Thursday

2015 Rants - #11 The Pissed Dad

I have to rage - so here goes.

My wife and I live in CT and have boy-girl 7 yo twins. One has epilepsy.

We have had three nannies. Our most recent was the best and was with us for 5 years till we fired her this past Sunday. She took great care of our kids for about 4-1/2 years and was responsible for straightening up their rooms, the playroom, the den (where they spent a lot of time) and doing their laundry. She was a live in 5 days/week did not drive. We paid her medical out of pocket, gave her 2 weeks vacation (1 week of our choosing; 1 week of hers) As the kids went into school and spent less time at home we agreed she'd do all the laundry and do some light housekeeping. My wife is a very busy professional and I am a consultant with a home office.

It started out very well. But as time went on she got lazier and lazier.

The kids started spending more time at school and with after school activities (sports, art, playdates, etc.) My wife and I were resigned to the fact that we'd have to shuttle them around. This was fine and in no way reflected on the nanny.

Her primary responsibilities for the kids most recently were to get them ready for school in the morning, feed and bathe them at night (and sometime help put them down because my wife and I would read stories), and about 1/2 the time mind the kids after school through dinner time. During the day she had to straighten the rooms and do laundry.

What happened progressively was that she did not get the kids ready in the morning, leaving it to my wife and me. The kids stopped listening to her and she started yelling at them. Our washer and dryer were running from 6 in the morning to 8 at night non-stop, 5 days per week. Preparing their meals at night either involved heating frozen chicken strips and french fries or cooking pasta with butter - about 1/2 the time I was preparing "real" meals for the family and her. Despite having 6 to 8 hours when the kids weren't around, the house was always a mess. Her room was borderline disgusting. When I asked to have the children ready for me at a particular time so I could emerge from my office and do the necessary run - about 1/2 the time it wasn't done. In a nutshell - my wife and I ended up doing about 80% of her job which was frustrating because we had our own professional responsibilities. Still, we kept with her for the 20% benefit, frustrated though we were.

What pushed us over the edge was the phone. We paid for her service and therefore had access to her phone logs. About a year ago the phone usage got crazy. Literally an average of 6 hours a day. We didn't want to completely cut her off but told her explicitly that when she was watching the kids there could be no phone. My wife and I went out a few Fridays ago. Literally from the minute we left the house for 3 hours she was on the phone non-stop. Then this past Saturday we asked her to stay so we could attend a wedding. Before we left I walked into the room where she was minding the kids and it as clear she was hiding the phone (it actually fell from behind the chair she was sitting on and I could hear noise on the other side of the open line). She ignored it as did I. I did ask her what her phone was doing in this strange place and she said she was just charging it. Since my wife and I were home I wasn't particularly concerned about the phone but I WAS concerned about the deception.

My wife and I went to the wedding. When we drove back home and pulled in the driveway, there she was on the phone. We immediately checked the phone logs and it was clear she had been yammering on the phone for about 2 of the three hours we were away. I confronted her on the way to the train to take her home - asking her how long she had been on the phone. She told me that someone had "just" called her when we pulled into the house. I asked her what a 45 minute call in the log had been. She said she hadn't been on the phone but was "watching something." That was it. Gone.

We did it on Sunday by text. I really didn't want her back. It went relatively smoothly though she got a bit irrational, saying she knew we were "going to let her go" when we brought up the phone thing a year ago. She was unrepentant and insisted she had not abused the phone - even when my wife sent her copies of the phone logs. Disgusting.

Here's the kicker. Now that she's gone my wife and I are covering the shuttling of kids, feeding, and bathing for 3 days and we have a babysitter who we trust (not a teenager) shuttling / watching feeding, bathing and picking up for 2 days. The kids are actually calmer and get ready MORE EASILY in the morning. My wife and I are calmer. I am at home so I do the laundry. Strange - I have done 3 loads in 3 days. That is about 3 hours (total) of machine time and water use. If she were here that would have been stretched to 36 hours! In short - I'm really angry because I would expect we'd feel that we had a "hole" we have to be making up for. Instead, it feels like a burden (that we were paying for no less) has been lifted and things run more smoothly and easily!

WTF is it with these nannies. I know there are some good one but most of them just get lazier and lazier and lazier and more irresponsible as time goes on!

