The Matters w/ Matt: The Nanny State Rises Again

Every Wednesday: I never fail to be disgusted with advice columns. I am unsure why they still get paid to do what they do. As always, I am in awe when it comes to awful examples like Dear Prudence and Ask Amy. The columnists seem to get rewarded for giving you bad advice. I think that people get terrible advice from them. I don’t blame anyone that calls advice column responses garbage. I use my postings to correct these responses and help society by being an utmost asshole, (as always, a hat tip to Aaron Clarey at Asshole Consulting).

Consider this piece from Miss Manners’ column (courtesy of Arcamax) from June 23, 2021:

(Dear Matters):

My people-pleasing nature is at war with my desire to chase my dreams.

Several months ago, I started working for a lovely family as their nanny. I have grown to love each member of the household as dear friends. However, the job no longer aligns with my financial goals and energy budget.

At the time of my interview, I was clear about vacation time, guaranteed hours, sick time and my need to leave promptly to work on my business that I’m creating. It took them several months to review the contract I thought we’d agreed upon. They removed all PTO and created an IOU system for when I need to go home sick.

This is illegal to do in my state. Although their contract has since expired, they keep mentioning our sitting down to review a new one. And the last family sit-down resulted in husband and wife yelling at each other, further keeping me past my allotted time.

I am now regularly kept there two to three hours late, unpaid, because they lost track of time. Due to many comments I have heard, said to both me and their kids, I do not believe they will stay in touch after my employment.

I have thought about bringing up my old expectations, but they seem to lack the ability to listen to my needs. Everything is negotiated with offers of things I do not need or want. They also triangulate their issues with me in the middle.

How do I gracefully exit this position now, so that I don’t continue to sacrifice my business goals for this family of likely future strangers that I once cared deeply for?

—– GR

Dear GR:

I feel bad for this quandary you are facing. The attention and “love’ you have for you charge is what makes this job. It is a tragedy that dealing with adults has made it horrific. After reading your comments, I have three tough options for you now that your contract is expiring.

The first option you have is to send them a simple message telling them that you do not wish to continue on as their nanny. You do not owe them anything more than an explanation that you do not want to renew your contract. This is honest and to the point. They can figure out the rest, because it isn’t your job to figure t out for them.

The second option is to re-write the contract that is so laden with legal catchalls that they will say no. You should include non-performance penalties and subtle ways for them to owe you money. I would make sure that you put a clause in that your times must be logged in and that they will incur penalties for work outside of permitted hours. This should help handle your concerns about staying after. The same idea of incurring penalties can be played out for the benefits that the family had failed to provide before. You can lean on the idea that the family will not re-up on your contract suggestions.

The third option is to get in touch with your local workplace employment enforcement office. You don’t owe the family a warning about this. Unless you specifically signed away your rights, you have options. I would suggest that this is your last ditch option, to be taken only after the family breaches boundaries of decency, (when they harass you after you don’t sign on a new contract).

I would suggest that you don’t give into feelings of urgency or emotional blackmail from anyone presenting a contract in the future. It is not a good thing for someone to be allowed the opportunity to walk all over you. Your life will be better when you draw a line in the sand and say “no”. This will do you well in your money making activities in the future.


I don’t imagine that I will have a shortage of emails to answer. I would love to start doing this for anyone that sends me an email. If this is you; email us at

If you hate advice columns; I don’t blame you. If it isn’t soft people giving advice; it is someone trying to justify acting like an insensitive asshole. Till next week.

About freemattpodcast

Lead shill for The FreeMatt Podcast
This entry was posted in Advice. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Matters w/ Matt: The Nanny State Rises Again

  1. Pingback: FreeMatt in Review: 6-21 to 6-25 | Mogadishu Matt

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s