Things have changed

How can I pm you? I don’t have contact info other than the forum,

Shirley

@ShirleyE - I’ll message you now - I’ve not done it before so I’m hoping it works - check your forum inbox :slight_smile:

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No you’re not alone, these things have happened to me too. Also,I applied for 2 sits over 6 weeks ago. Both have been read but neither sitter had replied to me and their sits are still being advertised. Bizarre!

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This also happened to us last week. We were invited to a sit and I politely declined with a nice note saying I will be visiting my son who just relocated nearby and never got a response except for a message from THS that my application was denied for a sit I didn’t apply on.

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Although we sitters have all probably had unread applications in the past I think, when using Facebook forums such as this, it is easy to forget that on these groups we only moan about the bad and rarely mention the good. It’s a way to vent our frustration with like-minded people

The truth is that the vast majority of Homeowners and sitters are genuine, polite, and immensely considerate of each other :heart:

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Hi @Colin you make a very good point, thank you!

This Forum was created for our members to have a place built around our community, to communicate, connect and share away from the world of Social Media and we hope our members find this platform a more personal, meaningful and kinder place to be.

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Colin does indeed make a very good point. However, the site does not give HO’s or sitters an opportunity for positive comments unless the sit takes place.
I recently verbally accepted a cross-border sit but suggested to the HO that as President Macron was due to make an announcement re Covid the following day, it maybe worth waiting before confirming. Further discussion between us - we decided that, as they had a sitter for an earlier sit who was prepared to do the later one and would not be leaving the country, it made sense that I declined the sit and the HO offered it to the other sitter.
Of course, I got the automated response from THS that my application had been declined. NOT TRUE! Why not have a means of reviewing so that the HO could let others know of my understanding and flexibility? She said she felt awful but I know that she made the right decision.

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@Foldor13 Thank you for your viewpoint.

I was talking more about comments on the forum rather than reviews on the website.

Unfortunately, It is human nature that we write to complain and not to praise. I am as guilty of this as everyone else - For example, I recently had a bad sitting experience and immediately thought to sit and write a post about it, to get it off my chest and for the opinion and advice of others. Before and also since that I have also had great sitting experiences but it never occurred to me to sit and write a post on how great a time I was having.

We have to be aware that there is a danger that anyone reading these posts could mistakenly get the impression that negativity is the norm rather than a rare occurrence.

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These comments made me think about a piece I read the other day about our behaviour in the current climate. I don’t subscribe to many email newsletters but find a lot of value in this one, maybe you will find it interesting as well.

Have you noticed everyone’s on their worst behaviour?

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We have been sitters for over three years now and to be honest nothing has changed. There is still an element of ungracious pet owners and sitters who don’t acknowledge applicants or write a personal reply. I always give them the benefit of the doubt and accept they are busy busy people who have no time for mannerly human interaction.
This has been happening since we became members but it doesn’t put me up nor down. Yes, it would be nice for everyone to be mannerly and interact nicely but it doesn’t happen so let’s all just get over it, accept it and move on. As other people have commented they go on my “naughty list” and their pets don’t get the pleasure of my company or expertise. It probably won’t bother them as there are a lot of us and not many of them but it makes me feel far better.
I think we just need to accept that THS is a reflection of life and all sorts register.

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@Colin - agreed and I’d mostly always had that experience of super polite HOs previously :sunflower:.

However, sadly having just rejoined a few days ago, so far 5 out of 7 applications have been unopened. 1 was opened and not acknowledged. One HO got back to me straightaway this morning though which was lovely.

I have just highlighted my recent experience thus far and as I’ve been away for so long, I wondered if it was the norm now. I don’t consider saying that something is sad is “moaning” :slightly_smiling_face: . The forum as far as I can see is a friendly place where we can all (HS & HO) share our experiences without judgement.

Also as @Foldor13 wisely pointed out, highlighting issues creates awareness because, let’s face it, the majority of people are not rude on purpose. Also pointed out by another member, it’s a two-way street so not an issue caused by one party.

Greater understanding and greater awareness creates a more convivial community.

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Things are more complicated now – all kinds of different travel arrangements to make and coordinate with others. With fewer sitters online, even popular destinations may require more arrangements.

Vanessa – how about a button to “thank and decline everyone else” with either a canned message, or option to write a custom one?

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Colin, I’ve read many of your comments here and have not had the impression that you focus on complaining, or that you are negative. I’ve seen lots of great feedback and helpful ideas that you’ve submitted. I think you’re being too hard on yourself.

As for posts on my personal blog, I tend to only focus on the positives of a sit. Maybe I should also mention the negatives of the social isolation that can happen for a solo traveller, where I’m removed from my social circle and usual volunteer activities that keep me occupied more? No, I think I’ll stay with writing my posts in a tone that keeps everyone thinking I lead such an adventurous life. :smiley:

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Good for you @Snowbird. I love the positivity x

Personally, positives are brilliant (and we all need to focus on them more e.g. in the news) but negatives are not bad either. For instance with the topic of depression as an example - no-one really spoke about it a decade ago or rarely, so it was slightly stigmatised. Now that people speak about it more, awareness has been created, it has been destigmatised and hopefully people can now feel like there are avenues of help if it happens to them.

I am a solo traveller mostly and it is indeed an adventure. Someone in another thread mentioned how it can get lonely at times, I read that part and simply nodded inwardly with that poster’s experience. It didn’t make me think they were any less intrepid though.

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That’s a great idea or a response rate indicator that was mentioned on another thread about a similar topic.

Totally agree. Our experience has been the same, and while it can sometimes be frustrating to wait for a response on a sit I really really want, for the most part, I don’t let it bother me too much. We keep on applying for other sits and the first person to get back to me, is usually the one we go with. Any others, we just rescind our application.

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Some of my sits are a little like our pandemic lockdowns, in that they create additional solitary time. Thankfully I have some volunteer roles that are online. I also can spend lots of time online, doing productive things (or just filling some hours aimlessly). I’m also happy with a good book, and this time (as I drove) I brought a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle with me. Regardless, I’m still not at home, where I could take on projects there, or do other volunteering. Everything in life is a trade-off though, and I recognize that before I take on any sit.

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@Snowbird and @orangedrop , I mostly travel solo as well. That’s why Trusted Housesitters is so appealing. With pets, you can travel and you’re not alone!

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Hi @Orangedrop

I read and respond to every application I receive to sit for me. Unless I can tell immediately from the application that the sitter is not a fit for us I speak to each applicant. At the end of each call I let the applicant know if I have other people to speak to and let them know a date I will give them an outcome. It’s just so rude not to respond.

Good luck finding a sit - if you fancy South Yorkshire I have 3 available dates :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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