Normally, I sit in front of my computer and try to think of what the latest fascinating new technology is, and how I can share that with you, the reader. This month is much, much different. Instead of the norm, I’d like to share an experience I had this past month.
My company doesn’t just install TV’s and cool gadgets. We install security systems and video surveillance systems in homes and businesses, mainly for theft prevention. But I received a different kind of phone call about cameras a couple of weeks ago from a client that was concerned about the care his children were getting from their stay at home nanny. At first, I thought this was a little extravagant. He even wanted them hidden so that they looked like motion sensors for a home alarm system. I found that a little invasive, but hey, the customer is always right. What he does in his house is his business. I soon found that my weird feelings were gone.
We installed six cameras throughout his home, from the living room to the office. Twenty-four hours or so later, the nanny in question reported for duty. Within 24 hours of that, the nanny was fired. What the homeowner found when reviewing the video footage was appalling.
As soon as the parents left for work, she placed the youngest boy, an 18-month-old, in his playpen, and left him there for hours. In fact, she left him there while she left the house to pick up the four year old from preschool! As soon as she got back from picking him up, she went to the office and surfed the internet until the parents got home from work.
I have not yet been blessed with children. My wife and I are attempting to see every continent over the next few years (three more to see), and then taking the plunge into parenthood. But make no mistake, parent or not, I think I was just as shocked and angered to find out that someone who calls themselves a nanny would violate someone’s trust and treat children this way.
So now I stand on my soapbox. If you can afford a stay at home nanny, you should invest in a camera system to make sure they are doing their job. They make ones that aren’t ugly, and they even make ones that you can see from your cell phone while away at work. My one slight difference with the aforementioned client is that I would advertise the fact that they are installed throughout the house, rather than keeping it secret. Be proactive instead of reactive. If they don’t like the idea of being watched, they don’t deserve your trust, period.