Author Topic: The. Very. Nerve. (BG in Post #15, Updates in post 66 and 68 [!])  (Read 16562 times)

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mj

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Re: The. Very. Nerve. (more background in Post #15)
« Reply #45 on: October 10, 2012, 04:09:50 PM »
Ok I know I am seriously in the minority on this one  :-[, but I actually think a polite but firm, relatively detailed reply is appropriate, so there is no question of why there will be no further contact or employment. I think the babysitter really needs to be told which aspects of her work were unacceptable, and I think the OP spelling it out for her would be not only be entirely appropriate as her former employer, but therapeutic for the OP herself. I think OP is then fine to ignore any future emails.

I do think it is necessary to acknowledge the apology that was offered, and indicate whether or not it is accepted. (I don't think the OP is under any obligation to accept it). I also think it is appropriate to let the babysitter explicitly know the impact of her sudden departure (difficulties experienced in having to replace her at short notice, the distress babysitter's sudden departure caused daughter, etc). Much of this could almost be cut and pasted from the original post here. With the update, I also think it would be appropriate to spell out the specific issues with her work performance in general. It might even be worth explicitly stating you will not be able to recommend her services if you think she is likely to ask.

I am torn between this opinion and sending no email at all.  The description of your babysitter sounds like some of the older family members of mine that never were told how unacceptable their behavior was, people just cut them out and avoided them for eternity.  Although you do not  have any obligation to respond to her, I do often think that sometimes people need to hear feedback (all of us do) and often times the people who need it the most do not get it.  If you do decide to email her back, I would keep it totally professional and devoid of any emotion. 

O'Dell

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Re: The. Very. Nerve. (more background in Post #15)
« Reply #46 on: October 10, 2012, 04:32:18 PM »
Ok I know I am seriously in the minority on this one  :-[, but I actually think a polite but firm, relatively detailed reply is appropriate, so there is no question of why there will be no further contact or employment. I think the babysitter really needs to be told which aspects of her work were unacceptable, and I think the OP spelling it out for her would be not only be entirely appropriate as her former employer, but therapeutic for the OP herself. I think OP is then fine to ignore any future emails.

I do think it is necessary to acknowledge the apology that was offered, and indicate whether or not it is accepted. (I don't think the OP is under any obligation to accept it). I also think it is appropriate to let the babysitter explicitly know the impact of her sudden departure (difficulties experienced in having to replace her at short notice, the distress babysitter's sudden departure caused daughter, etc). Much of this could almost be cut and pasted from the original post here. With the update, I also think it would be appropriate to spell out the specific issues with her work performance in general. It might even be worth explicitly stating you will not be able to recommend her services if you think she is likely to ask.

I agree with what you've said.

I'm a pragmatist. I think the best way to approach this situation is to decide what outcome you want and then chose the best way to get that within the bounds of etiquette. So, Lexophile, what do you want? We know you don't want you or your daughter to have contact with her. Ignoring the email carries a high likelihood of her contacting you again...she'll justify it somehow. So I think you need to respond.

If you want closure from your end, you have the right to tell her what you need to for that to happen. If that means you tell her not to contact you again and why you want nothing to do with her and that you will not recommend her services so you don't even have to worry about calls to be a reference, that is fine. If you really just want to be rid of her, then you might choose to be icily professional in your response.

Your proposed email is fine. I think you could more firm and explicit and still be fine. Send the answer that you can feel good about sending. Don't worry too much about how she will feel when she gets it. You aren't overreacting and it's okay for her to feel the consequences of having treated you so poorly.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

GeauxTigers

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Re: The. Very. Nerve. (more background in Post #15)
« Reply #47 on: October 10, 2012, 06:51:38 PM »
""Arrangments are already in place with a replacement tutor. This decision is final; no further contact is needed."

Then block her.

