Author Topic: The mystery of the disappearing babysitter  (Read 5336 times)

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Ceallach

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The mystery of the disappearing babysitter
« on: November 14, 2013, 07:02:23 PM »
Short version:  the babysitter didn't show up one day and I haven't heard from her since.    I'm not sure whether to attempt to contact her just to see what happened and if she's ok, or if to move on.

Long version: When my son "Caleb" was 3 months old I hired a "mother's helper" privately through the local craigslist type site to assist me for a few hours a week around the house and with the baby (I live overseas from my family so it was literally my only support/break except for when my DH was home).   She adored Caleb, and her and I found we got along well and enjoyed chatting.    Eventually it got to the point I would trust her to take him for a walk while I was working. She gave us lots of hand me down items and toys from her own son (5 year old).  All was well for 5 months.   Then for two weeks in a row she called in sick on short notice - once was an emergency with her son, and then next she was unwell.   I was fine with it.    Then the following week she contacted me and said that with her new semester of university starting she was feeling quite stressed and would rather not commit to anything for awhile, but to please contact her if there were any adhoc days I needed from time to time.

Two months later I sms'd her and asked if she was free Thursday, she said no she was doing prep for the wedding she was a bridesmaid in on the weekend so things were crazy, but that she would love to do the following week.  I replied that I didn't need next week but in two week's time so would let her know.  She said great etc.   Following week I SMS to see how she was and if she would like to do the next Thursday, she said yes, asked what time, and expressed her excitement and how much she was looking forward to seeing Caleb. We agreed to 12pm and she asked me to bring the pram so she can take him for a walk.   ...

On the day, I was upstairs with Caleb and needed to pick up the pram from the car for her, so about 2 minutes to 12 I called to see how far away she was so I could time when I needed to go out, so as to not keep her waiting.  (Can't see the door from inside).  I got no answer.   Never mind, she was probably driving still or looking for a carpark.   So I headed out to get the pram anyway and then waited downstairs... for 20 minutes.   At which point I sent a friendly SMS just checking how far away she was.   No response.  And I have literally heard nothing since, 2 weeks later.   :o

I took that as basically getting the cut direct, that she's decided she doesn't want to work for me for whatever reason, and was perhaps embarrassed at leaving me in the lurch.     But I keep wondering....     should I be making contact to give her the opportunity to explain?  Or just respect the fact that she clearly doesn't want contact?   For the record, don't think it's a safety issue as I know she has a very strong family and friend support, so if anything bad had happened / emergency she will be well taken care of.   And I guess that's another reason I don't want to hassle her if something truly awful has happened.  It feels like such a strange, awkward situation to me.   I don't want to keep wondering what happened, but at the same time, there seems nothing to be gained by making contact.   And if I were to contact her, what would I say?
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: The mystery of the disappearing babysitter
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2013, 07:22:11 PM »
Find someone else and stop trying to contact her. Even the busiest person in the world has the time to return a phone call and say "I'm sorry, I won't be able work for you any more" or something of the like.

Worst thing is she left you in the lurch without any explanation. Just let it go and find someone else. If she calls again, tell her how she's shown that she cannot be relied upon and didn't even give you the courtesy of a call.

m2kbug

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Re: The mystery of the disappearing babysitter
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2013, 07:23:04 PM »
At this point I don't think I would try any further contact.

If you call, you could say, "Hi, it's Caellah.  I wanted to check up on you and make sure you're okay, since I never heard from you.  Would you call me back to let me know you're okay?" 

If she doesn't contact you, you tried.  It's done.

NyaChan

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Re: The mystery of the disappearing babysitter
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2013, 07:25:20 PM »
Do you have any interest in hiring her again for babysitting or are you done?  I probably would contact her again just to see what happened and to let her know that I either wouldn't be contacting her about babysitting anymore or to indicate that I was still willing to use her as a babysitter if she was actually interested in working for me.  Personally I would not be using her anymore.

Ceallach

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Re: The mystery of the disappearing babysitter
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2013, 07:40:56 PM »
Find someone else and stop trying to contact her. Even the busiest person in the world has the time to return a phone call and say "I'm sorry, I won't be able work for you any more" or something of the like.

Worst thing is she left you in the lurch without any explanation. Just let it go and find someone else. If she calls again, tell her how she's shown that she cannot be relied upon and didn't even give you the courtesy of a call.

