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need feedback regarding farm sitter

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  • need feedback regarding farm sitter

    I am using an alter(obviously).

    I have part time help here that has worked for me for 2 years now.
    Recently, I have gone away, and asked her to stay at the farm vs commute.
    It was a win/win, since her living situation is pretty bad(as in habitable).
    I think the world of this young woman and she has done a tremendous job working with my horses as well as just being a great help.

    While I was gone, she 'reorganized' my house. Which is fine with me, since I am kind of a sloppy housekeeper. She is excellent at organizing stuff.

    I am moving soon, and asked her if she wanted to move as well. I am moving to a very horsey community so its ideal for a young person.

    Ok, so a couple of days ago, I open up my front hallway sideboy drawer(where I keep important stuff) and noticed it looked very different. She was in the house at the time, and I asked her if she had opened this drawer, and she said no. I thought, ok, whatever, it is different so obviously she had, but didn't call her out on it.

    Today, I had to get a check out, and realized things had really been moved and changed, and also realized I had a very expensive piece of jewellry that I kept in there. It is gone. It isn't something I wear, because my dog chewed it, but its 18 karot gold and quite heavy. I always thought, when I am down on my money, I can always cash this in.

    Needless to say, I am beyond sad.

    When my helper arrived, I brought her into the house and said, I know you or someone went into my drawer, because it is arranged differently, and I am missing an expensive piece of jewellry. She began to cry and kept repeating 'I am sorry".
    Please remember, I like this kid, so much I have put her in my will. I have no heirs.
    For about a half hour, we both just sat with her saying I am sorry, and me saying, I don't know what to think. I trust you, but this is something which could be hocked easily and get a couple hundred for in the gold.
    At the end, she said, I understand how you feel, and I know I am responsible. There was another helper on the farm too, but she did not stay in the house.

    I asked her why she lied to me the other day about not going into the drawer and she cried and said, we were making you a scrap book of pictures. I said, ok, but why didn't you just tell me that you put the pictures I had on a counter in the drawer. afterall, she organized so much else in the house and garage.

    I am really devastated. My sense of betrayl is huge. Yet, I am thinking, maybe someone else took it. etc, etc.

    I rely heavily on this person. I will need to rely heavily on her during this very large upcoming move, yet I now feel I am not so sure I can trust her.

    Part of me wonders how I would have responded if someone accused me of stealing something. I don't think I would say I am sorry, but hey, we are all different and respond differently.

    I guess I am just asking for opinions on how I should go forward.
    I am in need of a person to be here when the horses move, since I will go on ahead.
    I also need someone to watch my place here after I move. She has told me she will come with me for a month to help me settle, but wants to come back here.
    Anyhow, opinions, since my head is so sad.

  • #2
    Did you ask her straight out if she took the jewelry? What was her answer? If she took it, she needs to return it, yesterday.

    If she says she didn't, check with some pawn shops, maybe, although it's easy to sell gold anywhere these days so you might be out of luck.

    If she's a thief, she's a thief. It's not the worst sort of crime a human is capable of, but it does mean something isn't wired together properly in the "right vs. wrong" department. You want someone like that deeply in your life if they're not family?
    Click here before you buy.


    • #3
      I had a pet sitter (professional pet sitter) steal from me. Take it seriously no matter a kid or not and get the police involved. - immediately!!!! if she did it to you, she's doing it to others. Do not play nicey nice to these crooks.

      Try to think of anything else 'valuable' to you no matter what the cost. Only after did I start remembering things did I realize they were ALLLL gone. Everything sentimental to me - gone. Things I had put away hidden that took digging for me to find.

      This needs to get on her record somehow or if not, it needs to cost her a ton of money to defend herself at the very very least.
      Fresh, Frozen & ISO Warmblood Breedings FB Group


      • Original Poster

        I did not come out and ask, "Did you take my jewellry'?

        I said, did you go in this drawer, the other day you said you didn't, but I know someone has been in this drawer. Have you opened up this drawer?

