Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: lilblu on March 28, 2013, 03:17:35 PM

Title: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: lilblu on March 28, 2013, 03:17:35 PM
Earlier this week my grandma needed to have a minor procedure done and needed me to "babysit" her handicapped husband (grandpa). Since her daughter-in-law was driving her, she also needed me to babysit her grandson (my cousin). They told me they would be gone about two hours or so at the most.

So three and a half hours later (an extra hour and a half later than what they said) they come home with shopping bags. They told me that the hospital had made a mistake and the procedure couldn't be done there. So my grandma and her daughter-in-law decided to do their Easter shopping without even calling me and telling me about any of this. Then they tell me that the procedure needs to be rescheduled for Saturday and they need me to babysit then, if it was ok with me.

I thought about it and decided that it would be more overall convenient for me to do it Saturday (rather than next week), but I'm a little miffed because my family is off of work this week for spring break and I'm losing an extra day with them because of this. I thought it was incredibly inconsiderate for them to just go shopping without even calling me first and asking if that was ok condidering that they would need me to babysit Saturday. I would have preferred for them to just come right home instead of going shopping so that I could spend more time with my family. They could have gone shopping another day.

Is it me or were they inconsiderate? I mean, they didn't even acknowledge or apologize for the inconvenience. I'm not even getting paid for any of this (and I never expected to). If I were getting paid, this might all be a different story. And some of my issue is that my cousin is prone to being kind of naughty and I hate dealing with naughty kids. I got lucky with his behavior the other day, but I might not be so lucky Saturday. So I'm just wondering if they should have called me as soon as they knew the procedure couldn't be done that day? Were they inconsiderate? I'm going to tell them Saturday that if the procedure gets cancelled again, that I expect them to come straight home unless they plan on compensating me for my wasted time. Or is that rude?
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: Roe on March 28, 2013, 03:27:49 PM
They were absolutely inconsiderate.  Personally, I wouldn't sit for them any longer.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: WillyNilly on March 28, 2013, 03:33:38 PM
Of course it was inconsiderate. that is literally the definition of the word - they failed to consider the impact of their actions on you.

I think its perfectly reasonable and polite on Saturday to say "please call me if anything changes with the plans. While I am available to assist the family I found the other day's behavior very inconsiderate. You were not only an hour and a half later in returning then you had told me, but you also were not even where I was led to believe you would be. I have other plans and other family I need to spend time with and I would appreciate better communication."
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: bloo on March 28, 2013, 03:38:29 PM
Agreed with PP's. If they'd called you right away and asked if it was okay to shop, you might not have minded or you might have said, 'No, I'd like to spend time with my family, so please come back.'

That would have been considerate.

They're behavior showed they felt entitled to your babysitting services.

WillyNilly's suggestion for letting them know not to do this again is good.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: lowspark on March 28, 2013, 03:41:04 PM
POD. Personally, I think you're pretty nice now to agree to do this again on Saturday. I would have poliitely declined and just said I had other plans, sorry. They took advantage of you. Not nice.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: Bottlecaps on March 28, 2013, 03:51:50 PM
POD to WillyNilly - let them know that you're OK with helping them out, but good communication is key as you have to plan your day around this and if they don't keep you abreast of what's going on and/or are late getting back, etc., it's a domino effect and ruins your other plans for the day. Even then, it wouldn't be rude to reconsider sitting on Saturday. In that case, explain to them that what they did was very inconsiderate and that if they can't stick to the original plan on Saturday, then you may not be able to sit for them as you have other things that need to be taken care of as well.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: lilblu on March 28, 2013, 04:13:16 PM
Oh, good! I'm glad other people agree with me. I thought maybe I was making too much out of the situation. Thank you.

My problem is that I'm a bit of a push over/door mat because I hate confrontation and I strive to be courteous and polite. Plus, I have problems speaking politely to people when I'm upset with them.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: TootsNYC on March 28, 2013, 04:15:41 PM
Oh, good! I'm glad other people agree with me. I thought maybe I was making too much out of the situation. Thank you.

My problem is that I'm a bit of a push over/door mat because I hate confrontation and I strive to be courteous and polite. Plus, I have problems speaking politely to people when I'm upset with them.

Maybe you should be less willing to help when they ask for the help in the first place. Indicate that you have other plans for the day. Let them realize that it is a BIG favor you're doing for them.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: Oh Joy on March 28, 2013, 05:00:24 PM
Oh, good! I'm glad other people agree with me. I thought maybe I was making too much out of the situation. Thank you.

My problem is that I'm a bit of a push over/door mat because I hate confrontation and I strive to be courteous and polite. Plus, I have problems speaking politely to people when I'm upset with them.

