Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Word of the Day

Some of you have seen my facebook status today. 
 It simply read:

The word of the day is: No. Tomorrow the word of the day will also be No, but will be preceded by laughter, and/or the word Hell.

Not very nice.  I'll admit it. 

It's not even completely true, as I actually did say yes a few times.  As predicted, it got warm.  It's now Spring.  Just a month or two late.  In fact, yesterday, it was in the 90's, while just 2 short weeks ago some  spots in this fine state of mine got a foot of snow. 

And, because it got warm, suddenly the grooming clients are coming out of the woodwork.  The dogs that normally get shaved in March are now filthy, likely tick infested and badly in need of a haircut.  We now will catch up on 2 months of slow season, all in one month. 

I'm happy for the work.  However, I just don't believe that having to wait 6 whole days (now more like 10 days) to get your dog in for a haircut will kill you.  (or the dog, for that matter)  The DRAMA!  The EXCUSES! The BEGGING.  I can only do what I can do.  I do take on more dogs, obviously, however if I take on too many, my work will suffer, and I will burn out.  So, I limit the dogs I do and the hours I work. 

Sainted Receptionist S, told  me about a client who had it all when telling her why she  "HAD" to get in before this weekend.

First, the excuse: "I know I should have called sooner, but I've been busy at work and didn't have time to call".  Guess what?  D is busy at work too... causing her not to have time to groom your dog. 

Next up, the begging:  "Tell her I'll pay ANYTHING, if she will get me in!"  Guess what.. I don't believe it.. you will give me the same small tip you always do (which is nice, don't get me wrong, but Anything? Really?)  Side note:  Once, years ago I actually did take on a new client who told me they'd pay double if I'd just get their dog in.  They actually tipped me the full price of the groom.  Nice.  Not really OK, though on my part.. I had a waiting list of people I should've/could've called.  I had a moment of weakness, sue me.

And finally, the dramatic REASON they really had to get in.  "My boyfriend is getting a new puppy this weekend, and I want my dog to look and feel his best to meet her"  REALLLY??? I don't think so.  She's on the waiting list, and I will do the dog if I get a cancellation, but fitting her in is not a huge priority.  The dog may have to meet his new roommate needing his bangs trimmed.

Truth is, I have rearranged my schedule to help keep up with this unusually busy time.  I had a dentist's appointment on Friday.. I moved it.  I have a maintenance check on my appliances.. I won't be keeping that appointment either.  It's what has to be done, I'll work it out. 

Should you find yourself in a bind, and realize you've called to late to get your precious pup in here are my tips to help you sway your groomer to see things your way.

  • First of all, be a good client.  This means your dog gets groomed regularly, and is in general good shape.  We can't fit your dog in if it's always a mess and takes many hours to groom, it's just not possible.
  • It really helps to have a well-behaved dog.  If I have to fight with your bratty diva, I'm not going to add to my already exhausting day.
  • Sorry to say, but TIP your groomer.  Especially if they fit you in.  Call me greedy, but if I break my back to fit your dog in due to your disorganized schedule, I'd like to think you'd reward me for it.  If you are always a good tipper, you go to the front of the line, my friend. (again, not probably nice, but this blog is about truth, no?)
  • Be a nice person!!  If you are a crabby complainer.. you will wait.   If you are extra nice, you may not even have to tip.   I actually do understand not everyone has the funds to tip. 
  •  Be flexible.  If I fit you in, give me some extra time to do the job.  Others that made their appointment ahead of time, should and will get the early go homes.
  • DO NOT tell me that you have already called everyone else in town and no one can get you in (even if that is true).  That does not make me want to help you.  That makes me think that even if I do get you in, next time you will just go right back to someone else.  I am much more likely to help a loyal customer.  No body wants to hear they are sloppy seconds.
  • If you want to be put on our waiting list, you should still make an appointment for the next open day, just in case you don't get in.  If you refuse (without a valid reason, such as, leaving town for good after that date), we can only assume, you are trying to get in everywhere, and it's not that important that I groom your dog.
  • IF I do rearrange my schedule and fit you in, don't no-show on me.  (true story)  If you try to call at the end of the day, saying that you totally forgot, and still really need to get in before the weekend.. end of the line, my friend.  You just lost your opportunity.
  • If you need your dog to be groomed because it's in your wedding or grad pictures.. well.. maybe you knew about that ahead of time?  Think, people!
  • And finally, LEARN from your mistake.  Realize you may need to plan ahead in the future. 
I understand that life happens sometimes, and sometimes it really is an emergency.  We accommodate these people the best we can.  If only most of them just understood that we aren't just taking breaks and eating bon-bons back there. 

