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House/horsesitter screws up...ethical dilemma.UNBELIEVEABLE update. pg 3

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  • House/horsesitter screws up...ethical dilemma.UNBELIEVEABLE update. pg 3

    Sorry...this is long.

    OK. I just got back last night from a week at the beach. A wonderful relaxing week. Our house/horsesitter is a 24yo who has done this for me the last couple of years. She also babysits regularly and has done so for years. She is a brat, immature as hell and spoiled rotten. All of these things I knew. But she has never let me down...she typically just worries the crap out of her mother and treats her like garbage. She has always done a good job caring for the animals and until the past year has been a wonderful babysitter.

    A little background...over the past year she has broken up with a nice responsible long term boyfriend, met a new guy and moved in with him. New guy seems nice enough but not particularly ambitious. My kids increasingly complain about her whereas they used to adore her.

    So, the signs were there but I work with her mother and NEVER in a million years expected this.

    Husband gets home from vacation about 4 hours earlier than me. Calls to say house is a wreck. Sitter was given EXPLICIT instructions to have her stuff picked up by Tuesday for cleaning lady. Cleaning lady refused to clean because sitter had strewn her things throughout the house and trashed the kitchen. She had brought boyfriends dog over and the house is covered in black dog hair. Said dog slept in MY bed and bed is covered in dog hair. Bathroom floor looks carpeted in dog hair. Mud covering the kitchen floor. In other words, she trashed the house.

    And to top it all off, SHE DROVE MY HUSBANDS $45K Farm truck all week. WE DO NOT OWN THIS TRUCK!!! She carried said dog around in the cab and smoked in it. She is fully aware that my husband in a complete neat freak. And my husband could have lost his job if she had wrecked the truck.

    OK, the solution seems like a given but I thought I'd ask for some thoughts and input. Its already decided that she will NEVER babysit, housesit or horsesit again for me. But I am unsure of whether to pay her at all for this week. Horses and other animals are fine and seem well cared for. A few minor issues but nothing I can't live with since I knew she wasn't particularly experienced with horses. Do I pay her? Last night as I was vacuuming dog hair at midnight after being on the road 12 hours I would n't consider it but now I'm unsure of the "right" thing to do.

    BTW, kid has never been truly held accountable for anything shes done. Mother is a doormat and bails her out of everything. And kid is also broke and desperately needs money. She is very irresponsible and is in alot of debt.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.
  • Original Poster

    #2
    Sorry...this is long.

    OK. I just got back last night from a week at the beach. A wonderful relaxing week. Our house/horsesitter is a 24yo who has done this for me the last couple of years. She also babysits regularly and has done so for years. She is a brat, immature as hell and spoiled rotten. All of these things I knew. But she has never let me down...she typically just worries the crap out of her mother and treats her like garbage. She has always done a good job caring for the animals and until the past year has been a wonderful babysitter.

    A little background...over the past year she has broken up with a nice responsible long term boyfriend, met a new guy and moved in with him. New guy seems nice enough but not particularly ambitious. My kids increasingly complain about her whereas they used to adore her.

    So, the signs were there but I work with her mother and NEVER in a million years expected this.

    Husband gets home from vacation about 4 hours earlier than me. Calls to say house is a wreck. Sitter was given EXPLICIT instructions to have her stuff picked up by Tuesday for cleaning lady. Cleaning lady refused to clean because sitter had strewn her things throughout the house and trashed the kitchen. She had brought boyfriends dog over and the house is covered in black dog hair. Said dog slept in MY bed and bed is covered in dog hair. Bathroom floor looks carpeted in dog hair. Mud covering the kitchen floor. In other words, she trashed the house.

    And to top it all off, SHE DROVE MY HUSBANDS $45K Farm truck all week. WE DO NOT OWN THIS TRUCK!!! She carried said dog around in the cab and smoked in it. She is fully aware that my husband in a complete neat freak. And my husband could have lost his job if she had wrecked the truck.

    OK, the solution seems like a given but I thought I'd ask for some thoughts and input. Its already decided that she will NEVER babysit, housesit or horsesit again for me. But I am unsure of whether to pay her at all for this week. Horses and other animals are fine and seem well cared for. A few minor issues but nothing I can't live with since I knew she wasn't particularly experienced with horses. Do I pay her? Last night as I was vacuuming dog hair at midnight after being on the road 12 hours I would n't consider it but now I'm unsure of the "right" thing to do.

    BTW, kid has never been truly held accountable for anything shes done. Mother is a doormat and bails her out of everything. And kid is also broke and desperately needs money. She is very irresponsible and is in alot of debt.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, for starters I'd at least reduce her $$$ by the cost of a good detailing of the interior of the truck and a special visit by the cleaning lady.
      Nevertheless, she persisted.

      Comment


      • #4
        On Bella.

        I would subtract out money for gas and use of the truck (using mileage estimates), housecleaning supplies and time cleaning (whatever the going rate it),truck detailing, plus add in the dollar amount for the housecleaner that you lost.

