Urgent Question to Sitters (from Homeowner)

We are leaving for a month very soon and our sitter just cancelled!!! THS Staff advised us to use “FIND for a PETSITTER” in addition to waiting for sitters to apply to our listing.

So we are. After entering the search criteria, we get a list of sitter who we presume are sitters from the location we specify who are available for the dates we entered.

However, replies to invites from yesterday indicate that sitters who were on that list are not available for our sit, some for part and most for the entire time. Tonight we looked at sitters’ calendars of availability, and notice that some dates before our start have slashes through them clearly indicating they are not available then. And we see there is a key indicating a light green color on a date means available. Most of the sitters’ calendar dates are neither slashed nor green; instead the dates are white.

So, my question is: What does white indicate for YOU on YOUR calendar???

Should we presume:
• if the dates are white the sitter is NOT AVAILABLE (because the dates are not green)
OR
• if the dates are white the sitter is available because the sitter came up in the search AND the date doesn’t have a slash?

Is it a THS boo-boo that unless the sitter is confirmed for those dates (slashed dates) or makes the effort to enter available dates (green), the default is white, and since white is not slashed, the computer interprets white as available?

(Might some sitters use default white as available, and some input availability to turn it green?)

THANKS FOR ANY CLARIFICATION YOU CAN PROVIDE IN AMING OUR SEARCH MORE TARGETED!


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Hi @AmyNJoe Firstly I am so sorry to hear your sitter cancelled.
I see you have embedded your listing here on your forum profile so forum members can see your listing which is great, and you also have a New button on it, so it will also be sent to all the available sitters.
To confirm, if the sitters calendar shows Green Dates, this means they are available.
If they show all White … they are unavailable. If there are crossed out dates, they are on a sit.

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Hi @AmyNJoe many sitters don’t keep the calendar updated as it’s too clunky to update to show available (green) as dates change. So their calendar defaults to white, or slashed when they are booked in a THS sit. You can’t cateogorically say white is available or unavailable as many sitters use other sit platforms so they may be unavailable (white but no slashes) or just unavailable for other reasons. BUT they may be available and not updating their calendar to show green.

Long story short, reach out to any sitter except for the ones with slashes through your dates. Send multiple invitations at the same time.

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Hi and so sorry to hear of the cancellation.

Firstly with regard to the calendar, I wouldn’t put too much importance on it or spend time analysing each one. I feel this is because it is very difficult for many sitters to manage the calendar efficiently. Personally my calendar shows dates lined through for dates I am sitting for THS. The other dates look as if I am available but I may have private sits or other commitments on those dates.
Members have been asking for years for improvements to the functionality of the calendar but to no avail.

On the plus side you have linked your sitting to your forum profile so we can all see it. You have also paid extra for premium membership so THS should be able to assist in boosting your listing and getting it out on social media if you are in agreement.

I hope this helps and Good Luck.

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We don’t update the calendar either, but the first two words on our profile say “fully booked” and other sitters might also write something about their availability in the first paragraph or so. Inviting sitters is not very effective, so you might have to invite lots and lots of candidates (you confirm them at a later stage).

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Yes we also have a statement at the top of our profile regarding our availability (or lack of).

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@AmyNJoe, I am so sorry your sitter canceled, but unfortunatley, this has happened frequently, especially with COVID still lingering around. This may not be the case in your situation, but I have seen it over and over…sitters OR pet parents test positive and have to cancel. It’s so frustrating, but unavoidable these days!

I just read your profile and it is very appealing but I would also suggest you add in the title “flexible dates”. This could help some sitters who might be in the area to reach out to you to determine if their schedule could coincide with yours.

Also, on October 1, you can add your dates into “Last Minute Sits” category for extra exposure. Last Minute Sits - New Category.

I wish you luck!

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Yes. Our calendar says available from November on. But our profile explains that’s only for India, some other parts of Asia, and then New York next April-May. So unavailable for everywhere else. I will change that wording to available in the UK and Europe from mid-May next year.

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@AmyNJoe I’m so sorry to hear about your sitter cancelling … you live in a fabulous location and have a lovely home and dear kitty, I have shared on our Social Channels which will give your listing more exposure …

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Thank you so much!!

Amy R

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I was just reading your wonderful listing earlier today,-and wishing I had that time free. I live in Seattle, but must be in DC for work later in October, and have vacation plans in CA for a long weekend.

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Hi Katie,

Thank you for the quick response. We appreciate it. We know a long sit will be challenging for many schedules. Hopefully our paths will cross in the future.
Best,
Joe & Amy

You can’t say that white is definitely unavailable, there is no way to mark ourselves unavailable.
White can mean unavailable, or I haven’t got round to marking myself positively available!

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It’s what I thought. Thanks!!

Another suggestion to THS: let sitters mark their calendar “unavailable”, or default to available (green) or unavailable (red) just so there isn’t an ambiguous white which could mean available/ haven’t gotten around to marking it, or unavailable (since it’s not green)… but then your sitter search shouldn’t pick these up.

My response was actually aimed at @Therese-Moderator who seemed to be implying that white was definitely unavailable

@JackieX How the calendar works, is that the calendar naturally defaults to unavailable, (white), so sitters can then register their Available dates which will appear as Green.
There are many variables to why sitters may choose not to put up any available dates.
One example could be that they may only do one or two sits a year, and only want a specific location, so they specifically watch for those listing coming through.
We generally find that pet parents rather boost their listing as this brings the available sitters for their specific location directly to them. If their listing has been favoured, this is another good indication that sitters are open to other dates so private invitations work well in this case.

I am aware of how the calendar works, but you suggested that white means “don’t bother contact them” , when because it defaults to white/unavailable it could mean unavailable, or it could mean I don’t keep my calendar up to date.
There is no way to mark oneself positively unavailable

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Hi @JackieX
Yes, you make a good point and I will certainly put this to our product team for reappraisal.