt I had not done it satisfactorily. (why did I say nothing, you ask? Because I was speechless that she was even doing this - I would never DREAM of being so rude to someone I had only just met) Since I needed the extra money badly and the job was only for a few weeks, I gritted my teeth and said nothing - but what I'd like to know is how your readers have dealt with this type of situation if they have encountered it? I realise I'm probably lucky never to have encountered this sort of behaviour before, and would welcome any advice on how to handle it if it should crop up during a more permanent job - since my current charges are growing up and I am applying for new positions.