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I, Anonymous

Crash and Burn, Helicopter Parents

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STEVEN WEISSMAN

Dear family I nannied for: Thank you for firing me. Seriously. Because if you hadn't fired me for having my husband bring over a pizza (which he paid for with his own money) and our dog (which your kids love) for some Sunday night fetch, you probably would have fired me for some other ridiculous reason, like forgetting to polish the bars on the windows or neglecting to arm the land mines in the front yard after it got dark.

Just so you know: (1) I was GOING OUT OF MY WAY to do something nice for your children. I have worked with literally thousands of kids over the past 10 years, and not a single one of them has died or been raped or kidnapped while under my care. (2) I didn't invite a stranger into your house; I invited my husband of 10 years. Thanks for your faith in my taste in men. Clearly, I married him because he is a drunk, violent, murderous pedophile. (3) If you really think that I "betrayed your trust" and "invaded your home," then I truly feel sorry for you. You must live in a world so full of paranoia that you cannot sleep. If the bogeyman doesn't kill you, the stress certainly will.

In addition, I would like to thank you for chastising me so thoroughly by telling me that people "shouldn't do innocent things that appear devious." It's about time someone started treating me like the irresponsible 13-year-old that I really am. After all, I did sneak a "strange man" into your house... mostly so that my parents wouldn't find out that I was letting someone get to second base. Let me counter your comment with one of my own: "People shouldn't do devious things that appear innocent." So you may think that you have your children's best interest in mind and that you're keeping them safe, but all you've really done is deny them the opportunity to spend time with a great nanny and deny yourself the opportunity to learn to trust someone else in your community.

—Anonymous

Submit your unsigned confession or accusation here. Please remember to change the names of the innocent and guilty. One submission will be published in the paper and online every week.
 

Comments (79) RSS

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1
I'm going to have to stop you at "didn't invite a stranger into your home." Obviously, your husband has not met the couple you were sitting for. He's a stranger to them. You invited a stranger into their home. Therefore, you got fired.

Good day.
Posted by treehugger on March 27, 2013 at 9:11 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 2
"Literally thousands" of kids over 10 years? That's minimum 200 kids a year.

Are you a tour guide? I hope...
Posted by TheMisanthrope on March 27, 2013 at 9:38 AM · Report this
3
If you did not get permission to invite someone over to their house, you violated their trust and their space.
Posted by Bogcat on March 27, 2013 at 9:58 AM · Report this
4
And your dog. Who brings their dog to someone else's home uninvited? You suck.
Posted by fido on March 27, 2013 at 10:10 AM · Report this
5
Perhaps a little communication would have been a better approach. You talk to them, they talk to you, you tell them your husband would be bringing pizza over they say we'd like to meet him first...you know, sometimes talking keeps things on the up and up. Transparency is always the best option.
Posted by Slackjaw on March 27, 2013 at 10:13 AM · Report this
growler 6
great thing about these I,anon's, it's only one side of a most likely editorialized story.
come on, anon, you and hubby made whoopie in every room in the house!
then chased the kids around with your pack of wild pit bull - mastiff - doberman - mix dogs. they ran for their precious lives didn't they?

you are a monster!
Posted by growler on March 27, 2013 at 11:00 AM · Report this
debug 7
You were in the wrong. If you worked in a daycare and brought random family members in to play with the kids you'd be fired and the center could be sued. If you worked in a bank and brought your husband behind the counter while the manager was away you possibly would be facing federal charges.

You worked in a trusted position and you fucked up and aren't woman enough to admit it. You should have asked permission (a phone call or text would have been so easy) but instead you assumed they'd be cool with a strange man and dog around their kids.

The parents may have overreacted a little but did you expect them to forget they care more about their kids than your feelings or intentions?

You conveniently left out how long you worked for this family. I'm guessing it wasn't that long and obviously you're a liar (or don't understand what 'literally' means). When you first hire someone to take care of your kids you watch like a hawk for any red-flags, lack of judgement, since you don't know them at all.

How did they know that you and your husband weren't casing out the joint for a future theft?

We once had a babysitter who was very sweet and asked if her boyfriend and her could take the kids to the zoo. Everything went fine but weeks later during a casual conversation she mentioned him being in trouble with the cops for holding some meth that belonged to another friend...

So we never used her again. Judgmental? You betcha, but parents have every right to be judgmental when deciding who takes care of their children.

