Thursday, November 17, 2011

Right under the bus.

Today we are going to learn about throwing your groomer under the bus.  It's not OK.  Don't try it when you bring your dog to me.  It doesn't work to suck up to me that way.  It's a pretty rare occasion that I'll take your side.

Me:  I see we groomed your dog a few years ago.  (a few years ago was 2005 in case you wondered)  What kind of haircut would you like on her today?

Client:  A cute one. 

Me:  Silence, hoping for more details... none came.

Me: Do you like her in a cocker trim?'

Client:  YES.  The groomer I usually go to (translation: couldn't get me in quickly enough for an appointment) always just shaves her down.  She says she is too matted, so it's always short.  I don't like that trim.
(right under the bus)

Me:  (not fooled by such talk) Well, sometimes if the coat is too matted, there is no other choice.  It looks like today we can save her coat though. (yep, cause your last haircut was a shave)

Client:  OH good.  I just want her to look cute.

Me:  So, should we still trim some on her legs, so it's a little less upkeep? (since you never brush her)

Client: Yes, maybe that would be best.  She does like to play in the wet grass, and there will be snow soon.

This dog had an insanely thick coat.  I can easily see why once it got to a length not much longer than it was today, it would've been matted beyond help.  I did make the dog look "cute" today.  I make no promises for the next haircut, because now, it's long.   Even with the trim I gave her, it's now much longer than it was when the last groomer shaved it  had no other choice but to shave it.  Now, when she returns and I have to shave it, I'm going to be the one under that big yellow bus.  I did make an attempt at educating her at go home time.  It went something like this:

Client: Oh, it's perfect, I love it, she is so cute! 

Me:  If you like this cut on her, it will take some upkeep at home and more frequent groomings.  Her coat is very thick, and I can see how it would matt easily.  I recommend she comes back to see me in 6- 8 weeks.  You may be able to push it to the 8 week mark by doing alot of brushing at home.

Client:  Oh, ok.  Will it still cost the same if I bring her that often?

Me:  Yes, that is the price we charge.  Today she was in very good condition.   If the coat is matted we will charge extra.  Can I make you an appointment for 6 weeks? (I chose 6 weeks due to the fact that she didn't respond to my brushing comment at all) Or, we could call you in 6 weeks to remind you, that it's nearly time for a groom. 

Client:  No... I will just call to get an appointment when it's time.  (translation:  3-4 months from now)

I get it that sometimes groomers do make mistakes,  I certainly have.   Maybe some groomers skills aren't the best.    Most of the time, however, I do not believe that is the case. They are getting blamed for haircuts that they had no other choice to do.  Blamed for something that could've been avoided by actually brushing their dog, and/or bringing them in for grooming more often.  We have a few clients that we have to proactively do shorter trims than the owners like, even though we actually could've left it longer, just so we have any hope of leaving any hair on the dog next time.  Sad that we have to be sneaky that way, but it's protecting all of us, dog, groomer and client. 

I wonder how many times I have been thrown under the bus...

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