Nanny Horror Stories 2013, #1

I had been having a miserable time finding a summer nanny job to supplement my usual nanny job so when my boyfriend said he knew someone who was looking, I readily agreed. She was an old family friend.

The friend called me around 4:30 on a Friday to talk and invited me over that night for an interview. I eagerly went. Mind you it was 40 minutes from my house, but I was desperate. They liked me though they asked too many personal questions. Like were my parents divorced, how serious were my boyfriend and I, was I a troubled teen? Weird but I went with it. I was stuck at there house for 3 hrs while the mom told me (what I thought was) all the family secrets from her oldest stepson to her sons ban from summer camp for taking pics of other kids using the bathroom. I was also told I was a bad person for having a tattoo (of course subtly) Her kids are 8&13. Boy and girl, they have a pool. I'm planning on tanning and play dates with little girls, what an easy gig.

They offered me $250 for what I thought was 25 hours a week over 4 days.  (less than usual but its better than nothing).  I show up on my first day. I work an hour while mom stays home "getting ready". The kids watch tv or video games until she leaves at 10:30 (though there was no electronics during the day).  So I'm stuck talking to her for an hour while she drinks coffee and pries her way
into my personal life. Constantly prodding for info about the weekends and previous nights. (Mind you, I'm working 3 jobs so my social life was in the tanker...). She friend requests me on Facebook after my first day. Not okay, I didn't accept but she was friends with my boyfriend and anytime we were tagged together she could see my posts. (I know some people aren't opposed to this but
I was only 20 and didn't want that sort of relationship).

First of all, she NEVER left us money to do anything... Since there was a park nearby. The kids are 8&13, going to the playground when it's 100 degrees is no fun. We went on 5 outings over the 3 months I worked for them. And each time I was expected to "pay my way" on top of gas money. Mind you - money was not an issue for this family, since they just bought a $3000 pool filter and a boat. I took the kids and my boyfriend and a teen friend to the beach since mom said she would pay for everything... That morning the mom gave us $30 and told me to find free parking. (Anyone who lives in a metropolitan area knows there's no such thing as free parking). She left us 4 slices of bread and sliced fruit. When I said something about needing more money, I was belittled and teased about it in front of my boyfriend which wasn't ok.

Her cheapness rolled onto her kids who often asked too personal of questions about my finances and weird things. I often found myself being told by an 8 year old I was so mean and that she hated me and wished I wasn't her babysitter. Mom never helped me out with it. The little girl was favored over the son. Now if I was seeing this, it was obvious. Little girls friends could come for hours while
brothers friends had to leave and couldn't come in the house. Poor kid had to check in every hour with me in person so no one ever wanted to hang out with him. His parents would monitor his cell phone and question why he chose to hang out with his friends? He was expected to always do stuff with his sister though the little girl was mean and still interested in very childish things.  (At 13,
I just wanted to be with my friends all the time, not my little sister). Mom often got home late with no compensation or call or better yet, apology. I often worked closer to 30, 35 hrs a week which often made me late for other jobs. Aunt stayed over for a month and literally told me that she apologized for how her niece was treating me. Her friends all told me they wished their moms would let me be their babysitters and they didn't know why the girl was so mean.  The little girl was an awful friend, had no idea how to share and often said her mom didn't want her to share toys with her friends. I often found myself playing with an 8 year old who wasn't my charge. About a week before I finished the mom was upset that her son had 2 friends over, the limit was 1 but he said he'd okayed it with mom. Now it was 100+ degrees, I wasn't about to turn these poor boys away when we had an empty pool. The next day I texted mom asking if my charges could have friends over to swim which she responded in all caps ONLY ONE FRIEND. I lost my cool and told her I understood and didn't need her to send me a message in all caps. She never responded but had a big attitude when she relieved me for the day. I had come from a family where I'd watched 3 school aged kids who each brought over at least one friend everyday, I was totally capable of watching more than 4 school aged kids and to say I wasn't was quite insulting. On my last day, she was teasing saying how much I'll miss them as she handed me my money. I told her I was sure I wouldn't and left.

