Hello everyone. I have been sitting with my 9 year old son full time and am having great experiences overall. I am also learning so much. Despite over nine 5 star reviews, I continue to receive the occasional rejection for undisclosed reasons that I know have nothing to do with the criteria provided in listings. Today I was rejected for a sit, less than two mins after applying, an application that I also know was unread. In another example I was denied for a sit that was listed under “family sits.” The host sent a message saying their home was not child proof and that “although my son seemed precious” they were “uncomfortable” with children in their home. Easily understandable if not the fact that it was listed as a family sit. I get that home owners have choice over who comes into their home. Also I don’t really want to be in someone home who is “uncomfortable” with us. Still it stings when you are aware you are being excluded with prejudice. More than anything, I wish there was a way for such host to identify themselves to save me the indignity of applying. Based on the time it takes to write up an application letter alone, I think host should be required to sent a short message with a declined app. I have gotten short message reading, “Sorry, not a good fit” and I find these are great in just acknowledging personhood.
Wanted to let you know that I’m sorry you’ve had such experiences.
I’ve had quick rejections with no explanations sometimes, too. I mention that in case it helps for you to know that. That’s not meant to make light of what you’re feeling.
Hi @PaperStan I completely understand where you’re coming from. We have an almost two year old and we apply all the time “family friendly” sit and most often get zero response back or that they don’t think their home is baby/toddler friendly or that they have no idea how their pets would react to such young children because they’ve never been exposed to any…
All valid points. Also, I’m now wondering if your post is suggesting that these responses lead you to feel there is some other form of bias going on other than that of your child? If that is the case then I am so sorry you’ve had these experiences.
Before becoming parents ourselves we never considered families with children as sitters for a variety of reasons. In the past had given the response that we didn’t feel comfortable with children in our home nor felt it was safe for them at the time. Nonetheless, it’s the worst when you never hear anything back. I have also made the suggestion to our product team in the past that the “family friendly” filter needs to have more specifics with age rages attached to it for both homeowners and for sitters with children. That way before either party applies or enters into a conversation there’s a lot more clarity on what each members family situation and pets comfort level with children from the get go.
Keep going - what you’re doing for your son is invaluable and just know there are other homeowners like myself that are now happy to have children in our home.
Hello @PaperStan , Welcome to the forum. This comes with the territory. It is much better if you can manage to be thick-skinned. A polite response is very nice but it doesn’t always happen. Some owners are indifferent, some, especially if they’re new, may not even realize how their reply or lack of one appears to a sitter applicant and some do not know that unless they send a message to each applicant prior to confirming their chosen applicant, those not chosen receive only a Sorry you weren’t successful this time email with no other message. You are not alone. This topic has been discussed here. Take a look at these earlier discussions.
Most applications get rejected, I think. I saw an HO writing on this forum that they had gotten 70 applications and it sounded as if they still were not satisfied.
I’m sure there is some level of implicit bias going on, but I wanted to add that there has been an uptick in HOs immediately rejecting applicants in order to get more applicants since they only get to see five at a time. Without a message explaining as such it comes across as very rude, and would personally make me uninterested in the sit.
I’ll also say that ‘family friendly’ is a range, isn’t it? If you were traveling with two teenagers, that would still be a family, but with less of a need to ‘baby proof’ a house than for a two year old. So, yeah, it’s annoying, but I wouldn’t take it personally.
We’re in the sweet spot as a late 30s couple, but still we will apply for sits and get rejected or get messages that they are looking for a single female, or looking for a retired couple, or whatever else. Everyone has an idea of the “perfect sitter”…until they haven’t found someone and they are desperate!
Hang in there!
Why do you think that? It’s not true
I don’t have the internal THS statistics, but people are complaining forever about the limited number of applications.
So I guess that the average number of applications per listing is higher than 2. That means that most applications are not successful.
Yes, rejections happen to everyone. There are people here on the forum claiming that they get every sit they apply for, but I find that honestly hard to believe. People’s expectations and energies are different and not everyone will suit everyone, despite good reviews etc.
I am a single female sitter and have 23 reviews, but still get rejected or ignored by some people. It’s all part of the process.
