Nanny's Time Scammed by Game-playing Mom

opinion 1
I recently posted a few ads on websites and in the area looking for families in need of a part-time nanny. In my ad, I was adamant about working for a WAHP or SAHM due to my current class schedule, and my need for three full days a week in the summer. Earlier this week, I received a promising email from a family who lived near me, with a WAHM. After a few emails back and forth, she and I agreed to meet, and she wanted a time/day that worked best for me. I sent her an email stating what day worked best for me, and didn't hear back from her. I followed up with another email, giving more dates I could meet with her, and she emails me back telling me that she was looking into placing the children in an in-home daycare, since the kids were loud and the house rather small.

After reading her email, I gathered that she had had a bad experience with her last nanny, so I sent her an email telling her that having a nanny while working from home could work, and not to be discouraged. I explained to her that the more activities a child has to do, along with outlets to release pent-up energy make working from home for a parent a bit easier and less stressful for the child, the nanny and the parent. I also told her that I understood and respected her decision, letting her know if she changed her mind, to let me know and that I was still interested in meeting her.

She sends me an email back telling me that I was right about her previous experience with a nanny, and that she would like to meet me. She told me to pick the date, time and place. I picked a date, time and place, and waited for a confirmation. I get another email back, wanting to know how many hours I would need in the summer. I sent the number of hours desired for summer, and she sends me an email telling me that while discussing the opportunity of having a nanny, she said her current daycare provider is able to watch the children and that she has a backup nanny in the neighborhood in the form of a SAHM.

How can a family not know if they need a nanny? Why take the time to email a prospective nanny and tell them you don't want a nanny, then email them back and tell the nanny you want to meet them, only to tell them you don't want them again? I felt like my time was wasted, and I was "scammed" in the terms of the games she played. Has this ever happened to you? Is there a polite way to let a family know you, as a nanny, don't appreciate these games?


MissMannah said...

Yes, it has happened to me a couple of times and no, there isn't a polite way to get the real truth out of the mom. I'm guessing what really happened is she was either wait-listed with the home daycare or she was arguing with her husband about their childcare choices. I once had a dad actually hire me only to have the mom call me the very next day to say that their children were going to start at the daycare at her office and her husband made a mistake. Nice communication, eh? The mom you spoke to probably would much rather do the home daycare because it is way cheaper than a nanny and the local SAHM is probably also going to fill-in for free or very cheap. This mom is not looking for quality care, keep that in is not personal.

bethany said...

Maybe I'm being to kind, but maybe she was truly undecided about going the nanny route again. It's not like she offered you a job and took it back right?

I can agree that it's annoying. I had someone try and back out of the initial salary the offered after asking me what salary I expected and I said the salary offered.

good. said...

If you are a nanny or a full time babysitter searching for families on the internet to work for, you must expect some of this treatment from parents. It doesn't make it right, but it is so common. You have to weed out those people. OP, be glad you found out now and you did not enter into a contract with these people.

Bethany said...

Yeah you probably dodged one here. Imagine working for her she'd probably drive you made changing her mind all the time about hours, duties etc

SA said...

One thing I have learned in the Nanny World is that there are millions of parents out there who are absolute flakes, cannot handle their lives at all, change their minds constantly, and freak out about tiny little things.

Any number of things could be going on with this woman. Some parents are out of control with their finances and can't figure out what they can afford. There are parents out there getting drunk and deciding to hire a nanny and reconsidering when sober. There are moms and dads fighting over child care and doing things behind eachother's backs. There are just plain crazy people out there.

I suppose you can email her and tell her how she wasted your time and that you are a professional who does not appreciate being treated like this. I doubt it will have much effect, trying to talk reasonably to people like that doesn't get you very far.

Keep looking, I have 2 part time jobs right now, one I found on and one I found on Sittercity. They are both fantastic, so keep looking! The good ones are out there.

Nanny Lisset said...

I agree that you are lucky you didn't get hired by her. She sounds like a flake to me and if you worked for her, nothing would ever be set in stone. LOL. At least you didn't have to interview with her...sure you had some back and forth e-mails, but you didn't actually have to meet with her about the job.

I have driven across town and met many families only to hear back from some the lamest excuses and lies. They state they changed their minds about needing a nanny and instead will put the child in daycare, a family member (magically) appeared and will be watching the child, and/or they have decided hiring a nanny is not in their budget now. ARG!! I live in CA where gas is $4.50 per gallon. It's so rude of families to do this to me. :((

I usually get the flakiest families from CL. and are a little better.

Village said...

Sometimes wants don't translate into needs. She may have had every intention of hiring a nanny, but life (and money) got in the way. It happens. Don't take it personally.

Frosty said...

Not sure how you were were scammed by having a few e-mail exchanges. Any type of job involves mutiple layers of the application process and yes, even driving across town and interviewing. Sometimes you are selected, less often not, even less often do you even hear back at all, even after a warm and fuzzy interview. We all want to think we are super special and once a prospective employer meets us, they will hire us on the spot at triple salary, but it just doesn't work that way in a world of special snowflake applicants, all with their own special charm, and art portfolios, and cookie recipies.

calcuLATER said...

That's job hunting for you-it is often really disappointing. However, I had a much worse experience in a different field. Someone passed my resume along to the HR department in a company that I really wanted to work for. I was super excited when I heard from them, and they asked me to come in for an interview. I arrived in my special interview pantsuit, fresh copies of my resume printed on expensive paper, a flash drive with my portfolio on it to give to my interviewer, and SO much hope.

I had spent hours researching the company and preparing answers to any and every question I thought they might ask me. The interview went great, I had good responses for every single thing I was asked. I spoke with the HR person for about an hour.

And then, at the end of the interview, we had the following conversation.
HR Lady: Well, you are a very impressive candidate. But, at this time we don't have any open entry level positions for you.
Me: I see. Well what do you have?
HR Lady: A free lance analyst job, mostly working on excel. And we had another job that you would be PERFECT for, but the finance department called a couple of weeks ago and said they couldn't afford it.
Me: Well please do keep me in mind if anything comes up.

I was cordial about it, but THAT is frustrating. exchanging a couple of e-mails with a prospective employer is nothing compared to that. Imagine spending hours preparing for an interview at the company of your dreams, traveling to get there, having a great interview, only to be told that they called you in to interview for a position that just doesn't exist.

Aries said...

Nannies do it as well. ESP on and sittercity. Send out messages to multiple parents knowing that they will most likely only get 1/3 reponses. But figure they can choose which one they liked best. She was probably emailing back and forth to other nannies and choose one she thought suited her better. That's just my guess.

Magen said...

I've been there many times. There really is no great way to say "Can you please get your shit together and be time efficient?" to someone you will probably never need to speak to again. This is especially true in the case of sites like and sittercity where you can apply to jobs and email back and forth. If the parent isn't being straight forward about their needs or getting back to you in a timely manner -forget them. Its annoying and a waste of time, but you tried and when that happens you have to let it go and move on. Parents that have already found someone often ask if they can keep my info if they need a random Saturday night or back up. I always say yes, no harm, no foul. Besides, they already have my resume.