Thursday, March 3, 2011

Needed: A Babysitter and Some Tissues

Okay so posting more than once a day is kinda lame, I get that, but I seriously need some help here guys.  Here's the situation:
1.  My hours of availability are from 6 AM to 8 PM.  This is part of my contract and thus unchangeable, and yes, I often work all 14 hours of those available.  Today was one of those days.
2.  My boss, C. just called to tell me that my other boss, S. just scrubbed into emergency surgery and won't be out until 9:30 or 10:00.  She then asks me if I want her to find a babysitter or can I stay that late?  I feel brave, grow a pair, and say, no, I can't stay, find a babysitter.  She says okay, she'll call me back soon.
3.  I wait ten minutes.  Boss C. calls again to say that a surgeon friend will take over when S. is done so that he will be home by 9.  "Is that okay?" she asks.  This is clearly a rhetorical question.  THERE IS NOTHING ELSE I CAN DO EXCEPT STAY UNTIL 9.  BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE BABYSITTERS.  THEY HAVE ME.
4.  I work seven days a week.  I work, on average, 60-70 hours a week.  If I want overtime from this nanny job, it should be a question that I can answer yes or no to, not one where there is no room for an answer because the question isn't even asked.
5.  I called Alix, in tears, to tell her that once again, I won't see her basically at all today because as soon as I get home I will need to go to bed.  No dinner, no shower, nothing.  Just bed.  So that I can wake up at 4:15 tomorrow morning and come to work again.

Please, please help me figure out what to say to them to fix this situation.  When I renew my contract in July (IF I renew my contract...) I am changing my hours of availability to end at 7 PM, no exceptions.  But until then, what do I say to make things change?  I'm still sitting here crying, wondering why I/my parents/my school paid so much money for me to go there to get a degree so that I can do this for a living: sit, crying, waiting for bosses to arrive home and set me free.


Kate said...

Can you sit down with the family you work for and come up with a contingency plan for times when something comes up? It's not unreasonable to have a plan set up for times they end up being late, especially if it happens often. Maybe something like past 8PM, family member/friend X needs to be available to take over for you?

Let them know how you felt stuck and bullied into staying later than your contracted hours. A gentle reminder that you have a home and a life outside of being there may be in order as well. Good luck and I hope things get better soon!

Margaret said...

Oh Caitlin, this sounds terrible. I agree with Kate-- somehow, you have to be honest with them about how you feel. You know, the old fashioned "I feel x when you y" even though I know it's not your intention, blah blah blah. Especially if this is a reoccurring problem, you've got to address it. And people do break contracts-- not that you want to, but you are not physically bound to this job. Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

Faith said...

Hey Caity:for a month, write down all your resentments: every late night,every last minute change in your schedule, every awkward phone conversation;record all your possible strategies for getting some balance back in this relationship, and then wait the month, as you proposed, and see if C and S change their expectations. You have the power to set yourself free.

Cait said...

Thanks for all the love and support, you guys. Boss C and I had a (rather awkward) conversation today that I think got the point across. I brought up things you mentioned, Kate, as well as using statements you suggested, Margaret. Mama, your advice is perfect. I will keep notes religiously and see where this all goes.

Faith said...

We need a night out...just you and me!!!