27 November, 2011
Melodramatic MB is Making Nanny Miserable
Let me preface this by saying that I have over 10 years of childcare experience, both paid and volunteer. I was a camp counselor throughout college and, over the past 5 years, worked as a nanny for 4 different families. All of my previous positions only ended because either I or the family moved out of state. I have never had to quit a job in my life other than for the reason that I was moving. Nor have I ever been fired or let go. I have my bachelor's degree, a spotless record, First Aid/CPR certified, etc. and, if I do say so myself, I am a DAMN good nanny/childcare provider! I've maintained great relationships with all of my previous employers and have helped a lot of children reach big milestones in their lives (walking, talking, potty training, learning to tie their shoes, etc.).
I have worked for my current family since June. I took the job because there was virtually no commute (they live the next neighborhood over), it was part-time, and for just one child. The pay was less than what I was used to, $6.25/hour, but I figured…eh, it's one easy baby and only part-time, I can deal. In the interview, I was told that the husband's 2 children from a previous relationship would be there for the first month I was there, but that the Dad would be off work and home for that month and would tend to the older children (4 of them in all, including the older 2 siblings of the little girl I was responsible for). One Monday, a week or two in to my job, the dad left for work! I was left with 5 children, 3 of them with ADHD, including a baby. I thought maybe it was just a random work emergency that he had to tend to, but after 4 or 5 days of caring for all 5 children, I asked if I would be getting paid extra for the extra kids. I then got this in reply, "In the interview, we agreed that we would pay you for the 2 weeks we are gone on vacation". Um? And this makes up for me watching 5 children for $6.25/hour? We settled on an extra $75 for each week I watched them all…which ended up being about 3 weeks until the 2 extra kids went back home. Strike #1.
I then figured that while they were away on vacation, I would seize the opportunity to go visit my family back home. When the mother found out I was doing this she said "Oh, so this will count as your 2-weeks vacation then?" I felt trapped. Strike #2.
Soon enough, the position turned in to full-time. The increase in pay went from $750/month for 30 hours/wk, to $1100/month for 47.5 hours/wk. Yes, my money went up, but in reality, my pay went down to $5.80/hour!!!!! Now I was working well below minimum wage for MORE than full-time work. If I'm being totally honest, I didn't even compute this until a couple months in, because the money didn't bother me that much. But then I noticed my list of duties increased: driving the children to/from school (I am not being reimbursed for gas, but am expected to bring the little one on various outings throughout the week), household chores (I fold the entire family's laundry and do not get so much as a 'thanks'), the kitchen is a sty when I show up in the morning and if I didn't clean it I would have trouble preparing the child's food throughout the day. It's just gross. There are other little things that I'm dealing with on a daily basis, but I don't want this to get longer than it is. Strike #345678910...
I gave my notice last week and didn't expect this much drama. It is amazing how you think you know somebody and then they can do a complete 180 on you.
I told the mom that I was offered a job in my field and it's a job where I will finally be using my college degree. My income will also triple with this job, among other amazing things (I didn't tell her that). I am giving them their 30-days notice that was in our nanny agreement, even though my new job would prefer I start on December 9th. At first, she said she understood wanting a job in my field, but soon she burst into tears, said she can't believe she has to search for a nanny again and telling me she hired me because she thought I would be devoted to her children and how is she supposed to hire a stranger when I know the ins and outs of this family (but, wasn't I a stranger just 5 months ago?). She told me it took them a year to find me (this is untrue, her
sister-in-law lived with them and took care of the kids, and if it truly took them a year to find a nanny, then they are entirely too picky). She also got very melodramatic and said she will have to quit her job if she can't find childcare. She was just plain RUDE that entire day and I am dreading work on Monday. I am dreading the next month.
I am doing all I can to help them...researching new nannies and daycares, giving them more than enough time to find another nanny. I wished them all a happy thanksgiving as I left on Wednesday and got nothing in reply. I understand being upset and stressed, but I do NOT need to be treated like crap. I am taking care of your CHILDREN! For less than minimum wage no less.
I am sorry this is long, I got to venting. I am so sick over this situation. How do you deal with the transition period after giving your notice? Has a family treated you poorly once you gave your notice? Maybe it's the initial shock and it will wear off, but based on a conversation from earlier with the mom, I doubt it. I am way too sensitive and letting this get to me more than it should, but she is not helping. I just need a little pep talk...
at 8:15 AM