"You must live in a world so full of paranoia that you cannot sleep"

Only someone without children of their own would say this as if it was a bad thing. Of course parents are paranoid and lose sleep over their kids all the fucking time (especially if they are very young). Comes with the territory and a professional nanny should have figured that out by now.

When you decide to get over your bruised ego I suggest writing a letter to the parents saying you were in the wrong and thank them for being straightforward with why they were upset.
More...
Posted by debug on March 27, 2013 at 12:06 PM · Report this
8
Yeah, I would've been uncomfortable with someone's husband I'd never met hanging around my young daughter, too. I'm sure they were assholes in the way they dealt with firing you, and maybe should have given you a second chance, but you actually did bring an unvetted stranger into their home with their children. Oh, and most pedophiles wouldn't let their wife know they were a pedophile--they'd find ways to hone in on her nannying gigs to get around little kids. Get a new job, leave the husband at home.
Posted by turtlemilk on March 27, 2013 at 1:19 PM · Report this
9
And how is having him drop by with the pizza (healthy) and dog considered GOING OUT OF YOUR WAY to do something nice for the kids?
Posted by fido on March 27, 2013 at 1:39 PM · Report this
10
Parent here. Those parents are assholes. I would be thrilled if my (hypothetical!) nanny did something surprising and fun and cool for my kids. I don't get the extreme focus on rules, here -- life is just too good to squander it on this kind of insane shit. Oh, the kids got to meet a dog! And eat a pizza! Jesus fuckity Christ, call in the SWAT team!

It's especially bizarre to see this kind of reaction at The Stranger, where every other reader smokes pot. But pot is (or was) illegal, so let's go fucking nuts over that! Or maaaaaaybe, ethics and reality matter more than the exact letter of the law?

If you don't trust your nanny to make judgment calls like this, then you don't trust her enough to be your nanny at all.
Posted by nuh_uh on March 27, 2013 at 2:55 PM · Report this
11
What, no cocaine or malt liquor with the pizza party? Why should they keep YOU as a nanny after that? Go work on the the next great GOP campaign and repent your fornicating liberal ways! Slime!
Posted by Jethro on March 27, 2013 at 2:55 PM · Report this
12
I'm with the rest of the crowd that says your husband is a stranger. I would feel my privacy violated if my nanny, or even my roommate, brought strangers (with dogs!) into my house without warning me or telling me (which is why I would never hire servants or go back to having roommates, gods willing). They fact that you didn't ask or tell them beforehand shows nanny has a lot to learn about plain old manners, not to mention professionalism. You really do sound like a 13 year old. It's their home, not yours, Mary Poppins. Get your chimney swept at your own place, you sucia pinche.
Posted by jussmbdy on March 27, 2013 at 6:53 PM · Report this
13
And there, my friend, #10, is the crux of this I,anon. Her actions violated the trust to the point where she couldn't be the nanny anymore. Sorry doll, your heart might have been in the right place, but your method sucked. You are great with kids. Now work on being great with parents.
Posted by freakinchris on March 27, 2013 at 7:31 PM · Report this
14
There's an awful lot of assumptions being made here.

Was the husband a stranger that had never met the parents before? The kids had obviously met the dog before, how did the dog get there previously? (Now I'm assuming the kids had never been to the Nanny's home.)

Just saying... We don't have enough details to pass judgment. ('Course that's never stopped anybody before.)
Posted by LyleAustin on March 27, 2013 at 11:59 PM · Report this
15
boo

fucking

hoo.

doesn't seem like much of a loss for them...
Posted by joemomma on March 28, 2013 at 2:09 AM · Report this
lolorhone 16
I'm guessing it wasn't so much that you got fired as how they fired you. My two cents is that you should have gotten their OK first, but it sounds like they questioned your character and intentions- which is overboard and unnecessary. Next time assume the parents will be psychos about everything; most people are about their kids' safety, fairness be damned, and rightly so.
Posted by lolorhone on March 28, 2013 at 3:42 AM · Report this
doloresdaphne 17
Some people wouldn't want to trust ANYONE to be alone in their home, but when they have kids, are forced to.

But to be expected to trust someone who was presented to you without consent or warning? Not a small ask. There's an unspoken rule that in these situations, you don't invite another person without asking permission first. (And generally, as a nanny, I think it would be rude to even ask, as it involves asking them to trust more than one person).

As for the dog, you don't bring a dog into someone else's home without asking first.

Anon, there may be one or two people who think you did nothing wrong, but I'm guessing they'll be in the minority.

