Monday

Stop. Just Stop.

      I think I have seen this on here before, but can you maybe do a PSA? I have a lot of staff I use on as needed basis and not many full time staff. We have a nice home and nice things. But it seems people are coming at me from every direction to ask for things or get "dibs" on things.  My four year old daughter just got a really deluxe motorized vehicle to ride in the yard. We hadn't even used it once before one of my occasional sitters who was helping for the party said, "When she outgrows that, I get dibs on that." It would be funny if she was joking, but she was dead serious.My son played t-ball last year and this year moved to little league. He no longer needs his tee or bat, so the housekeeper tells me that her nephew wants to play t-ball, could she have the t-ball stuff? In the beginning it was very easy for me to say yes, but now all of these requests make me angry. In response to this, I said, "what about '4 YO daughter'?" and she looked at me and said, "no, you buy her pretty pink stuff." My daughter isn't even playing t-ball. Is it so wrong that we would want to keep a t and t-ball bat around so she could play with it? This is getting ridiculous and I am afraid it is making me very bitter. Yes, we have a comfortable life, that is not the issue. When we are done using things, I always pass on clothes and toys, I just don't like having a waiting list or the people around my children eyeing up our possessions with such salacious greed. I use a car service to go the city for a regular appointment and have a regular driver. The appointments ease up in the summer, so I don't use him as much. Last weekend, the doorbell rang and there is the driver on the doorstep. He brought me a jar of jam and wanted to introduce me to his children. I was as gracious as I could be, although I was getting ready to head out. It wasn't just the jam either. He said, "see my children are big, like adults, when you clean out your winter closet, we will take jackets and coats." Is there an underground network of pilfering domestics? What is this madness? Don't people understand that this wears away at my natural desire to look for people close to me who could use the things we no longer can? I wonder how other employers handle this?

11 comments:

Ridiculous! said...

It's really inappropriate and unprofessional of them to ask you for freebies. I don't blame you for getting frustrated. I would shut that down by saying "We haven't decided what we will do with X. If we decide to give it away, WE will let you know."

nannyrobot said...

Coming from a nanny, it is pretty rude for them to ask for things, especially things you are currently using. The only time I have ever asked for something was when they said they were throwing it away. If it's all of your employees though, you must have a reputation for it, so you need to change your responses to gently show them that it is not okay. Just because you are wealthy doesn't mean people can just eyeball your stuff and call dibs. It might be more beneficial if you get rid of your occasional employees and find someone more invested who knows and cares for your family rather than just seeing it as a gig with free stuff. If you don't need someone regularly, then maybe offer some sort of retainer?

nannyrobot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheyCallMeRed said...

I have a daughter who is about the age of the children I nanny for and she could really benefit from some of their hand me downs. I would never dream in a million years to ask for anything for her!!! That is crazy and rude and presumptive. I wonder if your household staff talk to each other about what they get from you, giving others more courage to ask for more. Can you send out a memo to all staff, even occasionally staff saying it's causing conflict between staff to pass things along and you're putting a new policy into effect that no one is getting it?

Nan said...

Is the problem maybe that you're employing sitters and house cleaners rather than nannies and a housekeeper? No snark, but it seems like unprofessional behaviour so it occurred to me that these aren't professional staff. It's really inappropriate for them to ask. It would never occur to me to ask my NF for anything

Anonymous said...

I agree mostly with what most other's have said. It is unprofessional and rude to bit, but if they are relying on your hand-me-downs, it must signal a larger issue. I'm definitely not saying that you are responsible for fixing that, but I would have a talk with them to see what is going on with them, if it's a financial strain, or they're just being rude.

Kara Ivy said...

You seem a bit rightfully resentful. I'd sit down and have a conversation about you not liking that your staff feel entitled to your old things. Tell them that if you wish to give them something you happily will but you don't want to be asked for feel like they are expecting your property. If things don't change get new staff and start a precedence right from the start. Your "mistake" was to be so generous right from the start.

Anonymous said...

Are you in NY area? This seems to be the mentality in NJ/NY/CT and it drives my wild!!! I'm from Maine but moved to CT in 2007 and was astonished at the "what about me" mentality. I've lived in many states and see this as a trend in this area. I would never DREAM of asking for "stuff " or free money. You are completely right to be upset.

Angi, nanny

Anonymous said...

I think you could start pushing back in a joking way. Rib them a little when they ask. Say something like "I know I pay you enough to buy a t-ball of your own" with a smile, or "well, the price of it will have to count towards your salary" and see if that is enough for them to stop asking. Normally making jokes about money like that might be inappropriate, but they started it. You could also invent a friend of family member that you plan on gifting these things to. Suddenly all your hand me downs will be intended for others, that should stop them asking. If you prefer to deal with things head on, then I would just outright tell them that their asking bothers you. You can say it with kindness, let them know you value their service but that you're starting to feel like they view your home as a supermarket and that it is crossing the line and making you uncomfortable. You are in the power position here, so one direct comment (or even perhaps an indirect one) should stop this kind of behavior.

this_nick said...

The next time people make these comments SHUT. IT. DOWN. If someone says they have "dibs" on something, say that you don't do "dibs" on things that belong to you. If someone asks for something when you're done with it, say you don't know when you'll be done with it and don't enjoy being asked to part with your belongings. These folks are out of line but it's on you to bring them back in.

Anonymous said...

Hey i understand they shouldn't ask, but being on a budget is rough and they see you and your children with all of these nice things that they could never have without you. I don't think they should expect it though, maybe ask for like a free ride or 3 hours of babysitting for your freebies. Make them earn them just like you did :) you are putting lots of good stuff in your karma bank