Significance of Significant Other?

Why would a family who is interviewing you ask if you have a significant other. Why and how is this important to the job? I'm curious. I was asked this and do not see UNLESS I am a live in, which I'm not, how it's relevant. - Anonymous


OceanBlue said...

It's really none of their business and you can decline to answer. It's really not important unless your hiring a $5 dollar sitter off CL who also has a boyfriend and uncle that might be getting out of prison.

It's a tacky question and against the law.

If you were a live in all they need say is they prefer you not have overnight guests or something.

missmary said...

I was asked this by a woman who ran an agency. It felt very tacky, especially since I have a girlfriend, not a boyfriend. She got all weird about it and then made it clear that she'd only recommend me for gay families. Thanks, bigot.

However, I can see how a mom would want to know. Someone who has a longtime partner, maybe live-in, maybe married, has a more steady life than a person who is single-and-looking. I can't imagine nannying while dating- all the late nights, marathon texting sessions, crazy love brain... sounds exhausting.

Kate Feathers said...

I nanny for two dads. Move to Chicago where it's more accepted. BTW, what city are you in?

RBTC said...

i own a co. that caters to children and families and i can tell you everything about a peerson's life matters when it comes to being responsible and getting a job done

those nannies on this blog who are responsible with a good work ethic suffer as we all do because of the flakes with unstable family members

i once had a contractors mother scream at me on her door step "YOU'RE MURDERING MY DAUGHTER!!" because her daughter needed the money on weekends and her mom wanted her at home doing chores

just recently had to part with someone who would do crying jags on the job because her husband would text her about what a bad mom she is to be working away from the kids

just recently had to part with someone who was gay because she answered an ad for a female with a requirement to wear make up and dresses - i hired her, i do not care about a person's life - but she HATED dresses and make up and would show up at the jobs looking like a guy

so - i can understand why anyone would think your life is none of their business but i can see the other side too

a major issue in business is the significant other not wanting their mate/girlfriend etc to spend time away

and there is the issue of children and weather you can work somewhere else and have your own kids safely watched - a person's life does matter to an employer

it's not fair, but as someone who has been burned i find out everything about any potential contractor

Katydid. said...

I simply do not answer questions related to my personal life. If that costs me a job so be it.

I have also turned down offers from people who asked me that question during an interview.

People think that because you are caring for their children in their home they are entitled to know everything about you which is not the case.

If they are willing to cross that boundary during an interview they will cross a dozen more if you work with them.

I've also work with fantastic agencies that employ fantastic nannies that manage not to ask about SOs.

RBTC said...

to go little further -- i have found it to be essential to hiring people as independant contractors working with children to know about their background, their motivations and family dynamics

i will be asking someone about their husband, finding out he works all day during the week - i will say - have you asked him if you can take weekend job? They will say no and i will say well you need to ask him before we continue - and they might find out their hudband will not agree

i had to learn the hard way not to spend time and money on people whose family/SO situation might not be a fit

a prospective contractors situation with their car can destroy a client relationship if they are not responsible - not able to manage their finances, dependant on another relative for a vehicle

their school workload needs to be discussed - i have had students renege on agreements because they did not manage their studying time properly

i have people who have worked for me 3,8,10,15 years

other prospective contractors get mad and will not talk about themselves, their life their motivations and we part company in the initial phone interview

i do know this is unfair to people who are responsible and have good life management skills - but you rarely have trouble finding work anyway !

missmary said...

... "have you asked your husband is you can take a weekend job"
.... um...
ask.... my.... husband.....?
are you for real?
1: I don't have a husband, I have a partner
2: I do whatever I want, thanks.

Village said...

If you don't have a personal life, you are easier to take advantage of, or discriminate against.

The answer should always be no, because IT'S NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS.

Nashville Nanny said...

