Departure Request

     Hi ISYN readers. I read this blog from way back. I am finishing my nanny career and my last nanny job. I have been with this family for nine months. I have worked for some truly amazing families in my time. I don't know if I would have stuck with this family for the full nine months if I didn't know I was gearing towards marriage and relocating to London with my new husband in May. My current employers asked of me a strange request. Would I write them a letter of reference that they could use for potential nanny candidates. They are going through an agency, I think it was at the agency behest.
      I'd like to leave on the best terms possible. My final day is May 14th.  I've never written one of these before. It would have been easier if it were one of my better employers. This employer wasn't awful, just not as wonderful to work for. This is what I have.

To whom it may concern:

For nearly a year I have lived in the immaculate and well kept home of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Blow and their children Jojo and Joe Blow. As a live in nanny, Mr. and Mrs. Blow were very respectful of my off time. Their nanny accommodations are very comfortable with many desirable amenities like direct TV, Wifi, and a home gym, situated near a lovely park and beach.

Having had nannies for the past nine years. Mr. and Mrs. Blow, they know precisely what they want their nanny set up to look like. Mr. and Mrs. Blow are very involved parents and prefer to be consulted about any deviation from the schedule. Mrs. Blow prefers to schedule the activities and play dates. Once you adjust to the fact that it is not up to you to plan activities, meals or direct academic work, you might relish the simpleness of this position. A full charge nanny might have some difficulty adjusting to the level of decorum expected of the nanny. At every occurrence, Mr. and Mrs. Blow went through great lengths to explain their child rearing philosophies and the reasons for their speficicities.

You will be hard pressed to find two nice children than JoJo and Joe Blow. They are well mannered, intelligent, kind hearted and creative leaders. They are quite competitive in the activities they are engaged in, but conduct themselves always with the most admirable integrity. Like their parents, Jojo and Joe Blow are ardent communicators. Their ability to share their thoughts and feelings will help you get through the newness of the situation. They will not leave anything up to question or wonder about which I have always found very helpful.

The family also has two small dogs that largely fall under the children's care. I have worked for many families with pets where I came to care for the animals or the care of the animals became a constant source of tension between myself and the children, but this is not the case here. The children are incredibly responsible, and lovingly dote on their animals, and feed and groom them without so much as a single reminder.

I hope that you enjoy working with Joe and Jojo as much I have. If you have any questions, please call me on my cell phone at 333-333-3333.


Will this work? Please let me know. It's the only one I have had to write in my nine years of nannying.


Me! said...

Hi. Sounds great, but the part about their communication and Mrs' planning ie control issues sound passive aggressive. It reads that you didn't like them. Just a heads up.

Beth Bartylla said...

I agree with the above comment, but I wouldn't cut it out completely, because it is important for the new hire to know, I would advise just rephrasing it.

Angi;30yr nanny said...

I agree, needs to be softened but not removed. This family is not one I wpuld personally want based on that section so it is important.

Angi said...

How about this:
Mrs. Blow will leave a complete schedule for activities and play dates, have planned meals detailed and academic work lined out for you.

Mr. and Mrs. Blow will thoroughly discuss their child rearing philosophies and the reasons for their speficicities. They want to make sure you wont be left wondering or have any concerns.

Me! said...

That reads better. I agree it shouldn't be removed, but an adjustment is needed as the Mom will pick up on the PA tone.

this_nick said...

It literally sounds like you hate them. Under no circumstances should you give them this letter in its current form. A letter of recommendation is meant to be just that - a recommendation. It is not a vehicle for airing the parts of the job you found less than ideal.

Try again, this time outlining the positive aspects of the job. Touch on the other aspects but in a positive or neutral way only. "The Blows are very involved parents. Mrs. Blow schedules all of the children's activities and playdates." The part about the nanny having trouble adjusting to the Blows' expectations for decorum, for example, is unnecessary. There are several times you bring up where a potential nanny might have difficulties, and that's not appropriate for this kind of letter. It is appropriate to say something like, "the Blows desire the same high level of decorum in their nanny that they conduct themselves with." It is okay to mention the employers' expectations; it is not okay to frame those expectations as potentially bad things. A prospective nanny can decide this for herself.

I don't know if any of this was helpful, but just remember - the objective here is recommending the employers, with accurate information about who they are and what they expect and offer. Any commentary about your past experiences with people's animals or your opinions that they could find some of the requirements problematic doesn't go in this kind of letter.

Good luck!