Big issues

For nearly 5 years, we have been providing Full-Time Worldwide Home/Pet Sitting services. We have sit more than 25 properties: luxurious houses, others very modest, in rich countries and others very poor. Regardless of the assignment, we always have been welcomed appropriately and have received very good reference letters.

But, unlike the other assignments, for this one (from Mid-May to Early June 2017), things went wrong. In this case, a reference letter is not expected. Here's why :

The assignment: A kitten and a rabbit to look after during 3 weeks, in a nice and new small studio (a 5 meters by 5 meters apartment).

The facts observed on the spot:
• The owner, a young university student, leaves her rabbit out of its cage at all times.
• The rabbit defecates and urinates in its litter (placed at a corner of the studio), but also everywhere else on the floor.
• The kitten acts as a kitten. He plays to overturn and scratch everything, i.e. a predictable behavior. Without any toy, he enjoys himself with the droppings of the rabbit.
• The rabbit grinds the door frames and wooden skirting boards (to the knowledge of the owner).

As with other assignments, we expected to live in a clean place when we arrived. Yet there were:
• Hairballs throughout the studio.
• Manure stuck to many places on the floor.
• Dust, empty chip bags, empty bottles, stockings, clothing and underwear on the floor, chairs, armchairs, counters, table and other horizontal surfaces.

Even worse :
• The bed (foldable - Murphy bed) was messy (down and undone). No clean sheets for us.
• The counters, the table and the work desk were cluttered with miscellaneous objects.
• There was no place to sit at the table.
• There was no space to store our clothes, nor to drop our backpacks.
• In the bathroom, the counter was embarrassed by the owner's personal cosmetics. The towels were hung, still wet from having been very recently used. There was no clean towel for our needs.
• Not to mention the lamentable state of the bowl, nor the bad odor of the studio.

Our decision:
• The owner had to fly.
• Both pets needed caretaker(s).
• We have only one word. So, we stayed. But, many people would have chosen to leave this unhealthy place immediately.
• From the owner's departure, we spent 3 hours each throwing empty bags and bottles, collecting dirty laundry and washing everywhere (including of course the floor).
• We are not too meticulous. But, we work fast and well. Her studio became clean and uncluttered. (Note, the owner will have to remake her setup on her return.)

On her return:
• When she asked us how we found the experience at her place, we had no choice but to tell her the truth... which she simply did not accept, feeling insulted. However, we limited ourselves to the facts, without insulting her (what other people could easily have done).

• We have never been so badly welcomed by a owner.
• We never spent that much energy, in putting a place back to a state of minimal sanitation. Before beginning an assignment, being forced to spend six hours cleaning the place, to bring it from a lamentable state to a sanitary state, is simply unacceptable.
• This owner has no regards or respect for us guardians (unpaid). She seemed really unconscious that we had to pick up everything and clean up, since we did not want to live 3 weeks in an unhealthy and inhospitable environment.

Thus, for that homesitting assignment (from Mid-May to Beginning of June 2017), we do not expect a reference letter.
We will never return to this place. We will never want to communicate with her again.

Fortunately, all assignments are not like that. Otherwise, under such poor conditions, we would quickly retire!

Marie France & Luc
June 4th, 2017

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Marie France et Luc

Marie France et Luc