Thursday

Duped Nanny Dumps Family

OPINION
OK I am a parent... I initially was going to put my son in daycare but then my neighbor said she could watch my son for 2 days. Since I have been neighbors and friends with her for a long time I decided to hire her as a part time nanny for 3 days. At first she told me that her rate was $12 per hour. I was very upfront with her in letting her know that was way out of the budget and asked her if she would accept $200 for 3 days of care. She said yes, she did not counter with another amount she accepted it, came to meet my family and had me check references. During her interview, my husband asked whether for an extra $50 she would consider dropping off/picking up my stepson (his son) from school 1 day per week, a total driving commitment of 100 miles. She again agreed even commenting that she had lived in the area where my stepson lives and was familiar with the drive etc... so now we are up to $250 for 3 days which included 1 day of driving back and forth. I then asked her if she could do a full week for $300 + $50 which would include the one day of driving so her compensation would be $350 per week to be paid twice monthly ($700) by check.

2 weeks before she was due to start my Father in law tragically passed away and I asked her to start early since MIL had to return early to be with her family. She agreed, however since she was starting early there were a few things different from what we initially discussed. First my stepson was at a different school because his mom was going to move the following week. The location of his present school was actually closer than the one she agreed to drive to. Issue #1... On the first day she said she couldnt do the driving that it was more than she anticipated... HELLO!!!! she said she had previously lived in that area and should have known what was involved... why agree to something and then back out. Issue #2... she complained that we hadn't given her money for tolls (She was reimbursed the minute I got home) I DIDNT EVEN PICK UP MY CHILD FIRST. Ok I said, if you dont want to do the driving we will find someone else but your new salary will not include the extra $50 per week for driving. So she would earn $200 for 3 days or $300 for 5 days (48 hours total)... Remember she initially agreed to this which brings us to Issue #3... she now complains about this, says that she earned $580 on her last job and that she cant accept such little pay... this in spite of the fact that I also offered to let her keep her own child with her after school so she would not have to pay for after school care... so now I'm offering $300 per week plus the chance to save on after school care for her own child.

Now to the final Issue #4... she sends me an email at 9PM on the first day she works for me stating that we duped her and that she is not coming back to my house... so I was left high and dry by someone who basically did not express that she had any problems with the compensation amount until the first day that she started. This is the height of unprofessionalism and another kicker - she complained that I wanted to pay her by check because she wanted to keep everything under the table... I don't get people demanding top dollar but not wanting to pay taxes on it... as I told her I could have offered more if she would be legal about it. My son is now in daycare... I can't deal with this stress ever again. - Anonymous

22 comments:

Mr. Magoo said...

If your neighbor/nanny knew up front what the offer was before she came to sit and accepted it, then yes, she was completely unprofessional. Were the both of you friends before all of this? What does your husband say?

canadiannanny said...

I agree with you, she was completely unprofessional and should not have agreed in the first place to this job. She also left you high and dry, I would hope an employer would never do that especially since she is your friend.
What is minimum wage for your area though? And what is the average nanny rate? If she was looking for 12 an hour, you are offering her under 9 dollars an hour is a big difference or 8 dollars an hour if she takes five days. Maybe she felt like being a friend and saying yes, but quickly realized if she was going to nanny, she might as well make a fairer wage.
I in no means want to say you're wrong, you're not, she was unprofessional and rude but if you were underpaying her, you need to realise maybe a home day care would be a better option.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

While I do not agree with her behavior and unprofessionalism, I think you kinda took a risk when you chose to hire a nanny and pay her a daycare rate. In life, you get what you pay for. If anything in life sounds too good to be true, most likely it is. The fact that you could have had a nanny for your child while paying a low rate would have been a win-win for both you and your son.

I think initially she wanted to help you out and agreed to the rate because either a)she really needed the money $ or b)she wanted to be a good neighbor/friend for you and work with your situation. After either speaking to some people or thinking things through, she realized she couldn't work for such a low rate. I think what you offered was really low.

I am so sorry this happened to you.
I think now it is best your son is enrolled in daycare. Hopefully things are not awkward each time you run into your neighbor.

Good luck to you OP.

Blog Fan said...

I agree with the PP, she shouldn't have quit on you after agreeing to the wage, no matter the amount. My condolences to your family. I'm so sorry all of this happened to you, OP.

nycmom said...

Agree with all. Quitting was unprofessional. All negotiations should be done prior to starting, especially if she is an experienced nanny (the mention she did this before). I also agree the wage is very below market. The $50 for 100 miles is also crazy because at the IRS reimbursement rate she should get $55 for 100 miles even without "pay" for her time.

