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AIBU to be annoyed that Sitters have taken me off their register for not understanding the mother whose children I was suppose to be looking after??

(56 Posts)
bump6 Fri 09-Sep-11 21:10:47

Hi, I have worked for sitters for years and have never cancelled a booking, until today!! I called the mother to confirm I was still needed to sit tonight.
She is Chinese and I could barely understand what she was saying to me and she couldn't even give me directions to her home, I found myself saying pardon to everything she said, which in the end makes me feel rude! I just about got after 4 attempts that she lives near a book shop!!!
I rang sitters to explain that I wasn't happy to be sitting for someone who I couldn't communicate with! was asked what I expected sitters to do!!
I said what happens if the children's english is poor too!! again not much response. I asked if she would feel happy to go and she said she didn't know. I mentioned that I hadn't been feeling 100% all day and am also 6 months pregnant but hadn't cancelled as it isn't in my nature to let people down, but wasn't comforatable with the booking. So cancelled.
Sitters called back to say they had spoken to the lady and nothing wrong with her English(feel like I am being accused of lying!), really didn't know what I was talking about so therefore not a good enough reason to cancel, as also not 100% and pregnant then not able to do job, so therefore have taken me off the register! Would like to say that I have been able to work my normal hours this week as a nanny even though not feeling fab(just cold symptoms) so thought that just sitting I would be more than ok.
Really think this over the top! but would appreciate any thoughts on this.
Sorry its such a long ramble!!

redglow Fri 09-Sep-11 21:17:11

I think you did the right thing If you could not understand where she lived how could you get there?

Sitters seem to care about the clients and not their sitters.

bump6 Fri 09-Sep-11 21:23:24

Exactly!! wanted to ask about parking too as she lives in a flat but didn't feel able to as couldn't even understand where she lived!!
I have had clients cancel their bookings before or reduce the hours and we are suppose to be ok with that!! despite not accepting invites to dinner etc!!

ChristinedePizan Fri 09-Sep-11 21:27:17

I use Sitters a lot and I am really sorry to hear they have treated you so badly sad

I will rethink using them if this is how they treat people, it's absurd

Gastonladybird Fri 09-Sep-11 21:31:07

I stopped using them after I got feeling last sitter we used was doing an audit on us- I think she asked how much we earned

redglow Fri 09-Sep-11 21:35:42

She sounded strange Gastonladybird, but you could have asked for a different sitter. What annoys me is that the client can cancel at the last minute and you get nothing when you have cancelled all your plans.

Gastonladybird Fri 09-Sep-11 21:38:19

I paid our sitter when turned up like that . She was the only one like that

eaglewings Fri 09-Sep-11 21:41:16

Is it possible it was not the mum you spoke to but her mil or someone who works for them? This would explain you not understanding the lady but the agency having no problem

redglow Fri 09-Sep-11 21:50:04

Surely sitters would have known this when they phoned to cancel.

bump6 Fri 09-Sep-11 21:54:37

Thanks Christinedepizan..its very absurd!
Glastonladybird, She doesn't sound like your regular babysitter(just incredibly nosey!) agree with Redglow could ask for someone else..but really you shouldn't have to!
Eaglewings, I am 99% sure it was the Mum, I asked if it was Mrs... she said yes also said yes to wanting me to come!! that was the only easy part of conversation. But guess it could have been MIL..though if this was the case you would have thought the agency would have picked up on it!! kind of get the feeling they think I am a racist!!!(am most definitly NOT!!)
Redglow, Its one rule for the clients and another for us!!

Oligo Fri 09-Sep-11 23:05:19

the more I hear about sitters the less I like the sound of them

Oligo Fri 09-Sep-11 23:09:48

oops sent too soon...I think it sounds really mean and obtuse how they treated you; not crediting you with enough intelligence to address what you were saying to them or try to resolve it or find someone there who could. Can you formally complain? I don;t think enough people bother to do this.

bump6 Sat 10-Sep-11 10:10:15

Thanks Oligo, Thats what i thought..I am a 36 yr old woman with 15 years experience in childcare! I was simply trying to voice my concerns and being spoken to like I was making it all up and more to the point even if they didn't speak English would have been expected to go there!! Really didn't appreciate this or her comment about not being up to it!!!! Most patronising!! I will be making a complaint, you are right not enough people do! Will let you all know if/when I get a response!

SuperDuperJezebel Sat 10-Sep-11 10:25:05

I get the impression they weight their service heavily towards the parents, to the detriment of their relationship with their sitters. I've been a nanny for 10th years and can count on one hand thru number of times I've heard a fellow nanny say something positive about sitters. And yet the overwhelming majority of parents who've mentioned them have no complaints. I tend to stick with a more local agency for babysitting work now, the pay is slightly better but more importantly all the nannies I know who are registered with them actually LIKE them!

minderjinx Sat 10-Sep-11 10:28:57

I do understand your concern, and your annoyance at the way Sitters reacted to you expressing them. But, is the possibility that the child/ren might not have much English really an issue? I have looked after children with virtually no English and you get by - after a surprisingly short while they get fluent and are often able to help their parents out. After all, none of the babies we care for speak English or anything else and it doesn't stop them getting the care they need. I think the real issue is that Sitters should have been aware that the mother had limited English and made sure that directions and any other instructions were clearly sorted out well in advance and not left to you to sort out on the day. Clearly someone in the family must have been able to communicate their requirements to Sitters or they wouldn't have been able to make a booking in the first place. I also agree you should complain, with a view to getting them to think again about their procedures and making better provision to avoid similar situations, as well as making amends for the treatment you have encountered.

