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  • Need scheduling help!!

    I won't bore you with how awful this week was, but in 2 days I've gotten 2 people calling back saying they weren't happy with the groom. One was a cocker puppy, never done before, they wanted 1/2 off all over, so that's what I did. He had more of a field coat, so his back lay really flat when I finished. I thought he was soooooo cute!! Anyway, they said he was shaved way too short. Next one said the dog's ears were crooked, and that they felt I rushed through the groom. I thought the dog was adorable, and looking at pics, the ears could be a little off...but enough to warrant a call back and be snippy???

    I feel like I'm out of my league...maybe I shouldn't be grooming anymore. Or maybe I'm just stressed cause of some stressful days? I'm considering having a limit of only 5 dogs a day. Worst case scenario: I get 5 pugs and only make $100 for the day. On the other hand, I get out early and get to be with my daughter, and do household chores. Right now I've been taking more dogs per day, cause I can, and have just not enjoyed it. Do any of you do this? Have a set # of slots available each day, no matter what the breed?

    I'm not looking to work 40 hrs a week, right now being home with baby and keeping a sane mind is more important. Opinions please!!
    Erin
    No Fur, No Paws, No Service.

  • #2
    I work out of my house. I do have a girl come in and help me if I book more than 4 dogs. I would do 5 by myself if I had too. But I prefer not to. I like to finish early if I can and do my "chores". I feel if I do more than that by myself I get stressed out. I like to enjoy my work. So I know how you feel. I guess I do limit how many I do in a day, I will do more with a helper though.

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    • #3
      I usually have a set number of 5 dogs a day no matter what their breed is. Occ. if I have an owner that has two dogs I might add an extra if I think I have the time. Doing a set number lets me know how my day will play out and I sometimes have extra time if someone needs some extra attention.

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      • #4
        First i had gone through the same thing when i worked fo someone else but know i own my own shop and have to do alot more things so i have two bathers and theres two groomers counting me. we do about 10 - 12 a day right know I schedule everything on a hourly one @ 8:30 , 9, and so on till 1:00 then after i fill those slots ill look at my day and fill in half hour slots with bath and tidies I use to do the between 8-10 drop off but then you get a bunch of dogs right when you open the door or nothing till 10 then your day get stressful cause if you get a bunch in at 8 or 9 they always seem to want to get ut at the same time. to stressful my way i know whos coming and can give a more accurate time out of 2 to 2 1/2 hours depending on the breed, condition ect... maybe take acouple days off or work 4 days for a couple weeks. That may help with the burn out. do small dogs only and maybe through 1 large dog in thats what i do no more than 3 big dogs and no heavy coated ones thats only one and $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ goodluck , take a deep breath, get some aromatherapy oils or candles and easy listen cd for while you work to make it pleasent

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        • #5
          dont worry about it, I have had a week like that before. I just didnt take more dogs and took 3 days off to destress. It works, Good luck and keep your head up.






          QUOTE=ejmj30;14318]I won't bore you with how awful this week was, but in 2 days I've gotten 2 people calling back saying they weren't happy with the groom. One was a cocker puppy, never done before, they wanted 1/2 off all over, so that's what I did. He had more of a field coat, so his back lay really flat when I finished. I thought he was soooooo cute!! Anyway, they said he was shaved way too short. Next one said the dog's ears were crooked, and that they felt I rushed through the groom. I thought the dog was adorable, and looking at pics, the ears could be a little off...but enough to warrant a call back and be snippy???

          I feel like I'm out of my league...maybe I shouldn't be grooming anymore. Or maybe I'm just stressed cause of some stressful days? I'm considering having a limit of only 5 dogs a day. Worst case scenario: I get 5 pugs and only make $100 for the day. On the other hand, I get out early and get to be with my daughter, and do household chores. Right now I've been taking more dogs per day, cause I can, and have just not enjoyed it. Do any of you do this? Have a set # of slots available each day, no matter what the breed?

