I live in Frederick, Maryland. Although about 60,000 strong, the downtown, historic district is similar to living out in the boonies. Everyone knows everybody. In the six years that I’ve been here, I’ve yet to meet someone that only I am friends with. Invariably my “new” friend will know ten other people that I know. People from various social circles collide here for some reason so you’ve really got to be on your toes. If you like to gossip, don’t move here. You can probably move outside of Frederick in the bigger suburban developments, but stay clear of the city limits.
This will come in handy when my kids are in high school, I’m sure. I’ve even started to warn my oldest that someone’s going to tell me every thing she does, so she’d better act right. Actually it’s already started. Patty who lives a street away called my daughter Paige to baby-sit her 4 kids a few weeks ago for the first time. The plan was for Patty to hangout and observe/help for the first hour, put the baby to bed, then leave for the night with Paige in charge of the older kids.
Paige came home around 10:30, said it went fine and went to bed. The next day we went to the pool and someone yells to me, “How did Paige do babysitting last night?”. Apparently she knew about Paige’s audition.
“Pretty good,” I said, confused that she knew about my daughter’s where-abouts.
About an hour later another friend, Beverly, steps into the pool and says, “I heard Paige baby sat for Patty last night. How did it go?”
“Paige was pleased, but I guess we won’t know for sure unless Patty hires her again,” I replied.
“Oh she passed,” said Courtney, a third friend that was in the know. “I saw Patty this morning at swim practice and she said that Paige did a great job. She’s definitely going to call her the next time she needs a sitter.”
Well whadaya know? Three different people telling me information about my kid in the span of an hour. You gotta love this town. So I pulled Paige aside and told her the story.
Not only did you impress this mom, but she’s already told 3 people that you baby sit. And that’s only the three that we know about. Who knows how many people are calling Patty asking if you were good with their kids. Likewise, had you been a jackass last night, Patty would be telling everyone that today instead.
I think she gets it. Does she understand the power of leaving a good impression and the fact that she’ll never get a second chance with most people? Probably not but someday she will.
Some folks would hate a town like this. Personally I love it. But for those that don’t, yet would like to be “in the know” when it comes to hiring people to watch their children, log on to Sittercity. This web site is for anyone looking for sitters, nannies, pet help, elder care assistance, house sitters or tutors.
You can rate a sitter and give feed back or read up on the person that you’re considering for hire and find out if they also do light housekeeping or can speak more than one language. Truly a terrific resource when you’re new to an area and haven’t yet joined your local pool.