Terminated on a Lie

     I wanted your thoughts on this. Four years ago, my oldest was 7. We hired a new nanny and fired her within one month. We paid her what we owed her, no severance.

     I'll abbreviate the story, but at the core of him, my son came home and told me that the nanny while driving our car, the nanny vehicle, swerved to hit a squirrel and said "Two points". She continued the conversation by telling him that possums are the best thing to hit because they make a nice squishy sound and that even skunks are great because they won't smell until the next person. Of course, this was concerning, in addition to our son telling us that when they were out in the backyard the day before, the neighbor's cat had come over and she had told him that cats can land on their feet from great distances and threw the cat in the air a number of times to demonstrate that philosophy. Alarming. Right? When we terminated the nanny, we did not want a he said/she said, we simply said it wasn't working out and we were going to try another candidate.
Victor Tkachenko

    Yesterday, I walked in my local bank for the first time in awhile and she was there, working as a teller. I waited in line and fortunately the line worked out that I was directed to another teller. She looked at me with the strangest look. I looked away from her.

    Here's the deal, about two years ago, we started our son in therapy. A lot of behaviors he's had over the years were called in to question. The first alarming behavior was making things up and lying about others. The incident with the nanny was the beginning of a pattern we did not recognize at the time. When we terminated the nanny, I will be honest, I believed my son 100%. I thought she was a vile person. I disliked her for misrepresenting herself and causing this chaos in our house (nanny turnover, loss of work days).  I wasn't unkind when I let her go, but I wasn't nice.

    I feel like I owe her an explanation and apology. What do you think? And how would I go about that? I was thinking if I asked her to call me, she would probably not. But, I don't want a prolonged conversation at her place of business that talks about firing and mental health. Any suggestions?

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AbsOfSteel said...

I know that if I was the nanny, I would appreciate the explanation and apology, even years later. Would it be possible to write her a letter, and hand deliver it to her at her job? You could explain yourself a bit, and then allow the opportunity for her to call you if she wants to. That way it's not a pressure situation for her and if she wants to keep it in the past she's free to.

Anonymous said...

ABSOLUTELY talk to her and apologize, admitting your error.

Being let go without a real answer can linger in our minds for years! Everyone needs closure. Please do that for her. Maybe a small plant to put on her counter would also be nice.

For the record, ALL kids make up stories! ALL!!!! Some are more habitual than others and some go through several years of incredible story telling - this is normal! The content not necessarily is, and can be an alarm - but my biggest pet peeve is the parents who never question their little "snowflake".

-Angi, nanny of 30 years with a background in special situations and needs.

TheyCallMeRed said...

If I were your previous nanny I would be freaked out if you asked me to call you out of the blue. A letter explaining things and then allowing her to contact you (or not) would be so amazing and appreciated I am sure.

DBNY said...

I wouldn't put anything in writing. I would go back in work with a plant, something tasteful and not huge. And I would say, "I just wanted to tell you know I misjudged you and I'm sorry" and give her my number and tell her she could call if she wanted. I wouldn't say anymore than that at her business. Even when a nanny is fired, they are on the shit end of the stick. Because we assume she has done something bad. She probably doesn't want people to know she was ever fired from job. Just my guess.

Anonymous said...

I would definitely send her a letter or email. It's entirely not your fault, but you also put a blip in her employment history and no doubt caused her life a lot of chaos for a while. She is probably still wondering why she was fired and deserves an apology.

Anonymous said...

I would give her a Small flower arrangement at her work so no one thinks anything to embarrass her and include a letter with a prepaid card she can use anywhere. You terminated her and weren't kind. I'm sure financially it did a number but more importantly emotionally. Make her whole with the apology but also the card since you didn't pay her what she truly should have gotten.

Man oh man.... said...

I agree with some of the others. Send her a note or email. Let her know that you fired her based on some incorrect info. Don't give details if you don't want to, but ask her to call if she's interested in talking about this further. I hope this firing didn't cause her to leave the nanny field completely. Seeing as how she's now a bank teller.