Passive-Aggressive Behavior is a No-Brainer

Hello, I am writing because my family is considering firing our current nanny and I am looking for insight into the situation. As background information, our family has older children who the nanny does not have any responsibility for (due to after school activities and the time we need coverage, there is very little interaction between our caregiver and older children) and a 5 year old who our nanny watches 5 days a week from 3:00 PM - 5:30/6:00 PM. We do not need a nanny over the summer due to camps. I have employed 3 nannies for various lengths of time during my daughter's life and have had good working relationships with all of my caregivers. They all left on good terms for a variety of reasons (position went part-time, school obligations, etc.) and we stay in touch with all of them.

This spring, I hired a part-time teacher's aide for the hours and days described above. She was with us for a few months and took another job for the summer before resuming with us at the beginning of the school year. While she started off last spring very strong, ever since September things have seemed different with her. M is frequently in a bad mood, is less engaging with my child, and seems to be less satisfied with the position then when she started at the end of last school year. In early October, I sat her down to discuss my concerns after a month of things being "off" and she shared with me that over the summer she felt her job was easier and she was paid a higher hourly rate. I told her I understood her frustrations but that we were not in a position to make the job "easier" (over the summer, she got paid for full time work while her charges were in camp and had no household responsibilities; the hours she is with us, M is full charge with my daughter and she helps flip the laundry, tidy toys, etc.) as the job responsibilities had been negotiated in the spring and had not changed. Furthermore, we were not in a position to pay a higher hourly rate at this time (we pay her $16/hour for 15 hours a week; she frequently leaves earlier if we come home earlier and she is paid every week during the school year, even if we do not need her at all). I told her if she wanted to search for another job just to provide adequate notice and that we would not have any hard feelings.

Fast forward to last weekend (Thanksgiving weekend). My husband had a business dinner that took him out of town on Saturday night and he invited me to join him for the dinner and an overnight. I asked M if she would like to watch our daughter for the night (the teenagers were either with other parents or had sleepover plans), roughly 1 PM Saturday to 12:00 PM Sunday. I offered her $20 hourly for every hour plus an extra $100 overnight fee, considering that it was a holiday weekend and she accepted. She was given this date and made the commitment at the beginning of November. When my husband and I left Saturday, we left her with a clean house, petty cash, and use of our vehicle. I spoke to her Saturday evening and she assured me all was well and sounded happy, as did our little girl. When we arrived home on Sunday (approximately 11:45 AM) I was stunned to find the house absolutely trashed. Not I hosted a keg party trashed but sink full of dishes (they made cookies), toys strewn throughout the house, playroom wrecked, garbage overflowing. When I commented, M told me she and my daughter had done a lot of baking and arts and crafts and "housekeeping was not in her contract." I replied that while housekeeping was absolutely not in her contract, it was her responsibility to maintain order in the household and to clean up messes that occurred under her watch. She ended up leaving in a huff.

Based off of all of her recent behavior, I have reason to believe she is so unhappy in the job that she is behaving passive aggressively towards my husband and me, and I am concerned that could trickle down to our child. It seems like a no-brainer for me to let her go effective immediately (we were in a childcare pinch this week and needed coverage) by firing her tomorrow and offering her 2 weeks severance in lieu of notice. My husband thinks I'm over-reacting but I am genuinely concerned by her recent behavior and would rather deal with the hiring process over the holidays (ugh!) then jeopardize the safety of my child. Are there any moms/nannies who might have insight into the decision? Tomorrow is Friday and I keep going back and forth in my head. Help! - Anonymous


Nay The Nanny said...

Wow...that is really lousy. She sounds extremely immature, OP. I think you are probably right to let her go right away. I'm doubtful that it would trickle down in any sort of scary way, but you never know and at the very least it sounds like your little one's fun may suffer as a result of your nanny's poor attitude. I am a nanny and feel you have been more than fair. I work full time 45-50 hours per week with one toddler whom I adore and I feel I am being treated fairly. I love the parents and they stick to our contract. I have no housekeeping duties but do help with laundry, tidy up after anything and everything we do and (by choice) I empty the dishwasher when I see it has been run in the morning. I think your pay rate is perfectly fair and the overnight pay was generous. She sounds ungrateful and...I hope this isn't rude...pretty lazy. Good luck finding a new nanny that appreciates you for the great employer that you are!