For Saturday, can you offer to take Grandma while Cousin visits with Grandpa and her own child?   ;D
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: doodlemor on March 28, 2013, 05:45:30 PM
I think that you were not treated well, lilblu, and that these people were very inconsiderate and took your services for granted.  Not OK.

If you do say yes to Saturday [and I like Joy's idea of driving grandma yourself while DIL stays with grandpa],  then little cousin should be left in the care of his father at his own home.  Presumably, you were caring for the little rascal boy because his dad was working.  Hopefully, Dad is not working on Saturday. 

Wait a minute.  Now that I think about this,  it seems like your uncle should be taking his own mother to the procedure, and his wife can stay with grandpa, or vice versa.  I see no reason why you have to be involved on Saturday as you already have plans to be with your family, and did your duty already when grandma and aunt in law chose to go shopping.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: gramma dishes on March 28, 2013, 07:24:37 PM
You agreed to do them a favor.  You did what you agreed to.

They changed the rules in two ways:  by not being where they were supposed to be and by coming home much later than they had said they would.

Now they want you to devote even MORE of your time.  I wouldn't do it.  You went to do what you'd agreed to.  Once should be enough.  There are plenty of alternative ways for them to do this on Saturday without imposing on you yet again.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: Bottlecaps on March 28, 2013, 07:29:23 PM
Oh, good! I'm glad other people agree with me. I thought maybe I was making too much out of the situation. Thank you.

My problem is that I'm a bit of a push over/door mat because I hate confrontation and I strive to be courteous and polite. Plus, I have problems speaking politely to people when I'm upset with them.

You're definitely not making too much out of the situation!

The whole reason I joined this forum was to learn how to be polite but firm, as I too tend to be a doormat. However, slowly but surely, this particular doormat is growing her spine, and I'm sure you will too. ;)
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: kudeebee on March 28, 2013, 08:41:03 PM
Oh, good! I'm glad other people agree with me. I thought maybe I was making too much out of the situation. Thank you.

My problem is that I'm a bit of a push over/door mat because I hate confrontation and I strive to be courteous and polite. Plus, I have problems speaking politely to people when I'm upset with them.

I would not be doing this favor for them again on Saturday, especially since they went shopping instead of coming right home when they found out the procedure was rescheduled.  I would have told them when they returned that they were inconsiderate of your time, especially since you are taking away time from YOUR family, by going shopping, being late, and not calling to see if that was okay with you.

I would call them up and tell them that after you checked your calendar at home, there is something going on Saturday and you won't be able to help them after all.  Wish grandma well with the procedure and then enjoy your day with your family.  Why should you reward their bad behavior and taking advantage of you by giving up more of your time?
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: cicero on March 28, 2013, 08:43:50 PM
I think it's not OK that they used this babysitting time that was allocated for a medical procedure, to go shopping, especially since they didn't * ask *  but rather just *did*

However, I was wondering, how handicapped is you grandpa? How much does this make your grandma housebound, so to speak? Who usually helps her out?Because, while it wasn't OK,, and it certainly isn't the OP's responsibility, I could see her thinking in terms of 'yay! Thanks to granddaughter,  I have a few hours of 'freedom''
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: gramma dishes on March 28, 2013, 08:45:06 PM
...   Why should you reward their bad behavior and taking advantage of you by giving up more of your time?   ...

And there is is.

I think this is one of those situations that falls in the "you teach people how to treat you" category.  If you let them get by with taking advantage of you, they'll just keep doing it because you will have TAUGHT them they can!  :(
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: gramma dishes on March 28, 2013, 08:48:07 PM
I think it's not OK that they used this babysitting time that was allocated for a medical procedure, to go shopping, especially since they didn't * ask *  but rather just *did*

However, I was wondering, how handicapped is you grandpa? How much does this make your grandma housebound, so to speak? Who usually helps her out?Because, while it wasn't OK,, and it certainly isn't the OP's responsibility, I could see her thinking in terms of 'yay! Thanks to granddaughter,  I have a few hours of 'freedom''

That's a good point, Cicero!  And you may be right on target there.  But if that's what her thinking was, she still should have called the OP and checked to be sure it was okay.   The way it turned out, OP was kind of tricked into taking care of him -- maybe twice if she goes again Saturday.  A little honesty there might have gone a long way.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: lady_disdain on March 28, 2013, 08:52:15 PM
If the procedure had been delayed an hour and half (because of hospital delays, complications, etc), I would still have considered it inconsiderate if Grandma's escort hadn't warned (specially if it was because of hospital delays, not complications) but I might have been more willing to forgive them because of the stress. I would also have called your aunt-in-law and asked what was up after an hour, as I would have been worried!

However, to do this because of a shopping trip, without even letting you know that Grandma was well, is very inconsiderate! Not apologizing is just the icing on the cake.

