Nanny nightmare....my husband says I'm just nuts. - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-18-2011, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Long story short, my husband and I live on a farm and operate an agri-business which requires us to travel all over the state - taking us away from home 4-6 times per week. We have two children, ages 26 months and 6 months. I stayed home with the kids until the end of August, at that point the business was really booming and we were paying a ridiculous amount for contracted help to cover all the things that I would have been doing. So, we hired a nanny, a young lady who is the daughter of one of the families we do business with. She is 22, a single mother with her own 2 year old and was out of work. We agreed to pay her a weekly salary which is considered a VERY GOOD rate for the area in which we reside....one guarenteed day off per week....some weeks we would need her more than others as well as some overnights.

 

It's only been 8 weeks and I am to the point where I NEED to let her go, but my husband says that I am just being "crazy" and have some disorder where I am too critical of others. I wanted to know if any of this would fly with any other parents out there....maybe I am crazy, but I think I would be CRAZY if I continued to allow this woman in my home.

 

1.) She is NEVER on time. If I need her here by 9:30, I have to tell her to be here by 8:00....and even then she is likely to be late. On her second day she didn't even show up or call until it was hours past the time we needed to leave on business....this has actually cost us money a few times when we were late to certain things.

 

2.) I come home to a filthy house. Last week I came home to a house full of walls (untreated knotty pine wood paneling) covered in pen and marker scribbles....and I mean COVERED. Apparently she said she "slept in" and woke up to her daughter and mine coloring the walls. She promised to clean it and never did. The sink is always filled with dishes and food is left smashed into my TV's, carpets and furniture. I've also found coloring in my office (a no kid zone) and the bathroom....unattended in the bathroom?

 

3.) She brings her friends over without asking....sometimes I come home to two teenage buddies of hers (girls) sleeping in my bed. And that brings us to her boyfriend....who is in jail now for parole violations that involve drugs and robbery....but was a fixture in the house whenever she was here until the cops picked him up.

 

4.) She drives my kids around EVERYWHERE. One day she asked for the girl's car seats because she wanted to take them to the park that is located just a mile up the road. I said fine, and then two days later heard from a co-worker that my kids were spotted all over the county. Now she is out with them most of the day...doing god knows what....and she has told me that she leaves them with her younger cousin when she goes to visit her man in jail! I've come home hours after the girl's bedtimes and they aren't even home! One night we came home and it was the nanny, her daughter, her friend and her little sister, along with my two. Her friend is too young to drive, so she would have had to go pick her and her little sister up. Her vehicle only has room for 3 car seats....my girls, her daughter and her friend's sister are all 3 yrs and younger....that's 4 car seats! So, whose kid was in the cargo area???

 

5.) Smoking - is allowed on my back porch, away from the kids. Her daughter has severe asthma and I've seen her sitting on the porch, with her daughter in her lap smoking a cigarette! I also went into her car one day to retrieve some of the girl's items and is STUNK like smoke....smoking in the car, you know she is smoking when the kids are in there too!

 

6.) Food / Bed / Baths: I am semi-particular about the foods I have in the house....no junk, no soda, organic stuff as much as possible, no high-processed crap and surely no fast food. Instead of feeding the kids the food in the house (fruits, veggies, cereal, etc. - foods that she WON'T eat) she takes them to McDonalds and was feeding them donuts and candy for breakfast the other morning! My youngest goes to bed at 7 and my 2 year old goes to bed around 8....if I come home at 11 pm, they are usually still up! Not only are they still up, they are dirty....food in their hair, dirty clothes, etc. I think she has given them a bath ONCE!

