Author Topic: Your schedule changes affect me - update #31  (Read 7833 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Knitterly

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1559
    • That other knitting blog
Your schedule changes affect me - update #31
« on: September 07, 2013, 04:05:34 PM »
I'm in an awkward situation.

I provide childcare.  For the most part, I adore the child I watch.  Let's call him Bob.  He and Little Knit get along amazingly well.  They are as much BFFs as toddlers can be.  She calls him "hers" (ie, Dat's my Bob).  Bob's mother, Jan, and I are pretty good friends, too. 

I've done childcare in the past.  In the past, it's always been a set schedule (ie, Monday, Wednesday, Friday).  I have liked this because I can set my schedule for the week and know what days I'm working and not. 
(edited to clarify: my current schedule is not mon/wed/fri, but is more 'random') Jan works shift work, and the nature of her work is such that she gets her schedule 6 months out so she can make changes as needed.  This initially looked like it was going to be great for me, because it also means I get my schedule set 6 months out. 

Understanding that the nature of her work is such that she'll want the freedom to change shifts, etc, I only write down my schedule 2 months out. 

Except:  She has a terrible habit of changing her schedule for next week and then dropping it on me.   

She'll email me a week in advance to remind me of my schedule for the upcoming week (unnecessary, but I can appreciate her need to confirm).  But when she does this, she'll often ask to change something or other.  Last weekend, she emailed me to ask about a change in the schedule for this week.  It was not a big deal, so I agreed.  Yesterday, she emailed me again and asked to make another change.  This change is because she made a shift change at work.  This one kind of IS a big deal.  I had several things going on that day that I now must either not do or must reschedule.  I cannot take Bob with me for these errands for just a whole lot of reasons.  I can reschedule some of the errands.  But the day she wants me to take Bob is actually the most convenient day for me to have the one vehicle Mr K and I have.

I can do it, but I don't want to, it's inconvenient, and I hate that she changed her schedule without consulting me to see if I was even available.  :(  She doesn't have much in the way of backup childcare.

Please help me figure out a way to communicate to her that her schedule changes affect me. 

We addressed just about everything else before I started watching Bob, including what to do if I am sick, he is sick, Little Knit is sick, vacation time, overtime, overnights, meals, general expenses of things such as milk, diapers, wipes, etc, early dropoff, etc.  This was never discussed because short-notice schedule changes never occurred to me.

Now I feel awkward about it and am not sure how to go about handling it politely - especially because she's also a friend.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 09:43:28 AM by Knitterly »

hyzenthlay

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8750
Re: Your schedule changes affect me
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2013, 04:11:57 PM »
She asked, you say no you can't do it this time.

"Jan, I'm so sorry but I've scheduled several appointments for that day.  "

End of story.


nayberry

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 763
Re: Your schedule changes affect me
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2013, 05:07:12 PM »
"i'm afraid that won't be possible" seems to fit best

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5523
Re: Your schedule changes affect me
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2013, 05:22:09 PM »
Sorry, I can't look after Bob on that day. I already have other commitments that can't be moved.

It really is that easy.

Or maybe that simple if not easy.

Or you can say. " I have other commitments that i made based on the original schedule we agreed on.I can reschedule  this one time but please do not do shift changes without checking with me first"

Then next time ( if there is a next time) say no.




kudeebee

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2184
Re: Your schedule changes affect me
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2013, 05:26:03 PM »
You are not in an awkward situation.  You have an arrangement to watch a child 3 set days a week.  Now she has changed that arrangement without consulting you. 

You do not have to change her plans to meet her last minute needs.  Remember "poor planning on your part (in this case her making changes in her schedule without checking with you to see if it would work) does not mean an emergency for me (in this case you having to make calls and try to reschedule appointments)." 

You need to discuss this with her.  Set some boundaries and stick with them.  If she requests a change and it doesn't work for you, say so.  It is not personal, this is a business arrangement.

"I cannot watch Bob that day as I have appointments set for that day. Jan, I set up my calendar when you get your 6 month schedule.  I then plan 2 or 3 months out for scheduling appointments and so on. 
So if you make last minute changes in your schedule, I may not be able to accommodate the change. You need to check with me first to see if it will work.   I need to know at least 2 weeks in advance if you are thinking of making changes so I can check my schedule.  You need to realize that sometimes it will work for me and sometimes it won't."
« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 05:28:10 PM by kudeebee »

MrTango

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2312
Re: Your schedule changes affect me
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2013, 05:29:35 PM »
"I'm afraid I won't be able to accommodate that change."

bonyk

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 792
Re: Your schedule changes affect me
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2013, 05:36:54 PM »
"No, I'm sorry, I can't do that day.  Let me know if you still want me for [original day]."

Oh Joy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1334
Re: Your schedule changes affect me
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2013, 06:58:57 PM »
Shoot.  I'm glad to make last-minute changes when they work out, but this one doesn't.  Sorry.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30506
Re: Your schedule changes affect me
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2013, 09:42:07 PM »
It would probably be a good idea to push back, to keep her from taking this for granted.

So now would be a really good time to say no.

You might also consider whether there's a way to find that sweet spot between her really, really needing you to help her by being flexible (which you might want to do) and her assuming that you can flex all she wants.