        She said yes, and I said I am missing a piece of expensive jewellery. She then said she was sorry, and began to cry.

        I guess I thought, why are you sorry. If someone had accused me, I would have said, I didn't take anything out of there. And repeated myself a million times. Saying I was sorry would not have been part of my response. Do you think that is normal to say 'I am sorry' when someone accuses you of taking something?

        ALthough, I would bet the farm, the piece of jewellery was in the drawer, there were two girls who were working for me. One stayed here and has been with me for 2 years, and the other has worked for me for 6 months.

        As far as involving the police, forget it. I have been dealing with them on an entirely different issue, and the bottom line is, unless you can prove it, they don't and won't do anything.


        • #5
          I would sit her down again, and ask flat out "did you take X??" And why????

          Maybe she apologized because she brought the other girl into the house, the OG took "X" and she feels guilty.

          Has anything else gone missing in the two yrs she has worked for you and been a re arranger??

          I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

          R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed


          • Original Poster

            She has not had the opportunity to 'live' in my house without me being there.
            She was alone in my house for 2 weeks. It was during this time that she had every opportunity to go thru my stuff, files, drawers, etc.
            She 'cleaned and reorganized' while I was gone, and had not done that before. In the winter, she sometimes helped me house clean by vaccumming, etc. Usually, she just helps with the farm stuff.

            Over the two years of her working for me, we have developed a friendship too. So, I guess its hard for me to think she may have stolen something, but otoh, its missing. I have since discovered another gold bracelet is also mia. None of my other jewelry with stones are missing, just the solid gold bracelets.

            I have caught her in white lies, exaggerations, etc. SHe takes excellent care of the animals. And at this time, I need her because of the move.

            The gold braclets are easily hocked or traded in at one of those gold for cash places.

            Last night the other young woman came to get her paycheck. I asked her if she had spoken to the other young woman who stayed here, and she said she didn't.
            I then asked her if she had gone in the drawer or knew anything about a gold bracelet. She turned bright red, and said she never had been in the drawer, would not take something that didn't belong to her, etc, etc. I guess that response was more 'normal' imo, than the other young woman's response of "I am so sorry'. To give the I am so sorry woman's line a validity, she meant, I am so sorry, its my responsibility since I was in charge'.

            Both woman are allowed in my house, but the mucker only comes in to use the bathroom, or while I was gone, they probably had coffee, etc. WHich I also do with them both. The other woman stayed here for the two weeks.

            I have resigned myself to her stealing my bracelet.

            I need someone on farm, but at this point, how do I leave and trust someone to stay in my home? I also need the help of packing as well as farm sitting while I travel to the other farm to see the progression.

            I have a lot of valuable stuff, artwork, sculpture, silver, etc. Not as easy or valuable to hock, unless you know their worth or where to hock it, the gold was easy.
            I guess I wonder, from my description of the two woman's response's, how would you go forward?

            Has anyone had someone they trusted, steal from them, and how did you move forward?

            If I didn't have the horses, I would not have the need to have the help. Additionally, due to the move, I can't take care of the horses, pack, etc.


            • #7
              So sorry for your loss - that stinks on all levels.


              • #8
                I am so sorry.

                I think that her saying "I'm sorry" was indeed her admission of guilt. She was so sorry that she had abused your trust and taken the item. I wouldn't read it as any other way. I would flat out ask her where it is. If she pawned it then either you or her need to go and get it back and it needs to come straight out of her pay.

                I suspect the other girl going red means that she knows about it, but probably didn't take it.

                If you must have her staying in your house, I think I would sit down and quite clearly, once you have your other items back, say that you are disappointed and saddened by her behaviour. You have decided to go ahead and let her stay in the house again, but this time, if anything at all goes missing, unfortunately you will report her to the police and have her charged with theft, which will also unfortunately likely prevent her getting many jobs in the future. She needs to understand that the consequence of this action again, will indeed haunt her forever.
                So sorry.


                • #9
                  I would fire the one you think did it immediately.

