Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Dad Strikes Again

Remember last week when he was supposed to be home but then I got there I was told that I'd have to stay later b/c he in fact, had decided to stay away? Put that in the back of your head for a minute.

Last night I needed to vote. My plan was to go in the morning before work but I still have to vote in Boston and it was snowing. I knew I would not have time to get there, wait in line, vote and get to work. So I wrote to The Mom and asked her if it was OK if I left at 7pm after I did the dishes. This would mean she had to put the kids to bed by herself. She wrote back and said that it was fine. That night, she didn't say anything and was very nice to me, as usual.

Flash forward to tonight. The Dad was home. Before I left work I joked with a coworker and asked her how many "By the way"'s I'd get tonight. Well, I didn't have to wait long. Within the first 5 minutes he cornered me in the kitchen and said, "Oh, by the way. I know you were trying to vote last night but it left The Mom alone with the kids. I know you won't make a habit of it, but I needed to mention it."

I was PISSED. I told him that of course I wouldn't make a point of it, I never leave them hanging and it was the only way I could have voted. He could tell I was mad so he said he'd leave me to cook and he went upstairs.

I thought about quitting right there. I was SO angry that he continues to say "Oh by the way" and then he hits me with something he thinks I can do better. And he's NEVER THERE. What gets me the most is that I've been with them for 8 months now and I've done nothing but work hard for them. I love their children and they love me. I continue to cook wonderful meals that they rave about AND I make them a fresh dessert once a week. AND they underpay me but I'm OK with that b/c it's cash and I don't want to work in a restaurant. But seriously?! How can he say anything to me-especially when it was about voting. Especially when last week I had to cancel 2 nights of plans because he decided not to come home-AND the first night I didn't have any warning. I just had to stay and suck it up.

Did I say, "Oh, by the way..." and then tell him what a horrible person he is? No. I didn't. I just smiled and continued playing Cinderella Polly Pocket and missed my plans.

I know that I'm doing the not looking back thing, but it's times like these when I miss my friend. He'd tell me if I was being irrational or too sensitive and then he'd make me laugh. And then he'd give me his opinion about what I should do and then he'd make me laugh again because he'd know I was still upset about it. Or maybe he didn't know it, but it helped. Anyway. That's done.

Do you have any suggestions on how I should handle this? Should I just not say anything? Should I email him and tell him why I was upset? (He's not home tomorrow or next week, so I can't talk to him in person.) Should I quit?


Linda said...

How badly do you need the money? That's the first thing you've got to ask yourself because if the answer is "not that badly" then I would say give them notice and tell that pompous jerk exactly why you are leaving.

Whether you love the kids or not, if this is causing you major stress then it's time to wrap it up and move on as I'm sure there are many other things you could be doing with the time that you devote to this job only to be told that you're doing something wrong on a regular basis.

You don't need it. And that's my opinion!

Lois Grebowski said...

To be honest, I don't know what I'd do. I know that the couple isn't communicating... that's for sure... and you DO have the right to vote.

If his being an ass isn't worth the cash, I say go.

There's another family that may need you (and appreciate you) more!

Danielle A. said...

I say you need to tell them that you need to set a meeting up to talk with the both of them. You need boundaries too. Tell them that if they leave you in a position of cancelling plans again that they'll need to pay you overtime because it's above and beyond expectations. Tell them that if they prefer you not alter your hours, they need to be honest and up front immediately when you ask. You have rights too. Just because they're paying you doesn't mean they can walk all over you.

Carrie said...

First, I have a question. Since when does "personal cook" include nanny duty? I agree with Danielle, if they're asking you to go above and beyond, and he's going to be an ass every time you need to ask for something for yourself, it's time to re-negotiate. And if that's not cool with them, maybe it's time to go.

It sounds to me like he's just insecure. I mean, if the Mom can't stay home alone with the kids, what did she do before you worked for them? What did he do? Why should that be different now? He can't use the fact that you're there as an excuse to stay away when he should be home, and then get upset when something in your life interferes.

It's hard to say where that one came from though. Maybe it really did bother the Mom that she was home alone, and if that was the case then she should have said something instead of letting the Dad do her dirty work.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do!

Rocketstar said...

What an asshole! You are doing your duty as an American by voting and he gives you shit for it? What a douche.

I woudl wait until you see him again in person and talk to him about it. One event (TO VOTE) does not make a pattern. I think he's still jealous at how much the kids love you.
good luck

SilverNeurotic said...

1. Put your feelers out for a similar position somewhere else.

2. Let the family know that if plans change suddenly and you have to say, you need to be compensated for it, either monetary or by being able to leave earlier on another day. It's only fair.

3. Write a letter to the father and air your grievances. It's a lot less confrontational, lets you stay professional. Make sure you also give a copy of the letter to the mother and keep a copy for yourself.

Travis said...

If it were me, I would bring up the last few times they were responsible for requiring you to stay late with no warning. And I would include the wife in that, because she's a grown woman and should be able to stay by herself one or two times and put her own kids to bed.

I would advise them that you don't have a problem doing a little extra, but you would appreciate notice ahead of time as well as compensation.

After the warning, the next time it happens, I'd quit.