Currently, between J and I there are 4 appointments left before Memorial Day weekend.  I predict they are filled by 11 AM tomorrow.  Watch out, then the real begging will begin! It will be all my fault that Bingo looked shaggy at the family barbeque.  Thank goodness for the receptionists, who are so diplomatic in the face of so much whining.  I appreciate them so much!! If I had to take these calls my self , I'd never get anything done!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Random Weird stuff

My job is never boring.  If you have read much of this blog, you already know that.  People have strange requests.  They do strange things with their dogs.  They are just odd.  I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course. 

Right now we are in the middle of a very late spring in my area.  The snow is almost gone.. it's May 1st, for crying out loud!  The lakes are still frozen.  Fishing opener is in less than 2 weeks.  Some lakes still have 30 inches of ice on them.  The high was 45 degrees today.    This makes my income go down.

Why?  A couple of reasons. #1 because people think they can't get the dog  groomed if it's cold out.  They might freeze to death.  We had 2 warm days in a row, and I shaved 2 Golden Retrievers and at least 5 Springers.  What are those dogs doing now? Freezing?  I wonder if people think I'm cruel.  My dogs don't get shaved, even in the summer.. won't they die of heat stroke??   I don't think so.    People are starting to come around (or get desperate).  In any given day, we can have 1/2 our clients say "give him a summer trim, I think it's going to get warm soon", and the other 1/2 will say "leave him long.. he'll freeze".  Sigh.  Also, we rely greatly on seasonal residents.  Guess what?  They are smart enough to stay in FloridaArizonaTexasNewMexico until it gets warm.  If it was nice out, and the lakes were open, they'd have had their dogs groomed twice by now.  Oh well, this too shall pass. Watch out when it finally gets warm and stays warm.. the schedule will be crazy.

Weird stuff people do with their dogs:
I have a a client with a breed that is going to weigh close to 90 lbs at adulthood, and she still lets him jump into her arms at 6 months of age.  REally, people, think about it!  Hope she has a strong back.

We have a client who says her sibling dogs cannot walk on a leash, or even be on a leash.  They were "rescues" who were tied up when she adopted them, so they have been traumatized by having something around their necks.  She got these dogs at the age of 7 weeks!  I don't think they remember it (nor do I even think they were ever tied up)! She has been told many times that she must have them on leash when inside our facility.  In the past she has let them run willy-nilly around the place.. which is fine, until some Rottweiler decides to take a chunk out of one of them.  She now has her Dad meet her when she brings the dogs, then he carries one, and she carries one.  God forbid she just take them in one at a time.  Wow.

Weird requests:
Today I had a guy tell me to shave down his Springer, but leave her some "wings" so she still looks like a spaniel.  Wings??  I'm thinking, Feathers?  Skirt?  No.. he wanted some left on the ears.  Alrighty then.

Just plain funny stuff:
Today a client brought in her dog along with her 3 year old daughter.  As the dog was handed over to me, it became apparent that the girl was not happy.  Her face got sad, then just plain MAD.  "I DON'T WANT MOLLY TO STAY HERE!!!"  No matter how much we told her that Molly needed to get pretty today, or offer to let her choose Molly's bow color would make her happy.  She left crying.  When the owner came back to get the dog, she said that her daughter had cried all the way to preschool. When she picked her up from preschool, the teacher asked "What happened to Molly???"  Apparently this had been going on all day.  The client assured her that Molly had just gone for a haircut, nothing horrible. Poor kid.. can you imagine the sad story she was telling everyone at preschool?

Just plain dumb:
A client who had a dog in a very high maintenance scissored "show-type trim" had him groomed by J for the 1st time.  After a day of sweating it out, and working hard on the dog, who looked beautiful, we were holding our breath to see if she'd like the groom, and accept the price that was charged.  She had told J all about the horrible other groomings the dog had in the past.. that is never a good omen.  Surprisingly, she said she loved the groom, and gave J a large tip.  (another surprise).  She called yesterday to speak with a manager regarding her "bad experience with the groom".  The catch?  The dog was groomed a MONTH ago!!!!!!!!! NOW you are complaining?? What the heck?? I swear some people time these late complaints to get a free groom when the dog is due for the next haircut.  Not going to happen this time.

And finally, just plain crazy:
We had a boarding pet come in with his own nightlight.  It was in the shape of a cross.   Are cats afraid of the dark?