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HELP! My bather is horrible and the owner's best friend!!!!

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  • HELP! My bather is horrible and the owner's best friend!!!!

    A few weeks ago I asked the owner of the shop I work for if I could get a bather since business is starting to pick up a little. She told me to call her best friend. I thought she knew what she was doing because she said she used to bathe for a vet (as a vet tech) and at other grooming shops. The first days she came in was the Saturday before Easter and I had 14 dogs. I was there until 6 because I was constantly having to finish drying the dogs! First off, this lady did 14 dogs and only used about 2 dawn bottles of shampoo. She barely blew out the dogs and shoved them into a cage dryer. The rest of the time she would come up to the front and sit down doing whatever. The next Saturday I told her she didn't need to come in, partly because I didn't want her there and part because there were only 5 dogs on the books. The following week I get a call from the owner asking "did **** do something wrong?". I didn't want to tell her her friend is horrible so I just said that there were only 5 dogs on the books. She told me to still have her come. Last Saturday I didn't want to say anything about the shampoo because maybe that was some fluke or something but I did show her how I wanted her to dry the dogs. Can I just say that she didn't even towel to dry??!!?? I had a "mean" dog come in who loves me so I did her myself. The bather had done 3 dogs prior and only used about 1 inch of shampoo from the bottle. Later, I find she still wasn't towel drying! I tried to show her again how to dry and she went to the front of the shop! I am at my wits end with this lady and really wish I could hire someone I can train and would follow my directions. Currently I'm trying to gather a bunch of material for her to read and then Saturday, if it's not too busy, maybe have her shadow. This lady is about my age (30's) or maybe even older and set in her ways. What kind of stuff came out of the other shops? I need some suggestions on what to do.

  • #2
    Hummm maybe call all the worst pups you have to come in on the same day and let them convince her to leave. LOL O.K. all kidding aside your going to have to talk to the owner. Make sure you let her know it's nothing personal but that you need this women to bathe the dogs a certain way . Tread lightly on how bad she is just that she needs to do thing the way you like in order to have the dogs look the best possible. Spin it so that the owner realizes that this is going to be about her bottom line you don't want dogs coming back because they weren't clean. Good luck.
    "I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt,
    and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." - John Steinbeck


    • #3
      Sadly I think that is the way a lot of kennels and vet kennels teach their bathers how to do thier jobs.

      There was a man that was dropping of his Lhasa at my vets to board who asked for her to have a bath first thing in the morning the day he was to pick up and when he asked if he could pick her up an hour after her bath was told no because they don't put dryers on kennel baths.

      I was standing there like WHATT!!!!!!

      I would talk with your boss and explain what it is you need from her friend to properly groom the dogs and how there is a sometimes a difference between kennel bathing and real grooming shop bathing. Maybe you can show or tell her the proper way and she will be willing to learn and grow with you.


      • #4
        I would have told the owner her gal friend did a rotten job, not up to your standards and not worth the money paid for services rendered. And tell her why when she asks what the problem is.

        If you are not honest about the situation, the problem will not be addressed.


        • #5
          I feel for you

          I so feel for your situation... I spent 9 long horrible months at a shop that the bathers and the owner were good friends and then they added in the bathers cousin... ( can we now say 4 against one on the better way to do things) 95% of the dogs were not washed properly they were tossed in cage dryers for 30 minutes dripping wet and then the dryer was set on the highest heat possible.. can we say sweat shop............. I even showed both of them how to scrub a dog and dry it with 1 towel and then force dry it so that the dog came out dry they would claim that the dog was scared of the force dryer.... umm hello guess what I was using on the dog when it was on my table ...

          I got sick of it when they kept offering to bath my dog so I let them do it once.... gave them the medicated shampoo to use on her and told them to let it sit 10 minutes.............. I got back a soaking wet full show coated springer that wasnt clean and they got upset when i tossed her back in the tub and rewashed her....

          Needless to say when the first of the year came and the boss called and put me on "per diem" then 2 days later called me and was screaming in my voice mail that I just walked out on her I was glad that all my things were at home already..........

          Only thing I can suggest is that you try to talk to your boss about the need to retrain your bather.... explain it to her in a clear fact way that it is for the better of the shop that she be retrained otherwise ask again if you can bring in someone that you can train from the start

          Good luck


          • #6
            Speak up!!

