Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Letter 2 The Dad

I woke up today still angry about what happened last night with The Dad.  While I don't actually need the money now that I am working, the extra cash comes in handy-especially since I don't have any savings built up yet and especially now that I have the new car.  And it's cash.  And...it's cooking.  I know you all mention that I can find something else, but I'm not sure you understand how cushy this job really is for a chef.  I will not work in a restaurant and I do not want to give up my weekends.  This is huge.  It's why i haven't said anything to him yet and why I hold my tongue when he's an ass.  My coworker suggested I write a letter, save it and send it later if I still want to.  This is what I drafted...what do you think?

The Dad,

I wanted to write to you regarding our talk last night.  I'm sure you could tell that it upset me greatly and I need to explain why.  I have worked for your family for 8 months now.  During this time, I have only "called in" sick a few times and I have never left this decision to be last minute.  I have always contacted the mom ahead of time letting her know that I would not be able to make it in.  All of the other times I have not worked were scheduled because of vacations or special days I already had planned before I started.  I care a great deal for your children and know that my being there is a great help to the mom  I would never simply decide not show up just for the heck of it and certainly not without alerting the mom beforehand.  My intention Tuesday was to vote prior to going to work.  But as you may remember, the weather was not nice and knowing I had to drive to Boston to vote, I was not able to make it.

In addition to the reasons above, I was upset that it was mentioned especially because last week I was under the impression that you would be home and therefore, made plans after work.  When I arrived on Tuesday I was told that you in fact would not be home.  I was not given any heads up that your plans changed and no thought was made about my time.  The mom offered to let me leave early in case I had plans, but knowing she's been extra tired lately, I told her I could re-arrange my plans and that I would stay.  This is not the first time this has happened, but like I mentioned above, I care a great deal about your family and so I have not mentioned it.  That is my error; I should have done so when it happened.  Our agreement when I started was that I would help the mom when you were not home, but when you were home, I would leave after cleaning up.  Using the time after work when you are home is a great gift and it is not unusual for me to have plans or run errands when I leave.  Having no notice of the change in plans is not only an inconvenience but also inconsiderate and just as you have asked I not make a habit of taking a night off, I ask the same of you.

I understand that this email may make you upset and if it does, I truly am sorry.  I very much enjoy working for your family and love spending time with the girls after I cook.  I would like to continue doing so, but I need you to understand that I am an adult and that I have priorities and responsibilities outside of your home.  I ask that in the future, if anything like this comes up again that the mom simply tell me she does not want me to leave early.  I would hope that this not be the case-especially if it involves voting-because I don't do it often, but at least I would know up front that she would be upset if I did not stay.

Best, Mags

I don't know about the last paragraph.  I'm not sure how to end it.  Any suggestions?

8 comments:

Danielle A. said...

My only suggestion would be that it needs to be to both the mom and the dad. They're "supposed" to be working as a team, and if she was upset about you leaving that should be addressed to her.

This stinks that you have to do this, but I think it's awesome that you're thinking of it. :)

Rocketstar said...

One of the best pieces of advice I have received (it was from a mentor) about communication regarding an 'issue' that causes strife is to "never email when mad or frustrated, always wait until you've had time to process it fully, then send a communication."

Maybe you are there already. I would wait to talk to him in person but I think the email is fine. I woudl also talk to the Mom about this so she is 'in the know'.

good luck

Lois Grebowski said...

Whether or not you decide to ever send this note, I think it was good therapy.

I suggest you let them know you are upset in person, take out the emotion, stick to only facts, and explain that the courtesies/boundaries need to extend both ways to ensure a good working relationship.

In the meantime look for similar position elsewhere if they cross the boundary to the point you can't work with them anymore.

Bond said...

Mags...I also agree that this needs to be to both the mom and the dad.

AND that it should be done in person. Maybe set up a time on Saturday morning to 'go over and discuss issues which have been causing you some concern.'

It would certainly be best if done without the kids around.

I am slightly confused and maybe I missed this a long time ago, but is the mom ill in some way?

That you were talked to because you left the mom to put HER daughters to bed alone makes very little sense unless you are an au pair or nanny...

This situation can not go on much longer for anyone concerned...

What about an ad in the local paper offering your services the one or two nights a week you do this now and see what develops.

Marilyn said...

I am so crappy at the in person thing, which probably means I need to grow up or something, but if it were me the e-mail would be the way to go because I can't leave emotion out of it.

On the other hand, everybody is right when they say that in person is the way most grown-up would handle it. Also, I think the mom probably needs to be included in it. They seem to be playing good cop/bad cop, or maybe she's trying to get him to own up to his own behavior and he's decided to blame you for her being tired, but whatever, this is a married couple and you are ending up in the middle of it. Andy sees this stupid stuff between couples all the time. It sucks.

jo said...

I think the therapy of writing it and purging it is good, but I also think that he has a serious case of guilt from being unable to be with his family. our ease into their lives and the need they have developed on you prays on his guilt. His way to assuage the guilt is to belittle and demean you, to let you know that you are just an 'employee' and not 'part of the family' even though the girls obviously consider you as such. the wife probably casually mentioned you left early and he took the chance to belittle again. Having spent the week being accused of lying by a woman (to find out the brother never bought her the gift she insists she lost), being informed that I had to handwrite a receipt for each of her daughters classes with the information she required for her tax purposes and not use our standard receipts, and informed that I should cancel a week of our summer classes and reschedule it for her daughters age group, please use the following menu and this is the time that suits our schedule....I can tell you that it isn't worth sweating it. I spent two days sleepless and agonizing about the 1st incident to find out that I had NOTHING to do with it.
Write it, don't send it. his ego would never let him acknowledge his misdeed nor understand your anger.

Travis said...

I suggest you address this to both parents. They are both your employer and she needs to take as much responsibility as you do.

I also suggest that you remove any apology for "upsetting" them. You are an employee with rights. You should not apologize for expressing an issue with mis-treatment.

His reasons for doing what he does are irrelevant. As your employer, he has repeatedly made you uncomfortable. I understand about how "cushy" this job may be, but it can't be so "cushy" that you have to put up with being mis-treated.

Palm Springs Savant said...

ooooo. I'd suggest not sending that e-mail. Written words are very powerful and your tone or intent can easily be misinterpreted. Would strongly recommend either letting it go, or just having a brief chat in person, but be sure to smile. That is, if you want to keep this gig.