Monday Problem: Love Mom but Dad is a j**k

Disclaimer: all emails are abbreviated and edited for clarity. When you submit to The Nanny Time Bomb please note that there will be edits. All names and info kept confidential. 

Dear Nanny X,

I’m a nanny for a family of three: cool mom adorable baby and a (workaholic) absent dad. Recently I had the opportunity to work on vacation with them. The setting was amazing. I had my own cabin, with beach front views and could order what I wanted. Plus I was getting paid. The only problem was that it was a working vacation for mom. She is a photo-editor and this was a shoot. We didn’t see her from 7am until late in the evening. Long story short – I had to spend  time with the dad for like sometimes hours at a time. This is a guy who is constantly on his phone yelling at people, a real A-hole to any staff and just plain rude to anyone besides who counts (in his books). I figured ‘it’s a week just suck it up’. Then something happened. 

Day 3: he totally ripped into the wait staff at the hotel. Like the waiter accidentally poured cream into his coffee. He made the guy feel real horrible. He called the poor guy a bunch of names. The management chastised the waiter and sent him away. I was horrified to be at his (dad) table. When I apologized to the staff this jerk (dad) blew up. He told me to mind my own business and to remember I was only there on his dime. He also snottily remarked that I was showing myself up, talking to the staff. I walked away from him and left him literally holding the baby. Later he tracked me down on the beach and apologized or should I say, groveled. I told him never to speak to me again. It was just awful. I didn’t mention this to the mom. And for the rest of the trip he was subdued but still obnoxious to his own staff on his cell. And I might add to his wife, who is gorgeous, successful and smart, unlike him.

I generally don’t have to deal with him, but now I have seen this side to him I really can’t stand being around him anymore. I want to quit so bad but I feel sorry for the mom, who I like, and the little baby. I do have to spend time with him every now and then. But I can’t hide my feelings. What should I do?

Casey Q

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Dear Casey,

working with jerks like this sometimes comes with the territory. It’s unfortunate that some extremely intelligent women saddle themselves with morons, but there it is. It’s not your call to make. You did make a stand against his poor behavior and that’s important. It’s also good that he now understands that abusing people and dumping his anger issues and toxic behavior – around you – is not appropriate. What he does in his own time and with his own staff is not your concern. 

Try to stay professional. Be polite in his company and maintain your position as a nanny. His child is your concern, not him. Should he ever act in an appropriate way to you or to his wife or to his child, in your presence, then perhaps it’s the time to make a decision whether to stay and help this family (seek therapy) or to move on. 

This man obviously has issues, but they are not yours. 

Nanny X