List the Red Flags
Have you ever worked for a cheap family? Or were clueless that you were working for parents who also happen to be clueless as to what a nanny actually is? I'm asking to share my story due to the fact I didn't realize how detrimental the job was until my final days and I have to get this off my chest.
I worked for a family for almost a year and a half, who I should have known from the get-go were going to be cheap and awful to work for. I was in desperate need of a job and to be honest took the first job offered to me. I had been searching for a month and a half before receiving a job offer. I had decided to go from sitter to nanny. The B family hired me to take care of their two kids. We seemed to click. The interview was crazy due to MB having HR experience. But I thought they were professionals. Wrong! They tried to carry themselves as such but it was a facade. In the interview they asked if I was OK with NOT getting paid for vacation. DB said he thought it was ridiculous for them to pay someone for not working. That should have been a red flag but it wasn't. Next they discussed pay. After calculating what I was going to get, it came to minimum wage, but even lower after taxes. For two kids, they felt the caretaker should only get paid minimum wage.
They lived in an apartment that used to be DB before he was married. I guess they are practical and prefer to save and not spend. The MB was always late about 80 percent of the time, with no OT for me. It took almost half a year before they decided it was ok for me to take the girls out and they claimed we could go here and there BUT that was a lie. The only place I could go was down the road to this park. Eventually after pleading with them I was allowed to take them to story time at the library. Then they moved and the new place was out in the country and that cut story time out and the only park I could take the girls to was a few blocks away. They hinted that it probably wasn't a good idea to take her to story time since the library around the corner didn't do much of story time, even though they knew just 10 minutes away, the girls could go to a huge kid friendly park and library in another town.
When I first started the job they encouraged me to help myself to anything I wanted, but over the course of time, they started hinting hubby was on a diet. Certain foods were his and 'haha' his diet was serious, but we shouldn't compromise his food, even though he probably wouldn't last longer than 2 weeks. Then of course, mysteriously the girls were 'diagnosed' with allergies and couldn't eat certain foods, even though when they got lazy, the girls went buck wild with the same foods that supposedly caused their allergies. Needless to say, I couldn't touch their food, so I was slowly cut off from eating their things. They are by far one of the cheapest people I've ever encountered.
The DB was also really nosy. He tried acting like he wanted to converse but really just wanted to pry. MB bragged about how they were going to buy a used car for 15,000 and pay cash, yet they never gave me a raise. They didn't believe in reimbursing me for gas mileage either. I honestly got depressed and cried towards the end but kept it together knowing I didn't have much longer to go. For almost a year, I tried having a positive attitude and believing in the best. Staying at the house with barely any interaction and no outings were driving me crazy. I did manage to be vey creative though. I had to be for the girls and I'm glad I didn't give up. When I realized after reading nanny forums and becoming familiar with how things worked, it made me realize how badly I was being treated. I became a zombie just going through the motions.
The last straw was when (I was already planning on leaving but this took the cake) I was accused again (indirectly) about the water heater being too expensive that month and it was due to 'someone' abusing the dishwasher. DB started rattling on about how he had never once in his life, even in college, spent so much money in utilities and couldn't imagine how it became so expensive. I know they thought I had something to do with it, because the day I was accused, was the same day I was asked not to touch the dishwasher and told plates would have to be washed by hand.
In the end I believe their cheap ways screwed them over, because before I left, they had a guy come and try to fix something that wasn't broken. DB is cheap and he felt like he didn't owe this utility money. Well, turns out it was something that just needed tightening underground. No money would be deducted from the rent. The guy who inspected it was related to the property manager of the house DB and MB were renting. Well I guess the property manager didn't like DB and took his complaint to the owner of the house. The owner gave them three months to move out because of the incident and what was worse is they were expecting a baby around that time. Even though the house was vacant for almost a year and the owner was being supplied with money, he didn't want them to continue renting the place. I think through word of mouth he thought DB was nothing but demanding about a house he didn't own and it was more of a headache. No one knows about this because unless you nanny it's hard to understand how business is done. I just had to vent. I sometimes get panicky when meeting new families because I dread working for someone similar. Nannies, what are the biggest red flags you know are a given when interviewing? Thanks for listening. - Anonymous
at 6:14 AM