Thursday, September 25, 2008

Nanny Dearest...

For a bunch of years after I had my kids, I worked full time and had a huge commute from LI into NYC. My hours were ridiculous, job was demanding, and the means of daycare that worked for my family was to employ a live in nanny from Monday through Friday. In the past almost 6 years, we've gone through 3 long term nannies (3 years, 2 years and our current nanny has been with us for almost 6 months and is grat) and a few shorter term nannies for whatever reasons. There's alot of talk in the nannies in the news, of course these are bad nannies. What news wants to report a story of a good nanny? Many of our friends have live-in nannies and I've heard some stories, some good and some not so good. Sometimes a not so good story though is pretty funny, because the not so good parts aren't dangerous, just comical. Sort of like the time I had a huge fight with a nanny and told her not to come back, and she looked at my husband and asked if I was kidding..anyway, that's a story for another day. As I was saying, sometimes the not so good stories lean a little towards the comical, like the following e-mail I received today from a friend about a new nanny they had hired and how and why she lasted only a few days. (Note that names are deleted at her request, but she did give permission to reprint the story).

I threw her into the fire to fend for herself on Monday while I went to work (no choice). My mom helped her out a little bit and got her aquainted with the kids and the house, showed her around town, etc. I figured that if she can manage the first week, it can only get better. I'm the first one to admit that we're a very undesirable nanny family - 3 kids, one on the way, a giant dog, plus housecleaning and cooking. Not exactly a job that everyone is vying for.

So we hired a nanny, a great European woman. On Thursday I had tried calling my house from work and called almost every 5 minutes from 4:30 until 9 pm and she never answered the phone. Husband was at work and open school night. By the time I got home at 9pm, I was kind of panicky wondering what was happening, although understanding that some of this panic was undeniably caused by pregnancy hormones. I walk in the door and calmly asked her why she hasn't been answering the phone. She points her finger in my face and yells "there's no phone." At that point, I had had a long day, was very worried, just commuted home over an hour and a half in the pouring rain and just lost it, pointing out how we have phones all over the house (like 8 of them), and she continues to scream that there are no phones, not listening to a word that I am saying. We are standing in the hallway outside the kids' rooms screaming at each other (they were asleep with their doors open). It really does take a lot to make me angry and it happens very rarely, but once I'm there, watch out. So then she tells me to "shhh." I proceed to scream even louder that it's totally unacceptable to not be able to reach her for that period of time, don't tell me to "shh" etc., and she turns around and says in a very evil voice "goodnight" and storms away from me to her room! I would have packed her up right then and there if husband had been home.

That night I learned through my spying neighbor and caller ID that my former nanny had called our house that afternoon and this new nanny put both older kids on the phone with her! Normally this wouldn't be an issue, but she really had no clue the circumstances of the prior nanny leaving, who she was, the relationship with my kids, and basically allowed my kids to talk on the phone to someone who she didn't know. The next morning I asked what she had spoken to her about and she told me that the former nanny called the house hysterical crying that my daughter is HER baby, she wanted to talk to her, she raised her, etc. I never would have known any of this had my neighbor not seen my kids talking on the phone outside in the middle of the afternoon. All in all, a pretty disturbing situation all around.

Up until this point, she had been there 3 days. We had hidden a voice-activated recorder in the kitchen just in case and on this night we decided to listen to the tape. What did we hear? Nothing. Silence. Which is pretty odd considering we have 3 kids and a huge dog and there's never any silence when I'm home! In between the silence we would hear her screaming things like "I IN CHARGE" (no joke, several times) and the fact that she ignored the kids when they spoke to her. It was just horrible and we opted to cut our losses and let her go. But before I could say anything to her, she told me that she can't handle kids. Duh.

1 comment:

  1. omg....that is awful!

    Have you read the book,
    "You will never work in this town again"

    It is a story about a Nanny in Hollywood. Very good.


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