        Give her whatever is left over (which should be about 20.00 dollars ). That should make a point!
        =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*
        ~Jilltx~

        Comment


        • #5
          I had a bad experience with a farmsitter last year, won't go into the whole story- but basically came home from a 12 hour car/airplane trip to find my best filly standing in about 2 feet of piss-soaked straw bedding. The horses were well fed, but barn was trashed and every stall had to be stripped, car was soaking wet from leaving the sunroof open in a torrential rainstorm, and she fed twice the amount of hay I had specified.
          I was livid, but I did pay her- I figured the animals were fed and watered and no worse for the wear. I will NEVER let her work for me again though.
          Personally, I think I would give her a statement showing what her pay was (per day or whatever) and then deduct a certain amount of money for the cleaning needed to restore your home and truck to living conditions.

          Comment


          • #6
            Dock the cleaning costs and anything else you have to spend money to put right after her "care".

            You know, we all have boyfriend/SO/lifepartner issues...so what?
            They don't translate to trashing your house and helping themselves to your cars.

            Deadbeats.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree with having everything professionally cleaned and subtracting that from her pay. How unbelievable! I would be absolutely livid.
              Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.

              Comment


              • #8
                I suppose since the animals were properly cared for, I might pay her... But I would surely take out a large number of deductions for:
                1. USE OF TRUCK - charge for gas, mileage, detailing that now needs to be done, and I would also charge a flat fee for her smoking in the truck. Detailing never seems to remove the scent of smoke from a car very well.
                2.DAMAGES TO HOME - Cleaning supplies, Laundry detergent for all of your soiled sheets/bathmats, steam cleaning the carpet to remove the dog hair throughout the home, and I would probably charge for YOUR time last night, since you had to vaccum and clean until midnight when I am sure you had other things you'd rather be doing

                DO NOT feel bad for her. It's HER fault she is in debt, HER fault she is irresponsible, and HER fault that she CHOSE to ruin your home instead of keep things tidy and do HER job. Don't feel bad just because her mother is a doormat either, it's the daughter's choice to be responsible for herself or not. My mother could also be considered the "doormat" type, and I got away with a lot as a kid, but I was able to grow up and take responsibility for myself.

                Did she offer a reason as to why your house was a mess??

                Comment


                • #9
                  Belladonnalily, I know just how you feel, having been through something similar about 10 years ago, the first and last time I left my kids with an overnight horse/kid sitter. We left our children with a local instructor whom I had met and my friend raved about. Little did we know that while we were in another state looking at real estate, she had left my 6 year old at horse camp 8 miles from our home and driven over the state line to within 5 miles of where we were to give someone a cross-country lesson at a well known 3 day location. She drove my Suburban on this little journey and left my two older children, ages 9 and 11 in the car with the windows rolled down out in the 90' heat while she took off on the cross country course with her student. The house was a mess, the horses were well cared for but the stories from the kids were unbelievable, such as, "Mom, can you believe Sarah can drive with her knee and read her mail at the same time!" "Mom, Sarah took us to her barn and had a big fight with her blacksmith." "Mom, when we came back from Water Country, Sarah left our dog inside and she was on the roof of the porch!" Aaugh! What a nightmare. But live and learn.
                  Belladonnalily, we just paid her and never used her again. When another family called us to ask for a reference, I was very honest with them, as in "Are you kidding me?."
                  You could dock her for the cost of a cleaning service, or try to go after her for the cost, but from the way you describe her, she sounds just like our house/horse/kid sitter and you are probably better off to chalk it up to experience and be thankful she didn't hurt anyone with the truck. It's amazing that some people can be so careless, clueless and inconsiderate.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Having known (*coughbeingrelatedto*) individuals that sound like your (ex)house/horsesitter I say (loudly) <b>you are NOT doing her any favours by paying her</b>. She needs to learn that there are reprecautions for her actions! I agree w/ J21 - her problems are her FAULT. I would explain to her why she isn't getting paid (or why she is getting paid lessO, that you regret trusting her and that she will not be working for you again.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would give her a very explicit note detailing every cost she incurred, and throw in emotional damages Then you should have a check enclosed for $.50 to ad insult to injury. I work at a farm, and when my boss goes out of town I dog-sit her dog at her house. She lives in on the water, and although I don't go inside, I presume I could have a rather nice party in her back yard and on her boat.... but I would never do that! It's called DECENCY and seems that some people, no matter what their age, seem to severely lack that quality. Sickening.
                      Is minic a rinne bromach gioblach capall cumasach
                      An awkward colt often becomes a beautiful horse .

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Pay her and NEVER hire her again for anything. I've got no idea how much she was getting paid but it can't be a ton of money for a week's PT work, so don't lose sleep over it. Live and learn.

                        It does sound like you're mad at her, and it's understandable under the circumstances but you've got to remain professional. It is totally irrelevent how you feel about her mother, her last boyfriend, or her other sources of income. Stay focused on the topic at hand: you hired her to do a job and she made a mess while doing it.

                        Stop worrying about little things like doghair or a few bits of clothing on the floor. Although annoying, doghair isn't the end of the world. The dog hair could've waited till the maid came by (unless you're deathly allergic to dogs?).

                        The only thing I'd really reprimand her for is driving a vehicle she was never given permission to drive. It might be wise to lock up the keys to ALL trucks, tractors, and sheds when a housesitter takes over next time.