 

 

So last week I only had her come for three days. I told her to take a day off and I would contact her about the next work day. I contacted her on Saturday night and asked her to be here first thing Sunday morning. In the afternoon I get a text from her that she has been up all night sick and was sorry for not coming in. I didn't respond and got a message from her yesterday (PAY DAY) asking why I didn't call her. I told her I didn't want to disturb her if she was sick and to stay home since she claimed her daughter was sick as well, I wouldn't need her until the end of the week. Meanwhile the whole sick thing is just nonsense...don't post on Facebook that you were partying all night and then expect me to believe the sick thing (you think I cannot read? LOL.) So I check my phone this morning and see that she has texted me asking if she can send someone out to pick up her pay....I haven't responded. I'm trying to think about what I should do and how I should handle it. She has items (carseats and clothes) that belong to my kids and I have some of her daughter's items that were left at the house. I REALLY need to be working with the business, but my girl's are #1. My husband claims that I am just paranoid, but really - I feel it's better being safe than sorry. He also says that I dwell on nonsense and am often "mean" for saying or thinking the things that I do. Well, I'm not sure how many mothers would be fine knowing that their kids are in the care of a girl who admits to allowing her 2 year old to stay up until 3 am, admits that the police come to her house on occasion for domestic issues with her roomates and their small kids and cannot even wake up before 10:00 a.m.! How do you sleep late with a little one anyway?

 

Wow....that's alot of writing. I guess I just need some advice. Am I crazy? Do I try to work with this girl or is she too off the charts? It makes me a little ill to think about it that way, because I feel she is just too immature or moronic to know the difference....but DH says I have issues with dealing with employees and that I should "mold" them instead of getting mad and firing them...do I pay her for an entire week of work, even though she only worked 3 days out of 7 and ditched me over the weekend?

 

H E L P

 

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Old 10-18-2011, 10:30 AM
 
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Sounds awful! I wouldn't put up with that for a second- if it were me I would be lookng and interviewing right away for someone better- you are paying the nanny and you deserve to have someone care for your house and family in the way you want them to- good luck

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Old 10-18-2011, 10:30 AM
 
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I would run fast and not think twice.  Your kids deserve someone responsible and who actually cares about their well being.


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Old 10-18-2011, 10:34 AM
 
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Gone. A couple of those things might be workable, but some of them are immediate "no"s in my book. There is no WAY you could mold those things out of her. Not while she is caring for your children. Perhaps if she were an intern in your office, and ultimately the things she was responsible for didn't really matter anyway (like photocopying or filing). But not if she were responsible for my children and home. No freaking way.

 

Pay her for the days/times she DID work and maybe for the day she claimed to be sick.


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Old 10-18-2011, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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And here is the problem with finding someone in our area......to put it bluntly, it's just bad. We are in a very rural and very economically depressed area. We moved here two years ago from NJ and since then I have seen 80% of the people up here paying for their items with government assistance. There are jobs, but no one seems to want to work...the schools are bad, the people and places are depressing, no one has any drive to excel....I've been going through it with the employees for the business as well. We pay more than anyone in the area for the work that needs to be done and we always get beat. I feel like I'd almost have to "import" someone from outside the area if I wanted to get a quality nanny.

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Old 10-18-2011, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Gone. A couple of those things might be workable, but some of them are immediate "no"s in my book. There is no WAY you could mold those things out of her. Not while she is caring for your children. Perhaps if she were an intern in your office, and ultimately the things she was responsible for didn't really matter anyway (like photocopying or filing). But not if she were responsible for my children and home. No freaking way.

 

Pay her for the days/times she DID work and maybe for the day she claimed to be sick.


That's another thing in itself with the business....it's not like it's an office and if someone "messes up" it's not a big deal. We are dealing with LIVE and VERY EXPENSIVE livestock....it cost me almost $10k last month due to employees neglecting their duties (even after being told a THOUSAND times)...which is all the more reason why I need to find suitable help in the house with the kids...so I can police the morons on the farm who can't fill a darn water bucket!
 

 

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Old 10-18-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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Oh geez I'm sorry.  Hopefully you can find someoneone else.  Give her the days she worked, after she brings your kids stuff back.  Also have her things waiting and let her know you are terminating her.  She is not a good fit with your family and that's all you really have to say.  Then start looking else where. 

