Tuesday

Fallout from the Buttrash

     Last week, my single mother boss was out of town. The second morning I was there, I was getting the three year old dressed and noticed a blister like rash that was located in her intergluteal cleft. I had not seen it before, she is potty trained, so I called her mother. Her mother asked me to send her a picture. I said I wasn't comfortable with that. She then texted me back kind of nasty saying, "I'm not there, you're telling me she has a strange rash, I need to see a picture, send me a picture." I still wasn't comfortable with that. She texted me again and said, "You are being absurd. I'm 2,000 miles away. I called X, the NP, bring her in at 11:30.  I did just that. It turned out it was the necessary call as the child was given oral antibiotics to take for 7 days and it cleared up.

     After the doctor visit, I texted hand told her what the NP said, the cause, etc. This was 4 very full and detailed text messages that I took care to type without shorthand, including RX information, dosage, when I would pick up the RX and planned to give first dose. I didn't receive any response, but didn't think that much of it.
     My boss was due to come home Thursday. She spoke to her children on the phone per the usual and asked me for updates. Only in retrospect did I realize her tone was cold. She came home Thursday, went to work Friday and I was off for the weekend. On Sunday I received an email from my boss that really upset me.
   

     On Monday morning, I showed up to work, pissed off, but I was polite and she didn't say anything. She was colder than usual. I emailed this back to her Monday morning.
     Last night she came home and didn't even greet me. She talked to the girls and not me. I said "Goodnight everyone, see you tomorrow." The girls said good-night. I came in this morning, as always on time. She said, "I'm completely late" and ran out the door. The way she said "I'm completely late" was accusatory. I was there five minutes before the time I am supposed to start. She hasn't responded to my email. What did I do wrong? Do I need to just ask her to pay me tonight for the week and be done with this? I know it isn't fair to the girls but she isn't thinking of them. If she was, she'd appreciate the level of care they receive. I am really hurt and angry to be treated like this. I have been here for 7 months!
    Help? Advice?

50 comments:

on mom's side said...

Nanny is out of line. It wouldn't fall anywhere near the boundaries of child porn, if that's what she was worried about. She works for the mom. If her conviction were so strong not to send the photo and not following the mom's (legal, reasonable, legitimate) wishes, she should also feel good about walking off that job.

Heidi said...

I actually completely understand the nanny not taking the photo, and I believe the mom should too. Called the nurse is the only reasonable thing to do in that situation, anyway. She should know that you did everything right, and the reason you didn't do what she asked was not because you don't respect her, but because you felt it was wrong. I would have done the same thing.

Give it a week, and if things haven't cleared up, then consider finding a new position. Yes the mom is the boss, but this is what you do for a living, therefore you know what you are doing.

Anonymous said...

I was in a similar situation once and i immediately send a picture to the mother who by the way was a doctor - I do not see the issue here and why this woman did not want to follow the mothers direction - I will fire her on the spot just based on bad judgement and inability to follow direction - you are sending a picture to the mother not some pedophile -
This nanny is way confused and I think she did this on purpose, to control and manipulate the mother.

this_nick said...

The child had a medical issue, and the parent was thousands of miles away. She pays you to be there to do things like give her the information about your child that she wants. She wanted to see the rash, probably to see how it compared to past ones the child may have had. You were insubordinate, as well as wasted her valuable time making her go back and forth with you. If you are unable to photograph a child's medical issue per the parent's instruction, you need to be up front about that in future job interviews so a parent isn't left dangling with an uncooperative caregiver from two thousand miles away.

As for this situation, it may not be salvageable as anything but an aloof working relationship, because this mom now sees you as high maintenance (you're supposed to be there to make her life easier and in this instance you did the opposite.) You take good care of the child which is the most important thing, but if she keeps you on the working relationship may never be warm because it's clear from her missive that she will never forget what she feels you out her through.

If you want to salvage things your best bet is to do as she asked and apologize, and explain why you were unable (and would continue to be so) to do as she asked. Honestly, as you've indicated you're unwilling to change your decision-making in the future, I'm guessing she's already looking for your replacement, so you should already be looking for your next gig, too.

this_nick said...

-about *her* child, not your

OH PLEASE! said...

I believe the nanny is totally the one in the wrong in this situation. It is not considered child pornography to photograph a picture of the child's butt to show the mom the rash. As a nanny I've taken pictures of my charges when they are half or completely naked or in their swimsuits (playing with water, sitting in a bubble bath, swimming, running around in diapers, playing in just their underwear in the mud, etc) and shared them with the parents with no hesitation. 99% of these pictures are cropped/ have bubbles strategically place as to make them a bit more appropriate, and again, the PARENTS are the only people who receive these pictures, but there is no way any of these pics could be considered inappropriate. This nanny is making a mountain out of a mole hill and I would probably consider finding a new nanny.

this_nick said...

