So we had an interesting babysitting experience the other night. I just had to share.
We needed someone to watch our three kids while we went to the rodeo and our normal sitter (whom we love and adore and worship) was unavailable that night. I asked a few of our backups and couldn't find anyone, so I asked my sister's new sitter. I figured since she had babysat for her a handful of times and I trust my sister, it was an easy decision.
She was SUPER sweet over texts and I knew the kids would like her. My sister's kids are about the same age as mine, so I knew she could handle a baby and preschoolers.
She came over that night, and was unfortunately ten minutes late. It's usually no big deal, but my ride got there (we were meeting Anthony) and they had to wait. And again, I had to give her a QUICK rundown since she was late. Luckily I had written a bunch of stuff out earlier just in case- glad I did.
I left and told her to call me or text me with any questions- and then I said that I usually had really bad reception in the rodeo so to call my mom if she couldn't get a hold of me. Before we walked into the rodeo I texted her to check in and got no answer (not a big deal- I'm thankful when sitters actually play with my kids). But then I got a call about thirty minutes later that Molly hadn't stopped crying since I left- which is so odd because Molly is pretty good natured. Even if she cries for a few minutes, she will eventually stop- I've never had a sitter call me about Molly (I had sitters call me about both Jay and Charley Kate when they were babies- often with CK).
Anyway, I asked my mom if she would go over and just get Molly calmed and put down then she could leave. My mom said absolutely.
She went over and got Molly all settled and let me know. Then at 9:45 (!!!!) said she was going to head upstairs to get Jay and CK to sleep because the sitter still hadn't put them down! Yikes! Again, not usually a huge deal, though since the babysitter didn't have to do Molly duty I had hoped she would do big kid duty well.
The rodeo ended and we headed home. I called my mom on the way home and thanked her profusely for doing all the work. She said it was no biggie and that she had gone home about 30 minutes prior.
Anthony and I walked into our house to find the sitter sitting on the couch on her phone under a blanket (again, not a huge deal at all- I did that when I babysat)... EXCEPT.... the house was a WRECK. There were toys and food and crap EVERYWHERE. Again, not a huge deal- I get that kids require a lot of work, but since she literally did no babysitting I thought she might have the courtesy to PICK UP. Not one thing.
Slightly irritated, I gave her the money. Here's where it gets tricky. It really pained me to pay her since my mom had done the majority of the work. But I did ask for her time so I decided to generously pay her $12/hr for the five-ish hours she was there. We gave her $60, which usually is very low for us, but I'm not a cheapskate nor am I unfair. She never told me her "rate" ahead of time, so I thought this was perfectly fine.
I thanked her and she said, "Anytime!" and left.
And as Anthony and I were cleaning up our house at 11:15 pm, she called me. I answered and the convo went like this...
"Hi, Courtney? Did you mean to give me $60?"
(Thinking to myself it was sweet of her to tell me I paid too much, I answered) "Yes, is that ok?"
"Well, actually no. My rate is $15 an hour, and I was there for almost 5.5 hours, so that would put you at $82. You actually owe me $22 more."
MY BRAIN GOES INTO TOTAL SHOCK MODE AND I ALMOST FAINT.
I get out some answer like, "Oh, well, I guess I can give Kiki the extra money the next time you sit for her." because I was caught so off guard and couldn't think about this logically.
"Ok, that would be fine I guess."
I hang up and then it hits me. ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS?!?!
We pay our sitters well because we want them to come back and we appreciate the hard work that they do and the love that they show our children. BUT THEY ALSO EARN it.
So she wanted to be paid $15/hour for:
-Showing up late
-Not remembering my kids' names (oh I forgot that part- even though they were written down on a piece of paper she couldn't tell me Jay and Charley Kate's names when she called me!!!!!!)
-Not actually babysitting Molly
-Not playing with the kids at all- my mom sat on the floor and played with them the entire time
-Not putting any children to bed
-Not cleaning up at all- not even one toy or one piece of food
So I'm actually curious as to what she thinks she did for five hours. Certainly she didn't babysit.
Now I'm in a conundrum... I am temped to mail her $20 and call it a day and just leave it be. But I'm even more tempted to write her a letter with that $20 (a friendly, kind letter) explaining why I thought it was more than generous and some "pointers" for the future... Because she told my sister she actually wants to become a FULL TIME NANNY. And she's 28. Did I forget that part? She's not a high school girl that doesn't know. She's an adult that wants to make this her career!!!!!!!!!
Luckily, talking to my kids, they didn't seem traumatized or hurt or anything by her- they said she was nice and told them lots and lots and lots of bedtime stories. So at least that is good. Their safely and well being is first and foremost, of course. But I mean, these are my babies...
Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts! What would YOU do?