Did Nanny Overreact?

opinion 1
I was hired to care for two babies last summer and cared for them on a part time basis since last August until before Christmas. I averaged about 2 days a week. My schedule was set up week to week. It wasn’t a ton of money, but it was good job, nice family and close to my home. I was looking for another job to pay bills. I was supposed to start again the first week of this month. I emailed Mom to set up hours for the following week and got no response. I didn’t get a response until a week later. Normally I get a response quickly even if I wasn’t needed that week. I basically asked if I was going to be needed the following week or if they didn’t want me to continue working. I just wanted to know. She wrote back that she had told me about the schedule change (I think I would remember that), and that she didn’t understand why I thought they were trying to get rid of me, that they were happy with me, and that she hoped she could have used me in the future, and she was sorry to lose me. I wrote her back saying there was no mention of 3 months without work and that not hearing from her for weeks at a time even after being told to contact her with my schedule, and not having a firm time of when I would be back to work, led me to believe they no longer wanted me. I also mentioned that I would have liked to help them out, but I didn’t see how I could be available to start a new job and be their on-call sitter too, and wished them the best. I even offered to tell them if I knew of a person who could be on call for them.

My question, is did I overreact? I had a bad work situation before where my boss was very unkind to me, yelling at me, trying to ruin my reputation all overnight after telling me I did a good job. So I’ve started thinking everyone is like this secretly. I’m a very quiet person by nature and I let people get away with things. I’m trying to be better about that but I think I may have been too strong. I wrote very firm in the letter but I didn’t say curse words or anything like that. Should I apologize? It was a good job, and I miss the babies.


Beth said...

I just wanted to say I wish you luck and hope you find a new job soon!.

Also, it's within your rights to expect to work and be paid every week. You also don't deserved to be yelled at ever at any job you take in the future.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

I don't think you overreacted. It is perfectly fine that you need a set schedule because who wants to live their life from day to day? I for one thrive on a routine so I would go crazy in this situation. In my first nanny job, the MB always did this sort of thing to me, not telling me when she'd be home or what time to come in the morning until the night before. It drove me nuts!

Anyway, in the future, be sure to be firm (but nice) with the MB/DB about when you'd like to know your schedule. It is understandable that things come up last minute for them, but you can't exactly plan your own life if people are constantly telling you things last minute. If you need your schedule a week in advance, be sure to tell them that so there is no question. I am not sure what you and this previous MB agreed upon but I think it is dumb on her part to not contact you for weeks and then expect you to come back.

MissMannah said...

I think your first mistake is only communicating via email. I don't understand why people do this, yes it is easy but it is very impersonal and impossible to read people's tones. Did you call the mom at all? I know some people are just horrible at returning phone calls.

Your second mistake was asking mom if she didn't want you to come back. I don't know how you phrased it in the email but if it was similar to how you said it in your post, it comes off as presumptuous and not at all professional.

The mom's mistake was assuming she could string along a nanny by giving her a schedule on a week-by-week basis. That is never going to work, especially if she's going to wait until the last minute to schedule. Are you supposed to put your entire life in limbo while you wait for your schedule? What if you need to make a doctor's appointment? You never know when your day off it going to be--that's just ridiculous.

So anyway, if you really want this job back you can call her up and tell her that. As far as I can see you are both made mistakes and both need to work things out so why bother apologizing? But it doesn't seem like this job is really worth keeping because it didn't pay much and you wanted another one anyway.

OP said...

I'm just never sure when to speak up or when to stay quiet or when I say to much.

I've had some very bad experiences the last few years and I'm not very trusting of people. I'm still learning to be better and not completely shut down or have exploding emotions.

I see now how email might not have been the best idea.

I don't know if I should call or not or leave a note. I know not for the job. I just don't want to leave on bad terms.
I don't know I'm very confused.

MissMannah said...

I know what you mean, I often say too much and it gets me in trouble. And I swear I don't know I'm doing it at the time--I'll look back and shake my head thinking "Why did I say all that? Why couldn't I just shut up?"

When in doubt, say as little as possible. Hopefully the family will fill you in with the missing information so you won't have to ask a million questions.

I also know what you mean about leaving on bad terms. When leaving my last job, the last day was horrible: the baby and mom were sick and the dad was yelling at everyone because he didn't want to clean up their puke and the mom didn't think it should be my job to clean up puke (thank god) so they fought for freakin' hours. I had to beg the dad for my final paycheck. We did not leave on good terms and I still feel like there's some unfinished business between us, but I'm not about to call them to "make it all better." If you want to call the mom to clear the air, it is up to you, but I would just move on with another job. This market is volatile, as it sounds like you've discovered with some former jobs.

OP said...

I'm sure you're right MissMannah.
I'll just have to take this as a lesson learned. I hope I can find a great family.