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Between a rock and a hard place, help me find a soft bed

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  • Between a rock and a hard place, help me find a soft bed

    First thing first Hi, I am new here, so new that this is my first post, been lurking for a while though.

    Sooo what brought me out of the shadows you wonder? The age old question of andis versus Oster perhaps? The benefits of The Stuff? How much I am lovin my new Wahls Clipcombs (a lot)? Oh how I wish it were any of those things. I have a big fat ugly issue and I do not know what to do about it. It's a people thing and I suck at people things, especially bad things.

    So hear is my story and I will try and make it not quite so long.

    I work in a grooming salon. Last year we had 3 fulltime groomers and 2 part timers and it was perfect. Long story short, the manager decided somewhere along the way hired..not 1 but 2 more fulltimers and the part timers have increased their days from 2 days to 4 days a week. Well that all lovely and well until..well..january came.

    You all know what that means. A lot of our clients..I live in Canadas great green north and although winter has been non existant people are still not coming in. Last year we eked out enough to keep the 3 of us busy and likely could have done the same this year except now the 3 tablespoons of peanut butter has to spread over a football field instead of a slice of bread and with the exception of request clientelle (thank god for them) none of us are getting much.

    I know what you are thinking. You are thinking Cori old girl, old sot, thats what all that extra december cash was for, don't worry March will come and heck you are old and you could use some easy days after December. You would be right as rain, and that was the plan and thats where my mindset was, right up until 2 weeks ago.

    Then it happened. What happened ? Well the erase marks in the scheduling book. Dogs do cancel now and again so I didnt think much of it at first. Then it started happening a lot. Then I started paying attention to whispering. It would seem several of our younger ladies have decided that this January slump just will not do. They have outfits to buy and clubbing to pay for and whatever else 22 year old who live at home need cash for. Soo they have been erasing clients from several of our slots and writing them in thier own!

    Poor form I say. Talked to the manager who just doesnt care, went over her head to the owner who seems to not care as long as their pockets still fill i guess they dont care who brings it in. I dont know what to do, I know you wont either and likely I just need to rant but my gosh I am so mad.

    Quit you might say. Good idea except I have clients there, it's seriously down the street from home, great hours and holiday/ sick pay as well. We even get a small hourly wage when there is no dogs which is very nice but it really isnt enough to pay the bills. I have been looking around and I am just not going to find anything similar without resorting to working at one of those places I would really like to avoid but it's almost like much worse could it be?

    I just want the appointments to be divided fairly and when I talked to the offending ladies about it I got denial and eyelash fluttering. The other day one of them even booked one of my clients with herself...when my client got there she gave me a confused look and asked why I wasnt grooming her dog, when I said the book said she requested someone else she said she absolutely did not and asked if I was free. I guess I was since I had completed my whole 1 dog I had booked.


  • #2
    After nearly 50 years in this business, without judgement let me share what has happened over FIVE decades, and my parents tried to make a difference by writing a well known business book. In short, here it is.

    Most grooming business owners are terrible managers. They may be great groomers but management has nothing to do with art and styling other than to deliver, but can they? They don't understand their employees who are artists and kind hearted souls who love pets and beauty, and yet have to deal with money, taxes, overhead and quickly lose sight. It is hard on them. As a result, and it is true today as ever, they INDIRECTLY encourage you to self employment and that is why unlike MOST other professions in all of the US, the large majority of all groomers want, or become, self employed and think twice about hiring staff. Sure it can be done, but it is very hard to be both a business person, manager and yet on the opposite side of a spectrum without worry about dollars cents, a beautiful artistic groomer. So smile at what you learn and go do it right. In one paragraph this describes the environment we faced and here it is decades later the same problem exists. Those persons that can be both an excellent business owner/manager and yet employer, are rare breeds. Appreciate them because it is very very hard, but possible. They have to learn the business side with the same earnest but sad to say, the majority of staffed grooming businesses are not led by owners with the latter training. Sigh, 50 years later, I look at our industry with this insight from experience. Yet, that's why I love my client business owners with staffs that have done the work and they are truly businesspersons that groom that understand their staff. In the meantime you do have to deal with such frustrations, and it is nothing new or rare, but perhaps what lights the fire below you to excel into your own business owner some day.
    Most questions regarding GroomerTALK are answered in the Board Help Talk Forum. Thanks for coming to our community a part of


    • #3
      Yikes, that is bad!

      Are you allowed to contact the owners that you know usually want you, and tell them that some of the groomers have been a bit confused or dyslexic and have put the appointments under the wrong person, so if they have any mixup regarding this, to please inform the manager/owner?

      Unfortunately, it sounds like there are a couple of groomers who have decided to "take charge" to further their own interests, since no one else is in charge. Definitely, the business owner and/or manager is NOT actually doing "management" of their staff and booking procedures as they are letting this terribly hurtful and unfair practice continue! They should know that if these groomers will do it to a fellow groomer, they will do it to an owner.