I was miserable for 3 months until I went back to school and working my regular nanny job (WHICH I LOVED). I also learned about all kinds of drug secrets of other relatives, including several relatives in jail, a creepy uncle who'd molested his own daughter, oh and here's the biggest Dad was a convicted felon. Needless to say, I wasn't asked back this summer. Though I was invited to come see the family in December which I declined.  I definitely appreciated my other charges much more and learned to never take a job out of desperation.  Much more happened but to remain confidential, I had to cut some parts out.
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Nanny S said...

In my experience, the bad families really make you appreciate the good ones.

Good for you seeing the means to the end, OP. You needed money, we've all been there.

And I hate when parents have rules that really don't make very much just one friend. Why?

RBTC said...

you have a good head on your shoulders - you know how to learn lessons and implement them!

nenanny said...

Sounds like a horrible experience.

But having different rules for each kid isn't always favoritism. In fact it makes sense that the 13 and 8 year old have different rules. Also parent's rules don't always need to make sense to us.

I'm nowhere near 20, but I agree with you about not being Facebook friends with your employer.

Glad you have a regular job you love, and if you need summer employment this summer I hope you have a great family to work for.

Bree said...

It would have been nice to be able to sit in the sun all day, but remember OP, being a nanny is a job.

Also, how weird that a 13 yr old would even want to be seen at a playground is beyond me. LOL.

Sounds like a truly horrible experience.
I am glad you made it out unscathed and I wonder who watched those kids the next summer.

I am glad you have a nice family as your primary family. ☺

Anonymous said...

You were stupid for taking the job. If you hated every moment of your interview, it's your own fault you hated every moment of working for them. Crap money isn't worth it.

redridinghood said...

To Anonymous - if you've never taken a job you didn't want for the simple reason that you needed the money, you've been lucky. I hate my current job, but it puts a roof over my head and that's why I haven't quit - because the only alternative is moving back home, and I'll never do that.

MissMannah said...

Gotta agree with Anonymous. Though I have the balls to attach my identity with my opinion.

As far as I can see, you ignored several red flags, many of which appeared before the job began. And you never stuck up for yourself. What did you expect?

Also, another thing that stuck out to me was that you need more than one job. If you work full-time, your job should provide you with a good living. If not, you are in the wrong job.

RBTC said...

you are not stupid at all Op - there are probably few mistakes you will make that all the rest of us have not made - maybe in the future this experience will save you from a worse experience! good luck!

Ugh! said...

Some people who comment on this blog should just go away. They make it almost unbearable to read or even post because they feel the need to knock others down in one way or another. They act like they never made mistakes or that some Op are just complete idiots because they made some mistakes. But I guess these posters are just kept around for entertainment purposes because I can't understand why they aren't banned by now. Especially since others have voiced their opinions about these individuals numerous times. It just doesn't make any sense. Anyways, glad you made it out OP. I know what it's like to be strapped for cash and taking a job quickly or for temp reasons. Good luck with your next job!

nannyinutah said...

All the crap they put you through and you lose it over an all caps text? I just found that funny.
This family sounds awful. I can't knock you for taking a crap job. I've done it and I get it. It sucks but sometimes there's no other option when bills need to be paid.

DBD said...

My advice is, when things are bad, start stealing. Coins, precious metals, jewelry. Pop jewels out of their settings and the bitches will think they just got lost. Theres lots you can do. I would never leave without getting vengeance and stuff.

Sprak said...

Martha Stewart is a convicte felon. That doesn't make someone a bad person.

Steph said...

You're rude! Some people take these jobs bc they have to or they're wanting to help someone out of the kindness of their heart. You don't know how a situation will turn out until you're in it. Who are you to judge?? You clearly lack composure and class. Think before you attack someone