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Finding competent bathers.

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  • Finding competent bathers.

    I am having the hardest time finding a competent bather for my salon. Out of about 10 interviews, only 3 actually wanted a job. I've hired one and she's been there for about 3 weeks now. The sad part is she still can't use our computer system to check in clients, she is constantly behind, and the latest is she apparently can't use independent thought. I know I should probably just tell her things aren't working out and let her go, but she's really a very nice person and has told me how she appreciates me giving her a chance at least once everyday. I've went back over her training with her several times and even posted guides for her to follow if she gets lost and forgets her next task. Nothing has worked. Let's hope this one that is starting next week is a little faster at seeing the light or I may have to stuff them both down the hair trap!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • #2
    It takes me an average of 3 months to actually settle into a new job. I have a tendency to nearly get booted because of it. I have a very hard time adjusting to new situations (mainly new people). I'm not a people person and I've got ADD (not hyper and no, no medication). I very much have a 1-track mind and if you give me more than one thing to do, I'll either forget one of them, or just stare blankly trying to process the options and figure out whan I'm supposed to do. I also have a near non-existant memory capacity. People often "wonder" about me until they become aware of my quirks/issues. Then it just takes patience and reminders. That's wjhy I want to work for myself, so I DON'T have this problem anymore. I'm tired of adjusting to new jobs and people, and I'm sick of the whole process I go through each time.
    Granted, a lot of bathers just won't get it (been there, done that with training a bazillion bathers at the petsomething while I was still a bather), but for some, you just have to have patience and let them settle into things. Good luck in your choices.


    • #3
      Its usually a good 2 months before I get my bathers completely trained in all the stuff I want them to be able to do. And even then, some are great at blowdrying, some are great at speed, some are great at brushing, some are great at doing paper work, but none are perfect at all of it. 3 weeks isnt long at all. Id give her more time and only give her one job to learn at a time.


      • #4
        ok I might need my flame retardant suit

        if you choose you post this, moderator.

        Allick you are expecting way too much way too soon. The woman who allowed me to apprentice under her could run circles around me!! It's called 30 years of doing the same thing everyday. And I know there are women here, fresh out of school who just "have it". But most of us aren't those few.

        If you have someone who really likes the dogs & the job, give her a chance!
        Bathing is hard work! Trying to learn what you want from a bather & doing a great job is enough. Nevermind the phone etc.... One thing at a time. I am definately not a multi tasker. Let me do a couple of things to near perfection & I'm happy.

        I'm totally with RevWind. I won't work for another groomer either.
        I will not put up with that kind of stress & certainly not for the kind of money the bathers around here make. (I know I've been a full time bather.)
        If I can't make it, I'll go into another field.

        You really think this bather doesn't have independent thoughts?! Meaning she can't think for herself?! You said yourself only 3 out of 10 wanted the job.
        ROTFL!!!! Wonder how soon you'll be working by youself?

        Lighten up.
        Last edited by eli; 02-28-07, 01:02 PM. Reason: I forgot to mention


        • #5
          okay im a bather myself. i can tell you i worked at two diffrent salons. i have a little over a years experience now. but when i first worked at a grooming salon she got about 20 plus dogs a day. now this is an established shop. okay...i trained with her one bather for one day. we worked together (washing and drying together). her bather has been with her for 6 yrs. she felt i was fine. well first day on my own i was OVERWHELMED!!! she gave me a break and didnt rush me. now i only worked 3 days a week. believe me...if i was expected to answer the phone and check dogs in and out WHILE bathing and drying all these dogs i would have had a mental breakdown! if she has a problem understanding the computer system then she has a problem with it. the shop i worked at last only averaged about max 10 dogs a day. now im alot faster getting the dogs done...but maybe she isnt used to doing as many dogs as your having her do, maybe your overwhelming her with work and she is stressing out. first off what specific tasks do you have her doing? also how many dogs/day is she washing and drying? i wouldnt worry about the computer system...if she cannot figure it out either do it yourself or hire someone else to do it. i worked at a doggy daycare where an older daycare worker didnt understand the computer system so when i worked with her at nights i would just do the up front office work checking the dogs out while she supervised in the back. if she has only been there for 3 wks give her a break. i would sit down and have a talk with her and ask her if she feels she is being overwhelmed with work and ask her what problems she is having with the computer system. if possible try and take a day you have off and offer to come in and show her around the computer system. its possible you have too many tasks for her to do and she is getting confused.
          bathing and drying the dogs should be her FIRST priorty as if they arent washed and dried YOU arent going to be grooming the dogs.
          believe me...i wanted OUT of that first grooming shop as i was totally stressing out working there.
          thats JMHO


