Story by Kate H. from Los Angeles, CA
I did a travel job that included being flown to another state to help with 5 kids (2 sets of twins, all of the kids were within 3 years of each other) while on their vacation at an amusement park. During the interview part, I emailed the mom because I had left a voicemail with the assistant but didn't hear back. The mom insisted that the assistant had already left me 3 voicemails. She was clearly annoyed that I had reached out to her and not the assistant, but the assistant must have had an incorrect number for me. After changing itineraries 4 times, the trip was booked.
As I was walking out of my apartment building, a U-Haul truck hit my parked car. I try not to believe in omens/bad signs, but I think this was my warning of what was to come! I dealt with it quickly, but almost missed my flight. Once I got to the hotel, I couldn't reach the assistant so I sat waiting in my room for several hours. I called and emailed the assistant as well as both parents several times. Eventually I heard back (with no apology or explanation), but by then it was after 9PM and I was hungry. The hotel did not have a restaurant or even vending machines (I had brought snacks but didn't want to go through them all on my first night), but thankfully there was a restaurant down the street so I walked there. The to go/carry out ordering was at the bar. I sat down and ordered my food to go. While I was waiting for my food, two men next to me started making small talk and asking if I was visiting town, etc. I was friendly, but careful of what I said as I didn't want to violate the family's privacy. I only said I was a nanny, traveling with a family. Because everyone in town was there for a special event, these guys were able to figure out pretty quickly who I was with (only a few participants had brought children) but didn't say anything more. Well, the next morning the head nanny pulls me aside and says that the family heard I was at the bar HITTING ON these two guys (who she knew by name) and how inappropriate it was to be drinking with them. I explained that since the hotel didn't have a restaurant, that it was my only option for food and I had just been waiting for my carry out when they started talking to me. I also explained that I absolutely had not been drinking! It all went down hill from there.
The head nanny did not want another nanny there, she undermined me any time I tried to step up with the kids, and got mad when I said I couldn't do certain rides due to motion sickness (originally I was hired to take care of the kids at their house in another city, but last minute the trip changed to going to a theme park). To top it all off, for some reason I couldn't hear my cell phone ring or feel it vibrate when we were at the theme park. I had started putting it in my pants pocket since I couldn't have it in my hand due to holding hands with two kids at all times. Of course this just added to me coming across as unprofessional. I had never had this issue with my phone before! The rest of the trip was just as stressful and the head nanny continued to throw me under the bus. I don't think the parents even knew my name. The kids did not want to be in the car with me so I always drove alone (in their huge, expensive SUV). The kids were sweet, but not well behaved. I was SO glad when the trip was over and needless to say, ever since I have been very apprehensive about accepting temp travel nanny positions.
Just a note: After trying to keep their privacy during the trip, they actually did not have me sign any kind of confidentiality agreement!