Sometimes people find that by saying, "if you want to flex, you need to pay extra"--the extra charge isn't that onerous but it's enough to keep people from paying it blithely.

Knitterly

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1559
    • That other knitting blog
Re: Your schedule changes affect me
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2013, 09:48:43 PM »
You are not in an awkward situation.  You have an arrangement to watch a child 3 set days a week.  Now she has changed that arrangement without consulting you. 

You do not have to change her plans to meet her last minute needs.  Remember "poor planning on your part (in this case her making changes in her schedule without checking with you to see if it would work) does not mean an emergency for me (in this case you having to make calls and try to reschedule appointments)." 

You need to discuss this with her.  Set some boundaries and stick with them.  If she requests a change and it doesn't work for you, say so.  It is not personal, this is a business arrangement.

"I cannot watch Bob that day as I have appointments set for that day. Jan, I set up my calendar when you get your 6 month schedule.  I then plan 2 or 3 months out for scheduling appointments and so on. 
So if you make last minute changes in your schedule, I may not be able to accommodate the change. You need to check with me first to see if it will work.   I need to know at least 2 weeks in advance if you are thinking of making changes so I can check my schedule.  You need to realize that sometimes it will work for me and sometimes it won't."

Sorry for the confusion - It was my last childcare situation that was 3 set days per week. I no longer watch that child, as she is in school and her mother is on maternity leave.  This arrangement is not like that and is more "random".  For example, I might watch Bob 2 days this week, 1 1/2 days next week, 3 days the following, and then nothing for a week and a half.  She's not changing days.  She's asking for an additional day above the ones I already have scheduled.

Mr K and I are a single-car family.  So before, when I had a set arrangement, it was easier to make plans.  He knew what days I was working and he could let me know if there were specific days I could NOT have the car.  Now, it's harder for him to keep my schedule in mind. 

I feel bad because it's not like I *can't* take Bob, it's that it's inconvenient for me.  If I don't take Bob, I know that Jan really doesn't have much else in the way of backup childcare.  So, on the one hand, because she doesn't have backup, it's really quite rude of her to assume I'm available (I usually am).  But on the other hand, because she doesn't have backup and because it's just inconvenient and not actually impossible, I feel rude for saying no.

What I've done while I try sort out if there is another day I can run my errands is tell Jan that I have stuff going on that day and need to sort it out and will get back to her.
I think I'll plan to sit down and have a coffee with her the next time I know she has a week off and let her know that I need a minimum of 2 weeks notice to add days to my schedule.

*inviteseller

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1821
  • I am Queen Mommy
Re: Your schedule changes affect me
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2013, 10:35:46 PM »
She is assuming that you have nothing else to do and that is kind of rude of her.  You are fine with saying no to this change.  Just tell her that due to the schedule she gave you, you made appointments that cannot be changed.  I also do occasional baby sitting for my neighbor when her mom can't and there were times I was called the night before and asked.  If I had nothing going on, sure, but I never changed plans to do it at last minute.  I know it caused the grandmother to have to rearrange her schedule, but just because I am a stay at home mom doesn't mean I am at anyone's beck and call.  Maybe it would help to tell her when she gives you her schedule what days you will not be able to accommodate her child if she wants to make any schedule changes.   Also, it is not your issue that she doesn't have a backup plan for childcare. 

blarg314

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8451
Re: Your schedule changes affect me
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2013, 11:36:20 PM »

So far you've said yes to her requests, so it's normal that she thinks this is fine. Automatically saying yes to all requests, even when they inconvenience you, tends to make people take you for granted.

I'd respond back with "Oh, I'm sorry, I need at least X days notice to set my  schedule. I'm afraid I'm not available that day".

I suspect that will solve the problem except for rare emergencies.  :)

I hope she realizes that irregular child-care like can be hard to find and should be treated nicely.

Roe

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6428
Re: Your schedule changes affect me
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2013, 09:25:19 AM »
It would probably be a good idea to push back, to keep her from taking this for granted.

So now would be a really good time to say no.


I think the bolded is a VERY important point.  And one that can make a "great for everyone" situation quickly turn into an awkward one.   One that can, ultimately, affect your friendship with her.  It's important that she not take you for granted so you might make it a practice to sprinkle in a few no's in her requests even if you can change plans to accommodate her. 

miranova

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1940
Re: Your schedule changes affect me
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2013, 09:48:20 AM »
Yes, she's assuming you are available, because so far that's what has been communicated to her.  I wouldn't throw her under the bus THIS TIME because you haven't had the conversation you need to have with her yet.  If it were me, I would accommodate her this time, but you do need to have a conversation about it.  I like someone else's wording above.  Tell her that next time you need her to check with you first because you make plans based on her schedule and may not be available to change last minute.  She's not paying you for 5 days of availability per week, so she can't expect you to never make plans on the other days.  But it could be just as simple as having one conversation with her and she may completely understand and change.  Give her that chance.

bonyk

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 792
Re: Your schedule changes affect me
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2013, 09:53:24 AM »
Knitterly, I currently use a babysitter that is also very flexible.  I ask for last minute changes somewhat frequently.  On a rare occasion or two, she's been unable to accommodate me.  So I worked it out by taking a personal day or calling into work.  It was my problem; it never occurred to me that baby sitter would have to alter her plans.