I recently found myself in a very strange situation. Something I never thought that I would experience, let alone need to have a conversation with my employers about.A bit of background- I have worked for a family for 8 months now. They live in an affluent neighborhood in California (Bay Area) I am paid very well and I work side by side with at home mom. I do all the driving as she is visually impaired and cannot obtain a drivers license. The father works in the government. And they often host dinner parties to entertain judges, politicians and other high profiled people
My job consists of helping the mother care for her 4 children. Two school aged, a preschooler and a baby.
It started out as a normal work week morning. The rush of-
"Where are my shoes?!"
"Have you seen my library book?"
"Did you put your lunch money in your back pack?"
And "Don't forget you have chess club right after school in library!"
MB and I dropped the older children off at school together. Took baby to a quick check up at the Drs.
Then it began:
A subtle, "would it be okay if we stopped by the grocery store and I just jumped out really quickly to grab a few things?" -MB
"Sure"- I answered
She was in and out of the store in a matter of minutes. And as she exited the store, in her hands she carried a heavy stack of bottled water, bottles of sunscreen, and a big box of energy bars.
She got in the car and asked," Would it be okay if we swung by (such and such place) on our way home?"
"Okay" - I replied (though it was not really on our way home)
When we pulled up to (unnamed building)
There I saw a large crowd of people, all holding large signs above their heads, marching up and down the sidewalks, chanting together in unison.
I then realized MB had purchased the water, sunscreen and bars, as a way to show her support; for the group of Picketers, as well as, for the cause they so loudly roared about.
MB got out of the car and she began unbuckling preschooler.
"Why don't you grab "baby" and come with, it's a hot day and I don't want you guys sitting in a hot car." -MB
We all approached a table strewn with slogan stamped signs, empty paper cups and boxes of uneaten donuts. MB began talking with the sign holders and passing out the bottles of water, and energy bars.
She returned and spoke,
"I want "preschooler" to march for a few minutes with me. I used to do this all the time with "school age child A & B." And they loved it!" She grabbed a sign, handed it to "preschooler," took her by the hand and off they marched.
There I stood holding "baby" in my arms. Extremely perplexed by the situation I found myself in.
If someone I knew were to drive by, I could only assume they would believe I stood there in support of the cause. And maybe think I was even more involved, as I was left to stand next to the table with a number of propped up signs.
"Preschooler" lasted only 15 minutes of marching up and down holding her sign and "baby" began to get fussy in the heat of the day.
We all started back for the car together. MB with a little more bounce in her step.
"I am so glad we got to do that, aren't you sweety?" She asked preschooler. " Bring all of those people something to drink. That made them so happy.
And just think- all of those people will do that all day long. When we are home eating lunch, they will be marching. When, you are taking your nap, they will be standing in front of "such and such building". When "school aged child A & B" come home from school, these people will still be chanting" -MB said to preschooler.
"But why mommy?" - preschooler
"Because they believe that this will make a difference." -MB
"Why will it mommy?"-preschooler
"Because it will help other people know about (such and such cause) and then it can change for the better." - MB
"Why is it better mommy?" -preschooler
"Because things are wrong and it is our responsibility to fix them and make them right." -MB
"But wh......" preschooler
"You know what sweety! I have a good idea! Let's go home and make our own signs! We could decorate them with glitter and stickers and come back again! Would you like that?" - MB
Meanwhile I am thinking the whole drive home, "gotta love that "why?" stage." And "Uh, Not while I am on the clock!"
This was wrong! Am I right?
I shouldn't have to accompany MB and her children to a political gathering.
Now I get I wasn't forced to hold a sign, or March, or chant. But It is not a job requirement for me to support MB and DB's political views....
Maybe I am over reacting. But I do not want to do that again.
I think I need to have a talk with MB and DB
Any advice advice on how to have this conversation?