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

After reading your post, my first thought was this nanny is very immature and ungrateful. You are paying her a good salary and not over-working her at all.

Sure, she might have gotten a better deal over the summer, however that gives her no right to act the way she is acting. She should feel blessed to have a job at all where she is treated w/respect by both you and your husband.

I think she is acting out, hoping you will fire her.
For some reason she doesn't want to look like the bad guy, so she is going to do a bad job and then make you look like the bad guy by firing her.

I do not think you are overreacting at all. I would give her two weeks notice, however be prepared for either sub-par work or for her to leave immediately.
If she continues her sub-par work, I would kick her to the curb immediately.

Due to her behavior, I would never give her any severance pay.
She is acting like a spoiled + entitled child and her behavior is inexcusable.

There are many quality nannies out there, like me, who would do a much better job w/out the sense of entitlement issues.

I wish you the best of luck.

talesfromthe(nanny)hood said...

I may be offering a very different perspective, but...

Was your daughter unhappy that you went away? Is it possible that your nanny truly did just expend all her energy keeping your child content and occupied to prevent any melt-downs?

If you don't think that's the case, then I do think at the very least a serious discussion is in order, and that you should start with, "Nanny, you don't seem very happy to be working here. Are you satisfied with this job, or do you feel that you need to go and find something that suits you better?"

She might be trying to get you to fire her (instead of quitting) so that she can get unemployment?

maggiesmama said...

Thank you for your replies - as the OP, I decided yesterday evening to let her go and did so when she arrived for work today. I paid her two weeks severance in lieu of notice for a number of reasons, including the approaching holiday season and to honor the language in our work agreement. I don't really consider myself an alarmist but truly worry about the judgment she had shown recently. She reacted very casually - I imagine she knew it was a possibility - accepted her severence, and went on her way. Thank you for your help!

Just saying said...

You can't collect unemployment if you are fired. Just saying

Manhattan Nanny said...

Re: unemployment,
First of all, you have to be on the books to be covered. You have to lose a job through no fault of your own. The employer will be contacted to verify the reason you give for your employment ending. Please don't give nannies the idea that they can just do a poor job to get themselves fired and collect unemployment!

Bad Attitudes Aren't Against the Law said...

Without a warning or opportunity to improve, if a nanny does not break any job duties outlined in her contract, she will very likely be able to collect unemployment, and I believe the family who fires her will be stuck paying the penalties until she finds another job or goes off unemployment.

I actually see that in this case it's very possible that she will qualify for unemployment, especially with the severance pay factor, which only really occurs in the case of a layoff. That is if she is on the books.

oceanblue said...

To my knowledge unemployment guidelines vary from state to state there are case where you cane be let go and file for unemployment.

I feel like there is a ton of information missing from this story.

Just my opinion but $16/hr for child care laundry and whatever is covered by "etc" spread over 15 hours a week isn't a good rate.

However it sounds like it's best for all involved that you parted ways.

Lissa said...

I think since you gave her a severance package, then she technically was laid off, not fired. So assuming she was on the books, she is more than able to collect unemployment now.

People who get fired from their jobs usually do not get a severance package.

NannyTastic said...

I am in no way excusing the nanny for her poor behavior, but I am wondering why a five year old cannot pick up after herself. At the very least, the toys should have been put away (by the child).

fakeeyelashesforyou said...

You absolutely CAN get unemployment if you've been fired. I did for a year and a half. $1,200 a month. And then when I got my job back, they had to pay me the difference.

Anyways, your nanny had a ton of fun over the weekend and the kids were happy and safe. And all you notice is the mess??? Maybe if you werent sooo busy doing whatever is more important to you and you were spending more time at home doing the kinds of activities the nanny does you too would see that cleaning up behind you is NOT the priority. No child grows up and says I loved the clean kitchen sink! They say, I loved making the crafts. I loved masking the cookies, etc.

I think youre totally in the wrong here. And $16 an hour for very part time work is very low in my opinion.

If your boss came at you and talked about your desk being a mess but failed to notice the boatload of work that you had done you would be upset too. That is not being passive aggressive. That is being a normal human being.

nycmom said...

$16/hr may or may not be a reasonable rate depending on the location. Regardless, the Nanny agreed to the rate of pay and returned in the fall to the same job, knowing and still agreeing to the pay rate. Thus, OP did nothing wrong by hiring someone at an advertised rate and expecting the employee to stick to the job description.

