I Broke Some Things. Don't Know What To Do

I just finished a sit in a really nice house, with lovely HOs and great animals. Unfortunately, I broke two items in the kitchen. One was a coffee machine. It needed descaling, which I did, following the instructions. But towards the end of the process, water started coming out the back of the machine. I switched it off, cleaned it out and left it.
The other thing was the oven door, which I took apart to clean but then seem to have damaged in re-assembling. The oven’s still useable, but the glass panel in the door is no longer completely secure.
I don’t know if the coffee machine was my fault, but the oven damage was. (The irony is that the oven didn’t need cleaning! I knew that, but because I’d used it once I felt I should.)
I didn’t inform the HOs about the damage while they were away, because there was nothing they could do and I didn’t want them to be upset during their travels. Unfortunately, I had to leave before they arrived back. I left them a note (as well as a card and flowers) explaining what had happened, apologising and offering to pay for any repairs.
I haven’t heard anything from them yet, but it’s only been a very short time. I was worried sick for the last days of the sit and I still am.
Should I have done more? Is there anything more I should do now? Should I message the HOs again, repeating my offer to pay for repairs? Or will that just get on their nerves? Aaarrrgggh!
Thoughts please!

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That sounds stressful. It looks like you’ve done everything that a good sitter would do. Whether you contact them again or not as a follow-up should be fine since you left it in their court. When we sit, I’m always scared to use anything as if something goes wrong, I will wonder if it was me or the unit itself. I think that’s a natural worry for sitter guests. Don’t beat yourself up about it, could have happened to any one of us.


The things that happen when cleaning :cry:

I hate to take such things apart. I have left dust and stuff in a vacuum cleaner rather than trying to open it. I rather risk a star than problems with reassembly or breaking things.

And I drink instant coffee instead of trying to operate expensive fancy machines with modern design.

Still, on my most recent sit, the HO found a broken Dyson. I don’t know what happened. It was certainly not me who had taken it apart in pieces. I did not get a review for that sit. I probably should be glad for that.

Thankyou! How annoying, about the Dyson! So very unfair.
The mad thing is, I normally drink instant coffee too. Until this sit, I’ve always avoided fancy coffee makers, for just the reasons you mention. But the HOs showed me how to use it and insisted I should. “You can’t break it!” they said. Ha HAR! They didn’t have any instant coffee in the house. But I left them a jar, so at least they could have SOME kind of caffeine in the morning after they got home.
I’ve never broken anything on a sit before. Like you, if there’s any chance at all I could do damage, I leave well alone. But this sit made me look like a human wrecking-ball…!


Off topic for a moment… if you really prefer “real” coffee over instant, I can recommend coffee bags.

@fledermaus I would contact them, repeating your willingness to pay.

Things get broken unfortunately. If they get annoyed or angry, so be it. You can’t fix their attitude or ways of reacting. You did what you could do in those circumstances, which is offering to pay…


That reminds me of this much more serious incident, a real catastrophe: New Sitter - Lapse in Judgment - Lost Cat - #14 by Ellen1

Also that case was because of the final cleaning. The exaggerated demands on cleanliness and the fear for missing stars is causing damage. Also when doing the final laundry etc.

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Did you receive a review yet? Things break. I always tell my sitters, just tell me. I had one sitter tell me she broke a wine glass in the bedroom, the BEDROOM??? :roll_eyes: I told her not to worry just make sure she got up all the glass as my kitty loves being under my bed. I had them back again. Then she tells me she dropped a coffee cup and it broke into pieces. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: I had just received as a gift from my tour guide a coffee cup, so sent her a photo and told her not to worry (but it was my favorite cup). I don’t get too upset with small things.

On the other hand, disassembling an oven door to clean it sounds a bit over the top. Yes, you must tell the Homeowner and it sounds like a pricey item to replace in order to seal the over glass.



Us too. It’s great when hosts provide their coffee makers or fancy Expresso machines but I’m too nervous to have the unit break on me so instant coffee is fine. Our little camping kettle can also be heated up with our solar battery bank that sits in my car



It sounds like you’ve been incredibly conscientious with the cleaning!

This reminds me of where I came unstuck by being a bit over zealous with cleaning at the end of a sit. The bathroom had these unusual greyish, slate-coloured tiles. I wanted to be thorough so I got down on my hands and knees and wiped every square centimetre of them with floor wipes. There was no mop and bucket by the way!

When the HO got home, I got a text asking what had gone wrong with the bathroom floor. :astonished:

I asked them to send me a photograph and was told there was a “chalky hue” to the tiles that wasn’t there before. I hadn’t noticed any difference as they looked exactly the same to me as they did before.

The tone of the HO became a bit hostile after that and it really soured what had been quite a lovely sit overall.

After that whole experience, I realised it’s possible to go a bit OTT with the cleaning and end up potentially making some things worse!


I’m the same. I do go crazy with the cleaning. I pride myself on always leaving places spotless ; HOs have said I’ve left their houses cleaner than when I arrived! But this has been an object lesson: I need to be more careful and maybe NOT clean something, rather than risk damaging it.


Update: I had a lovely message from the HOs yesterday evening, saying that the coffee machine was working normally again and the oven was “fine”. They even asked if I would be interested in sitting for them again! (Although possibly that’s just something nice HOs say to all their sitters…)
You can imagine the relief…! But boy, have I learned the lesson! From now on, if anything has to be taken apart for cleaning and isn’t actually so dirty the W.H.O is on the case, I’ll be leaving it well alone.


That’s fantastic news @fledermaus - you’ll be sighing with relief! I’m so pleased to hear the owners were good at keeping in touch with you and making sure you know you’re welcome again!


Very glad to hear the outcome. Thanks for sharing and then updating us. Happy for you, phew!

When I read about your experience, it made me even gladder that I’ve never gone to extremes in cleaning. Even without doing such, I get raves on cleanliness and tidiness. I just return places as I found them.

I mention that, because it sounds like some sitters go way above and beyond. Maybe they get enjoyment out of such, but it’s absolutely not necessary.

There are some hosts who are nutty entitled and expect a cleaning service, having their homes left better than they left them. I have zero interest in sitting for them, no matter how good the sit otherwise. And if I run into one and end up with a bad review, I’m OK with that, because I’m not into people pleasing, much less for jerks.


I am a coffee addict. I carry one of these


Love your no nonsense approach to things!

Reminds me of the words on a bandana worn by a dog I recently looked after in Glasgow!


I’d happily wear a bandana like that, but unfortunately I’m nowhere near as cute!


@Brightlight wow, what a cool coffee maker. I feel like I’ve been living in the dark ages. I have not seen these silicone coffee makers

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Not sure how long the sit was, and how much you dirtied the inside of the oven door yourself, but for me, a sitter doing a deep clean in my kitchen and disassembling my appliances would be quite an inconvenient.

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I never take things apart in someone’s home. Coffee machines are hugely complicated and very expensive. I recently had a Dyson to use that was flashing a message that the filter needed cleaning. It wasn’t at all like so I just left a note about it. I certainly wouldn’t take parts of an oven apart. Just give everything a good wipe down, leave everything tidy and go. I always leave my last day clear to pack everything and leave the house how I found it