Saturday, April 22, 2017

Nannies As Needed.....Then & Now

Posted by: Bob Marcinuk

Nannies As Needed was launched from a make shift desk in Margie’s first floor kitchen on January 5, 2004…It proved to be the natural migration from her successful, 10 year home childcare business in Easton to now caring for children on a bit larger scale. After over 25,000 sittings later,  just see how we have grown!   

In the Beginning of NAN Time


  The original launch pad (left) was a desk close to the refrigerator, dog bowls and of course, the coffee! This was soon followed by the "assignment center & billing station" (right) IKEA special.  OMG...that meant Margie had her first employee...her name was Care (I kid you not!)


As families in Fairfield county began to learn about Nannies As Needed, they seemed to appreciate our personal, hands on touch ....and that meant that we kept growing and had to give up Margie's living room for two more desks! All of our early staff were comprised of part time babysitters who wanted to be involved in Margie's vision...their enthusiasm was so addictive!


Margie finally got her own work station (left)...Woo Woo!  Now, when she talked to herself, no one would notice...much.  And soon, word of mouth just kept bringing in new families. The corridor outside of her laundry room was the next to go for a work station (note the dryer vent). It was always cold in the winter and sweltering in the summer and whoever worked in "the outer region", had to tip toe around space heaters or fans with great agility.  

The earlier organization ran on it's stomach! There was ALWAYS 4 or 5 trays of sweets left out to nibble on...And the conversation was always the same..."I really shouldn't but I guess one won't hurt".
Only Margie ever did the dishes or cleaned it pride in her own house And, yes...Margie finally got her own private office! OK, so it was a desk in her bedroom but ever the opportunist, Margie loved to be able to spread out her work on top of her mattress. Besides, at the end of some very long days, she only had to walk 5 feet to collapse onto her bed...and sometimes, she even remembered to file those papers first!

Breaking Out!

This was the way of life until February 1, 2010 when torn between wanting to "reclaim" her home, creating a clear separation between work space and home space and to further establish her presence in the business community, Margie moved into her 1st "out of home" office, on the Green, in Milford Center but....the transition was. let's just say...a bit challenging.

Going from a whole floor in her home to a one room office was an adjustment to say the least! It was on a second floor, assessable only by an incredibly steep, narrow stairwell.  Much of the furniture would either not fit in the office or up the stairs to get there. But, it was easy to get to, close to everything, particularly her clients and most importantly, comfortable on Margie's cash expense that she did not have to deal with before now. The office team fast learned that morning showers and effective deodorants were just as important as answering the phones on the first ring!   

Well, all good things must come to an end, (thank God!) Twenty months later, on November 1, 2011, Margie found her perfect location.  It's where we all now call home!  And, it was just 3 block away from our original location, at the top of the Green in Milford!  

Welcome to Nannies As Needed, 2017! 

This is our welcoming reception area...The lighted area in the back is our Operations Center, affectionately referred to as "The Pit". This is the very heart beat of Nannies As Needed. Incidentally, the design, d├ęcor, accessories and colors all came from Margie and....she takes great pride in having prepped and repainted every wall, ceiling, trim and window herself!

In the first shot, the office on the left is our Human Resources location for activities such as sitter interviews, reference checks, quality control, sitter support to name but a few. The office on the right is our Finance site ...for account maintenance, billing, collections, communications and maintaining the "books".  Our kitchen, unlike in the beginning, has virtually no sweets available but, lots of bottles of water and a better selection of coffee... though consumption is down by 60% from the early days.

From the kitchen, it's is a straight shot to "the Pit"...close enough to snatch a water bottle between phone calls. Taking a left out of the kitchen, leads you past the bathroom, directly into our Marketing office. There is one more huge office on the right that is off limits for now while it is being repainted.  It's Margie's office.  And, yes, she's the one doing the painting!  Stay tuned for the unveiling...shortly?  


For some inner views, the Marketing office is on the left.  It is kept intentionally Spartan by our marketing manager who claims that simplicity promotes clarity of thought.  On the right, is a view of our Human Resources space... more warm and inviting and certainly more soothing for those sometimes nervous sitter interviewees...

So, this is Nannies As Needed...Then & Now !

Thanks for being Part of our Journey!


