Nanny V. Housekeeper, #2

Grayson Perry
I have had my housekeeper five, plus years and my nanny 10 months. My nanny came to me this morning and asked if she could have a loan/be paid in advance today for the next two week. She needs $2300 for a vehicle repair and has no credit. I offered to place the charge on my AMEX card and let her pay the overage back over the next four weeks @300 per out of her paycheck. I thought this an appropriate and thoughtful response. Her response was "But when Marisol needs money, you give her cash." I was caught off guard and said, "Does it make a difference, do you need cash?" and she said, "Cash is better and it shows you value her more."

Q: How did the nanny's car repair become about an equality war between her and the housekeeper or a tool to demonstrate how I have oppressed her?

Q: Has anyone succesfully had more than one domestic employee in the house and had them adhere to a confidentiality agreement? I don't want them talking financials, responsibilities, bonuses, favors, gifts, etc. with each other?

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Beth Bartylla said...

Oh wow. I was sitting here thinking how greatful she should be that you were so generous about lending her the cash, if she worked for a corporate position that would never happen! You don't owe her an explanation, if she doesn't want to accept your offer she can find other means. Who the hell asks there boss for over 2 grand and then gets mad when they get a credit card instead? That's extremely odd. I'm thinking maybe it's not car trouble.

divine said...

I agree with Beth. So much so, her response would make me say. I thought about it, your right. I shouldn't be lending any household staff cash. It's just going to create problems.

Deborah said...

I would not put up with a remark like that it seems like an ungrateful attitude..however I am a nanny not an employer and know how hard it is to find trustworthy help in a home. I would be suspicious that she is planning on quitting and taking off with your money.

this_nick said...

If you give anyone $2300, don't expect to see it - or them - again.

CleaverJune said...

I agree with the last two people that posted and would be a bit suspicious for the wanting cash over the use of the card.

As for the domestic employees not talking to each other about financials, bonuses, responsibilities, etc - I would try to stress to the employee EXACTLY what you mean by confidentiality. I have seen employees that genuinely didn't understand that it meant not talking about things to people - including co-workers, they thought it meant people outside the home. They were very apologetic and it never happened again (as far as I know.)
I myself have never broken a confidentiality agreement with a family that I have worked for. I don't mean to sound snobby, but I doubt that unless you are talking about high-end career oriented domestic employees you are going to get people who take any agreement seriously enough to adhere to the very letter of it even with co-workers. People gossip and talk at work. it happens in every industry.

BTW, you must be a pretty amazing employer. It says a lot that you would consider advancing/loaning an employee that much money. Seriously, even if that isn't a lot of money for you - its generous.

angi said...

Fire her. Not only is it inappropriate in her response but immature and disrespectful. Are these qualities you want watching and influencing your kid? Sounds to me she needed money and not just for repair because she wanted it in hand. Fishy!!!!

Alice said...

As far as people talking about things that relate to their life; your household, etc.

They're going to do it regardless, but they'll be more sneaky if you make a weird clause in a contract about 'speaking to the other employees about your wages'.

EVERYONE discusses how much money they make. Don't you?

That being said she's probably plotting to run away with your money. So.

Nanny said...

Regarding the confidentiality agreement - I have signed quite few of those in my nanny life. You have to specify all topics you don't want to have discussed and with whom (or use one that prohibit any discussion with anyone besides you etc.). In formal homes that's a norm to sign for each household staff member. And professionals NEVER discuss money. Never.

Anonymous said...

It's illegal to ask the employees not to speak about their pay, bonuses, or otherwise. You're an employer. If you're paying in cash and not claiming in taxes, you're still breaking the law, so you don't really have the upperhand in this one. I wouldn't lend anyone money though, it always causes problems.

RBTC said...

as an owner - people with this person's attitude will goof you one way or the other, entitled and ungrateful - be very careful before proceeding with this person