          I'm not looking to work 40 hrs a week, right now being home with baby and keeping a sane mind is more important. Opinions please!![/QUOTE]

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          • #6
            I know how you feel. I have never had anyone complain to me about my grooming, just a few that never came back. I chalk it up to experience. You can't please everyone. Set your limits based on the breed of dog not the number of dogs. Every dog is different and will take longer or shorter. Give yourself the time to step back and look at your work before you hand the dog back. I too have taken a pic of what I though was a good job and then when I downloaded the pic later thought, wow. how could I miss that or that top knot is bad or hey those ears are not even. The one that complained to you about that I would have told them to bring the dog back so you could fix it and then offer them a free refresher bath if you felt it was warrented.
            If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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            • #7
              Ohhhhhh a 5 pug day, now that would make ME happy!! LOL

              Scheduling can really be difficult. I am usually an expert at calculating the time needed for a groom or bath however, it seems this last week I have been in the same boat. Some dogs that come in regularly were in horrible shape probably because of all the snow. I groom an easy afghan hound that comes every other week and has never had a tangle in it. Well, the owner has another dog that kept jumping all over the afghan with muddy feet. She decided to help me out and rinsed the mud off the afghan hound. She then put a doggy T-shirt on the dog to keep it from getting muddy again. The T-shirt was left on the afghan ALL week! Oh MY! Now that sure messed up my schedule.

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              • #8
                Edited.
                Last edited by pamperedpups; 02-25-07, 05:09 PM.

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                • #9
                  Hmm... I really liked Pampered's advice. Also, I think that it is very interesting how some clients react and the psychology that happens between clients and service providers. I have seen clients complain after getting excellent service as well as clients who were very pleased with inferior service. I say always strive to do your best and to improve where you can. But try to remember that mistakes will happen, and that even when you try to, you can't always please everyone.

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                  • #10
                    Take a deep breath. Take another one. Now stop beating up on yourself.

                    There will always be people who complain. Do your best; offer to fix it if it's a fixable problem. If it's not a fixable problem, if it's something like you did exactly what they ask, only what they asked for is not what they wanted, apologize and assure them you'll get it right next time. If there is a next time. If there isn't a next time, take a deep breath, forgive yourself for not being a mind reader, and move on.

                    Also keep in mind that you have a new baby. New babies take a lot out of you. You probably need to take a little mommy time, relax, take a nap. Nothing in the world will affect your mood like sleep deprivation caused by being at the beck and call of a tiny person 24/7. Unless it's sleep deprivation caused by waiting up half the night waiting for your teenaged daughter to come home from her first date.

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                    • #11
                      Erin I do feel for you!!! In about a year or so you will probably look back at this time of your life and realize how tired and emotional you were. I know I did not realize how exhausted and sick feeling I was after my son (second child) was born until later!! You are still postpartum and your hormones are haywire! No, this doesn't mean you will turn into Andrea Yates, it means you are a normal working mommy of a young baby, and you are tired!
                      As far as the complaining customers go, either write them off, or you could call and offer to try to "fix" what they are unhappy with. Either way, don't stress about it, in the grand scheme of things they are small potato's!!
                      Have you thought about hiring a bather/helper? It is amazing how much stress you take off of yourself if you have a reliable person working with you. You will be able to come in later or leave earlier. You can have them help do the scheduling and clean up, not to mention bathing and drying. Even if it is only a part time person they can be worth their weight in gold!!! Don't tell them that though or you will have to pay them more....lol...just kidding!!
                      Anyway Erin, there are a lot of us on this board who have been through what you are going through right now. Talk to us when you are overloaded and need to vent!! If you feel overwhelmed ASK FOR HELP!!! It is not shameful to admit you can't do it all. Take it from someone who tried to be the "do it all" working mommy for years. So chin up and remember that tomorrow will be a better day!
                      SheilaB from SC

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                      • #12
                        Erin,

                        Not ONE of us who have been grooming long enough can claim to never have cut a dog too short, or left it a little too long, or maybe the ears were a tad 'off' or maybe missed a lock of hair dangling from the ears, I don't know, we've all done something wrong here and there. These animals MOVE, they're not statues, and it is hard to get it perfect every time.

