Cannabis and the Nanny on I Saw Your Nanny
I am a NYC Nanny who lives out. I have my own apartment and a college degree. In January of this year, I started a new job for a professional family. The interview was quite formal. I supplied letters of references, which were stellar and from impressive employers. They asked me in the first interview if I would submit to a drug test. I said yes. I was called back for a second interview. I spoke on the phone and because I am who I am said, "I just want you to know I would have no problem taking a drug test at any time, but I do smoke cannabis on occasion, and any drug test would likely show a presence." I then went on to say that I would understand if she wished not to go fourth with the second interview and offered to end the call at that point so she could think about it. This was as to not put her on the spot.

She insisted that I come for the interview and we scheduled a date and time. I attended the interview and no mention at all was made of the smoking. The closest thing that came up is, "if you're somewhere and someone comes and sits by you who is smoking, please move". That wasn't so odd, since she also made very clear I should never take her children to certain areas in the city or ever take them in to a bank. Both parents were very nice, even laughed at themselves when they spoke about the things they were sticklers about. I left the interview hoping that I would get the job, but not thinking I would because the salary and benefits were at the very high end.

I was surprised when I got the phone call. They offered me the job. They asked me if I would be amendable to looking at the first week as a trial period meaning, that if it didn't feel right, we could say so and move on and I would be paid for the week. I thought that fair and agreed.

I started at the end of January. The mother was home the entire first day. The father most of the second. Gradually, I was alone with the children. The week was quite easy for a first week and the parents were very kind to me. I say kind because they had this quality that was really unusual in employers in that they wanted to make sure I understood, but that they weren't talking down, that they wanted to trust me do just about anything with the kids, but would still always want to know where I was, that they liked the kids to go out and do things and that would mean meals out and I should always feel welcome to get whatever I wanted, that they would make sure there was food in the house, but if there wasn't they would leave money. Just, really, really nice people. I was really excited to work with them. The kids always seem wonderful the first week, but they seemed genuinely so.

The week ended, and about three pm, the mother came up to me, thanked me for everything, paid me and told me that both she and her husband, as well as the kids were excited to have me and she looked forward to me working for them and hoped I was still interested. I said I was.

So I started work that following Monday. Things went swimmingly for the first month. I got used to the routine and the kids got to know my style. I picked up on what the parents liked and didn't as well as things I could do to make their lives easier. I'm good at what I do. The next month was even better, I was in a groove. Things began to feel very comfortable for me and they invited me to join them on their Spring Break. I had a contract, so the travel pay and accommodations were pre stipulated and to my liking.

I spent the weeks prior getting things ready for the family. Shopping for supplies, labeling and packing, and of course, getting myself ready for a tropical vacation in April. I bought bathing suits and shoes and went to the tanning salon. I was excited. The family gave me a Thursday off as we were due to leave that Friday. I used the day to finish packing. They were sending a car for me to get me to the airport by 600 AM on that Friday.

On Thursday afternoon at 235PM, I got a text message that said, "I'm sorry but 'Husband' and I spoke and we won't be sending a car for you tomorrow. We're going to go just ourselves." It hurt so bad, I think I gasped. I started to say that I didn't understand and then she said quickly, "and we no longer need your nanny services. We'll mail you a severance check and recommendation:" She hung up on me. I was shocked, ashamed, sad, scared and confused. It was horrible. I texted her and she texted me back, "please don't text me."

I felt like I didn't know what to do with myself. I stayed home for the next four days in a row, depressed and not talking to anyone. On Monday an envelope arrived with his work stationary. I opened the envelope. Inside was were three checks and a letter of reference. I wish I could share this letter with you because it only adds to my confusion. It's concise and accurate and glowing. The checks were dated one from that pay period ending on that Friday we would have left, one check marked severance that was two weeks of pay rounded up and a third check for $500 and in the memo it was marked, 'travel expenses'.

I'm sorry this is so long, but I  have racked my brain trying to think what I have done wrong. So wrong that she could not even talk to me, but that they gave me the reference. I called the agency and I told her what happened and she called the family to talk to them. She spoke to the mother who said that I was "an absolute delight", "wonderful with children" but it was a 'personal issue' and she would highly recommend both me and the agency. I was more or less advised to not contact them (I told her about my text) and just let it go with the reference and everything.

