What Is Wrong in the Nightmare Nanny Craigslist Post (and How You’re Making the Same Mistakes in Your Business)

A mom in Edina, Minnesota, posted an ad on Craigslist advertising for a nanny. It’s since been taken down, and the writer has taken all her social media private after the internet went wild. Fortunately, the internet is forever, and you can read the entire job posting at Archive.today.

Plenty of managers want this type of detailed specific employee, but don’t say so. Here’s why you hate the job description and how many managers do the same.

Declare how awesome you are

“We are definitely the coolest family ever and we live in Edina.” Okay, if that was the only bad thing in this ad, it would be cute. But it’s not. It’s also demonstrative of many companies that think they are fantastic but lack self-awareness. 

Including phrases like “We are hilarious” and “I’m a Name in my vertical” focus not on the duties of the job but the greatness of the boss. Yes, in a job interview, you want to know as much about the hiring manager as the hiring manager wants to know about you, but a job description should focus on the job–not how amazing the boss is.

To keep reading, click here: What Is Wrong in the Nightmare Nanny Craigslist Post (and How You’re Making the Same Mistakes in Your Business)

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16 thoughts on “What Is Wrong in the Nightmare Nanny Craigslist Post (and How You’re Making the Same Mistakes in Your Business)

  1. There’s a huge difference between hiring a nanny and hiring just about every other kind of employee. A nanny is someone’s surrogate in helping “mother” their child when they’re not available to do so themselves. A nanny is — virtually — another member of the family, and needs to be compatible with them in more ways than just parenting style. That being said, this Mother appears to be obsessive-compulsive in some — non-parental — ways, and that’s a good thing for any prospective employee to know too. It’s difficult to imagine any other job in which being a “good fit” for the workplace culture would be more crucial. Nevertheless, good nannies are hard to find, and even more so if you consider properly configuring the dishes in the dishwasher an essential function of the position.

  2. As grannybunny mentions, hiring for a nanny is way different than other positions. Frankly I love her post because it gives you so much insight into what it would be like. When you are going to literally be in someone’s space all day long ground rules are super important. I have a clean driving record, but I’ll admit that I think speed limits are suggestions. Job postings give you a baseline to determine if you might be a good fit and want to apply. I think this posting will help lots of people self-select out or realize they’ve found a kindred spirit.

  3. I kind of like this woman. I have many of the same “quirks”. It does paint a very good picture of her personality type. You also get some great insight into what went wrong with the last nanny. You can totally get a sense of her frustrations and desires.
    Obviously she isn’t a professional SF job description writer. It will scare most people away. Yet, she is posting on Craigs List so this will certainly narrow the candidate list.

  4. I guess I’ll be the mean one and say that this woman in my humble opinion is extremely neurotic, entitled and I feel that even if she found someone desperate enough who “fits” her demands that NOBODY will be good enough in her mind. She will look for things to pick on and fire every single poor soul that steps foot in her boot camp. Hopefully she hires someone that has an affair with her husband (after helping sew his genitals back on) and he escapes his “boss”.
    Yea, I said it.

    1. YES!!! Although I mean at least you know you are working for a nut job ahead of time?

  5. I have to agree with most of the people here. I LOVE this job posting. Even if it weren’t for a nanny, if everyone posted job posting this descriptive, it would be great and maybe neurotic bosses would be avoided.

    I mean, if in the posting for a previous job I had, there was the phrase, “You must be able to put up with a narcissistic male diva with a Napoleon complex ” I would not have even applied for the job!

  6. I totally agree that anyone applying for this job knows exactly what they are getting into. I love that she included the salary.

    The job sounds like a total nightmare (although, admittedly, I’d be the world’s worst nanny), but no one is going to apply thinking it’s going to be a laid back position where you watch netflix wtih the kid and then clean up before mom and dad get home.

  7. I’m gonna argue that this person, who seems to have an overinflated sense of self-importance, is not an amazing boss. It seems like she wants her nanny, who is actually responsible for CHILD CARE, to also be a personal assistant and housekeeper.

    If they have a cleaning crew, there is no need for the nanny to do any of that beyond basic sanitation and what is necessary to actually take care of the baby. What she needs is three employees, not one.

  8. Oh, it’s clear what went wrong with the former family friend as nanny. This job posting is really a written temper tantrum aimed at that person, who I imagine is much happier now – working or not.

  9. I actually read (most of) the craigslist post and I was cringing in my head the entire time. I don’t know what I’d do if I had a person in my life like that that I couldn’t choose not to be around. I can’t imagine choosing to be around her/them. Honey, you couldn’t pay me enough……..but you’re dreaming at $20 per hour. Maybe $20 just to deal with you, but what about the baby?? LOL

  10. This woman is insane – she sounds like a nightmare who is impossible to please and has ZERO self awareness. I want to toss her kid into the air over and over again while it laughs hysterically just to see her clutching her pearl necklace.

    Also – I pay my babysitter who is in High School $20 an hour. This comes out to about $4,000 a month or a $48,000 a year job. Not worth it.

  11. On the other hand, wouldn’t it be nice if every manager waved all his red flags right out in public so that applicants would know up front what they’re getting into? All the prim and proper job posting phrases like “opportunity for promotion” (meaning maybe in a hundred years) or “other tasks as assigned” (meaning that the exciting job description does not even resemble the actual job) are like cheese in a mouse trap. This is just a naked trap. There’s something to be said for that.

  12. Mixed feelings about this one. Yes, it’s good for applicants to see ahead of time that they’d be working for a very picky micromanager who is quite full of herself. Great that the salary is stated. REading it though, I have a great sense of what Mom would be like….but zero sense of the child! This read more like Mom ranting about the kinds of people that annoy her when it should have read more like “this is how awesome my kid is, these are the challlenges she has, and this is what we’d like her typical day to look like.” (And I agree with Elizabeth WEst – this is three positions rolled into one).

  13. I first read this post when Evil HR posted on Twitter and my first impression was of a very terrible needy boss, who sounded like one of the women described in the Nanny book, who treats their nanny more like a non-person than an employee. Yes, the job of a nanny is someone who is taking over the daily needs of childraising so the wife can continue her path in life unencumbered by the demands of being the parent. We, here, who are or have been working mothers all know the demands and effects made on our life once we have children. Most of us have had to make concessions by compromising certain aspects. Since this potential employer, who is looking for a nanny, doesn’t want any needs of childcare duties to affect her life, she does make that perfectly clear, but she also sounds very overly detailed in her precise needs and gives the impression that one has to do everything in an exact way stated or she will not be pleased and will not allow any suggestions to do things in a different manner. One of my questions, I had with this “job description” was no mention of any free time for the nanny. Was this person to be totally in nanny mode 24/7 with absolutely no time off? If this was the case, that the position was signing off from your personal life before this position and assimilating into this household, then what is the benefit financially to the potential nanny? A job offer like this has to have some benefits for someone.

  14. So – the nanny is in charge of the baby. And of cooking the gluten-free, vegetarian meals. And the laundry. And the housekeeping. And making sure that there are enough t-shirts in the house. And washing dishes, but only The Right Way.

    All for $20 an hour? When a person could work at McDonald’s for $15 an hour for a lot less drama?

  15. I stopped reading after “I am a former San Francisco fashion blogger…”

    That’s all I need to know. The rest is just redundant.

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