Further, of course any parent would be frustrated to return home and find their house a complete mess. Yes, it's great the 5yo had fun. But even the most basic babysitting job involves cleaning up after yourself and your charges, with age appropriate assistance from the children as guided by the caregiver.

Anyone who thinks it is unreasonable to expect a parent, babysitter, or nanny to be capable of providing good care, fun/games, AND cleaning up after any messes created during 23 hours of caring for one 5yo either has a very low energy level or very shoddy work ethic.

OP, as soon as this nanny made it clear she was resentful of the terms of the job, it was time for you both to move on. I understand you offered her this option of parting ways amicable, but IME once this level of dissatisfaction arises, it virtually always goes downhill from there. You did the right thing by firing her and the kind thing by giving her severance. My only suggestion is to do it sooner if this ever arises again.

So Done lol said...

WHAT NYCMOM is ignoring is the fact that the nanny wasnt off duty yet. The parents arrived home early. Maybe she was going to clean it all up before she left.

I dont approve of your below the belt comments. I am naturally VERY high energy and I have an excellent work ethic. Do you care more about your work than your children? Anyone overly focused on cleaning up immediately has issues and would probably be better of they were not home with their children full time.

See, I can make blanket statement too.

I am not going to engage you further. You obviously have issues. Good luck with that.

MissMannah said...

I completely agree with Nycmom on all accounts. So Done, the parents got home 15 minutes before the nanny was due to leave. You seriously think she was going to rush around the house cleaning everything up in 15 minutes? Very doubtful.

$16 an hour for one child is exceptional pay for around here. Those of you who think it is too low must live in higher-income places.

nycmom said...

When I am at work, I put my job performance as my first priority barring emergencies with my children. I pay a lot of money for a wonderful nanny and whatever other assistance we might need to ensure that my work is almost never disrupted by routine issues related to my children. IMO, part of having a strong work ethic is arranging your personal life, children or otherwise, so that it does not regularly interfere with your ability to do your job well.

Of course, the unexpected happens. But if I had an unexpected major personal issue that prevented me from doing my job well, I would take a leave of absence or speak with my employer about alternate options. I would not expect to continue to perform my job poorly and get paid the same and have no repercussions. This nanny's job performance has been chronically poor and by the nanny's own admission, it is because she feels resentful towards OP because the nanny's other recent job was easier. I cannot fathom how anyone can think that is a reasonable or mature response. If I were this nanny, I would either keep the job and continue to do it well or, presuming the OP is paying below market as you are implying, then I should be able to easily find alternate, higher paying employment and would do so.

Of course I was not suggesting the nanny clean the entire house in 15 minutes, not does the level of disarray described by OP sound like it could be cleaned in 15 minutes. Nor did OP say the nanny spent her last 15 minutes cleaning up. Most people caring for children -- parent or nanny -- recognize the value of teaching children to clean up their messes as they are made. Certainly this is an invaluable lesson for a 5yo to learn and part of the duties involved in being a professional nanny.

I truly find it unfathomable that anyone would think it were impossible to have a fun 23 hours with one 5yo child that involved baking, arts & crafts and many messy/fun activities AND also manage to clean up after themselves. I find it even harder to believe that anyone could think that leaving a mess was a necessity to ensure one had enough time to have fun during the 23 hour period.

Finally, yes, I absolutely do place as much value on fun as I do on responsibility. I would not want a nanny who did nothing but make fun messes with my children, while ignoring the value of teaching them to be responsible for their messes anymore than I would want a nanny who kept the house spotless as if she were a housekeeper and did not play with my child at all.

workingmom said...

nycmom, once again you and I are in agreement, and can I just say that your eloquent, well-thought-out responses ROCK?!!

OP, I also think your radar/instinct was on target, and that you did the best thing.

oceanblue said...

I have stayed later to clean up

Sure it is easier to clean up as you go but sometimes it doesn't happen that way.

Maybe she planned to stay later and clean.

I still believe $16/hr to watch a child, do laundry and whatever else op meant by etc is low.

Just because you can find someone willing to work for that amount doesn't make it fair. You can find someone willing to work for $3/hr doesn't make that a fair wage.

I also still believe there is more to this story than is being told by OP.

Bethany said...

Very strange. I wouldn't be surprised if she wanted you to fire her for whatever reason.