Thank you all for listening to my rant!
We never edit rants. isynblog@gmail.com.

32 comments:

imo said...

Wow! You guys sound 'swell'. At some point, you should have realized you'd outgrown your nanny. Instead, you tried to turn her into a housekeeper/driver. Some nannies do better with babies and toddlers. Your nanny is frankly lucky to be shot of you! I don't cook for or do parent laundry. I also pay my own bills so there'd be no call log nonsense. A professional nanny should only use her phone during off hours or naps. But your poor nanny was micromanaged within an inch of her life. Her performance was a direct reflection of her unhappiness. At your kids' age you only need care in the evening. Doesn't sound like getting your kids up and out for school is outside your capabilities. Especially as she was so unsatisfactory. Sheesh!

Anonymous said...

I hope you take better care of your charges than you do reading and commenting on posts! She did not drive - nor was she expected to. She was adequately paid and provided with benefits over and above what most nannies get. She wasn't expected to be a full housekeeper but she was supposed to pick up after the kids (which she failed to do), cook for the kids (not forever reheat and boil water), facilitate our child care (which increasingly she did not), and stay off the phone. Most of the effort was around the early morning and late afternoon/evening which let her pretty much take it easy during the day. She basically stopped doing her job and eroded the trust factor by lying to us and continusing to lie when directly confronted by evidence. She had it pretty good. Yeah, the poor thing, I guess she should be happy to be rid of me. More to the point, I can now feel more comfortable that she is not failing to supervise my daughter who is subject to epileptic seizures. Im also free of a person who should know how to work a washing machine, a can opener, and a vacuum who thinks the "tub clean" setting means "it cleans like you are washing the clothes in a tub" and if an electric can opener doesnt seat the can properly - hey, you just push it harder till it breaks! Your attitude suggests to me that most nannies SHOULD be micromanaged. If they are unable to use basic judgment (as many stories I have heard and many posts I have read. I guess I'm just being unreasonable expecting someone to have half a brain, be responsible, and do their job. Sheesh! - The PissedDad

Amy said...

Lol, my ex thought "tub clean" meant the exact same thing as your nanny! He gave the exact same explanation when I asked why he was using it. I nearly died laughing.

take two said...

No they shouldn't! Once a nanny loses her family's trust she should be let go. Your issue is that instead of doing the grown up thing and knowing when to call it quits, you decided to complain about and micromanage her. She sounds completely onept, but you sound worse for keeping her around. Especially with an epileptic child! Are you insane?! Someone who couldn't manage a can opener wouldn't be around my child. I am a nanny with twenty yrs experience. My families get on a list if they want me as I have stellar references and an unbeatable track record. Your communication skills - or lack there of- here lead me to believe that you were difficult to deal with as a boss. Again, I'm glad for your kids,sakes that she's gone, but you're no prize. P.s. paying a fair wage with benefits isn't laudable. It's the most basic thing an employer must provide. It galls me when someone wants applause for doing what they're supposed to be doing!

edit said...

*inept

Anonymous said...

@Amy - your ex wasn't in the laundry business was he? ;) Our nanny was supposed to do laundry. But I guess the complexity of 5 or 6 settings, buttons, and flashing lights on our machines was too much for her. I mean - got forbid she try and read an owners manual to actually figure out how to work the thing properly?!! I think most nannies think child care is going to be easy and find it isnt. I see a lot of excuses from nannies on line that basically say "hey - they are not our kids...if you want better care do it yourself." Completely wrong attitude. Like anything else, if you undertake a job do it "right" and stick with it. Don't gripe that you don't like it and that it should be otherwise. To her credit, our nanny didn't gripe. She was actually older and very experienced. We cut her a lot of slack. But when her laziness progressed and more importantly she proved herself untrustworthy, I no longer could have her watching my kids. PissedDad

take two said...

No they shouldn't! Once a nanny loses her family's trust she should be let go. Your issue is that instead of doing the grown up thing and knowing when to call it quits, you decided to complain about and micromanage her. She sounds completely inept, but you sound worse for keeping her around. Especially with an epileptic child! Are you insane?! Someone who couldn't manage a can opener wouldn't be around my child. I am a nanny with twenty yrs experience. My families get on a list if they want to work with me as I have stellar references and an unbeatable track record. Your communication skills - or lack there of- here lead me to believe that you were difficult to deal with as a boss. She failed at her job and was lying to boot. Definitely not a nanny I'd keep around.
Again, I'm glad for your kids,sakes that she's gone, but you're no prize. P.s. paying a fair wage with benefits isn't laudable. It's the most basic thing an employer must provide. It galls me when someone wants applause for doing what they're supposed to be doing!