          • #6
            Listen here

            I worked in a shop like yours once.

            I crawled into bed by fri. not even able to move till mon.
            Then it started all over again.
            The noise level, the stress level, the music blairing, and the constant
            yak yak yakking, the barking.
            Answer the phone( not good enough)
            Take a payment( where did you put the receipt? didn't show me)
            Wash this (biting snarling) dog.
            Move this dog, to this cage, and this dog to that cage, and put the first dog in the cage on the floor.
            Clean the place, run to get this dog, put its collar up, mark the dogs done.
            Heres a dog you can groom.( i don't know what to do! do it anyhow.)
            When we got ten a day done, we did 12 , then when we got that, it was 14.
            At the super idea of 18 a day or opening another shop to go with the one I was at
            I was gone. And the pay so great. 7 and hour, no breaks, and lunch on the run if you were lucky.
            Not for twenty an hour. Not ever.
            Sweat shops are not good for man or beast.
            Last edited by redbird; 02-28-07, 02:29 PM.


            • #7
              oh yeah, I thought of something else... In grooming school (not learning to groom from another bather, an acredited grooming school) The entire first month was just bathing and brushing.


              • #8
                i think being a good bather is as importing as being a good groomer.
                i also think most people with a brain could learn, but it does take a lot of instruction. I also think its horrible that bathers tend to get paid so little.

                if you really like the girl, and like having her around personally, just invest a few straight days with her showing her everything -- even you might things you might think are stupid or that everyone should know. :-)


                • #9
                  When I was first hired my boss gave me a three month probationary period. That way my job was not guaranteed until after those three months. At the end of it she could evaluate whether or not she wanted to keep me.

                  I say this because I think that it may be a good idea to give her a little more time. Three weeks is awful soon. This job can be stressful, and a lot to handle, especially in the beginning. I know that it was for me.

                  We had a girl that worked with us for a little while. She asked A LOT of questions, and would continually ask us to repeat things, help her with procedures, explain processes, etc. This was fine in the beginning, but after a while she should have been learning her job. At that point my boss talked to her, and then eventually she ended up quitting.

                  My point though, is this. We knew from the beginning that she was having trouble picking up things. But some of the best bathers that we have ever had started out slow. With a little time they blossomed. Sometimes you just can't tell how the will eventually do until they have been there awhile.

                  My advice to you is to give her a little more time. Maybe she will start to pick things up.

                  I can understand the frustration of trying to find a good bather...believe me. We've gone through a whole heck of a lot, lol. Whatever you decide, good luck!
                  Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones


                  • #10
                    I have got to reply to this one

                    The hardest thing about finding a good bather-Someone who can get a dog clean! I went through a few people who just could not get a dog clean. If she is getting the dogs clean,,,,leave her alone.
                    My bather (who knew nothing of bathing) has been working now for almost 2mths. Within 3 days of constantly showing the proper way to wash and rinse, my dogs are squeaky clean.
                    Took almost two months for a decent fluff out. Still working on it.
                    Her duties are only- wash and dry dogs. downtimes, she washes towels. We average 8-16 dogs a day. Most important to me...I want a clean dog.
                    I have worked alone for many years, this girl is important to me as she is cutting down on my stress and work load.
                    Many times she will wash and I will fluff out while she is washing another dog. I think of her and treat her as a team player.
                    My opinion your expecting too much of your bather.
                    also she can take a break when she wants and eat when she wants. When she first started she never took a break, I had to actually force her to. I think she was afraid to.