That's all water under the bridge now what's done is done, and it seems like letting her go was the best solution for all parties as it appears no one in the situation was happy for whatever reason.

As for unemployment that will depend on the state or country you live in.

I hope things work out better with your next nanny.

My Perspective said...

$16 with housekeeping duties? Way too low. And if moms preoccupied with cleaning, hire a robot. Nannies aren't perfect. Sometimes when they've had an awesome weekend alone in someone elses home they might have a mess to clean. I see no problem. You have to decide what your priorities are. I would be happy to see the mess. Its not beer bottles and condoms, its dishes and craft supplies. Yay! They had fun. I think OP doesn't like this nanny for others reasons. Reasons we can only speculate on.

Oy said...

Just because there was a mess that doesn't automatically mean that the child wasn't picking up after herself. It also doesn't mean the nanny wasn't doing any clean up at all.

I clean as I go but that's far from the most important quality in a person that I leave alone with my children!!

What is nycmom talking about? Who said it was *impossible* to "be messy/have fun and clean?" And why's that imaginary statement unfathomable? How dramatic. Is she arguing with herself again?

NayTheNanny said...

Also, based on her response as to housekeeping not being.part of her contract when OP commented on the mess, it certainly doesn't sound like she planned to stay later to clean up. When I babysit or nanny, some of the cleaning happens as we go along. That cannot always happen but time management always allows me to ensure the house is not in complete disarray from 24 hours of child-care no matter how much fun we have...a 5 year old does go to bed at some point and I do not think it unreasonable to expect the nanny who is being paid a $20 per hour babysitting rate, to straighten up the mess made on her watch at that time. Just my opinion having been there myself. It comes.with thee territory. The kids come first but respecting the home is important too.

My Two Cents said...

there is no way of knowing if the nanny was planning on staying later to clean. If I had a messy weekend, I would have stayed until it was clean without expecting additional pay. I'd do it on my own time if need be. Although I am EXTREMELY clean and I do not leave a mess in my wake, I wouldn't have been nearly as upset as the OP is over a mess from what sounds like a very fun and safe weekend at home with a trustworthy nanny.

Candy Nanny said...

"I find it even harder to believe that anyone could think that leaving a mess was a necessity to ensure one had enough time to have fun during the 23 hour period."

Did I miss something? Where was that said?

1234 said...

I'm wondering if nanny and daddy had a thing going on

1234 said...

I am also of the opinion there is more to this story than is being told. 1+ 1 is not = 2 here.

And as far as I am concerned any aspect of laundry is housekeeping.

1234 said...

This story aside I think many of you nannies need to stand up for yourselves and know your value.

You do not get what you do not ask for.

It's one reason women are still underpaid.

I am fortunate to have had a father who taught his daughters all about business and negotiating. It's because of that that I don't waste my time with micromanaging employers with a god complex. I will not take whatever money they throw at me. I am willing to walk a way. I know my worth and potential employers know it too. I always get the contract that I want.

maggiesmama said...

As the OP, I appreciate the valuable insight by the commenters on this sight. My concerns about our former caregiver were, in my opinion, valid and I am comfortable with my decision to move on. In all professional situations, the ability to communicate maturely and resolve conflicts on an adult level is necessary. In my area, $16/hourly is a competitive rate for the services we need and it was contracted with our caregiver prior to hire. If flipping a load of laundry and tidying up toys (frequently with my daughter's help - in fact, part of my level of frustration was that she could have encouraged my daughter to help clean but ignored that aspect of her responsibility, too). When I refer to etc it is the miscellanious spew of life with children and circumstance - say my daughter is hungrier then normal after school, she sometimes prepares a light pre-dinner, she has on occasion run an errand to Target or the like, that kind of etc. It wasn't what happened so much as the months of odd passive aggressive behavior, withdrawl, and her reaction to my comment. I don't expect anyone to scrub my toilets and I would have been happy to help tidy the mess if her response had been, "We've been so busy having fun, we got behind!" I'm not a monster or a slave driver but I am an employer and do expect that relationship to be respected. Obviously there are two sides to every story and I would have been happy to listen to my nanny's (as long as she wasn't banging my husband lol) but she was given that opportunity and elected not to use it. My nanny could very well think that I am a miserable, cheap bitch and while I don't agree (at least not always) she is absolutely entitled to her opinion just as I am entitled to have a caregiver in my home who is respectful of our boundaries and expectations. I've been happy thus far in my search for a caregiver to start early next year. Thank you again for your insight!