"have you asked him if you can take weekend job? They will say no and i will say well you need to ask him before we continue - and they might find out their hudband will not agree"

THIS IS THE BIGGEST BUNCH OF BULLSHIT I HAVE EVER READ. If my husband EVERRRRRRRRRRRRR tried to tell me what I could/couldn't do, he would be hiring a lawyer because we would be in divorce court. What kind of 1950's sexist bullshit is that? RBTC, do you have a vagina?? Because if you do, I'm ASHAMED and SHOCKED that you call yourself a woman in 2012. Way to set women's lib back 100 years!!

Nanny Linda said...

If the DadBoss asks you, it probably means he thinks you are hot stuff and is planning on making moves on you. HUGE red flag.

If it is the MomBoss she probably knows you are a possible threat to her marriage and will feel secure to know you are in a happily committed relationship.

Mrs. Poppins_J said...

Logically, I would thing this:

1) M/D B asked because they want their nanny to become "part of the family" which could lead them to ask simple questions about you because its an ice breaker topic. Oh are you seeing anyone is the first question anyone who wants to get to know someone usually asks

2) M/D B wants to make sure the nanny they choose is reliable and if you only have 1 car like in my situation, having a significant other can be important.

3) Some M/D B allow you to occasionally have your significant other visit you while on the job and so knowing your significant other would be for safety reasons to their children

4) Some M/D B prefer nannys to have a stable relationship (or no relationship) to be reliable to work. i.e. no showing up late cause you were fighting all night with bg/gf

5) As a matter of preference some bosses would just like to know.

As for RBTC's comment... asking is probably the wrong word for the situation. I would say discussing it with your significant other. Its not against women to ask your SO (significant other) because sometimes it does arise that there are conflicts with SO because of jobs. Everyone can deny it all they want. but for love, you chose SO over a job if it doesnt work for both of you. Having an SO is like having a second you. Everything you do will directly affect that person and vise versa...

So any person asking during an interview about your SO probably wants to know for a simple reason. I would say the logical thing to do in the situation is to politely ask why they would be interested in that bit of information. They may surprise you with such a simple answer. Not all people are trying to be horrible and deny you a position because of a SO.

From my experience as a nanny for a yr and a half, its better if your MB and DB's know your SO. it makes the job alot more fun! esp if you get along with MB and DB very well. :)

RBTC said...

missmary and nashville nanny - if you are ever in houston and need work look me up - you are the kind of women my company needs !

you guys are well rounded strong confident women - you would be VERY surprised at the number of women who let their husbands treat them badly

It may be a factor that the job at my co is weekend work, no benefits, it is good extra cash though - they make $20-50 per hour

so -- a phenomenon i run into is women whose husbands do not bring home enough money for all the bells and whistles or is unemployed and she works a weekday job and there is not enough money and the husband does not understand money and he feels unmanned and wants to control her and does not want her working weekends

i have had these men yell at me for assigning their wife work, text their wives with abuse, call them on the job incessantly, forbid them at the last minute to fulfill commitments and more

see- you 2 women would never put up with that from a guy so please try to see my side - i have spent money training people and turned away other people only to find out that the husband is going to make everyone miserable

so yes, 50's aside,vagina notwithstanding - a "discussion" - thank you to that poster- has to happen for me to feel comfortable- and boy do i wish it was not necessary - my vagina would be much happier !

Nashville Nanny said...

Rbtc.. I think I now love you. And your vagina. :)

Nanny643 said...

I've always been asked on interviews and I always answer honestly. It has never cost me a job. I am very frank with them, though.
"Do you have a significant other?"
A couple times they asked what my significant other is like, and I think MB and DB are just trying to get a feel for you and your personality. I know it's intrusive, I know they have little right to know, but I do think they have a right to get to know you and your personality as you will be around their CHILDREN for 40-50hrs/wk. Just my opinion!

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

RBTC, how exactly do you ask such personal and intrusive questions (and give out such interesting advice!) without running afoul of labor laws?

Do you get away with it because you only hire people willing to work as independent contractors? Have you ever been sued by an employee who was offended by your attitude?

Just a thought... said...

I don't think RBTC meant "ask your husband" in a way where the potential employee is seeking permission from the husband. Maybe because there is no spouse involved for you, you see it otherwise but once you're married, you take your spouse's pov into consideration. When it comes to marriage it's not just about you doing whatever you want. Maybe she just assumed you were married and was misunderstood.

