By Susan Tokayer
A lot has been on the news lately about “white lies” because of Hope Hicks saying she had told white lies on President Trump’s behalf.
As I’ve been listening to commentary about this, I started thinking about the negative effects I see whith nannies and clients I work with who tell “white lies” to avoid being confrontational, or to not hurt the other party’s feelings.
Example #1: A nanny working with a family isn’t happy in the job. But, instead of discussing the issue, and trying to resolve it, she tells a white lie. “My mother is sick and I have to leave the country to be with her.” That nanny then applies to work with an agency, and that agency says that they need to check her references, most imporantly her most recent reference.
At this point the nanny realizes she made a mistake in not telling the truth, that she was not happy in the job and wanted to give notice.
Example #2: A family is not happy with their nanny’s performance and they decide to let her go, telling her the grandparents are moving into town and will be caring for the children. That nanny finds a new job in the same town, and a few weeks later runs into the family’s new nanny in the park with the children.
In example #1, the nanny now may have a difficult time finding a job. In explaining her situation it is apparent she lied. Will the agency trust that everything she is telling them about past jobs is truthful? Or, are there other white lies in her work history?
In example #2, will the new nanny trust her new employers to be honest with her, now that she has found out about what they told their previous employee?
Sometimes it isn’t easy to tell the truth, I know. But if things are communicated in a sensitive way, both parties will benefit from hearing the truth.