Major venting thread - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Major venting thread

This is spun off from the Christmas tree post.

I've finally hit my breaking point.

Basically, I've been pet sitting for this family for years. When I worked at my old clinic, it was the boss and his wife. They had two dogs and four cats. They have since parted ways. She's kept the house and the pets. Over time, the dogs have passed on and been replaced. She has also added a cat and two birds.

The problem is, she goes out of the country for six weeks at a time to do research. That was fine when she had a husband to stay home and tend to the pets and mind the house and whatnot. Now that its just her, I seriously think she needs to reassess her priorities.

I'm here as a pet sitter. To take care of her two dogs, five cats and two birds. There was also a dove and squirrel that were being "rehabbed" to go back into the wild but I had someone at work take them because they were supposed to be gone before I got here and she slacked off on that too so I had to find somewhere for them to go.

On top of that - at the last minute she goes over the list of other things.

The dogs go to the groomer to get baths every two weeks (two big golden retreivers in my tiny eclipse mind you).

Check the mail for bills and pay them as they are due. She left me what I thought was two full check books full of signed checks. Turns out it was one book with like 10 checks left and the second full book only has 8 signed checks in it. I'm down to 6 checks. 2 are spoken for, 3 bills came in the mail yesterday and she's going to be gone for AT LEAST 2-4 weeks longer.

I also have to drive to the bank to drop off her car payment. I also have to cash a check and drive to a title loan place to make another payment.

On top of that - I now have to deposit checks into my account to then take to the bank to transfer to mexico to pay off equipment she bought and hasn't paid for yet. Mexico isn't happy about it.

Then there's the whole Christmas tree issue...

I get no sleep here. The cats constantly wake me up for food. Then there's the peeing. They pee on rugs, they've peed on my clothes, and the part that had me in tears was when they peed on the pillows and bed while I was asleep on them.

I also go crazy here and spend a good bit of time at home. Granted, that's my choice, but its 27 miles ONE WAY.

I'm also making the exactly same amount she normally pays me to just come over and watch them for the weekend. I'm doing so much more, I'm exhausted, I'm depressed.

I'm also in need of a second job and told her I was expecting to go on interviews soon and would know when to start. Did she have ANY idea when she'd be home? (her initial expected due home date is in two weeks) She has no idea and can't even hint at when she might be returning.

I'm also losing out on other pet sitting jobs because between my odd work schedule and being 45 minutes from home (and other houses I sit for) I'm turning almost everybody down who has called me.

The part that worries me is this is the second time she's gone out of the country since splitting with her husband. I heard so many stories of her bashing the initial guy who stayed here because of the poor care he took of her animals and the state of her house when she got home. I'm trying so hard and I feel like nothing is going right. I don't want this to reflect badly on me, but I don't know what to do anymore.

I'm sorry - I'm not really looking for advice or anything, just some sympathy. That, and a few reminders that I need to start saying NO to things that I have a feeling are going to be bad ideas.


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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 01:08 AM
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Re: Major venting thread

Inform her the signed checks will be running out and when the last one is written you will be unable to pay any more of her bills unless she sends you more signed checks.

Try to tough this out, but I would never sit for her again. It seems the stress you are under is not worth the money (pittance) she is paying you. Everything extra beyond the in-home pet care should have had an extra fee.

The driving for dogs to groomers, paying of bills and banking also needed to have a higher fee added to your original sitting fee. She doesn't need a sitter, she needs a personal assistant.

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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 01:58 AM
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Re: Major venting thread

Wow! I totally agree with Heidi N Q - tell her about the checks, take it one day at a time, and vow to yourself to never say "Yes" to another job from her again! She should have hired two people - one for errands and such, the other just a pet sitter. Too much schlepping around, too many responsibilities, too open-ended!

I bet she is not saying "thank you, thank you, thank you" a million times and offering you bonuses, either - which she should be, since it sounds like all kinds of hairy situations and almost-crises are going on! Lots of luck, remember "this too shall pass!" It will be over some time soon....

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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 03:20 AM
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Re: Major venting thread

God. That sounds like a nightmare. I agree - stick it out but vow never to pet sit for this person again. I certainly wouldn't.

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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 08:05 AM
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Re: Major venting thread

I completely agree with what has already been said. This person sounds extremely presumptuous. She also sounds like someone who should not have pets if she is not going to be around to care for them herself. Almost like the extremely wealthy who have children and then let the servants raise them.
She is not worth your time or your stress.


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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 09:14 AM
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Re: Major venting thread

Agree with everything that has been said so far! Wow! I would definately not be taking that job again, the stress you are under is just not worth it!

Sounds like you are doing this for a business? The good thing about running your own business, is that you have the ability to make decisions for yourself, and just because it's your business, doesn't mean you can't turn down a job that you don't think is right for you. I've had to do that before. It's not easy to do, but it's sometimes necessary.
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Major venting thread

She does have access to email so there are certain things she knows about - like the cats peeing on the bed, I've asked two or three times about the christmas tree now and have mentioned that it doesn't look good... and my last email was to remind her of the checks.

It seems like every email comes with another task though - like the mexican transfer, and she keeps thinking of bills she may have left around the house that didn't get paid (two so far) and can I find them and pay them. Then there's the "friend" who was using one of her two cars while she was out of town. She emailed me to let me know he was returning it because apparently he thought they were more than friends. (he emailed me as her "boyfriend" when he wanted to come and spend some time with her pets after she left) Yes he returned the car, but promptly emailed me to say he had left his check book in it and can he arrange to pick it up.

Its just this never ending saga of stuff I don't want to be dealing with.

I'm going to be a very sad girl until I get to go home for good.


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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 10:23 AM
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Re: Major venting thread

Every time she sends you a new task, I would email back with a price. Sounds like she wants you to be her substitute for her entire life, not just her pet sitter. If you're not getting at least $500 a week for this, you're getting ripped off.

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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 11:06 AM
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Re: Major venting thread

I agree're not her pet sitter, you're her personal assistant! I was amazed when I found our cat sitter (who is wonderful) that she offered to do a few things like bring in the mail and water the plants . . . and even then, I didn't want to bother her with that stuff. I for sure wouldn't get into anything like paying bills, where you're taking on a more important liability.

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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Major venting thread

Just got another email - she's not expecting to be back until MARCH 2ND! She left on December 15th. That's 2 1/2 MONTHS!

She also mentioned that if I can't stay the whole time, she'll call the guy who did this last time but she'd really hate to have to do that because he did such a bad job.

She also gave me permission to sign her checks.

This is getting ridiculous.

You know, initially I felt like maybe I was expecting too much and I was greedy to think that I wasn't making that much. But when I see someone say something about anything LESS than $500 a week is a rip off it makes me feel better. Well, better and much worse.

We never officially talked money. When she left the first time I offered me the job she said "$1800 for six weeks, the pay is $30 a day" but the math doesn't add up - $30 a day is $210 a week or $1260 for the six weeks. Even at the full $1800 its still only $300 a week.

I've never been one who is comfortable talking money like this. I guess I could email her back and ask her exactly what she's expecting to pay me. Then base how much longer I can stay on that. I still haven't gotten a call about a second job and really do need the money... but its really not worth it anymore.


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