so yesterday was an eventful day.
our nanny quit. and actually, she didn't even have the cajones to quit. she asked me that morning if i had time to talk "one on one", and then when i said "yeah- lets talk right now..." i could tell that wasn't the right answer, so i said "or we could talk wednesday when bennett will be around to help wrangle the kids"...and i could tell that wasn't the right answer either...
so i said "well- you look frustrated. so you might as well tell me what's on your mind..."
and she hemmed and she hawed. she didn't seem nervous. nor did she seem ashamed. she just sort of didn't say anything, really, that gave me any sense of what she wanted to talk with me about one one one. it was very bizarre.
first she said "you know, i'm not sure what your other nannies were like...but i feel like maybe you have a different expectation of me..." (this has sort of been brewing- i was having a hard time getting her to do anything beyond take care of holden- which I get is the priority- but the kid sleeps for 2-3 hours of the day, and i clearly stated i wanted help around the house during that time..."
and she paused and i said "well tell me what you mean..." to which she said "i know you're upset that i shrunk more of your sweaters, and you're probably at work wondering what i'm doing all day at your house...but i think i just took on more than i can handle. and this job is really draining. and i feel stressed and like i can't focus on my workouts or my meal prep for my show. that's my whole life right now. i work out, i sleep, i meal prep, i sleep, i work out." (she's training for an amateur body builder competition- she works three days/30 hours a week for me)
so i said, very calmly..."yeah, it does seem like maybe you aren't as interested in helping around the house, or like you aren't able to get things done. and to be honest, i haven't been frustrated or sitting around wondering what you are doing all day- but i have gotten that vibe from you. so i DID go back to the job description i wrote for you to make sure i was clear and fair- and honestly, the laundry, helping pick up after the kids, etc, it's all there...
and i was pretty abundantly clear about that through our interview- even the title of the job posting that you applied for...so i'm not sure where the misunderstanding is coming from. really, with the move and everything, i haven't asked you to do much as everything has been packed and i haven't worried about being clean or tidy at all..."
then she just sort of said "yeah..." and stared off, and then said "and i don't mind working- i told you in my interview that i hate being bored and that i love to get things done- and i am on top of things...and i guess really- the thing is (long pause) i'm here to be with your kids."
i said "yes, absolutely. they are the first priority. and we've talked about that. and to be honest, a big reason why i hired you was because you showed me these documents and you talked me through how you would do monthly and weekly curriculum and activities- and i've never seen those documents, or heard about anything like that since- but again- Jinhwa- i've been flexible because i like you, the kids, like you, and i figured we would find our groove."
to which she responded by saying "yeah, i know. i'm not making any excuses. but i haven't done my part and i just, well, my mom fell about a week ago, in detroit...and she has been sick for the last week and unable to work. and the only reason i do this job, to begin with, is to pay her mortgage..."
i just stared at her. not because i was mad, but more because i was like "where is this conversation going? what is your damn point?"
so i finally said to her "jinhwa- what are you telling me? do you want to revise the job description and just keep the kids? i can do that- i'll have to pay you less- because lets be honest- you have ONE kid to watch- and you make more than most of my friends' nannies with two and three kids (i didn't say that last part- but i'm just telling you for context). are you saying you need to do fewer days?" long pause- lots of awkward staring...so i finally said "do you need to quit?" at this point, i'm like just put on your big girl panties and rip the band aid off already. Good Lord.
then she looks at me and said "yes, i guess i have to let you all go..."
and i very calmly and sincerely said "Okay. Well that is too bad. But you know, it sounds like you have a lot going on, and I can't fault you for that. I just ask that you give us time..."
and then i say again "Jinhwa, you can give us time, right?" and then she said "i bought a plane ticket last night and i am flying home tonight."
BOOM. FLASH. RESOUNDING ECHO OF SILENCE.
and in my mind i'm thinking about a million things:
- no she didn't.
- this isn't happening right now.
- who does this? after all we've done for her- given to her- etc. who does this?