 

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That's another thing in itself with the business....it's not like it's an office and if someone "messes up" it's not a big deal. We are dealing with LIVE and VERY EXPENSIVE livestock....it cost me almost $10k last month due to employees neglecting their duties (even after being told a THOUSAND times)...which is all the more reason why I need to find suitable help in the house with the kids...so I can police the morons on the farm who can't fill a darn water bucket! 

 



 

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Old 10-18-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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You should have put your foot down a lot sooner about all these things.  Probably that is what your husband means by "molding".  Was it that you didn't communicate your expectations clearly to her, or that you didn't follow up when she ignored them?  Better luck with the next one.

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Old 10-18-2011, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You should have put your foot down a lot sooner about all these things.  Probably that is what your husband means by "molding".  Was it that you didn't communicate your expectations clearly to her, or that you didn't follow up when she ignored them?  Better luck with the next one.



You're right, I should have put my foot down sooner. But in that back of my mind I keep thinking about what my husband says about me being too critical. When she started I typed out a BOOK of guidelines....emergency contact numbers, what the kids eat, when they go to bed, etc. I found it in the middle of my office floor a week later with all the pages torn out and scribbled on. To be honest, I have a hard time telling someone that they cannot smoke in front of children (doesn't EVERYONE know that?) and that the girls shouldn't be an hour from home on a rainy night at 9 p.m (what?!?!) when they were supposed to be in bed at 7. Basically I have a hard time telling people that they need to do things that are obvious....like if you spill an entire can of food on the floor, you pick it up....or if you leave the house with the kids for hours, you turn off the TV and SHUT THE FRONT DOOR....oh yes, I have come home to my front door WIDE open (not unlocked, but swinging open) and not one, but TWO TV's sets blaring and all the lights on!

I really need to read about this non-confrontational communication or something.....because I have a problem speaking to people who do moronic things without hurting their feelings or seeming like a nag or (as my DH says) a total red headed witch!  : )

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Old 10-18-2011, 11:57 AM
 
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Fired.

She smokes too close to kids, isnt trustworthy to be on time, allows kids to have the run of the house while she sleeps, isnt adamant about kids and carseat safety, is feeding your children things you have said not to feed them, keeps them out all hours of the night, has friends sleeping in your bed, and doesnt even pick up the house when she knows you are coming home? There is really no question about this. You arent going to mold her to be the way you want, she has a child of her own and ideas of her own. IMO, she doesnt sounds like a good candidate for a nanny.

As for your husband, I think you probably need some counseling if he is telling you that you are crazy because you want your children to be well cared for.

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Old 10-18-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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I guess I just need some advice. Am I crazy? Do I try to work with this girl or is she too off the charts? It makes me a little ill to think about it that way, because I feel she is just too immature or moronic to know the difference....but DH says I have issues with dealing with employees and that I should "mold" them instead of getting mad and firing them...do I pay her for an entire week of work, even though she only worked 3 days out of 7 and ditched me over the weekend?

 

uh, no.  you are not crazy.  get rid of her.  you can find someone who respects you and is attentive to your child, especially if you're paying well. 

the boyfriend, the food, and the smoking plus the carseat thing?  you cannot trust this person.  there is no way to "mold" someone into a responsible, conscious human being if they are unwilling to meet you halfway.  kick her to the curb.


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Old 10-18-2011, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think the entire situation just resolved itself in the past hour...except for the part of needing a new nanny. She just show'd up, frantically telling me about all the horrible things that are going on with her life....her daughter is sick, she has no money, she threw everyone out of her house (all 10 of them in a three bedroom trailer) who weren't paying rent and went to social services to get rent assistance because the trailer park is throwing her out. Very dramatic. We made her come in and sit down, tried to talk some sense into her and brought up the issues we had....she apologized and said that she didn't feel like she could be reliable for us when she couldn't even get her own act together. She then ubruptly left (without getting paid) after I asked her to bring my car seats back. I sent her a text that I would leave a check for her on the porch so she could get it when she brought the car seats back and she agreed.

 

I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. But I still do have to deal with my DH and his attitude towards the children's care when we are away. His main issue with the whole thing was that she was unreliable....but wasn't too concerned with the rest.

