List of Responsibilties ... Much longer than Sit description

Hello Sitters, I am learning that there are some really questions that I need to ask during my interviews. One important one that has been a disappointment on two of my six sits.
Responsibilities?? I will always ask owners from now on: Is the list and description of responsibilities complete on the posting for your sit?
At one of my sits, the owners failed to tell me the water coming out of the faucets was doubtful for drinking… Not exactly okay in my mind. I shopped and purchased several gallons of water and did not drink from the sink or the filter pitchers on the counter. I just did not trust the dates the filters may have been changed.
My second surprise was for an easy pet sit with only one pet, which turned out to be a much larger property with lots of outdoor jobs and gardening. None of these were complicated, just a long list of responsibilities than were not listed on the Sit Responsibilities page list.
Since we are sitting for folks without being paid, I feel I was taken for granted in both of these cases. Thanks for reading and DO ask owners if the Listed Responsibilities are complete.
LuvPets
Edited by moderator due to guidelines

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Hi @LuvPets. If they don’t mention in their THS listing other responsibilities like gardening then they may be breaching the T&C’s of ths. HO’s need to be upfront as to what other tasks they expect you to take on other than pet sitting as it changes the sit for me.

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I agree with being open and honest about responsibilities. Also I feel that since the homeowner is getting a pet sitter for no charge that there should be limits on other responsibilities. We personally do not apply to sits that expect excessive work while we are sitting. For instance, mowing lawns, mucking stalls, and tending to an overabundance of animals, just short of a zoo. We have seen sits that ask for tilling gardens, painting fences etc…after all we are not the hired help, and I do feel that is taking way too much advantage of sitters. We take excellent care of the home and the pet, often leaving the house in even better condition and we go above and beyond with other little nuances. So far we have had excellent experiences.

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My perspective is this: I was engaged to do one task, and that is care for the house and the alive things in the house (plants and animals).

If it goes in or comes out of a pet, that is my responsibility while I am there. Anything I get dirty, I will clean. I’ll make sure the house gets back to the condition it was in when I arrived. Doing anything more than that is at my discretion.

I was not engaged to do yard work, but if a sprinkler head in the yard starts spewing out water, I will deal with it. The homeowner ought to hire someone to mow the lawn, trim the bushes, and pick weeds from the garden, etc.

I was not engaged for major maintenance or housekeeping chores, but if the fridge stops working, I’ll do my best to deal with it. On the other hand, if a fridge is filthy or full of rotting food, that is not my problem. I’ll clean just enough space to keep my food safe, and it will get noted in my review.

Receiving packages, no problem. I’ll even take a picture of the box and send it to you.
Opening mail/packages, maybe? (One time I was asked to take a photo of a new insurance card.) Returning packages or picking things up… No. I’m not a personal assistant.

This kind of stuff is easy to detail. Perhaps not in your introductory note, but early on, and certainly before the agreement has been finalized. It feels uncomfortable at first, but you’ll feel way more uncomfortable if you’re there and you’re suddenly barraged with all these extra tasks that you feel are outside of scope.

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I agree with @LuvPets and will add that I think some home owners post their listing in the context of thinking only about their pets and then realize other things that need regular maintenance as the process ensues.

Whether that is right or not… I usually ask a homeowner on the initial call if there’s anything else they expect to be done, and/or inform them of what I will do in regards to cleaning up after myself etc. If there are things they want done that I’m not a yes to, I tell them.

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In your initial interview add the question, Are there any other responsibilities not mentioned in your listing?

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Thank you mars, Just my first season playing this game with surprises along the way.
I have a standard set of questions I have compiled for the last 5 sits.
Definitely appreciate the feedback from another Sitter!

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Well said! Thank you for Sitter feedback. I love to hear that I am on track with the usual house and pet sitting expectations… it’s those unspoken additions on the day I arrive… oops.
My bad for not being assertive on what I do and what I don’t do.

Thank you for my Sister Sitter’s feedback. I really appreciate the detail here. I do these too as a responsible person and sitter. I could not have said it better. And I am guilty of trying to rid a refrigerator of odors, so I could put my food on a shelf. This reminds me I think I will ask for a shelf in the refrigerator for my food. Asking might help them be aware of the sharing aspect of housesitter respect. All my Best to you.

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Well and respectfully said. Thank you Lala!

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And I will take responsibility for Clarifying the Healthy Boundaries of a sitter from now on.
The experience should be a quality one for me with the pets and indoor plants.
Thank you !!

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Just curious: What are your other questions?

I’m finding “Sitters Need a Car” to be questionable. As public transport increases and improves, and the cost of renting cars is presently very high, I find it worthwhile to ask whether a car really is necessary or merely a convenience. If the nearest food shop is a 30-minute drive away, then yes, I need a car. If it’s a mile down the road, well, two miles’ walk every day is only good exercise, right? You can easily walk that, shop, and call an Uber or Lyft to transport you and your purchases if you buy more than you can carry.

What other questions should we be asking of our prospective HOs? "Curious minds want to know . . . "

D

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There is a looooong thread of Questions from Sitters to Owners you can browse for ideas!

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Thank you. Half brain dead today. Will definitely follow up. :grinning:

I saw one recently for a sit in Seattle that I know to be walkable, and they’d ticked the box about needing a car.

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I’ve seen a sit that says it within a short walk of the centre of a city not far from me in the UK, and they have also selected “Sitter needs a car”! I think a lot of homeowners select this if they think sitters would like to explore the surrounding area. Perhaps “Car essential” and “Car recommended for sightseeing” might be clearer?

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Great way to put it. I live in a country town. But all essentials are within walking distance. But if you want to do more, then you need a car as there in no public transportation. I will definitely re write that part of my information.
Thank you

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I agree with asking the question during the interview if there are any other responsibilities. This is very important. I then follow up IN WRITING (using the THS communication) with what is agreed upon - making sure to state anything different from the listing. I wait for them to confirm. THEN I agree to the sit.

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I also wish there was a section to describe SITTERS specific sleeping accommodation. Two singles, Queen or King. Some SITS are only suited for single, whilst couples need suitable sleeping arrangements.

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Some of your SISTER SITTERS are BROS!