Jennifer said...

How can laundry not be considered housekeeping??!!

It's that attitude that makes it easier for nannies to be taken full advantage of.

Laundry IS a component of housework and any nanny that is expected to wash/dry/fold + put away clothes should be paid accordingly.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

I do not understand the apparent belief on the part of some nannies that doing their charges' laundry is so horribly burdensome that they need to be paid more for taking on that task.

I do 2 or 3 loads a week. It takes MAYBE 1 hour total to accomplish my "Laundry Duty". It's just not that big of a deal, and, traditionally, nannies are responsible for doing their charges laundry.

Of course, there are exceptions, such as large families generating multiple loads each day or the expectation that nanny will be doing diaper laundry or the parents laundry, but, seriously? Laundry is NOT THAT HARD.

Nay The Nanny said...

Tales I could not agree with you more...seriously. The OP said her nanny "flips" the laundry, which is what I usually do. My employers will throw a load of my charge's laundry in and I will then place it in the dryer and turn it on. I do not demand to be paid an absurdly higher rate as a result...and I do not consider myself a housekeeper. It really does sound like this nanny had the opportunity to speak her mind in a respectful and mature way and decided to behave like a spoiled teenager instead. I do not understand why so many people on here feel the need to stick up for this behavior. You accept a position, with certain duties for a certain rate. You don't like the duties/rate, no one forced you to take the position and you can feel free to look for a better one, though I highly doubt a nanny who refuses to clean up after herself will find one.

Susannah said...

No laundry isn't that hard.
Neither is cleaning a toilet or two toilets.
Neither is running a vacuum over a rug or two.
Neither is taking a bag of trash or two outside
Neither is dropping an envelop or two in the mailbox while on your way to story time.
Neither is adding water to the kitty's bowl or flipping her litter.
Neither is opening the door for the dog or giving him fresh kibble.
Neither is running the duster over the mantle , the lamp, or the TV
Neither is fluffing up the pillows up a bit or smoothing down the bedspread
Neither is taking the dishes in and out of the washer
It's not that hard to drive the spare car to pick up the kids so you can also fill up the gas tank.
It's not that had to unpack the groceries or run to the store to pick up supplies
None of these tasks are that hard.
None of them involved child care.
I know some nannies view the role as making the lives of the employer easier. I respectfully disagree and view my role as caretaker to children.
If you'd like me to perform the duties of a nanny a personal assistant, a pet sitter, a maid, etc you can pay me additionally. It is not that hard.

Susannah said...

Maggies mamma.
I think you were right to fire this nanny. It's obvious she no longer wanted to work for you. It's unfortunate she didn't have the good sense to quit first.

Nay The Nanny said...

Couldn't agree more, Tales.

nycmom said...


I think most professional nannies agree with you and include children's laundry, dishwasher, empty garbage if full, and keeping childrens' areas organized part of "light housekeeping." I also think professional nannies such as yourself and other wonderful nannies on here get paid accordingly.

Perhaps the caregivers who feel differently are being paid a terrible wage? Or live in some area of the country none of us regulars have lived where childrens' laundry is not the norm? I really can't think of another explanation beyond different local norms or subpar pay.

Erika said...

Tales~If doing laundry is no big deal, then why do some families pay extra for it? Why do people tend to utilize drop-off/pick-up laundry businesses? Some people even pay a laundress to wash their stuff.

I think it is a personal choice. If a nanny thinks that it is part of her job and wants to do it w/out asking for more pay, then more power to her.
Just don't think that ALL nannies should do laundry as part of their jobs. Some of us prefer to only clean up the messes made during our shifts. I.e, dishes, toys, etc.

MissMannah said...

Susannah, are you saying if you were at work and the dog wanted to be let out, you'd refuse to open the door? Or if the diaper pail was full, you would refuse to empty it and put in a new liner?

It is my belief that doing the baby's laundry and washing her (and my) dishes is part of the nanny's job. If we refused to lift a finger to help the parents out, we're no better than a teenage babysitter. Light housekeeping is tasks that don't pertain to the child or childcare. Every once in awhile I will dust the furniture or do the parents' laundry if my boss asks me too.

Susannah said...