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Old 10-18-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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I'm feel sorry for her but good riddance for you.  If I hadn't known better, I'd have thought you were a troll from that first post! dizzy.gif

 

Not much of what you're saying comes close to being okay....There WILL be someone out there!  They may be hard to find, but I'm sure they exsist.  What about a local church or college?


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Old 10-18-2011, 01:12 PM
 
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Did you have a contract? Next time you hire a nanny, make sure you start out with a written contract that spells out expectations. Ours lists some causes for immediate dismissal (i.e. if you are caught doing this, you get fired ON THE SPOT): smoking while on the clock, illegal drugs--our nanny doesn't drive the kids, if she did, driving the kids without a carseat would be on there too. There are also consequences for lateness (docked pay), and a list of duties (clean up after kids, prep lunches, entertain kids in age-appropriate ways). It's all common-sense stuff, but spelling it out in writing means nobody can misunderstand it.

 

I should add there are also consequences for the parents on there too--e.g. late pickup means overtime pay for the nanny.

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Old 10-18-2011, 01:24 PM
 
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What about something like Care.com where they have background checks, say if they are smokers or not, their qualifications, and have reviews from other parents?


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Old 10-18-2011, 02:20 PM
 
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Yes, gone!!! I know the area (my grandparents had a place in Loche Sheldrake, I always thought I might settle there one day...)

 

Even in that area, there has to be someone else! Is there any way you have room for someone to sleep? Maybe you can find a good live-in from a surrounding area who wouldn't want to commute, but will live in. Probably a good idea anyway because of winter coming up. Even the most reliable person might have trouble getting around if you are rural in the snow & ice to come.


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Old 10-18-2011, 02:30 PM
 
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I was going to ask you about a live-in as well.  I have NO experience with it, but it sounds like, for your situation, a live-in nanny would be perfect.

 

And ITA with the others, she needed to go.  Easier said than done I know; I'm living my own nanny nightmare right now (although it doesn't touch yours).


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Old 10-18-2011, 02:40 PM
 
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I live in a very rural, transient area so I do understand the trials of finding good help when you do not have a large population base to pull from. We went through 5 nannies this year. I sometimes let more things slide because I can't easily replace them and I often have creative nanny arrangements. My DH owns a company so he has the same challenges. What you wrote would not fly with me at all. I'll second the care.com suggestion. My current nanny came off of there and she has been awesome. I've also used sittercity and craigslist with success. Unlike other areas, there might only be a couple postings or sitters, but it can enough if you can find just one that works out. In a rural area, don't underestimate a bulletin board at a local grocery store either! Good luck to you. 


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Old 10-18-2011, 06:02 PM
 
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GONE without a second thought!!!!!

 

 

(I live in Dutchess otherwise I'd offer to help!)


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Old 10-18-2011, 07:55 PM
 
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I'm pretty laid back about a lot of things, some of the things you posted wouldn't bother me that much personally. But put it all together? Oh heck no. She'd be gone in a heartbeat.

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Old 10-18-2011, 08:22 PM
 
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So many deal breakers in there.  She should be gone yesterday.

 

I'd look into an au pair.  Another parent in my DD's dance class had one and it wasn't much $ (the person lives with you, so you feed and house).  She said it was cheaper than daycare would have been for her 2 kids, and it's great because it's flexible.

 

GL

 

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Old 10-18-2011, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
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Yes, gone!!! I know the area (my grandparents had a place in Loche Sheldrake, I always thought I might settle there one day...)

 

Even in that area, there has to be someone else! Is there any way you have room for someone to sleep? Maybe you can find a good live-in from a surrounding area who wouldn't want to commute, but will live in. Probably a good idea anyway because of winter coming up. Even the most reliable person might have trouble getting around if you are rural in the snow & ice to come.



That's where we are!!!

 

I have room for a live in, but I'm so worried about moving someone in and then having something go wrong....then you have to worry about them moving out!