ThePrincessRoyalFiggyrolls Sat 10-Sep-11 10:33:16

Its a funny thing about Sitters - we used to use them where we last lived, however after one amazing sitter we got some pretty scary people (One I will never forget who - ok am going to be every ism in the book here - was a larger lady wearing the smallest skirt you have ever seen, unlike other sitters she hung around our house waiting for her son to come and pick her up so he could take her clubbing - mutton as lamb did not really cover this at all...... and this was despite us ringing her on leaving where we were 15 mins before she didn't ring her son until 20 mins after we got home and refused to budge from our living room whilst watching a horror film) and I think they are very very stupid to get rid of someone who has long service and a good record with them. Tbh I would set up on my own, a local woman did with us and she has some fantastic people on her books and is far cheaper than sitters - all her girls are nurses/teachers/nannies etc like sitters and we managed to snag a fab sn needs nurse with the most vibrant dyed red hair you have ever seen and the gentlest personality (proving point am not totally ism'd grin)

Anyway I would really complain to higher up about the person you spoke to at the office, if you can't communicate with the person on the phone then it is unlikely you will be able to communicate with them face to face (unless of course they are hearing impaired in which case sitters should have informed you about this!) Good luck you sound fab!

bump6 Sat 10-Sep-11 11:17:40

Superduperjezebel, I think that you are right!! I too know parents that are happy and childcarers which are not!! Will be advertising privately ffrom now on!!
Minderjinx, Did you work for sitters? My concern was that I had never met the children before, wasn't sure if I would need to put them to bed or if would be asleep. I think it is always difficult enough for a child to met a stranger! let alone not understand them! Was worried that if child woke up and found me there, it would be more upsetting! Babies I guess are in some sense easier as they responsed to facial expressions, different vocal noises!! and touch.
Sitters definitly need to change their procedures and have staff on hand to deal with situations in a professional manner!
Theprincessroyalfiggyrolls(what a great name!!) goodness, your sitter sounds interesting!!! theres an idea to set up on my own!! and with a baby on the way it could be the perfect time!!
I will be complaining to the manager. Exactly my point if you can't talk on phone then most likely no chance when you arrive!! Luckily its still light in te evening! But in the months to come the instruction I live near a bookshop!!! Its hardly helpful!! Thanks for your kind words.

redglow Sat 10-Sep-11 11:25:42

I thought figgyrolls post was so funny when she said her son was picking her up to go clubbing must have been an older larger lady in a tiny skirt I just had a funny vision.

bump6 Sat 10-Sep-11 11:58:47

it made me chuckle too!! I mean fine if thats what you what to do, just don't hang around someone elses home(your place of work) hogging the tv whilst waiting for your son!!

hangon Sat 10-Sep-11 12:40:12

But what about the poor lady that you let down at the last minute? She might have this night planned for weeks. Why did you not phone sitters and ask for directions if you could not understand her ? You would only seen her for five minutes before she went out maybe her husband was english.

xmyboys Sat 10-Sep-11 13:50:07

I would be very wary of sitters.
We had a nanny who did a short cover (3 mth) for us. After she left she contacted me to ask if I would lie about her length of service and to use my address as her current address (as we live in a good area with lots of work, so she would get more sitter jobs).
I did not agree to this and informed sitters.
They did not seem bothered that this was her attitude, I don't know if she ever used my details but i was never asked for a reference and I know that she did register with them as they sent her registration pack to my house!

ThePrincessRoyalFiggyrolls Sat 10-Sep-11 14:00:58

It was fairly appalling I can tell you grin and so totally undignified to go clubbing at a club full of 18 year olds quite frankly grin and she was not a good looking cougar either! Honestly she was all jumpy around our house and the reason that we didn't realise she had a microskirt on was because when she arrived at the same time as our cab (usually notoriously late!!!!) she didn't take her coat off until after we left.............
Holy Cow it was hilarious when you look back on it!

teenytinybubba Sat 10-Sep-11 14:03:55

I use to work for sitters, there were several reasons why i don't any more the mains being:

-they got really arsy with you if you could not doing enough bookings.

-i turned up to several houses to find no one there, even though i had called

-you just don't know what your going to find when you get there (not saying that all families are bad) meaning that there have been huge dogs, fighting children, children that up and leave because mummy said they could, dirty houses, childrens parties, sick dogs.

- oh and the pay was crap

I now regularly babysit for children from my work, i know they children they know me and i know what to expect when i walk through the door.


bump6 Sat 10-Sep-11 14:10:36

hangon:I obviously feel bad about letting her down, she is always requesting people to sit, just have never been able to before..I was hoping as it was a local one then it might become frequent! Yes I would have seen her for 5 mins, but as I had said what would have happened if the childrens nglish was poor!! Maybe her husband was English, but no one told me. If she couldn't direct me to her home then did I stand much chance of finding out where she would be should I need her urgently!?? I prefer to sit for people who I have meet before and know that the parents prefer this too. On the other side I have had cancellations at the last minute when I haven't accepted invites out because I have committed to sit!!
Xmyboys: that is terrible and makes a mockery of all us qualified, crb checked first aid trained, genuine peeps!! However that could extend to other companies too!. I worked for a nanny agency when I was travelling in Australia, it was only when I got home that I discovered that they hadn't contacted my old employer to confirm reference!
On the other side of that, we as sitters don't know whose homes we are going into and have to trust that they have been vetted too!!!
I know that when I was interviewed by sitters, all my references were checked and my crb looked at!!
You have to be comforatable going to someones house you don't know and although its not ideal cancelling, think better to leave your children with someone who is happy to be there!

redglow Sat 10-Sep-11 14:18:51

I must say all my references were checked. I was far more vetted out for sitters than a nanny agency. I would like to point out that not all sitters are police checked.

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