Here's a new kind of help at hand. Londoners get to breathe easy, thanks to Sally Casley.

In time-starved London, it is a problem every working family wrestles with on almost a daily basis: You're expecting a delivery or that elusive plumber to turn up finally but don't have time to wait for them. What to do? Take time off from work? Plead with neighbours? Damn the plumber and let that kitchen tap continue to leak?

But now help is at hand, thanks to an enterprising young woman (trust a woman to get a fix on domestic problems) who has launched a house-sitting service called “Waiting-in'' whereby you can get someone to “wait-in” for the delivery man or the plumber while you're away.

Sally Casley who gave up a lucrative job at an international investment bank to start the service says the idea was born out of her own personal experience. She and her husband used to take turns to stay at home whenever they had to get a delivery. Like her there were other middle class professionals who could not afford full-time domestic staff. Finding “the right kind of people who do this job for a minimum wage'' was her biggest concern, she told The Financial Times. But in a sign of how bad the job market is she was deluged with applications. Many “hugely overqualified'' people were willing to “house-sit'' to make ends meet.

Move over baby-sitters and dog-walkers, there's a new kid on the block — and with “time-poverty” growing, more may be on their way.

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At WorkSeptember 24, 2010