She’s Always Listening. Always.

, , , , , , | Related | September 17, 2020

I frequently stay with my cousin’s children for days on end so they’re not alone at night while my cousin picks up shifts in the ER. On this particular occasion, it’s been a few months since I’ve been over, due to moving across the country with my own parents; I’ve just recently come back to the state. As such, the kids have grown some, and my cousin has made some new and unexpected additions to the house.

Typically, when I watch the kids, I let them do their own thing — they’re very self-sufficient due to their family situation — and spend the time doing my own work from their living room. This time, I’ve got Hulu playing in the background while I write. My cousin’s subscription is the tier that includes occasional ads in the video, which isn’t a problem… usually.

On this day, it’s nearly 11:00 pm, and I’m halfway through an extensive and mind-consuming writing contract. The show I’m watching in the background cuts to a commercial, and as it ends, I vaguely hear the ad.

Ad: “Alexa, play Disney Hits Radio.”

Cue the Alexa I was unaware my cousin had installed behind me.

Alexa: “I’M MALICIOUS, MEAN, AND SCARY!”

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Mommy Issues

, , , , , , , | Right | August 21, 2020

I’m babysitting a cute little four-year-old for the second time. She has a teenaged brother.

She has great manners and is always very polite and articulate for a four-year-old. Today, she wants to watch a film, so I tell her to go choose one. She comes back with a new DVD of “Bambi.” She tells me she’s never seen it before. I’m a bit hesitant, but I agree, as I think she is able to handle it. We get to the part where Bambi is stumbling through the snow looking for his mother. 

Girl: “Where is Bambi’s mummy?”

Me: “Sweetheart, she died. The bad men killed her.”

There is a full ten seconds of silence while she processes that. 

Girl: “F*** that! I’m not watching this s***!”

She threw the remote on the floor and stormed out of the room. Her parents were understandably shocked when I told them!


This story is part of our Best Of August 2020 roundup!

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Someone This Oblivious Could Probably Use Their Own Supervision

, , , , | Working | June 26, 2020

My child has a severe developmental disorder requiring twenty-four-hour supervision. It’s very difficult to find workers able to meet their needs, mostly for playful interaction and adult supervision rather than anything heavy or medical. 

My kid loves the support worker we finally hire. She’s playful when she’s here, but she pulls stunts like not showing up, giving three minutes of notice, being late, and even showing up on off days saying, “I wanted the hours so I’ll work now,” as we’re headed out of the house. She’s on her phone constantly. She adds hours to her invoices, believing that if she was scheduled to work and never shows up she should be paid, and if she’s “bored” and walks out early, she should also be paid to the shift end. She’s definitely not the brightest bulb in the box.

The day comes when I’m ready to fire her, which is hard because my child loves her for some reason. The conversation doesn’t quite go as planned! 

Me: “[Worker], we need to talk about you not showing up for work.”

Worker: “You’re right!” *Enthusiastically* “I’ve been thinking about it, and I think I should have a raise!”

Me: “Why would you ask for a raise? I’m paying you a competitive hourly wage, well above the minimum. Besides, I know this might be diffi—”

I’m preparing to drop the axe, but she cuts me off.

Worker: “And I moved. Now it takes me longer to get to work—” *it doesn’t* “—so you owe me two dollars per hour more. That’s how it works. All employers have to pay employees to get to work. So, now I make [amount] an hour for twenty hours a week.” 

She confidently quotes an amount nearly ten dollars an hour over the “going” wage, and twenty hours a week when she now barely shows up for three hours a week. 

Worker: “It’s the law!”

She was gobsmacked when I fired her! Sadly, she recently got a job working full time with developmentally disabled adults at a local activity centre. Other parents tell me she’s known as “the one with the phone,” but the centre won’t fire her.

When they called me for a reference — yes, she thought I’d give her a good reference — I told it straight and the supervisor thanked me, saying with a sigh, “Well, at least she hasn’t killed anybody yet. It’s the best we can hope for, I guess.”

Sigh.

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Watching A Movie Through The Eyes Of A Child

, , , , | Working | June 5, 2020

I am a babysitter to a four-year-old girl. She, like many small children, is obsessed with Disney movies, particularly one about an ice queen. She enjoys talking about the intricacies of the plot and scenes she likes, but her memory isn’t that great, so she will often ask for assistance to remember the details. However, her understanding of how memory works is… flawed.

Child: “Hey, [My Name], do you remember [very small portion of a non-important scene]?”

Me: “I don’t remember that one specifically, no.”

Child: “But you said you’ve seen this movie!”

Me: “I have, but not for a while.” 

Child: *After a pause* “There.” 

Me: “What, ‘there’?”

Child: “I’ve stopped thinking about it. Now you can have it.”

Me: “Wait, what?”

Child: “I’m not seeing the movie in my head anymore. That way you can see it.”

Me: “That’s… not the way it works.”

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Strap In And Prepare For Some Scary Nannying

, , , , | Right | February 11, 2020

(I work at a guest services desk at my local mall. I am watching a nanny on an iPad. A toddler who was sleeping in the stroller wakes up and gets twisted in the straps. He tries to get the nanny’s attention, but she just points her finger to wait until she is done, so he tries to wiggle himself out. The stroller tips over, he screams, and security and police come. I tell security and the police what I have witnessed.)

Nanny: “I’m gonna get you fired!”

Me: *snapping back* “Really? Well, you are the one who gets paid to watch the child, and apparently, using your iPad was much more important than your child. It would have taken less than a minute to untwist him from the stroller straps!”

(I was not fired. Dear parents and nannies, pay attention to your child, not so much your cell phone. A cell phone can be replaced; a child cannot.)

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