RBTC said...

Nashville Nanny ! HAAAAA! That is the funniest and weirdest thing anyone has ever said to me on a blog! I am going to tell all my friends !!

Tales - oh boy. I just checked and you were one of the ones who flamed me when i was OP. I posted a good nanny sighting and provided a picture and you flamed the sighting by saying words to the effect that i am an irresponsible pedophile enabler etc blah blah

so - i am going to take a shot in the dark and give an opinion - you are probably one of the nannies on this blog who detest the nature/ title/ reason for the blog which is to keep an eye on nannies and provide pictures/news etc - please notice mpp has made a rule where you guys are no longer allowed to flame Ops who are making a nanny sighting !! yay!

you may be a little miffed that i stand up for Ops and had a few words with a couple of the other negative posters, like yourself, that attack the Ops on a regular basis

i guess this means you will never love my vagina -- oh well!

so- ok, i do feel more comfortable on the blog now and i have no problem responding to your attitude

i don't think you actually want an answer to your question but i will answer it anyway

Here is my schtick to potential contractors- and tales - we are not nannies, so i am not an employer,been the owner of a successful co for 30 years---

anyway --

" I am so glad you called, we need you, we will train you and set up jobs for you but there is one aspect which is non negotiable - if you say you will be at a presentation for children you must be there for them on saturdays - this means that you have to ask your husband/wife/girlfriend/in laws/mom/dad/ and pet parakeet IF it is ok for you to be away from your family on weekends"

hopefully they have laughed at the parakeet part and then i ask them if they are married, if they have kids, if they have a car, if they have a cell phone/gps/a key map, how old they are, their approximate size in clothes to know if we can get them them the right clothes

and yes, some people do not like answering questions so we part co others - we have a great convo and set up a meeting

my entire industry is independant contractors so i am not goofing up a labor law and no one has ever sued me

But - i am very strict on how people need to act and people who are flakes pretty soon hate my guts -- kind of like...never mind !

Shocked said...


WHAT?? Did you seriously say that you insist a woman ask her husband's PERMISSION to take a certain job? What century are you living in? Get with the times, women don't have to ask a man's permission anymore!

Also, requiring someone to wear dresses and makeup...Hoe do you get away with this? I once quit a job because the DB started requesting I wear dresses. That is SO inappropriate!

Shocked said...

And missmary, I am so sorry that woman was so incredibly bigoted. I hope you report her for her prejudice and find more open minded people to work for.

talesfromthe(nanny)hood said...

RBTC, when you've brought up the horrors you experienced as a poster of a sighting (I think it was a sighting?), and called me out as being particularly mean and awful I have asked you before to link me up to that thread, so I can see for myself what the heck you're complaining about.

When you do that, I will gladly respond to your complaints and accusations WRT the post you have hurt feelings about.

And just FYI sweetie, you have no idea who I am or what I think about this blog. Do a little research before tossing around snippy comments, OK? If you had, you wouldn't have written the following:

"so - i am going to take a shot in the dark and give an opinion - you are probably one of the nannies on this blog who detest the nature/ title/ reason for the blog which is to keep an eye on nannies and provide pictures/news etc - please notice mpp has made a rule where you guys are no longer allowed to flame Ops who are making a nanny sighting !! yay!

you may be a little miffed that i stand up for Ops and had a few words with a couple of the other negative posters, like yourself, that attack the Ops on a regular basis"

FWIW, you are coming across as a scared little bully who feels like a big deal now that you seem to have "run off" other posters that you dislike. If you would prefer to NOT be seen that way, feel free to get a grip and a clue.

I recently chose to ignore UMass, since she was being bitchy. I'm going to put you in the ignore bin as well. The single exception will be when (HA!) you finally stop complaining about your hurt fee-fees and SHOW me the post where I dented your self-esteem.

Have a fabulous life!

Lyn said...

