A Resource for Nannies and Families

Nanny Late for Work

Working parents often say that their most dreaded nightmare is of being late for an early morning presentation because their nanny is late for work. The very thought will keep a parent tossing and turning at night. Working people are supposed to be on time: nine o’clock, punch your clock or pull into your desk, it’s time for everybody to get to work.

But for nannies, punctuality is even more critical, for the nanny’s lateness has a domino effect: if you’re late for work, your employer is late for work, and the people who await your employer must wait, and… well, it’s enough to ruin everybody’s day.

In truth, parents can feel captive, actually powerless in their home, until their nanny’s arrival. This taps into a skill that working parents must master in order to succeed in combining career and family, i.e., how to make and follow a tight schedule. Working parents have made themselves into master schedulers, so that if the nanny is late for work, she throws it all off, she not only makes them late, she makes them try to adapt. Adapting is what working parents don’t want do have to do more of.

If you are a nanny who’s always late for work, consider its impact on your employers and on others. You may have to be more objective about what you can and cannot do before work. Perhaps you need to set things up the night before, or walk the dog before breakfast rather than after. Consider going to bed fifteen to thirty minutes earlier. If traffic is the issue, try a different route. But don’t just drive faster. You can’t control traffic, and a nanny who arrives at work with frazzled nerves will be no help to parents or to children.
If you can arrive five to ten minutes earlier, you will find your employers leaving for their work more relaxed themselves.

In fact, if you are punctual, you may find that your employers go out of their way to be punctual for you. If they don’t, you will be able in conscience to point out that you arrive on time for them, and it’s important to you that they reciprocate.

Finally, when it’s time for a pay review, your employers may think about how confident you’ve made them feel, how you’ve given them an extra five minutes every day to get themselves going. It’s good feelings that lead to good raises.

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