                        Then, you took 2 big hits in a short amount of time, and that can be devastating to one's psyche. Cheer up. It's part of grooming, and it stinks. Grooming is like an art, but most people wouldn't tell you, "Hey, that painting you did sucks." Or point out faults with it. That would be beyond rude. It's different with our jobs, we are being paid for our "art," and people are sometimes unkind.

                        What can make a difference is not in what you DO in return to fix it (though admittedly, that is PART of it), but how you REACT to it. For example, if you're overly apologetic, you're going to get people thinking they've one-upped you and they DESERVE to have all kinds of free this or that, etc...

                        I was going to tell you how I would have responded, but each customer is different, so that makes a difference in how I respond. But one thing I DON'T do is over-apologize. I do say things like, "Oh, the ears were lopsided? That's easy to do on moving animals. Bring Fluffy back in at any time, and I'll fix it for you. Try as I might, sometimes it's hard to get those ears perfect."

                        If the customer is affable, I might throw in a tease when they come in. "One ear longer is the latest style, but if you want them even, you can have them even." I wouldn't say this to ALL customers. I DO like teasing the grumpy ones, (not nasty, but grumpy), they tend to lighten up and realize you have FEELINGS, and that you DO care, and that you're not perfect.

                        As far as the cocker goes, it is frustrating when the hair lies down like that. The customer has an image in their mind that the hair will be fluffy, standing straight up, etc. You're the "miracle worker," right? Well, you can't make flat hair stand up like a poodle's, it ain't gonna happen. But you can tell them in advance that "It may look shorter than it is if I take half off, as the hair is the straight, flat type, but we'll try it and see how it works." I had that happen to me too, and I learned from it. I hate learning the hard way (waaaah). There are so many ways to handle it, and your positive attitude can make a difference. Don't take it hard, those ears are sometimes hard to get perfect.

                        Tammy in Utah
                        Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                        • #13
                          Erin I forgot to mention something about scheduling.

                          I use a slot system at work and it's quite nice---if the receptionists pay attention, LOL.

                          The last week though they've scheduled me a standard poodle with pom poms and the works as 1 slot, but a labrador Bath n' brush as 2 slots!!! So being your own boss has its benefits, you can schedule the dogs the way YOU want.

                          Slot systems work nicely because you can go from 1/2 a slot (pug, dachshunds, chihuahuas), to 3 slots, etc...

                          The stazko appt. book has that, but our slot system at work is IntraVet and it doesn't have 1/2 slots, UNFORTUNATELY, but I'd rather be under-booked than over-booked. It might be something to keep in mind.

                          Tammy in Utah
                          Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                          • #14
                            Well, I spoke with both customers. The cocker woman I called back and left a message, saying I'm sorry for any misunderstanding. I felt I cut the dog 1/2 of what he was, and if they weren't happy with the length, no problem keeping it longer the next time. She suggested pics in her message and I said they're always good to give me an idea of what they're thinking. The other woman I apologized that she felt that way (not for anything I did), and then I told her she was more than welcome to bring the dog down so I could fix it anytime convenient for her. She told me no.

                            Pampered, I would definately use common sense in scheduling large dogs, but mainly what I was saying was only doing 5 dogs a day no matter what I get. Right now, I'll schedule a couple dogs here and then someone calls for a bath, so I fit them in, and then a small dog wants a haircut so I put them early in the am, or later in the afternoon knowing they won't take me long, but all those little things add up, and when I'm still at work at 5, I start to get really run down. So I set a limit of 5 per day...obviously if a newf, or std call, I won't book more biggies, but I still have 4 slots available for baths, or small trims/regular styles.

                            Here's pics of the dog with the lopsided ears.
                            Attached Files
                            Erin
                            No Fur, No Paws, No Service.

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                            • #15
                              Here's the cocker, before and after. They wanted half off, and I did an A comb rev. a/o, and 4 rev on the head.
                              Attached Files
                              Erin
                              No Fur, No Paws, No Service.

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