Perhaps you may have come across the now-viral job posting from a CEO in Silicon Valley looking to hire a nanny to be both a nanny and also a human Swiss Army knife that can psychically determine just how hungry fifteen people might be for chicken while simultaneously skiing down the side of a mountain in the French Alps.
Perhaps you might have also came across Jezebel’s attempt to determine whether or not we as a staff are qualified to fill the position. While the results are, uh, hazy at best, I remained fairly confident that collectively we would be able to pull it off. That was until the woman behind the job posting sat down for an interview to clarify a few details, which honestly just made the whole position even more confusing.
The CEO and mother of two, who requested to remain anonymous likely because she at least on some level understands that she’s created one of the most outrageous nanny postings since the Banks children in Mary Poppins, maintains on the surface at least that the requirements for the position are so mundane that we are the ones who need to do the reevaluating, not her.
The most interesting clarification she makes in the interview though, is that what she’s looking for is not so much a nanny, as it is a wife.
I’m sure you’ve read the I Need A Wife article that was in Ms. Magazine in 1971. It’s 39 years later, and as a working woman, I need a wife. Our society is broken. Here it is January, and I’m having to spend hours of my time, like late at night, trying to figure out summer camp and get them signed up for sports and all that. [I’m a single parent,] but if I had a two-parent household, I would assume that the other parent would at least be doing some of that, one would hope. Although, again, most women tell me that they have to do it all. So I think that people related to the post because it’s absolutely true. If you’re a working woman, you need a wife.
It’s interesting that she later asserts that the less than enthusiastic response to her posting has to do with the sexism inherent in society, while going on to double down that the work she’s needed to be done is unequivocally a wife’s work.
But the important [qualifications] are what differentiates the nice, grandmotherly baby nanny from this wife type is the executive functioning: the ability to plan, to do research, to make good decisions about “this is the right flag football team versus that one and this is why.”
Thank god someone is doing the important work of parsing out the wife types from the grandmotherly baby nannies, because otherwise she might be left with someone who wouldn’t be able to both arrange a ski vacation and then also take her kids down the mountain while she, apparently, enjoys herself at après-ski.
I put in the list what’s preferred and what’s necessary. I would love it if the person were a strong skier and could arrange ski vacations. Most families go on ski vacations with the husband and the wife, right? Usually one of the parents is the stronger skier or they’ll tag team taking the kids out. But for me, if I take them skiing alone, I mean, that’s exhausting, right? Having somebody who’s great at skiing, who likes skiing, is really good.
I think my favorite part of the interview is her talking about ski vacations as if they were trips to Chuck E. Cheese, which really provides the necessary lens through which this entire saga needs to be viewed, which is a lot a lot of cash. Speaking of which, she also goes into some detail on what the job pays, which after you do the math comes out to about $86,000.00 a year, before taxes and benefits (which include the opportunity to live in their pool cottage and have a car to themselves).
Considering that my brain is poisoned by capitalism there’s a small part of me that’s like sure, I’d give up my entire life to go and be this woman’s nanny-wife for the opportunity to take home 86k a year and travel for free, but the last part of this interview where she said she expects love from her employee is really what pulled me out of it.
I’m a loving person. I love the people I work with in my business. I love the people I work with in my home. My housekeeper, who’s the cousin of my former nanny, we love each other like sisters. I think that’s an under-utilized word and an under-utilized idea: love and respect and patience and tolerance. Those things are important to me. I don’t want somebody who’s just going to show up and do their job. I want somebody who over time I can develop a close, warm relationship with. I would say most people around here have that with their nanny.
Certainly respect and patience and tolerance are “under-utilized” but to the extent that you would expect love from the person who is working for you? It gives me big Stockholm syndrome vibes, which I am 100% not about. And also she said that she expects the nanny-wife to be able to run a mile to which I say, absolutely not.
I had problems before when I’ve recruited au pairs where I’ve said “must be physically fit,” et cetera, and even when I’ve said “must be able to run a mile,” the person shows up and there’s no way they could run even an eighth of a mile.
I unquestionably fall into the latter category and regardless, it looks like the job posting has closed anyway. Whether that’s because they were inundated with feverish applicants ready to fall in love and swim against river currents or because the posting was getting dragged across the internet isn’t clear, but either way I wish you best of luck Silicon Valley CEO, and many blessings to you and your eventual wife. Cheers to a long and happy union!