Family Filches Fifty Cents From Flustered Nanny

The fabulous family that I've been with is moving. I found a new family to work with part time. The hours at first were 2:30-6:30/7pm, depending on being stuck in traffic. I met the whole family and told them my rate. To which the father said "it should be fine." Fast forward 3 weeks, I have been told that the hours are now 2:45-6:45 and the rate is now 50 cents less than what we had discussed. The difference per week is $6. Should I stand my ground or go with the flow? While I know it's not a huge cut, it's still the principle that I could use the extra $24 per month. I have plenty of experience to which my rate is fair for the area I live in. Plus, they have had a full-time nanny which means they have money to play with as I am only part-time. My feeling is, if they are making a big deal about 50 cents, what else will happen? Thank you! - ConfusedNanny


Susannah said...

Absolutely do not go along with the Flow. You agreed to one rate.

That is your rate. Stand your ground.

I don't understand parents like this.

Also consider this action on their part as a warning and a red flag.

Start looking for a full time gig or a couple better part time onw.

Manhattan Nanny said...

Susannah said exactly what I was about to say!

Jamie Delaney said...

Ditto! Don't take this job!

Take this job creep and shove it! said...

It may be 50 cents now but next week you'll be washing crusty period blood stained sex sheets with lost condoms falling out and cleaning up cat vomit that MB saved for you and gives you a 5 minute how to session on how to get the stink of it out of the couch. (just my 2 most memorable job creep experiences)

Once they figure out that you have no spine you'll pay dearly for it later. Stand up for yourself no matter how hard it is to do. If you don't you will begin to resent your employers and dread going to work everyday no matter how much you love the kids.

MissMannah said...

I'm surprised how many people said stand your ground because I completely disagree. According to your post, the family did not agree to your rate, they said it SHOULD be fine. Apparently it was not fine and they are wanting to negotiate. Is $6 a week really that big of a deal anyway?

As to the posters who said that negotiating salary will lead to job creep, not if the OP doesn't let it. Get an air-tight contract that spells out exactly what you will do and don't deviate from it.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

You are right on the money $ (no pun intended!!) when you say it IS about principle here. I agree 100%!!

If the Father agreed on a rate and now they are shortchanging you, this shows the true character of this family. They are nickel + diming you already and this is a huge red flag.

I would stand your ground and let them know your rate is such and such and that is what you work for. No exceptions or negotiations.

However, honestly if it were me, I would just quit.

Their true colors are already showing and later on, you might get more "surprises" from them.

EastBayNanny said...

Mannah- I get your point. Why make trouble at a new job for $6? BUT people in general are WEIRD. Parents can be like toddlers. Think of it this way: you're in the sandbox and the rule is- no throwing sand. You correct your charge, charge says, ok! Then oh so discreetly starts dropping sand on her sibling's head, looks up at you with curious eyes as if to say, "but can I dump it on my sister's head?" What would your response be? I imagine it would not be, "oh well, I said no throwing sand, but I suppose dumping it on your sister's head is ok.. " Eventually, after a few rounds of this, you'll probably remove your charge from the sandbox in order to be clear and consistent with your limit, right? Same same IMO. This OP will need very clear boundaries, which in my experience means this will not turn out well- best to avoid the situation altogether.

katydid said...

Your feelings are correct. You were up front with your rate.

As you said it's $6 why would they make an issue over $6 dollars a week.

Seems to me like they are trying to find what your limits are and what they can get away with.
That's the same type that will balk at signing a contract and will try and slip little extra duties in here and there.

I would politely tell them that the previously given rate is the lowest you will go.

CoffeeGirl said...

$6 a week is one less Starbucks a week. Don't work for them. ;)

Nashville Nanny said...

I agree with Mannah. You admit the father said "it should be fine". In this economy, I'm not sure I would make a big deal over $6 at a Part Time job.

MissMannah said...

Nashville, that's what I was thinking. However if the OP simply misspoke and the parents really did agree to the original amount, then she would be within her rights to speak up. And yeah, I totally agree with not causing problems in a new job in this economy. Some parents will be like "take it or leave it" and then OP would have to start all over again searching.

