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How would you respond to this?? ( kind of a vent)

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  • How would you respond to this?? ( kind of a vent)

    I started working at a new grooming salon, part time, about 2 weeks ago. I've worked 4 days so far.

    The salon owner called me yesterday to tell me that 2 of my dog owners didn't like their grooms. One was a new poodle who hadn't been groomed in about 5 months ( not matted just clumpy) who had asked for a Teddy bear clip. I gave him a #1 all over with a teddy bear face. The other was a yorkie that wasn't neutered and wouldn't let me trim by his "boys". (It looked like he had maybe been cut there at some point) When the owner picked up we (the other groomer and I) informed her that we were unable to trim that area.

    So my question is: The salon owner then proceeded to inform me that "if I do to many haircuts that people don't like, She would no longer be able to have me working for her company". I completely understand that in order to make money the customers have to be happy with the grooms. I just feel like it was a little harsh since 1 i just started working there 2 weeks ago and am still learning how the shop is run, 2 that I work really hard on the dogs I do and WANT the customers to be happy, and 3 that it's kinda a given in this industry that if you're not doing a good job you're an expense not an investment.

    I have worked my behind off to learn how to properly groom dogs!! I've pretty much memorized Note from the Groom Table and the Theory of 5. I take on dogs that most people would just shave down and work to get a clip that looks good.
    My feelings were very hurt by the way the Owner came across and didn't really know how to respond. I'm not a "bad" groomer!!

    How would you address a new employee about a groom if the owner didn't like it? Am I wrong to be upset about this?

  • #2
    Sounds like you did your best. Why didn't the pet-parent like the Teddy bear clip on the Poodle? The Yorkie is understandable, sometimes dogs don't want you messing with parts of their body. Who is presenting the dogs to the owners at pickup? The attitude they present with may reflect on how the owner feels about the groom. Continue doing your best, positive approach at pick up when things don't go well. If the owner thinks you are not going to work out for her company, find another place to work.


    • #3
      It doesn't should like you have worked there long enough to know the individual styles produced from that individual salon. Every salon is a bit different in styles their groomers produced. It also sounds like you were put directly into the fire without good instruction. I don't care if you have been grooming 20 years, when you go to a new salon there is a learning curve. Has the owner explained their policies on what to do when there is a dog that comes in that simply won't tolerate part of the grooming process? Has the owner discussed the salon policy for how to handle clients that get their dog home and are not happy with the groom? Since you are brand new, you need that information.

      I think it's pretty simple in that if a client doesn't like the groom their dog received, they need to get back in with the dog so the trim can be discussed to find out exactly what the owner doesn't like. In the case of the poodle who was a brand new client, they need to be reminded that every salon is a little bit different, and if something isn't right with the trim, they just need to show/explain what they prefer. Remember that their definition of a "teddy bear head" may be entirely different than what you've learned, I mean, you are counting on the fact that the last groomer knew what a "teddy bear head" actually was. Don't we all know there isn't a test you have to take and pass to be a groomer, and you have memorized "Notes" and "Theory of 5" you are one of a select group of groomers, and are not the norm. How many definitions are there of "puppy cut" in the grooming world and wouldn't each one of us do a "puppy cut" differently?

      How many of us can walk into a new human hair salon and be perfectly happy every single time? Isn't that one of the reasons that we want the same stylist every time we go? The simple fact is that humans hate to change hairdressers, and hairdressers can expect repeat business for that very reason. If it was simple to just go anywhere, then you would. Dog hair styling isn't any different. It's not like it's a basic service that will be done the exact same way every single time no matter where you go. It's just not like getting an oil change in your car.

      Course, here's the other side. If you have only worked there 4 days and are already discovering the owner is a jerk and doesn't back their employees, count yourself lucky in finding out quickly and continue looking for a quality employer.


      • #4

        Well, lets see. If YOUR job depends upon YOUR performance. I would see how you could improve yourself. How about having your boss look over your grooms before the doggie goes home? This way your boss will see your work first hand. When I first started in a salon, my boss would come over to my groom, comb it all up & out & tell me fix it. You bet your pattooty I did. Her pushing me to perfection made me a better groomer. So, for ME- As long as I stay teachable, I can take anything that makes me better, stronger, wiser & then I can go flip them off behind the bathroom door! Tee-Hee.


        • #5
          I guess I would need to know more to know how to respond like exactly what were their complaints about. Sometimes when they are regular clients of that salon and you trim something differently than they are used to they don't like it even though it might look nice.

          Did the owner of the salon ask the people to bring the dogs back and and verify there was an issue that needed to be fixed and offer to fix it for free?

          It is the salon owners job to respond to the customers but it would be nice for her to tell or show you exactly what the problem is so if there was something they wanted a little differently it woulnd't be done again.

          I remember one time the salon owner telling me the owner of a Lhasa went on and on about how she didn't like the last groom I did so when she came in again and I went up front to talk to her it was that I had shaved the bridge of her nose instead of using thinners like the last groomer and she didn't like the look but the boss made it sound llike she didn't like the whole groom . So it could always be something as simple as that.


          • #6
            It takes a while to settle in.. I know for myself I get a few complaints the first few weeks at a new place.. Then everyone gets use to my work, I get use to the facility and the requests start coming in.