-what she feels you *put* her through

I give up!

Nan said...

I wouldn't have taken this picture either. I would have explained to the mom why I was uncomfortable, but no way would I take this picture!

Anonymous said...

Those blaming the nanny have obviously never seen the news articles about parents who lost court cases and or custody of their kids for bare bottom pics. I wouldn't risk my job/reputation over a rash. Nanny is right!

Anonymous said...

I'm with the nanny on this one. I understand tge mom. But nanny did the right thing...

Anonymous said...

I am a nanny and I would not take the picture either!

Anonymous said...

Yep agree , I wouldn't take the pictures as well. Some people may not know but whenever you erase a picture, it's actually not erased but saved somewhere in a server. This is how hackers steal private pictures from celebrities or pedophiles steal pictures of naked children.

Alternatively , I would have a Skype session with the mother to show her the rash but I would never take a child's intimate parts in picture, this is simply not ethical.

Lacy said...

Lets play out a worse case sinario if she had taken the photo...

Mom got the pic, felt it had to much extra skin, nanny is fired and charged with child exploitation.

Nanny took the pic sent it to mom. Nannies phone goes missing with the pic still in it. Nannies phone gets found by the local pedophile. Now Nanny is the bad guy for having the pic in the first place.

As a nanny we have to be hyper diligent about everything. This is our career on the line. I've had children unbuckle while driving (8-11) I always pull over and demand the re-buckle; I got in trouble once for the kid being late to tutoring... but when I explained what happened the child got in trouble. If a cop had seen I could have been in major trouble!!

Anonymous said...

Yes! A thousand times yes! All it takes is one vindictive person to ruin a nannys life or livelihood. Again no job is worth this! Explain to the parents that you care but cannot take such an image. What if phone is stolen, hacked, lost? What if the mom in a moment of anger accuses the nanny of something horrific?

team nanny said...

She's power tripping. If your actions (which I understand) would have prevented a diagnose or dr appointment, that would have been one thing. But what harm came of this?
Employer sounds like an asshole

Ali said...

MB can't even spell proceed. Lol. You should continue to proceed to be cautious in this cold and dangerous world. You should also proceed to find a new job.

Me! said...

Ok! First off, I agree 100 Billion times with the nanny. No way should she have photographed a child's naked bottom. Teens have been charged with distributing child pornography for sending naked images of themselves! Second: I would never tell a Mom/Boss that she must be feeling guilty for being a 'working mom'. That's just disrespectful. In the first email, I would have explained WHY I didn't want to take a picture. The mom obviously misunderstood your reasoning for not being comfortable. Did you actually spell it out for her and tell her why you were uncomfortable? A little polite explanation goes a long way. This relationship may not be salvageable, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

The nanny in this instance is completely right. I am a childcare provider of 25 years and you don't text pics like that.

Seamom said...

I agree with the nanny on not wanting to take the photo but think that the line in her email about her "guilt as a working mother" is hitting below the belt.

angi said...

This would have between within legal right to take the photo. It is not illegal nor child porn when the picture is of a medical issue. Do a search for "child rash" and you will find many pics of naked kids (blurring integral parts) that are perfectly legal.

melissa said...

The nanny should have taken the photo. It didn't even need to be a picture of the entire butt, just the rash. I had to take a pic of a healing circumcision once for my MB and text it to her since she was out of town. I admit it felt a little bizarre, but it was necessary. I even mentioned how odd it felt to take the pic, and we both had a laugh about it. As a mother, I understand where the mother is coming from. Also, mentioning that as a single mother she must have guilt was way out of line. I'm sure the coldness has so much more to do with that than anything else. The nanny should have apologized to her face and expressed any concerns she'd felt to her instead of emailing. The nanny is out of line.

this_nick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oh for Goodness sake! said...

I really hope those of you erroneously giving LEGAL advice will NEVER have to face the consequences of your mistaken information. The nanny isn't a DR/Nurse/Medical professional. She can/would face legal issues in regards to photographing a sensitive nude body part. There are tons of stories out there. I will always err on the side of caution. And would not under any circumstances do this. Not risking my reputation/career over a mom's insistence that she see the image right away. I'll gladly take the child to a DR/ER so they can gather medical records.

angi said...

While I am not a lawyer, I work in this sort of field. I am a specialty nanny working with special needs, nannying during divorces, adoption adjustments and sensitive situations that involve lawyers, guardian ad litems, social workers and intermedians. No one said to take a picture of an entire area but a close up of a medical situation is not considered illegal.

this_nick said...