The only thing I can think of is that she didn't tell her husband about the fact that I said I smoked weed and then for some reason did. I don't know why this would have come up, I was never asked to take a drug test, so ????  I've already got a new job that I am starting the beginning of May, but I am still losing sleep over this! Anyone? What am I missing?

Puzzled by something going on at your job? Email


Nannyproblems said...

I had a nanny job that just ended very quick and confusing just like that. They still recommend me today to other people looking for a nanny and really haven't given me a reason why I was terminated. Who could have been the db did if d out about your smacking and it was nonnegotiable, it could have been a personal family reason, or anything...,who knows sometimes. Sounds very crazy that she doesn't want you to text and didn't explain anything but that's how it goes sometimes in the nanny world. If the parents are so paranoid they don't want thier children in banks then I could see it being am issue that you choose to smoke what you do sometimes.

Nanny S said...

You'll never know and you'll drive yourself crazy guessing. It could very well be the marijuana, or it could be a million other things. Maybe DB was attracted to you and he and MB had a private conversation about it. Maybe they were having financial troubles. Who knows. It sucks. The good thing is that the parents, despite their weird behavior, recognize that you did nothing wrong and aren't trying to pin anything on you.

And FYI, as a nanny who smokes occasionally as well, I would never ever admit it to a parent. My private life is my private life.

Justsaying said...

That was my first thought as well is that maybe db had a convo about how attractive the nanny is. Who knows, it could be many different factors. I feel like the op had to mention because she was asked in the interview about taking a drug tests. Although in my experience many families have asked in interviews if I would be open to random drug tests and I have said yes but none have ever actually asked me to take one.

AMom said...

Mu absolute first thought is that you are younger and prettier than the mom and the dad noticed this. Not saying the dad was going to hit on you or try to start anything with you, but, perhaps the mom got insecure about it all and decided not to have you around.

The pot smoking doesn't seem like the reason, at least IMO.

Also, I have never heard of anyone asking that their children never go into a bank?? Is that common? Is that because they are afraid of bank robberies? Sheesh, getting held up on the street is a hell of a lot more likely!

A Nanny said...

So sorry to hear that, OP.... try and just let it go & chuck it up as their loss. It literally could be anything from DB having an attraction to you to the kids possibly saying they didn't want you going on the trip/didn't like you. I agree with other posters that this is something you'll probably never know the real answer to.

nenanny said...

Maybe they are spies or in some sort of witness protection program, and had to get out of town quickly.

I've come to realize in this career employers behave strangely.

Truth is you'll never know. Be happy they've given you a great reference and that you've got a new job!

how do you solve a problem like maria said...

I think the best advice I have ever gotten was "in trying to understand someone who is crazy, you yourself become crazy". Sometimes, people are so illogical you just have to count your blessings and move forward! Hopefully also learning something from the situation. I think she probably did you favor in the long run. I honestly believe it had something to do with the Dad saying something about you (in a sexual manner) or the mom finding something (like a text the dad wrote to a friend about you). It also could of been something about the kids and your relationship that made the mom feel insecure. I know of a woman who is very intelligent and successful that gets a new nanny every 6 months to a year, because she feels threatened and doesn't want her child building close relationships with them.
Of course it hurts to feel rejected and hopefully with the new family you will get the respect you deserve:)
I think you will feel better with time.

Nay The Nanny said...

OP my goodness! My jaw totally dropped for you when I read the end of that...I am so sorry. No advice, sounds like you are probably right to assume it was the weed thing were upfront about it and they hired you anyway. It is crazy and so upsetting for you I can only imagine. Hopefully your next position will be wonderful, with no (negative) surprises.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. You said she sent you a text that they didn't need you but then you said she hung up on you?

MissMannah said...

Meh, chalk it up to one of life's great mysteries and enjoy the good reference.

I doubt it had anything to do with smoking weed, but in the future don't tell parents. It really is none of their business and it may cause them to look at you in a bad light. Plus I have never once had a drug test for a nanny job. Are they really that common?

nenanny said...

I don't know if it's common ,but in my area many of the higher end agencies require them.

VA Nanny said...

I had to get a drug test for my last job. It wasn't required by the agency, but the family required it.

Kristen said...

It could be ANYTHING...most likely not the pot issue, IMO. Try not to let it bother you and move on.

OP said...