            You have to be blunt, and honest.. tell the boss. If you can't speak up, nothing can change. You can be stressed out for days, weeks, even months... or you can be stressed out for an hour while you tell your boss and bather why it isn't working...


            • #7
              I think I'm going to try to show her again what I want her to do on Saturday and if she doesn't change then I'll definitely call the owner. Thanks.


              • #8
                You are not doing the boss any favor by not telling her the truth. She may not want to hear it, but she needs to know. How is the boss supposed to trust you if you will not be honest?


                • #9
                  You need to be honest with the owner and the bather explain/show to the bather exactly how you want the dogs washed and dried how much shampoo should be used etc you will never get the desired job done if she has no clue what you expect of her .. as for your boss explain the situation to her but do let her know having a bather to help is only beneficial to the shop if she does a good job and does it properly .


                  • #10
                    I would have to say Speak up or your will be stuck with her for a long time. Maybe just ask the owner if she can teach the lady how to bath the dogs since she is not listening to you. I would explain the this is biz and friendship is seperated from that. Besides how does she plan to stay around if dogs are still dirty and not fluffed or dryed correctly??


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dog Daze View Post
                      Sadly I think that is the way a lot of kennels and vet kennels teach their bathers how to do thier jobs.
                      Last summer a vet tech came back for college. The took her back for the summer to help us out bathing. She did such a bad job, that I found myself bathing my own dogs when she was busy with the other groomer's dogs. She just didn't want to be doing it and didn't care about doing a thorough job. We were excited when she went back to school. She is a wonderful girl and she loves being a tech (she's actually in school to be a vet) but we were excited to have her go back to school.
                      "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce


                      • #12
                        You definately need to be honest w/the owner. I would tell her that she's going to end up loosing money from you having to rebathe and re-fluff or she will loose clients if you don't rebathe/re-flluff because the quality of her friends work isn't up to your standards. Has the owner seen first hand how the dogs look when her friend is done w/them? Time for her to get a wake up call and find out why it's never good policy to hire friends or family.
                        SheilaB from SC


                        • #13
                          I agree that you have to be honest and tell your boss the truth. But I think you should make a "bad news sandwich." Try to say something good to say about the girl; she's prompt, she handles the dogs well. Something. Start with that, then move on to "There are a few problems, though." and list your complaints (it's a good idea to write them down before hand). Then end with something positive; "Thank you for tryting to help me out by hiring a bather. I appreciate the effort, and hope we can resolve this to everyone's satisfaction."


                          • #14
                            This is really a chance to excel, and perhaps you could use a few tools.

                            As we all know people can really underestimate the work of grooming, especially bathing and drying. Everyone deserves to be properly INFORMED and TRAINED before we can criticize their work and label them terrible.

                            Why not give a short course, make then OBSERVE you doing it right? To speed this process up, perhaps you could photocopy The Humane Bath Procedure in From Problems to Profits, or sticky the page and let them read it. There in print they see that even someone else agrees there are standards to bathing, also Notes From the Grooming Table. In fact, give the bather and owner a pencil and pad to take notes!! Cool. Dumbfound them with your professionalism in your demonstration with handouts easily made from these books.

                            Next inform them that you cannot have great styling without a great bath and dry, experts agree. Share that to deliver your standard of styling you must require ane expect this level of bathing quality.

                            Ergo, if you are to work with a pet bather you must expect excellence in bathing, and that you are willing to train the right person to become a professional bather, and ________ is what you need to make that so. Perhaps a few extra hours pay for the training process.

                            Whether they realize it or not you just presented a pro's solution and the more we act like a pro our professional careers adapt, and I am sure new opportunities will be attracted to you where you will work among like-minded pros in pet care as your career evolves.

                            Here's to stunning them with your brilliance while you carry a big smile inside.
                            Last edited by Stephen; 04-23-10, 12:07 PM.


                            • #15
                              all of our bathers seem to be just like yours,and its frustrating cause boss lady thinks they do a great job,ive had to re-bathe alot of my dogs,now i just dont use a bather anymore,they are more of a problem than anything