"Tons of stories"? Can you cite any in which a caregiver was charged for photographing a medical issue for a parent?

Danish Nanny said...

I really don't get why you wouldn't take the photo? Can someone explain it to me?

FGS said...

To Nick & Angi I don't have stories of nannies. Maybe PP does, but I HAVE seen news stories of parents losing custody of their child for bath time bare bottom pics. At the end of the day, it's all about the level of risk each Nanny/Caregiver is willing to personally take. You're willing to take that chance? Great! Do you! This poster wasn't willing to and is ok with losing a job over it. I wouldn't even consider taking such an image. Also my choice. I'm so sick of nannies jumping on each other. There are lots of things other nannies do that I wouldn't and vice versa. And Angi, a real attorney would tell you not to give legal advice on the internet. You don't know that it wouldn't cause her legal troubles.

dana richard said...

I do feel as though she should have taken the photo. I do not feel as though we, as nannies, have the right to call the shots here. Maybe because I am a mom too and I would not take that lightly. I am the mom I tell you what to do with my child. PERIOD. perhaps she needs to step down from that high horse....
It's not child porn, it is letting a mother get all the info she needs incase she has to call doctor or do whatever needs to be done.

Not a Mom said...

@Dana you seem to be laboring under the same misconceptions as the mom in this post. This isnt at all about who is in charge. There is never a question about who is in charge. Parents do and should make all decisions regarding their kids. But this doesn't mean that you can put the nannies career, liberty and or position in jeopardy. The nanny was uncomfortable taking a nude picture of a child's private area. She is right to refuse. I'd agree wholeheartedly with you if the nanny refused to photograph a bruise or rash elsewhere on the child. A bruised knee is a very different issue and nanny would've taken that shot as she stated in the op. I'm just shocked that so many people dont grasp the seriousness of this issue. OP, you did the right thing IMO.

Anonymous said...

The mom bosses need to understand that the rules you get in jobs corporations doesn't apply to nannies. There is an emotional component in this job and we are dealing with wonderful human beings. This is our duty to make sure that even if a risk is ridiculously low not to take it even if mom boss insist. I wouldn't have taken rhe picture either

Anonymous said...

I took a beautiful picture of bubble covered (more covered than bathing suit clad) toddlers in a tub smiling. The mom & dad thought it was fantastic! I tried to print it at Walmart they declined to print it. They said if it's an unclothed child it's considered porn. They called the authorities. Someone had to come from the county and dismiss. Consequently I'll never take anything that can remotely be misconstrued. While the mom feels slighted she asked the nanny to do something that if intercepted and misconstrued might have changed the nannys life. The emails didn't help on either end either. Suck up the uncomfortable nature of this discussion and talk it out.

this_nick said...

A misinformed person at Wal-Mart called the authorities and the authorities sorted it out, because nothing illegal happened. I'm assuming the nanny wouldn't be printing out a butt rash pic at Wal-Mart lol.

this_nick said...

I'm shocked at the mass hysteria and failure to grasp a legal definition of pornography, so there you go.

dana richard said...

I really do see both sides of this. Personally as a nanny I do what the mom says whether it's what I think is right or not.
That's really all I meant.

True but..... said...

I get what you're saying too, Dana. But to me. There are times when I feel I have the right to refuse. In order to protect myself and the children. For instance, one of my jobs was advertised as nannying two kids. I have a car that can safely transport two kids so I applied and was hired shortly thereafter. Come to find out, MB had a step son that is with them two weeks out of the month. He was six yrs old. I told her I would have no issue providing care for him, but I couldn't transport him in my car as it didn't accommodate a booster seat. She told me to not worry about it and he can ride shotgun. I refused after politely explaining my reasons (the law, auto safety recommendations etc...) She made it a condition of the job. She explained to me that she lets him ride shotgun. I told her I couldn't do so without risking his safety.I also didn't want to be pulled over and or have insurance trouble. So we parted ways. I guess what I;m trying to sat is that Mom Boss can dictate 99% of their child's day under a nanny's care. But there are some times when a nanny should/can object.

nannyrobot said...

Number one: MB is on a little bit of a power trip.
Number two: I would have taken the picture, sent it, then deleted it. Seriously people, it's not illegal. Op's response about her feeling guilty was just wrong. As a nanny, it's your responsibility to not be one of those working mommy shamers.
In conclusion, both sides are being stupid. MB is acting innapropriate. Nanny is not following simple directions. She could have at least explained why she was so against taking the picture to MB and offered an alternative.
And just in my opinion, in response to another commenter, nannies need to be able to call shots when a parent isn't there. But it needs to be based on their best idea of what the parent would do. OP didn't make the right call though.

angi said...