All this thread proves is that with the absence of Miss Mannah and Phoenix new "mean girls" reveal themselves.
How many more regulars are going to get the bitch treatment until they disappear? Am I next?
Goodness ladies...

OceanBlue said...


What kind of business do you run?

RBTC said...

to shocked: i agree with you!! I do not "require" them to get permission from their husbands i require them to make sure that their husbands/wives/kids/in laws/grandmas/grandpas/friend's cousins/and pet parakeets - know and understand that they are applying for a job where they will have to work on weekends - i have had too many husbands etc abuse their wife and myself verbally because she is away from the family on the weekends - they have to discuss it in advance with all their loved ones

and shocked - we are a family/child catering company we provide everything from characters reading storytimes to popcorn and cotton candy machines

the young lady who would not wear the dress and make up answered an ad to be a FAIRY PRINCESS !!!!!

ocean blue - like i just said - we operate a family / child catering company - we do it all camel rides, popcorn,storytelling etc

tales - check out january 2011 archives - i took a picture of a nanny and a clown at one of our story times where i frequently saw good nannies. There were so many bad nanny pics in 2010 i wanted to show something light hearted and good - that's when all heck broke loose and i was accused of everything from stalking to pedophile supporting by you and your fellow nay sayers

I began to notice how articulate, helpful, educated, circumspect, well-thought-out,discerning you and your like-minded group are when you are helping a fellow nanny learn about the business

But - evidently - the Ops who post nanny sightings become targets and when there are not enough Ops - you guys turn on the nanny Ops to get your dose of bile out

what amazes me most about your latest lambast is that virtually every sentence is a false accusation - it would take a college thesis to utilize facts to refute it - i guess it's just what you do - cool

wow - just think what could happen if you used that loquatious verbosity for amelioration of the human condition instead of exascerbation?

but - that is complimenting you which i am not allowed to do so - i apologize ;0)

about ignoring me - i will pay you $5 if you do - contact mpp - i will send her the money and she will get it to you - $5 ! Ignore me - please !!

Lyn said...

1) lots of big words


Nashville Nanny said...

RBTC.... Nw that I know what you do, I will take you up on work when in your area. I was a clown for 10years. Kids parties, corporate events, etc. Loved it.

To stay on topic for a moment, my current employer asked me if I was married, and about my home life. I have a lot of overnight and weekend hours, and were it not for an incredibly supportive hubby, I wouldn't be able to do what I do and maintain a relationship. In about a week, I will be spending 18 overnights in a row at work. The entire month of December I will be living in while my boss is on tour. So I understood why she wanted to know what my home life was, this job isn't for everyone. I think it was a very pertinent question.

RBTC said...

lyn - i am giving you a virtual ride on our camel! his name is George ( not his real name, his mom is cautious ) but - if you were to meet him you would be amazed! He is the star of every show, as you come up to him to ride him he gently inclines his head so you can kiss him on his cheek 1st

he looks you right in the eye, he seems to be a person not a camel and he is so fun that he has his own facebook and fans

and he loves Dr Pepper ! when i come see him i bring the biggest dr pepper, climb up on a ladder and he drinks the whole thing with a look of bliss on his face

of course i have to bring two more giant dr peppers for his 2 brothers

i am an animal and child activist - i love animals and kids

RBTC said...

nashville nanny - i am sooo serious ! you and your hubby are the backbone of my company! good people who are child activists, care about their fellow man - creative- can you start tomorrow? j/k - but - if you are ever here - we have the best clients and people make money with my co - keep us in mind

and i will not have to ask you about your SO!!

OceanBlue said...

I didn't see that you had posted about your camel company before.

I thought you were a daycare director.

Assuming you are being serious is it a good idea to give a camel Dr. Pepper?

That stuff is trash for humans. I would assume the same to be true for animals.

Nashville Nanny said...

Ocean: my French bulldog likes to eat deep fried jalapeƱos with my husband. Not on the vet's approved food list, but wth. He's my "kid" so I get to decide what he eats. If he wanted a dr pepper, I might be inclined to give him some... I draw the line at a sip of my wine though.... Gotta put my foot down somewhere.