I would make my excuses on Saturday, mainly because they caused me worry with the delay in a medical procedure. If they had called and asked if I could hold the fort for a shopping trip, I most likely wouldn't have minded at all.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: johelenc1 on March 29, 2013, 09:37:05 PM
This is your grandmother - who needs a medical procedure - and your grandfather - who needs help with his care.  I get grandma and SIL were inconsiderate, but if you honestly want to pick this moment to "teach them a lesson", then I just don't know what to tell you.

They should have called you when they were running late.  And, next time I would definitely tell them to call if they are running past x hours. 

But, if you have the time, then I think you should help.  I do like the idea of driving grandma and SIL staying with Grandpa.  And, I absolutely think you can tell SIL that since it's Saturday, her husband/ the kid's dad can be in charge.  Another option would be to have your family come with you to be with Grandpa.  Unless he is especially unpleasant, it might be nice for your children to hang out with Grandpa.

I totally get teaching people how to treat you.  But unless there is some kind of history or you don't like your grandparents, you can "teach them" bu simply saying, "hey I was getting really worried when you took so long.  Then I found out you were just shopping.  It would have been nice if you had called me to tell me what was going on and see if I had the extra time to stay."

You can stand up for yourself without making a mountain out of a molehill.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: Sharnita on March 29, 2013, 09:58:11 PM
Driving grandma and being there when she has her procedure might not be the "easy" job.  Does aunt drive them/help them/visit them a lot?  Is she more than a ride ( will she be ther to support/question/verify as far as medical info?) Does aunt regularly help grandma with appoinments and errands?  How does the ratio of responsibility spread out among family members?

I would not assume that aunt had fun taking grandma shopping - she might have been as much "on duty" as OP was.  I do not know that she was inconsiderate or even if Grandma was.  I think that it is probably really difficult for anybody outside the situation to know, especially as far outside the situation as we are.  I do know that when caring for elderly relatives it seems like some people carry a larger share of the load and soemtimes that seems unfair.  And there are times when a person is asked to step up and take a bigger roll for a moment due to various reasons, including the need for respite.

OP I think it might be best for everyone in the family to assess who is doing what, how it is working, if things can/should be adjusted, etc.  If you, your parents, SIL, grandma or anyone else is doing more than they feel they can keep up they might need to ask others to step up.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: miranova on March 30, 2013, 05:10:56 PM
They did not ask you to babysit so that they could go shopping.  You may not have been so willing to help if they just wanted a day out shopping (which is perfectly understandable, they can hire someone for that, it's not a necessary excursion and shouldn't rely on someone doing them a personal favor for something like that). 

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the reason they didn't call is because they knew it was rude to just take advantage of your willingness to help by going shopping and staying out later.  They didn't ask because they didn't want to risk a "no".  Easier to ask forgiveness than permission, they say.  (Although they didn't even ask forgiveness!)

I would not be doing them any more favors.  I don't see why the OP is the only person that can be called on to watch a child and her grandfather.  Surely there are other family members to spread the wealth to.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: Sharnita on March 30, 2013, 05:27:29 PM
Is this the first time they've ever had to leave grandpa?  Is OP always the one who stays with him?  It seems entirely possible that they have pread they responsibility among various family members.  It sounds like aunt has beeen given driving responsibility, maybe medical responsibility.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: RooRoo on April 01, 2013, 02:52:06 PM
On Saturday? Twice?

That sets off my hinky meter.

I don't know about the rest of the world, but I have never had any surgical procedure - and I have had 5 outpatient ones in the last year and a half - scheduled on a Saturday. Like the rest of the world, my various doctors take weekends off, except for emergencies. Since Grandma's procedure was re-scheduled for a week later, it's not an emergency.

If it happened around here (Colorado, USA), I would look at those shopping bags, and be sure they had taken advantage of me. I would not fall for it a second time.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: WillyNilly on April 01, 2013, 04:37:37 PM
On Saturday? Twice?

That sets off my hinky meter.

I don't know about the rest of the world, but I have never had any surgical procedure - and I have had 5 outpatient ones in the last year and a half - scheduled on a Saturday. Like the rest of the world, my various doctors take weekends off, except for emergencies. Since Grandma's procedure was re-scheduled for a week later, it's not an emergency.

If it happened around here (Colorado, USA), I would look at those shopping bags, and be sure they had taken advantage of me. I would not fall for it a second time.

Doctors are service providers. Plenty of people such as myself, absolutely will not deal with any Dr who does not offer weekend and evening hours. Period. As such I know of almost no Dr's who do not offer weekend and evening hours. And once you add hospitals into the equation - well sick people don't get sick on convenient M-F, 9-5 schedules, so Dr's must be available 24/7/365 in hospitals. Procedures on a Saturday are extraordinarily common - I would guess they are in fact the most popular day for most people.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: RooRoo on April 01, 2013, 07:25:48 PM
My procedures were done by an orthopedic surgeon, and an ophthalmologist. I was told that the first does procedures on Tuesday and Thursdays, and the second on Tuesdays.

