dog sitting

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Anonymous Man is dogged by the following problem:

I recently offered to look after my aunt and uncle’s dog while they are away on holiday. I’m a student, and my timetable for that week is really quiet, so I thought I’d be nice and offer to do it.

I had assumed, although it wasn’t discussed, that they would give me some payment in return for me taking a week of my time to do this. It would cost them at least £150 to put him in kennels, but they would never do that as they would be worried he’d get upset in kennels. They earn a decent wage, could easily afford to pay me something, and without me doing this they wouldn’t be able to go on holiday.

It has however became apparent that they don’t intend on paying me for this. My gran spoke to them and asked if I was getting paid, to which the response was, “Oh no, he offered to do it, why would we give him anything?” She feels I should be getting paid, but that it would be rude for her to suggest they paid me something. I feel that although money wasn’t discussed up front, a week of my time is at least worth something, and I shouldn’t need to ask about it.

So answer me this: am I being unreasonable to expect that I should be at least getting something for my time, and is there any way in which I can tactfully ask for them to pay me? My dad would probably do it, but I don’t really want to put him in an awkward situation. Or am I just being greedy?

This is why you always negotiate the finances up front!

It’s too bad your gran didn’t push a little further, since she’d already made some inroads. See if she’ll act as your agent, in return for a cut of the resulting fee. Maybe she can play hardball and not only push up the money, but also persuade them to throw in some deluxe snacks.

But it is awkward to talk about money and even more awkward to have the awkward money conversation with family members, since any unresolved awkwardness now will return with interest at Christmas. Readers, what would you do? Advise Anonymous Man in the comments.

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One Response to “dog sitting”

  1. Martin Says:

    If a friend came to me and asked if I would look after their dog for a week, I wouldn’t expect them to offer me any money for it. You went one step further and made the suggestion yourself. You offered to do a favour for them. There’s no way you should expect payment in this scenario. At most they should pay for the dog food, and even then that’s dubious because they probably assume you are just happy to have the company of the dog for a week – after all, why else did you offer.

    Next time, if you want to do it for money, say something like “What would you pay a kennel? £150? I’ll look after Rex for the week for half that.”. Don’t just offer to have a member of your family come to stay with you (albeit an animal member of the family) and expect to be paid.

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