Consider this a lesson in how the rest of society thinks.
Posted by doloresdaphne on March 28, 2013 at 3:48 AM · Report this
18
I dunno. Just the husband and the pizza thing? No big deal. But who knows, maybe she has a creepy douchebag for a husband that the parents don't want near their kids. Good possibility. Especially since she's cared for literally THOOOUUUUSAAAANDS of kids. Either she's been fired a lot, is an immature exaggerator, or used to be the overseer of one of those COSTCO-size kidslave sweatshops in China.

I'm thinking it's probably a combination of the former two scenarios and the parents saw this as a last straw in a line of irresponsible, flaky, unsavory behavior and decided to get her outta there before their kids started saying "like" THOOOUUUUSAAAANDS of times in a sentence.

Or maybe the pizza came with COCAINE AND MALT LIQUOR!
Posted by meemeemeemee on March 28, 2013 at 5:43 AM · Report this
19
@10: The fact of the matter is that the couple anon was sitting for had rules. Anon didn't have to like the rules, in fact, it's quite obvious she felt herself above them. That's fine too. She should never have taken a job where she would have been expected to follow said rules though, and she certainly doesn't get a pass for breaking them just because she and a single random on the internet think that said rules were stupid.

It doesn't matter what you think about somebody else's rules. Either follow them, or GTFO.
Posted by treehugger on March 28, 2013 at 9:15 AM · Report this
20
@14: We do know that there were rules, we do know that anon though the rules stupid, and we do know that anon no longer has a job. All signs point to anon fucked up, big time.
Posted by treehugger on March 28, 2013 at 9:16 AM · Report this
21
She could have kept the nanny gig by giving the male boss a blow job. She could have blown her husband while she was at it. Blow jobs save lives (and careers!). Blow jobs all around!
Posted by Benevolent Dicktator on March 28, 2013 at 9:44 AM · Report this
TVDinner 22
Oh my god, I would have fired this nanny so fast she wouldn't have had time to grab her purse. I would have thrown it out after her, right before the door slammed.

Jesus. The presumption, the sense of entitlement, the lack of boundaries...this is definitely not someone I'd want watching my kid.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on March 28, 2013 at 11:31 AM · Report this
venomlash 23
Should have checked with the parents first. It's one thing for her husband to drop to say hello and bring them a pizza, but it's another thing entirely to bring a dog over without even notifying the heads of household. Not sure if it's worth getting fired over, but she dun goofed.
Posted by venomlash on March 28, 2013 at 12:24 PM · Report this
Zebes 24
Ha ha ha. That's what she gets for being in the service industry and displeasing her masters! Welcome to the real world, sucker!
Posted by Zebes http://www.badrap.org/rescue/index.html on March 28, 2013 at 12:27 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 25
It's debatable whether the parents overreacted here. Their threshold of trust seems a bit odd (i.e., we trust you enough to take care of our kids but not enough to exercise some degree of judgement about who comes around or not). That said, if the parents no longer trust your judgement--even if their threshold of trust is a bit unreasonable--it is also unreasonable to expect them to continue trusting you with their children.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on March 28, 2013 at 12:28 PM · Report this
emma's bee 26
I am so glad I neither have kids nor have to watch other people's kids for a living. Christ.
Posted by emma's bee on March 28, 2013 at 12:33 PM · Report this
27
Thank god this woman didn't take the kids to a park or something. Who knows who or what they might have been exposed to.
Posted by Mike in Olympia on March 28, 2013 at 12:33 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 28
Along on the dogpile. Parents trust the person they hired, they don't trust the partners who come along unannounced and without their permission.

Same thing with the dog, are you a "nanny" or a babysitter? The former is more of a job than the latter. And while they're both held to somewhat similar expectations regarding taking care of children, the former is expected to be an adult and giving far less bullshit to the family they're dedicated to.

You messed up by expecting the parents to be okay without asking them. If you're taking liberties with that, they will have questions about what other liberties you're taking. I'm sure they can find any other nanny who won't invite their (strange) partners and pets over unbidden.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 28, 2013 at 12:38 PM · Report this
29
Based solely on the content of this rant, I side 100 percent with the family that fired anon. Anon is clearly not good nanny material for many reasons.
Posted by Meat Weapon on March 28, 2013 at 12:53 PM · Report this
30
What kind of pizza?
Posted by It Matters! on March 28, 2013 at 12:54 PM · Report this
seandr 31
The parents are overanxious, overprotective, and over-controlling.

