Jane recognized that in order to quell the fire of animosity simmering before her, she would have to try to appeal to a sense of sisterhood amongst the women before her. Otherwise, the embers that flickered visibly would erupt into a full-scale brush fire wiping out both camps seated in the room. The two factions were clearly demarcated: the Nannies, a mix of Filipina, Caribbean and Mexican women, sitting on one side of the room and their female employers sitting in direct opposition to them. Resolving the years of pent up hostility, barely containable as evidenced by the foaming mouths of every woman in the room ready to take aim and fire at each other, leaving no survivors behind was no mere Herculean task. Jane realized that brokering peace between the sides would be harder than attaining a tranquil Arab-Israeli coexistence in the Middle East.
"Ladies, please remember that your lives are inextricably linked as you rely on each other for the shared purpose of raising healthy and happy children," Jane reminded the women. "Keep the little ones in mind when airing your grievances today."
"As long as the help remembers that they are our little ones, not theirs," a blonde svelte woman stated.
"Maybe they came out of your vagina, but when they call for 'mommy' it is me they want!" a Filipina nanny retorted. "Why you think that is? Because you are too busy on the treadmill and in yoga-boxing class to get your pre-baby body back instead of watching Sesame Street with them."
"Well they wouldn't have to watch so much Sesame Street if you knew how to speak proper English," another employer shouted. "Do you know how many times I've told my nanny, no Tagalog in my house? Only English! Yet, my little one keeps running around yelling ‘me guapo’."
"I hear what you are saying and while it is very important that the child speak the same language as its parents, please remember that human rights, labour laws and equality rights require that you do not discriminate against your employee. You cannot prohibit them from speaking their native tongue in your homes," Jane offered. "Perhaps the solution is that Tagalog is only spoken when the child is not in the presence or earshot of your nanny?"
"That is a bit difficult since my nanny is on call from 6:00 in the morning until she puts my kids to bed at 8:00 in the evening," the blonde woman replied.
"Same for me," echoed another lady. Most of the female employers in the room nodded their heads in unison.
"Sorry to interject, but I have to ask if you are all aware of employment law limits on the maximum number of work hours anyone can work in a given week?" Jane queried to blank stares.
"What is your point?" a brunette woman asked supported by the quizzical looking faces of the other female employers around her.
"Well, if your nannies are working ten hours a day, five days a week..."Jane started.
"You mean seven," the brunette interrupted, "seven days a week."
"I see. Regardless of whether it is five or seven days, the maximum number of hours they can work with overtime pay is forty-eight hours," Jane explained. "I recommend that the nannies keep a close eye on their work hours and pay stubs to ensure that no one is taking advantage of them."
The nannies looked at each other blankly, uncertain if they were just given the keys to unlock their slave chains, or whether they would have to find new jobs for fear that their employers, now having been caught for imposing indentured servitude on them, would be replacing them after the summit ended.
"Excuse me, but I don't think that work hours is the point of our little get together," a female employer suggested. "We should be focusing on the problems at hand: nannies sharing confidential salary information, wearing their employers' clothes without permission, nannies seducing their employer's husbands, improper child supervision, acting like they own the house, and so on."
"Honestly, we bring these women here so they can give themselves and their families a better life, and my nanny has the nerve to fuck my husband?" a red-headed woman shrieked.
"Oh miss, if you maybe fucked him yourself once in a while he no look to me for some love," retorted the red head's nanny. "I give him love long time, real easy."
"You are a two-bit whore!" the redhead screamed as she lunged across the room to choke her nanny. The nannies jumped in front of the woman's intended victim forming a human shield to protect her. The female employers, on the other hand, stepped aside encouraging the woman's girls-gone-wild behaviour.
"Ladies, this conduct is unbecoming!" Jane implored as she pulled the redhead away form the nanny iron curtain. "If your nanny had sex with your husband, you are well in your right to fire her. As for your husband, surely there is equal blame to lay there."
"Oh I laid blame alright and I fired her ass. Except my loving husband rehired her to watch our kids at his new house, after I threw him and that slut out on the lawn in the dead of winter's night with no clothes and no keys to get back inside," the red-head revealed proudly.
“What you expect lady? You all either workaholics or shopaholics, so busy with yourselves that it is no wonder your husbands come to us for a little loving,” a nanny cried.
“Well, that is certainly a trust issue that even borders on theft!” a redheaded female lawyer advised.