Monday Problem: My boss is always late

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 Rachel and I’m a professional nanny with over 6 years of great experience. I started nannying for a family the last week of January so it’s still very new. When I applied the parents noted the need for me to be flexible but didn’t really specify how. Little did I know this meant many same-day changes to my schedule and requests for extended overtime hours to accommodate the mother’s sudden need to go to the gym. 

I love the kids, the home, the benefits etc. I even walk their dog twice a day with the baby. The dog is cute! In my first week I was a few minutes late and I apologized as I’m new to the area (LA) and the traffic is always changing. Since then I have not been late, usually a few minutes early. 

My employers sat me down on Day #2 and said they clearly hadn’t defined what it meant to be “flexible” to them. This actually meant that because of their jobs and subsequent drive times they may need me to be flexible and stay longer. My problem is that they are always late … anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. 

Today, I was to be off at 2pm and my boss texted me saying it would be 2:30. I actually had plans after work to see a good friend who is only here for a short window. My boss then said that she was going to be longer and asked if I had a doctors appointment to be at or something. I found this rude and intrusive (why does it matter what my plans are, they are still important to me!) She returned 2 hours later. 

They expect me to be right on time every morning but are constantly late themselves. I don’t know what to do. I like the kids, the employers themselves even, everything except this. I feel as though they don’t respect my time. When I’ve mentioned I would like to stick to the schedule we agreed upon when I was hired, my boss fired back: “Look we asked you to be flexible. So be flexible.” 

I don’t want to spoil a good thing but don’t feel this is a balanced situation. I also get about 2 emails a week from other people wanting to hire me!


Dear Rachel,

being flexible does not entail working extra hours without due compensation. Everyone deserves to be on a schedule, with some flexibility for sure, but not a schedule that changes day to day. 

You need to sit down with your employers and tell them that you are not hired hour to hour and that you also have a life outside of your work. If your employers continue to come home late you need to document your over-time and request additional payment. In the long-term, if other people are attempting to hire you and you are unhappy with this arrangement you should consider other options. 

Nanny X