On the Curb, with the Garbage

Dear I Saw Your Nanny,

I was hired on August 2 by a family in Scarsdale, NY to care for there two children 9 months and 2.5 years. I had responded to an ad in the local newspaper. My references were checked. I started. Things seemed to go okay. On me, they were very hard because the parents both left by 7 and didn't get home before 7:30. During this time, I was busy every minute with the two kids.

After the first week, we had an impromptu meeting to discuss how things were going. I was thanked for everything I was doing and assured it would get easier and the days would "soon be shorter".  I arranged for a service to bring my things to me at their house, about 12 boxes, which I unpacked over the course of two days.

At the end of the second week, I noted that my check remained $750, which was the basic salary agreed upon for the hours of 7:30-6:30. That's already a long day, and especially for $750. I asked my female employer if I should expect to get paid for all of the over time. (I had not worked a single day that was less than 12 hours, some were as long as 14 hours). She told me with a smile, "I'm so sorry, it's been unusually hectic. Let things get settled and we will not just figure out what we owe you but also give you some time off to catch your breathe". I was satisfied with that.

Two more weeks go on and they are the same. The mother's excuse was plausible because she had just returned to work and the father always worked long hours. On the home front, the kids really missed mom and it took a lot of dancing on my head to keep them happy and entertained. I used some of my money to replace the provided TV in the nanny quarters with a very nice, new TV that I got for $400 at Walmart and was huge.

What I am trying to convey is that I worked every angle trying to make it positive. I waited on the payment, I pushed myself to the limits with the kids, gave it 100% and got moved in and tried to set up a nice nanny area.

Imagine my surprise when at 2:20 PM, the door opens on Thursday, Sept 10th and my female boss comes home. The baby is in the swing, dozing. The three year old is at nursery school. I'm sitting in a reclined position on the sofa four feet from the baby playing music on my IPAD.

She says, "GET UP"
I get up, "Oh my god, what's wrong?" I ask.
She says, "I want you out of my house"
I am in shock. "What???" I ask.
"Get your things together and I want you out. You have 30 minutes or I am calling the police". With that, she RUSHED to the swing, picked up the baby and stood by the door. She shouted at me, "let's go, let's go"
I was in shock. I wanted to burst into tears,but I was also scared. I was in some other person's home. What did I do? Exactly what she said. I threw my possessions into garbage bags and other things and dragged them outside to the front porch. I texted all of my friends that I needed a ride quick because my boss was freaking out.  I was sweating to death, going down the stairs and up the stairs, carrying out stuff. She stood there with the baby at the whole time watching me. She barked, "How much longer". I held back tears. "Probably two more trips" I said. And I hurried even faster. The next time I passed her she barked again, "I'll need the keys and the garage door opener". I went back and got the rest of my stuff. I was trying to carry it all out in one last trip. When I got to the door, she stepped in my path (baby was now away) and said "The keys". I reached for the garage door opener and keys from two different areas and one key went flying across the floor. She ran to it and stepped on it as if I had accidentally dropped it. She held her hand out for the other keys. Again, I held back tears. I wanted to ask questions but her face was not ammendable to that. I said, "can I atleast get my check?"
She reached in her pocket and pulled out five hundred dollars. She told me "This settles us up". The way she said it, I didn't argue, but it was already Thursday, that wouldn't even cover this week. She pulled the door back for me and I for the last time crossed the threshold. I set down a heavy box next to the steps. She slammed the door. Then she opened and said, "Move your stuff to the curb, I'm not comfortable with you waiting by the door".

Thank God my friend pulled up as I started to transfer my stuff from next to the front door to the curb. She couldn't fit all of the stuff in the car with me. So she took a load and left me with my possessions sitting next to the curb for her to come back. It was garbage day. It was the lowest point in my existence. I hadn't done a single thing. The worst thing I could thing of was I had the baby in his swing during nap time, but he wasn't going to sleep, so I didn't leave him upstairs crying, I brought him down and put him in the swing. And I was right there next to him!