Miss Mannah you are a contradiction, not so long ago you were claiming you do not do household chores or family laundry, and now suddenly you do? I sure hope you receive monetary compensation for the extras as you frequently admonish fellow nannies to do.I have no problem cleaning dishes I use during the day. Charge's laundry and baby laundry only do and that at a higher price. If the pail fills while I'm working sure I will dump it. I do not do any cleaning beyond messes I or the children make during the day. I also do not do any form of pet care. All I make clear in my profile and interviews. Never had a problem landing a job. Almost have always worked for amazing employers that I respect and they likewise respect what I do. I've never had a problem being paid extremely well either.

Non pious nanny said...

If you work in an office environment and use the office kitchen to make yourself lunch and create a big mess are you just going to walk away and leave it there because cleaning the office kitchen is not in your job contract. Come on that's just silly. Because we as nannies work in someone's home I think we should have even more of a willingness to straighten up then if we worked in a public place. The whole point isn't that the nanny refused to do pathetic parents or loads of laundry.....the point is that she along with the child created a big mess and did not clean it up. The op did was not asking the nanny to do her laundry, scrub her floors etc she was simply wanting the nanny to clean up a mess that she had along with the child made. I think you nannies that are on here saying she should have gotten a hire rate to have to clean up after herself are ridiculous. And 16 an hour where I live is a pretty good competitive rate forget time work.

Their Amby said...

I think weather it was the nannies job or not to do Housekeeping is not the problem. This was a huge respect issue. Why would you come into someone else's home and leave a mess. Why would you go anywhere and not leave it the way you found it, unless you were paying someone to clean up after you (like at a restaurant? I just don't understand some people's logic. She could have said, "wow, I lost track of time, and I am so sorry to leave things a mess. Give me 20 minutes to tidy up (no pay necessary) and I will go home." If I felt the need to provide hours of non-stop fun, without cleaning up after myself, I would end the fun with enough time for cleaning. Be it passive-aggressive behavior, laziness, entitlement etc, this nanny needed to go.

MissMannah said...

Susannah, you are probably thinking of quite some time ago when I claimed not to do any housework. My last job didn't pay jack so I didn't do any extras. Plus I did not feel respected, so I didn't care about the job as much. My current one pays very well and we have a relationship of mutual respect so I am much more willing to help them out.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

Susannah ~

Love LOVE your post.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

So Susannah (and I swear I've asked you this before the last time this issue was discussed), do you just let the dog pee/poop on the floor?

Or do you only work for families without pets?

I can not imagine being so rigid as to refuse to let a dog out in the back yard to pee because that's not in my list of acceptable chores.

Ah well, it takes all kinds to make the world go round. I'm glad those of you who are not willing to lift a finger to do an extra without extra pay have found families that tolerate/welcome your attitude.

Susannah said...

I've also got on well with previous families and keep in contact with them. My current family is one of my favorites and are totally fine with the terms of my work agreement.

Zarine said...

OP was right to let the nanny go. She sounds very lazy. At the very least, you are supposed to leave a home as clean as it was when arriving, not making a bigger mess. I seriously doubt the nanny was planning on doing it all in 15 minutes or doing it while parents wer home (as I do sometimes if running late) or else she would have.

I also agree that doing kids' laundry and helping out here and there is not a big deal.

Modern Momma said...

Some parents don't want their nanny to do any cleaning. I'm one of them.

Nannybear said...

I think it's my job as a nanny to leave the house in the same or better condition that it was in when I arrived. Never, ever, worse. Yes, the kids come first, and I may not have a chance to get to everything, but I always try my hardest to pick up the messes I make with the kids. I even try to pick up the small stuff that I'm not responsible for, because I know that me doing a great job makes me indispensable to the family, and is the reason I have had this job for two years. Regardless, I have to have a mature "can do" attitude if I want to remain employed and on good terms with my employers, I think that it's safe to say that's the case in any job. The moment this nanny decided to be unprofessional and handle job complaints in a passive aggressive manner, was the moment she kissed her job goodbye. Sounds like OP did what she could to let nanny go in a professional way and with severance to boot! I'm sure had the nanny in question sat down and handled her job complaints in a professional way and with grace, the OP might have been willing to make adjustments, or at least explain why adjustments were not possible at the moment and give a further date to reconsider. Moral of the story, act like a grown up in a professional job position and be treated as such..act like a child using passive aggressive means to get out of a commitment and get exactly what you bargained for and also acquire world wide fame as "that nanny" on isyn.