                        Have you spoken to her to hear her side of the story?

                        When you pointed out the doghair problem, did you try asking if she'd come over and clean up the mess ? Or clean out the inside of the truck? That's the way I would hold her accountable, not by withholding her pay.
                        Veterinarians for Equine Welfare

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What side of the story when she was not authorized to use the truck but helped herself and was dumb enough to not fill it up and smoked to leave that tell tale "trace" evidence?

                          You have to pay her something but I'd deduct for use of that truck and the detailing to remove the stink inside.
                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Document everything. I hope you took pictures of the mess. Hold her accountable by deducting the cost of the cleaning bills from her pay.

                            While you're at it, give yourself a smack for not seeing this coming.
                            <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Its already decided that she will NEVER babysit, housesit or horsesit again for me.
                            </div></BLOCKQUOTE>What a pity it is that you did not come to this conclusion earlier, given that you knew "She is a brat, immature as hell and spoiled rotten", and that your children "increasingly complain about her whereas they used to adore her", not to mention "I knew she wasn't particularly experienced with horses."

                            Hire a professional, mature sitter next time. Thank your lucky stars that your kids and horses are all okay. That's what really matters, right?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              i agree with what others have said, charge her for what damage she has done! gas, miles, the maid's coming but NOT cleaning. i'd charge her so much, she might get a check for 2 cents, or i'd leave her a bill! tell her exactly why she is being fired, how disrespectful she has been...etc. i would show no mercy, tell her like it is. she's 24, time to grow up! i'm 20 and i never have and never WOULD ever do stuff like that!

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                MayS...I'm on the way out but I wanted to respond to a few of your questions/comments quickly.

                                As far as waiting until the maid came, the maid DID come and could not clean. The house was THAT trashed. Not just a little dog hair. And my husband is allergic to smoke, doghair, etc. He has asthma and fairly bad allergies. He allows no one to smoke in his vehicle. Sitter knew all of this.

                                Keys were left in the vehicle in the event GM or one of hubbys workers needed it. We live on a farm with locked security gates and this has never been an issue in the past. If I had known I needed to lock the keys up, I wouldn't have trusted her to house/horsesit in the first place!!!

                                I spoke to her briefly as I was fighting traffic on I95 yesterday. She finally returned my calls and cried the entire time. Said she used the truck because she need a dog crate for boyfriends dog. We have TWO very nice dog crates in the garage she knew about (I pointed them out in case she needed them for our dogs) and besides, its VERY OBVIOUS she didn't use the damn crate after she went to get it! So no, I didn't get much out of her beyond that and alot of whiney "I'm so ashamed" boo hoo nonsense.

                                And there is nothing like finding all of your bedding in the washer COATED with black hair. And having your mattress trashed. And being exhausted and wanting to go right to bed.

                                This was no small thing.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Holy Hannah. I farm sit fairly regularly and feel bad if I don't leave the sheets in the washer when I leave. I can't imagine trashing the place or bringing pets without the permission of the house/farm owner

                                  If you are in NoVA, I can recommend a couple of people, besides myself, who will never ever treat someone's house and property that way.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I agree, it's definitely NOT a small thing. And at 24 this *woman* is definitely not a child, youngster, young lady, etc. She's a woman. A grown woman even past college age. Granted, she sounds like she has childish tendencies encouraged by her mother...but Bella is not expected to continue to do this *woman* a disservice by allowing her no responsibilities and offering a way out.
                                    I also agree with the others...deduct from her pay the cost of cleaning the truck and house. I'd personally want her to apologize for taking such extreme advantage of this job and jeopardizing both the truck and the husband's allergies...but as an adult you cannot force said apology. But this person would receive the dresing down of a lifetime from me for taking such rude and immature advantage of this situation. Bella has every right in the world to be duly upset...I'd be seething and I'm normally so disgustingly cheerful I can even nauseate myself.
                                    You jump in the saddle,
                                    Hold onto the bridle!
                                    Jump in the line!
                                    ...Belefonte

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I agree- not a small thing at all. The fact that she would NOT own up to everything and tried to LIE about why she used the truck is insane. She needs to learn a lesson and get paid only for what she DID do, not what she RUINED. The fact that a 24 year old woman would lie and cry and whine to get her way out of a situation shows how immature and irresponsible she is. Politely explain to her the reasons why she's not being payed what she expected to be paid, and leave it at that!

                                      Sorry you had to go through this whole ordeal!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Deduct your expenses. Paying her the full amount rewards her lack of responsibility and tells her that there will not be consequences for unacceptable actions.

                                        Put it in the context of a 'regular' job. If she had a lousy work ethic or stole from your company would you throw money her way? In my job I deal with managers who accommodate unacceptable performance and all they're doing is telling the employee that they can misbehave and nothing will change. Inevitably the problem only gets worse and harder to manage.

                                        I agree that you should document with photos/receipts, and if her mom has trouble with this, it's not really her issue anymore. The daughter is an adult and you should treat her as such.


                                        Good luck!

                                        I like logical people---they provide a nice contrast to the real world.

                                        Comment

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