Of course, this is standard operating procedure for parents these days, and we tell ourselves it's for the good of the kids. Personally, I wouldn't trade all the freedom and autonomy of my 1970's childhood for what passes as childhood these days.
Posted by seandr on March 28, 2013 at 1:00 PM · Report this
YakHerder 32
Should she have asked the parents first? Yeah, probably.

Is it a fireable offense for your husband of a decade to drop by? No way. Total overreaction by the employer. A simple, "You should have let me know, and please let me know next time" would take care of it.

And where on earth are people getting this line of malarkey about "She knew the rules." Odds are, this was an informal arrangement where the "rule" about your goddamn spouse dropping over wasn't entirely clear. (I say "odds are" in the assumption that the letter-writer would feel compelled to say otherwise). Yeesh.
Posted by YakHerder on March 28, 2013 at 1:03 PM · Report this
33
Why was it worth noting that the husband paid for the pizza with his own money? Were there more nefarious options at hand?
Posted by bakatya on March 28, 2013 at 1:09 PM · Report this
34
As a parent, I wouldn't have fired her if this is the whole story. But I doubt this was the whole story. I suspect this is the last straw and the parents had enough.
Posted by tell us the whole truth on March 28, 2013 at 1:18 PM · Report this
35
Don't bring an animal to somebody else's home. If I went through the effort to get my home allergen-free, I would not appreciate somebody spreading a bunch of surprise-allergens into it, even if my kids loved it. Even if you know the parents aren't allergic, there still could be consequences. I can't have my nephew over to my home, because it's had cats and I rent, so I can't just tear up the carpet. And I don't really think I can thoroughly remove the allergens even with carpet shampooing. You can make a world of problems for somebody by bringing an uninvited animal into their home.
Posted by uncreative on March 28, 2013 at 1:22 PM · Report this
36
Wow. The reactions to this post remind why I am so glad almost of none of my friends have children. When did people become so paranoid? Growing up our babysitters used to bring their boyfriends over, and I can remember at least one bringing her dog. You know why? Because kids love dogs. And her dog and my dog had an awesome time and even swam with us in the lake. And my parents were not upset because their kids had fun while they were away. Because they weren't psychos.
Posted by pablissima on March 28, 2013 at 2:27 PM · Report this
37
@36 - "When did people become so paranoid?" When endless stories of pedophile priests, coaches, and teachers started becoming the norm in the daily news cycle. I know I watch over my kids more closely because of this, not wanting to take a chance that my kids become the next victims. If you had kids, would you take that chance?
Posted by a bit of paranoia can work on March 28, 2013 at 3:08 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 38
I am squarely on the ex-nanny's side in this. You have to be somewhat dreadful to have a nanny in the first place, and these people sound insufferable. The very thought of having little Emma or Tyler exposed to a stranger, let alone a (probably non-registered)dog? Eating Pizza that isn't from a Tom Douglas restaurant? How awful!!!

The poor children will probably grow up to be as awful as their parents. That sort of cycle doesn't change much, thanks to how we coddle the affluent in this country.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on March 28, 2013 at 3:08 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 39
Parents who are that laid back don't hire nannies; they send their kids to cheap day care. They hired a nanny because they wanted the closest thing they could get to total control. Plus everyone knows nannies have the worst taste in men.

I blame the New York Times and the Washington Post for inventing the term "helicopter parent" and milking their ginned-up hysteria for all the attention they could get. There is no such thing as rampant helicopter parenting.

Typical parenting today is the same as it ever was: neglectful, with rare exceptions.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on March 28, 2013 at 3:51 PM · Report this
TVDinner 40
In a world where 1 out of 3 girls are sexually assaulted by the time they're 18, I'm going to be damn careful about the men who come around my daughter. Go ahead and judge.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on March 28, 2013 at 4:38 PM · Report this
Womyn2me 41
Well, not enough detail to decide one way or another, but if they gave you rules in the beginning IE 'no strangers in the house,' -- and many of these wealthy enough for nanny parents DO have written lists of dos and donts, then you are at fault for breaking the rules.

