DEAR ABBY: Our family went away for a two-week vacation. One of my co-workers suggested I hire her daughter to stay in our home and take care of our pets and plants in our absence. The daughter is 20 years old and a student. We agreed upon a generous payment and paid her as soon as we got home.
Everything was fine, except our stockpile of Costco items (granola bars and juice boxes) out in the garage was nearly depleted. When I asked her about it, she texted me back almost in a joking way that she had helped herself and meant to replenish the supply, but it had slipped her mind. She had also "borrowed" a couple of items from our home she forgot to return (blow-dryer, a game and our wine glasses), but returned them once it was brought to her attention.
I was happy just to come home to my plants and animals being alive and our house in one piece. My husband, on the other hand, was not. He suggested I inform my co-worker that I won't be hiring her daughter again because she was very unprofessional. What is your opinion on the matter? -- HOUSE-SITTING IN THE EAST
DEAR HOUSE-SITTING: I agree with your husband. Although the daughter isn't a professional house-sitter, she should not have taken items from your home without permission or without informing you about what she had "borrowed." And if she was not given permission to help herself to the goodies in your garage, she should have left them where they were or offered to compensate you for them upon your return. I suppose the omission could be chalked up to immaturity, but I do think it should be mentioned.