Your help needed to improve the Welcome Guide

I’m up to my 10th official sit and I’ve never been given so much as a bag of microwave popcorn
:no_entry::popcorn::heavy_equals_sign::frowning:

As a chef, do you ever leave any cooked meal or baking for your home owners? I’ve left home made cookies for one family that had kids, and soup made with the garden produce for another, but other than that, I don’t normally cook for home owners.

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No, I don’t. It’s what I do for a living, so it’s weird.

I state in my profile that people can hire me to do personal chef work, if they wanted to, while they are gone, and if they wanted to do so, they would pay for the groceries.

When it’s work, for me, it stops being a fair exchange. When I’m at someone’s place, and I’m pet sitting, I only eat the food I make during my cooking lessons …or pretty much junk food stuff i never eat at home, like ramen, frozen meals, or jarred/canned food. :wink:

Haha, yeah I get that. I guess a holiday is a holiday so for you, that means getting AWAY from cooking.

Hello,
I have enjoyed 3 sits since joining and have found it fun, interesting and reassuring that my furbabies are well cared for. I always update the sitter guide. My problem is, I would like to send this to the sitter prior to the visit but I have not figured out how to do this easily. If there a way to attach it to our emails that we exchange prior to the sit? I have tried to print it, scan it, then send it to their private email, but that is time consuming and required I redo it with every new sit. Thanks for any help.
Patty Kandiko
Grand Junction, CO

Where is this…I cannot find any place where it says to share the guide with the sitter. Thank you.
Patty

Hi @pkandiko I assume you have clicked on what @meow shared and still need assistance. I am tagging @Therese-Moderator who will assist you, either by direct message or email, when she is next online tomorrow.

Francine,
Voluntary Forum Moderator

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Hi @pkandiko I have checked on your sitter’s dashboard, and you have already shared your welcome guide (probably unknowingly), hence that is why there is now no share button. Do rest assured, they can now read it.
Warm regards
Therese

Thank you. I used the app to send it yesterday. But I never saw any other place.
Patty

As a HO I spent a great deal of time trying to fill out the welcome guide. I printed it for my sitter, put it in a labelled 3-ring binder, and also included a separate set of notes about things not covered by the guide (such as the specific steps in bringing up our satellite TV system). I think the guide is an excellent resource but it is difficult to work with. I could never get it to print completely and so had to write in some notes by hand. I also had difficulty with the restaurants/cafes/pubs section. In the western US there are not many pubs. I wanted to make two lists of multiple restaurants , one list for our town, and one for the town three miles away, but the format did not lend itself to that.

As a new home owner (but experienced sitter) I’ve just had my first experience completing the Welcome Guide (WG). I am computer savvy and didn’t have any trouble completing it but still found it clunky to operate, particularly embedding photos.

I have had to do user reviews on software and programmes alot for work so I can be a bit detailed (apologies in advance)

What I like:

  • you don’t have to complete it all at once, as long as you save your work (you will only forget once!)
  • it does the thinking for you and covers all the necessary sit instructions, even things I would not have thought about
  • it isn’t word/characted limited, so you can put in as much info as you want
  • you can save it as a Word doc and format it however you like, including adding more headings and info and inserting photos where you want them. This can then be emailed to the sitter.
  • using the WG software means it’s available electronically on the THS website for both parties, the sitter knows exactly what they are agreeing to, it’s protection for both parties & it’s convenient evidence if ever required in a dispute (that’s my law enforcement background coming out…)

What I don’t like:

  • the printed format, as there is a lot of wasted white space that doubles the number of printed pages compared to after I formatted the Word document - 29 pages were reduced to 16 pages
  • it took a long time to format the Word doc to take out all the unnessary white space and duplicated headings
  • you can’t upload the Word doc to the THS platform
  • except for the neighbourhood section, photos can’t be placed where you want them, where it makes sense. The photos are all in one section.
    For example, the photos of TV remotes can’t be embedded in the area of the guide where the instructions are. Given you can put photos in the neighbourhood section about particular shops, cafes, attractions etc it should be easy enough for the developers to add the functionality to all other areas of the WG.
  • photos can only be viewed electronically and don’t appear in the printed guide
  • it doesn’t accept all image file types. I downloaded a photo of a local cafe from their website which wasn’t one of the accepted file types so I couldn’t upload it to my WG
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Thank you @Crookie for taking the time to add your comprehensive review of the welcome guide, both the good and not so good. This is very valuable balanced user experience feedback and we will pass this over in full to the product UX teams today :clap::pray:

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The welcome guide could not be used by the sitter as evidence if ever required in a dispute as it disappears from the sitters dashboard once the sitting has been completef

Yes but it remains on the THS server @Itchyfeet

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@Crookie thanks for your detailed and clear feedback. I was so worn out by the time I had completed mine (on my phone, over a period of weeks) I didn’t have the energy to give feedback.
I was appalled when I printed it out, I could not believe how awful it looked, I wanted to weep. I’m going to take some time when I’m away on my next sit and covert it to a Word document.

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Loved this post! How did you save it as a word doc? I am feeling foolish. But I would love to fix all the formatting. It’s a mess in the printed version!

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The WG by default prints to a PDF. Instead of printing the PDF you should get an option to save the PDF file in your print settings. To create the WG as Word doc so it can be formatted you just need to copy & paste the entire PDF doc in to a Word doc, you can then format it how you like. This is only beneficial for when you want to print the WG (to reduce the number of printed pages) so leave this formatting right to the end when you are ready to print it for your sitter.

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This is very helpful - I ask the HO to print the WG for me and I can now cut and paste your comments

AH, thank you! I was thinking I could export straight to a word doc. This is great. Thanks!

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Hi THS,
I have used the upload photos option in my Welcome Guide to upload photos of my dog. I have other photos I would like my sitters to have.
For example:

  1. map of the city
  2. map of the local city van pick up points to ride around the city for 1€
  3. perhaps even photos of some shops so they find them easily. Portugal has very long street names so using street names is crazy here. We all refer to shops, store or certain roundabouts (have art in the middle of them) instead.

Thanks for listening!