                  If you have to have people in your house like we do at times, do what we did. Add an alarm system to the "off - limits" part of the house and make SURE everythign of value is in the off - imits" part. Show them the alarm/motion detectors and make it clear the alarm company has been given exact instructions on how to deal with that alarm system and anyone who sets it off. You can nicely explain that, it doesn't have to be threatening. But it's your house and anyone reasonable shouldn't have a problem with not being allowed full access to everything.

                  After our pet sitter experience, I'll never trust anyone in our house again while we aren't home. Assume they'll take everything. So protect what you can, put everything else in a safe deposit box. We had also used our pet sitter for years.

                  In response to Kate66: The police won't get involved unless you have proof she did something wrong. We had cameras on the outside of our house and she skipped a visit, another visit was 3 minutes long from the time she opened the door to the time she closed the door behind her. That was enough to get the police interested but without it, they wouldn't have done anything. The prosecuter didn't persue the theft because everythign she took could fit into her pockets and nothing was seen on film. so unless they can see it on tape or find it on her person you're s-o-l. And like the prosecutor told me: You're the one who let her in your home. So lets get this straight: You know she's a crook and you're still willing to let her back in? Makes a heck of a lot of sense to me - NOT!
                  Fresh, Frozen & ISO Warmblood Breedings FB Group


                  • #10
                    That stinks and I really have no advice. It's like a cheating husband; will you ever trust her?


                    • #11
                      Find another bonded legitimate petsitter.

                      Change the locks.

                      Change your will.

                      She has to be held accountable for her actions. That's the best gift you could give her at this point.

                      Speaking from experience.


                      • #12
                        Could you put the valuable stuff in storage of some sort? That way you could keep her around to do what needs done, but not worry about stuff walking off.

                        My other suggestion would be to see if the mucker wants a job upgrade.

                        I would have a hard time keeping someone around who had betrayed my trust.

                        I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

                        R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed


                        • #13
                          Oh, if you are in San Diego or Charlottesville area, I can recommend some awesome trust-with-your-horse's-life petsitters!


                          • #14
                            For your horses, I'd board them at a stable until the time of the move, and pay the stable to assist on shipping day.
                            For the house, I'd hire professional movers (after removing anything portable/valuable and shipping that myself).
                            It's worth the cost of boarding to get you out of this situation, I hope that is economically feasible. But if you picked her because she is cheaper than boarding, well you've already paid a lot more in $ and emotional cost.
                            It sounds like you are dependent on her in some way that's not quite clear. Take care of your needs with professionals and once that is arranged, and your needs are met without depending on her , I think you will gain some clarity on the situation.


                            • #15
                              OP you really have no idea who took the jewelry. Both girls were allowed in the house, either one could have done it. Either one could be covering for the other, or doesn't want to inform on the other party.

                              I would feel a betrayal of trust on all levels. It goes to the idea of a person's character. I would not want them taking care of my animals. Time to find new help.

                              Sorry this happened to you, I hope you can find someone better. If you do keep them both just know that it could get worse, and then how will you feel?
                              "Your best can be worn at any length"- Jason Mraz


                              • #16

                                What are exactly is the living situation for this young person? How old is this young person?

                                I teach in a low-income urban area, and on a daily basis I see teenagers do whatever they can to find food. Almost all of them have free/reduced lunch, but even at reduced it is still 40 cents. So they have to find 40 cents somewhere, because mom doesn't have it, even though the state says she should. So, I am wondering what this person spent the money on? I might ask her that. If she says, rent, food, car payment, I might feel more lenient towards her. If you think she bought a new purse with it- that's a whole nother story. But I would be questioning, how much did you get, what did you use the money for, etc. Does this person have other sketchy things about them? Any known drug use, etc.?

                                It sounds like you don't have much family, and it sounds like this person needs more stable family. What if you were actually related to this person? What would you do then?

                                It also sounds like she doesn't have enough, and like you might have plenty. If that is the case, and I were you, I might say, next time just ask me for the money.

