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I’m having trouble with the lady whose kids I watch. She isn’t willing to pay what the job is worth. I finally got her to agree to $150 every two weeks, but she keeps complaining it’s too much. She still owes me for the first month and said she’ll only pay half of the agreed amount because she went on vacation. The way I see it, a flat rate is a flat rate. She gets paid to go on vacation, and so should I. I’m tired of dealing with all these hassles, as she doesn’t even pay half of the normal cost for day care. I just need some advice on this matter before I tell her that she needs to find another babysitter.
So many points to address, so little time. Where do I start?
I’ll try starting at the beginning. You apparently started off this job with acrimonious salary negotiations before hitting the agreed-upon amount of $75 per week. That fee seems reasonable. You didn’t say where you lived or what hours you worked. But in most of the U.S., parents can pay that fee or less at a commercial day-care center that takes care of children during work hours.
If you work on Long Island or in Orange County, you receive a below-market rate. But just about everywhere else, you’re making fairly close to what the job is worth. Babysitting doesn’t pay well. It never has, and it probably never will. If you don’t like working for $75 a week, you’re in the wrong field.
You talk about the hassles you face. But the tone of your question (which I cleaned up quite a bit) suggests you dish it out at least as well as you take it. If you approach your job with a bad attitude, do not expect your employer to cut you much slack or give you extra pay or privileges. You describe problems that extend beyond a money dispute, and there is probably blame to spare on both sides.
You also bring up the issue of vacations. I hate to break this to you, but millions of Americans work jobs without paid vacations. Workers who do receive vacation pay generally accrue those vacation days with seniority, and even some executive jobs don’t provide paid days off in the first year. And what sounds like a flat rate is rarely a truly flat rate. People may negotiate their pay based on weekly, monthly, or annual salaries. But when they get the paycheck, it almost always breaks the money down into an hourly rate.
Bottom line:We all get paid by the hour, even if we don’t look at our salary that way. Unless your employer agreed in advance to pay you for days you don’t work, you have no legal or moral right to expect such treatment.
However, I agree with you on one point. You do indeed need to tell this woman to find another babysitter. You are not the person for the job, and both you and your employer will probably be happier when you move on.
Why are kids in a hurry to be and look older?
Spend a few minutes watching the world from a child’s viewpoint, and you’ll understand.
Everyone else is bigger and stronger and can do more things. Adults can choose what to wear, when and what to eat, and where they want to go. Who wouldn’t be on board with that?
Young children have little control over their lives, and they desperately crave the freedom to make their own decisions. Older children obtain more freedom, but with that comes a greater understanding of the depth of freedom enjoyed by adults. And still, they crave additional freedom.
But while the kids see the freedom and can practically taste the power, they miss the other side of that coin. Responsibility. Children want to be older so they can drive and go to the movies and stay up late. If they truly understood the pressures of jobs and mortgages and raising children, they might not be in such a rush.
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