            If its just the style customers are complaining about, as an employer, I would correct the problem and see if my groomer settles in.. If the dogs were cut or otherwise injured I would let ya go then and there.. but thats not the case.. The clietns are use to a certain way of grooming and need to be accustomed to your work.

            Try to relax and focus a bit more and ask more questions with the customers.. Also, upon check in, tell them you are doing your best to interpret their instructions and if there is something that needs to be changed to let you know immediately so that you can correct it


            • #7
              Does the owner of the shop groom dogs herself? Because if she was she should have been on your side instead of telling you that.
              I would talk to your boss about her expectations of you. I can see her being upset about a miscomunication with client that results in wrong haircut but beating you down for not meeting expectations of neglectful owner and not wanting to endanger a dog do not really do not represent the owner in the best lite.


              • #8
                It's hard to say without more info. When I first started at the last salon people were thrilled with my work, til they found out I did it and not the owner. Then there would be all sorts of problems. If these are LEGITMATE complaints I would try to get to teh root problem. A lot of times it is a lack of communication and understanding between groomer and owner.
                What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mylady View Post
                  It's hard to say without more info. When I first started at the last salon people were thrilled with my work, til they found out I did it and not the owner. Then there would be all sorts of problems. If these are LEGITMATE complaints I would try to get to teh root problem. A lot of times it is a lack of communication and understanding between groomer and owner.
                  Ugh doesnt that just put your panties in a twist I had a bunch like that at one place I worked and I wanted to scream and some would say not that I didn't like the way you groomed him or her I just want the other person to do it.


                  • #10
                    I've found myself in the same situation since I just started at a corporate salon in February. All the other girls have been there so they have mostly regular request dogs so I get a lot of dogs that haven't been in to get groomed for 5+ months, as well as the regulars of another groomer who recently left. So its definitely been a little tough getting used to what people want from me at this salon. I know I do good grooms since I had a number of regulars when I worked with a mobile company, and then I furthered my education at Graywood Academy and with my ISCC Dermatech certification.

                    For instance today I had a woman call about a groom I did on her Miniature Poodle, over 2 weeks ago! She gets this 12 y/o poodle groomed every month (she's been taking it somewhere else, last time she was at our salon was November) and I did the same lengths on the body, head, etc. that the last groomer here did. The husband picked the dog up and the only thing he asked me to do different was to shave the rectum area (I normally just trim there with thinning or curved shears, especially since this dog was prone to irritation). I put the dog back on my table, trimmed it up, explained why I had done differently but that I would put a note in for next time. After that he left. Now all of a sudden the woman is complaining that I didn't take it short enough (this old dog has thin wispy hair and gets done with a #5 every month, how much did she think was going to come off?), and now it looks like I didn't do anything to the dog at all? I don't know. I guess I'll find out tomorrow because my manager said she could come in and I would take it shorter (no bath or anything else). I'd like to ask people when the last time they did that to their hairstylist was?


                    • #11
                      Depends on...

                      It depends on a few things. The owner does not sound like a groomer, which could be a problem. I say that she does not sound like a groomer because if she was, she would know that a Poodle going 5 months between grooms should not be promised a Teddy Bear clip, so her CORRECT response to owners would be, "It's a miracle that he has this much hair left, thanks to the groomer. Please bring him in in 4-6 weeks".

                      So if she's not a groomer, make sure now that you SHOW her what you are working with and what you are doing. Tell her that you would be FINE with speaking to owners if there is any problem. That way you can either fix whatever it is they are unhappy with, or mark on the card so it can be avoided. Since you were not speaking with the owners, I agree that it is probably not anywhere NEAR as bad as this owner makes it sound. And if she was a groomer, she could have explained to the owners AND she would have assessed your groom and approved it before leaving her shop! I'm sure the grooms were fine, but this owner does not know that, she only goes by customer response.

                      SwissnChow said it - if this owner is a jerk, might as well find out before you work there very long!

                      Sometimes we are unappreciated even when we perform miracles.


                      • #12
                        I can't stress enough the importance of taking before/after pictures of your work.........I do it on all new clients even though I've been grooming since the 1980's.............. This would be your "proof" of your grooming abilities........also a good base line to improve on. The pictures can also be used if a customer comes back two weeks later and complains about a "bad groom". You can store hundreds of digital pictures on you PC and it's a good source of reference when applying for a new job.

                        Happy Picture taking

                        Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC



                        • #13

                          I really appreciate the responses!

                          The owner IS a groomer and has been grooming for 12 years or so. I would gladly have her check over my grooms but she works at her other shop.

                          I will post pictures of the poodle later ( when my kids aren't bouncing around the computer) I'm just not sure what her definition of "too many" customers who don't like my grooms is. I know at my old salon some people didn't like my styles but plenty of people ( doodle owner's in particular) loved them. I've worked really hard to overcome my cruddy training at Petsomething.
                          The other groomer handed the dogs back, so from now on I will be doing it myself and playing 20 questions with the owners BEFORE they leave.

                          as for looking for a different employer, I'm going to see how this week goes, and if I do get "let go" I'll use my unemployment to go back to grooming school!


                          • #14
                            OH I love pictures if only so I can see what I could stand to tweak the next time.


                            • #15
                              pic's of the poodle

                              These pictures of the poodle I did aren't the best, but I think the groom looked good. I don't know how this link will work let me know if it doesn't and i'll try to resize the photos