I read a lot of different forums with pet sitting as the focus. I read them to get ideas to improve The Pet Parlor and to make things better for our clients and our staff. It also lets me get a feel for how other professional pet sitting companies around the nation are doing things. Granted, it often seems like it’s a place for sitters to ‘dump’ to other sitters about the not-so-positive aspects of pet sitting as a career. (Ha! I have had so many people say, “Oh, that’s the PERFECT job!” … Let me be the first to tell you this is not a perfect profession … but that’s a subject for another time.) It never ceases to amaze me the kinds of things I pick up on those forums! Sometimes I think that the sitters are a little harsh – I think many times they just feel disrespected. Other times I think the clients are a piece of work! Here are some things I’ve read that have made me shake my head:
And the third place WORLDS “BADDEST CLIENT” Award goes to:
The client booked a pet sitter for a week. They requested three visits per day taking care of their two dogs while they were gone on vacation. In the middle of the week, their son came home from college (Mom was unaware that this would happen) and she told the sitter to keep coming regardless of the college-age boy who would be coming and going (and possibly sleeping at the home when the sitter arrived). Ummmmm – this really put the sitter in a very awkward position. I do understand the clients perspective, however – but I understand the sitters as well.. How would YOU feel if you were the sitter?
The second place WORLDS “BADDEST CLIENT” Award goes to:
The client that thinks that THEY are your only client. This can manifest itself in many ways, but mostly it’s a disrespect of time:
- They expect you at their house at EXACTLY 2 pm. Or 6 am. Or 5 pm. (They don’t understand that their sitter is running all over the place caring for different pets and this requires the necessity of time ranges)
- They expect you to add them into your schedule for same-day service. Sometimes same-hour service. (We would if we could, believe me.)
- They forget to cancel your services on weekly basis and when you show up to their house as scheduled they don’t apologize for the oversight.
And (drum-roll please!!) THE FIRST PLACE WINNER OF THE WORLDS “BADDEST CLIENT” Award goes to:
This client will tell you over the phone that their dog is friendly ‘once he gets to know you’. In pet sitter language, this means that the pet is timid or fearful of strangers and will require a bit of time to become friends. Most sitters have had experience gaining the trust of a timid animal and will have patience to address the fear. The worst client award goes to the client that underplays aggression – You’ll know them when you get to the first meeting with them and the dog is baring his teeth, lunging, and growling while the owner attempts to hold him back on a leash.
Here are some honorable mentions:
The client who doesn’t scoop their litter box for 5 weeks before you start pet sitting.
The client who leaves you with 3 days worth of food who is going to be gone for 8 days.
The client who didn’t warn you about the life-sized cardboard cutout of a zombie in the bedroom where the litter is. (This one happened to me!)