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Am I expecting too much . . . . ?

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  • Am I expecting too much . . . . ?

    I started working part-time at a salon about one month ago as a brusher/bather-no experience required. My plan was to gain experience and work into a groomers position--have the corp train me. I'm confused about this on site training - I watch someone bath a dog once, I was told how to relieve anal glands (but have never been successful, nor have I seen anyone else do it) and I've clipped a total of four nails (not dogs) - now I'm supposed to be an expert. I spend most of my time trying to restrain a dog that's trying to turn itself into a pretzel, while everyone looks the other way. They want me to start working alone (the night shift) and do walk-in nail trims and Brush and Baths - I don't think I can do it. Am I a wimp or what - how long did it that you to learn to clip nails when you never did it before. Why are brusher-bather classes an average of 3 weeks and cost $1200-1500 . . . is there something wrong with me?????

  • #2
    No, there is nothing wrong with you. You cannot feel confident with the lack of training that you have had. I was still nervous cutting nails on dogs after completing 3 months of full time school. I can't imagine being put in your position. Tell them you are not comfortable working alone like this. Maybe they don't realize that you really haven't been properly trained? Like maybe each person thinks someone else showed you how to do something? You are in no way equipped to deal with customers, trim nails and bathe and brush dogs alone. It would be a safety risk to both you and the dogs. I am concerned mainly for your own safety, however. Handling dogs takes practice and training...and many dogs are not too happy about nail trimmings.


    • #3
      I totally agree with Fur Elite. You didn't get nearly enough training to be on your own. Nail clipping is not easy at first; my school was 450 hours and nails was one of my toughest things even after that. Also, bathing and brushing a dog is not as simple as it looks. I don't think that your grooming manager remembers what it's like to be a newbie!! Don't let them put you on alone. You deserve better, and so do the dogs!


      • #4
        I still hate doing nails, so most of the time I dremmel them. That way there is less of a chance of quicking the nail. Tell them you want more training before you are by yourself.
        If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!


        • #5
          Honestly, it doesn't sound like you got any training at all. What they did to you was akin to taking a kid from the desert, throwing him into the deep end of the ocean, and yelling "SWIM".

          The reason bather/brusher classes cost what they do and run 3 weeks is because there is a LOT to learn in order to be a competent bather. There's a whole lot more involved besides throwing some soap and water at a dog and running a brush over I'm sure you're becoming aware. Good brushing technique is an art form. Anals must be released correctly or you can do serious damage. Proper restraint of an animal is vital for everyone's safety.

          Time to have a one on one discussion with the manager about the lack of training you've received. If the training hasn't been forthcoming, ask for it. Make it quite clear that you haven't had any training, and someone needs to provide it.

          If no one where you work is willing to give you at least some basic training, shame on them. They shouldn't have hired you if they can't take the time to train you. It's the managers job to see that everyone is adequately trained and able to do the job. That's why they're called managers.


          • #6
            I totally agree with everyone. You need to be confident when working with pets. Your training is/was not comprehensive at all. Did they test your skills? You wanting to do the job correctly but don't have all the information and instruction to do so. That is a plus, your wanting to do is right. Have a one-on-one with your manager and let him/her know your concerns.

            Unfortunately, many salon (corp or not) are not managed correctly and many manager don't know everything going on or "not going on".

            I commend you for looking at another avenue and advice. Many of the brusher/bather coarses are well worth the $$ and time. They are very comperhensive and thorough. Good Luck and let us know how things go!!


            • #7
              about the nails...are you still uncertain about all nails or only the black/colored ones? clear nails are easy...just clip off before the pink part of the nail. now the black and colored nails...just clip off a little at a time until you see a white dot appear.
              as far as the bathing training and such...i would also speak to the manager and tell them that your not comfortable working alone and that you NEED more training that you havent been provided any.


              • #8
                Remember what growing pains felt like when you were a kid? They hurt. It's the same thing now, you're growing and it's hard. Nails take time, as does everything else. My advice: just clip a little tiny bit at a time. That way you don't chop off the whole nail and have it bleeding so much it's hard to control. You'll eventually get used to it, and be able to trim the nail in one or two swipes.
                No Fur, No Paws, No Service.


