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jlm11f's avatar

HELP! Overworked and underpaid?

Asked by jlm11f (12398points) June 2nd, 2008

Okay, so its not AS drastic as i made the question sound but I recently started babysitting for this lady (today will be my second day) who has younger kids than my norm, both of which are not potty trained. She is also paying me 3$ lesser for an hour than I am accustomed to, yet she has the most work set out for me. She wants me to have a regular schedule with her kids. My parents didn’t want me to go back to her at all, my question is how do I talk to her about my salary? I always feel its such an awkward conversation, which is why I avoided it in the first place when she told me my salary. My current idea is that I babysit today and one other day that I already committed to, but after that I should talk to her about the pay. What do you think? Suggestions from parents who can identify with her side would be helpful too!

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12 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

I would tell her you got a better paying gig and can’t do it anymore. See if she offers you more. Offer to cover the next few days so you don’t leave her stranded. That makes you look good and she might match what she thinks the other people are paying you.

edit :: And I know it is a lie. Sometimes that is best.

richardhenry's avatar

Did you not open with “I charge $X an hour?” That should have been your first move. Nobody is going to haggle down three bucks. Keep that in mind for the future…

wizard's avatar

Alert her about the salary rise today, tell her you need the raise because you are used to working less and earning more. Don’t bail out on her just tell her you’ll finish the week then if she still wants you to babysit she has to pay you the extra three dollars an hour. It’s mostly what johnpowell said, but I think it would be more proper to alert her earlier on so she is ready for the change.

scamp's avatar

You are providing a service for her. Don’t let her underpay you by piling more work on you. I think johnpowell had a very good idea. Tell her you had another offer for more money. if she doesn’t offer you more.. it’s a way out of sitting for her any longer.

8lightminutesaway's avatar

Say something about the price of gas and that you cant take a pay cut while your cost of living rises.

jlm11f's avatar

@ jp – now if only i could do that (lie, that is) without turning red
@ rh – yes, i realize i made a mistake! like i said i am not comfortable asking for money, but better get used to it now than in the future.
@ wizard – sorry, too late. i just got back! but i won’t bail out on her. i am only committed for one more day and after that i will either have the “talk” or tell her i got another job.
@ scamp – after today, i am leaning heavily towards just not wanting to sit for her at all. let’s see.
@8light – same neighborhood, so i walk, but i get the main picture.

thanks to all of you for your advice!

richardhenry's avatar

@PnL: You might find it a bit easier if you use the terms “sure I’ll babysit for you! People usually pay me $xx an hour, is that okay with you?” Rather than phrasing it as what it will cost them. Do the latter, and people will often try to ‘haggle’ you.

If they ask if there’s any possibility of getting it cheaper, then respond with “I don’t really think I could, sorry.” Don’t elaborate, they will usually just say yes at this point. If they ask why, then just laugh a little and say “I need the money”. Everyone can sympathise with this… and if you meet the odd person that can’t then don’t bother working with/for them.

From the days when I started doing freelance. It’s a bit different, but people are the same. :)

jlm11f's avatar

@ 8light – i agree!

thanks! she must know your technique, because she started with “i pay all other babysitters x/hour, even the 22 year old, so will that be okay with you?” since i am 19, i felt a little stupid saying “no ! pay me more than the 22 year old!”

playthebanjo's avatar

There is little difference between 19 and 22 other than a few more bad decisions. If she has all these other sitters she can call one of them. I would pay more if we go out before the kids are asleep. At this point it is probably easiest to just be done with her but don’t fall for it again. Be up front… The worst she can say is no!

jlm11f's avatar

maybeee i could just send her an email. just kidding. but oh how it would make things easier.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

No, this is a good opportunity. She is not doing you a favor by underpaying you and overworking you. I would not grouse about the money, but tell her that you have been offered another position at $x an hour, and that you don’t see how you can refuse. If she counters, fine. If not, at least you’re free to look for a position that doesn’t include domestic servitude.

Do not tell her that you usually get $x, it will have her saying if you told me that I would have never have hired you because I only pay $y. Babysitters are harder to get than babysitting jobs, so you shouldn’t hand her control of the situation.

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