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  1. #71
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    sste, very well- said and ITA.

  2. #72
    TxCat is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    sste - agree with your post completely.

    As several other posters have commented, it's not the fact that she quit at the 11th hour, but how she quit, especially after having communicated via phone, personal email, and in person with her future employer. It certainly could have been handled better in numerous other ways - a slightly lengthier explanation (one extra line - "due to unforeseen personal circumstances/emergency, I can't take the job"!), more notice, a phone call, meeting in person, offers to help find a replacement, or alerting the employer in advance that she might be looking for an alternative position - all of these would have mitigated the impression that she was behaving in a wholly unprofessional manner, and behavior that was unexpected based on her personal references.

    Additionally, I think some discussion of this has blurred the line between babysitter and nanny - understandably, the definition may change depending on who you are speaking to. When the poster specifies that her prospective "nanny" has quit last minute, I'm assuming that this is a greater than part-time position, possibly salaried, paying employment/soc. sec. taxes and giving benefits. I say this employing a nanny currently, having participated in numerous threads on this board about nanny employment, and having numerous friends and colleagues who employ nannies. Admittedly there is a spectrum with regard to pay and benefits, but the majority of employers that I know and have communicated with, pay salaries not hourly wages, pay taxes on the nanny's salary, and give reasonable benefits (paid holidays off, paid vacation time, paid sick time). If a babysitter, who is a part-time, hourly wage employee, flakes on me last minute, I chalk it up to bad luck and move on. I'm much more invested in a nanny from the employment side and try to treat her as a professional - as such, I expect professionalism in return. This is where I assume the OP is coming from as well.

    OP - I think you may have rubbed some people the wrong way with your initial comments about the nanny candidate's Christian character, and tying that into contacting the pastor. Leaving aside all discussion of character and religion, I still think it's reasonable (if you desire) to contact her most recent or main reference and give them an update along the lines of "I really appreciate your taking the time to recommend X for a nanny position in our family. I wanted to update you that although we offered her the position and she initially accepted, she ultimately turned the job down 12 hours prior to starting with no real explanation. I was surprised because it did not seem in keeping with your description of her professionalism and dependability and I ultimately decided that if I was her reference, I would want to be updated." They may think you're a crazy person. Or, it may be the most recent in a string of incidents that might make them think twice about vouching for this person. Either way, you've done what you felt necessary, and the situation is out of your hands.
    DD1 10/2010
    DD2 8/2013

  3. #73
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxCat View Post
    OP - I think you may have rubbed some people the wrong way with your initial comments about the nanny candidate's Christian character, and tying that into contacting the pastor. Leaving aside all discussion of character and religion, I still think it's reasonable (if you desire) to contact her most recent or main reference and give them an update along the lines of "I really appreciate your taking the time to recommend X for a nanny position in our family. I wanted to update you that although we offered her the position and she initially accepted, she ultimately turned the job down 12 hours prior to starting with no real explanation. I was surprised because it did not seem in keeping with your description of her professionalism and dependability and I ultimately decided that if I was her reference, I would want to be updated." They may think you're a crazy person. Or, it may be the most recent in a string of incidents that might make them think twice about vouching for this person. Either way, you've done what you felt necessary, and the situation is out of your hands.
    been waiting to be able to say that. Lots came close but this is what I'd do. And also having an unfavorable reaction to the op bc of the religion and character discussion. I feel that is irrelevant and not the real issue.

    Good luck!
    ds1 '02
    ds2 '07

  4. #74
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    elliput is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by spunkybaby View Post
    Furthermore, the nanny obviously knew that the OP would be upset by the news, but the nanny had already made her decision. So she probably didn't want to engage the OP further. Many times on this board, people post WWYD about difficult conversations when they know the other person will be upset by their decisions, and the overwhelming advice is to keep things short and not offer explanations/excuses that the other person will try to argue around and change your mind.
    For whatever reason, the young woman decided she could not, or did not want to, work for the OP. IMO, she acted in a polite and reasonable manner, documented in writing, to avoid potential conflict. Also, it is very possible she is wigged out by the OP calling and emailing asking for an explanation of her actions.

    For your own reputation, OP, I suggest not contacting anyone. The employment contract (verbal, I am guessing?) was between you and the prospective nanny, not between you and her references.
    Erica
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    DS 9/08

    Since one just does not simply walk into Mordor, I say we form a conga line and dance our way in.
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  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by elliput View Post
    For whatever reason, the young woman decided she could not, or did not want to, work for the OP. IMO, she acted in a polite and reasonable manner, documented in writing, to avoid potential conflict. Also, it is very possible she is wigged out by the OP calling and emailing asking for an explanation of her actions.