STAHP said...

A nanny who say " not my kid " has no business being a nanny. I love all of my kids and would not accept this attitude from a professional nanny

CleaverJune said...

Dear Pissed Dad:

Yes, I understand why you are upset, and I think that you have some valid reasons to be... however calling MOST nannies lazy and saying that "most nannies should be micromanaged," is just as ridiculous as what happened with your last nanny.
Judging all people in an entire profession based upon the terrible job performance of one is as silly as blaming all the forks in the world if your wife gets fat.

Yes, your nanny was dishonest, wasn't taking care of the home and children in the agreed upon manner, and that may have warranted termination. Heck, just the dishonesty alone would have been a deal breaker for me - and i wouldn't have kept her nearly as long as you did. But your vehemeant attitude also tells me that you may not have been the easiest person to be around either. Now I'm not saying you are wrong, just that you need to check your attitude a bit. Being a jackass towards the people here that are posting responses distracts from the point you are trying to make and makes YOU look like the bad guy. So take a breath and calm down a little. Try treating the others here like equals and don't insult al of us my making broad & sweeping generalizations about us based upon our chosen profession and your bad experience with one person.

Lastly, you said your nanny was paid adequately and received more benefits than most. I hate to burst you and your misinformed bubble, but the vacation pay and health insurance is NOT over and above. It's standard, basic, and it's the law for some employees. The week paid while you had your family vacation is normal, and expected from MOST professional care providers. Why? because when your employer takes a vacation you get to do your job and continue being paid for it. Your nanny CAN'T. If you had kids in daycare and you went away for a week, you would still be charged for their spot there while you were gone. If you had kids in Karate or gymnastics you would still have to pay for the classes you kid missed on vacation. Its just the way it works. So no, your vacation time and benefits is not above and beyond.

Do you have a right to be angry, yes. I'm very sorry to hear that you had someone in your home that was dishonest and unprofessional. Don't however malign all nannies because you chose your last nanny poorly.

CleaverJune said...

*all

Becks said...

I was going to say what Cleaver June has said so succinctly! Your nanny was unable to fulfill the duties assigned to her. This doesn't sound like an unlawful firing at all, but at the same time, if you spoke to her the way you're speaking to PP, I wouldn't blame her for being unhappy and under performing. Nothing justifies poor performance, but I would have quit on you so fast your head would still be spinning!

Anonymous said...

This is the way you talk about someone who has spent 5 years being loyal to your family?well done...

Firing her after 5 YEARS by text ?! How brave of you ...

Did you do regular reviews with her? You said that she took great care of your kids for 4,5 years but got lazier is the last 6 month. Damn you could have made an effort to try to sort things out before firing her like a piece of shit !

Did you explained to her what was wrong?doing regular reviews?

Did you warn her of what was going to happen if she continue not to do her job the way you want her to? Verbally, and written for the second time? (Oh wait if you fired her by text you probably didn't have a contract)

I am not defending completely the Nanny because they are things that you said she did like the time spent on the phone that are not acceptable but for god sake you could have make an effort to try sorting things out. Communication is super important!

I hope at least you gave her a severance package and a letter of recommendation for the 4.5 years you were happy! Don't forget she has been loyal to your family for 5 freaking years !

In between, is it the norm in the us to have only 2 weeks paid vacation ? In the u.k it's illegal , the minimum is 4 weeks a year +bank holidays and sick days all paid for . The package you offered her sounds like shit. I would have never taken your job in the first place.

Finally, you said that your kids are 7 years old. I currently have 2 charges that are 4 years old and 7 years old. BOTH of them are completely capable of getting ready for school on their own. They absolutely don't need me to get themselves ready. Why? Because I trained them to do so and be independent when it comes to get ready, being tidy and look after their belongings.

Perhaps you could have work as a team with your nanny to make it easier with your children's daily routine.

You sounds like very unappreciative parents , I bet your nanny was miserable.

