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Old 06-05-2007, 05:32 PM   #1
auburnchick
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OT - A Question of Etiquette
Got a question...

My daughter babysits for a friend of mine, who works part-time in the same office as me. Yesterday, my friend told my dd that if she cleaned the kitchen, she would pay her an extra $5. When my friend paid dd for her hours today, she left off the $5. Dd is not happy. I'm sure it was an oversight.

I know how we can handle this in the future (keep a list posted on HER fridge with hours worked and extra "jobs").

The question is what, if anything, can we do this go-round. Should we forget it and look at it as a lesson learned?

My dd is 15, and she's not too keen on asking my friend about it. I'm leaning towards staying out of it, letting my dd handle it.

Do you have any suggestions that I could pass along to my dd??

Thanks in advance!!!
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Old 06-05-2007, 05:41 PM   #2
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I think if I was your daughter I would say something like, "When I tidy the kitchen what sort of things do you want me to do when I did it last time I wasn't sure. Maybe you friend would say something then.

I think it should be resolved or your daughter isn't being rewarded for the things she's doing, also if other people don't stick with what they say why should she?

Hope you sort it out.
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Old 06-05-2007, 05:41 PM   #3
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It's never easy to have a conversation about money. But I think that it is certainly worth it for your daughter to bring it up to her employer. She should learn how to stick up for herself in a diplomatic manner. Tell her to not make a big deal out of it or be accusing: say "I took a second look at my paycheck and I realized that we both overlooked the extra $5 for cleaning your kitchen" as opposed to "You stiffed me!"

If this was an oversight, than your daughter's employer will certainly pay your daughter what is owed to her. But the employer will never know that there is a problem unless your daughter brings it up.

Good luck!
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Old 06-05-2007, 06:01 PM   #4
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I agree with the above- money is a tricky subject, but your dd does need to learn how to talk about it. Maybe there was a different understanding of what "clean the kitchen" means? (i.e. I would mean just wipe down the counters and load the dishwasher, but my DH would mean get out the mop and bucket and empty the fridge)

I think your instinct is right to stay out of it- money between friends can be twitchy.

MissMoosey had a good suggestion for an opening line- or something like: "OK so we agreed that if I do X, Y and Z it is worth $5 extra? Is there something special you wanted me to do that I didn't do last week? "

good luck, MKZ
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Old 06-05-2007, 06:08 PM   #5
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Actually, my friend was pretty specific. She told her that if she emptied the dishwasher and then reloaded it with the dirty dishes and then cleaned the pots and pans that didn't fit in, then she would pay her $5, as well as give her own daughter a little $$ for helping (telling my dd where the dishes went).

I like Ms. Moosey's conversational line. I'll definitely pass that along to dd.

I suggested to my daughter to make a spreadsheet to put on my friend's fridge. She would write her hours down every day she is there. We could leave blank lines for the "extras" where my dd could write in things like "dishes." I told my dd to keep a copy of her hours as well.

I had already suggested to my friend that they put something on the fridge to keep up with it. We got paid last week, and she was trying to remember how many hours my dd worked. This was when I mentioned the idea to her.

It's really weird being in the middle...

Thanks for the suggestions!!!
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Old 06-05-2007, 06:43 PM   #6
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She should definitely say something. They had a contract and it wasn't honored. She should politely inquire about the $5 shortage and make sure she communicates that she believes it to have been an honest mistake.
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:03 PM   #7
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I definately think your daughter should approach her like the others have said. And I'm not saying your friend is like this at all, but I've found that sometimes people purposely 'forget' things like this, just to see how much they can get away with and whether someone is a pushover or not.
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by five_six View Post
I definately think your daughter should approach her like the others have said. And I'm not saying your friend is like this at all, but I've found that sometimes people purposely 'forget' things like this, just to see how much they can get away with and whether someone is a pushover or not.
Oh, my friend is a total sweetheart. She would never do this on purpose. I explained to my daughter that people are forgetful...especially moms. I guess when you're 15, things like this are awkward. But, like I told my daughter during dinner, she needs to learn to speak up for herself now or else she'll have problems doing so when she's older.
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by auburnchick View Post
I told my daughter during dinner, she needs to learn to speak up for herself now or else she'll have problems doing so when she's older.
I agree. I think it's something DD shoud take care of. not because you and the mom are friends, but because your DD needs to learn to talk to her employer about any issues she may have.

She may not like it now, but she'll appreciate it later.
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:49 PM   #10
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I can identify with your daughter. At 15 I would never had said anything, and at 31, I still let things slide half the time. But I'm learning. I'm sure that if you do nothing, your daughter will learn on her own.

But I'll also tell you, one time in college I bought a dress that fell apart after three or four washings. (I didn't' know about superior quality handmade clothing back then. ) I hadn't kept the receipt, and there was no way I was going to take it back in. I was rooming with my grandmother that year, and when she found out, she encouraged me to take it back. I wasn't confident in that, since I didn't have the receipt, and so she offered to do it for me. No big deal, no blaming anything on the store, no making me feel dumb; she just did it matter-of-factly. She came back that night with about 75% of what I had paid for it. She said the store stood behind their product, but the dress was on sale, so without a receipt, they had to give me the sale price. That was a great lesson for me...I got to see how a mature adult handled the problem, and my grandma let me know that I deserved the quality I had paid for. Not because I was so special, but because a consumer should get what they pay for and hold retailers accountable for what they sell.

This is one of those lucky parenting situations that is low-stakes AND will teach a lesson either way you handle it--letting your daughter figure it out like an adult or dealing with it yourself to model to her how an adult would handle it. Good luck!

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