If they didnt give you rules about having people over, then you are just an idiot for not asking for permission first. Nannies are supposed to be professional child-raising folk. Not a babysitter, not cousin Timmy's 16 year old daughter.
The nannies I know wouldnt bring someone to their customers home without permission. That would be unprofessional. I dont bring my wife to hang out at work without permission of my boss.
Posted by Womyn2me http://http:\\www.shelleyandlaura.com on March 28, 2013 at 4:47 PM · Report this
42
A little bird might want to the let the IRS know about your employment. Most parents blow off paying their "nanny tax" and short you the FICA withholding that goes toward your Social Security benefit. That's assuming you're reporting your income, of course, and not getting paid under the table.
Posted by mint chocolate chip on March 28, 2013 at 5:05 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 43
@42: Do they really sound that responsible?
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 28, 2013 at 6:16 PM · Report this
44
@31 Well said. As a parent of older teens, I really just wanted them to have as good a childhood as I had. But, I've never been able to give them the same freedom and autonomy. If I sent them out to wander for the day, CPS would probably intervene (dammit!)

Helicopter parents of the 70s were the worst - their spineless kids were the most bully-tortured on the school bus and the last picked in PE. Why? Their tantrums were cheap entertainment. Helicopter parents of the 2010s still suck though.
Posted by Cock A Doodley Dooo on March 28, 2013 at 6:16 PM · Report this
Rotten666 45
Not cool. I don't know if I would have immediately fired the person, but that would definitely be strike one and two.

So I get where the parents are coming from.

I anonymous, you fucked up. Move on and learn from your mistake.
Posted by Rotten666 on March 28, 2013 at 6:24 PM · Report this
46
ITT: People who think all men molest children.
Posted by WanderingSoul on March 28, 2013 at 6:42 PM · Report this
NOP_Spinster 47
Holy shit. A lot of people in this thread suffer from terminal worst first thinking. You might wanna get that checked.

I wouldn't mind some clarifications about the rules they set down and if they knew her husband that the dog had visited before. I'm guessing though that the parents are batshit crazy and I feel for the children.
Posted by NOP_Spinster on March 28, 2013 at 7:27 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 48
@46: ITT people who confuse a nanny for a teenage babysitter (including the OP.)
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 28, 2013 at 9:17 PM · Report this
49
@26 emma's bee: For the win!! I'm also one who's glad not to be in either situation, and will happily drink to that (no cocaine and malt liquor, though, sorry)! Cheers!!

@31 seandr: I know!! Weren't those the good old days?
How on Earth did "latchkey children" manage to function?
Because back then there weren't so many other people telling
parents they were raising their kids all wrong?
Posted by auntie grizelda on March 29, 2013 at 12:21 AM · Report this
doloresdaphne 50
@ Anon. I get it. You got fired because your employer has a darker and more fearful outlook and a more rigid approach to life than you do.

You are a freer spirit, and a more trusting person than your former boss.

People who excercise bad judgement sometimes do because their outlook isn't as dark as that of the vast majority.

Those who start out with dark and cautious tendencies don't get into these clashes in the first place.

But then when your free spirit clashes with the rest of society, that's your cue to stop, listen, learn and adapt.

Sometimes we have to learn the hard way. And it sounds like that's you in this situation.
Posted by doloresdaphne on March 29, 2013 at 12:21 AM · Report this
51
@1--My thoughts exactly.

It doesn't matter how long you, Anon, have known your husband, it matters that the parents didn't. It doesn't matter how much your kids loved your dog if they, the parents, hadn't met the dog yet. You invited two strangers into their home, and from the looks of it didn't even ask them first. How are they supposed to trust that you won't do that again?
Posted by Jetsetter on March 29, 2013 at 8:15 AM · Report this
seandr 52
@auntie grizelda: The summer before 4th grade, our "nanny" was a 20-year old guy named Kip with a mild case of epilepsy who lived in a trailer on his parent's front lawn a few doors down from us, and who subsisted off of Mountain Dew and Marlboros.

He mostly just watched TV, occasionally stepping outside to smoke a cigarette, while we ran around doing god knows what. Sometimes he'd bring over his Steve Miller Band records and we'd listen to those. I also remember joy-riding (seatbelt-free of course) in the back of his friend Ron's Mustang. Ron would freak us out by taking his hands off the wheel and telling us his car could steer itself.

When I read posts like this, it's like I grew up on a different planet.
Posted by seandr on March 29, 2013 at 8:20 AM · Report this
53
Wow. You people are a bunch of cunts.
Posted by JimmyCap on March 29, 2013 at 2:00 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 54
@53: If you're going to do anything as a profession/career, be a professional. This isn't a favor or a preteen proto-job.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 29, 2013 at 2:22 PM · Report this
yucca flower 55
Wow, what a bunch of uptight mental cases you all are!
Posted by yucca flower on March 29, 2013 at 7:59 PM · Report this
56
Since Anon clearly doesn't know the meaning of the word literally, I'm going to assume s/he also doesn't know the meaning of the word humility.

