The Creepy Interview

    I had my second interview with a CT family for a job that pays close to three figures and involves a lot of travel.
     My first interview was with the house manager who was a lady in her fifties who talked about my background and parenting philosophies, education and flexibility. I know she liked me.
     My next interview was at the house meeting with the mother. The father was supposed to be there and arrived late.
     The bulk of the interview was the mother going over the notes the house manager took. Then she would say things like, "you have no problem with being gone for two weeks straight at a time." I was super agreeable because this job looks amazing. She showed me a room in the basement that is the nanny guest suite. She said it was mine to use, but they weren't going to keep track of me. If it there was bad weather, they would expect I would stay here so I was available to work, otherwise, so long as I was punctual, they didn't care if I lived in or out.
    The woman started talking about the travel that they did. She said this would be their last year of free travel because her oldest would be starting a regular school program so it would be a busy summer of travel. Then she looks at me, from head to toe and says, "what size are you?"  I am surprised. I say "in clothes" she looks at me like I am an idiot and says, "yes". I say, "an 8 mostly". She says, "we're going to be on the beach most of the summer, I don't want any suprises." I just stared at her. Like Huh? She says, "cellulite, unsightliness, stretchmarks, flan, how's your body?" Still recoiling from shock, I say, "Um, I'm pretty fit". She looks at me again, like I am idiot and says, "Are you comfortable in a bathing suit?" I say, "Yeah, I guess". She says, "Yeah, I guess isn't what I want to hear". I say, "I'm sorry, I'm not following". She says, "In all your time have you ever worked for a female who didn't want to be outshined by her nanny? Well, that isn't me. The nanny I am looking for should be healthy and fit and able to spend the whole summer in a bathing suit without cowering or backing out of a room. We're very physical and on the move." Still reeling, I say, "I'm 28. I'm fit. I can handle that." At this point I wasn't sure if I wanted the job or not but I didn't want to say the wrong thing to lose the opportunity.
    We talked a bit more about preschool activities and flying with two young children and accommodations while we traveled. She said some things then that made me want the job. Like, "A lot of times when we are away, we like to go out for late dinners, my husband and I. If the hours feel too long, you need to speak up, because we can always contract a hotel sitter." and "I'm not looking for a nanny for a few months, I'd like someone who would stay for a few years and really know the children and their schedule."
    There is a ruckus in the hall outside the den and then her husband walks in and over to her and kisses her on the head. He looks me up and down and turns to her and wrinkles his nose. I felt like he was saying, "not really good." Then he turns back to me, says his full name, shakes my hand and says what a pleasure it is to meet me and how -housemanager- had such wonderful things to say about me and how my references speak so highly of me.
     As creepy as it was, I'm kind of on the edge of my seat waiting for the job offer. Is this workable?

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Bethany said...

Don't sell your soul for money! This sounds like trouble. While it's great that she doesn't mind a good looking nanny, this doesn't sound good. She has high expectations re:appearance. If she finds you lacking in any way, it can be hard to take. I am very confident with my body and critique wouldn't bother me, but feeling objectified would bother me.

BikiniNanny said...

Well at least she was honest...
In my current job one of the requirements is being attractive. It wasn't stated that way in the interview, but I've been told since (and it would have been completely obvious based on the staff they have). When we travel, which is a lot, we go to places where being out of shape and uncomfortable in a bathing-suit would really stick out. For me, I never have to wonder if I'm allowed to wear a bikini, because it would be strange if I didn't. My boss pays for my working wardrobe so I can fit in when we go out.
Is it fair or nice, not really. Is it kind of weird, yes. Does it bother me, no.
Also, on the plus side, it means that there's a lot of really good looking male staff to kiss hahaha

Anonymous said...

I guess I saw it as less a "I don't want to be embarrassed if you have a bad body" and more "you'll be running around with the kids and I don't want you to be self conscious about your body in a bathing suit and it hinders how you act with the kids". I have a 2.5 year old and don't have the best body. I definitely don't want to be sprinting on the beach after him in just my bathing suit. Maybe that was her concern. You'd be too self conscious

Angi said...

Sounds like they are in the limelight (worried about criticism by papz et al) or sizing you up for a possible bedroom adventure in the future. O.o Very weird. Aside from the obvious objectifying, the job sounds awesome.

Side note, if they don't hire you, you can sue. What they are doing is discrimination with no holds barred. I'm assuming this job is on the books considering the kind of staff they have.

Angi said...

I'm plus size and wear a swim dress that is flattering. While I don't like my body and can feel somewhat bad about it...nothing stops me from chasing kids out of necessity or fun. Im glad I have wonderful families that can see past my weight and know Im very active with children.

Anonymous said...

There are 2 types of families: those who treat their nanny as staff, and those who love their nanny and treat them as part of the family. You should know by the interview what type of family this is (i.e. sounds like staff) and know how you feel about being treated as such. Be honest with youself, if you can handle the long hours, the type of parents, and possibly the type of children they produce. I figured out the hard way that I couldn't do it and now can recognize these people immediately. To me it's not worth. It might pay well and have some perks, such as travel, but during the travel you will be working harder than at home. Decide what matters to you. Don't just take a job for the money. I will quickly turn down a job now that's less money and less demand and hours over something that's 12+ hours a day with demanding or absent parents.

Me! said...

The thing is though is that you don't have to give up great pay in order to be treated aa family. I get paid well and I don't have to accept the staff treatment.

AbsOfSteel said...

On the other hand, some jobs where you're treated like staff are AWESOME. That's the job I'm in now. There are hundreds of staff working for this family, and it's by far the best job I've ever had. I'm respected, there are boundaries, and I'm considered to be a valued employee. The kids are older so I have a great relationship with them and I love them like they're my family, so even though to the parents I'm an employee, to the kids I'm much more.
I love my coworkers, I travel around the world, and I make bank.
Every job is different, and some jobs where you're considered to be "staff", are not bad. As long as there's mutual respect and an understanding of what the job is, it can be just as great as a position where the parents think of you as family. In fact, I've found this to be better because I don't find myself getting walked all over and having to worry about hurting feelings in a close relationship. When I want a raise, I send a message to the main office, who talks to my boss for me.

Your gut can tell you a lot about how the position will be for you. I knew going in that this job would be amazing, the same way that I knew going in that my first position would be horrible and I would endure it for a year to have something good to put on my resume.

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely nothing discriminatory about not hiring someone based on the fact the employer wants them to look good in a bathing suit. Which is why Hooters, promotion companies, and other such things are able to hire attractive people for these jobs. If you'd like more info on what's considered discrimination here :

Now if she was hired, and then fired based on the fact that her employers told her she was not attractive enough to be seen with them or something along those lines (especially from the dad) MAYBE she would be able to pull a sexual harassment charge out of it. Maybe.

But as this situation stands, the employers sound like total creeps and assholes but they would be doing nothing wrong by not hiring OP

Heidi said...

You could definitely find a great job where the family would not treat you this way, and still get those benefits. If they were bad in the interview, it may only get worse. Please let us know what happens!

Angi said...

Different type of business. Those you mentioned are based on looks. Being a nanny is not... No one is losing money because someone doesn't fit their idea of beauty. Different worlds. And I do remember someone winning a case against hooters who was denied employment because her breasts weren't big enough. She absolutely had a case a good lawyer can win.