RBTC, being a clown was some of the best days of my life. I made amazing money and thoroughly enjoyed being with kids. If you ever need a circus level performer, or a world class balloon artist, look me up. My friend from NJ is looking to move down here, and I'm hoping to talk her into starting an entertainment agency. She has run one in NJ for like 20 years.

RBTC said...

ocean blue - whenever i talk about my co i use the industry terms - a family/child catering co - not daycare, although i do understand why you could think it is daycare because we talk about daycares and nannies on this blog

i was a nanny in my past but then changed and started a catering co with great success

i have the utmost respect for good/professional daycares and professional nannies - it takes women of valor to do those jobs right

as for the dr pepper - my friend sandy - george the camel's mom ( not real names as sandy is very private)

she only allows it for him as a treat once in a while. She spends more money than you can believe on vet bills for george and his friends in their ranch/zoo. ALL the animals on the ranch - camels, llamas bunnies, pigs rams etc work with the business and many she has saved from death

one of the sheep recently was pregnant and not allowed to go work with the kids - this sheep/mom ran after the truck saying baa baa cause she wanted to work with the kids

yep dr pepper is not good for you but in moderation - it won't hurt too much

thank you to lyn and ocean - you have helped me feel better - tales is a good nanny but she can be hurtful - thanks again

RBTC said...

nashville N - we need to hook up, how do wwe do it? can i give my name and email to mpp and then we can email info?

Nashville Nanny said... is my spam account. Email me there and I will give you my personal email addy.

RBTC said...

NN - i will do so now - love to hear from you and i have many ideas!

Miss Ross said...

RBTC, you are my new favorite poster! You are hella-funny girl! lmao, " my vagina would be much happier !"

RBTC said...

miss ross - you have to give the credit for that to nashville nanny LOL

and - you are on to my secret - when someone is bashing me unfairly on this blog - i use literary devices to hopefully kid them out of their anger - irony, alliteration, rhymes, etc

anyone without a negative agenda will then laugh their way into a communicative response

those who are negative will usually be confused by the humor and get so mad they go away and harrass someone else!

sounds like a plan!

NannyBrandie said...

Its actually against the law to ask during a job interview if you are in a relationship, your sexual preference, your last name, if you have children, or if you are pregnant.
So by law you don't have to answer that. Some people are nosy, just politely avert the question and say something like, I like to keep my personal life separate from my career, and say you'd be happy to answer any other questions they might have.

Bethany said...

Perfecr response Nanny Brandie!

It gets to the hear of why the parents are asking the question and keeps your personal life personal.

nymom said...

Mrs. Poppins_J:

Best answer. Yes, interviews involve small talk so sometimes these things come up.

However, I am having a really hard time finding concrete info as to whether all these EEOC laws and their offshoots actually apply to private employers:

I have no desire to violate these rules and most are common sense, but I wonder if parents employing only 1-2 people are subject to these laws. For some reason, I always thought that very small employers were exempt.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

nycmom, i have always been told that in-home employees are NOT protected by labor laws that often apply to workers at traditional companies, especially those with more than 50 employees.

The most non-invasive interviews I have ever had have been with couples where 1 or both parents were lawyers. Make of that what you will, lol!

I haven't ever had any really horrid questions asked of me, but I was shocked when a family asked me less than 5 minutes into the interview, "Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savior?"

They hadn't informed the agency that the nanny's religious status was top of their list of must-have's either. :-)

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Whoops, sorry, NYmom!

Bethany said...

See I would think it would better for them family you mentioned to book with a stated Christian agency that employs only Christian nannies. If it were truly that important.

I can understand wanting to know more about the person who will be caring for your child, but I think asking if they have an SO is too much.
It really doesn't have anything t do with the job or how they will handle it.

If you employ someone and their personal life becomes a problem and conflicts with the job you hired them to do you let them go.

leftcoastmama said...

I have never out right.

I don't think those who ask have terrible intentions, they just want to know all they can about the person they are hiring to care for the people most precious to them.