However, I always say any job (within normal limits -- not talking ridiculous exploitation of a naive young 18yo) is reasonable if it is offered honestly, both parties agree to terms, and both stick to them. Clearly the person you hired was anticipating a much easier gig. Or you guys did not put it all in writing and she misunderstood something. Or maybe she is just not a very nice person : ) Good luck!

Lyn said...

A professional Nanny would have sat down and worked out all of the details before starting. Would have desired to be paid on the books. Would have requested the IRS mileage amount. And would not have accepted a job and quit before day one. This nanny was very unprofessional. However, I have to say that a Nanny Jan actual professional not this flake) is the most expensive form of childcare. We come to your home on your schedule and provide one on one care catered towards your childs needs. So please keep that in mind when looking at your options for care in the future.

You know how they say "never mix business with family"? I believe the same should be said for neighbors. They're just too difficult to avoid when something goes wrong. Haha.

Wow! said...

My math is 48 hours divided by $300= $6.25 an hour?! AND she's driving her car 100 miles? Sorry but big disconnect here. This neighbor is rightfully offended. I would have quit on you, too. Also, $12/ hr is not "top dollar". Your future caregivers will be challenged to work with you and the lack of value you place on the work they do: that would be caring for your children.

Manhattan Nanny said...

Of course she should not have left you high and dry without notice, but I'm going to be the devil's advocate here. You initially asked her to sit 3 days a week. Then added the driving. Then changed to 5 days. Then the start date became 2 weeks early, and the drive location changed. Apparently you didn't discuss providing tolls in advance, reimbursement for gas, or the method of payment. I'm guessing there was confusion and miscommunication on both sides.

"..I don't get people demanding top dollar but not wanting to pay taxes on it... " $300 a week for 48 hours is not only NOT top dollar, it is below the Federal minimum wage. In addition, if you pay twice a month rather than weekly, she is losing one month's worth of income over the course of a year. (Due to the extra days beyond 4 weeks in a month) Also, do you realize you as an employer are also liable for taxes?

"This is the height of unprofessionalism " Yes, but it cuts both ways. If you want a professional nanny, you need to offer a job that will attract a professional nanny.

I understand you have budget constraints. A good daycare is a smart choice for your child, and much better than an unhappy nanny.

nina said...

wow, not much I can add here when someone else already did the math but OP, just curious, if she had of gone on the books how much more would you have offered? yes, she was unprofessional but you changed the course of the game for her numerous times. i think alot of this was a breakdown in communication, imho. to everyone else, great comments! i'm new here and already addicted to this site!

Lyn said...

What is it with people thinking a professional nanny and all that comes with employing one is more affordable than daycare? It makes ZERO sense.

serenissima said...

I agree with the commenter that said it seems like there was some major miscommunication issues and lack of professionalism on both ends... The constant changing of dates/times/wages, etc. probably threw nanny/neighbor off-kilter from day one (it threw me off-kilter just reading it).

Her response of quitting and placing the blame solely on you, however, was both unprofessional and immature... And also speaks volumes about the true nature of your 'friendship,' IMO. Why not talk to you in person voicing her concerns and trying to make it work? Especially since you're NEIGHBORS. I'd chalk this one up to experience and move on.

Caring Mom All Day said...
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Caring Mom All Day said...
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nina said...

Thanks for the warm welcome!!:)

Caring Mom All Day said...
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Caring Mom All Day said...

<3

nycmom said...

Caring Mom,

I think your point #9 is excellent and one I had not given enough validity. Trial periods are there for a reason and I, too, am a big advocate of them. I have had trials where one side realized it was not a good match and parted with no bad feelings. The issue, as always, is the written Work Agreement. The trial duration and out for both sides need to be specified there and I highly doubt this was done.

Lyn said...

Work agreement? Hahaha, I think it's pretty obvious that there was no WA.

Mrs. Billy Lamar said...

OP, if you were planning to pay this nanny "on the books" then you would have had to pay her a higher salary. At LEAST minimum wage. You can't just pay her peanuts and expect to take taxes out at the same time. In other words, you cannot have your cake and eat it too.

If you wanted to keep things legal, then you would have had to do your part keeping things legal as well and paid your nanny an honest rate.

Sounds to me like you wanted to have a cheap nanny and claim your childcare deduction as well.

You could...if you lived in a perfect world.

that's what I say said...

She agreed to everything until she found something better. All nannies do that...just like parents who find another nanny and fire their long-term nanny on the last minute because they found somebody cheaper.

Happens all the time. $50 for 100 miles driving is insane. There's gas, mileage, tear and wear of tires, time wasted and what if there was an accident in the road and it delayed the nanny for another hour?

I am glad you stuck with daycare because you were paying too little.

Jade said...

I would quit too.It is insane to pay so little and expect so much for it !