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Russian Egg War...or  Easter in the Rear View

Posted by:  Bob Marcinuk

As another bunny holiday bites the dust and chocolate foiled rabbits are tucked away in drawers to feebly attempt to avoid a terminal sugar rush, there remains only the eggs.  Those colored eggs that look so perfect on the panels of food dye boxes reside as neurotic tie-dyed wonders in the refrigerator because the fun is in the creating, not in the eating.  Moms frantically google search for those easy to prepare but absolutely delicious hardboiled egg recipes that have somehow eluded them in years past.  Don’t bother.  They just don’t exist. 

If this sounds familiar…it should.  If you are honest with yourself, you’ll admit that it happened to you at one time or another.  It kind of makes you reflect a bit…wondering if it has always been this way.  When I paused just before Easter this year, my thoughts took me to a place in childhoods past.  Simpler times? Maybe. More traumatizing, definitely!

Coming from a Russian lineage, holidays were always filled with traditional stories.  Knowing the characters in my family and their propensity to intermingle honored historic values with old wives tales (called something that sounds like “bikkies”), I am not at all certain that this tale is 100% accurate. But hey, somehow it managed to survive the centuries in my family…tattered and frayed a bit for sure.

After a frantic last week at NAN, our team of Jamila, Ellen and Margie were ripe for this story that I have held in reserve for some time now…and yes, props helped to hold their attention. 
The prop?  Eggs boiled in a traditional ornate Russian cauldron with 2 lbs of onion skins! The result….a deep, rich rust color that challenged that of bricks in intensity. 

Each participant was asked to prepare for the Russian Egg War by carefully selecting an egg that would hopefully endure the rigors of battle.  With an egg firmly held by each, I watched them morph from grown women into mesmerized little girls in anticipation of the tale....

The original Russian Egg War was held many centuries ago between two feuding kingdoms which had ravaged each other for generations.  The destruction of villages, livestock and humanity was devastating to both for as far back as anyone could remember.  It was the sole reason why neither had grown in strength or evolved as a people because they were always were rebuilding. Although the specific details escape me, it was this one year on the eve of an Easter battle that Czar Nikta (the warm and benevolent ruler) proposed to his adversary Czar Bautrus (the devious and malicious monarch) a simple solution to their endless plight.  He proposed that they war with hard boiled eggs instead of swords.  They would both tap eggs and the czar whose egg broke, would give up his empire in it’s entirety to the winning egg bearer.  Surprisingly, the agreement came easily and sealed, with a locked arm shot of vodka.

Onion skin dyed eggs were used…and each czar, carefully selected his weapon with the help of their generals.  The selection process took over two hours and there was much taunting and jeering emanating from the troops.  The battle was about to begin…

It was Czar Bautrus who officially challenged Czar Nikta to the battle giving him the honor of being “the striker”.  As he lifted his egg a mere 2 inches from that of his opponent, he unceremoniously and swiftly struck. Czar Nikta’s egg was broken…..

As the news spread quickly across the armies, the cheers were equally balanced out by the groans.  But, what silenced them all was when Czar Nikta in a very low tone said to Czar Bautrus...“But my egg has two sides….”  And in flipping his egg over said “It is I, Czar Nikta, who now challenges you to war”.  Bautrus snickered boastfully and extended his egg for battle.

The blow came quickly….And now, both czars each had a broken egg!

 As the tale has it, Czar Nikta stood and held his egg over his head to the sky as in thanks to a higher being.  And, it is said that a ray of sun broke through the heavily overcast day and lite on the extended egg!  With that, and feeling fully empowered, Czar Nikta again challenged Czar Bautrus to a war….and gently tapped his opponent’s egg….

The roar of exaltation that arose from both armies was deafening as Czar Bautrus mounted his horse and slowly road into the barren Siberian wasteland in defeat along with two of his closest generals.  Their frozen bodies were discovered 73 years later and the story has it that Czar Bautrus was found with a shattered egg clutched in his right hand.

As for Czar Nikta, history tells us that he went on to be a kind, magnanimous and just ruler who ruled both kingdoms as if they had always been one.  And, ah, I would be remise if I did not point out that Nikta in fact did rightfully earn the title of being the “original good egg”!    

So, in fitting honor of this age old Russian bikkie, we recreated the war of the eggs here at NAN on Good Friday afternoon.  And, I think that it was only fitting that the sole Russian member of our team, won the war!       


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Saturday: 10am-3pm
Sunday: Closed

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