Sunday, August 12, 2007

When Is a Scratch Just a Scratch...?

This week marked the last week for our most recent nanny. Was parting such sweet sorrow? No. It was time. She (being very young and still quite innocent) got pregnant in the spring and ever since then, she has been totally distracted with babyism.

I try to remember what it was like, how excited I was, the thrill of the unknown and the great expectations...but serious, I was never so consumed. I was doing home remodeling and gardening up to the end, I was walking every day and doing prenatal yoga. Yes, I loved to talk about the baby and being pregnant. Yes, I read a million books on birth and took tons of classes. But, I also realized very early on just how long nine months was and thought, I cannot sit around and just wait for this baby forever!

She stopped lifting, reaching, holding, etc. She stopped doing everything and started telling the kids, "...because the baby" all the time. She spent hours sitting watching the kids because she was too tired, felt sick or was out of patience already at 10AM. She wrote potential baby names all over our driveway in chalk. Andrew's favorite thing to say right now is that he has a baby in his belly and his belly hurts where the baby is. Nice.

So on her second to last day, she pulls the van in the garage and Jeff--all the way in the kitchen--hears a noise. What was that? He walks out to the garage only to reappear in my office with a red and puffed out face. Oh my, he is mad. I go look. Oh, I am mad. We have her go look. She seems indifferent. "Sorry. It was an accident."

When does sorry cover it? We let the other three go--including the one where she hit the side of the garage and pretended to be oblivious to the giant white scrap down the backside of the van and the giant door ding on the driver's side. Fine, we will buff, polish and shine it out and door dings happen. But this sucker? It has dimension to it. It is a deep scape. It will require a trip to a body shop. "I am sorry, I said it was an accident."

I say, you know, this isn't some piece of crap car. She tells me that she didn't see Jeff's bike leaning up against that side of the garage--didn't see a bike? A big black mountain bike? Were her eyes even open? Then, she starts in with "...well the kids were screaming in the car while I was pulling in and..." I interrupt her, with my finger pointed and my voice tense, "Do NOT blame this on my kids, got it? You are responsible for this, not my kids."

Now what? I am most offended by her total lack of ever even offering to help with the costs, even if she had no intentions of really paying. Not one utter of I will help with the deductible or let me now how much the estimate is. Only, "I am sorry." Needless to say, the conversation continued and wasn't pretty. Jeff was incredibly upset (like the kind of upset he gets twice a year) and now so was I, but soon it was obvious, none of this really mattered as she only had one day left on the job.
So, when is a scratch just a scratch? In your book--is this just a scratch? Comments, suggestions, thoughts--please.


Anonymous said...

It looks like a good size scratch to me and would be unhappy. Is there anything in her contract about responsibility for the vehicle (besides needing to have insurance)? How did you leave it with her? Maybe you can take it out of her last check! Sounds like you are better off without her if being pregnant makes her practically catatonic. Ridiculous. Do you have a new one lined up?

Anne said...

I need something to scale the area. Take a pic with your hand by the area or something--then I'll give my thoughts. Yes, do you have someone new lined up??

Anonymous said...

def. sucks. but on a positive note, if this is the worst that has happened while she was watching your kids, it's fixable....mary