Expecting too much …
I put an ad on CraigsList for a nanny. I mentioned all the sticking points right up front, it is paid “on the books,” I need references, must be female, no lifting or driving necessary, Saturdays and maybe some filling in on school vacations, easy to care for young lady, grumpy single father, etc. Actually it was a short and to the point ad.
Responses started within an hour and I no longer marvel at the unemployment rate …
An early response had nothing in the body of the email, but the subject line said it all (actual cut and paste) …
hi im interested
Well, we need to set up an interview with her. Then I got this response (again, actual cut and paste) …
I am looking for a live in position helping someone with their child, children, or in your case your l7 yr. old daughter. I am 55 active and very nice. I have five wonderful grown children of my own. I own a home in a nearby state that I rent out. I am looking to move to your area. I have a 21 yr. old my youngest there. I just thought I would throw this out at you in case you want to rent a room and I can also help with your girl. Margie
Well, Margie, maybe if you had attached a picture …
Another sounded good, but when I shared a link to a news program clip of Pearlsky and me, well, I never heard from her again.
Then I got a really good one. Sort of.
I would love to work with youe 17 year old daughter. I am currently a teaching assisstant in [local town], have my bs in early childhood and will be recieving my masters in moderate special education at the end of the summer. Attached is my resume, and if you are interested, feel free to contact me!
And I looked at her resume and it is impressive in several ways. She claims a 3.7 / 4.0 for her M.Ed. in Special Education with a concentration in Moderate Special Education from a very good university. She has a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Liberal Studies with a concentration in Psychology. Sounds wonderful, no?
So, what is my problem? Someone at this stage should really know that names of towns and cities are usually capitalized, “bs” is closer to “bullshit” then the proper “B.S.” she intends, that the tab key and space key are different, that making things consistent usually is better than randomizing formats in a document, years currently only have four digits (she had one job until May 20101), if you have a friend proof-read (or if you proof read at all) make sure they are better than you in writing, typography and grammar. Also, if your resume goes over two pages by four lines, well, you have lots of problems, you are a new college graduate, have an appropriate resume. I know the school she goes to offers such help.
Yep, maybe I’m being an idiot, but this is basic stuff for a graduate. Should I care? Obviously her background (if true) is great, and this is just a nanny position, but if she does not care how her written word looks and reflects on her, how much will she care for Pearlsky? Should I send back her resume all fixed up (she sent it as Word doc)? Red Sharpie anyone?
And don’t tell me to lighten up, I am actually laughing as I write this post. At both her, and at myself.
Maybe should I let Margie move in without seeing a picture …
The women who have long cared for my daughter are uneducated immigrants from Central America. They are both legal and have worked “on the books” for as long as they have worked for me (nine and five years!). While I sometimes wish that a really educated person with ambition would appear at my doorstep, I constantly marvel at the caregiving abilities of these two women. They are truly devoted to her, and I think it’s just a different mindset. I’m sure you’ve been down that road before, but usually those kinds of people are not looking for jobs on Craig’s List. I wish you luck and relief — a Mary Poppins to sail into your life.
I wonder if the poor spelling is a fallout from netspeak? bs? Ha, that’s funny! Like a Freudian slip!
Hm. Regarding bs girl, my thought is that if she can have her school(s) send you sealed copies of her transcripts, it might shed light on matters. If she’s not lying about her background, she could still be a good candidate.
I vote for giving Margie a chance!!
I understand your concerns regarding “bs girl” and I don’t think you are expecting too much of someone with her alleged background. However, she might be just very young and inexperienced and part of the ‘texting-IM-ing generation’. I agree with Sarah: ask her to provide you with information that shows her résumé to be valid and do an interview with her. I personally would care more about character and attitude and certain personality traits over education in a nanny. I hope you will find the perfect candidate. It is so hard to trust a stranger with our kids.
I suspect bs-girl would be gone by August.
I vote for giving Margie a chance, too. You could put her off by suggesting you pay for her nearby housing and see what she says.
No chance your ex is setting you up, is there?
(Laughing as I type this.)
Give her a chance. Some of my best babysitters and caretakers were not good students. They wrote terribly, had bad grammar, could not spell. In fact, my mother fits in that category. So do many moms. What counts is common sense in caring for another person, compassion, and the physical ability to the job. Give her a shot. If she is lacking in what is needed to take care of Pearlsky, out the door she should go. But other wise, you should get used to notes with no capitals in them.