And I know that they handle emergencies. The hand surgeon was late more than once because he was performing emergency surgery, and my first appointment with the eye guy was an emergency - on a Saturday.

Considering that a mere office visit has to be scheduled at least a month in advance, I don't think they are hurting for patients.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: artk2002 on April 01, 2013, 08:15:34 PM
On Saturday? Twice?

That sets off my hinky meter.

I don't know about the rest of the world, but I have never had any surgical procedure - and I have had 5 outpatient ones in the last year and a half - scheduled on a Saturday. Like the rest of the world, my various doctors take weekends off, except for emergencies. Since Grandma's procedure was re-scheduled for a week later, it's not an emergency.

If it happened around here (Colorado, USA), I would look at those shopping bags, and be sure they had taken advantage of me. I would not fall for it a second time.

I checked with Mrs.k2002, who spent most of her career as a circulating nurse and then was in charge of scheduling the OR at a major SoCal hospital (the one Ahnold goes to) and she says that while not every place does, many will have some non-emergency procedures scheduled on the weekends to accommodate people. It's possible that the OP's grandmother's doctor has a block schedule on Saturday.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: Sharnita on April 01, 2013, 08:22:59 PM
If Grandma needs somebody else to drive her, plus a third party to stay with Grandpa, she might ask for a weekend when people are available to help out.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: lilblu on April 03, 2013, 11:04:35 AM
Update:

So I wanted to share what happened on Saturday. I also have a few questions about what I did, should have done, and what I will do in the future. Unfortunately, I was never able to make it back to this forum after my last post, so I missed out on what would have been very helpful suggestions.

So I called Grandma Friday night to confirm for Saturday and she told me that she had to go to the grocery store after her appointment to pick up a FEW things for gramps (he's handicapped). Knowing her, that could take an extra hour. She didn't even ask me. She just said that her friend might be able to come over after work if I needed to leave.

When I got there Saturday morning, I told her to call me this time if the appointment was cancelled. I also mentioned how the other day she was gone for 1 1/2 hrs longer than she had told me she would be. She clearly hadn't realized that and asked if I was sure.

To try to make a long story short, my cousin was an absolute pest the entire time I was there. I won't go into detail unless someone really wants to hear about it.

Anyway... I think it was about 2 hrs after they left that the DIL called me saying they're done at the hospital and they were going to go to the grocery store, if that was ok with me. They said they could call someone to come relieve me and I said it wasn't necessary. They said they would be home in 1 hr 45 min, so I said that was fine. So about TWO hours later they called and said they were picking up fast food to eat and wanted to know if I wanted anything. They ended up getting home about 30 minutes later. So what was supposed to take 1 hr 45 min. ended up taking 2 hrs 30 min.

When they came home, they had a mini-van full of groceries after they told me they were just picking up a FEW things. Gee, I'd hate to see what regular grocery shopping looks like.

I didn't get paid and didn't expect to. But they did pay for a burger and fries and they bought me some cookies from the bakery in the grocery store.

Next time I think this is what I'll do. Please let me know if you think it's ok. So in the future, I will "babysit" grandpa for free for however long they want as he is a wonderful person and a pleasure to be around. But if they want me to babysit my cousin, they will have to pay. Here is what I intend to charge: If he behaves himself by my standards, there will be no charge. If however he misbehaves or is a pest, there will be an hourly charge on a sliding scale to be determined after they get home. The scale will range from $8 to $20 per hour. So for three hours, the final charge could be anywhere from $0 to $60. Also, if they are an hour or more late with no justifiable excuse (train, accident, etc.) then there will be an additional $10 fee. So, does that sound good? I'd drop it from $20 to $15, but babysitting Dennis the Menace is a lot of mental anguish and $20 sounds about right for that.

And because I know people are wondering, the reason why I agreed to babysit for them Saturday was because they really don't have someone else who can or will babysit. We could've waited until my cousin was back in school (this week) but that causes a potential transportation problem for me. If I had known or expected him to be such a pest Saturday, I would have waited. One day he's an angel, the next he's Satan.

And I've learned that I need to speak up more. It's just that I don't know how to do that and not come across as being rude. I think it's my tone of voice that I have problems with. I can't keep the irritation and rudeness out of it.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: gramma dishes on April 03, 2013, 11:23:30 AM
I think I'd just tell them you can either drive Grandma OR you will be happy to stay with Grandpa, but that you will not babysit Cousin.  I have a sneaking suspicion his mother just really enjoys the pleasure of not having to be around him for a couple of hours.   ;D

Is the child's father not available on Saturdays?  There's no reason his mother can't find other arrangements for him.  If she had to actually pay a sitter by the hour, I'm guessing she'd find a way to get back much MUCH sooner! 
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: lowspark on April 03, 2013, 11:32:45 AM
I wouldn't do a sliding scale because then you're leaving yourself open to a discussion argument about what constitutes good behavior. Just set a per hour price and a late penalty and leave it at that. Or just say you can't babysit the kid anymore. Period. And I agree with gramma dishes. I'm betting you won't get stuck babysitting him again if you start charging.

