The Rash Reveals the True Colors

Jodi  Cox
     I have been debating on whether or not to share my story, but all of my hurt feelings have led me to share. I apologize for the length, I just really wanted to get it all out there.

     I was with a family for two years and I absolutely loved them. We amicably parted ways when the girls started school, back in February. I picked up a part time temporary office job while I was interviewing with other nanny families to keep up with my bills. Everything was going fine, I hadn't had as many nanny interviews as I would have liked, but I was holding out for a full time permanent position that I could be happy with. After the office job ended, I still hadn't lined up a nanny job, and I was going to be behind on my bills soon if I didn't find one. I was panicking, but one day I found great luck! I had interviewed with a family the past week and they called me to tell me that although they had chosen to go another way, they thought I would be a great fit for their friend who had just lost their nanny, and she gave me the mother's number. I called the mother immediately and she told me I could come for an interview that morning. At the interview I met both parents and the twin 18 month old girls. They told me that I would be their fourth nanny, but, save for the last nanny, they divulged the reasons they were let go and my worries were gone (They later told me that they did not know why the last nanny suddenly quit). The interview went great and they asked me to start the following Monday. I was so excited! I would be working 45 hours a week for a salaried $650. Less than what I was making before, but not horrible. On day one of the job, MB and DB both stayed home to show me the routine and it went fine. The next few weeks MB left for work before I arrived and came home after I left, but DB worked construction and would go to work at different hours, but he was usually gone 2 hours after I arrived, and would be in his home office until he left. He would occasionally come into the playroom randomly and talk to the kids, but they never really fussed when he left so I didn't mind, but it did feel like he was kind of checking up on me.

     It all changed when one of the babies developed a slight diaper rash. She was teething and although I told DB the rash could be linked to that, he said "no, diaper rashes are ONLY caused from yeast, you aren't changing them enough, so no more outings for the week". I felt like I was being punished but I kind of understood so I let it go. I even started a diaper changing log so the parents could see that the girls were getting changed regularly. The rash went away after a day of using cream and powder and DB didn't mention it again. Fast forward to the next week. DB's construction job ended and while he had another job lined up, it wouldn't be starting for a month. In the time between jobs, he started staying home ALL day. He would not leave the house. It made me a bit uncomfortable, but I tried to deal with it. I went into his office one day to ask him if I could take the girls to the library, and I saw one of his computer screens open to the nanny cameras that were in the playroom and nursery. It was open again the next time I went in there, too. I was kind of freaked out. Every time I was in the playroom after that I felt constantly watched and uncomfortable. I know the nanny camera was there before, but there was definitely a difference between parents checking in, and being watched. There were also things he did that I thought were odd. He would brag about the things he bought in a way that made me think he was trying to make me jealous (even though he was definitely not the most wealthy person I have worked for). And he would bad mouth his wife and mother in law to me! And, on the rare occasion the mom was home, they would have fights in front of me. It made me very uncomfortable.

     One Monday when I came in, DB said (in an almost threatening tone) "the girls have a rash again, its bad, but we're gonna give you one more chance to fix this problem". The only problem was, there was no rash when I left on Friday, and the rash was very severe. That week, again, there were to be no outings. He was checking in on me every hour to make sure I was changing the girls, and even counting the diapers in the diaper genie. He was very rude and made every day I worked that week feel like a hundred hours. The rash didn't go away for about a week, even with medicated creams, and I got the blame.

      The event that made me realize this was NOT the family I wanted to work for was so ridiculous, but it really showed DB's true colors. On Monday after the rash, I brought up to DB that I might be taking an evening cosmetology course to finish my hours so I can become licensed, and I may need to start leaving 30 minutes early in a few months. His response baffled me. "That should be fine but you should know that cosmetology is a dead end field, you won't make ANY money there, you should get a real degree like an MBA, because you're never gonna make as much money as I pay you without a real degree, this is EASY MONEY and you should be more appreciative". I was shocked, but he went on to say "Oh , and when you get your purse ready at the end of the day, you're way too eager to leave, you should come 15 minutes early and stay 15 minutes late". Then he left. I wrote up a resignation letter after that but threw it away after I calmed down.

     Every day that week I was miserable, from the time I got off the time I went in the next day, I would be extremely anxious about going to work. I couldn't get my mind off it. That Thursday, I overheard him yelling and cussing at his neighbor for something that, frankly, was none of his business. That night I decided to write up another resignation letter, and I was going to give it to him sometime Friday so we could talk about it. Friday came and I chickened out. I decided to just leave the note on the counter as I left. I couldn't even work up the courage to do that. So, although I felt bad about it, I sent both DB and MB the same text a few hours after I left that evening, detailing in a professional manner why I was quitting. I received no response from MB, but the text DB sent me actually made me cry with anger.

      "You are not as good as an employee as u think you are. You young and immature. Your generation has a huge sense of entitlement. The kids had constant diaper rashes, you took too much tome off, and all your excuses were pretty lame." (copy+pasted)

     I took 2 days off. One because I was legitimately sick, and one because my grandmother had a stroke, and I don't think those reasons are "lame". I now am looking for a nanny job again, but I will definitely not work for a 4+ nanny family.

Share your own experience on isynblog@gmail.com.


Alaina said...

Maya Angelou said " When people shows you who they are, believe them the FIRST time." I agree 100% that this DB is a douchenozzle. What I don't agree with, is your staying for so long. Rashes are common. They can be yeast, teething or improper diapering. You knew you were doing your job yet you allowed them to continue to treat you this way.

After the first time they accused you of neglect, I'd have started looking for a new family. This guys is so disrespectful. He doesn't value a nanny (or his wife or MIL from the sound of it).

I don't mind cameras in the least. Even if they watch me 24/7 since that's how they'll see how amazing I am, but in your case, they were clearly looking for mistakes.

I'm glad you left. It's just my opinion that a lot of the angst happens when a nanny puts up with mistreatment.

RBTC said...

OP - we have all had terrible peoplle like this, it's a rite of passage, YOU are very good at your job and you will get the right fit very quickly as you deserve !!! Let us know what happens. The quicker you get away from people like that the better

this_nick said...

I feel for you. You're a good and conscientious nanny. You just need to build up your mental armor. You sound naturally sensitive, which can be both a good thing (it makes you empathetic) but also an Achilles' heel (it allows your feelings to be hurt by the rantings of douchebags whose opinions don't matter.) In the future, stand up for yourself immediately when an employer goes off half-cocked blaming you for things that aren't your fault. If you don't, these kind of assholes view you as weak and continue to subject you to their asshat behavior.

You're kind, not weak; don't let anyone fail to understand the difference in the future. Good luck in your job hunt!