                    • #11
                      give her a break! back when i started bathing i remember the first dog i did the owner of the shop checked the dog and said,you know in 20 yrs of grooming i've never had someone bathe a dog as good as you that made me feel very good and from then on i did my best to not let her down,i had a key to her store in 2 weeks and was working 4hrs a day alone bathing some dogs for her until she came in;she gave me respect and trusted me so i knew i could never let her down. tell the poor girl that's she's good at whatever she is doing good maybe that will make her feel more relaxed and do a better job,some times we forget that some of us started like her, and that you could be the person to make a change in her because she will either love what she does or she will hate it.


                      • #12
                        I hope that you will keep us informed as to how everything works out. It will be interesting to hear how you handle this stuation. Good luck with your bathers.


                        • #13
                          I agree with most everyone else---give her more time. I had a girl that wanted to learn to groom, and she came by the shop for a few days, she was gooood, hard worker, etc...but what "I" learned from the short amount of time we worked together was that there were a LOT MORE details to bathing than I had first realized.

                          So, that being said, maybe help her focus on the two most important things: Getting the dog squeaky clean, and drying it properly. All the other things are just appendages to the main body of information. Of course she needs to know safety issues---don't get water in ears, bla bla bla...but I think most people are more afraid of HURTING the animal anyway, so just focus on the two main things that you need from her, a clean, properly dried dog.

                          Tammy in Utah
                          Groomers Helper Affiliate


                          • #14
                            I know where you are coming from. I get frustated because they take longer than I do or I have to finish drying the dog. You get use to the way you can handle things and expect others to do the same but it doesn't always work that way. I feel that way in every aspect of my life not just grooming. Being the owner I also feel that the slower they are is less money I am making and maybe I should just work alone.


                            • #15
                              another thing i have to ask allision...why are you hiring another bather??? are you just that busy that you need two bathers? or is this to see which one works out better? if you are that busy that you honestly need two bathers (also will they be working together or on diffrent days?) then i can see the bather you have now being overwhelmed with work. you mentioned that she is always behind...always behind in what? washing the dogs or doing the other duties? also do you expect EVERY dutie to get done in the day or can some of the stuff be divided up into daily duties to be done and weekly duties to be done. i know the shop i last worked at my duties were pretty simple. wash and dry dogs,wipe hair off the walls if there is any hair on the walls, rinse the tub down at the end of the day and vaccuum up the hair in the bathing room. pretty simple. now if you are having her using the computer system (checking in dogs, checking out dogs whatever you have it for) then i can see her being behind in things. i know when my boss was out and i had to answer the phone while bathing a dog it was a pain. dry hands off, answer the phone in my pocket, resume washing dog, ring ring, dry hands off again, answer phone in pocket etc etc. what i normally should have gotten done at least in 20 mins took me a half hr to 40 mins just to wash the dang dog! it was VERY annoying to me..of course my boss didnt care as she wasnt around...but i mean comeon...if she cannot use the computer it THAT important for her to learn how to use it? if she is behind on just washing the her little tips and tricks on how to get them done faster. if this is her first bathing job then you should expect her to be slow. i know i myself didnt get faster until about 3 to 4 months after working there. its just like with grooming....eventually you get faster at it. at this shop, my boss claimed that she could get a beagle washed, dried and groomed in 20 mins. i never saw her do it...but she did get a schn. washed in about 6 mins. but then again schs. are sometimes smaller than beagles. heck i can get a schn. washed in 6 mins! i can have it washed and dried in about 20 to 25 mins! but totally groomed also? i do not think so. for a beagle i could have it washed and dried in 20 to 25 minutes...but other than that i wasnt getting it done any faster. my first dog i washed for her it took me 1 1/2 hrs to 2 hrs just to wash and dry him. he is a lab/chow mix...about 60 to 70 lbs...very nice dog. when i was let go i got down to about a half hr 45 mins washed and dried. and that was 7 months of doing him every 3 wks!
                              i wouldnt expect dogs to get done super fast if she is new at this. give her time and if she is having problems getting stuff done then i would cut back on her duties and add new ones as she seems to be picking it up.