But, if they do actually agree to pay you, take the money. Do not hand it back and say "cousin was well behaved so you don't have to pay." If you do, they'll never want to pay.

Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: TootsNYC on April 03, 2013, 11:34:57 AM
I wouldn't make the babysitting charge be contingent on whether he's well behaved or not.

Either charge for him or don't; either babysit him or don't.

I'd say, "He's not well-behaved enough to babysit, so you'll need to find someone else."

And I think you also need to set a rule for yourself (easier to follow if you determine it ahead of time--you can protect yourself from yourself) that they WILL need to get someone to come over and relieve you.

So when they offer it, you accept.

Quote
They said they could call someone to come relieve me and I said it wasn't necessary.

You need to say, "That would be great. I need to get back to my own life."

And you should have said that in the very beginning:

Quote
She just said that her friend might be able to come over after work if I needed to leave.


Say "yes" right way, so Grandma has time to make those arrangements.

When they ask you to grandpa-sit, tell them you need to check with your calendar. Then sit down w/ someone who can be a backbone crutch, and decide when you want to leave. Call back and tell them yes, you can come, but you need to leave at X hour, and they'll need to recruit someone else to come relieve you if they can't be back by that hour.

Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: lilblu on April 03, 2013, 11:58:39 AM
Thanks for the advice. It is greatly appreciated. I'm going to learn to grow a backbone AND be polite at the same time even if it kills me. That or I'm going to go crazy and tell everyone off.  ;D

A few things to add:

I hate driving and it gives me anxiety attacks which is why I didn't drive grandma to her appointment. I don't mind driving to grandma's house (on rural backroads), but I hate driving in the city.

The boy's father works his butt off in a crappy job and has very little free time, so he wasn't available and rarely is.

And the mother would never pay for a babysitter (unless she paid me), she would have just taken him to the hospital with them. I suspect that she thinks a babysitter might be more inclined to comment on the boy's bad behavior and the lack of parenting that goes on. She's under the delusion that she can fool and manipulate me into thinking she's a wonderful mother. An example of her wonderful mothering is a typical day's meal for her 9 y/o son: junk food (donuts) for breakfast, followed by candy for lunch, and then cookies for supper, followed by candy for dessert. Sometimes he'll get a small snack of a bologna sandwich or microwaveable macaroni and cheese or something like that. But mostly it's just junk food and candy. Diabetes here we come!
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: bopper on April 03, 2013, 01:32:11 PM
You can only set boundaries for yourself.  You can't change people's behavior.

I think you can say "In the future, I will be available to sit with Grandpa when you need me too. If cousin is there, it will be $10 an hour because sitting with him is work."

This way they will think about a) leaving cousin with you at all and b) how long they are gone.
Right now they have no incentive to get back sooner.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: The TARDIS on April 04, 2013, 08:22:41 PM
Earlier this week my grandma needed to have a minor procedure done and needed me to "babysit" her handicapped husband (grandpa). Since her daughter-in-law was driving her, she also needed me to babysit her grandson (my cousin). They told me they would be gone about two hours or so at the most.

So three and a half hours later (an extra hour and a half later than what they said) they come home with shopping bags. They told me that the hospital had made a mistake and the procedure couldn't be done there. So my grandma and her daughter-in-law decided to do their Easter shopping without even calling me and telling me about any of this. Then they tell me that the procedure needs to be rescheduled for Saturday and they need me to babysit then, if it was ok with me.

I thought about it and decided that it would be more overall convenient for me to do it Saturday (rather than next week), but I'm a little miffed because my family is off of work this week for spring break and I'm losing an extra day with them because of this. I thought it was incredibly inconsiderate for them to just go shopping without even calling me first and asking if that was ok condidering that they would need me to babysit Saturday. I would have preferred for them to just come right home instead of going shopping so that I could spend more time with my family. They could have gone shopping another day.

Is it me or were they inconsiderate? I mean, they didn't even acknowledge or apologize for the inconvenience. I'm not even getting paid for any of this (and I never expected to). If I were getting paid, this might all be a different story. And some of my issue is that my cousin is prone to being kind of naughty and I hate dealing with naughty kids. I got lucky with his behavior the other day, but I might not be so lucky Saturday. So I'm just wondering if they should have called me as soon as they knew the procedure couldn't be done that day? Were they inconsiderate? I'm going to tell them Saturday that if the procedure gets cancelled again, that I expect them to come straight home unless they plan on compensating me for my wasted time. Or is that rude?


