Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Servant Problem
Life Was in Chaos for Nanny Accused of Killing 2 Children
She was unraveling. Yoselyn Ortega’s home was an overcrowded tenement that she yearned to leave. She shared the apartment with her teenage son, a sister and a niece, and roamed the halls selling cheap cosmetics and jewelry for extra money. She had been forced to relinquish a new apartment for her and her son and move back. A woman had chiseled her on a debt. Neighbors found her sulky and remote. She seemed to be losing weight.

Nanny Searches, Already Intense, Become More Fraught
The battery of questions that can rain on nannies from prospective employers or agencies often resembles a psychological appraisal, far more probing than mere background and reference checks.

Did the nannies have happy, healthy childhoods? What was their relationship with their parents like? What is going on now in their personal lives?

A nanny who has children of her own might be a red flag for some: she — or sometimes he — might resent having to mind another’s child, and pine for her own. One nanny might be deemed too old or too indifferent to energetically engage with the children. Another might be deemed too young or attractive, and pique a mother’s jealousy. Still another might be deemed too envious of her employers’ better fortunes.

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