I almost forgot this story because it was in a different notebook.
I met Jamie in Denver. We were waiting to board the bus to Cheyenne, which would ultimately end up in Seattle. She had a ready smile and engaging personality and we struck up a conversation.
I guessed correctly from her accent that Jamie was from Alabama. Not sure what it is about an Alabama accent, but it is unique. I asked her what an Alabama girl was doing on a Greyhound Bus in Denver.
Jamie’s a nanny. She’s been taking care of kids since she was 14, more than seven years ago. I could see how kids would be drawn to her. Until the week before I met her, Jamie had never left the state of Alabama. She had a desire to see the country, so she looked for nanny positions on Craig’s List. She was intrigued by an opening in Westport, Connecticut. Westport is wealthy suburb of attorneys, bankers and financiers, about an hour outside of New York City. She liked the idea of being a train ride away from Manhattan.
The interviews were all handled via Skype. Jamie liked both the husband and wife, was impressed by their home and had a good feeling about the two kids who would be in her care. After several rounds of interviews and the requisite background checks, the family offered Jamie the job and she accepted.
Jamie took Greyhound to New York and then hopped the train to Westport. She arrived to find that the mother was, as she often is, away on business; an important piece of information that was conveniently omitted from their interview discussions. She shrugged it off and got acclimated to the house. She immediately bonded with the children, something she admitted, hasn’t always happened in previous jobs. So, Jamie was excited to have found a wonderful family for her first nanny job outside of Alabama.
After the children were in bed, Jamie settled in for the first evening in her new home, not even taking the time to unpack because she was so tired. She was half asleep when the bedroom door opened and the father made his way in.
Jamie did not feel comfortable telling me what happened, although she felt compelled to assure me that it wasn’t anything terrible. She was able to throw him out of her room and lock the door behind him. He stood outside the door, pleading with her to accept his apology; she refused. Fortunately, Jamie had not unpacked. So, before he woke up the next morning, she called Uber and was out the door, heading for the train station and ultimately, Greyhound.
Instead of going back to Alabama, Jamie bought a one-way ticket to Vancouver, Washington, a three-day journey from New York. I asked her why she didn’t return to Alabama. “My one day in Westport wasn’t enough to get Alabama out of my system,” she said. “I have a cousin in Vancouver with a young child, and she was looking for a nanny. So, I’m taking the job.”
I asked Jamie if she was going to call the wife, tell her what happened. She shook her head no. “I think they’ve probably gone through a lot of nanny’s,” she said. “The wife knows what’s going on. She’ll know what happened when she gets back and I’m gone after one day. I don’t need to tell her anything.”