@artgirl, Ok, I’m a newbie but a HO not a sitter. Poor you….actually we’ve just had friends house sit for us for the first time. They offered and we accepted. We’re just so damned grateful for lovely people to look after not just our cats but our home how on earth could someone be horrid? Take a deep breath, most people are nice. Ensure you have photographic evidence just in case something bites you on the bum down the line and move on. They’re not worth it. x
We are fairly new to housesitters, but not to humanity. There are varied people in the world and unfortunately we run into both the best and the worst and most situation. We had an incredibly positive for sit but I know that all people can’t be as wonderful as the people we just sat for.
Don’t let this discourage you, keep seeking new and positive experiences to replace this negative one in your head.
Was there anything in the original post that gave you any pause? It’s scary to think that there are some awful sits like that out there but just like when you read other forums, some people are just knuckleheads. But it’s the great ones that keep us going. Don’t let this one knock you down or keep you from trying again.
Yes Susana, awesome. I wish I had the guts to do that sometimes!
I have just cancelled an application for a sit where the owners kept postponing a video call and in the end didn’t show up for one, without notice. It shows me a lot about their attitude I think and I don’t want to sit for such people
This sounds a dreadful time you’ve had but I know you will have left by now? We have done many sits but only had one we needed to complain about. We did take photos and did send them to TH and have talks to TH staff.
we also shared our feelings with close friends without using names etc and just off loading and getting empathy from others really helped us. It sounds like the HO was not a nice person and rather enjoyed being hurtful. Let yourself think it through and realise that the one at fault is not you. Share withTH staff too.
Dont let this stop you enjoy being a sitter, most people are lovely and some are very kind indeed.
Do give a review but PLEASE be as honest as you can. Our bad experience had been well reviewed and 5* by previous sitters. This made us feel let down by sitters who had not been honest?
Wait and see it they review you first of course, we did.
Even if they did give you a poor review you can answer comments in yours. Be careful not to slander them but try to warn future sitters of the situation.
Also it sounds like you were alone on the sit? This would make a difficult situation harder to cope with.
Time is a great healer and as you move away from this sit it will fade. Do keep sitting and be careful choosing your next one.
@artgirl I’m so sorry you had to endure this experience. We’ve been there too! Sending you a big hug! Reading your OP, and all the comments that follow, triggered unwelcome flashbacks of a truly awful sit experience we had a couple of years back. Its a long story- so I’ll skip on details- but it was a long sit (10 weeks) which we’d flown half way around the world for. Everything went wrong almost from the minute we arrived. Looking back its clear we missed many important signs along the way…
Anyway within days we started making photographic and written records of everything so when communication broke down completely, and we had to get THS involved, we had a record of events to present to them. Initially we did not feel supported -and we had to fight to be heard- but eventually we reached a satisfactory resolution. It was all super stressful and every day was a challenge, mixed in with a few nice experiences we created for ourselves. The main reason we didn’t just walk away was our feeling of responsibility to the lovely (and innocent) pets- 2 cats & 2 dogs. We also wanted to experience that place at that time of the year so pushed it through as long as possible to somehow make the experience (and costs!) worthwhile! So many things happened (makes me shudder!) But no details here as I was moderated for doing that at the time!!
The end result was we agreed, through THS mediation, on a leaving date. We also agreed no reviews either way- sadly- as we’d have loved to share our true experience for the benefit of future sitters- but the hosts would have destroyed our reputation in retaliation…
We gave a leaving deadline with plenty of notice & even offered to do a handover to other sitters. But the host himself returned at midnight on the very last day of the (3 week!) deadline- i.e they stretched us to the limit! We insisted he only arrive at the house after we’d left so we would not have to clap eyes on him- we were so angry and upset!
6 very long weeks out of 10…
It pains me that because we were not able to risk giving feedback at that time-and they remain active- that several more sitters have been there & done long sits- & there’s been no feedback and no reviews either way. I’m sure they all had a bad experience too and we were not able to warn them.
However I’ve also learned recently that since reviews remain open, and are date ordered, we could still give feeback now- if we wish. And if they were to retaliate their review would be buried behind the 40-50 sits that we’ve done since then and no one would ever see it. We are considering that option…
-When considering a sit- Analyse carefully the feedback and reviews, or the lack thereof. If there are missing reviews, or missing stars on reviews hosts have given, ask the potential host about them. Or if a sitter has given less than 5 thumbs up- read carefully between the lines of what they wrote…sometimes the only way for sitters to tell the truth is by omission or by not leaving any feedback at all.
-Analyse the pictures and ask for any that are missing. Ask all questions that come to mind, however minor they might seem!
-If anything at all during the message or video contact does not feel right withdraw immediately. Trust your gut!!
-Don’t take a sit unless ALL your important boxes are ticked! However fabulous the sit might seem…Any compromises made should just be minor ones that you can live with. There will ALWAYS be another great sit if this one is not a perfect fit.
This is all especially important for long sits- because- don’t forget -this is your precious LIFE TIME!!
We all want to feel valued and appreciated. Especially when doing an unpaid service!
We are much more discerning now but sometimes you do just have to learn the hard way! Its all a learning curve! Onwards & upwards!
I’m not sure about assuming that not leaving a review means that the sit was bad. We had a sit where the homeowner asked us not to leave a review for privacy reasons. We wouldn’t want future sitters to assume that that meant that the sit was bad.
@Twitcher Actually THS did not encourage this. It was us who requested the hosts not to review us because they would have given a horrible unfair review and we did not want our reputation ruined. In return we promised to not give feedback either- so they would have no reason to retaliate. THS supported that decision because of the circumstances and acted as intermediary to get their agreement. Not ideal but with the current review system it was the safest course of action for us.
You have had many good replies but my focus is a little different, without detracting from the good advice. A saying that helps me is that nobody can ever make anyone feel anything. Each of us has control of our feelings. I find it helpful, even though when you say that “the HO made me feel…” I am sure we could all relate. We can’t undo moments like that and it is certain there will be others. What we can control is our response, including our emotions. You sound like a great sitter and I hope you can look forward to many rewarding experiences.
It’s a bit worrying as a newbie that sitters aren’t posting a true reflection of their sit. I use these reviews as a guide. If they aren’t a true reflection, it renders them pointless. Surely sitters shouldn’t be penalised for being honest?