A Small Comment, a Huge Assumption


Most every teenage girl starts off as a babysitter before getting a real job. As long as the kids are safe and happy, everything is fine. Sounds easy right? Well, it’s just as easy to mess things up….
As I shuffled out of the neighbors’ house, the mother casually asked me, “So, do you think you will be available next Saturday night too?” Yup, I said. Though unbeknown to me at the time, this small inconclusive comment apparently meant final word. No phone call, no knock at the door would come within the next week, so obviously my thought was that I just wasn’t needed to babysit anymore, since I hadn’t been further notified. But I guess that wasn’t so obvious to the parents of the kids I babysat.
Flash-forward, next Saturday night. Now, at this time, I was just coming home from a softball tournament. It was around 6 o’clock, precisely the time I had babysat last Saturday. As I pulled into my cul-de-sac, I saw a little red car speeding out, opposite direction I was going. Just as my car and the other car reached the point of parallelism, the car stopped abruptly. I turned my head…and there were the parents, not looking extremely happy.
“WHERE WERE YOU!?!?!” the dad said in a particularly rough voice. “Ummm, uh, uh…” I mumbled. “Luckily we got another babysitter, but we are late to our reception already!”, he said as he stepped on the gas, leaving me speechless. The moment was over, lasting only a minute, but in my mind it was an entire ordeal. I went home, confused of why they just assumed I knew they needed me to babysit, and scared of their anger. It was then that I finally realized, if a boss, whether big corporate or just a parent, makes a small comment, or even a tiny gesture, take every word seriously.