I get my babysitters from the local college. I use them regularly, in some sort of rotation, so as not to place any undue burdens on their academic schedules. The family treats them well. Over the years we’ve had some terrific sitters from the college, mostly young women who have returned to babysit year after year. As each graduated, I replaced her.
In the fall of 2006, I went through my usual process and found three new sitters. Two were freshman and one was a grad student. One of the freshman was a guy, Rod, our very first male babysitter ever. The boys were crazy about him. We liked him a lot, too, until the first time he “forgot” a babysitting date and left us in the lurch for a concert last winter. When Rod came back to school this fall, he let me know he was interested in babysitting again. Only now, he has a steady part-time job, and a girlfriend, and is in a fraternity. He said he would still like to babysit but that his schedule was limited.
Two weeks ago, I emailed Rod to see if he could babysit this Friday night, so that I can attend a mandatory chorale dress rehearsal and WineGuy can attend the hospital’s holiday party — sort of a command appearance. Rod accepted the offer and said he’d be here. Since I was concerned about him either forgetting again or being late, I emailed him last weekend to confirm the date. He emails back and says he is no longer available because he has to work, that his boss could not find anyone to replace him. I was livid and sent him a very strong reply about making and keeping commitments, and that I relied on his word. He wrote back and said that I should “understand” that he has a steady and regular-paying job and a girlfriend. I do understand, you asswipe, but you keep the first commitment you make. You don’t blow the first one off for a better opportunity that might come along. [I really want to send that message to Rod, but I haven’t
yet.]Fortunately, one of the other sitters is available for this Friday.
Whatever happened to personal responsibility and integrity? Why is it that today’s youth are insincere and unreliable?