DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have one of those camera doorbells on my front door. Consequently, I can see the comings and goings of a good friend of mine who walks my dogs a few times a week while I’m at work. (She has a key to my house; the camera begins to record and sends a live feed to my phone when it detects motion.)
The trouble is that she doesn’t always walk my dogs. I know this because the doorbell camera doesn’t show her doing so. She comes over, but just ... hangs out. Sometimes she does homework, using my printer and Wi-Fi for assignments, and sometimes she does laundry.
I’ve freely offered these things to her, but I am paying her to walk my dogs, as she’s going through a rough patch financially. I trust her in my home, and just think she gets a little lazy, but I still feel taken advantage of.
I know it sounds sheepish, but I don’t know how to say anything to her about this: I don’t want her to think I’m spying on her with the camera, but I also don’t want to pay her to come over for an hour for her own purposes.
GENTLE READER: And the dogs are also too shy to complain, Miss Manners gathers. If the consequences of their confinement are not obvious, you might work the fact that you have a doorbell camera into an unrelated conversation. As in, “Did you know that the food delivery man often sneaks a breadstick from our order? We have one of those front door cameras and can see everything.”