I'm also going to suggest that s/he look up the meaning of both words STAT. And to the other commenters, please remember that the mention of a husband does not automatically mean that Anon is a woman.

Anon, I hope that you are able to swallow you pride and see your part in this situation. Learn from your copies mistakes, grow the hell up and don't do that again. That is all.

Posted by twiggn on March 30, 2013 at 11:13 AM · Report this
doloresdaphne 57
Pardon my "piling on the ridicule to Anon," but I just have to share this;

David Cross on people who misuse the word "literally"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ly1UTgi…

"I literally shat my pants."
Posted by doloresdaphne on March 31, 2013 at 5:29 AM · Report this
58
Hello! Anonymous here.

I thought I'd chime in for some defensive clarification. I've never publicly ridiculed anyone before, nor set myself up for public ridicule, and I must say, it's quite exhilarating! Let me say first: You are all right. You know why? Because in this situation, where the line is, what is right or wrong, what is acceptable and unacceptable is completely a matter of opinion. That is what makes this both exciting and inflammatory; no one will ever win. Yeah, I may be behaving like a total brat by ranting about this, but my pride was hurt and I wanted to rage!

In order to make this a more informed discussion, let me submit the following:

1) Backstory: several weeks before this occurred, I posited said visit of husband and dog to parents and they made no objections. Neither did we establish a concrete plan for when this hypothetical visit would take place. It was just sort of this abstract idea, a future possibility. I then asked them that very evening if tonight would be a good night for the husband and dog to visit and the response was very vague, neither a confirmation or denial. I realize this sounds fishy, and this is indeed the crux of the entire conflict. At this point, though, I believe the onus was on them to inform me that this prospect violated their rules and space, but no such indication was made.

2) I know that I made a mistake, or at the very least went against my better judgment, but the offense did not seem egregious at the time. They never do. When the parents returned that night and I told them that husband and dog had indeed visited, they told me that made them uncomfortable. I then said that I had no desire to make them uncomfortable, that I wanted to respect their home and space, and that this would never happen again. It was at this point that clear, explicit boundaries were established. I hope this sufficiently satisfies your desire for me to exhibit humility and prostrate myself before the creme de la creme of Seattle's wealthy citizens. (I certainly felt humbled, standing in their kitchen, feeling embarrassed and like I'd disappointed them, on the verge of throwing up, and like some scrubby street urchin who'd been caught stealing silver from her betters.) Clear communication IS key, and that was certainly lacking in this situation, on both sides. They had never expressed anything but satisfaction with the quality of care I provided before this happened. It's possible that I had been perpetually disappointing them the entire time I was in their employ, but if that's the case they never said anything. So, as to the 'last straw' comment, I can neither confirm nor deny, but I can say, in all truth, they had never provided me with anything but positive feedback. However, I also realize that I served at their pleasure, and their decision to fire me was totally within their rights, regardless of the reason.

3) The dog never came into the house. It stayed in the front yard for the entire 45 minutes of this encounter.

4) In a former life, I was a wilderness rehabilitative counselor for at-risk and adjudicated youth. 'How can a person with so much experience with kids be so oblivious to these rules of common decency?' you may ask. Fair point. This was my first foray into the private childcare sector after ten years in the non-profit sector. I was trusted with children's health and well-being in remote settings where the threats were of a different nature than those in a posh Seattle neighborhood. This is clearly where I erred. My 'threat level' threshold is clearly much, much higher that that of the parents. Again, my bad. And no, I wasn't fired. Budget cuts and private donorship being what they are for non-profits these days, my non-profit folded and I lost my job. Boo, fucking, hoo indeed.

5) I have learned a lot from this situation, and I am fully willing to accept responsibility for my actions. But I can't say I'm still not shocked by the parents' reaction. In my mind, you can choose to live a life of paranoia and perceive everything as a threat, or you can choose to live a life of calculated risk and calculated trust. In my experience, most people aren't homicidal, molest-y, maniacs. The bummer is, however life goes for this family, the parents' paranoia will be validated: either something bad WILL happen to their kids and their paranoia will be confirmed, or nothing bad will happen to their kids and they will laude themselves for their vigilance.