That would be grounds for me to say "Sorry, I'm busy that day." Because how can I trust them not to claim another medical issue and use me as free babysitting while they shop and later say "oh, the schedule was wrong, haha!" I would be very cross indeed! I'm a busy box with all my time traveling, and I don't like my time wasted! (It was difficult enough keeping the Ponds out of trouble, hmph!)
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: Take2 on April 07, 2013, 01:57:13 PM
I actually wouldn't call the kid a problem to his mother. Say that for you to babysit cousin again, the fee will be $12 an hour, and that you have to charge that premium because he just doesn't seem to respect your authority and that causes a very stressful time.

By the way, he is NINE? I was imagining a 3 or 4yo child. Watching a nine-year-old ought to be a breeze! I have had a babysitter for my little kids when my stepson who is 9 was there (not quite old enough to leave unattended and certainly not old enough to watch 2 preschoolers)...and the babysitter refused extra money for the 9yo because he made his own snacks and cleaned up, entertained himself, and she never really saw him.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: *inviteseller on April 07, 2013, 04:13:03 PM
Before I decide about what to say to your aunt about babysitting, I think I need to know this kids behavior (basic).  I think charging up to $20 an hour is really exorbitant, but with out knowing what this kid does, I can't say if that is the right or wrong way to go.  Also, keep in mind, the child is a product of his environment, so you may be the one who can stand up and help this child learn some proper behavior and nutrition. 
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: johelenc1 on April 07, 2013, 09:09:51 PM
I think charging on a sliding scale is a horrible idea.  I can't even fathom how that would work.  It's also hard for me to understand explaining that you are charging "only" for your cousin and not for being there with Grandpa.  It's going to look like you are expecting them to pay you for helping with your own grandfather for a few hours. 

I think you just need to refuse to watch your cousin.  Simply say you would be delighted to spend time with Grandpa, but you are NOT going to have cousin there.  You simply are NOT.  What his mother does with him is not your problem.  If she asks why, tell her exactly why.

I have to say though, that I have rarely seen a 9 year old (ok - never) or pretty much any child that if given the chance wouldn't just sit in front of the tv for 3 hours straight.  If Gma/Gpa don't have the right kid's channels, there are always movies.  Is it a great way to babysit?  No.  But, in a pinch, for one afternoon in a blue moon - who cares if he watches tv for 3 or 4 hours.  If Mom doesn't want her son to do this...then again, she can find another option somewhere else.  Parking the kid on front of the tv would probably be the only why I would agree to allow him to be there why I was with Grandpa.

Now, if this kid won't watch tv... then he's either extraordinary for his age, or ridiculously hyper-active.  If his diet truly his junk food and candy, I would bet on the latter.   In that case, I kind of feel a little sorry for him.  His sugars, energy and mood may be all over the place and he may not have as much control over his behavior as you might think.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: cicero on April 08, 2013, 03:35:30 AM
lilblu, unless your grandma is usually a toxic person, i think you need to take a deep breath, and cut her a little slack. (I'll get to the cousin in a minute).

She is currently, if i understand, taking care of a disabled person. that is *very* difficult to do - it means that you lose your own freedom, your own *life*, and you are constantly dealing with *another person's problems*. it's not an easy thing to do - and when it goes on for a long time, it can become difficult for the caregiver.

Now she has a medical issue of her own. I don't know if it is something simple like an ingrown toe nail or somethign more complex and scary, but - she needed a hand.

and maybe she did take advantage of the fact that she *could* do a little extra shopping - but really, you are talking about an extra 45 minutes here. when an elderly person has to run a few errands (and maybe catch her breath), do you really want to be sitting there with a stop watch when they run a little over time? and she *told* you that they could call someone if you want - if you *really* couldn't/didn't want to sit there any longer, you should have told her to do that.

I think you should think about this from her point of view. If you can't do this and help her, then don't do it. but if you can - then maybe stop timing her outings, and maybe even start offering her to sit with granpa once a week or twice a month - yes, so she can go shopping or have a cup of coffee without worrying.

as for your cousin - simply say no. say that you are happy to sit with granpa but you cannot babysit anymore.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: sparksals on April 08, 2013, 04:09:30 AM
On Saturday? Twice?

That sets off my hinky meter.

I don't know about the rest of the world, but I have never had any surgical procedure - and I have had 5 outpatient ones in the last year and a half - scheduled on a Saturday. Like the rest of the world, my various doctors take weekends off, except for emergencies. Since Grandma's procedure was re-scheduled for a week later, it's not an emergency.

