This year Christmas rush was 2 full weeks of mad chaos. Normally it doesn't last quite 10 days, but since J had a part of that 1st week off, I got to reap the benefits.
The schedule tends to fill slowly, fooling us into thinking "where is everyone??". Then, it hits. Grooming appointments go quickly, when everyone realizes there is a major holiday coming on, and people will expect the dog to smell nice. The schedule fills in hours, reminding me of a Lady Gaga concert selling out in 15 minutes. Then we start a waiting list. There is invariably people who don't respect the fact that they actually got an appointment for before Christmas. Like it's no big deal. They no show. They don't call. They drive me crazy. I should also mention that this year the calendar made Christmas fall on a weekend. This is a dream year for me. I don't get paid for the holidays my place of business is closed.. this year that wasn't an issue. This beautiful placement of Christmas also gave me FIVE full days before to groom dogs. People don't really like to try and keep their pets clean over a weekend before a holiday, so when Christmas falls on a Tuesday.. everyone fights for that Monday appointment. I gave up working Christmas Eve years ago. Too many crabby clients, no tips to speak of , and usually some dog who hadn't been groomed for 8 months managed to get in.
The first week I was ready. GAME ON. I went to work with a great attitude, excited to be so busy and making money. After the previous weeks of working only 1/2 the day, due to everyone trying to wait til closer to Christmas, I was more than ready to start making money again. When you've been doing a mere 6-7 dogs a day, and then go to 13 to 15.. it's a bit of a shock. If I'm lucky the first few are in by 7:30, that really helps me get a jump on the day. By the end of the day, I'm tired. Very tired. We have a running joke that "after the next dog, I'm going to go to the bathroom". Not kidding. We just don't have time. Lunch? It's a piece of chocolate or a Christmas cookie brought in by clients. It's all good.. it's only for 2 weeks.
The second week was a bit tougher. I had not had much of a laid back weekend, which really would've helped. I started taking ibuprofen on Monday.. before bed, then again in the AM.. standing that long is tiring. There also needs to be a perfect mix of dogs getting only a brush and bath (labradors, beagles, chihuahuas), difficult haircuts, and easy shave downs to make a 15 dog day work. Also, it helps if each and every dog is well-behaved. There were a couple of days during week 2 that were not ideal. One dog has an accident and has to be re-bathed, can screw the whole system up. Stress. Sadly, I had a Dr.'s appointment that week, where they found my blood pressure was a bit high. Huh? I wonder why.
All this craziness makes it a bit hard to enjoy Christmas.. only because you just want to sleep for 18 hours straight. I didn't help matters much by going out with friends 3 nights during the Christmas crazytown weeks. I need to have a life too, but maybe a different week would've been better. All that aside, I did have a nice Christmas, I hope you all did as well.
This Monday, December 26th.. it was over. There were some dogs in our boarding facility that still needed grooming before they went home, and a few that didn't get in before Christmas who were still in need. Mostly, we are back to 1/2 days again. Heading into the great abyss of January. Where it's either too cold to get your pet's hair cut, or you have spent every dime you had on Christmas, and there is nothing left for something as trivial as the dog's haircut. Once February hits, we'll be back to normal again. This year I have something in my personal life forcing me to take a week off soon. Yep, I planned it for January.. nothing else going on anyway. That said, I've got more blog entries in my head, and I'll have plenty of time to type them now.
Until then, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!