Sunday

How Do I Squeeze Blood Out of a Turnip?

rant 1 I am a well educated professional nanny and I have many wonderful clients. I work full-time for a single mother with 6 kids. 3 of them do not live at the home. I am in charge of the three little ones. (4, 1, and infant). When I first spoke to her (the mother); I got really excited. I thought to myself (I am at $10 an hour), I have a mom that will need the majority of my assistance. I will get the hours I need and develop a strong work relationship with her. More importantly, develop a strong, loving relationship with her kids.

Now, I do feel for her. She is going through a bad separation and getting no support, financially. The house is trashed and with two babies; (one eats off the floor and one is crawling). When I arrive in the early afternoon (mom works afternoons to evening); dishes are piled in the sink, garbage and old food is stuck to the table and floor and is just plain disgusting. She is going through a lot.

The four year old is going through a lot, too - her dad abandoned her (and her younger siblings) and with her mom having to work - not spending time with her that she desperately needs. She is rude, "I can do whatever I want" (mom said I could do this) attitude. She has called me stupid (in front of her mom) and threatened to hit me (or throw things at me). She throws incredible tantrums. If I put a veggie on her plate; she will scream and throw it (mom says she doesn't have to eat them). They live off of mac and cheese, nuggets and fruit cups.

I need to drive an hours drive away to pick up her 10 year old twin daughters. That is fine. But I need to switch cars with her because mine is too small. This is 2 days a week (Weds and Fri) and each time that car is just like the house - dirty and just gross. The drivers mirror is gone and she made me drive to the tire place to replace an flatten tire (WITH THREE BABIES IN THE CAR). She also gives me the car on fumes.

Her daughters (the twins) are supposed to be with their mom on Wed and Fri. I pick them up (on Weds) and bring them back to the house. I pick them up at 5pm from grandma. I have only worked with her for a few weeks and I am already looking for a new job. She "pays" daily. I say that lightly. She owes me so much money. Luckily, I write this all down. She is just plain mean. One example is that in the last week; her 4 year old came down the stairs and at 9 pm at night (her bedtime) she went to grab a pop out of the fridge. I nicely asked her mom (still getting to know everyone) if she was allowed to have a pop that late at night. I may have worded it wrong - by saying she was grabbing a pop - is she allowed? Mom responded by saying (in front of her daughter) I don't want you to tattle-tale on my daughter - you can handle it. I need to leave.

I say all this - I needed to spill my thoughts.. I also needed to ask how can I get my money that she owes me. I know she is a single mom and not getting help financially - but its not my problem. I want to say that nicely. I am just angry at the whole situation. Any advise would be great.. Thank you.

19 comments:

NannyPoppins said...

Are you planning to leave? You did state that you are looking for a new job but I am not sure if you are totally committed to leave. But if you are leaving and plan on giving a notice you need to get your money before hand. Because if you give your notice now that you are finding a new job you can pretty much kiss the money you are owed goodbye.

The only way to go about this is to have a sit down meeting with her and explain that you need your money immediately. You have bills and obligations to attend to and you cannot have this happening. Though she is a single mom and is struggling this is not your fault. It seems that you accommodated her often thus why she is behind with paying you. You don't have to be mean but you should be firm.

Also, do you have a contract? It sounds like you don't. With your next job make sure you have a contract with everything laid out on the line.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Start by emailing her and telling her just how much she owes you. Then you need to decide how much longer you're going to work for this woman when she doesn't pay you. Once you've made that decision, you need to start searching for another job. Any job. McDonalds is generally a sanitary working environment, isn't it?

Then, you need to get ready to take her to small claims court to get your money. Document, document, document. Include what you're contractually owed for mileage, since I am sure that's in your contract, right?

Dont jump the gun said...

I agree with NannyPoppins that once you quit you are never going to see that money. It sounds like you hate this job but it's not too horrendous that you can't stay a bit longer while you collect the money you are owed. I don't condone lying but just act as you are not going to quit, until you are caught up on what you're owed. Sit her down, email her, write her a note, something, and tell her that she has until such and such a date to pay you what you're owed because you have bills of your own to pay. At that same time, tell her if she doesn't pay by that date, she will be taken to small claims court. Do not say you are going to quit because then she will never pay you. Be sure to assure her that you understand she is a single mom but you worked and deserve to be paid.

Once you get your money, then you can decide if you want to quit. I assume you do, and I don't blame you because I could never work in those conditions. I know you feel for the children but it shouldn't all be on you to keep their family afloat. I hope you update us on what happens!

Nanny who loves what she does said...

Don't touch the Gun. I will keep you posted. I have interviews set up for next week. so wish me luck!!

