DB needs to be Schooled on Nanny's Limits

opinion 1
Hi all, I am a nanny working for wonderful boy. The child and I get along well, and I think he feels open and comfortable with me. I completely invest myself in him when we are together and know that I give him my all. When I first started the position, his father asked if I would be able to help keep an eye on his schedule as a means of helping him out. I said of course, knowing that that meant sifting through the child's backpack at the end of the day and making the father aware of any updates or school notices. I have no problem doing that. Recently however, I have been getting about two to five e-mails a day (including days when I'm not working) asking if I can attend such and such event for the child, can I go to such and such meeting for parents, and finally can I start updating calanders and making a relevant calander for him with all pertinent information? I know for a fact that he carries a calander with him every day strictly for his child. If he e-mails me about a date, I agree to be there and help out, and then he is asking me how we get that date on to the calander in another e-mail, I truly do not know how to respond without being rude. I AM NOT HIS PERSONAL ASSISTANT! I am not going to make calanders every month, run through the very busy metropolitan city we live in, photocopy it, and bring him one, when all he has to do is write down on the calander in front of him, "such and such is happening". This seems like such common sense to me and I am tired of getting 2-5 e-mails a day and then asking to have a phone call that night on top of it. Am I being unreasonable?


oh well said...

Since your are the one sifting through the child's backpack, I don't see why you couldn't make him a calendar. You shouldn't have to put up with the phone calls and e-mails if
you feel that all the relevant information has been given out.

Zippy said...

I'm a little confused, Dad already has all this information in a calender and he wants you to right it down elsewhwere for him?

Since dad is constantly on the computer why don't you nicely suggest that he have reminders of his son's events sent to him via his computer/phone

Some schools offer this service directly.

Long Island Nanny said...

I suggest coming up with a fee for days off you are called in and for extra personal assistant errands.

A sure I love to, lets renegotiate my salary/contract moment should help.

It may help to start ignoring repeat emails.

Toula said...

Why are you making a second calendar when he already has one? I'm very confused by this post.

If you can't or don't want to come in or your days off simply decline.

Suggest he use his phone app that will update his calendars for him, with minimal effort from him.

nycmom said...

I, too, am confused.

You agreed to calendar/scheduling maintenance and coordination when hired. You can certainly just enter the data once and sync it with google calendars so you both have it. If he wants a hard copy, print it out each evening before leaving and he can take it with him. I really don't understand why you would need to take him a hard copy mid-day.

Now the phone calls/emails on days off are unacceptable. Tell the family you are going to setup a new work-only email. Tell them, barring some true emergency, you will only be checking this the day of/night before coming to work. The first time they contact you outside work with a non-emergency, do not respond.

MissMannah said...

It sounds like he is a single father and he has hired you expecting you to take on the "mother" role, and that includes keeping everything organized, even on your days off. Well, if you don't want to you need to learn the word "no". Like others, I am totally not understanding the CALENDAR (not calander) issue, but that's beside the point. The point is, stop answering your phone and emails on your day off.

Village said...

YOU are the one who said 'of course' to his request, apparently not knowing what the request entailed.

Put this in writing. Tell him you did agree, but you made a mistake because you have no idea what you agreed to. Now you can't do that anymore, because you don't have the time. And stop responding to him. STAT

Personally, my radar is off the charts. I don't think this has anything to do with schedules. But either way, stop agreeing to do things that have nothing to do with your job description. We need to teach our girls how to say 'no'. It seems to be a lost art.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

I also think he us wanting you to take on the mother role. I would limit the calendar making (I too am confused) to taking the papers out if the backpack and writing the events down on a wall calendar or putting them in an electronic calendar that dad can sync to. I believe google has something like that and even iPhones do too. When you first learn of the event, immediately ask dad if you need to attend. Come up with a system so it's. Lear if you or dad I going (different colors or something). Aside from that, I don't see why he would have to email you multiple times a day. Also, it is continues, get a work email that you will only check on work days.

UmassSlytherin said...

No. That sounds irritating!

Phoenix said...

why don't you keep a planner on the computer so you can just email him a copy

workingMom said...

How is this different than nannies who text the parent/parents with updates of their activities with the child throughout the day? I don't think DB's request is "too much".

OP, I wonder if your frustration is resulting from your misunderstanding of the DB's expectation about what you agreed to, when you agreed to manage the child's calendar? Placing events and appointments can be done electronically, from your smartphone to his. If you don't know how to do this, ask DB for instruction (or ask a friend who knows). If you don't possess a phone with this capability, ask DB for one, since you will apparently need it for this job.

This could be the parent's preferred method for "connecting" with their child during the day. I have a friend who ensures her daughter is able to partake in every sport and extra-curricular activity she is interested in; and while the parent knows the schedule of every date and concert, she doesn't ever attend them. She does, however, discuss with her daughter how they went at the end of every day.

I think perhaps you just need to have a sit-down with DB so that the two of you can communicate exactly about his expectations v.s. your perception of his expectations.

Truth Seeker said...

I think it all boils down to how much you are being compensated. If you are making a high salary, then it would be nice of you to do as the Father asks. If you are making a low salary, I would ask Dad for more per hour for the extra duties.

ericsmom said...

I wouldn't want phone calls in the evening hours when I was home with my own family. I can imagine if you are married and your husband answers the phone and its your boss calling you every evening to discuss the day. He can wait until the morning and ask you how things went. I can see one or two emails or a text. I think its overboard if he is emailing you up to five times a day.

Maybe, he has feelinga for you. Not sure. He would be the only one to know.

workingMom said...

I guess I'm surprised that a few posters see this DB as potentially predatory; I don't see that at all. Is this DB's behavior invasive? Yes. Controlling? Yes. Equally negative behaviors, but stemming from a completely different motivation.