I need to get another job but I am so shaken by this incident. I don't know what I did. I don't want to contact them. I just wanted to share this experience because it felt and feels so lonely and awful. I felt not even like a human being.

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nc said...

Wow! That lady sounds insane! I'm glad you found that out sooner rather than later, before you spent more time, money, and energy with this family. For future reference, you were a tenant, so she can't kick you out without providing you with 30 days notice. Personally, I would ask for your back pay, especially since she evicted you illegally, and if mom refuses, I would threaten to sue for the illegal eviction....

Gennifer said...

Why on earth would you allow this!?! Are you really young? I'd have let her get the police. You have rights. You're a tenant. You were/are owed money.

Scum parents like these take advantage of young oe inexperienced nannies. Did you take your tv? Will you seek your monies owed?

RBTC said...

you REALLY need to do something about this - listen carefully to all the advisors on this blog - what she did was illegal - she owes you money - AND a place to live for 30 days and any property you left there - YOU go back with the police - please stqand up for yourself and keep us posted

Julie said...

Yes, what this woman did was illegal. (as well as just plain horrible. Im so sorry this happened to you.) However, you did NOTHING to help yourself once she came home and went "crazy." you let her steamroll you and left the premises without pay and surrendered your keys.

See an attorney. Get a formal letter sent to them via certified mail, that demands payment for all that is owed to you as well as the return of any of your personal property left there like your tv.). That means ALL back pay including OT, and what she shorted you for the week. Include in that figure compensation for the room that you paid for that was then taken from you. (your access is now denied to it.) Some attorneys will even do this for you pro bono.

Do NOT let this woman get away with her behavior. If you did nothing wrong then you need to stand up for yourself and not get shafted. The fact that you left the room that was yours (you paid for it with the work you did,) in their home is not good for you, but you do still have recourse. Do you have a written work agreement? Take this woman to small claims court if your letter doesn't prove fruitful in getting you what you are owed. Do not let this issue rest.

Things like this are why it is IMPERATIVE that you ALWAYS have a written agreement and NEVER surrender your room or key (if live in,) until your time there is done, you are PAID IN FULL, and your 30 days of tenancy after termination of employment are complete.

I wish you the very best and hope that you get everything that is rightfully coming to you. I also hope that you have learned a lesson about getting paid on time for things like OT, the room that was yours, and how not to get fucked by a shitty person.

Lastly, If you don't have anything like a confidentiality clause in your work agreement, I'd likely post a "review" about the person/family you worked for on Yelp, and places like Craigslist in the community section. (what can I say, I do NOT take getting screwed over lying down.) Then, when ANYONE googles her name they will have the review pop up in the hits. Be it a future employer, future nanny, etc, the next person will have a bit of knowledge about how this lady screwed someone. Its a great indication of her character and that is invaluable. (it's also great leverage for you if she wants it removed and she still hasn't paid you what she owes you.)

Jill said...

Like everyone has already said: seek legal counsel. Many attorneys would give a free consultation. Call a few and see what your exact rights are. These people scammed you

RBTC said...

the "RIP OFF REPORT" is a good place to write a review - their names will come up on google

Isabel said...

That is terrible. I absolutely agree with Julie and others reminding you of your rights. But I understand how difficult it would be to stand your ground while being screamed at out of the blue, and I am sure the last thing you felt like doing in the moment was staying there,even though when it's your right. What a shock.

I am so curious about what set her off. Sure, it's possible that she extrapolated seeing you using your iPad to mean that you are constantly on screens, but that is a HUGE overreaction. Some people are just crazy. I always tell my friends not to take others' behavior personally, no matter how it hurts. For all we know she could have a drug problem, or an issue with paranoia that pre-dates you. All that said, is it possible that she uses a camera she hasn't told you about?

I don't mean to place blame on you for her terrible, unlawful behavior. I bring this possibility up because if you do take legal action, it would be good to know what she "has on you," if anything. Please don't be offended!

Here are some resources near you that I hope may be able to help:

Please update us if you can. I hope you can stay with a friend.

Anonymous said...

Gosh that's awful !