      In fact, maybe you should print up all the replies that come in to your post and show them what has been said. Of course, if the owner is the kind of person to simply "shoot the messenger", they will fire YOU instead of taking control of/firing the problem groomers, so just print these out and make your plan and do it if the time seems right.

      I'm sorry, this really sucks. Yes, you need to be looking for another job. Meanwhile, be VERY vigilant about the appointment book, even if you need to drop in twice a day to see what's cooking, and possibly go through files to call clients to make appointments. You can tell clients what days you can be there, but of course if they need another day you must graciously say, "Oh, yes, so-and-so can do Poohky that day - what time would you like?"

      So sorry for this situation. Best of luck running interference. Don't worry about telling these b***ches that you know what they are doing and you don't appreciate it. Be stern and angry, not pleasant. They don't understand "nice". Tell them you consider that they are stealing from you. If they don't like being confronted, you may see less "erasures".

      But really - be looking for other work. You can always put an ad in the paper saying "So and so, formerly of X Grooming Salon, is now at Y Salon". In fact, if you have clients who you think will follow, a vet or other salon needing a groomer may foot that expense for you as part of your deal. Plus vets - IF you find a decent one to work for and IF they have a decent setup for grooming and IF you work out a deal in writing, etc. - will often pay a higher percentage. I have found it common for them to pay 60-75%. (Yes, I knew of this happening in Ontario, as that is where I am from, lol.)

      Good luck to you.


      • #4
        Welcome, and I will start with an apology...I'm temporarily disabling 2 birds w/ one post here. (Sounds better than "killing"...killing is so...uh...uneccessary and rather permanent.)

        And a second apology.
        I definitely understand your dilemma and the seriousness of the thread...but your style of putting words together and real sense of class...had me reading your thread off and on for a good hour before responding. I'm "just that way" sometimes.

        Where are all the other groomers over the age of chip in and give words of support or "oh yeah, I've been there"?

        You are going to need their mature input after my immature advice.

        Cori, old girl, old sot. Suspend your sense of decency and class for a week. I'm older than blame it on me.

        Get a flashy purple/pink pencil...with a substantial eraser...and play by the younger ones rules. That's exactly what I would do. Erase and'll find your groove.

        No sense overthinking this...afterall, the mgr. doesn't give a poop...and neither does the owner.
        Worse case scenario....they begin to give a poop, right? (That's where "The Sitdown" enters the picture....)

        I'm telling's simple. And welcome to the forum.
        Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.


        • #5

          Oh sibes,

          You are an inspiration!

          I did not go out and buy a flashy purple pencil although I may do so if my current plan fails. After some long hard thought I did decide to stand up for myself however. What I did was this.

          I waited until a time came in the day when all the groomers were about. I brought up that it seems odd that so many of the dogs booked into my slots were disappearing and reappearing under other peoples names and that I found it a bit disturbing. Then I mentioned that I would be from now on taking a picture of my schedule at the end of each day with my new handy dandy iphone and that should I notice that oops my 12:30 appt the next day is magically appearing under someone elses 12:30 they would be discussing it at length with myself and the owner.

          Then I lost a bit of cool and said if that didnt work I could always kick the **** out of the offender and remove my 25- 30 dollars from thier pockets.

          Presto changeO for 2 days straight erase marks on my day schedule.

          Don't get me wrong. I could be the sweetest lady on the planet and I would gladly give almost anyone the shirt off my back and the pants off my arse, as long as it was my decision to do so. That being said, I also don't intend to roll over and expose my belly like a cockapoo while my graciousness is taken advantage of. I have 2 kids and a truckdriver to feed. The coffee alone could put me in the poorhouse. (have you ever tried to keep a truckdriver full?)


          • #6

            Your solution is brilliant. Evidence.....get evidence. I would never have thought of the phonbe pic idea. AAAAHHHH technology to the rescue. That would make a great commercial. Not unlike the we fix $6 haircut idea. Verizon I'd pick up on this right away! Hey, maybe contact them, offer to do a commercial and get a little extra cash! LOL


            • #7
              Good thinking there Cori!

              And, as an added benefit...the book prolly looks SO much tidier w/out all those mussy eraser smudgy marks all over it, doesn't it?
              Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.


              • #8
                I was gonna say just erase them right back onto your own schedule and do it right in front of them but your idea was brilliant. Let those young ones know who is boss. Whenever I have worked with other groomers I naturally tend to take over and run the place whether they like it or not and I wouldnt have tolerated that behaviour for one second.


                • #9
                  I love your reply to them!! Brilliant! Also, use ink pens lol!

                  Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk


                  • #10
                    Well 8f they are erasing the pencil.... wrote it in pen!