Alcohol and the New Nanny

Today I came home and smelled alcohol on our nanny's breath. This is not the first time I've thought I could detect something but today I was able to confirm when she left the room that she definitely had vodka in her Mountain Dew. I don't know when she drank it, though my wife and I don't know any reason it would be okay.  We will be confronting her on Sunday (Mother's Day).

Question:  Is there any justifiable reason we shouldn't fire her on the spot? 
Our daughter is four months old.  Our nanny has worked for us less than a month and does a fantastic job for us. She is a live-in.

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BKmommy said...

I would let her know what you found (vodka in her soda), inform her that its unacceptable, and then fire her on the spot. This is a work environment, not a bar.

Belle Vierge said...

You say that she's live-in. When you smelled the alcohol on her breath, was this during or shortly before/after when she was on duty? Then I agree, you should absolutely fire her.

If, however, this was during her time off, I would discuss with your wife how you feel about her drinking alcohol during her free time. I had two live-in jobs in the past, and I consumed alcohol when I wasn't working. My bosses didn't mind what I did on nights/weekends when I was free.

MissDeeHasALifeAgain said...

Belle Village is right. There are certain liberties a L/I has, such as personal time. I have never been a L/I and the way I understand it, a nanny with this type of arrangement can come and go as she pleases, providing she is adhereing to guidelines setforth by herself and M and DB. What she does on her off time is her business.

You say you could smell the vodka on her breath. She had to have been drinking it straight from the bottle, and if that's the case, she would've dummped a significant amount of soda out in order to accomodate the vodka, which she would have been drinking pure alcohol that can be smelled with ease. Did she mix a small amount of vodka? You can still smell it, in a faint dose.

"'When she left the room'". Like Bella said, was this on her off time? Was she dressed up, as if she was ready for an evening out with friends? Perhaps she had a drink while getting ready. Nothing wrong with that. If this was on her off time, and you and MB told her she could do as she pleases with respect to your household, I don't believe there is a problem here.

On the other hand, if she is getting hammered while on the clock, then I would sit her down and talk with her. At my current center, we had a teacher drinking on the job. I don't know how she was busted, but she ended up fired (Thank God) for that and other things. I never liked her anyway. lol Another teacher had questionable drug use, as she was always eating, sleeping (both on break and on the clock) frequent use of the bathroom and doing weird stuff. Her calling in was unbelievable. We had a theft problem that stopped once she was fired.

Without more information, I don't know what to make of this post.

Anonymous said...

I sent in this post. Here's the story....

She was 'on the clock' when I smelled the liquor. I disagree with the post that she had to be drinking straight from the bottle. I can detect the slightest hint of vodka. I used to consume gallons in college. :)

When I got home (early I might add), I changed and took the baby from her. Right after that handoff, she got very physically close to me while I held my daughter and she was talking to her. I caught a whiff. I knew immediately the smell. She went downstairs right after that and I located her 'water' bottle which I could see (it is clear) had Mt Dew in it. I unscrewed the cap and took a smell. Vodka.

We know vodka is her drink of choice because she's told us. We have no issues with her drinking 'off hours'.

This is not the first time I've smelled this odor at the point of hand-off. I've talked myself out of it, telling myself it's probably toothpaste or something else. This time it was clear to me.

Also interestingly, she recently was hospitalized with cellulitis. And what's one of the risk factors with that infection? Alcoholism.


Megan said...
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♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...
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The nanny named bear said...
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MissMannah said...

Yes, fire her and don't look back. I'm also glad you came back and clarified she was definitely watching the baby when she was drinking.

I laughed so hard about drinking on the job being a mortal sin. Seriously? This woman cannot possibly be forgiven and make it into heaven?

Bethany said...

Yes you should let her go and immediately.

It does sound like she may have a drinking problem, but that's not your burden to deal with.

RBTC said...

you are a very reasonable person, your post is very interesting, of course you must let her go for the sake of your child

is there anything at all you can do to get her into rehab? That may be too much to ask, are clearly handling this with compassion - let us know what happens

Kristen said...

If she was working, she should absolutely be fired. If she's over 21 and it was her off time, it's none of your business, same as in any other job.

Siriusly_James said...

OP, I'm very glad to see that you came back and clarified that she was working while drinking. That is NOT okay, not at all. I don't care what the excuse is, you should sit her down, explain to her what happens, give her the adress and phone number of nearest rehab center, and fire her. Don't look back. If se doesn't go into rehab, not your problem. Fire her for the sake of your child.

I'm also glad you haven't jumped to conclusions but found out that it wasn't toothpaste or the like (take me, I have this special organic 'juice' that I drink when I have a cold. It helps, and it smells like alcohol to me, even though there's no alcohol in it. I have brought that bottle to work a few times to show it to parents so they will know that's why I smell weird).

/This from a live-in nanny who has a glass of wine with MB and DB every night ;)

NanaDarling said...

I had a boss once who told me I could have a beer if I wanted while working. I never did because it never really felt right. And when I went on vacation with my current family, I was do to be on baby duty at let's say 5:00 and downed the rest of my beer in front of them at like 4:55 and they didn't have an issue with it.

It could be she's used to a more lenient setting (assuming, of course, she doesn't have to drive/take the baby anywhere outside of the home) in which case I would give her one more chance, if she does the fantastic job you say, but make it crystal clear you do not want her consuming alcohol while on the clock. If she messes up again, give her the boot.