Ceallach

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Re: The. Very. Nerve. (more background in Post #15)
« Reply #48 on: October 10, 2012, 07:28:47 PM »
When I was about 2.75 years old, my family moved. Before that I had a regular babysitter. I did remember her in snippets for years. But I *know* I didn't remember a "goodbye" because I remember asking my mom many times as a kid what happened to her and my mom aswering "we moved away." I assure everyone, I was not scared or hurt by that at all. It was in fact I think a good experience for me, in that it taught me that people sometimes come & go from life. Lex, your kid will be fin. And that really all that should matter to you... well no, in fact not seeing this woman means you will not have that stress either, which is also important. Its all good, send one of the colder 'just the facts' blow-off emails and never open one from her again.

I do agree with you.  I had LOTS of different babysitters as a kid because we moved a few times.  So I'd have somebody for a year or 2 and then we'd move or they'd move.  While I fond memories of them, I don't recall feeling any trauma whatsoever at their absence from my life, nor was there any heartfelt goodbyes.   In fact, I think that a goodbye might have been more confusing!   It would have been different were it a close family member who disappeared, but even small children know the distinction between their family unit versus other close people in their life who while they may be wonderful and have deep bonds, may come and go over time.   I am grateful to them for the role they played in my life, and would happily exchange pleasantries if our lives ever crossed paths (although I doubt that would happen 30 years on!) but that's the extent of it.   So I agree that this is more about the babysitter's "needs" than the child's needs.   

Actually, thinking about it, I'm painfully aware that the kids I cared for and adored when they were wee ones don't really know nor care for me either!  I moved away when they were still small, after spending 3-4 years caring for them.    I'd like to think that I formed some permanent bond with them, but I know the fact is that despite being a positive influence in their lives I'm not anybody significant to them at all.   I did see them a couple of times when they were older, and they were polite and friendly (lovely kids actually), but barely remembered me! 
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


still in va

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Re: The. Very. Nerve. (more background in Post #15)
« Reply #49 on: October 10, 2012, 07:41:05 PM »
Ok I know I am seriously in the minority on this one  :-[, but I actually think a polite but firm, relatively detailed reply is appropriate, so there is no question of why there will be no further contact or employment. I think the babysitter really needs to be told which aspects of her work were unacceptable, and I think the OP spelling it out for her would be not only be entirely appropriate as her former employer, but therapeutic for the OP herself. I think OP is then fine to ignore any future emails.

I do think it is necessary to acknowledge the apology that was offered, and indicate whether or not it is accepted. (I don't think the OP is under any obligation to accept it). I also think it is appropriate to let the babysitter explicitly know the impact of her sudden departure (difficulties experienced in having to replace her at short notice, the distress babysitter's sudden departure caused daughter, etc). Much of this could almost be cut and pasted from the original post here. With the update, I also think it would be appropriate to spell out the specific issues with her work performance in general. It might even be worth explicitly stating you will not be able to recommend her services if you think she is likely to ask.

I am torn between this opinion and sending no email at all.  The description of your babysitter sounds like some of the older family members of mine that never were told how unacceptable their behavior was, people just cut them out and avoided them for eternity.  Although you do not  have any obligation to respond to her, I do often think that sometimes people need to hear feedback (all of us do) and often times the people who need it the most do not get it.  If you do decide to email her back, I would keep it totally professional and devoid of any emotion.

mk, i really don't understand why someone who abandoned her job, with no notice, by e-mail, should need feedback that doing so would make that employer who they abandoned less than willing to give them any accommodation whatsoever.  do people really need to be told this, to have it explained that walking out with no notice as a babysitter to a working mom who depends upon your presence is a bridge-burning event? 

wallaby

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Re: The. Very. Nerve. (more background in Post #15)
« Reply #50 on: October 10, 2012, 08:18:25 PM »
still in va: I know your question was posed to mj, but if I can explain from my point of view: my reading of the info provided by the OP is that the babysitter left suddenly due to some kind of personal crisis, not maliciousness or just deciding one day she didn't feel like it anymore. To me leaving in a crisis is not the same as abandoning a job. This is really pivotal in how I think about the babysitter in this situation. The OP indicates in her first post that she understands the reasons for the sudden departure.

buvezdevin

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Re: The. Very. Nerve. (more background in Post #15)
« Reply #51 on: October 10, 2012, 08:27:12 PM »
While I do not think OP owed any reply email, and I almost always agree with still in va's posts, I will in this case offer the slightly dissenting view that some people do benefit from being called on, or told the collateral and direct results of their actions.