Anonymous said...

@Cleaver June @Becks. You are both absolutely correct. I think what you are seeing here is my anger and disappointment in both rant and comments. In fact, she was not micromanaged. Quite the opposite. We treated her with respect and kindness which is why I find it so disheartening that this happened. My wife and I let a lot of things slide. The only thing that really needed correcting was the phone and it was in direct regard to her primary supervisory responsibilities and the safety of our children. She was with us so long because she WAS responsible with the kids. I don't know why she chose to completely disregard our specific instructions about the phone - going so far as to lie about it. As I said, she denies it still despite being confronted with irrefutable evidence to the contrary. All the other stuff is secondary which why we put up with it so long - irritating as it was. Still, picking up after the kids, cooking for the kids, and doing their laundry was part of our agreement. I am not a pro but I don't get the mentality that says "I'm going to guess at how to use tools of my trade" I can't figure out why she felt she had to run the laundry 12 hours a day. It was her style, I didn't want to micromanage, and I just let it go. But looking back I'm really scratching my head. She seemed to do the minimum possible work in the slowest way possible to appear busier than she was. I think that was deceptive. And yes - we did pay her severance and we will give her an honest recommendation. I have to say, recommendations don't seem to count for much. We had another nanny six years ago who abused our trust by driving our car 35 miles out of the way to her home to get her mail daily and went into "radio silence" for periods during the day. We got her through an agency. When she left she went back to the agency and simply recycled her to anot her family, dropping the listing of her employment with us. So anyway - thank you and you'Re right about my attitude...you guys are getting the anger, frustration, disappointment, and disbelief she DIDN'T get as most of it would have been inappropriate. That is why I'm PissedDad

imo- follow up said...

Reading your subsequent post has made me reconsider. Thank you for being willing to accept other opinions.

RBTC said...

dad - thank you for being brave and taking the time to give your point of view, i am a boss in a children's activitiy industry and i hear you. I am going to have to write that down - "minimum possible work..appear busier.." line is classic. I have people who have been with me 20 years and others i have to fire after 1 week. And i have had situations LIKE this one where they are great for 5 years and then... they turn different, and i have to send them on their way.

There have been numerous times where they try to come back, they were having some kind of breakdown, or stress thing and they never have it better anywhere else - but..when children are at stake it's not ok to flake even temporarily. Yes you are emotional in your rant and that has offended people here but ignore that

there have been times in my business where - you know- you care about them, they have been with you for a while but their work ethic goes to heck - for what ever reasons - not following instructions, having a bad disposition etc - and i have learned as one poster said - stringing it along does not help - once someone shows non stop how unhappy they are you need to cut them loose.

You know, i had a problem once with an employee of my grandmothers who had been with her 15 years. When my grandmother died she left this woman a nice sum of cash - BUT - the employee ( a once a week housekeeper) wanted the home, and stopped working while at the home, getting paid, and it became difficult to coax her out of the house

it could be - that your "nanny" may have felt that she put 1/2 a decade into your kids and she was now due a free place to live, not working - it would not surprise me

Anonymous said...

I should also add that we simply didn't fire her for the phone use - it was for lying. Like I said, I don't know why she did it. We specifically asked her not to be on the phone when watching the kids. She acknowledged. We were concerned but didn't act a few weeks ago bit did not follow up. When she lied about it on Sunday when directly asked about it that was it. I can understand if there was a true emergency and if she had told us and maybe even if there was 1 call. But looking at the records it clearly wasn't the case. Looking back I still have issues with the secondary stuff. If she had issues she either shold have said something. She did not seem to be shy - she sometimes asked for advances on her salary which we gladly did. I still find it rediculous that some involved I child care didn't know or couldn't figure out how to properly use washers and can openers. And my wife (an attorney) was the one who handled the termination communications. They were handled properly and appropriately given the way the situation evolved. I can tell you that if I had done it it would NOT have been handled properly or appropriately! ;) PissedDad

Nan said...

I agree that absolutely nothing gives a caregiver permission to goof off or be irresponsible. I'm guessing some of the other posters took offense to the tone and or the implication that this nanny received out of the ordinary benefits. Either way, she should have been fired. The lying is inexcusable

#NannyLife said...

Nannys are humans. Humans are flawed. Such is life.