EastBay, while I absolutely agree that the OP needs very clear boundaries (in any job, not just this one), I don;t really see how your example applies.

OP HERE said...

I will be completely honest. I met with the family three weeks ago. I told them my rate, the father said "it should be fine" and while there was no complete agreement per se, because after discussing it, there seemed to be no problem. I totally get that it sounds like it is still negotiable, and I understand there was no contract signed stating my rate(at least yet), I'm still VERY put off by a $6 difference. Here's where I think things will get sticky...since the hours are quarter hours....if someone gets home at 6:50 instead of 6:45 on the dot, well, no offense, but I want my extra .70cents. My point is...if there's going to be this much nitpicking before the position starts, I can only imagine what else will happen. I think I know I should back off on my offer, but I don't know...if I stand my ground with my $X rate, and they agree, well do you think things could get better? I just don't know.

Susan Bee said...

Do not accept this! They are being cheap and petty. Stand your ground or do not take the job.

OKC said...

Well you could take the job and do not complain when it turns into a nickle and dime nightmare and every week you're fighting to get the pay or not to have additional duties.

You can also expect to be thoroughly attacked by Mannah and friends when this job becomes a nightmare and you right another post detailing the horrors. They will tell you you only have yourself to blame for ignoring the money red flags.

OceanBlue said...

Mannah and Nashville it's only $6 you say so why can't the family cough that up.

Why does the nanny have to suck it up?

Honestly I would go back with $x/hr is my rate and as low as I will go.

I would also bring up a contract.

I would be willing to bet these people will not sign a contract.

MissMannah said...

I guess what I'm thinking of is when I tell parents my rate, I almost always quote higher than I really expect. That way, I don't mind being forced to accept lower. If this OP told the parents her very bare minimum she can possibly accept, then maybe she should stand her ground. It's really up to her to decide if $6 a week is worth quibbling over.

OP, you asked if things would get better. I suppose it depends on how they react to you asking for more money. If they are very hesitant but finally agree, beware. They will likely find every opportunity to send you home and not want to pay you for that time. If they immediately agree, I don't really see how it is more likely to turn bad than any other job. Like I said previously, get a strong contract and be vigilant about your rights.

OKC, first of all I don't have friends here. I only "attack" posters when the job creep is clearly their other words when they are unable to stand up for themselves and then start whining about it. It's like some people completely forget the meaning of the word NO when they accept their jobs. PS: Are you really from OKC? Love that city.

Ness said...

I have a super bad memory...especially for numbers. I could easily see myself accidently doing this (I once underpaid a babysitter and realized it after she'd left so I texted her and brought her the money the next day).

Just approach it like you're giving him the benefit of the doubt for not remembering. Preserves the relationship and achieves your goal. If he refuses,

NannyB said...

Tricky, tricky. I almost took a job where they offered me 50 cents less. However, it was FT so the difference was $20-$25/wk. The problem was I was very clear about my rate, and the rate was the same I'd been making at my last couple jobs, same area and same # of kids. Therefore, I did not take the job.

My current employers agreed to my rate no problem, but they nickel and dime me in other ways. Ex: I don't get FULLY reimbursed for mileage, they are typically 5-10 mins late with no extra compensation, my charges occasionally have play dates over and I don't get paid for more kids under my supervision, etc.

Don't ask me why I work with them or put up with it. I think I have your mentality, "is the extra $5 really that big of a deal??" But really, it is that big of a deal because they don't respect me and what I'm saying. It's in no way a NEGOTIATION because we never sat down to talk about it, discuss, or communicate. They are law and they just dictate how it is.

It's completely unfair, I sympathize with your frustration. I'm sorry!!!

Now that you're sitting down to make a contract, here's what I suggest. Take 50 cents less, but request a higher raise at 6 mos AND 12 mos. take 50 cents less now but have in writing that you go up $1 in 6 mos. Once you see how they feel/react to that, you'll know how bad they're nickel and diming syndrome is!

Mrs. Billy Lamar said...

