Who’s Helping Whom?


The other night, Kris hosted a large dinner party – and decided to hire a “hostess helper” from an agency she has used in the past.  She has always been very impressed with the professional staff they provide -  but her most recent experience wasn’t exactly up to par…

When the hostess helper, “Lila”, arrived, Kris was thrilled – it was an hour before her 25 guests were arriving and she still had a ton of prep to do.  Kris’ frantic pace was thrown off when Lila immediately told Kris she “needed to talk to her” and pulled her aside.  She told Kris that she had been having back problems and that the pain was so intense that morning that she took a heavy duty painkiller!  So – she continued – she would be unable to lift anything heavy (like the pans of food to the buffet) and would also probably be “a little slow” due to the effect of the pills she had taken.  Not exactly an ideal helper!

Kris was totally thrown off – she was in a harried last minute countdown and had hired a helper to HELP. She was furious that Lila hadn’t canceled before – the agency could have easily sent another worker with a bit of notice.  Because the party was starting soon she went with it and decided to hope for the best.  Lila was somewhat helpful during the evening but certainly not as attentive or “on it” as servers are supposed to be.  But more upsetting to Kris was the fact that Lila’s announcement had stressed her out right before her big party – when she had been hired to do the exact opposite!  Kris felt like she had been taken advantage of – she thought it was totally unprofessional for Lila to show up for a job and then announce she wasn’t really going to be 100% that night.

In the sober light of the morning, Kris now regrets not calling the agency immediately.  She is wondering if she should call them now and tell them what happened – and ask for a partial reimbursement.  Her husband thinks she should just let it go rather than risk getting Lila in trouble – he thinks if she still worked while in that much pain she must really need the money.  His view is just to not use that agency again and leave it at that.

Should Kris tell the agency what happened with Lila?  Or let it go and just not use them again?  What would you do?

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2 Responses to “Who’s Helping Whom?”

  1. Sue says:

    I think she needs to tell the company what happened. She really should have called them the night before if she wanted Lila replaced or a reduction in cost due to the situation but the company needs to know what the situation was regardless because it should never have happened. It would not be fair to the company to not tell them and “to just not use them”. They cannot correct something if they are not aware of it.

  2. louie says:

    She absolutely should have called immediately and requested a replacement, then let Lila go.

Any Thoughts?