I don't think I am going out on a limb here when I claim to be a babysitting expert -particularly when it comes to typical hiring teenage sitter protocol. From where I sit (no pun intended), I dare say most of what I understand is based on common sense and good manners. Let's face it, hiring a teenage babysitter is not exactly rocket science.
Nowadays, I babysit in my house primarily for teachers while my kids are at school. Prior to my current situation, I encountered loads of experience. If you could weigh my experience it would probably outweigh the loads of discarded diapers in a landfill. I babysat for other families starting when I was 12. If you haven't read about that, I highly recommend that you check this out for a good chuckle. I babysat for big families. I mastered mac and cheese. Bath time was a no-brainer. In my older high school and college years, I cared for kids while their folks were out of the country. I also drove kids to activities. I was responsible and in high demand.
Geraldine, the woman that I babysit for during the week texted me this morning and asked if one of my kids could babysit Saturday night from 6:30 - 11 pm. Eddie took a pass. Tank was not sure if he would be home from a band competition in time. When Mini woke up, I asked her if she was interested. She was.
I texted Geraldine back and let her know that Mini was available but wouldn't be at home until 6:40. She has to serve 5:30 mass.
A few hours later Geraldine texted back. 'Thanks for offering Mini. I'm still exploring options for a sitter who can drive. Are you ok with Mini being at our house so late if it comes to it? Hopefully I'll have a final answer this evening.'
Let me get this straight. (the following conversation happened in my mind). You have asked for my kid to babysit. She can babysit. Now you are going to put her on hold while you continue your search? Because she can't drive? (I should point out that her kids don't need to be driven anywhere while the parents are out, Geraldine just would rather not have to drive anyone home).
No where in the initial text did she request a sitter who could drive. I would have only offered the job to Eddie. My only driver currently at home.
This is NOT the first time Geraldine has made a request and then informed us that she has hired someone else. It is MIND BOGGLING! My kids - well, at least my younger kids, get excited when they are asked to babysit. They love kids. They enjoy making money and saving their sitting proceeds. Apple not falling far from tree here. Maybe that was implied.
It isn't nice to be invited to do something - only to be uninvited.
I may be particularly tuned in to babysitting protocol, but is it really that hard to grasp? There is a series of unspoken rules here. 1. Have food available to your sitter. 2. If forced to cancel at the last minute, still pay the sitter something because he/she could've accepted another job had their time-slot not been reserved by you. 3. Pay the going wage. 4. Don't pay in loose change. (OK, that one might just be particular to me. Did you not read that link to my past sitting experiences? You are missing out!) 5. Call one sitter at a time before you cast a wide net and ask a million teens.
Help me out here. Have you over-solicited babysitters before selecting the one you prefer the most? Or, share your wacky babysitting story in my comments. My thought-I'd-heard-it-all mind wants to know.