I appreciate your comments. This whole things is making me feel so ugly and low, in part because I was feeling so good about myself.

When I got the first text, I called her right away. She answered. When I replay it in my head, I almost feel like she was forced to answer the phone. That's why I think it was the husband. Almost like she had better handle this. She didn't want to talk to me and ended the call with a hang up and I tried again to text her and then she told me not to text her.

It still feels like a really bad break up. I wish this next job started sooner so I could occupy myself with it. Part of me is just ready to wake up feeling better. I don't think I have ever felt so insecure. I wonder about everything like was I too in to being a nanny? Am I one of those people who has body odor that I don't know about? Did they google me or something and get someone else's information? The not knowing is so awful.

Nanny26 said...

First off, like most break ups, you might never get the answers you are looking for. Secondly, you need to realize that even having the answers won't make you feel any better. In my experience, when the family doesn't even let you say goodbye to the children, it is a pretty major issue that has come up.

You can try writing the family a letter, asking for an explanation, but if they had wanted to do so, they probably would have given you one already. You could try the agency once more, letting them know that you feel this experience could negatively impact your future employment. Again, though, they might not even know what happened or could possibly be bound by their contract with the family to not disclose their reasons.

Again, going with the breakup analogy, time and a new relationship will ease your pain. You sound like a very conscientious person who cares a lot about your job. The next family will be lucky to have you. It is your former family's loss.

Siriusly_James said...

Good references, everything paid, firing you just before a swimsuit-vacation and not wanting to talk about sounds as if DB (or MB, heh) is attracted to you.

devil'sadvocate said...

I'm gonna get totally stoned here (no pun intended) but am I the only one who thinks it is completely inappropriate for a nanny (or anyone for that matter) to engage in an illegal activity such as drug use? OP, do you live in a state where use of marijuana is legal? Do you have a medical condition which requires the use of medicinal marijuana?
This situation sucks for you and I applaud you for being honest but it really sounds like DB had an issue with the weed. I can't say I blame him though.

Nanny S said...

devil'sadvocate, It's my opinion that as long as recreational drug use doesn't affect work performance, people have a right to their private lives. That said, I would never admit something like that to an employer. It's also been my experience that people who want things like a drug check and credit check--checks that aren't routine and don't directly relate to the job, aren't people I have any interest in working for anyway.

cambridge momof3 said...

Hi OP,
What they did to you was wrong. You were more forthright about using marijuana than you ever had to be, but they still went forwards. They involved you in their home and allowed their children to develop connections to you. You sound like someone who liked her job and those kinds of nannies are the best and are loved by their children until death, and usually by the families too. Maybe it was one offhand comment from a kid like, "why cant Mary be my mom"

Im writing this quickly so forgive the typos but I was a mother returning to work once. I felt I had to do it for my career, which I had invested eight years of school. I stayed home until my youngest was 1 and oldest was three and starting a PT pre K program. I interviewed 28 nannies. 28!!!

I found the one I wanted. I was worried about going back to work. The kids took to her quickly, it made me feel unvalued. Their days were soon filled with all kinds of adventures that would be memories that the children would recall when they were sixty. I was jealous and for all the wrong reasons because I had made a commitment to my career and profession. I sabotaged my relationship with the nanny because I felt easily expendable as a mother. I drove the nanny away and let me tell you, the four months she was with our family, I had the most seamless, organized, dependable care any mother could hope for and HAPPY CHILDREN! Her skills and personality are unmatched. Since then we've had good nannies, but what a struggle and expense to find them. I even hired a nanny trainer, because so many seemed full of promise but unable to deliver what I wanted.

So, just imagine that it was the mother and she had a human experience that rattled her. The fact that she didn't want to talk to you may not have to do with being mad at you, just not wanting to explain or maybe just feeling bad about how it ended. I promise you this, she will have regret, you will go on.

I can picture you handling things well, maybe too well. If I could have turned back time, I would have laughed at myself and embraced this nanny and celebrated her on a daily basis. But really, how would that end? We'd be dependant on her, the kids would love her and eventually she would leave and there would be heartbreak.

Our current nanny has worked for ten or so families and has some great stories. One things she shared with me is that crappy nannies and crappy employers never get hurt. They don't stick around or invest enough to get hurt. For the good nanny, and the good family, eventually we will lose.

Cherish the days you spend with good people who appreciate you.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...


