Monday, August 28, 2006

Nanny rant

Ok...she hasn't really started yet and already I am starting a rant. I was hoping that this would be the start of an easier time, but I think I am going to be mistaken. Some back story...

G's aunt has a friend (or someone who came from the same village in China) who has been babysitting for a couple in Jersey. We have always been told that getting a Chinese sitter to come out to "far away" jersey is difficult, but this was a rare one who didn't seem to mind the long commute. She is taking care of 4 kids and 2 adults. What???, you ask. 2 adults?!!! Yes, her duties extend to making meals for the adults whenever they came home. So if the adults came home at midnight, she would have to rise out of her bed and make them a meal. She also worked 6 days a week and worst than that, she doesn't really have a set quitting time at the end of those 6 days. One time she didn't get home till after midnight because the parents were delayed in returning home. We had heard about her more than 6 months ago and felt bad that she was in such a horrible situation. We had told G's aunt that if she had wanted to work for us, we would gladly welcome her. Since G's aunt and the woman came from the same village, that's practically family, right???

Fast forward to a month ago, G's aunt called G's mom and told her that her friend has had enough and wanted to quit. G's mom scheduled an interview over that weekend. We were going to drive into Brooklyn to see her also. At the last minute (actually midnight), she canceled via G's aunt saying that she had gotten home really late and had to get back that same day. Can we try to meet up next week? Again, we felt bad for her, having little more than 6 hours away from work before having to go back. So she rescheduled. G and I couldn't make it because we had already made plans for that weekend, so G's mom went to do an assessment. G's mom reported that she felt that the woman was competent and that she had already given notice to her employer last week. I found that kind of odd. She seemed fairly sure that she will get the job. No biggie. Nothing wrong with having confidence, right?

However some other little things started surfacing that have been giving me a really bad feeling. She insisted on weekly pricing though she is being paid monthly now. Again, she might have felt that she has been taken advantage of and is now trying to be more assertive. Not a big deal. G's mom negotiated rates for 1 kid for now and 2 kids in the future but she wanted to have the 2-kid rate starting immediately. (2nd kid is not scheduled to arrive till the end of November) Ok, so she wants to get a little signing bonus. Hmmmm....

2 weeks ago, intuitively I asked G what if her employer said that they couldn't get another slave .... I mean, nanny by the time she is supposed to start with us. G's mom talked to her about it and she assured us that since she has given her employer ample notice (~ one month) that they should be able to find someone else.

Fast forward to this morning...G's mom told us that the lady's employer has not bee able to get a replacement and she would have to start a week later. G's mom is going to take g for an extra week since we have already given notice at daycare. I am so ticked off by this.

If I were a new employee, I would make every effort not to annoy my new employer. If I were in her old employer's shoes, I would milk this for as long as I can. To be truly evil, I would even sabotage her chances with her new employer by keeping this up for another couple of weeks. There is no incentive for the old employer to find someone new. They have someone who almost works for pennies and seems really loyal to them.

G's mom said that the woman suggested that we could put g back into daycare for the meantime. What gives her the right to make recommendations like that? How does she know what our situation in daycare is like? We could have told off her daycare and can't take her back again. Daycare could be real sticklers and charge us a registration fee of $50 since we have technically given notice already. Who's paying that?

Side note: I was feeling really good about hiring a nanny this weekend especially when we brought g into daycare on Friday, happy and healthy. She came home that afternoon with the sniffles which progressed to sneezes which moved on to a runny nose that graduated onto coughing. Great, just GREAT!!!


a's mommy said...

Wow, I feel for you guys! We found ourselves in a similar situation last year when we considered getting a nanny. One of the women we interviewed was recommended by my cousin (turns out my well-intentioned cousin had just recently met her). She seemed like a nice, competent lady and she mentioned that she had just interviewed for a nanny position in Short Hills for a chinese couple with newborn twins and a two year old. She quoted the relatively large amount that the couple was offering for a qualified nanny, and she wanted us to pay her at least two thirds of that amount - although we have one child in contrast to their three kids! Even factoring in economies of scale, it just didn't seem right. More red flags went up when she said that the couple wasn't strongly considering her cos she didn't have any references since she had just arrived here recently. As you might have guessed, we decided not to hire her. The search for a nanny was such an annoying, unsuccessful process and daycare wasn't any better. To keep our options open, we also registered at a daycare just to hold the spot, months in advance. The registration was one month's tuition (about $300) and non-refundable!

a's mommy said...

ops typo- it was $300 per week (not per month) for daycare... and strangely, although it's a reputable daycare in the area, it always seem to smell like an old folks home.