- you are F*ING kidding me.
but i look at her, and in my instant FURY, i start to cry. and i said "WOW. Okay. Well, that REALLY puts me in a bind."
and she says nothing.
and i think to myself "it's spring break. not only does holden not have coverage, but she knew she was also going to get paid more this week to watch davis, because he doesn't have school."
and at that point, the kids walk in, and i am wiping my eyes trying not to make anything obvious. and i just look at her and say "well, are you going to be able to keep them today?"
she says "yes" i tell the kids goodbye, and i go call bennett.
and here is what i love about bennett. he goes to the house over lunch, and asks her all the hard things i couldn't think of at the time, or i wouldn't have talked about in front of the kids...
he asked what was going on, and she gave him another very roundabout answer, and ended up saying it's about her mom, and how she almost left last week, but felt too bad about it...
and then he looks at her and says "i mean, i have to be honest with you. to leave like this, the only word i can think of to describe it is 'disrespectful.' and it makes me wonder- did we treat you poorly? because the only thing i can think is that somehow we did something to you that made you feel like it was okay to leave us in a situation like this..."
j: no, you didn't treat me poorly. i just felt like 'the help' and you know, i know sam is upset about all the sweaters i've shrunk. and my mom is sick, so i have to go home and be with her. and...
davis: so which is it? is your mom sick and you need to get home today? i mean, i would understand that. but i don't really feel like we treated you like the help- i feel like we've welcome you in and wanted to get to know you- and even have you be part of the family.
it probably sounds stupid, but i got you and your boyfriend tickets to the timberwolves game while he was in town, sam was just so excited to buy you these athleta pants that she knew you wanted for your birthday, we just gave you our flat screen TV!! and not that it's all about that type of thing- but we got here on time, we said thank you. we appreciate you.
you may think that we are the type of people that think too highly of ourselves to do the laundry- but that's really not it- we both work long hard jobs and when we come home- we'd rather play with our kids than do the laundry. it's something that is worth it for us to pay for. and i was there when you interviewed and i know sam made that abundantly clear...so help me understand???"
and she just sat there- and later he told me "i realized at that point that i was just venting. that it didn't matter to her and i was getting nothing out of this..."
so as you can imagine- when i got home from work- i expected her to say goodbye to the kids and quickly leave. but she didn't. she just kept sitting there. and the kids were chatting my ears off- and so i kept talking to them and didn't engage her- but then it got so awkward that i finally said "okay guys- tell jinhwa thank you! give her a hug..."
and then she walked by me and sort of under her breath said "i hope one day you will be able to forgive me..."
and i thought to myself "oh no. i'm not going to do this. i'm not going to do the one of two things you are waiting around for me to do: 1) make you feel better about the situation or 2) pay you for the day." so i didn't say anything at all, and in the awkwardness she said "i guess i don't really know what else to say" to which i said "there really isn't anything to say" and i opened the front door.
WHAT THE HELL, PEOPLE?
and then i started to cry. because as stupid as it is, it hurt my feelings. who does that? i am like too nice to people. i expect at least decency out of people. and certainly out of people who talk so much about their christian faith and how much it has changed their lives. and i know i shouldn't judge her faith- but part of me wanted to be like leaning out the front door, shouting "if this is what you think jesus treats people- you've got it all wrong, sister!!!"
but instead i just cried. and it kept me up all night. because i feel so dumbfounded by the whole situation.
and then the icing on the cake just happened today at work. i just got a text from her asking me to pay her for yesterday. and again, i wanted to write a good many things, but i simply put "you must have really not thought through what it is costing me to find last minute day care for two kids this week because you chose to quit yesterday without providing any notice. I don't know how, with any sort of conscience, you could put us in the spot that you did, and then reach out to me to pay you for your final day. please do not contact me again."
and so, with that, i'm done with nannies.
because not all people are honest. not all people do what they say they will do. and not all people just do the damn job they applied for, and were hired to do.
and i realize what you are thinking, because i've thought it too, but i am the common one in this equation. i know that. and i realize i am a ball buster at work- but man, i have been good to nannies. in fact, if anything, i have been too accepting, too flexible, too patient. too kind. and the buck now stops here.
so there is that story. more later.