I am a little confused about the part where you said the mother texted you, then you said she hung up on you, then texted you again. I don't get did you both communicate ONLY via text, or was there some actual phone conversation involved??

Anyway, I think it was VERY wrong for this mother to blow you off completely at the last minute. Literally. She was very inconsiderate to do so w/out giving you adequate notice.
AT LEAST, she did reimburse you financially however.

I think what happened is that she either talked to her husband, a family member or a friend and let it be known that you smoke weed. Someone must have told her having a nanny who smokes marijuana is not a good idea and after thinking about it some more, she changed her mind about you.

On a personal note, I would not hire a nanny who smokes weed, but I would be honest and upfront w/you from the get~go. For her to string you along and all of that, shows she is beyond flakey. I think you dodged a bullet here. This family does not take other's feelings into consideration very well + think that by paying someone out, that makes everything okay. It does NOT.

I wouldn't worry too much about them.
I am glad you got a position lined up for next month.

I think it's kinda weird that you are being represented by a nanny agency, yet you openly admit you use an illegal drug.

I thought you had to be drug~free to work for an agency.

Anyhow, sorry this happened to you and I wish you the best in your future position.

Have a great weekend!! ~

rjcnanny03 said...

Quit the weed, seriously. You are supposedly a "professional" nanny, and professionals with real jobs do not engage in illegal activity. That's the truth - it's not like having a couple of drinks with friends for "recreation". Pot is an illegal substance, and you admit to using it with some regularity. I'm shocked they hired you in the first place - I know I would not, if I were a parent. Engaging in regular, illegal behavior as an adult shows very poor decision-making on your part, and I would not want someone who makes such poor decisions around my children.

DwiteShrewt said...

@ rjcnanny03 Apparently you don't watch/read the news much. Weed is legal in at least 3 states for recreational use and legal in many other states for pain management. I don't smoke weed (I don't live in any of the states where it is legal for any reason) but I don't believe in telling other adults what to do with themselves in their free time. Do you really think she is going to stop smoking weed because YOU don't think it's a good thing to do? Hop down off the soap box and bone up on your current events.

Bethany said...

OP, I do not why they decided to let you go. It could have been the drug use or something else. You will never know.

I know it will be hard by encourage you not to dwell on it it will only eat you up inside and possibly cause you problems in your future job(s)

Look at the positive you have a great reference from them and a new job lined up.

Bethany said...

To the other discussion:

The agencies I work with have a policy against the use of drugs.

I've had potential employers request a drug test.

Dr. Juris said...

Actually, while it is "decriminalized" (which ISN'T the same thing as not illegal) in those states, the federal government still preempts state law...and the federal government classifies it as illegal and growing it, smoking it, selling it, or even carrying it as a criminal act.

A Nanny said...

Just because something is illegal doesn't make it automatically 'bad' and just because something is legal doesn't make it automatically 'good.' Cigarettes are legal but smoking them around her charges would be toxic. People 'recreationally' drink to the point of blackouts every day. As long as she's not going to work high or in any way endangering her charges, her weed smoking really is none of their business. It's a stressful job and everybody has a vice.

A Nanny said...

PS @rjcnanny03, I used to work for a professional who engaged in the very illegal act of mixing red wine and prescription drugs every day, and know several high-level professionals that are functioning cokeheads./drug addicts Look at Wall Street- generally 'professionals with real jobs' are the people MOST involved in illegal activity. Tone the disdain down.

Jojo near is gallopi said...

i'm not a thief but I do take any bill rolled up left with coke residue in it. I toss the magazines, lysol the tables,.windex the surface & pocket the cash. it's a public hazard

Amy said...

I think it was the drug use. Next time, don't admit to it or even better don't do it.

♫ Selena said...

Even if your state lets you legally smoke marijuana, Federal law says it is illegal. And sorry to say, but Federal law takes precedence over State law. So if the Feds catch you growing or using weed, you can face penalties. Both State and Federal law prohibit the buying + selling of pot.

To the poster who says the OP can do what she wants in her own time, I disagree.

In the job market today, many companies require a drug test prior to hire. Even some minimum wage paying jobs require a clean drug test before they offer you a position. So regards to what you do in your "off" time, it DOES matter...No argument there.

