At $15 an hour you would think the demands of getting hired ought not be too strenuous. Clean, some moral virtues and a capacity to get to work on time and preferably leave all your sour feelings about life at the door. Not so for one Queens couple who posted a fascinating ad on craigslist (since deleted, hmm, I wonder why?) where they hope to find the dream nanny at the bargain rate of $15 an hour. Which poses the question who goes through craigslist in search of an uber nanny anyway?
gawker: Hiring a nanny is nervewracking. You want someone who’s great with kids, who can speak three languages, and who has impeccable virtue, yet you also want someone who will work for free. It’s a delicate balance.
One Queens couple has a very specific idea of the kind of adult in whose care they will leave their children: a lost soul who’s willing to tackle the epic quest of slogging through their 65-question survey.
And the ad which the more I now think about it must really be a stunt to piss off all legitimate nannies and force us media types to wonder about the meaning of working for others begins as follows:
Grab your umbrella! You are a magical Mary Poppins, a wizard, or a giant spiky Triceratops. You love to play, pretend, create, teach, and nurture. You are reliable, warm, and fun, but also know how to say “no” when necessary.
And can say no when necessary? But of course who can really say no to something as delicious as the below survey? Shall we then? Who knows perhaps you’re actually quite qualified to take on this breath taking position which requires your compassionate services a mere two days a week plus the occasional ‘date’ (very yummy) night.
Dream questions that made me froth from the gills and rush to fill out my own response:
6. Will you be able to provide a letter from your primary care doctor stating that you are in good health and able to perform the “rigorous job of caring for two small children?”
(Kids, tell me they aren’t kidding? Whilst we’re at it, shouldn’t I just be getting a letter from my shrink explaining to my prospective employers, the parents in idealistic waiting that I am now officially over my existential paralysis that suddenly overcame me one year after I realized that the meaning of life was really null and void?)
7. Will you provide a letter from your doctor listing all your current prescription drugs?
(I like this cause who doesn’t relish signing off to your future employer about all the hand creams you take for that heavy case of genital warts and irksome shit that I would rather just keep private and to myself. But hey, if me telling you all about all the crazy pills I swallow to help me be a better me makes you feel better about me why should I hold back. Which of course raises the question, do you think the parents will show me their list of current prescription drugs during the interview bonding session?).
And there are the illicit drug questions. I know kids, time to admit that you smoke the good shit and sniff to abandon all that scary shit. But if I were you I would explain you still attend Fucked up shit anonymous and that you’re confident you can manage not to take out the good shit when the kids are around gently patting you on the shoulder wondering what that strange smell is and why you’re suddenly twitching and spasmodically chewing your bottom lip.
“How often do you smoke weed?” asks question 25. “How many smokes do you typically have on a social occasion?” comes next.
28. Do you take any of the following prescription drugs or their derivatives? Choose all that apply:
Ritalin, Percocet, Adderall, Vicodin, Tylox, OxyContin
(C’mon kids, don’t be bashful, you know what you need to tick. Have a clean conscience. There are two impressionable kids waiting to be loved who need not be exposed to your demented ways if it can be helped.)
Question 29 is composed of three colums. One for drugs you did more than 5 years ago ( I know time to drag out that embarrassing episode that involved you running around the forest naked and plucking at your ear lobes), one for drugs you did between 1 and 5 years ago, and one for drugs you are probably on right now as you’re filling out this survey :
Which recreational drugs do you do? Check all that apply.
Here are the choices:
– Cough meds
– Other (Please write below)
(Yes kids time to come clean and just throw a dart at this checklist and let them concerned parents really know how out of kilter you really are. Personally the more confessional you are the more likely you are to get special consideration for the post. Or maybe not…?
And talking about being clean, how about how clean you are literally. See wonderful check list below. Kids you better be able to at least wash your hands before and after you change the diapers. And god help me if you don’t wash your hands after you poop. Gawk and marvel:
9. Choose the following instances when you would wash your hands with soap and water, or clean your hands with a hand sanitizer (No, we’re not expecting you to choose them all. Just answer truthfully):
– Before eating
– After eating
– Before bedtime
– Upon waking
– After touching a public door
– After going to the bathroom
– Before feeding children
– After playtime in the park
– Before changing diapers
– After changing diapers
– After cleaning the house
– When hands are visually dirty
Of course the above craigslist elicited a myriad of wonderful responses, some of which I couldn’t resist re printing below:
I feel like I have many qualities that snobs look for in a nanny (I’m a good storyteller, health food fan and I’m bilingual in French and the rich love Le Francais) but the only problem.
I fucking hate kids. Maybe there are some adults that need a nanny?
10) You are on a bus. If you go below 55 mph, the bus will explode. You are progressive, yet you see a shifty Mexican in the back. Do you shoot him? (there is no wrong answer to this question/looking for your reasoning).
I would say go through an agency, but most agency nannies with these qualifications command a higher wage. I was a nanny several years ago, and $15 an hour was an insult even then. Perhaps they are confusing babysitters with nannies. Honestly, what they want is a professional nanny, but a professional will rightly want a much higher salary, as this is their career. Heck, they could be paid more managing a day care, and have a decent retirement plan, paid days off, and free yearly child care training. Plus they could go home to a nice glass of wine without being interrogated over it.