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#1 *-*

Posted 24 February 2013 - 04:35 PM

I need a little help original.gif

I received an email from my employer today (small business, less than 20 staff) - Lovely lady, in her mid 60's - DH also works for this company.  My employers grand daughter is our childrens baby sitter.  We regularly have her on a Monday after school, to sit the children.  This is not a love job, it's a paid job.

Anyway, one of the paragraphs in the email stated:

"Would you be able to work later on Tuesday?? Do you want to see if H is free?"

Now, rightly or wrongly, this has gotten my back up a little.  

The baby sitting is an agreement between H and us - not our employer, despite her being the grandmother.

Secondly, by her "offering" H's services, she is assuming that I can work should my kids be taken care of, and that I can afford to pay her.

The simple fact is, I cannot afford to pay the sitter for those extra hours (my hours will be juggled, so  I wont be working/paid for extra hours) - but I need a tactful way to advise her of this, and also advise her that the care arrangements of my children, and My availability to work is my responsibility, not hers.

Can anyone offer any suggestions?


#2 PatG

Posted 24 February 2013 - 04:43 PM

Hmm, I'm not sure.  

Saying you can't work the alternate hours is pretty straightforward (and you don't have to give a reason, if she presses I guess you could say prior family commitments).

Can you tell her something about H being an independent young lady who wouldn't like to think that her family had any influence on her work, therefore please don't discuss your childcare arrangements with her?

#3 FeralHez

Posted 24 February 2013 - 04:52 PM

What Madam Protart said.

#4 Mianta

Posted 24 February 2013 - 05:01 PM

Is there more to this situation? Is she generally a bit overbearing as an employer?

Tbh, I think you are over thinking it a bit. She sounds like she is trying to make it a win win situation. She sees that her grand daughter can babysit for you, you get to work and make money, she gets the shift covered.

Just decline politely. No need to over analyse the situation.



#5 Escapin

Posted 24 February 2013 - 05:02 PM

Unless you can use it as an opportunity to ask for a pay rise (so that it would be worth it to work Tues arvo) then I think M.Protart's response is the way to go.

#6 *-*

Posted 24 February 2013 - 05:28 PM

QUOTE (Mianta @ 24/02/2013, 06:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is there more to this situation? Is she generally a bit overbearing as an employer?


There is more - there always is, isn't there?  

It would take me a long time to type it all out but to best sum it up, I think I need to put my foot down a little now.  I get paid for 20 hours a week, but of late, I am working more and more hours... these get written in a book - for me to use in lieu.  This doesn't bother me, it works well, I prefer to know my incommings and outgoings each week.  Only, I'm not getting the opportunity to use the "in lieu" hours... there is always something happening.

Generally speaking, her heart is in the right spot, but she has a bit of a habit of rail roading, and of late, she has been taking a lot of time out for herself - leaving me to hold the fort (as I am the only one left in the office some times, with no key to lock the door and divert the phone).  And quite frankly, I am starting to feel a little used.  

So, I need to be polite, but firm in my answer.  



#7 Madnesscraves

Posted 24 February 2013 - 05:35 PM

Dear X,

Due to prior commitments on this day, I am unable to work. Thanks for the offer. Ill see you on X day.

Regards, YZ.

She really does not need to know what these commitments are. As an employer, it's none of her businesses.


Edited by Madnesscraves, 24 February 2013 - 05:39 PM.


#8 Agnodice the Feral

Posted 24 February 2013 - 05:41 PM

Even with the extra info, I'm not seeing the huge issue.

I think it was a throwaway line, not some deeply manipulative suggestion that you can't manage your family or should hire her granddaughter for longer hours.

#9 Mrs Mc

Posted 24 February 2013 - 05:47 PM

It probably was a genuine offer, but I can see where you are coming from.   Can you use this opportunity to ask if it's possible to get paid some of you TIL hours. We do this for my staff.  
I would say, I can work this Tuesday but have been meaning to discus the amount of TIL I have built up as seeing as we are so busy would it be possible if I "cashed " some in, this would certainly help me cover the cost of H babysitting

Sincer her email wasn't very formal I work respond on the same level and not make it a formal response.

#10 LambChop

Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:24 PM

I would handle it quite differently than others have said, I would say

"Can you please confirm that you are offering me a permanent increase of hours on top of my 20 hours a week to stay longer on Tuesdays ?  This allows me to determine whether I can afford the extra care I would need for the children in order to be available".



#11 BornToLove

Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:40 PM

I would send a brief message back declining to work Tuesday by email tonight (PPs wording was perfect).

The next time you are in I would have a further conversation about your work hours and how best to handle the changes in workflow so that there is sufficient coverage when she needs to take time away from the business.

#12 Feralishous

Posted 25 February 2013 - 01:31 AM

QUOTE (Madame Protart @ 24/02/2013, 02:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If it's a once off, I would leave off any reference to H being available.  Sounds like she was just being nice, although inappropriate.  As for the rest, I would say I had a prior arrangement.

This. and if she pressed about the 'engagement' Id reply "we take 'boardgame tuesdays' very seriously in our family!"

#13 madmother

Posted 25 February 2013 - 04:43 AM

I like Lambchop's response, but only if you want the extra permanently (never ask for what you could well be granted if you don't want it), otherwise Madnesscraves is right. No need to elaborate, your private business is just that, private.

I would also start submitting the in lieu leave. Just little by little. Use it for appointments or whatever, again, you do not need to explain as you are entitled to it, but it may mean better relations if you offered a reason.

Another thought: let it accumulate and take it like annual leave like in one block?

Edited by madmother, 25 February 2013 - 04:43 AM.


#14 *-*

Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:00 PM

Well.. Here I am, at work.

Thanks for the advice.  It was more wording I needed help with.

As luck would have it - Babysitter was sick yesterday, so have worked 9-3 Yesterday and today (School hours, and kids are in School) - And just told her I had other commitments.  

Once at work today, I mentioned that while I was thankful for the offer, it would be a best for me to organise care for my children, and that an answer of "no" didn't always mean it was a child care issue (her look was perplexed with this one LOL).





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