Friday, March 31, 2006

nanny hunting on the gold coast

The thing about having problems with childcare is that you JUST CAN'T STOP TALKING ABOUT IT, even though it's probably mind-numbingly boring to 90% of the population. Like I'll be talking with someone and they'll say something like, "Nice day today," and I'll say, "Sure, it's a nice day, except my nanny wants a really large raise and I'm afraid of what will happen if we don't give it to her and IT'S MAKING ALL MY HAIR FALL OUT!" For example.

I called Georgia the other day just to check in, and let her know that I was going to set aside time to talk with her on Tuesdays about financial matters. I also just wanted to make sure that everything was OK, because maybe leaving demands for more money on our answering machine wasn't just tactlessness, maybe something was truly wrong, like she was getting evicted from her home, or she needed to buy a kidney for her grandmother or something like that.


MICHELLE
I just wanted to see that everything was OK. Because you know, we got back from vacation, and the first thing we heard was a message on our machine from you saying that you wanted a raise, so...

GEORGIA
Oh, no, everything's fine. I was just talking to a nanny friend of mine, and she had just gotten a raise after working with her family for six months, so I thought, "Oh my gosh, Michelle forgot to give me my raise."

MICHELLE
I forgot...?

GEORGIA
So I just wanted to remind you.

MICHELLE
Remind me.

GEORGIA
To give me my raise.

MICHELLE
We...we never talked about a six month raise. When we first hired you, we talked about a yearly raise, because that's what we get from the hospital, and that's how it works for most jobs...

GEORGIA
Because at my old job, they gave me a raise at six months, one year, and then every year after that.

MICHELLE
Yes but...we're paying you a lot more now than you got paid at your old job. And anyway...

JOE
(Warning)
Honey...

MICHELLE
(Rushed)
But you know what, this is the kind of thing that we're going to talk about on Tuesday. Better to talk about these things face to face, don't you think? So Tuesday. We'll talk Tuesday evening.

GEORGIA
OK.


So at least I know that she doesn't need to buy an iron lung for Grandpa or anything like that. Which is good to know. It's also good to know that she's just coming from an expectation that linear wage growth is the norm, and that she doesn't understand that there's a ceiling to that kind of pay increase (or at least an asymptote), and--to make no judgments about her old employers--that we literally pay her about 30% more than where she started with her previous family (also a two-doctor parent clan with a similar situation, hours, etc.). Now that I'm fairly certain it's not a hostage-negotiation-type situation, it's more just a matter of settling out something that leaves both parties on the same page. Or, if it comes down to the fact that she just plain wants to work for a family that makes more money, then at least that'll be out there, because lord knows, we're not just squirreling away extra cash under our mattress and holding out on her.

It was a beautiful day today, so Joe and I took the subway uptown and took Cal to Central Park, where we took a quick walk around the boat pond and let Cal go nuts on the swings at one of he many playgrounds lining Fifth Avenue.





You know how, when you have a problem on your mind, it totally colors the way you see everything? Well, it was a Friday afternoon, and it looked to my eye like the playground was just packed with little Upper East Side kidlets and their nannies. Kids and nannies and navy Bugaboos, as far as the eye could see. Next to Cal, there was a pair of nannies pushing their charges in the adjacent swings, and eyeing them, I leaned over to Joe.


MICHELLE
(Whispering)
If I were more ballsy, I would ask them how much money they make.

JOE
I was thinking the same thing.

MICHELLE
But it may be difficult to compare. I mean, they have multiple-kid families, and this is the Gold Coast.* I know the regular Manhattan nanny going rate, but a Gold Coast nanny probably gets paid a lot more.

( * The Gold Coast is a real-estate term that refers to the richest and most price-hiked neighborhood in Manhattan, namely the Upper East Side on Fifth Avenue, running along the park, from roughly 65th to 85th Street. Think Museum Mile.)

JOE
Yeah, probably. We could still ask them if they know anyone, though.

MICHELLE
You mean, if they know any other nannies looking for jobs?

JOE
Sure, why not?

MICHELLE
Yeah, but what if they want Gold Coast pricing? I'm not Mary Tyler Moore,* for chrissake.

( * Mary Tyler Moore lives in the building across from the park near the playground.)

JOE
Yeah, but we could just ask.

MICHELLE
Well...OK.


The nannies were all very nice, and one of them actually did know someone who was looking for a job. A "mature, dependable woman," so we're told. They didn't have that person's number off-hand, but she gave us her own cell phone number, and told us to call her when she got home so that she could pass along the contact info. So that's something, at least. I'm a realist--I know the chances of something workable coming out of this are next to nil--but it's something to make us feel a little less like we've been backed into a corner. Like in this city of eight million people, surely there might be more than one person who would be willing to work for us and not microwave our child.

Currently eating: Chicken soup with rice. Sipping once, sipping twice, sipping chicken soup with rice. This may also be the first meal ever where Cal, Joe and I were able to all eat the same thing.

14 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:04 PM

    My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post's to
    be exactly what I'm looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content to
    suit your needs? I wouldn't mind producing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write about here.
    Again, awesome web site!

    Also visit my web site ... draining pool

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous8:50 PM

    I enjoy, lead to I discovered exactly what I used to be looking for.
    You have ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you
    man. Have a great day. Bye

    My web-site - robot de piscine

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous10:21 AM

    Amazing! Its genuinely awesome article, I have got much clear idea about from this
    post.

    - plusrencontre
    - plusrencontre
    - plusrencontre
    - plusrencontre
    - plusrencontre
    - plusrencontre

    my web site :: plusrencontre

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous8:49 AM

    Yoս hold a vibrant future in blo posting! Keeρ upp thee great work.


    Mʏ weblog ... e cigarette flavours australia

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous12:58 PM

    What's up, after reading this amazing piece of writing i am
    also cheerful to share my knowledge here with colleagues.


    My site: lol rp generator without Survey

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous4:04 PM

    I read this article fully about the resemblance of hottest and previous technologies, it's remarkable article.


    Feel free to visit my web-site :: sports supplements information

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous2:22 PM

    Some essay writing service, describes his own proofreading business.
    With the help of this sort of break it up with other equivalencies such as images or
    essay writing other writing assignments whhy should you decide to write.
    You will receive a reply. And that's just how they might not be back, they have to be a primary category in UK works online, which is available to help individualss complete their research writing.

    Thhe best strategy that you have poor 'English' skills.

    Those fairies listened what Queen Greinypearce asked us to impart more information.

    Also visit my homepage - research paper writers

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous2:45 PM

    The key to the most effective intercourse is that's
    should embody an orgasm for each companion.

    Also visit my web blog :: davis sextant uk

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous11:13 PM

    BrokerLTD.com cpa affiliate programs


    Thank you a lot for sharing this with all people you really understand what you're talking about!
    Bookmarked. Please additionally discuss with my site =).
    We will have a hyperlink change arrangement among us

    My web-site; vertical advertising network ()

    ReplyDelete