There's a time and a season for every nanny and you outgrew her.

Personally, I think the fault lies with both sides. She seemed like she was perhaps burnt out, and not really interested in being the maid. Maybe she was scared she wouldn't find another job and stuck it out with you all because she loved the kids. Obviously the phone thing was unacceptable and her work ethic was questionable. But maybe next time don't fire your nanny by text.

this_nick said...

I think you're more angry with yourselves than anything for letting the situation go on as long as it did. At the point you and your wife started doing the duties you were paying the nanny for, you should have immediately addressed this with her to nip it in the bud. Perhaps you thought it was a phase or that she needed an adjustment period to the different duties, but failing to address the problem only let things deteriorate further. At any rate it's over now, lessons learned, etc.

A side note: the demeaning manner in which you blast the nanny here for innocuous things (trouble working certain appliances) is uncool. I get that you're mad but there's a tone here which suggests your default when angry with someone is to degrade their intellect/worth/etc. If that was a regular feature in the household, I can see why the nanny would feel the need to be on the phone all day -- moral support! Still inexcusable on her part, but just bringing it up so you don't inadvertently chase off the new nanny with the same kind of comments. If she can't work something, teach her. Insulting her intelligence isn't productive.

Anonymous said...

@this_nick. You are right that we are angry at ourselves as you say. However, while the lying / phone were the key factors that resulted in the firing, there was definitely a work ethic issue that I have heard about seen in many (not all but very many) nannies. When my wife felt it was easier to just "do things" and get them done. I "tossed" things that were clearly nanny responsibilities to the nanny (morning readiness, help dressing, lunches, etc.). She went about them at her own pace. As I also said earlier, I work from home and when I was going to run a child to a playdate / activity I would ask in the morning "please make sure xxx is ready to go when I come out of my office at 4:45 pm". Again, we were always kind and respectful. 1/2 the time I would come out and she had "forgotten". She also told me that her failure to do this "doesn't cost life" - in other words, "no one is going to die if we're late." Wrong answer and very irritating. She knew our household was very tied to the clock. I don't think she was i'll intentioned, but I do think she made a decision that she was going to do things at her own pace. That mentality and approach permeated all her work. That is the work ethic thing. As an employee she was supposed to step up and get with it - not expect us to get in sync with her! On a separate topic - and I don't think I mentioned it - she stopped engaging the kids. Like I said, when she was watching them she would be yapping on the phone. The kids would be aimlessly watching TV or playing video games. When we dismissed her the kids were not at all sad and did not miss her. But they were fired up to see their other babysitter more who always engaged them. - PissedDad

Anonymous said...

I thought it important to address the "firing by text" thing. I see a lot of people have comments about that. Here is why we did it, how it happened, and why I think it was actually a good thing. 1) Our confrontation about lying / phone went from verbal over the weekend when we were taking our nanny to public transportation for her trip home. It was followed up by further inquiry and proof of abusing the phone through text. When she outright held to her lie in the face of indisputable evidence, we wanted to be very precise as to why we were letting her go. Done verbally (in person or by phone) people hear what they want to hear. Done in writing there was a clear record and presentation as to how this played out and the cause for dismissal (maybe there is also a legal aspect to this as well). 2) We did not want her back on Monday. Her returning to our house would not only have been a waste of her time and our time. 3) We did not want the kids to have a sour view toward her. Having her come back on Monday would have also potentially involved the children. We told the kids that she was going to "visit family" for a few months - not that she had been dismissed. While the nanny is disappointed because she didn't "say goodbye" to the kids - it's all about the kids. They don't need to be mixed up in this and if that is "not fair" to the nanny so be it. I will also add that (at least from our end) the tone of the text messages were direct, factual, and where appropriate inquisitive. It was not a raging emotional exchange (moreso on our end than on her end. And here end was not so raging or emotional - it was more irrational and evasive). Again, that is because my wife did it. If I had done it - it WOULD have been raging and emotional. My wife wisely barred me from it.

Anonymous said...