NYCorBUST said...

Is this environment safe for these babies? Honestly, I know this is a tricky subject in some cases, but we are mandated reporters. If they are in unsafe conditions, and the conditions don't improve, you may have to make the call. I hope that is not the case, it just came to mind.

As far as the financial issues, do you think she really will pay you? If not, it may be better to cut your losses and quit, so that you can devote more time to your job search. No sense working if you're not going to get paid.

Good luck with your interviews!

ericsmom said...

Did she replace the mirror in your car??

Okay she is a single mom. How do you know her personal business. I mean how do you know she is not receiving assistance. Maybe, she does get assistance as food stamps, medical insurance, and she may have housing assistance. Also, in NJ if you are working and below a certain income level they help with childcare. She may have to give up her "dream" of having a nanny. And put her kids in a daycare and let the state help with the cost

ericsmom said...

p.s. not bashing you OP I think of course you deserve your money! I just think you may to emotionally involved. Feeling bad for her because she is a single mom. She could be fooling you and getting some funds to offset all her expenses.

Hope all works out for you!!

ericsmom said...

opps sorry for the grammar.
I am so tired. Goodnite

Nanny who loves what she does said...

ericsmom- OP speaking. She has told me all of this from her own mouth. She makes me feel bad for her. Her 10 year old daughters have told me totally different stories. This mother wants to blame everyone but herself.

NYCorBUST This house/ car is a mess, the babies could have more as in protection. You know, safety plugs on the outlets, a gate on the stairs. The house needs a good cleaning and kept up. Overall, I think it is more borderline neglect. I don't feel she is abusive, but she does need help. She can't do it all herself. But if I try to help (when babies are napping) and she rather do it herself. But she doesn't. But if I don't- the house is a non-living, gross mess.

Truth Seeker said...

If she is not paying you your money, I would file a claim in small claims court. You would have to pay a filing fee, etc...and appear personally so I would only take this avenue if in fact, she owed me a large amount of money.

Truth Seeker said...

I can understand why you feel for her. How awful to be a working, single parent of so many children! I do not envy her one bit. However, that is no excuse to not pay you.

Village said...

OP, to answer your question, no, you cannot get blood out of a turnip.

This MB has no money. Or not enough to have a nanny. It's a shame, but if you want reliable work without job creep and but with regular payments, you need to find another job.

This is a women with SIX kids who can't afford them, can't keep their fathers, and can't get enough child support. You can't fix her world no matter how much you try.

christine said...

My daughter recently had a similar situation. She babysat for a family for a month- full time-and the mom said she was geting help from DSS with the cost. My daughter filled out the paperwork required and waited to receieve checks. Then, the dad lost his job and they no longer needed her. The county DSS said the woman never even applied for assistance and they weren't paying for childcare. So, she is out $1,100. She went today and filed a small claim against her. The woman is nothing better than a scam artist. My daughter has bills of her own to pay, children to support and this piece of garbage used her and had no intention on paying her.

Get what you can and get outta there... her situation will not improve. Make sure you know her employer and the address... the court will have to garnish her wages for you to get your money- 10% of her weekly gross until it's paid. It might take her a long time to pay it back.

Phoenix said...

I think that you need to just leave. If she doesn't pay you she isn't going to. She doesn't have the money now, she isn't going to have it later. Don't get personal. This is a job and you should treat it as such. You can't help her situation. You are an employee and if the company is going under, you need to abandon ship.

Nanny who loves what she does said...

OP- I left. After leaving me with her kids for over 20 hours. I arrived Tues at 9am- she called at 5pm (Weds. "I have to work till close (she works evenings till 3am)- I expected her home between 330-4am. I woke at 5am to her baby crying. I called and texting- worried. She didn't show up until Thurs. 7am. She said I can handle myself and u don't have to worry. She had my car. I AM DONE!!!

NannyPoppins said...

She left you with her kids until Thursday!! That's crazy!! Did you receive any payment? If not, are you going to pursue it or just chalk this up as a loss?

Nanny who loves what she does said...

Nannypoppins....

She paid me for those two days. Her excuse- "my co-workers wanted to take me to breakfast for my birthday."

She didn't think I would mind!!!

MissMannah said...

Good for you for leaving! I can't believe some people are so inconsiderate! I would have been tempted to give her a major guilt trip: "Oh I am so gad you are ok! When you didn't come home and didn't answer your phone, I was so afraid you had gotten in an accident! I was about to start calling the hospitals." But I bet that woman wouldn't even care, she sounds very selfish.

Nanny who loves what she does said...

MissMannah

Yes, exactly. She was very selfish. She thought of only her self- she always came first.