6) @meemeemeemee(18) and twiggn(56) I do know the difference between literally and figuratively. I have literally been trusted with thousands of children over the course of my career. I literally HAVE an asshole. You, figuratively, ARE assholes.
More...
Posted by upstanding_citizen on March 31, 2013 at 12:40 PM · Report this
59
I was a nanny and now I am a mommy. You should not have invited your husband and dog over without permission. Those kids are theirs, not yours. They get to decide who is around them and when. You should have asked. Duh.
Posted by Just Another Opinon on March 31, 2013 at 1:03 PM · Report this
60
Ok, my comment posted while yours was being written. I take back what I said. You did ask. They should have been clear with you. If they were vague though, you should always err on the side of caution, in this case no husband or dog. And, since you did mention the visit, they should have clarified their feelings, not fired you.
Posted by Just Another Opinon on March 31, 2013 at 1:11 PM · Report this
61
Jeezus parents, hubby brought over a pizza & the goddamn dog, nobody wants to skull -fuck your kids!
Posted by April today on April 1, 2013 at 12:40 AM · Report this
62
Ugh, as a former nanny, I feel for you, Anon. There are wonderful families and then there are families like this one. Your pride took an understandable nosedive, sure, but honestly, it sounds like you are better off not working for a family like this.

I consider myself incredibly lucky to have worked with some wonderful families. I have also worked for some really weird families whose parenting styles were absolutely ridiculous. There are a lot of people in this area who have successful careers and then think, "Hmm... I guess the next thing I'm supposed to do is have kids?" They sometimes end up being great parents, but not always, because being successful in business does not mean you will be successful at raising a person. That's how I found myself working for a family with a full-time housekeeper, full-time household manager, and two nannies -- for two school-aged children with a stay-at-home mom. East side, people. East side. A lot of wealthy people just want to be able to say that they have a nanny.

Unfortunately your idea of common sense behavior and theirs didn't jive. It does seem strange that they would trust your judgment with their children but not with a visit from your spouse. Chalk it up to experience and find a family who appreciates you. I think you sound great.
Posted by outoftowner on April 1, 2013 at 11:17 AM · Report this
63
This thread makes me happy that I don't live in Seattle anymore. You west coasters are a pack of powder puffs.
Posted by weeksie on April 1, 2013 at 11:22 AM · Report this
64
Is that the first time an I Anon has rebutted?

I've been looking forward to this. But then again how can we be sure the anonymous rebutter is the real I Anon, hmmmmmm?

Alas, you're still wrong. Sorry. I sympathize. Employers of nannies don't have to be reasonable or laid back. In fact, stereotypically speaking, they're so self-absorbed, narcissistic and high-strung, any divergence from an arbitrary and capricious norm can send them into full blown freak out. Their children, after all, are the most important things in their lives, right after their careers. So you got the axe instead of the 5-yard penalty you deserved. Again, sorry. Thanks for rebutting. Good luck.

Bottom line, nothing the matter here that 4% unemployment can't fix.
Posted by Paddy Mac on April 1, 2013 at 1:28 PM · Report this
65
@52 seandr: I grew up coming home from the atrocities of public school, and for several hours totally unsupervised, went down to the beach, or watched TV, played with my cat, practiced or played music, etc., etc. with no nanny involved.
But I do think you and I are from the same planet!
Aren't we the lucky ones?
Posted by auntie grizelda on April 1, 2013 at 1:49 PM · Report this
DAVIDinKENAI 66
@36: "When did people become so paranoid?"

For me, it would be after the au pair (hired by us mostly to handle the "soccer mom" duties - which all three adults share - when piano lessons for one kid are in a different direction than math team practice for another, etc) starting dating a local guy. He SEEMED nice enough, if a bit old, until I had time to dig deeper and find the three convictions for rape at knifepoint and a fourth attempt (the one who ID'ed him) resulting in 18 years served. So, yeah, I question her taste in men. Even though she was fabulous with the kids, picked out the most amazingly appropriate books from the library despite English being a second language, showed up on time every time, and had helpful insights into how the kids reacted to our different styles of parenting/supervision.

Then it was heightened when a very promising, married candidate's husband's references didn't check out. Some conviction(s) I couldn't dig up and a store owner who "would rehire everyone we've ever employed. Except him."

Would I have gone apeshit like this family did? No, not if everything was as wonderful as presented. I would have praised her for her initiative in organizing those activities. And then told her that we'd like to / need to meet anyone who's coming by the house for whatever reason. Case closed. Pat on the head for the good stuff. Mild finger wagging on the shortfalls.

