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Nanny Screening

Lovely Family Seeks Nanny (But Read the Small Print)

Jermain Defoe was in the press recently because he was advertising for a personal assistant. It wasn't so much the salary that caught people's eyes - it was more the list of duties

11/09/2015

 

Plant watering, fridge stocking, organising parties... These were just some of the responsibilities of Mr Defoe's advert.

Unusual requests for a nanny

Was I surprised or shocked by his demands? In a word: no. After 15 years working at Tinies, I've seen a lot worse. Here are some of the best demands I've heard from parents looking to hire a nanny:

  • "Please only send us nannies who pluck their eyebrows." I really couldn't work out why that would be a requirement. Is there a phobia of unkempt eyebrows out there that I don't know about?
  • "They must have their own hair." For that one, I presumed it was a typo and they meant to say "car", although I'm not sure you could blame that on prescriptive text.
  • "The nanny is an accessory and needs to look as good as my handbag." We couldn't help that client as none of our nannies came in crocodile skin.
  • "The nanny must be able to inject the cats regularly." Apparently the cats were diabetic and needed insulin shots. The problem is not many nannies come with veterinary training.

Always read the small print

There was an excellent story about a nanny who applied for a live out position with a family. When she went for the interview, the family showed her the list of duties. They weren't too onerous, but there was something that caught the nanny's eye.

"It says that when I arrive the twins have to be washed and dressed. How can I do that if I've just arrived?" the nanny asked.

"As the twins will be living with you, I don't see why that would be a problem?" came the reply.

The nanny checked that it wasn't a live in job. It wasn't - the family just expected the twins to live with the nanny at her house!

Parents do the funniest things

We have a lovely lady who works at Tinies Head Office, who in a past life worked as a nanny and babysitter. She has quite a few horror stories to tell. Including the one where the father of the children expected them to call the nanny "Mummy", even though they already had a mummy. That just seems creepy to me.

And she also worked for a family who felt perfectly comfortable greeting her at the door with absolutely nothing on. I would have at least worn a towel until we got to know each other better.

What about the nannies?

But it's not always the parents that do odd things. We've had our fair share of stories about nannies too, some of which are probably best not repeated.

The worst one was the nanny who had to leave her job because she had an affair with the father... and with the mother! I don't think we have anything in our terms and conditions which covers that specific scenario.

Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director

 
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