July 16, 2005

Should You Read The Nanny's Blog?

The nanny's pursuing her PhD in late Victorian lit, and no one saw this melodrama coming?

Helaine Olen writes in Sunday's NYT about the increasing discomfort she felt as she read her nanny's blog. Mostly, it was of the self-pitying, "Oh, I used to be a trendy party girl, too, but now I have kids," variety, but then it got worse: "My husband thought her writing precociously talented but wanted to fire her nonetheless. 'This is inappropriate,' he said. 'We don't need to know that Jennifer Ehle makes her hot.'"

Well, they kept reading anyway, got all worked up, never talked to her about it--even when they're upset at their own cameo appearances--and then they dooced her, claiming other reasons. Oh, and then wrote a big Style Section piece about her a few months later. Talk about passive aggressive.

If your nanny has a blog, what's on it is fair game for discussion. And it's entirely appropriate to say, "Don't blog on the clock," and "Don't blog about work or my family." I mean, this whole thing reads like an overheated Victorian novel. I hope someone's getting class credit out of this.

The New Nanny Diaries Are Online [nyt]
No kidding, they're right here. She's not pleased with the article, and now she's decided to move. [subvic.blogspot.com]

23 Comments

Just another example of "don't blog at/about work," regardless of what or where that work may be. I've already had times where posts I've made on a message board I frequent have come back to bite me in my personal life. You just have to be very very VERY careful about what you put on the internet, cause you never know who might be reading or what they might think about it. Makes you think it's safer to just talk about mundane stuff like strollers and kids toys all the ti--heyyyy, waitaminnit!!!

Losers.

Who is a loser? Olen or the nanny?

I read the article, read the blog entry the nanny wrote in reaction, and came away thinking that everyone in this story looks pretty dumb. Don't blog about your job if your name's on the blog; don't for crissakes TELL your boss about your blog and then for crissakes blog ABOUT your boss (that's just career suicide!); if your nanny tells you she's got a blog, resist the temptation to read it and say "That's nice, but if it's really personal, I'm probably better off not reading it." And if you do read it and recognize yourself in it, tell your nanny right away that you saw something that seemed to talk about you and that it makes you feel very uncomfortable, and set those limits immediately. And if you fire your nanny because of her blog, be honest about it, and then don't try to make a buck and get a byline out of it.

Tacky all around. But as awful as the article was, the nanny made a colossal error in judgment in telling her employer about the blog and then writing about her job, even elliptically. Actions have consequences, something that all parents and nannies should hopefully be teaching their kids.

Well perhaps this controversy may launch her on a literary career, she's a good writer. There are hidden advantages to this frenzy

Helaine Olen is pathetic. I truly hope she gets knocked down a peg or two by the fallout from this incident. She's been exposed for the nasty, petty, vindictive person she is - it'll do her good to recognize it.

I think your response to this is reasonable though the request "don't blog about work or the family" isn't. I could see, "Please don't use our names," but people have the right to write about whatever they want and employers shouldn't use their power to squelch free speech.

to quote the NYT article -- 'I monitored her online life almost obsessively'. I think that's the problem here.

Helaine Olen is the one who comes out of this looking like a control-freak, insensitive, nightmare-boss idiot. The nanny, in contrast, sounds like quite a nice girl -- although to be honest, keeping such a bare-all weblog might be worth reconsidering...

The word tacky does seem to sum it up.
I have to confess, I find myself on the side of the nanny more than the Olen's. Helaine's petty and trite article is very typical of part time, have-it-all career women, shes just jealous. Why not have fired her herself, why delegate to the husband unit?!

PS - my cousins husband ran off with the nanny! If only the nanny'd blogged about it ahead of time, by saying things like, I'm sleeping with a mid-life-crisiser, at least then she could have made some pre-emptive strikes, like lighting his Harley on fire.

Wile it was foolish to tell her employer about her blog and to not hide her identity, the nanny sounds like a reasonable woman. Why her employer felt the need to go so public with a private beef shows her to be a spoiled and neurotic woman.

I hope this helps her advance her career, she is a good writer.

What is the blog's url? Can we actually read what she was writing? I didn't see it in the story. Sorry, if it was in the comments.

What a pathetic saga. The nanny made a colossally dumb move telling her employers about her blog, but I'm on her side (too bad she's not a better writer for someone who's doing their doctorate in Literature). The Olsen woman is remarkably insecure and must be delusional if she thinks that self-serving piece would garner her any sympathy.

How silly can you get. Blogs are meaningless. i mean, if she'd said she was fucking the dad that would of been one thing but the kids are brats? All kids with nannies are brats. It's a given.

eh, stop wasting your time with crap. here's a real one ?

WOW. I KNOW the nanny. I went to college (a small one) with her.

I agree that Olen comes off sounding pretty pathetic.

But this is so strange...

Evenyone who is all up in arms about this please read! I used to live with this blogger. Yes, the boss is a bitch, but the nanny is a psycho. A psycho that killed her cat and who has major major problems. Yes, killed her cat. This girl has problems. I moved out very early on the request of my friends and family who were afraid for my safety. This girl did not give her boss her blog address out of stupidity or just so she could read a little poem about kids. She wanted to be caught. She loves that becuase it makes her feel important. Most of the things on her blog are false except for watching Gilmore Girls. She has supposed relationships with men, who in reality she was stalking and it got very bad and they have cut off all contact with her. This girl is well educated and may sound intelligent, and she is, but she is also very very deeply troubled. Perhaps the bitch boss picked up on this but is too full of her own craziness to see the situations for what it is. This is not about sex or liberalism or classism. It is about a sad sick dillutional girl and her bitchy boss. I'm sad it has gone this far.

This is funny! We run into this type of thing all the time- you would think the nannies would know not to discuss their employers personal life online and as adults, you'd think the employer would allow the nanny some sort of privacy!

www.bellabambinonannies.com

You should always read the nanny's blog- if not your nannys' then the neighbor's nanny blog!

http://simulatingnormal.blogspot.com/

[I think you're looking for the General Hospital taping next door. -ed.]


Right..so the nanny would be a nutcase for telling her boss that she has a blog. I find it pretty entertaining reading these blogs but would never publish one myself on the net until my employment was finished.

Parents: Draw up in a contract right away when highering that you do not allow blogging while working or blogging period about the family. Otherwise a nanny can say anything to anyone about very personal issues going on in your family and on the internet its worse because anyone can read it.

Okay so read the actual blog she wrote..I would never publish something so personal. So the nanny was a nutbar and it was perfectly within the employers right to let her go.

if she's an at-will employee, you never need a reason to fire a nanny. But the nanny's blog, however inappropriate, was practically invisible, the exact opposite of publishing on the front page of the New York Times. If privacy and family business and children and the state of their marriage were the mom's real concern, just fire the nanny and button your lip; don't pitch it to your editor.

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