Thursday, May 3, 2012

Contracts - I'll Pay You $100 if You'll Just Write, Connor

Connor really doesn't like to write. And when he does write, it doesn't bother him at all that his writing is sloppy. That just kills me. As a former pre-school teacher, I spent a fair amount of time learning to make all my letters just so. I also remember in elementary school really enjoying when we got to practice writing.

A couple of weeks ago, Connor approached me wanting me to give him $100 for doing chores around the house. I told him he'd have to submit a contract for the committee to discuss.

Initially, he proposed to make his bed daily, clean up the play rooms, and sweep the floors. During our negotiations, I changed out making his bed (a task his babysitter already does daily) to taking out the trash. The latter is much more useful to me than the former - except last week was a bad first week because I had tossed a bunch of Helen and Connor's toys in the trashcan, and Connor was a little surprised to discover them there. Oops!

At first, he wanted to be paid annually, but after thinking about how a screw-up could mean no pay for the year, he decided weekly would work better.

He thought I was being super generous by allowing him two weeks of paid vacation. Please don't tell him that my current job gives me seven weeks of paid vacation. He immediately asked if he didn't take his vacation if he could save it. (Maybe he's planning on having a baby and needs the leave?)

At the last minute, I added in a "no subcontracting" clause, as it seemed like Connor was already preparing to go Tom Sawyer on me and convince Helen to do his new chores.

After much back and forth, we agreed upon the following contract.

I want to be paid $100 a year for taking out the trash and recycling with Dad, cleaning the play rooms, and sweeping he floor. I will get two weeks of paid vacation, otherwise - no pay for no work. Half pay for half work. Vacations can accumulate over multiple years. No subcontracting allowed. Connor 4-23

After getting his signed contract, Connor announced the good news to Ed. Not to be left out, Helen came in demanding her own contract. (Unions, sheesh!).

Helen was a bit more ambitious in her desired chores, and she actually doesn't care if she gets paid or not. She was thinking though, because she remembered that the home we recently completed a home exchange with had a cat. Score!

If we get a puppy, I will take care of it forever and ever. And if we get a cat, I will take care of the cat and give it food and water every day.  - and then the next set of letters is Helen's signature.
- Elaine


  1. that is about as cool as it gets! ~karen cowley

  2. That's very smart. It is hard work and I can understand that he wants to make sure his "employer" will pay him