While many, and quite likely the previous child carer in this case, will not "see the light" and they either realize the impact of their actions and don't care, or will never "get" that the world doesn't stop for them as they wish - some would take a wake up call and use it to open their eyes.

I know I have personally benefitted from feedback which opened my eyes to impacts of my own actions, which I then immediately set about revising.  Nothing on the order of the OP's previous babysitter's behavior, and I don't think feedback is "owed" here.  But just as "common sense" isn't all that common to all, some folks *can* have a lightbulb moment when hearing something like "your prior actions greatly inconvenienced me, and caused a sudden change for DD without time to plan.  DD is happy with current arrangements, your previous lack of reliability would prevent me from ever hiring you again, and - as DD is now doing well - meeting with you for closure is not desirable for us."
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still in va

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Re: The. Very. Nerve. (more background in Post #15)
« Reply #52 on: October 10, 2012, 08:53:50 PM »
still in va: I know your question was posed to mj, but if I can explain from my point of view: my reading of the info provided by the OP is that the babysitter left suddenly due to some kind of personal crisis, not maliciousness or just deciding one day she didn't feel like it anymore. To me leaving in a crisis is not the same as abandoning a job. This is really pivotal in how I think about the babysitter in this situation. The OP indicates in her first post that she understands the reasons for the sudden departure.

wallaby, from reading the OP's posts, it seems to me that the babysitter's entire life was one long drama.  when the parents of the child being babysat by the babysitter spend more time supporting the babysitter than worrying about their child, there is a problem.  i understand why you feel the way that you do if you are basing this solely on the original post, but i would direct you to post #15, where Lexophile further explains this. 

no matter what the circumstances or the reason, the babysitter did abandon her job.  now, a month later, she's back, wanting to see the child one afternoon a week and stating that the OP must make arrangements that are beneficial to the babysitter.  um, no.  if you are my employee, it is your job to fit with my schedule and requirements, it is not my job to make it easier for you.  and i am under no illusions that the former babysitter wants to take the DD one afternoon a week from the goodness of her heart.  i'm sure she will be expecting to be paid for her time.  which i have no problem with. 

additionally, this was completely unsolicited.  Lex is not at all interested in any relationship with the former babysitter. frankly, reading all of Lex's posts, i wouldn't want anything to do with her either.

jpcher

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Re: The. Very. Nerve. (more background in Post #15)
« Reply #53 on: October 10, 2012, 09:03:07 PM »
Thanks everyone for your advice. It only confirms my feelings and gives me confidence for my chosen course of action.

Because old babysitter left so abruptly, she left some things at our house that belonged to her. This morning, I boxed it all up and sent it back. No note. I made sure everything was in there so that she would have no logical reason to contact us ever again.

I think I will respond to the email, only to confirm that I did receive it. I also want to make good and certain that I document a clear, unmistakable message to her that I want no further contact. I'll be polite, but in the unlikely event that things escalate, I want proof that she knows our wishes.

I'm chiming in late on this thread, but I do think that your course of action is spot on.

Tabby Uprising

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Re: The. Very. Nerve. (more background in Post #15)
« Reply #54 on: October 10, 2012, 09:24:23 PM »
still in va: I know your question was posed to mj, but if I can explain from my point of view: my reading of the info provided by the OP is that the babysitter left suddenly due to some kind of personal crisis, not maliciousness or just deciding one day she didn't feel like it anymore. To me leaving in a crisis is not the same as abandoning a job. This is really pivotal in how I think about the babysitter in this situation. The OP indicates in her first post that she understands the reasons for the sudden departure.

wallaby, from reading the OP's posts, it seems to me that the babysitter's entire life was one long drama.  when the parents of the child being babysat by the babysitter spend more time supporting the babysitter than worrying about their child, there is a problem.  i understand why you feel the way that you do if you are basing this solely on the original post, but i would direct you to post #15, where Lexophile further explains this. 

no matter what the circumstances or the reason, the babysitter did abandon her job.  now, a month later, she's back, wanting to see the child one afternoon a week and stating that the OP must make arrangements that are beneficial to the babysitter.  um, no.  if you are my employee, it is your job to fit with my schedule and requirements, it is not my job to make it easier for you.  and i am under no illusions that the former babysitter wants to take the DD one afternoon a week from the goodness of her heart.  i'm sure she will be expecting to be paid for her time.  which i have no problem with. 

additionally, this was completely unsolicited.  Lex is not at all interested in any relationship with the former babysitter. frankly, reading all of Lex's posts, i wouldn't want anything to do with her either.

