12 Steps to a Courtroom Victory

Even if you're only 13. True story.
  1. 1.
    Find job through Teen Summer Work Program.
    By the age of 13, I was already a seasoned babysitter.
  2. 2.
    Interview with potential employers.
    Obviously I couldn't drive yet. Luckily the job was at an apartment complex within walking distance of home.
  3. 3.
    Get the job!!
    So excited! Caring for a 12 month old and 2 1/2 toddler, both girls. Both in diapers.
  4. 4.
    Be on time, exceed expectations and delight your 'customers'.
    I did it all-prepared the lunch or dinner, fed them, cleaned up, took them to the park, read to them, bathed them and put them to bed.
  5. 5.
    Be flexible & available when needed.
    My 'employer' was a single mom who worked as bartender and had a really erratic schedule. That meant I was more or less on call.
  6. 6.
    Get paid. Until the company is having financial difficulties.
    Sure, I understand things are tight right now. Yes, I can wait till you get paid. No, problem, groceries and rent come first (???)
  7. 7.
    Promise of a BONUS when we work out this whole money situation.
    Two months and no pay. Trying to be patient (I still trust everybody, I'm only 13) and these babies need me.
  8. 8.
    We appreciate everything you've done but we won't require your services in the future.
    No, I wasn't fired but summer was over and time to go back to school. But I was not paid for two months of work. Repeatedly stopping by, finally with my Dad, to see if she had my money. So after getting nowhere I...
  9. 9.
    Filed an affidavit with the court
    Forms are filled out with dates, circumstances and pertinent details. I don't know what happened behind the scenes but after the papers are filed, the defendant is served, guaranteeing the documents are in her possession.
  10. 10.
    Show up in court.
    It wasn't really scary or a big deal-in my case, the small amount of money owed ($560) made it routine. Other than my age, that is. I was there, she wasn't and the judge ruled in my favor.
  11. 11.
    Wait.
    After it was determined she legally owed me the money, it took a few days for her to pay me. She also deducted $30 for food I ate (cheapskate, I practically lived there!) Of course I said, fine and finally received $530.
  12. 12.
    Take the money. Case closed. And always remember...