I work with executives who behave like this all the time - their work lives constantly "bleed over" into their personal lives, so that they are essentially always "at work". It's not uncommon to receive an email from them at 2 am, and they generally 'forget' that everyone does not live this way.

The key issue I see here is lack of communication about job expectation. If the DB wants the OP to be "on call", then the OP should negotiate terms, including an appropriate salary for that kind of job committment. If the OP wants to "check out" at the end of her workday, she needs to be very clear about this to DB (and be prepared for the liklihood that he may hire someone else more suited to his expectations).

Phoenix said...

I agree that this doesn't sound like predatory behavior. I am not sure where all the DB bashing is coming from but it is very unfair.

I used to work for a man who was controlling like this. He was literally the anti-christ who thought he was God. Yes, a bad combination. Anyway he acted this way because he was controlling and he honestly thought all women were dumb. I started working for this man when I was 16 and I stayed with his firm for 3 years. I think once he even got so mad (not at me) but he started to throw encyclopedias out of his office into the reception area where I worked. He was just an asshole but he was not a predator. he thought he was better than everyone else. I think I was the only woman who worked for him longer than 6 months. The only reason I survived was because of the type of personality that I have.

The point is. He is doing this because that is the way he is. He sounds like an inconsiderate prick. Just play his game and do what he wants you to do. He is paying you after all. If you give him a user friendly calendar during the day he may not call you at night. If you do the work right in the beginning he can't find fault with you. So just play his game and keep him happy. You work for him. Make it easier on yourself by doing the work ahead of time and show initiaitive. Give him the schedule before he asks you for it. Be pro-active in your work but dont be a door-mat. he is just a different personality and in your line of work you will meet all types. He is not a bad man. He is not going to hurt you. He sounds like he is very busy and like PP stated this to me sounds like a way for him to connect with his kids. Don't make him pull teeth just to get intel from you

Claire said...

I wish OP would come expain herself a bit. Interpreted one way he sounds like a nightmare and another a simpple communication fix.

I don't think he is hitting on you. I do think he is the type to always have someone wiping his nose and expects the same treatment from all.

Either way you're allowing this to happen.
If you didn't agree to be on-call stop communicating and going in on off hours.

As far as the calendar I agree with linking it to his phone or whateer tech device he uses. Refer himim to the phone if he asks you about dates.

Send one email at the end of the day summing the days events if you want to include reminders for the next day.
Make it clear you'll only be checking & responding to email once after hours and stick to it.

robinsparkles said...

For a while, reading this, I thought the OP was talking about a colander - you know, like a metal strainer. As it turns out, she's just drastically misspelled "calendar", again and again. Why hasn't anyone else pointed this out?

Jenny said...

Robinsparkles, Someone did point it out.

robinsparkles said...

Oh, I missed Miss Mannah's comment! Okay, well, sorry. I guess she knows now.

Pgh nanny said...

Why does everyone seem to think that all the DB are rapists??? On these last few threads?

MissMannah said...

Lol, I kept reading "colander" in my head too. Glad I'm not the only one who was irritated that OP was unable to use spell-check.

Phoenix said...

LOL. The only reason I didn't point out that OP mis-spelled it was because I am guilty of the same thing sometimes.

OP said...

Hi all,

OP here. I so appreciate the thoughtful responses to this-- this was written in a complete moment of frustration, when I was at my wit's end, and had worked way too many hours over-time. I have many creative endeavors that also require a lot of my time, and this was written during a week when all of my obligations and frustrations were colliding at seemingly the same moment. Sometimes things that have common sense solutions can become incredibly overwhelming on little sleep and under mass amounts of pressure.

I have found a way, with some of your help, to effectively communicate my limits. So thank you.

What I don't appreciate, and have seen happen from time to time is the ridiculous amount of ridicule that occurs on here.

I think this website has a lovely communityof caretakers who genuinely try to give back to one another and collectively teach each other.

That being said, I also think it's unnecessary to constantly point out my misspelling of the word calendar. It's an incredibly common misspelled word and I don't think it actually has anything to do with someone's i.q.

Thanks, the lesson has certainly been learned, but it's honestly not why I at 3 in the morning, at wit's end wrote this post. I'm sorry it annoyed people enough to have to comment on it. I think there are a lot more constructive things to comment on... but clearly that's not the entire intent of people offering responses.

Good luck every one. You live a little. You learn a little. And hopefully that helps us all tear each other down a little less.

nynanny said...

How rare for someone to come back with such a graceful response after being mocked by a few people on here for a trivial miss-spelling.

I know you didn't mean to, but you sure made them look like total assholes.

Good for you!

robinsparkles said...

On the bright side, though, you'll probably never misspell anything ever again!

robinsparkles said...

Also, thank you so much for the image of a man carrying a colander around with him every day, specifically for his child... "Honey, do you want me to make you some noodles? Of course!"

Seriously, sorry, I don't want to, like, humiliate you. I'm just bored at work and misspellings annoy me.

Fried Green Fleas said...

If your're a nanny you shouldn't be playing with your phone or laptop at work commenting on a website about bad nannies. If in fact you aren't a nanny, you shouldn't be commenting on here to begin with much less to pick on a silly spelling error. Get a life.

robinsparkles said...

Yes! Drama! Oh lord! That's what I came here for. Thank you so much, Fried Green Fleas. Thank you, you heavenly angel.

Phoenix said...

Fried Green Fleas

I am curious. Why wouldn't robin be able to comment here if she wasn't a nanny? I didn't see that rule. Nanny's only! Keep out! Is this blog in a tree house?

And FYI this blog was started and origianlly intended for employers to see bad nanny sightings so they know how their kids are being cared for. So if you want to get really technical about it, nanny's shouldn't comment here either. Only employers.

Please refrain from speaking out of the wrong end