                                I'm not saying what she did was okay, or that you should just disregard it, but I think there are other factors that come into play. Young people without stable family, or with family that has less them, erm, steller values, still learn from their parents/family. So if her parents have a blurred view of right vs. wrong, it is totally possible that she does too, and it isn't neccessarily her fault that she does not have more clean cut ideals.


                                • #17
                                  What an unpleasant situation to be in. I'm sorry.

                                  I have had live in employees steal in a more obvious fashion (embezzlement is close enough) and it is far easier to cut them off, it's also far easier to prove and make a case. Checks and whatnot leave a paper trail that's pretty hard to disprove.

                                  This sounds like a crime of opportunity. Your young lady may have not taken it but may feel responsible. Perhaps she had a friend in the home. Perhaps the other girl had a friend, or someone told a friend. Gold is almost as good as cash at the moment - would you have kept a few hundred dollars in that drawer? For the farrier, perhaps? Not safe if it gets known around town.

                                  I have teens visiting in my home and I lock up my prescription pain medications. I don't talk about my need to use them. I keep cash for the farrier, too, but not enough I can't afford to lose it because after all house fires make a mess of valuables too.

                                  Having her in your will . . . well, that doesn't do her much good until you die. I'm from a family where relatives used "being in the will" as a way to manipulate desired behavior, which makes it not the kind and generous thing that it ought to be.

                                  She doesn't want to come move with you and at this point if you even have her help then you need to organize your own valuables and put them away. Things often get misplaced during a move, I've done it myself and had doubts about a family member for months until we found the lost item stuffed in a box with "MISC" on the side. Sure maybe the family member stuffed it in there but he didn't take it.

                                  I agree with some of the other posters. At this point you need to hire other help, board the horses, etc while you handle the transition period from one farm to another. From a worst case liability standpoint you'd be better off with licensed/insured /bonded entities during this time period, even if your jewellry had not disappeared.
                                  Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                  Incredible Invisible


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Thanks for the replies.

                                    First off, she does not know she is in my will.
                                    Boarding the horses could be an option, but I have a lot of horses. Which is why I need the help.

                                    Nevermind packing up 50 years of stuff, or sorting through it all.

                                    Also, she did want to relocate too. Its fun where I am going, especially for a young person.

                                    I spoke to a friend over the weekend, who's live in step son(she raised him) stole her gold jewellery a few weeks ago, left home(he is 17) etc. Talk about betrayl.
                                    She said, you need the help, we don't live in an area where help like that is easy to find. Shut up about it, pack and move.

                                    I think I have to take her advice. I will not trust her in my home ever again.
                                    To interview and hire someone at this time is just not worth it, if I could even find someone.

                                    Oh, and Ruth, she comes from a very poor family, working class, etc. Major alcoholism of father. The kids are all basically good kids, and mom did a good job. I definitely think she knows right from wrong.
                                    If she stole the gold, she used it to fix her car, etc. She is not someone who steals to go buy a new outfit. She lives in a camper on her parents property.

                                    I have done a lot for this woman, and vice versa. I give her extra money very often if she does the slightest thing extra. I also kept her on, after she said she couldn't muck anymore. Sort of a girl friday who helps me with various things. Offering her to relocate is also a huge thing too. Last christmas, I gave her a college course to get her to go back to college. Either the tempation was too great, and I think she may have thought I would not notice it missing. As somene said, gold is worth money.

                                    I may bring it up again tomorrow, and say(which she knows) that if you do something like break something, I'd rather you tell me.
                                    Sort of give her the opportunity to tell me, and you and I won't have an issue, but lie and we will. Of course, I won't know if she denies it if she is really telling the truth. I think her mother would be horrified to know that she may have taken it.
                                    Anyhow, I still feel as lousy about this as I did on friday. It just stinks all around.


                                    • #19
                                      How old is this girl?
                                      Fresh, Frozen & ISO Warmblood Breedings FB Group


                                      • Original Poster

                                        25 years old.