I think you should go with you intuition here OP and quit this job. It's NOT about the six dollars here. It is about the principle. For a person to say, "It should be okay.." it basically is stating that he is agreeing with your rate. Then he probably thought about it more, and came to the conclusion you were not worth the six dollars extra.

If you don't leave now, then you will be posting on this blog in a month or two how miserable you are with this family, yet you love their child and feel trapped.

OP HERE said...

I'm not one to stay in a job where I'm unhappy. I've got pride and a backbone. If things don't go my way, their loss! I have had to quit a family when money issues became too intense. There are plenty of other families who would love and appreciate my hard work as a wonderful nanny and WANT to spend the extra $6 just to make sure I'm happy. Afterall, I am the one protecting their kids!

Lisa M. McLellan said...

Stand your ground unless you are going to be out of work without this job. It is only .50 cents per hour, but you told them your rate. How did they put it to you? Did they say "this is what we've decided to pay you?" or was it more like "this is all we can afford at this time?" If you are worth your asking rate and there are other jobs, find another one. If there aren't many other positions available you can insist on your rate and assure them that you are worth it. Give them your reasons such as training and/or experience - then just be sure you deliver by being a top notch child care provider. Another idea would be to tell them that you will work for their .50 cents less per hour for a probationary period of maybe 3 months. Agree to a particular date of when you will discuss rate again. At that point perhaps you will have shown that you are worth your rate and they will increase to the amount you asked for. If they don't see your worth, maybe it's time to start looking for another family. Just try to give them a two week notice as a courtesy. This really is a personal decision. I wish you all the best.

Lisa McLellan
Child Care Expert
Nanny Services

workingmom said...

I am not a nanny, I am/was a MB, and this is NOT about the $6 difference; it is about them jacking you around, seeing what they can get away with to establish the power dynamic.

Your balking at the pay cut is NOT nit-picky, it is your intuition warning you not to go along with this, because there will be more down the road.

Keep looking for a family that is up front about everything from the get-go (and you must be too), and doesn't try to change the terms on you once they think you've already committed and can't say no.

Seriously, these kinds of moves are rude and underhanded, by anyone!

unejeunefille said...

Go with your gut!

If it's bothering you, don't suck it up and play the nice girl.

If you don't even if they turn out to be nice and non nit picky.

That 50 cents a week will eat at you.

As others have said it's the principle.

Be very direct that this is not negotiable. I would also get a contract stating you are to be paid X amount each week even if your scheduled hours are not worked through no fault of your own.

Also, who couldn't use an extra $6 in their pocket a week? I know I could.

Sewickley nanny said...

Did you ask to talk to their former nannies and also what their nanny history was?

Also, I feel like they are trying to push you around..with families like this, they will always nitpick and won't be happy no matter what. Don't work with them if your already seeing these red flags. Seriously.

OP HERE said...

Has anyone ever asked to speak with previous nannies during an interview? It's funny, because I have always wondered if people did that.

Tashina said...

I'm not sure...
You could always ask them if you can please have the rate you requested. Or you can just take the $24 "loss" and move forward by focusing on the great aspects of your position. Just focus on solutions rather than complaints/assumptions. (:

kinderkins said...

I think you're in a difficult situation 3 weeks without a definite agreement. Or, perhaps you thought you had one. I suggest having a discussion with the parents about how they came to the conclusion of paying you 50 cents less and how the hours are defined so closely. Perhaps you'll feel better when you understand them. Let them know you have to back up and develop a contract with them, letting them know what you need to care for their children well. If you can't come to a suitable agreement with them, you'll likely want to change your work situation, but give them 2 weeks notice. Make sure to have a contract with definite wages, times, and other parameters you need before taking the next job. We parents who have used child care know that parents need to learn about the process.

nycmom said...

OP, I have always made my prior nanny available to potential interviewees, both for training purposes and for them to ask questions. I directly tell my prior nanny I want her to give the good and bad of the position so any new caregiver knows what she is agreeing to. I would not have a problem with a nanny wanting to speak with a former nanny, in fact, I think it is a very good idea.