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2008-12-06 - 10:41 a.m.

...'nan' too soon..

I made it to Saturday! Yesterday the TAs and I graded nearly 2000 short essay questions. We have another 400 long essay questions to go before we can submit the grades. It's been quite a tough week.

We gave our nanny notice on Thursday. Yes, this is still the same one. We've held onto her way too long - certainly too long for our nerves. Both K and I find her irritating, and irresponsible with most of the things that we ask of her.

Her latest was that her wallet was stolen and needing us to immediately rewrite her last two paychecks because she needed to cash them. Now, normally I would be very sympathetic but this comes after a long list of THINGS that have happened. This woman leaves her things EVERYWHERE, and so I wouldn't be surprised to learn that she has since found her wallet. Second, she held the checks in her wallet for four weeks before cashing them, and now she wants us to write her new ones at the drop of a hat, without stopping the old ones, because she needed the money NOW. I'm hard-pressed to believe that she needs the money NOW if she holds onto her paycheck in her wallet for four weeks. So I spent an hour (and $40) the next morning at my bank stopping the checks before I rewrote new ones.

Then, she sent us an email asking us that we wire her the money (another fee for us) so that she could have it immediately, and in the same email she asked for Friday off, so that she could work on Sunday. She had an appointment that she wanted to make. This gives me the exact impression of what she thinks of this job. It's like a doctor's appointment, or a trip for a cup of coffee that she can juggle around as she pleases, without thought to our or the child's schedule. And this after I've explained to her several times that my weekends with Susi are precious - they are the only times that I get to spend with her during the day. More words she's never heard.

If we look up her work schedule over the last few months, she has missed 40% of the days when she was supposed to work, due to illness, trips, and requests - and then wants us to pay to "bank" the hours for her to make up - at her convenience. (We say no - but we find the unnecessary friction very irritating).

She has neglected about half of the chores that are part of her job and has left her things strewn about here on so many occasions - and sat through Susi's naps reading books or playing with her iPhone, and playing through (and ripping) my CD collection.

She is regularly late, and has been caught taking coffees with her boyfriend - with Susi in a baby carrier strapped to her boyfriend whom I've never met. She has conveniently "lost" about 3-4 emails from us that she doesn't want to get. Last week, she didn't show up on Tuesday after being sick Friday and Monday - and never even called us to tell us that she was sick.

We have also caught her in a lie about supposed "missed emails" - she told us she never got an email, and then later, information that was provided in the email has slipped out... Not surprisingly this has led us to distrust anything she says to us - not a relationship you want to have with your child care provider. I have to repeat things to her multiple times and she still doesn't get them. The latest was her surprise that we were leaving for SF next Saturday. She claims that I've never told her the dates, when I've told them to her twice.

Why have we kept such a person?? Well, the most important point is that we haven't felt that Susi was unsafe. K works at home, and Susi never goes far. Also, it is abundantly clear that, even though she irritates the SH*T out of K and me, she would never hurt Susi. She does adore her, and treats her very well. Susi likes her, too. The final major point is that good childcare is nearly impossible to find in Funcouver, and takes a LOT of time and effort that we haven't had during the semester. We have been looking for several months for a replacement.

Nanny's replacement is another student who wants to work part time (4 days per week), a vegetarian who has requested one day per week to do volunteer work, who has worked with autistic children in the past. She is very very quiet and seemingly shy. In fact, we were also quite undecided about her at first, but we decided that this was because we felt so burnt by our current situation. We really misjudged the current person, and then stayed in this professional relationship too long...what's to say we wouldn't do the same again? It has me second-guessing my ability to judge people during interviews, so I simply asked to meet with the new person a second time.

On the second meeting, things warmed up considerably. (Our first meeting had also been at 8:30 in the morning - none of us was very alert.) She seemed to take to Susi, and she had good answers to our questions. Everything felt more familiar, and comfortable. We have a two-week trial period set up to begin in January, and after this Friday, K will take over childcare until the holidays. K and I vow to take the 2-week trial period much more seriously this time.

Thanks for tolerating my rant. I've tried to avoid complaining until now because I've known what the solution is. Fire her and replace her. It was just a matter of doing it. Now we've done it, and we can move on!

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