I very much agree with you, still in va.  In my own experience, for whatever that is worth, I have found people in a continuous drama-loop aren't receptive to feedback.  They simply filter out what they don't want to hear and see feedback as an open invitation to further include you in their drama. 

I feel a brief response will better discourage the former sitter from further communication.  She may take the feedback as an opportunity to explain herself, defend her actions, tell her sob story, etc and continue the drama cycle with Lex.  At some point Lex is going to have to cut it off so why not just make that cut now?

johelenc1

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Re: The. Very. Nerve. (more background in Post #15)
« Reply #55 on: October 10, 2012, 10:40:38 PM »
With the update, I do understand the OP's reluctance.  I had also read the babysitter's departure as something happening in her personal life that may not have been entirely in her control:  a death in the family, break up or trying to break up a bad relationship, or mental illness needing treatment.  If the procuring event had been managed and she was trying to apologize for her behavior, then I could see giving her chance.

But, it sounds like there was a great deal going on before she even left.  I do think you should send back an email, but I don't think you need to be harsh, or mean.  "Glad to hear things are better for you now.  DD is doing great.  It was nice of you to check on her.  Best of luck to you."

If she doesn't get the hint and emails you again, then you can ignore her completely.

HonorH

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Re: The. Very. Nerve. (more background in Post #15)
« Reply #56 on: October 11, 2012, 12:53:27 AM »
I like NyaChan's email. Short, sweet, to the point, and very polite. In the event that the babysitter continues to try to inveigle her way back into your life, you can send her a "Don't contact us again" email. I dunno, that's the way I'd do it.
William wondered why he always disliked people who said "no offense meant." Maybe it was because they found it easier to say "no offense meant" than actually to refrain from giving offense.

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MamaMootz

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Re: The. Very. Nerve. (more background in Post #15)
« Reply #57 on: October 11, 2012, 10:13:54 AM »
I guess it's just me being older or something, but I would not mince words with this woman. She left your DD high and dry and made the transition difficult. I don't think you need to be mean, but don't be wordy. I disagree with the thought of ignoring because if she is such a Drama Llama, she will escalate contact.

Dear Ex-Babysitter,

DD has transitioned quite well. No further tutoring or contact is necessary.

Lexophile

Then block her e-mail.
"I like pie" - DD's Patented Bean Dip Maneuver

Zilla

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Re: The. Very. Nerve. (more background in Post #15)
« Reply #58 on: October 11, 2012, 10:24:33 AM »
Any update on this OP?  Hope it's the last of it.

Lexophile

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Re: The. Very. Nerve. (more background in Post #15, non-update page 4)
« Reply #59 on: October 11, 2012, 10:45:47 AM »
I was planning on sending the email today, but I'm really mincing around about exactly what I will say.

It was a personal crisis that caused former sitter to quit, but as PPs have said, her life was one long loop of personal crises. On top of all of that, when the tables were turned (we had a series of very real, very scary things happen to our family within the space of a month), she got ugly and demanded to know how we were going to support her. I actually got a lecture from her about how I rely on her to be there, and she has to rely on me for her livelihood.

So when the chips were down, it was ok for her to have all kinds of problems keeping her end of the deal, but we were just supposed to suck it up and be flexible. But when we had a major emergency that meant we didn't need her for a day or two (I had to evacuate my house for a few days because of a wildfire), all I got is grief because it meant she was out that money. She didn't think there was anything wrong with the way she behaved.

I still have some very deep-seated emotions surrounding this person. I'm not in a place where I'm willing to stir all that up again. I'm seriously considering letting her box of stuff that I sent her be my message that we're done and blocking her email now without replying.
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