But I think most readers realize that an "I, Anonymous", "Savage Love" , or "Dear Abby" letter only ever tells one side of the story. Anonymous didn't point out that her "employed, well-groomed, non-smoking husband who has a clean criminal record dropped off the pizza and dog and then departed." Which is sort of thing a LW posts to strengthen her case, if it was true. When the one-sided story sounds so sketchy, the objective truth is probably even less pretty.
More...
Posted by DAVIDinKENAI on April 1, 2013 at 3:37 PM · Report this
67
Lactose intolerant children with severe pet allergies?
Posted by Cletus on April 1, 2013 at 3:41 PM · Report this
DAVIDinKENAI 68
Nice illustration, Mr. Weismann - Mary Poppinzilla versus the helicopter parents. Well done!
Posted by DAVIDinKENAI on April 1, 2013 at 3:43 PM · Report this
69
OK, folks, I know this is late to the discussion...

But perhaps the parents found COCAINE residue on the coffee table and empty 40's of MALT LIQUORE in the trash?

Ever think of that possibility?
Posted by Arthur Zifferelli on April 2, 2013 at 8:27 AM · Report this
70
I almost never trust the writer of an I, Anonymous. they're always biased.

The odds are pretty high that you're an average nanny.
Posted by fetish on April 2, 2013 at 4:02 PM · Report this
71
I raised 2 children on the UES of Manhattan where professional nannies are the norm. They are highly educated, skilled and come with excellent references. The nannie's sole duty is to care for children. No housework, no shopping etc. and certainly no "nanny shares". They are expensive, but in my experience, worth every penny. The parents you describe desire this standard of service but want to pay teenage babysitter wages and expect far more duties than child care. This type will fire every single babysitter they employ. You are lucky you got out of there, you did NOTHING wrong.
Posted by America First on April 2, 2013 at 5:20 PM · Report this
lolorhone 72
I'll reiterate: you should have set the visit in stone but your former employers are paranoid douchebags who had no right to impugn your character. Everybody on this comment thread who called you heinous and irresponsible is a candy-assed judgmental prick.
Posted by lolorhone on April 2, 2013 at 7:05 PM · Report this
73
You should have known that your former employers were wishy-washy cowards who would have said "No" directly, except that direct communication makes them uncomfortable, and they cannot be discomforted in any way while they are in their castle.
Posted by required on April 3, 2013 at 5:25 AM · Report this
74
I don't think you understand what "literally" means.
Posted by portland scribe on April 3, 2013 at 8:43 PM · Report this
75
In fact, I literally think she literally doesn't understand what "literally" literally means.

(or should that be what "literally" ACTUALLY means? I've just literally confused myself.)

As to "Anon"...she missed her BIG chance to get payback...she could have called Children's Services on those people. It wouldn't even matter if they hadn't done anything bad to the kids...simply seeing the van from that office pull up in front of their house would freak the neighbors bigtime.

(Not that I'd do it, of course...but it's an option for those who are truly committed to revenge for any slight).
Posted by AlaskanbutnotSeanParnell on April 4, 2013 at 2:08 PM · Report this
76
#69...was it YOUR kids "Anon" was watching, Arthur? And were you mad that she got into your COCAINE AND MALT LIQUOR?
Posted by AlaskanbutnotSeanParnell on April 4, 2013 at 2:11 PM · Report this
Sat'n 77
Who the fuck can afford a fucking nanny? Just fucking day care is like $50 per day! $40 per day if you have some crazy christian lady do it, like I do. "Nanny," what the fuck.
Posted by Sat'n on April 9, 2013 at 11:08 AM · Report this
78
Rich people fire the "help" all the time for very little reason. They believe they are entitled to some kind of Draconian servitude for what is close to minimum wage. Sorry you got fired, but they don't sound like nice people to be around. Better off, I say.
Posted by montex on April 21, 2013 at 1:53 PM · Report this
79
Wow. Good to know that all the entitled asshole parents of Seattle are reading the stranger! Who would have guessed?

http://www.theonion.com/video/report-man…

I feel for you, anon. I've worked in childcare too. damn. long. for far too little appreciation. Every parent thinks their kid hung the moon, and that you as a professional with a decade-plus of experience and training should be thankful to look after their completely average children for $3 an hour, no joke. It is appalling.
Posted by happyhedonist on August 14, 2013 at 8:25 AM · Report this

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