 

I'm going to speak with some of the neighbors and local business owners and see if they know of anyone who is looking for this sort of job. Really, it's a great gig....hang out and play with kids and horses all day, have the run of the place, eat my food, use my computer....and get paid WELL. If any of you NY mamas know of anyone looking....hehe.

 



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Did you have a contract? Next time you hire a nanny, make sure you start out with a written contract that spells out expectations. Ours lists some causes for immediate dismissal (i.e. if you are caught doing this, you get fired ON THE SPOT): smoking while on the clock, illegal drugs--our nanny doesn't drive the kids, if she did, driving the kids without a carseat would be on there too. There are also consequences for lateness (docked pay), and a list of duties (clean up after kids, prep lunches, entertain kids in age-appropriate ways). It's all common-sense stuff, but spelling it out in writing means nobody can misunderstand it.

 

I should add there are also consequences for the parents on there too--e.g. late pickup means overtime pay for the nanny.



I did not. But next time, I sure will. I like putting things in writing, I think it keeps everything clear and straightforward. Didn't think I needed to when it came to childcare, but you live and you learn.

 

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Old 10-18-2011, 09:44 PM
 
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I don't think the problem here was you not putting your foot down soon enough. Most responsible people would understand the inappropriateness of inviting your friends over while you are nannying and then allowing them to take a nap in your bosslady's bed. Or spending all your time with your parole violating boyfriend while you are supposed to be caring for three small children. As for your DH, I'm not sure what to say. She was inappropriate on so many levels that it should be really, really obvious to him. Maybe he needs to read the news more about what happens to small kids who are left in the care of someone who is not a good care provider. it doesn't typically end well.


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Old 10-19-2011, 08:27 AM
 
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I think you should let her go and next time hire someone without kids or with an older school age child.  It sounds like the job requires a lot of work that a single mom really probably doesn't have the energy for.  Some of the stuff may be that she doesn't have the same cleanliness standards or she is overwhelmed, but her inability to cope with the job isn't your problem.

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Old 10-19-2011, 08:37 AM
 
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As for your husband, I think you probably need some counseling if he is telling you that you are crazy because you want your children to be well cared for.



This stood out to me, too!  I found that disturbing.

 

I'm glad you got rid of her - she was shockingly irresponsible!

 

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Old 10-19-2011, 02:43 PM
 
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#1 and #3 are automatic deal breakers for me. I know it's resolved, but as you go forward with the next situation I thought I would back you up on that. :)


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Old 10-21-2011, 01:11 PM
 
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Yeah, no that would not fly for a second. However, one note about the dirty house thing - is it starting off clean and she's making a mess and leaving it or is it, no offense meant, sort of messy to begin with and she's not doing any extra cleaning? Having made a living as a nanny I know that it would really irk me when a family had contracted me as a nanny and expected me to clean their house (for no extra pay) on top of whatever mess the kids made. cleaning any thing the kids did or dishes I/they used during the day was one thing but other than that not happening.

But that's really beside the point all the rest of that would be WAY more than I would ever put up with.

One other thing, whether you keep this girl (why you would I don't know) or hire someone else you should really have an official contract with your nanny that outlines exactly, point by point, what you expect from them in child care, cleaning, hours, sick-day protocol, what they are paid and when and what constitutes breach of contract. It protects you from them not doing their job and if they have any brain at all they'll know that it protects them from getting ripped off (not that I think you would but there are some pretty unscrupulous people out there). It's just a sugestion, I know it made things a whole lot easier for me.

....and no you're not crazy. ^_~


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Old 10-22-2011, 07:41 PM
 
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I was ready to let her go at number 2. 

 

The rest made my blood boil, and I am NOT even remotely critical.  

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Old 10-24-2011, 06:40 PM
 
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I did not read all the replies..

 

I would get rid of her NOW. I lost count of how many reasons I would fire her...and I'm fairly trusting/forgiving...this sounds like a safet issue to me.

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Old 10-24-2011, 07:08 PM
 
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Nope gone! Absolutely gone! definitely not crazy. Listen to your gut.


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