Just read this article in the NYT, and though I’m a little late in the game I think it’s still worth posting. It’s about a Manhattan mom’s listing on Craiglist, searching for a nanny. The original listing has now expired, but here it is in its entirety for your reading pleasure! I copied it exactly the way it was posted, mistakes and all.
Live in Nanny Needed for 4 kids (Pls don’t call them “Precious Ones”) (Upper East Side)
Date: 2008-08-19, 9:04PM EDT
My kids are a pain in the ass. Just in the past hour, i have had to tell each one to do something more than once.
oldest: can i have soda? it’s just a sprite? please? can i? no, no and no.
the next one…don’t even get me started. seriously.
the twin six year olds: one wanted dessert before her dinner was over, one kept wanting to know why I wouldn’t let nine year olds swing her around by her limbs. (the fear of a dislocated shoulder did nothing.)
Please help me.
I can be a tad difficult to work for. I’m loud, pushy and while I used to think we paid well, i am no longer sure. i work from home, so you get the pleasure of being hounded by me all day long. and, you get to pretend to like me, because i am deeply sensative. (but well dressed and a know it all, a winning combination I assure you.)
If you cannot multi task, or communicate without being passive aggressive, don’t even bother replying.
If you are the type who doesn’t notice crumbs on the table, skip to the next post, because crumbs are a deal breaker. they put me over the edge.
i have all sorts of theories on how to stack my dishwasher, and if you are judgemental about ritalin for adhd, or think such things are caused by too much sugar, again, deal break city.
You do get a separate entrance excellent studio on the ues. you do get air conditioner and internet connection and cable. even hbo. and showtime. you can bring your spouse, roommate or partner, but sorry no kids. If you ask, can i bring my kid, the answer will be…anyone? anyone? No.
If you can cook, all the better. otherwise, i’ll teach you all sorts of things about pasta. (Here’s a freebie, butter and parmesean, mmmmmm)
If you know anything about chess and violin i will be impressed.
We are not snobs, which is good. but then again, my kid sometimes swears to make a point. (We’re working on it, but halfheartedly, because, well the apple doesn’t fall far from the fucking tree.)Although I am told they are all very bright, they have not mastered the use of the oh so complicated napkin. This is a napkin Junior, say it after me…Nap Kin. Good boy.
i am not looking for Super nanny, or anyone who wants this job because they will love my kids as if they are their own. you won’t. really. they are infinitely lovable, but trust me, they’re mine and you will move on when your journey with us is over, and save for some funny stories and a delightful email every now and again, you won’t grieve. Nor will we. (okay, we did all grieve a few of our past sitters, oddly they were all named Sarah or Kate, or Nikki. And Leah. Leah was delightful, even if she did drop my twin babies off our couch during a family gathering. Good times.
I don’t want someone who has a lot of theories on the right way to raise kids, because in the end, I’m just a woman doing my best. I’m willing to learn from you, or anyone, but not so much about how i should parent my spawn. teach me to knit. introduce me to yoga, the white stripes, russian literature or the best place to get a burger in the village at 2Am, but do not tell me to put star stickers on a good boy chart. stickers irritate me.
If you are fundamentally unhappy with your life, you will be more unhappy if you take this job, so do us all a favor and get some treatment or move to the Rockies, but do not apply for employment with us. Also, if you suspect all wealthy women are frivilous, we are not for you. I do not want to hide my occasional bergdorf shopping bag.
If you smoke, please quit. don’t apply either, but please quit. i have known too many people diagnosed with cancer this year. Even if you are a judgemental nanny 911 wannabe, no one should have to endure some of the things I have wittnessed.
You gotta be able to drive with a valid license, but if you’ve ever hit a human,move to the next post. You won’t have to drive in the city, but if we go to our weekend place together, or if you make it to the summer and still work for us, we need you to run into town to get some pink milk, so be able to drive a mini van.
Can you swim? Swimming is good.
If you do drugs or drink enough so that you are grumpy in the morning and grumpier at night prior to that next cocktail, call AA, and peruse craigslist childcare positions when you have a year sober. I’ll probably be looking again, and now is the time for you to focus on yourself anyway.
I need a team player. I need someone to back me up when it comes to remembering when the library books are due, and whether i have rsvped to that birthday party yet.
Help me dear G-d keep track of our skim milk supply and also, also, also, what should I make for dinner tomorrow night?
the hours are 7 in the morning to 8:30 in the morning. We’d be in it together, getting the kids out with clean faces, brushed teeth and some food in their bellies. Doesn’t that sound easy? Doesn’t that sound doable?
Then come on back for a fun filled afternoon 2:15-8:15 of activities and playdates and snacks and dinners and homework and riveting conversations about global warming, hannah montana and guitar hero.
When you do get to go home (to that swanky studio and possibly a significant other or buddy) your time off will be respected. If I would like you to give extra hours, i’ll ask. if you say yes, you get paid 15/ hour. if you say no, I will not fire you or hate you. Except if it is a school holiday or if i have a sick kid, then i might ask, and unless you have a final exam worth 2/3 of your grade or tix The Lion King, you may need to help out.
Okay, if you’re still reading this ad, it means:
a) i am a halfway decent writer and maybe i really will get that book deal i’m yearning for
b) you need a job desparately
c) you think this just might be destiny, and that you could be one of the few, the proud, the potential babysitter of our dreams.
D) you want all the information about job requirements, so that you can write me emails about how I should stay home with my kids otherwise they are going to grow up to be sociopaths. (If my pen pal is out there, wassup? Found love yet? No? How ’bout that.)
best of luck to all of you in your search for a job. Seriously. Job searching sucks. No two ways about it.
A 25-yr old woman from the DC area ended up taking the job. If I wasn’t married with children, would I have taken this opportunity? I don’t think so. It sounds a little too much like the “Nanny Diaries” and being that miserable is just not worth $430 a week, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong – when I lived in NYC in the late 90’s I took care of several kids in between classes at NYU and enjoyed it quite a bit. It was all very informal; I was there for the kids, not the mom. This particular woman seems to be in need of a personal assistant first, and nanny second.
What do you think about this? Would you take the job?