Honestly, OP...your story had some holes in it.
When corresponding with your MomBoss, you initially stated you guys were texting, then you said that she hung up on you, then you reverted back to text messaging again. How can that be? How can someone hang up on a text message?!

you state that you are registered with a professional nanny agency, yet you are very open about your drug use.
How can that be?
I find it hard to believe that a nanny agency would send a registered and professional nanny to a family who openly admits to using a controlled substance.

I don't think this story is 100% true.

It just doesn't add up.

A Nanny said...

Everyone saying her story had holes obviously didn't read the comment section, where she clarified:

'When I got the first text, I called her right away. She answered. When I replay it in my head, I almost feel like she was forced to answer the phone. That's why I think it was the husband. Almost like she had better handle this. She didn't want to talk to me and ended the call with a hang up and I tried again to text her and then she told me not to text her.'

And I've worked for agencies in the past, none of which required a drug test. It's not that hard to believe. She said she was open to prospective clients but I'm sure she uses some discretion with who she shares that info with. You guys are bullying the OP. And no, I'm not the OP.


I agree with Selena. I would not want my nanny using drugs, recreational or otherwise! You are caring for children not sitting in front of a computer all day in a office.

katydid said...

The word bullying gets thrown about way to easily.

It is not bullying to disagree with a person's choices.

It is not bullying to believe those choices do not demonstrate the best judgment.

It is not bullying to state what your experience with drug use and drug testing policies has been.

It is not bullying to accurately state the law of the land.

It is not bullying for a parent to express they would not hire a nanny that uses drugs.

It is not bullying to question the facts of the story.

The OP is free to use drugs in her spare time and parents are free to let her go when they discover her drug use.

I do not know if they drug use was the reason they decided to terminate employment. The only way she'll know is to ask them which I would not recommend. OP should enjoy her time off and hopefully her next position will have a happier ending.

Justsayin said...

I agree with katydid...I don't see anyone bullying the op. if someone posts something asking an opinion or what do we think about something then it's not fair to say we are bullying just because we are stating our opinion, she asked to we think the drug use is what caused the termination so answering that yes you shouldn't do that is n bullying. Come on, what's the point of the site if everyone agrees about everything and no one is allowed to state thier opinions. If anyone even as much as asks a question to the ops or questions something in a post the bullying police come out. It's silly.

A Nanny said...

Everyone is allowed to state their opinion on why she got fired, of course. But the numerous comments accusing her of making up the story, even after she clarified what happened, and preaching with a holier than thou attitude were unsavory. That's just my opinion. *shrugs*

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

@A Nanny:

I think it is irresponsible that you are throwing around the buzz word {no pun intended} of the moment.

No one is "bullying" the OP.
We are just stating that there are some holes in the story. Or that we do not agree w/what she is doing.
Isn't this what makes this blog so interesting? Can you imagine if everyone on here thought EXACTLY the same. This blog would die a very slow death. Yawn!!

There are some of us who do not think it is a good idea to disclose to a potential employer that you use an illegal drug. Is that really so hard to believe?

W/the job market being "slim pickings" these days, it just doesn't make sense to tell a potential employer that you do something illegal in your free time.

We are just giving the OP some constructive advice since she feels so bad that this happens. We don't want her to be in this position again.

A Nanny said...

The blog WAS dying a very slow death, and some of the reasons why included accusing OPs of lying and some commenters preaching to them like the OPs were the enemy and those commenters knew everything about nannying. I was here, I saw it. Maybe I'm overly sensitive as a longtime reader but I stand by my statements that some of the later comments erred on the side of obnoxious.

riderthenanny said...

I am a nanny and I smoke pot maybe every three months at my friend's place. I don't smoke it in front of the kids or even in the family's house. It doesn't affect my work. I'm not hurting anyone. No, I don't think it is appropriate OR inappropriate for me to smoke pot, I think it is none of anyone else's, including my employer's, business. I have a life outside of being 'the nanny'. It's not as if I'm doing something like shoplifting or drifting around roundabouts in my mate's sports car. As for what I'd say to the OP: It sucks to be let go just like that. It sounds like there was poor communication in that employer/employee relationship, which can be a common problem with some nannies/parents. I can understand it being very sad that you aren't allowed to see the children anymore, and that you were looking forward to the holiday, but: You were given a glowing reference. Employers don't give glowing references for nothing. You must have been doing something right! Here's hoping for a bright future with your new family!