Whoa: In a recent post on Reddit, one user shared quite the incredible tale. He says that he’s an 18-year-old babysitter in his small town.
He loves watching kids and has a ton of experience. In fact, his mom got him to start babysitting for others after he watched his own siblings. And the best part? He’s such a nice guy that he charges people only $2 or $3 an hour. Where I live, sitters are easily at least $15 an hour, if not more.
The families that he babysits for are also impressed. As he explains:
“I voluntarily do my services for cheap, (I’ll use the currency dollars to put it into perspective for most of you) approximately $2-3/hour, sometimes even for free. The parents/carers are always so surprised and amazed when they arrive back to see everything in perfect condition, and even more so when I tell them the price. They often offer more but I reject because I just enjoy working with kids.”
That’s kind of incredible, right? Well, what’s not so incredible is that one family recently took advantage of his generosity in a big, big way.
It started out nicely enough. The family in question asked if their favorite sitter wanted to come over for Thanksgiving dinner. According to the poster, the family felt that this was the least that they could do, since they have used his babysitting services so often and he’s clearly way undercharging.
But then … things got sort of weird. He explains: “I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but I didn’t want to be rude to their kind offer and decided that I would go. I drove there and we were having a good time eating and talking. My parents called to check on me so I excused myself to leave the room and go on a quick call with them and left.”
“They must [have] seen this as an opportunity of some sort, because the next thing you know they left quickly and left a note on the table saying ‘Sorry! We’ll be right back and pay you in full.’, and left me with a 4 year old boy and 3 year old girl.”
Whaaaaat? It sounds like the parents saw an opportunity to leave their kids with the sitter … but didn’t even ask first. He goes on to explain that while he doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, he lives with a bunch of roommates, and there was going to be a dinner at his home that he wanted to be part of with his friends. Thanks to these parents, he had to miss it.
The sitter decided that if the parents were going to go hard, he could return the favor. He says, “I obviously wasn’t happy so I tried calling them 3 times but they didn’t pick up. I [dialed] the non-emergency police number and when the officer showed up, I told him everything.”
When the parents finally showed back up, they had to tell the officer their side of the story. The story is kind of questionable if you ask me. “They told him they had to attend an emergency community meeting. They were lucky not to get fined, but the officer gave them a strong reprimanding and left.”
Because truly, what kind of “emergency” community meeting happens on Thanksgiving? The parents even had the audacity to be mad at the sitter for calling the police: “They were confused and ticked off at me. I said ‘you should have let me know and you practically left your kids with me without my consent. That’s illegal.'”
The sitter decided to stand up for himself: “I then told them ‘don’t expect me to babysit your kids here on out’. They’ve tried to call me numerous times that they need me and they [apologize], but I wasn’t having any of it. I told my parents and they thought I was being a little too harsh.”
Commenters were quick to point out two truths: That was a terrible thing for the parents to do (for the sitter and for their kids), and that the sitter should be charging way, way more. One commenter said, “In the interest of safety, it’s never a good idea to leave kids with people who haven’t agreed to take care of them. (Not that you would have done anything to put the kids in harm’s way, of course, but like…THEY didn’t know that.)”
The same person continued: “Also, please start charging more for your services! I babysit on occasion too, and I charge around $10-12/hour (the going rate in my area) even though I really enjoy the work. It sends the message that my time has value, and makes the parents less likely to try and pull [expletive] like this.”
Another added that they even charge by the child: “Agreed! When I was 14-16, I would charge $10 an hour PER kid. That’s more than I made at my actual jobs during high school, haha. OP, definitely charge more – and if people ask why you’ve raised the rates, you can even say say something like, ‘Someone took advantage of the old ones, so I have to make sure I’m ok.'”
The story itself is still so wild. The commenter hasn’t returned to post any more follow-ups, but it’d definitely be an eye-opening experience for the family to read everything people on Reddit have to say about their behavior. Be nice to your babysitters! You never know where your story might end up.