If it happened around here (Colorado, USA), I would look at those shopping bags, and be sure they had taken advantage of me. I would not fall for it a second time.

Doctors are service providers. Plenty of people such as myself, absolutely will not deal with any Dr who does not offer weekend and evening hours. Period. As such I know of almost no Dr's who do not offer weekend and evening hours. And once you add hospitals into the equation - well sick people don't get sick on convenient M-F, 9-5 schedules, so Dr's must be available 24/7/365 in hospitals. Procedures on a Saturday are extraordinarily common - I would guess they are in fact the most popular day for most people.

Ihave never had a doc that works weekends or off hours unless they are a surgeon or attached to a hospital. 

My GP, gynie, etc have office hours up until about 8 pm, but not Saturday. I wouldnt expect either of them to be available on weekends, that is what Urgent Care or the ER is for.

Now my recent surgeon?  That is a different story.  I had to go to the ER after I went home from surgery and they called him about my case. He happened to be the on call neuro that night.   
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: lkdrymom on April 08, 2013, 05:46:33 AM

and maybe she did take advantage of the fact that she *could* do a little extra shopping - but really, you are talking about an extra 45 minutes here. when an elderly person has to run a few errands (and maybe catch her breath), do you really want to be sitting there with a stop watch when they run a little over time? and she *told* you that they could call someone if you want - if you *really* couldn't/didn't want to sit there any longer, you should have told her to do that.

I think you should think about this from her point of view. If you can't do this and help her, then don't do it. but if you can - then maybe stop timing her outings, and maybe even start offering her to sit with granpa once a week or twice a month - yes, so she can go shopping or have a cup of coffee without worrying.


Just because she is elderly or dealing with alot does not make this any less rude.  She never asked if taking an extra hour was ok, she just assumed.  What if the OP had another appointment or responcibility that she had to get to?  Does her need for shopping trump that? And on top of this now the OP is on the hook for another day of grandpa sitting.  I have to admit I am a bit sensitive to this topic as I have an elderly parent who sometimes tries to take advantage of my help. I offer to take off time from work to get him to the doctor and as soon as the appointment is over he wants to take on lunch and a shopping trip.  I did not sign up for that, I said I could take him to the doctor...that was all I agreed to.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: cicero on April 08, 2013, 05:59:12 AM

and maybe she did take advantage of the fact that she *could* do a little extra shopping - but really, you are talking about an extra 45 minutes here. when an elderly person has to run a few errands (and maybe catch her breath), do you really want to be sitting there with a stop watch when they run a little over time? and she *told* you that they could call someone if you want - if you *really* couldn't/didn't want to sit there any longer, you should have told her to do that.

I think you should think about this from her point of view. If you can't do this and help her, then don't do it. but if you can - then maybe stop timing her outings, and maybe even start offering her to sit with granpa once a week or twice a month - yes, so she can go shopping or have a cup of coffee without worrying.


Just because she is elderly or dealing with alot does not make this any less rude.  She never asked if taking an extra hour was ok, she just assumed.  What if the OP had another appointment or responcibility that she had to get to?  Does her need for shopping trump that? And on top of this now the OP is on the hook for another day of grandpa sitting.  I have to admit I am a bit sensitive to this topic as I have an elderly parent who sometimes tries to take advantage of my help. I offer to take off time from work to get him to the doctor and as soon as the appointment is over he wants to take on lunch and a shopping trip.  I did not sign up for that, I said I could take him to the doctor...that was all I agreed to.
No, it doesn't make it less rude

But if it were me, i would cut her some slack. it's not the OP's fault or responsibility, but these are her grandparents.

and as i said in the beginning of my post - "unless your grandma is usually a toxic person..." because that is what i think.

and it's also important to note that the grandma told the OP that she will send someone to relieve her and the OP said no. the OP also said that grandma
When I got there Saturday morning, I told her to call me this time if the appointment was cancelled. I also mentioned how the other day she was gone for 1 1/2 hrs longer than she had told me she would be. She clearly hadn't realized that and asked if I was sure.


I still think that OP, if she can, should continue to help her grandma, outlining her boundaries when she needs to ("I can stay until X o'clock", "I won't be able to watch Child", "I can come on saturday but not wednesday" etc)
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: Roe on April 08, 2013, 06:29:05 AM
Help her grandparents...sure!  Absolutely.  But that doesn't mean she needs to watch a 9 year old (really, a NINE year old still acting like that?! boggles my mind) that completely wipes her energy.  His mom can take him with her. 
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: sammycat on April 08, 2013, 07:33:53 AM
Help her grandparents...sure!  Absolutely.  But that doesn't mean she needs to watch a 9 year old (really, a NINE year old still acting like that?! boggles my mind) that completely wipes her energy.  His mom can take him with her.