Just to be clear, I haven't tried to contact her!     I tried to call her on the day to see how far away she was, she didn't answer, and then she didn't show up.  I have not attempted to contact her since.   The question is whether I should.
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The Wild One, Forever

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Re: The mystery of the disappearing babysitter
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2013, 07:49:32 PM »
I would contact her one more time via text, saying something along the lines of, "Hey Sitter...just wanted to say hello and make sure everything's OK.  We missed seeing you the other day!"   This lets her know there are no hard feelings, (which I presume there are not since you are making this inquiry), and that you are open to further communication.  My guess is that something unexpectedly arose and she was so embarrassed about flaking that she decided not to contact you at all, rather than try to explain.  Not the way I'd have handled it,and certainly not the best or even a proper way, but that might have been her thinking in the moment. If there is no response, I'd let it be. 
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sammycat

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Re: The mystery of the disappearing babysitter
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2013, 08:20:32 PM »
I wouldn't try any contact.

If this was a good friend or family member and it was totally out of character for them to do this, then yes, I would try and contacting them.

But this situation? No. 

On the very, very, rare occasions I've had a similar thing happen, it hasn't been because the person had an emergency or brain fart, it was because they were just being a selfish and self centred person too wrapped up in themselves to give a stuff about the people around them that they were inconveniencing.

Possum

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Re: The mystery of the disappearing babysitter
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2013, 08:56:48 PM »
I'd give it one try.  "Hi, Sitter, it's C.  I was surprised (but not mad!) that you missed our appointment, and I've been worried about you since--it's not like you to not call when you miss a day.  I know you're busy and probably don't have time to sit anymore, but please let me know you're well.  Take care!"

sweetonsno

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Re: The mystery of the disappearing babysitter
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2013, 09:00:51 PM »
I probably would try it once. I assume you aren't going to hire her again. I vote for including an "out" so she doesn't feel like she has to make an excuse (or ignore you out of embarrassment).

"Hey, Sitter!

I just wanted to write and check in on you because I thought you were coming on [date], but it looks like there was come confusion. I assume that you've just been busy with midterms, but I wanted to make sure that everything was okay on your end. Good luck with the end of the semester!

Best,
C"

chibichan

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Re: The mystery of the disappearing babysitter
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2013, 06:37:35 AM »
I would guess that she just doesn't want to baby-sit anymore and can't find a way to tell you .

If you do contact her again , let her off the hook -

Hi babysitter , I hope you're doing well - I was concerned about you after our last meeting fell through . Since it seems like you are no longer available , I wanted to thank you for the great job you did while you were watching Caleb . You are always welcome to give us a call once in a while if you're not too busy. We'll both miss you and we wish you the best .

Ceallach

If you get no reply , write her off - she doesn't consider you someone that she wishes to remain in contact with .  There may not be any reason other than she has a lot on plate right now .
The key to avoiding trouble is to learn to recognize it from a distance.

Hmmmmm

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Re: The mystery of the disappearing babysitter
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2013, 07:09:13 AM »
I would completely drop it. It doesn't sound like she is really interested in child sitting any more with her busy schedule. It sounds like she even forgot about her appointment with you and now is embarrassed about flaking. If she is interested in re- establishing contact she can reach out to you.

Just find someone else.

And cut direct can only occur face to face.

Nemesis

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Re: The mystery of the disappearing babysitter
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2013, 07:12:17 AM »
I would guess that she just doesn't want to baby-sit anymore and can't find a way to tell you .

If you do contact her again , let her off the hook -

Hi babysitter , I hope you're doing well - I was concerned about you after our last meeting fell through . Since it seems like you are no longer available , I wanted to thank you for the great job you did while you were watching Caleb . You are always welcome to give us a call once in a while if you're not too busy. We'll both miss you and we wish you the best .

Ceallach

If you get no reply , write her off - she doesn't consider you someone that she wishes to remain in contact with .  There may not be any reason other than she has a lot on plate right now .
I like this response. I would send it.

Sharnita

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Re: The mystery of the disappearing babysitter
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2013, 07:22:54 AM »
She was supposed to be working,  never showed, never called? I do think you should make an effort to contact her or at least make sure she is ok.

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: The mystery of the disappearing babysitter
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2013, 08:39:02 AM »
She was supposed to be working,  never showed, never called? I do think you should make an effort to contact her or at least make sure she is ok.

Yeah, at the very least, find out if she's okay.   I watch far too many crime dramas, and 'disappearing suddenly' is a very popular premise.   

Emmy

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Re: The mystery of the disappearing babysitter
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2013, 09:01:22 AM »
I'd give it one try.  "Hi, Sitter, it's C.  I was surprised (but not mad!) that you missed our appointment, and I've been worried about you since--it's not like you to not call when you miss a day.  I know you're busy and probably don't have time to sit anymore, but please let me know you're well.  Take care!"

I like this.  I can understand why the OP is concerned about the sitter and just doesn't want to write her off.  One final message or phone call is OK to show concern about her well being and let her know she is off the hook for babysitting.  Unless it was an actual emergency, it sounds as if her life grew busy and she lost interest in babysitting.  She may be rude and not care she left you in a lurch, but something may have come up that day and she may be too embarrassed about flaking to contact you.