I also wanted to comment on the work ethic thing. I read a lot of this stuff and there are no doubt both "bad" employers and nannies. I agree that responsibilities (whatever is agreed to) must be clearly defined and understood by both parties. I also agree that employers must treat nannies with respect, have reasonable expectations. I further think that nannies should not be micromanaged. Still, I think where there are problems on the nanny side the cause is largely around work ethic. When the nanny is working she should be professional, responsible, and deliver high quality work. What she does on her own time is her business. Part of being responsible is broadly doing the job the way the employer wants. For example: I read something where a parent wanted the child to spend the morning in the park all week. The parent later found out that the nanny took the child to the park for 5 minutes each day, snapped a picture, and went to her apartment with the child the rest of the time to watch movies. That is the nanny breaching her responsiblities. That might be an extreme example. In my case, as I mentioned above, our nanny was charged with having one of my kids ready to go out the door at 4:45 to an athletic activity and he had to be dressed, in the car and ready to go. Now everyone messes up occasionally. But when this happens about 1/2 the time and the nanny's response effectively is "oh - it doesn't matter". That is wrong. A lot of complaints I see on line and that I hear through our friends are about the caregivers thinking it's ok to break agreements and do things that aren't appropriate. Now that does not absolve bad employers. If a nanny has a bad employer she should quit. But as I said I think there are a lot of nannies who do this work because they think it's easy to (improperly) watch a child, by and large they won't be actively supervised and can "do their own thing". Wondering what everyone (especially the nannies who KNOW other nannies) think. - PissedDad

My two cents said...

@pissedoffdad I've been following your post with interest. You've made a lot of salient points. I did question your tone and manner of speaking to/about nannies. In your first posts, there definitely was an attitude of 'nannies are imbeciles who must be watched and criticized.' Your subsequent posts do show a different viewpoint. I will say, as a nanny of over twenty yrs, that a nanny is a professional with terrific work ethics in my experience. your nanny lost interest a long time ago. She was burned out. Her laissez faire attitude is a clear indication that she was done and probably only stuck around out of love for your kids. It's sad that she didn't get to say goodbye. In the future, I advice you to drop the rope a lot sooner. Once her work began to suffer, you should have begun to give her reviews and document her progress/lack thereof. This would have given her concrete goals and areas for improvement. Again, she was probably done, but this went on too long. Frustrating you and enabling her to keep being less than adequate.

S said...

I wonder if you are still reading our comments. Bravo on getting us all so ryled up! Ok so I got to the part where you admitted that this woman is older and fell the the Nanny side of the fence. I need a few clarifyications. I am a Nanny. I am a nanny that has repeatedly demonstrated tutorials for dropbo, gmail and even Facebook photo uploads to my employers at no charge, even though this is basically a requirement for anyone attempting to live within any context of the modern word. I can code in multiple languages, set up your home sound system as well as a professional, even deal with that gosh darn tricky printer yours but I have no idea whAT TUB CYcle means. I will ask Google, so no need to answer. However, how Google friendly is this older Nanny of yours? Will these comments get through to you or will you keep fighting back? Do the right thing. You work at home and actually work at home so are as obvliviouz as one who works away on what goes on in her day. Look at the phone logs of your Nanny deserves the same feedback as you do I g the same to your spouse. There ARE PROBLEM if you doubt their character and the answers you seek are through communication NOT SNOOPING! obvliviouzan

Anonymous said...

@S - She was completely untechnical. I get it. But in regard to working at home (and a lot of people have this misperception) - I'm tucked away in an office for about 9 hours a day. I don't have a clue what is going outside except when I step out for lunch. I might as well not be here so it's important to remember that. In regard to "learning the tools of the trade" (how to operate household things) - I do the same thing you do! I google. But if our nanny did not know how to operate these things I would have expected her to ask for help. Again, despite my initial rant - we had a very good relationship and we did not micromanage (as i may have said, looking back I think I probably should have). In this respect she was like someone long ago who I knew (who was trying to get me into a relatinship). If she didn't know how to use something (like a radio or stereo) she just started pushing buttons. That seems to be sort of the case here. "Tub Clean" actually cleans the machine - not the clothes. She thought it meant "Bulk Load". Now - the "Bulk Load" setting is right next to "Tub Clean". Tub Clean actually ruins clothes, uses a lot more water, and makes cycles go longer. I actually found her using this and asked her why she was using it and it stopped (yes - she thought it meant "Bulk Load" but I didn't pursue it. Listen - I don't expect everyone to know everything - but you would think as a nanny with over 20 years total experience - and having a good relationship with us - she'd feel pretty good about figuring out how to use stuff! More important and in the same vein, she was often clueless about how to strap the kids into the safety seats in the car. Despite instructing her, the same problems continued to occur. Now that's not acceptable but I guess ok when my wife and I were transporting - but not when my mother-in-law was who definitely didn't know and relied up on the nanny to have a clue.

