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Old 17.12.2011, 22:46
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Babysitting etiquette

I want to hear your experience with an example.

Thursday you ask a babysitter to come to your place on Saturday evening. Kids are getting sick with fever, coughing in the night of Friday. So Saturday morning, you are not feeling well either so decide to cancel for the evening. You let the babysitter know it by noon.

Is it enough time for a cancelation?
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Old 17.12.2011, 22:56
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

It is enough time, IMO.

Things like that happen, and are part of the job profile of babysitter. Babysitter may not be happy, but that's life!

Parallel example is when you book a restaurant table, and then call to cancel if you feel unwell. They have held a reservation for you for a while. And then you cancelled. Thisngs like that happen...

If I were you, I would tip a babysitter (if it is a same person) next time. Small tip, but just to make a point that you understand that he/she also has plans, life, etc...

Enjoy evening at home tonight! Will get better!
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Old 17.12.2011, 23:07
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

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It is enough time, IMO.

Things like that happen, and are part of the job profile of babysitter. Babysitter may not be happy, but that's life!

Parallel example is when you book a restaurant table, and then call to cancel if you feel unwell. They have held a reservation for you for a while. And then you cancelled. Thisngs like that happen...

If I were you, I would tip a babysitter (if it is a same person) next time. Small tip, but just to make a point that you understand that he/she also has plans, life, etc...

Enjoy evening at home tonight! Will get better!
Thanks for the reply. The thing is I didn't have a chance to try her yet and when I send her the message asking her in the same time if next Friday could do, she didn't answer back. So few hours later I send an other message asking if she got my message. She finally answered back but complaining of how she was left without babysitting at all for the evening.

I didn't want to expose her to the virus since she is a student, believe me, I would rather be out with hubby.
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Old 17.12.2011, 23:21
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

I totally get you Nil, I guess different people have different cancellation policies usually 24 hours in advance unless it is an emergency of course and it looks like one to me this time. I would not want to be exposed to the flue believe me!
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Old 17.12.2011, 23:23
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

Well maybe Friday evening would be better? I dont like sms much. The person may not have their phone attached to them and may not get the message for hours. Better call.

And about her complain. Ok fair enough it messed up her plans but its not like you did it on purpose. If you cancel she will complain. If you dont cancel and she gets sick she will complain. What else is she going to complain about next? Kids being noisy? She is a babysitter and kids are not angels all the time

OK enough from a person who has no experience with kids but chatting on the EF is more appealing that freezing outside when the dog is having the time of his life :P
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Old 17.12.2011, 23:24
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

Depends how much you are paying your babysitter - and if it's her only income - she may seriously rely on you for that little bit of cash if she's a poor student with limited ability to work and make money...

On the other hand, illness happens, and I certainly would be happy if a parent cancelled so that I didn't have to look after a sick child...
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Old 17.12.2011, 23:32
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

Exactly, my daughter is coughing and crying, not something to let a babysitter to handle. If she was used to her, I am sure she could handle it, but come on! I don't want her to get sick either, she is an university student. I complain enough about parents who bring their sick kids to school, it would be pretty dumb from me to let her here.

Her answer let me cold and I am not sure I want to use her service in the futur. I found this petty attitude.
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Old 17.12.2011, 23:36
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

Her answer:

I did!but wow...i must have very bad luck cose this morning i had another request for bbysit and i had to say no!and now i called back and they hav someone already...also on friday i work until 22h at this *******hostel...weekends i have free though..but tonight i end up without any bbysit...

In case I am over reacting...
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Old 17.12.2011, 23:39
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

My advice would be to try and find another babysitter. This ones seems to have a bit too much attitude.
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Old 17.12.2011, 23:41
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

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Her answer:

I did!but wow...i must have very bad luck cose this morning i had another request for bbysit and i had to say no!and now i called back and they hav someone already...also on friday i work until 22h at this *******hostel...weekends i have free though..but tonight i end up without any bbysit...

In case I am over reacting...
don't pay any attention, you did the right thing.
As mentioned above, fait un geste la prochaine fois que tu la vois.
Hope y'all feel better soon.
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Old 17.12.2011, 23:51
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

Well just for a different point of view, if it was your child's nursery where you prepay, would you expect to get your money back for the days he or she might not attend due to illness? I understand your position, but I also understand the babysitters position. In the past when we have had to cancel a babysitter we have still paid her for at least an hour, sometimes two. Another example is my dentist. If I cancel with less than 24 hours notice, no matter the reason, I still have to pay for the appointment time.
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Old 18.12.2011, 00:34
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

Babysitting for the odd evening out is a casual job. With a casual job, you get paid if you do it, and not if you don't. You are subject to the vagueries of life as in all other things; illness, change of plans, and so on. And as a babysitter, you too can be ill and have to cancel at last minute. I have on occasion had to cancel a babysitter due to the very same reasons and have only had the kindest and most concerned of responses, wishing the child better etc.

