... "I have non stop Charlie horses in my hamstrings and I'm eating bananas like there's no tomorrow!"

Carolee Clark
  I am on week 2 of a six week vacation at the family's house in a beach town. The area is hyper stylized and I feel out of place most times. Making this worse is that the Mom wants to bike ride everywhere. She has outfits and a floppy hat and a cute bike with a basket. I have a business grey cycle with a carrier trailer on the back which I have one heavy four year old in.

    And she complains that I go to slow and keeps saying things like, "well at least this will get you in shape". She literally has never used the carrier cycle or the hardcore bike with gears. She has a fancy, big tired, beach cruiser. The most she has ever carried in her basket is some pastries!  She likes to bike in to town for breakfast or lunch. I look like a sweaty, disgusting mess.

      I don't know the point of this. It's like she wants everything her way and gives nothing. When she is sitting across the table from me, she grimaces at my sweaty brow and matted hair. The one time I left to go wash my face in the sink, I came back and the 4 year old was at another person's table with his finger in their orange juice and she was on her phone and looked at me like, "Where were you". I cannot do it all. I am completely exhausted.

     The final insult to this injury is that I got paid twice already and didn't say anything but I got paid the exact same amount that I usually get paid.  This morning she said her husband was coming in for the day only today and he would leave my Friday check. I asked her, "do you think I could get some of my overtime on that check so I could go shopping or something in my free time?" She looked at me like I had three heads.  I said, "I don't usually work Saturday and Sunday or such long days, I just assumed..." She wrinkled her nose and said, "Sweetheart, look around you, this is the life, you are in East Hampton." Now it was my turn to look confused. She said, "Clearly you'll get what's coming to you". Now I am not even sure what she meant. Meanwhile I have non stop Charlie horses in my hamstrings and I'm eating bananas like there's no tomorrow!

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Anonymous said...

Wow. Ok. Your boss is a straight up bitch, and I hate using that word. I would immediately look for a new family, write up your needs in a clear contract (overtime pay, holiday pay, vacation/sick days, weekends) and quit so fast. She is clueless on how to treat people and is completely self absorbed. I am honestly so confused why people like her have kids? You obviously don't care about being a mother, so why put people through that? I really hate rich moms like this, it gives that group of people a bad reputation.

Run for the hills.

nc said...

I agree with the above poster. I would start looking for something else. Next time, make sure you go over any overtime with the family before going on vacation. Sadly, you can't just assume you would get it, especially with people as crazy as this mom seems to be.

Me! said...

What I charge as Vacation pay is way higher than my weekly pay. I hate traveling with families and only do it if I'm paid so much that I'd be crazy to say no. Your boss is a itchb! She wants to project the MOTY image without doing anything. For biking or heavy activities I pull my hair back tightly into a bun/pony tail and wear a sweat band. I always go wash up when we go inside. She's unreasonable to expect you to exert yourself AND also not allow time to straighten up.

As to pay, what was the agreement?

Here's what I ask for:

higher rate as stated above, all travel costs plus per diem spending money, separate room and bathroom, set time off and a day off every seven days. I charge my vacation rate even on the way to and back from the trip as it isn't a vacation for me. I dont see the trip itself as a benefit since again I'm working. It's really hard to be business like and professional especially if you love the family, but I find good boundaries make for good relationships

Anonymous said...

She is an asshole but it's partly your fault because you didn't negotiate prior the departure and precise that you expect another rate.

It seems that your employer knew you were naive and took advantage of the situation .

Take this one as a lesson . Don't worry I've been there too like a lot of other nannies. We all at some point come across bad families especially in early career until we learned to screen them better and get better families that respect us enough to provide good and secure deals.

You should look for another job.

Hope everything will work out !

this_nick said...

I'm confused what you're confused about. She's made it clear she's an asshole who means to throw a ton of extra work on you for no extra pay. Take her at her word - and get the hell outta there.

clare said...

Regarding the Charley Horses, try magnesium. Works way better than just potassium. Also drink lots of water and get electrolyte infused water. In a pinch, pickle juice works as well. I used to run track and got these a lot! Good luck!

Lacy said...

I agree with Me! fully. I would go back to the parents with every hour you have worked thus far for each day of this vacation. Do the math for them what they owe you vs/ what they have paid you so far. Tell the parents you need them to pay you the remainder balance. If they don't pay you refuse to do things like the bike ride.

I'm an avid cyclists, What kind of bike is she having you ride... what kind of gear ratio or what kind of frame, also please tell me it has handle bar breaks. I too have to ride a bike for work with a trailer, it was a steal frame with pedal breaks and no gears-- after one ride I said I will not ride that ever again. The family bought a bike that: fit my height, was aluminum, had handle bar breaks, and had a good gear ratio (my top gear has 36 teeth).

Anonymous said...

1. Set up a formal meeting/appointment with the mother. Have your notes ready of hours you worked prior to this vacation; and the amount of hours you work now. Now give the mother the option of a) having you work the same hours for the same pay; or if she wants you over those hours give her a specific dollar amount, per hour, of what you charge for overage hours.

2. If you can't keep up with the mother's bicycle, you could a) leave earlier and pedal at your own pace; b) opt to walk and take a stroller; c) let the mother know what about the bike you have a problem with and ask for a bike that fits your needs or request that you and the mother trade for at least 1/2 of the trip to or from.

The mother can't take advantage of you if you don't allow it. you don't need to be frustrated, if you simply state your requirements.