                • #9
                  also to post a little bit of experience...i worked for a salon for 8 months. i clipped and did bbt dogs of those months? but NOT on a regular basis...and after working for her for 8 months but not doing dogs reguarly i was still a little slow with the black nails. especially if the dog kept jerking their foot around when i had just the right spot to clip...then theyd pull their leg away and id have to start over again LOL! so sometimes itd take me 3 to 4 mins to do ONE foot! i wasnt worried about it though...doing the bbt dogs wasnt hard was mostly labs and shorter haired dogs...althoughi did do collies and pyrs. just brush and make sure you get the hair out and run the comb through until you get very very little hair back.


                  • #10
                    Thanks to all who answered my post - Fri, Sat & Sun were very trying days for me. Everyone called in sick - even the receptionist. I had to rescheduled everyone, pacify the clients that weren't called in time or couldn't be reached due to misinformation, break up fights that the first-come, first served one station w/no time limit self-service instigates, tried to brush & bath a couple of dogs (which were primarly young Golden Retrivers and Labs, which I agreed to take because I didn't know any better) while answering the phone which was ringing off the hook and turn away walk-ins for grooming and nail clips. I gave discounts in the price of the nail trim to all B&B dogs (because I didn't do them) and all my discount tickets bounced at the register (for what reason I don't know) - which sent the store Manger in to see what I was doing - I can't believe I'm doing this because I want to.


                    • #11
                      You poor thing. My sympathies. I hope it gets better, or you may need to find something else. This isn't getting you off on a good start and you may give up in disgust unless something changes, which would be a shame.


                      • #12
                        oh boy sounds like you had a very trying day! poor poor you!!! to deal with ALL that AND to have to break up a fight at the self serve wash...and to have to deal with a self serve when your there by yourself...yes even I learned that labs and goldens ARENT the easiest to do by yourself lol! (when i first started bathing i was like awe thats easy! it isnt that hard to wash my own dog in the backyard this is a peice of cake! (yeah my dog was tied to a fence and washed with a hose...real easy!) then i learned that other peoples dogs ARENT as cooperative LOL! because NOW they are on same face level as you are lol!
                        pooor you! hopefully your days get better! i sure hope you explained to the manager what went on.


                        • #13
                          You should have never been put in that position of being alone in the salon with the limited training you were given. The store manager should have been back there with you if there was no salon manager available to handle things. There is a big safety issue for you and/or dogs if you are not comfortable and or properly trained to handle some dogs.

                          You definitely need to have a talk with management because it sounds like this situtation will just cause you tons of stress and not make you like the job so much.

                          It's a wonderfully rewarding job when things are explained to your correctly and you feel confident in your skills.


                          • #14
                            I agree with the others....


                            You should have never been put in that position last weekend. For the management to allow you to do so is not only a liability on their part, to me, it was just plain ludicrous, not to mention potenially dangerous for you.

                            I, too, was a bather/brusher and was hired with no prior experience. I got a couple of weeks of intensive on-the-job training and I was lucky enough to have a great salon manager who would answer any question I may have had. I agree that you should voice your concerns with management, but I guess ultimately it is going to boil down to how the salon owner/groomers treat you. Honey, not everyone is a good teacher! Maybe this is a case of the right job, but the wrong place of employment. You should always feel confident in what you are doing and gaining confidence is a blend of having good instruction along with lots of experience! It even sounds like they have not shown you how to properly restrain an animal which frankly scares me for your safety. When I began working at a vet clinic that is the first thing you learn for your safety, the vet's safety and the animal's safety.

                            If your situation doesn't improve, I would suggest looking elsewhere for the same job. Turnover rates at vet clinics are extremely high, so drop off an application with every clinic Just a suggestion. Sorry that they are making your job more difficult than it should be! In a related story, I once worked for a vet...very difficult person he was, and had a really (excuse this term) bitchy staff. Well I never learned how to do anything other than mop and wipe down a table, i kid you NOT and then on top of that I got FIRED to boot! Then I was hired by another clinic, and by the time I had to quit due to pregnancy I was practically doing everything but diagnosing and prescribing meds (I was enrolled in a vet tech school I should mention). See, a seed will only grow and flourish under the right conditions...



                            • #15
                              I hope you don't quit because of that place-it sounds terrible! You need to always be with someone experienced and allowed to get lots of practice while you can always ask for help or advice. You will only get comfortable doing nails if you do lots of them. That was the part I dreaded the most too-but it usually doesn't bother me now. Good luck!