Dear Amy: My sister “Helen” moved to my state several years ago when her life was in a tailspin. She is an alcoholic.
Helen has been in and out of rehab four times since then, and her children and others revealed her drinking had been a problem for around 17 years – the last 10 of which Helen worked as a nanny – and drank on the job .
In the past two years, she has twice gone directly from rehab to nanny positions without informing the parents of the child/children.
Me and other family members have been very clear that we think this is unethical and dangerous, but she refuses to consider other options because she may make $25-30 from l hour instead of 15 to 17 dollars in another job.
What is my moral and ethical obligation?
I thought about contacting the families or the Facebook page where she advertised her services.
The only saving grace is that most parents work from home and she doesn’t have a car. She does, however, have a license.
She’ll be in a sober house with drug tests for a few months, but is that enough? My husband and my friends think I shouldn’t get involved.
Dear Concerned: To clarify, working-from-home parents hire a childcare aide partly to drive their children and to run errands using the car.
You state that you know your sister drinks on the job, and if so, you are ethically obligated to try to warn the family she works for of the risk she poses.
You don’t say exactly why ‘Helen’ bounced from job to job (is she quitting or getting fired?) – and it’s a mystery the parents who hire her don’t find out his professional (or detox) history. Either she’s providing false information about it, or she’s (wrongly) assuming that hiring someone outside of a Facebook page is like going through a professional, bonded nanny service.
You should tell Helen that if you become aware that she is taking on home child care positions, you will do your best to contact the family, urge them to do their due diligence and warn them of the risk they may to pose.
This may not seem fair to someone who is currently in rehab and sober, but given his history of addiction and the way it comes in and out, his ability to maintain sobriety should not be assumed.
Nanny positions may be well paid, but this type of work is very demanding, often repetitive and boring. In addition to the risk she poses to the children in her care, this type of work might not be good for maintaining her sobriety.
Long stints in rehab also reduced his income. If she finds another more compatible line of work, she could gain stability and income over time.
Dear Amy: I’m trying to find a graceful way to stop what I call “text bombing”.
I have a friend who bombards my phone every once in a while with 20-40 text messages.
Sometimes it’s text strings about her job (which she hates) or her mom (which she doesn’t like) or just a series of funny (?) videos she’s seen on Instagram or TikTok.
My friend is very sensitive to criticism. I really want to find a way not to be her outlet of conscience when she’s upset or bored.
I put those conversations on mute, but sometimes the lack of response doubles his texts.
Can you suggest how to reply after about 10th text – to nip it in the bud?
– Sent by SMS
Dear Texted: You asked how to interrupt the flow of text. You might respond, “Sorry, but I’m taking a digital break. Shall we set a time to talk? »
If not, I suggest you use your phone’s “do not disturb” feature and not answer at all.
At some point, your friend might mention your lack of attention or response to her texts. And you can say, “We all have different communication styles, and I’d rather talk than text.
Dear Amy: “Upset inlaw” described her husband’s deadlocked position as his parents’ executor, where they insisted on excluding his sister from their inheritance altogether.
Your answer was OK, but you left something out: he could choose to just share his own inheritance with her.
I did, and I’ve never regretted it.
— A Will and a Way
Dear A Will: Absolutely! Thanks.
©2022 Amy Dickinson.