I have a confession to make and it ain't pretty. I'm kind of jealous of the cashiers who have to work on Thanksgiving. Not because they're working -- I'm working, too. I'm jealous because they have a whole campaign of advocates that want them to be with family on Thanksgiving day. All day. I can't log in to Facebook without seeing one of my clients post "I'm not shopping on Thanksgiving because I believe in family!" Oh the irony. The very same people employ a pet sitter to come to their home twice on Thanksgiving day, once at breakfast and --yes!-- once at dinner time, to make sure their cat has one teaspoon of wet food mixed in with the dry food.
There are some huge differences between the cashier and the pet sitter, however. The pet sitter can always say no, risk losing a year round client, and deal with an adult sized temper tantrum. And most pet sitters, when they begin their job, know full well that they are getting into holiday work. Most importantly, we are with animals and not pushy customers.
If the client and the pet sitter both want to be with their families on the holiday, what is the solution? If pets are a part of the family, shouldn't they be loved on Thanksgiving, too?
Here's what I do. I no longer take new clients on holidays. It's not worth the time, energy, and even extra holiday charges to accommodate someone on Thanksgiving who will only call me again at Christmas. This usually means that I pet sit a handful long-standing clients whom I know and love on Thanksgiving day. The rough spot is that they still need me to care for their pets during meal times i.e. breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The clients I turned down are sure to find someone brand new and starting out who needs the money and clientele badly enough to help.
Here's what you can do. Be mindful of your request. Tell your pet sitter to shave a few minutes of the visit and schedule it around their family time. Can your cat just get dry food once that day and skip the one teaspoon of wet food? Can your pet sitter drop by as late as 10 pm on the way to Black Friday midnight madness? Give lots of notice. I ask for holiday reservations by October. Don't be that person who throws a fit because one week before Christmas I can only promise you one visit per day. Tip your pet sitter well. I'm talking like a 20 spot on top of the holiday charge please. Then next year when you call, you'll get a call back!
And finally, please post this as your Facebook status and take the pledge by leaving a comment below:
No? Oh well it was worth a try.