Hello, same is happening with us as I think because we are asians , so sad to see decline notification without any interaction.
hmmm, perhaps I get rejected because I’m German?
Don’t really think so though
I am a single sitter, and I have lots of experience and 5 star reviews from every single sit. However, i still get rejected a lot. I don’t worry about why I’m rejected and I assume it’s in both of our interests. People are just looking for the ‘right fit’. It’s best not to take it personal. I generally only get contacted by 70% of the sits I apply to. I think it’s just part of the package.
It sounds like the OP is getting sits, just the occasional rejections, and this latest one stung because they applied to one that was listed as family friendly, and the response was the opposite. That is very frustrating, but if OP is still able to secure sits most of the time, just let it go.
Anecdote: I started couchsurfing in my early 40s. One of the hosts I applied to worked in tourism and put in his profile “if I am available, I always agree to host”. I took the time to craft a personal request, and got an immediate no with a terse “I don’t host people that old”. Which, ok, that stung (aka I was crushed), but also why say everyone if you don’t mean everyone? In retrospect, I think he just didn’t expect anyone to be couchsurfing at my age. Maybe this person says “family” but never expected that to mean kids under 10 (or 12, or 15, or whatever).
I would imagine that sitting with kids would be a smaller niche, but I also bet there are some PPs who would prefer families with kids! The host I finally secured on that first CS responded to my request by respectfully asking if I was over 35, because he found people younger than that to be very frustrated with his limited english.
Same here! Yet somehow many of these young people did not see age difference as a problem when applying for a couch
And when accepted as a surfer, I could be told things like “Our parents could never imagine doing a thing like this!” That was a compliment, I think.
At least on THS, it is not a disadvantage to be of retirement age.
People get picked or not for a wide variety of reasons. That’s true across society, not just sitting. I’d say as someone who’s visibly from another background than many folks that it can come across as privileged and unknowing if the answer to bias — actual or perceived — is to grow thicker skin, etc. Some bias is actually illegal and/or immoral, but it can easily go unchallenged or unnoticed by those not affected.
When I read the OP, I got the sense that it wasn’t just about getting chosen or not for sits for typical reasons. That’s because discrimination can come in various forms. That includes ethnicity, gender, age (and ageism can happen against young and old). And sometimes, it comes from people not recognizing their privilege.
Maybe you are too sensitive to be participating in a competitive market like housesitting, whereby possibly 4 applicants out of 5 have to be rejected? Why beat yourself up like this? It’s not a job interview. You apply to be allowed into someone’s home, albeit to help them, so if they don’t want you for any reason at all then you never have to engage with them ever again. Hopefully the HO wasn’t rude or offensive, they were rejecting you as you weren’t the right fit, it happens to all of us.
Being sensitive is often good for being around animals. I am sensitive too and by the way it’s not something you can just switch off.
Apart from that I agree with the latest post. Rejection will always be part of this, no matter what your gender, ethnicity, family status might be. I was once rejected for a sit because they wanted a family rather than a single sitter.
Thanks for the welcome. At almost 40 years old now, I have noticed that being “thick skinned” does not irradiate all the various forms of discrimination that exist in the word. While I deal with this often (and should not have to), I’m wondering if this sincerely wonderfully site can do just a little more to be inclusive and a safe space for it’s diverse member base. Having “family sits” as search criteria is awesome. I have seen individual host post a pic with a rainbow flag or BLM banner. This might be a trivial thing to some. To others apart of these communities, it means this is an inclusive sit. Maybe badges with these types of indicators could be added (ie. accessible). Like other criteria, host don’t have to choose if the badge does not align. Perhaps, host could be provided a list of say 6 auto responses when denying an application, having to choose one before being allowed to do so. I’m hoping for a little action that promotes positive change. I don’t need to be tougher. I’m quite resilient already.
I’m very sorry that you are being excluded. Like us, I hope that you are finding that the host that do choose you are wonderful, welcoming, and open minded people.
So true, there is range to what hosts want for sure. I have once been the desperation pick (it also really worked for me based on proximity to another of my scheduled sit). The host were “pleasantly surprised” and told me they liked us more than the previous 5 sitters they had. Their surprise, surprised me. What were they expecting?