    For your own reputation, OP, I suggest not contacting anyone. The employment contract (verbal, I am guessing?) was between you and the prospective nanny, not between you and her references.
    All of the above. And FWIW, we've had our nanny for three years and I've hired nannies (and many lawyers too), and been a reference many times. The suggestion it is okay to contact her references because she didn't start the job is unheard of in my experience. If I was her and received multiple contacts from a potential employer, after saying no or revoking my acceptance to a job, I would not call that person back, I'd conveyed my info that I was not starting the job. What is done is done, and email is a legitimate way to communicate this sort of info. eapecially since much of the communication was done that way. Think of the proverbial "rejection letter.". The Christian angle is just ironic - and mentioned since it was featured as a prominent factor in the OP's decision making (that in itself a whole different employment law issue).
    Last edited by HannaAddict; 12-30-2012 at 06:24 AM.

  6. #76
    fedoragirl is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    I believe codex said it best.
    OP, you are complaining about her "Christian values," and yet, what you want to do to her is not very Christian like either. It's ironic to me that you have made a decision to not attend this lady's church based on this one incident. So, essentially, you go to church because the congregation is perfect? I don't want to be harsh but as a Christian, this makes me very sad because you seem to be espousing one thing for yourself and another for someone else. I do apologize if I misread your intentions in the post.
    3 year old DD
    2 year old DS

  7. #77
    Momit is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxCat View Post
    sste - agree with your post completely.

    As several other posters have commented, it's not the fact that she quit at the 11th hour, but how she quit, especially after having communicated via phone, personal email, and in person with her future employer. It certainly could have been handled better in numerous other ways - a slightly lengthier explanation (one extra line - "due to unforeseen personal circumstances/emergency, I can't take the job"!), more notice, a phone call, meeting in person, offers to help find a replacement, or alerting the employer in advance that she might be looking for an alternative position - all of these would have mitigated the impression that she was behaving in a wholly unprofessional manner, and behavior that was unexpected based on her personal references.

    Additionally, I think some discussion of this has blurred the line between babysitter and nanny - understandably, the definition may change depending on who you are speaking to. When the poster specifies that her prospective "nanny" has quit last minute, I'm assuming that this is a greater than part-time position, possibly salaried, paying employment/soc. sec. taxes and giving benefits. I say this employing a nanny currently, having participated in numerous threads on this board about nanny employment, and having numerous friends and colleagues who employ nannies. Admittedly there is a spectrum with regard to pay and benefits, but the majority of employers that I know and have communicated with, pay salaries not hourly wages, pay taxes on the nanny's salary, and give reasonable benefits (paid holidays off, paid vacation time, paid sick time). If a babysitter, who is a part-time, hourly wage employee, flakes on me last minute, I chalk it up to bad luck and move on. I'm much more invested in a nanny from the employment side and try to treat her as a professional - as such, I expect professionalism in return. This is where I assume the OP is coming from as well.

    OP - I think you may have rubbed some people the wrong way with your initial comments about the nanny candidate's Christian character, and tying that into contacting the pastor. Leaving aside all discussion of character and religion, I still think it's reasonable (if you desire) to contact her most recent or main reference and give them an update along the lines of "I really appreciate your taking the time to recommend X for a nanny position in our family. I wanted to update you that although we offered her the position and she initially accepted, she ultimately turned the job down 12 hours prior to starting with no real explanation. I was surprised because it did not seem in keeping with your description of her professionalism and dependability and I ultimately decided that if I was her reference, I would want to be updated." They may think you're a crazy person. Or, it may be the most recent in a string of incidents that might make them think twice about vouching for this person. Either way, you've done what you felt necessary, and the situation is out of your hands.
    This, exactly.
    DS age 6

  8. #78
    TxCat is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by HannaAddict View Post
    All of the above. And FWIW, we've had our nanny for three years and I've hired nannies (and many lawyers too), and been a reference many times. The suggestion it is okay to contact her references because she didn't start the job is unheard of in my experience. If I was her and received multiple contacts from a potential employer, after saying no or revoking my acceptance to a job, I would not call that person back, I'd conveyed my info that I was not starting the job. What is done is done, and email is a legitimate way to communicate this sort of info. eapecially since much of the communication was done that way. Think of the proverbial "rejection letter.". The Christian angle is just ironic - and mentioned since it was featured as a prominent factor in the OP's decision making (that in itself a whole different employment law issue).
    Updating of references is very common in my field, both good and bad updates. I (and my department) have been notified about med students refusing to honor residency contracts at the last minute, residents making excessive job demands immediately out of residency, etc. I've also heard back on very successful outcomes as well. Privately, with regard to hiring and employing nannies, I've reported back to some references regarding the success of the placement.
    DD1 10/2010
    DD2 8/2013