Speaking as a parent you can never know to much and you can think you have the right to know everything.
It's a chance you take. Someone can give you all the "right" answers and still turn out horrible.

It's a chance you take.

Sometimes you can find out the answers to the personal things you want to know by asking the broadest of questions.

I've learned many things about potential employees just by asking them to tell me more about themselves.
I also like to pick things out of their profiles.

For example I noticed in my current nanny's profile that she enjoyed camping and skateboarding. I asked her more about the activities and it came out she had an SO she enjoyed doing those activities with. She actually met her SO doing those activities.

Get people talking they will tell you what you want to know on their own.

E_Black said...

As a mom and former nanny I see it from both sides I guess. Certain things are clearly none of a parent or agency's business. Childcare providers have the right to keep the most private aspects of their lives private. On the other hand, you're not interviewing to do electrical work or computer maintenance or bookkeeping. You are being hired to provide a professional service, yes, but one which involves having a relationship with a young child, and that goes beyond just making sure you're not on the Megan's Law website. I wouldn't ask about marital status. But I would expect questions about what I liked to do on the weekends, if I have pets, if I have kids of my own, my hobbies, books I like to read. These aren't "interview questions," but if I'm spending part or most of the week in someone's house, they want to feel like they know me. Otherwise aren't you strangers? I volunteer a lot of information about myself and I like to get to know people. And most people, especially two people sharing care of a young child, eventually do talk and get to know each other and learn about each other's families, interests, etc. Right? And from a nanny perspective, there's some bullet-dodging that can be done when employers ask you what they really want to know. If a potential employer is wondering "I hope she's not gay," or "I hope she has embraced Jesus as her personal savior," believe you me, I want them to ask. Because more than likely, I'm not what they're looking for and the feeling is mutual.

traveling-gypsy said...

Excellent points, E_black. I would also rather be asked whatever would be important to a potential employer(yes, even if its illegal) than find out once I have the position, that they have issues that are well, not the same ones I have!!(LOL) If same sex relationships bother a MB & DB, and youre in one, wouldn't you want to know? Some would say no. But I think matching up a same sex marriage friendly family with a nanny in a same sex relationship makes sense.......OR....maybe not. Maybe if these Mom & Dad Bosses who have problems with same sex relationships would actually benefit from hiring a nanny in a same sex relationship. Maybe actually personalizing the "same sex" relationship would help educate the Mom & Dad boss. Maybe they would change their personal views.

UmassSlytherin said...

wow. this thread is the same as the other one I just tried to read. i just can't get through it.

You sound like a child. "I'm ignoring you. yes, I am! You are in the ignore bin." lmfao

You suck at ignoring people if you are bringing them up on threads about nothing having to do with them. You're foolish.

RBTC said...

Umass - everyone is calming down - my guess is that over the next few days MPP will put up some new interesting threads which will distract everyone from the couple of volatile threads - thank you for your interesting contributions ! ;)

Lyn said...

Personally, I hope MPP takes a couple days llonger on her "break". She deserves some time to breath.

RBTC said...

very very good point lyn - as usual she deserves a big thank you from all of us - thank you for reminding me of that

Karli said...

Got in on this late so it's possible no one will even see this but I had a boss who told me he asks nannies that on interviews because he hopes they say no, which means they have no life, and are more flexible with all his over-time needs. *eyeroll* And yes, he was an ass. I didn't stay working for him long. I quit once I got a boyfriend ;)

Karli funny post said...

Haha. Karli. Loved the comment. I hope I do too. Well more like when I get pregnant ;)

Karli said...

Haha, thanks! That's the only reason I think I'll ever quit the job I have now. I love this one so I want to do it until I get married and have my own, hopefully! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm also a gay nanny and have heard my share of bigoted remarks. I'm lucky to have a boss who could care less who I'm with. It shouldn't even matter.

NannyK said...

I think sometimes they ask because married people are likely to have babies on the brain at some point. My one employer asked me for this reason, because her nanny had gotten pregnant on purpose and quit.