I keep my own place at all time , even if I'm live in . That way at absolutely no moment the employer can mistakenly think she got "leverage" on me ! Plus I live my privacy and go away whenever I'm off the clock if I'm live in( I'm currently live out)

I wonder if your new to the field since an experienced one would know normally her right and wouldn't hesitate to stand up for herself .

I think you have elements to sue her , if you can't , leave a very nasty report toward her online stating exactly what they've done to you!

What employers tend to not know is that they are not the only one checking on our background prior the recruitment , NANNIES DO THAT TOO ! Exactly like they do, we write their names on google and do our research on what type of person they are which will have an influence on the final choice .So by seing their name associated to a bad experience like yours, I can guarantee you that they will have a very hard time recruiting a proper nanny since they are conciensious enough to check their potential employers and will only attract the desperate ones but maybe that's what they want though (you do have families that surf on desperate nannies) especially the cheap ones or those on a power trip that likes to talk to their caregivers like they are shit and micromanage them...

I hope your not too traumatised ;/ we kind of all been there at some point especially in early career so I definitely relate to you and feel compassion.

Keep is posted !

Anonymous said...

Sounds like she did it on purpose to not pay what was already owed to you in back pay... who's to say she hasn't done this with her past nannies? If it all happened the way you day then it all sounds very suspicious to me.

Anonymous said...

Please update! Hope you are ok!!

This is why I will never do live in again. I did as an Au Pair, but only because the experience of being in another country was worth it.

Also, I don't think this was the time to stand her ground. At least not without police presence.

This woman seemed completely insane and may act violently or even break things and blame the nanny. Better to get out safely and then take legal action.

Anonymous said...

I don't do live-in or strictly salary work because of scamming parents. I like having the freedom to quit and walk out right away if my paycheck isn't right. Some parents target young or beginner nannies because they sometimes lack the support network needed to demand their rights.

I work hourly and get overtime. If a family scammed me out of pay one week, I don't give them the chance to do it another week.

This nanny was in a bad spot. It would have been hard to know to call the police herself. So I'm not going to repeat what everyone else said. For the future, know that your employment as a live-in grants you certain rights. Know your hours, your duties and your rights. Better yet, get a small apt elsewhere and work as a live-out.

Anonymous said...

the comments to this post confirm what i've long suspected about this website--that what used to be a helpful place for people to alert PARENTS to unsafe nanny behavior is now just a place where resentful, entitled nannies gather and commiserate. the poster here gave one side of the story. it makes no sense that the mother would come home and throw her out unless she saw something on a nanny cam that she deemed so unsafe that she had to run home. the mother handled things poorly, yes. but there's no way she freaked out for no reason.

cue angry nanny responses in 3... 2... 1...

Lacy said...

If the nanny did something wrong to harm the child, then yes she should have been fired and charged criminally. Either way the nanny should have been informed of why she was being let go; due to the fact she wasn't given a reason-- she gets Unemployment.

If the nanny had been living there for more then 30 days, then she had established tenancy. Establishing tenancy means the MB can not toss her on the street with less then 30 day notice. This is where the MB was 100% wrong. This is also where the nanny didn't know her rights.

Secondly the agreement was $750 for 5 days a week from 7:30-6:30 (11 hours a day) yet the nanny was working well over 12 hours a day. So yes the nanny is entitled to over time pay. Most states even live-in's get OT after 45/50 hours a week.

This nanny should take the family to small claims court over the under payment. The nanny should also file for Unemployment. The nanny should also file a dispute with the labor commission/board. The nanny should seek legal advice.

Even if all the nanny did was fail to do the dishes the night before-- that doesn't warrant an immediate eviction-- Evictions have a legal proceeding. Even if the nanny slapped the child the NF can't do an immediate eviction-- they would need to file a police report and file for a restraint order for the child-- depending on the RO and the police either the family or the nanny would have to leave immediately until the case was heard by a judge. Everything has a legal process, because the NF didn't follow that, they are in the wrong... Even if this nanny did do something wrong.

Anonymous said...

