Friday, December 4, 2009

Believe It

She didn't show up to pay me.

At 3:30 I sent this email...

Dear &%*$&,

In order for me to keep your daughter’s spot, you need to pay me in full Monday morning and thereafter pay me the full rate. From now on I will expect to be paid in full at the end of each day. I am committed to providing excellent care, with a low ratio of children, at a very reasonable rate. Because of that I currently have a waiting list of children who are looking for a spot in my home. It is impossible for me to hold a low rate spot for someone who hasn't committed to paying me promptly.

Mrs F



She called me one minute later and said she'd rush to the bank. Over and hour later she came with the money and said "I wish you had just called me earlier, I had it all along." What the fuck? It is my responsibility to call you and remind you that you said you'd pay me today? That's after you said you'd pay me yesterday and forgot. I do not think so. I just stood there with a quizzical look on my face. Then she said "So are we at $7 and hour now?" And I said "Yep." And she said "Just for one mistake? I'm not usually like this, this week has just been crazy." And I said "I have a waiting list of people who can pay me the full rate. I don't know you and within the first week of watching your child you failed to pay me twice." She had a pissed look on her face. Oh did I fail to mention that she is about 6 feet tall and I'm the size of a twelve year old (a short one at that)? I hate that dynamic when trying to stand up for myself. I should have pulled a chair over and stood on it first. So that's that. She left and I'm now getting my full rate and due to an awesome stroke of luck she messed up and I was able to raise the rate legitimately based on her own negligence. And I'm pretty sure she won't be sticking around for long... anyone who fails to pay twice and then blames me is probably going to fuck up again real soon. I'll take her money for now but I won't be too sorry to see her go.

14 comments:

dasnowz said...

WOW!!! The rate there is $7???? The going rate here is only $500 a month! for full time it breaks down to nothing. I did a DSHS child last year and got a whopping $1.15 an hour. I did it until he was placed into head start. I have done daycare for years and was state certified. The reason I got out of it was I was open 24 hours a day 7 days a week and didn't feel I was making anywhere near what my time was worth. Hence why I am not going back to school. I just started back. Not sure what my standing is as I am trying to clep some classes. (Take a test instead of taking a class)

P/F said...

Kudos for standing your ground!!

(My husband's been dealing lots w/ corporate types lately and one of them wrote to him, "Hats off to you!" among other old-timey sayings. We've been using them so much in emails & texts to each other that I almost just wrote that:)

So, hats off to you! I haven't seen such good instincts in years wither.

Mrs Furious said...

dasnowz,
The going rate is $10/hour actually. That's why it is so annoying that she low balled the $7. It's a crazy good deal. I've had two people this week want to switch over after finding out I am charging so little.
If I had consistent schedules and multiple kids it would work out but for now everyone is part time and even if I have them all somedays I'm still maybe making $150/week.

P/F,
Thank you. It was really hard for me and I had to have my mom prep me ALL day. I'm already beating myself up and second guessing even though I know it was fair and just and that I don't owe this woman anything!

inkelywinkely said...

I think I commented for this on the bitch fest. haha.

I used to charge ten a day for one kid, with meals, $15 a day for two...and I STILL had issues with people not wanting to pay. Some people just don't have their priorities in order, you know? I gave their kids better care than some impersonal day care center would have, in a clean environment with decent food and snacks, and they never got sick in my home.

Like I said, it's priorities.

julie said...

I was thinking, "Wow!!! THe rate is ONLY $7 an hour??!! I can't get a babysitter around here for under $10 an hour and that's a high school kid.

Good for you for standing your ground. I know it must have been so hard for you. You deserve your full rate. That mom sounds like bad news. Poor kid.

Mrs Furious said...

julie,
Same here. The babysitter we had was $15/hour.

dasnowz said...

WOW!! I really do live in the wrong side of the country. Here you can get a teen for $20 for an evening for 3 kids.
I am on Pacific North West fyi.

BsOnlyToots said...

Woooo! Go you!

katieo said...

Good for you! Good for you!! That was SOO the right thing to do.

(and I am sorry but that is hilarious about the height situation.)

HC said...

Good for you for standing up for yourself, and by extension, the hardworking people who respect you and treat you (and pay you) as you should be!

When you start to doubt yourself and rethink standing up to that financial bully, keep the good people who pay you your full rate in mind -- you're doing this as much for them as you are for yourself. Stay strong!

Me, Only Better said...

I am so happy that you stood your ground!

She obviously has extra money if she can afford all the additional things in her life.

I can understand wanting a deal from your childcare provider if it is a choice between that and, um, lets say, food. But a choice between that a designer duds....Why can people not put their kids first?!

$10 an hour is a lot for childcare, though...much higher than the day rate here in Calgary.

Mrs Furious said...

me, only better,
Well the rate depends on the type of childcare. Private nanny $15/hour. In home daycare $250+/week for full time. I've met several in home babysitters (what I'm doing) who are watching only a couple of kids and their own who charge $10/hour. They all told me not to except less since there are plenty of people who will pay that. I felt like $7 was reasonable considering it's in my home with my kids and I'm okay with that. I am reworking my schedule now that it is set so that I should not have more than 2 kids (in addition to Baby & Kid) at a time. So for the ratio it's an awesome deal. That, plus, I only make people pay by the hour not pay for days they booked but don't come for, etc. Most in home daycares charge you for your spot and you pay for the days you do not come. So while you could find a cheaper daycare hourly rate ($6+/hour) you'll end up paying more for your spot than you do by the hour with me. I think the flexibility is worth a little more an hour. If I ever do it again I'll be charging for the spot. At this rate there are weeks where I have mostly cancellations and I'm not even making $60 for the week.

Mrs Furious said...

HC,
For real... that is one of the things that bothered me most... that it wasn't fair to the other parents.

wootini said...

Good for you!!! I'm glad you stood up to her, both for your sake and that of the other parents who are paying your full rate.

I am crossing my fingers and hoping that you can get that one baby in January and let go all the part timers. The consistency that would bring seems like it would be so much easier on you, and on Baby.

I know I sound like a broken record, but I still think you should consider implementing a contract, just so all is clear on what happens with sick days, holidays, late pickup, etc. Even if you end up having to continue with your current clients, you could implement a contract with them as of 1/1/2010. I really think it would take a lot of stress out of what otherwise becomes an ongoing individual negotiation with each family...

And I agree, you need something for yourself for doing all this work. Even $5 a week to do something for yourself would be better.

Emily

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