It is unreasonable to take that tone with you, particularly in view of hte fact that she has not yet even sat for you. The example of a dentist is not similar. The cancellation charges are clearly highlighted upfront and you make the appointment in the clear knowledge of them and subject to them. It is usual practice with a dentist and not unexpected. I have never heard of it being usual practice to still pay a babysitter if for an unforeseen reason you have to cancel at late notice (although with a long standing babysitter I agree I would next time make a more generous payment than usual with reference to the cancellation).

It's just the way the cookie crumbles. C'est la vie. If she doesn't like it, I would go elsewherê, (unless you really despair of finding someone else - no point in cutting off your nose to spite your face, as my mother would have said.)
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Old 18.12.2011, 09:57
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

A friend of mine made a good point about her showing more concerns for the money she wasn't going to get than for my sick kids.
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Old 18.12.2011, 11:11
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

It's her who needs to learn about etiquette, not you. On the other hand, if her services are in high demand because there is a shortage of babysitters, she'll feel she has the upper hand.
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Old 18.12.2011, 11:35
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

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It's her who needs to learn about etiquette, not you. On the other hand, if her services are in high demand because there is a shortage of babysitters, she'll feel she has the upper hand.
No she isn't in high demand. Babysitter are easy to get and many housekeeper do it too. And it is very affordable.
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Old 18.12.2011, 12:30
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

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Her answer:

I did!but wow...i must have very bad luck cose this morning i had another request for bbysit and i had to say no!and now i called back and they hav someone already...also on friday i work until 22h at this *******hostel...weekends i have free though..but tonight i end up without any bbysit...

In case I am over reacting...
You got to also take into account that English isnt her first language and she isnt able to express herself in the most polite manner.

I have a policy for cancellation of music lessons - if my student isnt well, I rather them stay at home and not infect me with the virus. They are free to cancel at any time but of course I rely on theirs/parents' common decency and courtesy to inform me as soon as possible - which you did and unfortunately, a little too late for her liking. She isnt a professional with clear guidelines re cancellations etc so I really wouldnt worry.

Since you mentioned that babysitters are abundant, you'd probably wouldnt have a problem finding another one as easily in the future, so just let her stew.
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Old 18.12.2011, 12:52
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

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A friend of mine made a good point about her showing more concerns for the money she wasn't going to get than for my sick kids.
Why shouldn't she? It sounds as if she does not have spare cash, was expecting to work and get paid that night and in fact had ( at least she said this) turned down an alternative job that night.

Possibly bad feeling could have been averted if you had been able to talk to her, rather than only having text contact, offering to discuss reimbursment for the cancelled evening when you next saw her.

However, as there is now bad feeling on both sides, and you do need to have a sitter with whom you feel completely comfortable leaving your children, my suggestion would be that you don't used this particular person again.

I hope you are all feeling well agin in time to enjoy Xmas. :-)
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Old 18.12.2011, 13:21
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

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Why shouldn't she? It sounds as if she does not have spare cash, was expecting to work and get paid that night and in fact had ( at least she said this) turned down an alternative job that night.

Possibly bad feeling could have been averted if you had been able to talk to her, rather than only having text contact, offering to discuss reimbursment for the cancelled evening when you next saw her.

However, as there is now bad feeling on both sides, and you do need to have a sitter with whom you feel completely comfortable leaving your children, my suggestion would be that you don't used this particular person again.

I hope you are all feeling well agin in time to enjoy Xmas. :-)
Sorry but I dont agree with this part. I talk to her by messages exactly to avoid misunderstanding. It is written and she can look on Internet for words she doesn't understand instead than me talking to her and maybe not catching everything I say.

If you take an appointment to the hairdresser for a cut and color but cancel 8 hours earlier. Would you pay the cost of your hair color and cut? She may had refuse a customer who wanted the same time than you?
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Old 18.12.2011, 13:49
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

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If you take an appointment to the hairdresser for a cut and color but cancel 8 hours earlier.
The grey area is if you cancel 8 hours earlier, the hairdresser appointment was for the entire evening, and he/she didn't get your cancellation sms (for whatever reason) until a couple of hours before the appointment. I think you're in the clear - after all you had to cancel and there was no contract, but she is also right to be a little miffed.

So you're both right. No harm done. I'd still use her again if necessary but I'd text to say "didn't want you to catch all their illnesses" and "if you change your mind and can make Friday please let me know!". However ... if I was the babysitter and felt vindictive (I usually do) I'd say "yes" and then sms to cancel right before I was meant to turn up.

So on second thoughts ... Biff is right. Find someone else unless you're prepare to chat with her and explain on the phone and see how friendly she sounds.
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Old 18.12.2011, 14:06
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Re: Babysitting etiquette

Sorry, Nil - not sure I see the problem. She doesn't sound like she is complaining too much, just pointing out that she had a bit of bad luck, I think.

If she'd replied "F*** you, bitch - I need my money", i'd see your point, but I think she was just "blowing off steam".

Forget about it
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