Ask Amy: Daughter did pet-sitting, but neighbor delayed paying her

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Dear Amy: My 13-year-old daughter, “Annie,” did a cat sitting job for a neighbor and friend of ours, finishing on the first of the month.

Annie sent a text to the cat’s owner on the last day, saying thanks for letting her pet sit and that she enjoyed it. We never heard anything back.

Five days later, I sent a text saying thanks for letting Annie pet sit, and asking politely when she would get paid.

Cat Owner said, “I’ll pay you on the 10th as I prefer to pay in cash and give feedback in person, is that OK? Or I could do Venmo, but only if you need that.” I agreed to payment on the 10th.

On the 10th Cat Owner texted saying, “I am too exhausted and have no cash so can’t do payment today. Can we do another day? Or if you urgently need money, I can do Venmo but prefer not to.”

I responded, “Sure, we can do another day. Which day is good?” There was no response to this.

On the 14th I texted, “Hey, Cat owner, just checking in on that payment for Annie? Can we just do the Venmo? I’ll send my details now.”

The next morning, she responded with a nasty gram about how she doesn’t need me reminding her, she is very busy with houseguests, she doesn’t have time yet to go to the bank, she always pays her bills, she has gifts for us, she has never used Venmo but now had to create an account, and all because I must urgently need money etc. It went on and on.

I didn’t respond.

She did Venmo the money after that.

Of course, from now I’ll arrange payment details first. She is a neighbor, so I didn’t think we’d have these problems.

I’m not sure if I should address this in person when I run into her?

Did I do something wrong here? How long does a teenage pet sitter usually wait to get paid?

– Frustrated Mamabear

Dear Frustrated: You’ve done nothing wrong. A pet sitter – like a child sitter – should be paid promptly right at the end of the gig, unless there is another arrangement.

You can avoid this in the future by being extremely clear: “Annie charges $10/day. You can give her a check or cash on the last day or (because of her age) Venmo me on the last day and I’ll make sure she receives your payment.”

Reliable pet sitters are worth their weight in Friskies. Your neighbor has lost what sounds like could have been a good and reliable cat sitter. There is no need to continue to follow up with her (in person or otherwise), because the matter is now settled.

You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.

©2023 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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