Perception vs. reality

This morning, I sat in my apartment building lobby with a bag containing Annie’s slippers, mask, and leftover opened snacks we got her. She asked me to meet her in the lobby instead of coming up to our apartment, as she had a scheduled train to catch at noon. When she finally arrived, she came with a large backpack in tow, likely to take a trip somewhere. We both apologized to each other for the miscommunication, and I told her that we really appreciated all her help, and that she clearly was amazing at her job, and we’d miss her. She told me that she’d be heading to Connecticut after this for a long weekend at her sister’s. And then, out of nowhere, she started tearing up.


“I love Kaia,” she said, teary-eyed, her voice breaking up. “I love you. I’m going to miss you and Kaia.”

On the one hand, I felt bad that things had to end this way. On the other hand, I was annoyed. If anyone who did not know this situation were to witness this exchange happening, it would appear as though I fired her and let her go. That is NOT the case at all; she is the one who left us, and quite abruptly, might I add! She gave up two days of pay, today and Sunday, just because she got mad at the principle of having four days a week vs. three. And I know she wouldn’t have found work that quickly. Plus, she was giving up work anyway now to go spend time with her sister, so clearly she would not be working this Friday or Sunday at all to fill in what she potentially would have missed with us. Yet somehow, she was the one crying at the end of this even though she also admitted she could have been clearer about her expectations. I really did love having her; in many ways, she was far more thorough and meticulous in her job than Cheryl was. She really did give her all with her families, as she said.

But this is the way it is when you hire people to help you. Misunderstandings happen. We are all human, after all. Situations like this unfortunately are more common than not, as my friend reminded me.

“That shit happens all the time!” my friend exclaimed. “It’s SO awkward! That’s why we stopped having a nanny and just put the kids in daycare!”

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