I agree. Unless the grandparents are toxic (and OP hasn't indicated that this is the case), I'd be fine with staying with grandpa for a few hours whilst grandma went out.

If for some reason OP does end up babysitting cousin, charge a flat fee for doing so every time, not a sliding scale.  Even if he is well behaved there's still the waiting and wondering to see if he'll flip into Satan-mode the next moment, which on its own can be very stressful.

I'm wondering if the extended trips are more about aunt wanting to get away from cousin, moreso than grandma wanting time away from grandpa.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: lady_disdain on April 08, 2013, 08:40:33 AM

and maybe she did take advantage of the fact that she *could* do a little extra shopping - but really, you are talking about an extra 45 minutes here. when an elderly person has to run a few errands (and maybe catch her breath), do you really want to be sitting there with a stop watch when they run a little over time? and she *told* you that they could call someone if you want - if you *really* couldn't/didn't want to sit there any longer, you should have told her to do that.

I think you should think about this from her point of view. If you can't do this and help her, then don't do it. but if you can - then maybe stop timing her outings, and maybe even start offering her to sit with granpa once a week or twice a month - yes, so she can go shopping or have a cup of coffee without worrying.


Just because she is elderly or dealing with alot does not make this any less rude.  She never asked if taking an extra hour was ok, she just assumed.  What if the OP had another appointment or responcibility that she had to get to?  Does her need for shopping trump that? And on top of this now the OP is on the hook for another day of grandpa sitting.  I have to admit I am a bit sensitive to this topic as I have an elderly parent who sometimes tries to take advantage of my help. I offer to take off time from work to get him to the doctor and as soon as the appointment is over he wants to take on lunch and a shopping trip.  I did not sign up for that, I said I could take him to the doctor...that was all I agreed to.

Would you mind using the regular quote feature and italics or bold for emphasis? That red and black font is terrible to read and it gets replicated by each person that quotes your post.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: lkdrymom on April 08, 2013, 11:34:43 AM
I would if I could figure out how to use it.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: artk2002 on April 08, 2013, 11:57:04 AM
I would if I could figure out how to use it.

There's a button marked "Quote" at the top right of every post. Push that button and you get an editing box with the quote already there. Just make sure you add your text at the very bottom (sometimes it doesn't scroll all the way down at the start); failing to do that may put your text in the middle of someone else's quote.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: Xandraea on April 08, 2013, 11:58:31 AM
I would if I could figure out how to use it.

Hit the "Quote" button at the upper right of every post, which will copy/paste the post and then you type your reply UNDER it, after the last slashquote in brackets.  Easy as that. :)

You can only set boundaries for yourself.  You can't change people's behavior.

I think you can say "In the future, I will be available to sit with Grandpa when you need me too. If cousin is there, it will be $10 an hour because sitting with him is work."

This way they will think about a) leaving cousin with you at all and b) how long they are gone.
Right now they have no incentive to get back sooner.

OP, I agree with bopper.  Set a price for watching the child and stick to it, regardless of his behavior that particular day. Make it enough that his mother will actually _think_ about the time as money spent. It may get her home sooner.  Either that or decline watching the child and enjoy your time with your grandpa.  It would still be courteous of grandma and aunt to stay within the schedule originally laid out, barring any complications, and to call you if any necessary hold-ups occur.  Your time is valuable and should be respected in any case.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: kudeebee on April 08, 2013, 10:39:29 PM
If they call again for help, be honest and tell grandma that you will be happy to stay with grandpa, but that you will not take care of the child as he did not listen to you last time and they must come home directly after the appointment.  If she tries to say he will be good this time, etc, etc, or they need to run errands, stay firm and repeat "I will stay with grandpa but child cannot stay.  Also, you will need to return home as soon as your appointment is over, no shopping, as I have other commitments. If that won't work for you, you will have to find someone else." 

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

If you get there and they try to leave child with you, gather up your things and prepare to leave.  Do so if you need to.  Also remind them that they need to come right home.  If they offer to have someone else come in after xxx hours, take them up on it.  Get the number of the person and contact them yourself to make sure it is really going to happen.

It is great to help out your grandparents, but that doesn't mean that you need to be taken advantage of or watch a child who will not listen and creates stress for you.
Title: Re: Inconvenience not acknowledged - inconsiderate?
Post by: SCAJAfamily on April 09, 2013, 09:10:35 AM
They were so inconsiderate.  They should have called and asked if it was okay and came home if you said no.

My brother is continually like this.  He inconviences others and never says he is sorry.  At the beginning of December we all get together so my parents can take a Christmas photo with the grandkids.  He showed up 1.25 hours late and didn't even apologize.  Another time I went to his house to pick up something he was making for me.  When I got there, he was still in bed and it wasn't made.  (Only took 20 minutes but still).

Ugh I hate it when others don't value YOUR time.