Since you did mention that she just went back to work, and then mentioned that she arrived home at 2:20 on a Thursday, it leads me to believe that she may have had the position revoked or may have been fired. Hence the unexpected behavior and the kicking you out.

Just food for thought.

I'm so sorry this happened to you. I went through it twice myself. It was the most belittling feeling.
All the best in your job search.

Anonymous said...

Get a grip , if NANNIES want to comment on this site , WE DO IT ;) not happy? Get out and find a site that is strictly for parents ;)

Anonymous said...

but that's exactly my point. this used to be a place where you could post bad nanny behavior, and now it's a place where pissed off nannies like yourself complain. it used to be a useful website and now it's garbage. it should have just stayed dead, and instead we get one post every few days, and the general tone is predominantly anti-parent. you sound sweet, by the way--it's excellent that your job is to care for children.

Becks said...

I'm going to ignore the anon who is obviously nanny-baiting. He/She is not a long term participant on this site. From the beginning, the site included the nanny perspective in regards to pay, work, responsibilities and NF mistreatment. So. Not going to get a rise out of me. Nice try!

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha , you sound like an amazing parent as well ;) (sarcasm)

Yes I do take care of children and LOVE IT especially since I have found the perfect match . Parents and children LOVE me too :D , amazing isn't it ;)?

This site is for both parents and nannies , if you are not happy with that , why stay ? I am sure that there are LOTS of website that are only about parents ! If I don't like a website, I just go somewhere else, just saying ;)

The OP asked for advise about what to do in her situation , we simply replied from a nanny point of view . You sound very anti-nannies and an entitled parent so It sounds pretty ironic that you say that this site is full of entitled and resentful nannies ;) when you sound verrrry resentful yourself.

I am absolutely not resentful ,and incredibly happy in my job but will absolutely not hesitate to stand up for myself if needed , and yep, parents like you HATE nannies like me , who knows their rights, what's acceptable and what's not, they like young fresh manipulable ones that puts up with anything they say.

There are bad nannies , that's for sure but there are BAD PARENTS AS WELL ;) you kind of sounds like one.

melissa said...

If these are the actual circumstances, then I totally agree with everyone else about tenancy issues and such. Small claims is iffy because even if you win and get paid what you're owed, it might not be worth the cost.
My concern is mostly with what a PP mentioned earlier... Is there anything AT ALL that your employer might have on you? It's possible she mentioned calling the police to scare you, but why mention calling the police at all? I mean, I suppose regardless it was illegal of her to kick you out on the street, but I'm hoping you're being completely honest here.
As for the anon who may or may not be "nanny-baiting," I agree with one thing... This site used to be better. It's just a fact, although by the end, it had gotten out of control. I understood why it was pulled down. Just saying.

Gianluca of ISYN said...

We post almost everything we receive. PLEASE SEND YOUR SIGHTINGS to We would love to hear from more parents. It does seem like we hear from a lot of nannies now, but it isn't as if we post their materials instead of. This is a gathering place to debate, commiserate and share positive and negative experiences.

jemima kahn said...

I'm not a nanny or a parent. I just don't like nannies because they seem to have easy jobs, make more money than me and get a lot of thank you gifts, then get big heads and hot guys.

Kara Ivy said...

Become a nanny and then you'll see how, "easy" the job is!

Anonymous said...

Lol :D ! easy ?? I dare you do this job and then come back and say that it's easy ;)

RBTC said...

Thank you gianluca for your hard work in presenting all our viewpoints - it's awesome when this site is at it's best - a dialogue between nannies parents business owners child activists and more with no name calling but good advice and ideas - there are many of us who want that to continue and believe in it - keep up the good work!

Isabel said...

Is it strange that I am neither a nanny nor a parent? I read this site because I find the stories and issues fascinating. Emotions run high when intimacy and business mix.

Gska said...

I'm neither a parent or a nanny and I've been reading this site for years.

OP, I hope you're ok. ((Hugs))

Anonymous said...

5 kids under 7, 12 hour days, 60+ hours a week. Yep - sounds easy. SMH