Anonymous said...

@My two cents. Thank you. I have nothing to say. I think you probably nailed it exactly.

Anonymous said...

@S - regarding feedback on the phone. We gave it to her and set boundries. She disregarded them and we had a means to check (which she knew about). It was after we had initial disucussions, set boundries, and she not only stepped over the boundries but lied about it - we fired her.

Anonymous said...

Since she looked after you kids for 5 years, she probably loved them. You could have at least let her say good bye to them and let her leave with dignity...

RBTC said...

sir, you have not said anything unreasonable - in my co i have had the same thing happen - a 5 year person whose work was good in the past starts to - not care, or be in always a bad mood, pooh poohs your needs and concerns, you have to start doing their work, - and it's very hard to solve a problem like that - you really were too nice, letting her slide and goof off at your expense but you got through it and can protect yourself in the future - interesting posts

Anonymous said...

Postscript: She's been gone almost 2 weeks. My wife and I have been ensuring the kids are occupied during the day after school (playdates, activities, etc), were feeding them, picking up after them, making their rooms and doing our collective laundry. We had a cleaning service come in and do a massive once over. In short - things are actually much easier, run more smoothly, and are cleaner without her vs. with her. The cleaners took out 4 bags of garbage from her room which had american cheese wrappers under the bed! I'm thinking that - for at least the last year if not two - she essentially did NOTHING for us that we couldn't do ourselves WHILE dealing with our own responsibilities. Oh she was "busy". But she didn't do anything. And what she did she was terrible at (she did not engage the kids, she did not pick up after them, just slow and lazy). Shame on us for not getting rid of her sooner. Shame on her for being such a slug. I know there are good nannies out there. I see comments here from nannies who seem to "get it" and we have friends who have had "good" nannies. But again, it seems that most are terrible, don't do it as a career, and think it is an easy way to earn a buck without being supervised. -PissedDad

Gianluca of ISYN said...

Keep in touch! This was a very interesting study in relationships.
Best, Gianluca

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Not sure if you're still reading the replies to your post, but wanted to make a comment. I am reading through the posts on this site today looking for some insight related to my position as a nanny. I've never posted or commented on here before, but frequently read it and enjoy what people have to say, both nannies and employers.

My own situation involves feeling disrespected and "burned out," yet the couple for whom I work is not flagrantly abusive by any means. Instead, I think that over the last few years we've not communicated well, and I have grown quietly resentful. The main problem for me is the condition of their home. I work thirty hours a week for them and was hired to care for the children. I have, from the onset, always cleaned up after the children and myself, and voluntarily took on the laundry for the kids. But the kitchen is nearly always in a bad condition- food left out, dinner dishes, unrinsed, stacked on counters and in sinks, compost bin and trash overflowing, etc. I started cleaning it up in order to have room to prepare meals for the children, and now it is as though they expect to NEVER clean their dishes. This same situation occurs with the rest of the house- the more I do to help out, the less they seem to do to keep themselves clean and organized. But here's the clincher: They don't say thank you or even acknowledge it most of the time. The mom buys me things, like flowers or a gift card, and I know she means well and believes that she's "saying thank you" by doing it. But I don't need that- I need either a raise in pay for dealing with moldy food and the like, or some improvement in *their* attempts to keep themselves clean and healthy.

So, I'm sharing this long thing to say that I'm super unhappy there, but I can't seem to find the courage to directly address it. And instead, I've become less motivated to go over and above my bottom-line duties. I'm doing nothing during naptime but reading a book, when before I would tackle a housecleaning project. Your post made me sad, because I wonder if they're a little frustrated with me changing my typical pattern. It seems like we're all a bit afraid to confront the situation.

I don't think most nannies are lazy. I'm certainly not, and I'm an older person who has a great deal of background nannying and as a teacher- pretty much all the people I know who care for kids or teach are good people who really like kids. But sometimes there are behaviors by both parties that create a passive-aggressive dynamic.

Best wishes to you and your family.