WHERE did i give legal advice? I simply said taking a photo of a medical condition is not illegal. That's a statement (and fact) not advice. Peruse a dictionary.

Ha :) said...

Lol! Really? Where did you give it... and then a few words down "it's not illegal". That is giving a legal opinion aka advice. Meaning if she were to listen to your incorrect information, she could find herself in a bind. Maybe you should do some perusing yourself.

this_nick said...

You keep insisting that no one here can give a legal opinion but have no trouble doing so yourself. It isn't your call as to who can and can't give advice.

Not really said...

I have no issue with others' opinions. There are lots of differing opinions here. That's the nature of any comment section in any blog. I didn't tell anyone not to give advice. I just think giving legal advice online is not a good idea. Ultimately, each nanny will do what s/he wants to do. What I'm ok with may not suit you and what you find ok, I may find objectionable. C'est la vie.

this_nick said...

Everything you've posted IS your issues with others' opinions, but okay.

dana richard said...

Let's all just agree to disagree! :).... moving on....

Anonymous said...

Seriously it's simple...if the mother is away and the child has a medical issue have the Nanny take the child directly to the doctor to solve the problem. No pictures needed on that one.

Alice said...

I wouldn't take the photo either, because I'm not comfortable doing that.

It's not 'insubordinate' to refuse to do something that could, if seen by unknowing eyes and/or anyone quick to jump on the 911 bandwagon, cause alarm.

Regardless of whether it's 'legal' or not to take a photo of a child's BARE BOOTY, for scientific purposes or not, the Mother should've called the doctor and trusted that her nanny, the person SHE LEFT HER CHILDREN WITH WHILE SHE WENT ACROSS THE COUNTRY, would be able to handle any impending doom.

Because really, if the rash was deadly and the kid would be dead in 12 hours, the Mom still wouldn't have been there to rescue the kid. So it's kind-of a moot point to be like 'I'm 2000 miles away, WHAT I SAY GOES' .. I mean yes I follow the rules of the families I work with but if it's a JUDGEMENT CALL and the parents are either not contactable, out of town, etc., I'm going to inform them however I can and then proceed with MY OWN judgement call, because I am the adult left in charge.

Good on you, OP. I hope you don't lose this position but if you do, just know that there are plenty of other, non-asshole parents who are seeking great quality nannies all over the country/world. :P

Deborah said...

I am sorry the mother is way, way out of line. There is no reason what so ever to ever take e a pic of a childs genitals or rear end. Unless the parents need proof of neglect or child abuse. Imagine if somehow that pic ended up of the net by mistake or whatever? Imagine if that mom was crazy and mad enough to say The nanny took pics of my naked child and pressed charges on the nanny...That is absurd to ask a nanny to take naked pics of any child in todays age, even 20 years ago it would be crossing the line. I would have quit that job the next day..The mom is clearly out of her mind. The nanny takes the child to the doctor end of story that is it period. Case closed. No pics ever, ever, ever.

Anonymous said...

Are you crazy? Sending naked pictures of a kids private area of found out, regardless of parent consent, can land that nanny in trouble by law because if push comes to shove the mom will save her ass and hang the nanny out to dry. Maybe the mom should have left and come straight home to see what was wrong. You hire someone to take care of your kids, she must have been happy with her services otherwise she wouldn't leave her kids and go on a business trip. Therefore she should trust the nanny's judgement on the matter.

RBTC said...

on the nanny's side - there are people in jail fined etc who took a simple pic like this

Anonymous said...

I think everyone is getting too bent out of shape over this. As a mom who used to have to travel frequently for work, there is nothing scarier than being hundreds/thousands of miles away when your child has a medical issue. Although I'm not a doctor, I worked in the medical field for a long time prior, and I would want and need a picture of a rash. If the caregiver were worried about it, I would not have a problem writing something up for the caregiver's records, indemnifying them of any repercussions of taking said picture.

I definitely understand the nanny's concerns, however, but instead of writing an email, which I see as impersonal, she should have had a talk with the mom regarding the situation and how to deal with this in the future. If it were something that the nanny were so uncomfortable with, then arrangements could be made to find another caregiver, and they could have parted ways somewhat amicably. Telling the mom that she must have guilt over being a working mom was really out of line and did nothing but create ill feelings between them; for that, I would have definitely started looking for another caregiver immediately.

RBTC said...

i forgot to say that the "you feel guilty remark" is not appropriate and downright foolish if you wish to keep your job. But the picture thing is a big societal problem - babysitters and moms have been arrested for taking pics of their kids taking baths. Maybe we need a legal expert to tell us what the new rules are

Anonymous said...

OP,
so what happened? Did you talk to your MB about it?
Did you stay with them or did you fins another job?