Received Monday, January 3, 2011
So I've been looking for a nanny position for a few months now, and I interviewed with a family I thought would be perfect. They were out of state, and even though the pay was low, I would only be in charge of 1 child, there was no driving, or cleaning other than laundry so it would be a good job to get some experience and a reference out of. We decided to move forward with everything so they bought a plane ticket and I asked for a contract. When they sent me the contract, it was for longer than we'd agreed, it had me running errands and grocery shopping, and it had me cleaning so much I would be considered more of a housekeeper than a nanny. I attempted to find out why things had changed (but the pay hadn't) and was told that they had misspoken and/or forgotten to tell me. I tried negotiating to something that was mutually agreeable, or what they'd said in the first place, but the family refused to compromise. When I made it clear that I would not be driving on the job (I have little experience driving in the sorts of conditions I would be required to drive in, it wouldn't be safe, and they'd made it clear in the beginning that there would be no driving). They said that's a dealbreaker and asked for me to cover the cost of the plane ticket. I of course said no way. I contacted their states board of labor who made it very clear to both them and me that I was not responsible for the ticket. Ask for a contract and be very careful to read the contract they send, even if you've talked about everything (multiple times) don't assume that what they said is what they're going to put in the contract. Don't be afraid to back out if you can't come to an agreement, you don't want to spend the next year of your life feeling taken advantage of, or have to quit early because the job isn't what you'd been told it would be.