Difficult Conversations- Part 4: Go Home, You're Drunk
In the nanny industry dealing with messy, stumbling, tantrum throwing toddlers is nothing compared to having to navigate the dark waters of handling drunk parents.
Your services could be requested for a number of reasons whether that be helping out a work from home parent or nannying while the client is running errands etc. But most commonly you are requested when clients decide to have a night away from home or have a date night. While these kid-free nights are well deserved sometimes you may come across parents who take a bit of advantage in these situations.
For example, some parents may decide to stay out later than originally planned.
Every one has the right to indulge themselves when they see fit but what if these choices affect you and your time?
What happens if a client comes home blasted and you can't get them in the door let alone to sign their name on your time sheet?
In these instances, it is better to let the client enjoy themselves and not be confrontational. Ask once and if they get a bit flustered then leave it at that. You must ere on the side of caution here because money is a sensitive matter and talking about it when under the influence can really welcome in disaster.
Simply tell them, this is our agencies policy so what I will do is give them a call tomorrow and they will follow up with you on the best way to make sure we get things sorted out. Wish them well and be on your way.
It is always best to avoid confrontation. Using phrases like "you have to" and "I need you to do this" will trigger an argument and provoke an inebriated client. In doing this you will preserve the relationship. Even if you don't want to go back in the future, you represented not only the agency but yourself well with diplomacy and grace.
So, best to keep in mind, "just go home..they're drunk."
Of course if there comes a moment where you are concerned for he child and their safety then please contact your agency right away. It is best to keep everyone in the loop and keep things time stamped. You shouldn't have to deal with these kinds of situations on your own. Having a support system to offer you advice, contact the parents on your behalf, or take the appropriate measures will be a big weight of off your shoulders. Having an open line of communication will open doors and allow you to be protected if you are ever confronted with this type of situation.