Monday, October 3, 2011

Crash Cleanup

For those that have asked.

Ugh. I begrudgingly disclose the dirty deets of the trainwrecked blog shutdown.

Yes, it was a million times more fun to write and yes, I do know that it was a zillion times more fun to read. This is America, god damnit, and we love sensationalistic journalism! And scandal! GIVE US SCANDAL!

Many moons ago, I signed on with a new employment agency. Families pay agencies for placement of a nanny because of an agency's screening process: aka, I turn over everything from my medical records to the name, address, and phone number of anyone whose children I have ever made Mac N Cheese for. And if you were with me (bless your heart) nearly seven years ago when I first launched Blonde & Belligerent as a spinoff of my newspaper column (yep, turns out I have actually been a legit published writer before), then you're familiar with The Original Mrs.


The Original Mrs was a character who, incidentally, was also an atrocious real-live human being. I worked under her thumb for more than a few years and lived with her during the last year of my employment with her family. The Original Mrs took shape as a nod to The Nanny Diaries, of course. Which was one of the single most painfully ironic factoids of my entire life. You see, The Original Mrs and I were so close, in fact, that during my once monthly day off (seriously. every other Sunday and not a moment more), she invited herself to tag along with me to the movie theater. Where I was, of course, purchasing a ticket to see The Nanny Diaries.

We sat side by side, sipping Diet Coke and she chuckled over the ridiculousness of Mrs X in the film. OH, Original Mrs, I wanted to tell her, Mrs. X is a game of patty cake beneath a double rainbow in comparison to your bullshit. 

Needless to say, I voluntarily ended my position with her and her children shortly after. We left on good terms-- everyone crying, The Mr. telling me privately that there was a raise in it for me if I stayed. God only knows how badly he needed me to stay and be the buffer that mellowed his wife for him. But the saltiness of the employment popcorn subsided and The Original Mrs became a friend of sorts. Not only a friend, but a reader of trainwrecked.

Which is exactly the thing about life and about being a nanny, you guys. You cannot ever assume that oh, THIS family is normal. THIS family is so nice. Because they are all naked bongo drums playing nuts!

When my agency called The Original Mrs for employment verification, she whipped up tales of me taking her children for hours at a time, disappearing into the downtown Portland riff-raft. She swore that I was a nice gal, but one unfit to be left with children. Read her blog she told them. See how dreadful she is!

Without naming who had sold me up the river, my agency informed me that someone gave a bad reference and was a liability and loose cannon. They told me that she had scared the daylights out of a few potential employers by identifying me as a lost soul and wretched backstabber. My agent proceeded to say that this previous employer-- who remained unnamed to me still-- sounded intoxicated and disoriented.

OH I told them. THE ORIGINAL MRS strikes again, I see!!

I chose to not slam her for being the bottomfeeder that she is. I did not even tell them of my days off and how when the children bothered her, she would lock them out of the house. And how on one occasion, a neighbor called and said hey, do you know your 4 year old is wandering around downtown? I did not speak of her drinking entire bottles of wine at a time while breastfeeding and I did not even mention how she would stay at a hotel down the block just so she wouldn't be bothered by her newborn's crying at night.

The agency told me they had read the blog and they knew exactly the type of people of which I wrote. They told me that the issue wasn't me having a blog (a personal one not accessible to anyone other than those who were given the link directly by me) and the issue wasn't even anything I said. The issue was that The Original Mrs had darkened my agency's credibility by telling other potential employers that NO, the agency is wrong, this nanny person is horrendous!

So I stopped writing (and changed the URL) as a show of good measure to my agency. An agency, mind you, who could've sided with the Batshit Crazy lady and told me to take a hike. But they stood by me, supporting me in acknowledgement that yes, every word spoken on trainwrecked is the sad reality that we professional nannies often witness.

As sad as I was to no longer share my tales of Nanny Grandeur, it was a natural halting of sorts. Because, you see, this family is so nice. They are so normal, in fact, that I do not imagine I could find a tale to tell about them if I tried.

I say the above with wholehearted believe and that, my friends, is exactly the thing I most love about me. Even though I know this family is no different than the last, who was just the same as the previous, I choose to believe that everyone gets a do-over, everyone gets a clean slate, and everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. Now, let the good times roll!

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