  9. #79
    kara97210 is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxCat View Post
    Additionally, I think some discussion of this has blurred the line between babysitter and nanny - understandably, the definition may change depending on who you are speaking to. When the poster specifies that her prospective "nanny" has quit last minute, I'm assuming that this is a greater than part-time position, possibly salaried, paying employment/soc. sec. taxes and giving benefits. I say this employing a nanny currently, having participated in numerous threads on this board about nanny employment, and having numerous friends and colleagues who employ nannies. Admittedly there is a spectrum with regard to pay and benefits, but the majority of employers that I know and have communicated with, pay salaries not hourly wages, pay taxes on the nanny's salary, and give reasonable benefits (paid holidays off, paid vacation time, paid sick time). If a babysitter, who is a part-time, hourly wage employee, flakes on me last minute, I chalk it up to bad luck and move on. I'm much more invested in a nanny from the employment side and try to treat her as a professional - as such, I expect professionalism in return. This is where I assume the OP is coming from as well.
    I think this is a very good point. I read the position as part-time w/o benefits, because the original nanny left for a full-time position w/benefits. I would have a different set of expectations depending on whether or not the position was full-time and if benefits were offered.

    Reading all of these responses is really interesting. I think OP is right to move on and concentrate her energy on finding a new nanny. There could be any number of reasons this woman didnít accept the position and itís good to know now that it wouldnít have worked out long term. I think if you decide to follow up TXís message is perfect.
    Mom to 2
    Wild DS - 2009
    Silly DD - 2011

  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by sste View Post
    I am noticing that most of the posters who have employed nannies long-term are at the forefront of those not bothered by contacting recommenders . . . myself included.

    It is true that this woman has the right to bail on the job the night before. But if she is an autonomous, independent worker with the right to do that then I don't see how all of a sudden she becomes immune from the consequences of those actions. Among the foreseeable consequences of quitting last minute is that someone might contact your recommender, word might get around informally, etc. I think those of us who recommend/receive recommendations for nannies feel strongly about good information being available about the people we hire and that is why one might contact recommenders (esp. since care.com feedback is not available as she shut down her account).

    Sure, we are all free to take better jobs. But we are all subject to the consequences to our reputations of doing so too. That is the other side of the coin of being an independent, autonomous worker and adult person.
    I have to agree with this. And to what TXCat said as well. While I would not call the nanny's actions "dishonest" or "un Christian", I have to agree that bailing HOURS before starting with merely very vague email, vanishing off the face of the earth is unprofessional. If it was a family emergency of somesort she could have at least called or at least said something like "so sorry, I have a family emergency come up and I cannot take the job" or SOMETHING. From the wording and what OP said, I'm betting money she suddenly got a better offer from somewhere (a previous family, other family with better pay, graduate program, whatever). Not that that's so horrible, but she could have definitely handled it better. Yes, it is common for people interview for multiple jobs, schools and sometimes have to reneg on accepted offers when a better offer comes along..that's part of the game. Companies are well aware of this..if someone backs out they often have several others waiting on the line to take their spot. Though nanny situation is different....if you back out at the very last second you are literally leaving a family in the lurch. I feel really bad for the OP, that is a sucky situation to be in.

    I know that in my field professors and those in academia have retracted recommendations before, upon finding out that the people they recommended flaked out or did something else that was unprofessional. It makes sense..if you are a well known, well respected professor in your field, and you give a glowing recommendation for someone for say, graduate program or for a full time position, and then that person ends up bailing at the last minute with no explanation...well, that obviously reflects poorly on them. I know I would want to know if somebody I raved on about to a colleague about how dependable and someone was, how excited they were for xxx job and then I found out the person bailed at the last minute. It would definitely make me look less credible and I would not want to be recommending that person again.

    eta: while i myself have never hired a FT nanny, i just started working FT earlier this month from being a SAHM and my perspective has really broadened...with both of us working FT i have really, really felt the burn and the panic of "oh crap, we don't have childcare for today, I can't miss work...what do we do now??" Due to 24 hr fever rule, my kids have had to stay home from daycare 3x already in the 3 weeks I started working..luckily DH was able to stay home each time, as i just started by job. But he travels a ton, so that is not always an option. Reliability is just SO key when it comes to a nanny..as PP said, it is entirely different from an occasional babysitter. If I am supposed to be all understanding and giving the benefit of the doubt when a nanny just up and cancels HOURS before her first day, with not much explanation, then I will never be getting a nanny. Much as I would LOVE for kids to have more personal attention, have less sicknesses, and me not have to deal with drop offs..stories like the OPs and others are what keep me from doing so right now. While I don't agree with the label of being 'un Christian' or "dishonest" whatever, I really feel the OP's pain.
    Last edited by ♥ms.pacman♥; 12-30-2012 at 03:07 PM.
    DS 01/10 DD 03/11

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