They mean more than most people think. Sure, we were all taught to say please and thank you as kids, but sometimes adults fail to use those words enough. It doesn't always "go without saying".
I had a stressful day. Lots of huge stinky dogs, plus some unreasonable go home times. I ran from 8 AM til 3 PM. That doesn't seem so long, you say, but I did 10 full grooms in that amount of time. 3 Golden retrievers.. one of which weighed 106 lbs (it should weigh 75). All 3 had been swimming all summer long, stunk to high heaven and were quite matted. Plus the other 7, no easy baths for me today. I would have loved to have ended my day at 4, but everyone was in a hurry. I did what I had to do, and made it work.
One of the dogs I did was a new client. A girl in her early 20's and her 10 month old smallish mixed breed puppy. She had lots of instructions, and lots of bad things to say about the dog's last groom, done somewhere else. Apparently the dog had to be shaved, but she admitted that the groomer had no other choice, as it was matted. She told me she had a comb, and they were doing their best to keep the coat up, so they wanted it left long. She actually had been brushing.. imagine my relief. I COULD actually give her what she wanted, at least I hoped I could. She was pretty specific. Her first idea was that she wanted the dog to be the exact length it was now.. for winter. Uh.. he was shaved bald 4 months ago.. I explained. Oh, yeah, well, she didn't want that. I explained the way it would work, that a longer cut would mean more frequent grooms, as well as her continued work on brushing his coat at home. She wanted the tail like a fan.. but not too short. She wanted the face short.. it drags in his water, but not too short, still cute. The last groomer made it look like a Schnauzer, they didn't want that. She stated that she did not want his anal glands expressed. I told her that glands are included in the groom, but that would be no problem if she didn't want it done. She said, maybe I could do it next time, "we'll see how this goes first". I don't want him traumatized this time (this time?). The last groomer said he was very well behaved, but when he got home, he slept for the rest of the day, she was concerned something had happened. I explained that any time a dogs routine is changed, there is a certain amount of stress. She seemed doubtful, and then I made her even more nervous, when I told her he would have to stay 4 hours. I could tell this was an "test" grooming, and I better pass.. or we'd never see her again, and of course the next groomer would hear how badly I messed up.
The girl's boyfriend picked the dog up, and though she assured me that HE was the picky one, all he had to say when he picked him up was "he's really soft". Ok... guessing I failed this one.
The day went on, lifting heavy dogs, etc, etc. Right about the time when I really didn't need to spend time on the phone, I was told that the dog's owner was on the phone wanting to speak with me. Many times this isn't good.. complaints coming my way. But no! She was just calling to tell me thank you for doing such a great job on him! His cut was great, and she anxiously awaited bringing him back to see me again! WHAT? My bad mood lifted.. like magic. She didn't have to call, she could have waited til the next groom to tell me that she loved the last cut. But she didn't, and I appreciate that.
I am lucky to work in a place where thank you's are frequent among my co-workers. I try to remember to thank the person who helped me lift a heavy dog, or held one still for me, or cleaned the messy cage I couldn't get to. We have an amazing maintenance man, who keeps everything running smoothly for us. I appreciate my receptionists so much, they try very hard to help keep my schedule livable, I'm sure I don't thank them enough.
It's amazing what those two little words can do. Never underestimate their power.