What's my obligation here?

Hi, Long time reader, first time poster here.

      I have been a nanny for four years but out of work for three months before I got hired here eight weeks ago. I finally found a job worth getting out of bed for. I make the kind of pay you upper east side bitches want to pretend that upper west side ladies aren't paying out. I don't know how I could legally make as much money as I'm making. Are you getting that I don't just want any advice but the kind of advice that is going to help me keep my job?

    So the DC I care for are under five. The father is older and has older children from a previous marriage. He is pleasant, but aloof, and keeps long hours. Boss Lady is close to my age, runway gorgeous and down to earth. She is a stay at home Mom, but very busy and an entrepreneur. The older children are all over 18, so they come by from time to time because they all go to school in the city. One of the kids, the middle child, comes over often. I know sometimes one or two of the adult kids will stay for the weekend. They have rooms for this and both parents and the children I nanny for seem happy to see the kids.

     The problem is this older sibling. He pops in all the time. Sometimes he pops in between classes and because of the ages of the DC, we are often home. He always pops in and plays with the kids a bit. He's not unpleasant. But, he does always eat here. He loves to come and make sandwiches. And he doesn't clean up after himself. It's bad. He leaves a mess everywhere he goes. It's not my job to clean up after anyone but myself and the children when I make lunch for them. I started cleaning up after this kid because I didn't want to leave the messes for my employers. And of course, there is downtime in the day and I have the time to clean it up, especially since the kitchen is the central part of the house, and seeing his mess would be unavoidable. I haven't been here that long but he is starting to bug me. One of the reasons I clean up after him is that I don't want the parents to think that the mess was left by someone else. Now, the mother knows he comes by (but I don't think how often). She has cleaned up after his messes. I have noticed that he also takes food with him when he leaves. I don't understand why because cant believe he lives like a regular college student.
    Sometimes he will take things like fresh jellies, cupcakes, bread. Other times he will take mustards, meats, even frozen steaks. He takes coffee because they have a specialty coffee system. I love the coffee machine. But I feel like if he's sneaking off with ten cartridges in his duffel, then I can't have two cups in a day. I want the parents to know that it isn't me eating all of this food. Some of the stuff he takes isn't even food, it's like laundry soap or Clorox wipes or ski goggles. I would rather clean up after him if I could just out this kid for all the food he is eating. I work a nine hour day and I am afraid to eat any food because what if they think all that is gone is food I have eaten? I've even seen him grab subway tokens and a ten dollar bill from the jar where my boss leaves petty cash. That's another thing, she told me when she hired me that she would always make sure there was plenty of cash in this particular jar and I should "just try to get receipts when possible". I make sure it is possible. I always get receipts, but what if they think money is missing? I feel I'm damned if I do say something and damned if I don't. There are lots of times I am out with the kids, so what worries me even more is what he takes when I am not there!
Tricky Situation? Email and get the advice you need.


Casey said...

Just be honest and tell them because you don't want them to think you're doing it. They most likely know it's him because he probably did the same thing way before you got there. Ease your anxiety and inform them.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

OP you have absolutely no option here but to tell your bosses. You can do it in a manner w/out sounding like you are ratting him out.

Just let your bosses know that this middle child comes in often and that he takes money, food and other items.
Let your bosses know the only reason you are letting them know this is because you do not want them to think you are taking these items.

Add that he eats in the kitchen too and always leaves a mess.
Say that you have cleaned up after him on numerous occasions and just think it is high time he learned to clean up his own messes.

Sure, the middle child may get a little peeved that you told his parents. But look at the alternative here.
If you keep your mouth shut and say nothing, they may secretly think you are stealing from them, eating a LOT of their food as well as making messes in the kitchen.

I am not by nature a confrontational person, however in this situation you bet I would say something!!

Good Luck!
Keep us posted OP and let us know how things went.

NannyA said...

Yes, tell the parents in a way that you're not snitching on big bro' . Also don't come across as a complete snot and pompous ass as you did in your first paragraph! "Are you getting.....blah blah. You sounded like my spinster school teachers back in England!

weird alison said...

you want to keep your job?
Don't say anything.

nenanny said...

Lovely attitude, OP! Geesh!

I'm glad you found your "dream job" , but your first paragraph is very off putting.

If you sense that your employers believe it's you taking the food and other household items, or if he is not leaving enough money in the jar for the your outings with your charges speak up.

If not leave it alone. They probably know.

As for the mess. Stop cleaning it. If they ask why tell them about the son, and they can figure out how to deal with it.

Nanny S said...

Agreed with the former posters- the key is to create some transparency in a light hearted way. Something like, "Hey MB, I've noticed a few things that Brother is doing and just wanted to let you know in case you weren't already aware. I don't want you to think it's me. He does x, y and z, and sometimes even takes cash out of the cash jar. That really concerns me because I don't want you or DB to think I'm pocketing a few extra dollars. He also makes messes and doesn't clean up after himself and I end up cleaning up after him."

I wouldn't say, "I won't be cleaning up after him any longer", just stop doing it and next time he comes by, ask him to clean up his own mess. If he doesn't, leave it and at the end of the day when you give the run-down to the parents, just inform them whose mess it is and say good night.

Also, your attitude from the first paragraph is quite off-putting.

MissMannah said...

I don't really see any problem here. Have the parents made any comments about you eating too much or about the petty cash jar? If not, I doubt they'll start. You even said the mom has seen her stepson take food and make a mess. So they probably know it is him taking the stuff and not you. I think you're being paranoid. And if you don't want to clean up after him, don't do it. He's a teenager, tell him to clean up his own messes. It's really not a big deal.

Manhattan Nanny said...

I understand your concern about all the things he is taking without asking, especially the money. It may be that he only does that when you are there in the hope that they will think it was you. I would talk to momboss and just make it clear that you don't want any misunderstanding about it.
As for the mess, he is one of the kids in the family. He should clean up after himself, but since he isn't your charge, I wouldn't make an issue of it. Clearly his stepmom doesn't care. If it really bothers you, speak to him.

Stacey Just Stopped By said...

I wouldn't worry about big brother stopping by to help himself. Document all the details in the daily log. If asked why you note funds and groceries gone you can simply say that you track everything left in your care so that you can answer any questions asked. Clean the mess. If MB does, you do too. If he escalates to major messes or messes in other areas, THEN you have the conversation.

Really? said...

Metrocards replaced subway tokens. It is little things like this that make me think some of the posters make up stories. Anybody else feel that way? Oh yeah, and the opening lines.

chelsea mama said...

I get subway tokens, a bag of ten for $15. I also get day passes for $5 a piece. Mostly, the tokens work better to have on hand for household errands for the housekeeper. Yes, they do exist.

Anonymous said...

no... you don't. subway tokens have been depreciated in the NYC subway system for TEN YEARS. you can't use them and you can't buy them. and day passes have been discontinued for two years... are you rip van winkle?

this blog and its commenters are both really... odd.