You Will NOT Believe This...
Earlier tonight (just 16 hours before we are to depart for the airport for a week!), the person we had contracted to watch our kids during our trip (we leave in the morning!) sent us an email demanding 4x what she had asked for when we initially met 4 weeks ago.
All we can figure is, when she came over earlier this week, she saw our house and figured she should try a bit of extortion. Here's the email we received (verbatim -- I've only removed her name) with the subject line "Childcare Proposal":
Since we last spoke, circumstances have changed. The responsibility you have charged me with represents your most precious gifts. This responsiblity has prompted my email. Your children's safety is important to me and the driving to and from day-camp is a responsibily we share.
Since it is a shared responsibilty you need to meet me half way.
1) You must supply a car with two car seats (Insured);
2) 200$ cash up front for expenses (Gas, etc.)
I will supply reciepts.
3) My per hour rate is 20$ per hour.
My Estimate of my time is
72 day hours= $1,440
96 night hours= $1,920
My email is (REMOVED)
My phone number is (REMOVED)
We need to come to an agreement this evening.
If you have a counter offer please email me your response.
P.S. This is a fair proposal, without a response I assume you accept.
I know, you can pick up your jaw and keep reading, 'cuz it gets better.
The plan to pursue extortion backfired on her though -- Within 5 minutes, I had secured a replacement. Trustworthy, well-known by us, and they live right here in our neighborhood.
So I called her up -- very professionally, I might add, though I certainly would have been within my rights to rip her a new one -- and let her know that we had received her email and that we would no longer need her services.
She was shocked.
Stammering, she says something like "really? you found somebody?"
"Of course," I replied. As if I would be calling to cancel if I hadn't found somebody. What planet does this chick live on?
"Well, don't you want to counter offer?" Seriously.
I probably should have replied "I do not negotiate with terrorists."
But instead, I said: "No thank you. We're all set now and we don't need your services anymore."
She tried to keep talking, but I just hung up. Really, what more was there to say?
About an hour later, our friends/neighbors arrive to receive their babysitting instructions. (You know me, I had it all typed up and ready, piece of cake.)
As our friends are entering our house and removing their shoes, the fired sitter calls back.
I answer. "Hello."
She is apologizing up and down. She tells me her dad told her to "aim high." Too bad he didn't give her that advice a month ago when she first quoted us a rate.
I calmly explained that there is nothing more to discuss, and besides which, the new sitters are here to receive their instructions, so I gotta go.
She then -- GET THIS -- offers to babysit for the week at only $200 more than her original proposal.
Um, how 'bout NO.
I stifle a flabbergasted snicker and politely decline, reiterating that there is nothing more to discuss and I hang up as she continues to apologize profusely.
Yeah, I know she's sorry. Real sorry. Because I know she's already spent that money that now she's not getting.
I suppose we all learn some hard lessons in life. I am certain this is one she won't forget.
And rest assured, I've learned my lesson too --
I vow that I will never leave my children with someone I don't know EXTREMELY well, who I trust implicitly. And just to be safe, from now on, we'll put all the terms down in writing.
Now I wonder if we'll ever see that $20 bucks that Andy advanced her for gas?