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No, I dont think I am ok. (Long)

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  • No, I dont think I am ok. (Long)

    Wed mornings, my store has to clean out its reptile cages and they were a man short. I only had one dog scheduled, and they wouldnt be coming for another 4 hours, so I volunteered. So when Mrs L came into the store at 8, I was the one who let her in. She happens to live in the same apartment building I do. When I was moving all my furniture in the first day of August, she introduced herself. Since then, we have talked on a number of occassions and her daughter and my son have become good friends. Mrs L starts telling me her story right away. She says her dog came to my salon on Saturday, and the groomer cut off all five of her dogs warts. Not only that, but the dog must have jumped off the table, because his back is in terrible pain. Hes been crying, she says.She is actually there to see the vet. I have sympathy, we talk a bit. Once I am done, I head back to the salon.
    It turns out that she wasnt in Saturday, but it was actually LAST Tuesday. The groomer has no knowledge of any warts being cut off, and she didnt start complaining until yesterday. She saw the vet regarding the warts yesterday, and the store covered it. Today she wants to see the vet because of his back. I cant go into details there, but in the end she has to pay todays vet bill. Now to the part that really bothered me.

    After talking to the vet, she comes into the salon. My bather was there when her dog was groomed last week, and she recognizes her. Mrs. L starts being very rude to the bather. Mrs L says that the bather called her last week and admitted the dogs warts were cut off. THe bather denies that and says that IF they were, the groomer would have to call the owner, not the bather. It turns into bickering. The woman has her last word, and starts walking out. Before the door closes, the bather says... Yeah Right. The woman storms back in and starts yelling! WHAT DID YOU SAY?!?!? The bather calls the manager. The managers come to our rescue. A little problem I have is that when people start yelling, i shut down. I lose all control. My body starts shaking, my heart feels like its going to beat out of my chest. I cant think straight, I cant see straight, and I cant breathe. I become useless to everyone. Mrs. L starts dragging me in the middle." Sio didnt she say this? Sio didnt she say that?" The managers do what they do, I dont know, its fuzzy. She eventually leaves the salon, with the managers, and me and the bather go to the bathing room. We cry. She is crying because she is so angry. She wanted to jump the counter and beat that woman, and if not for her two kids at home, she would have. I was crying because I couldnt help it.

    What was I supposed to do? Who am I supposed to side with? How do I back up my bather, without upsetting Mrs L? What would everyone else have done? Even if I had kept my cool, I dont think I could have treated Mrs L like a normal customer. She was out of line, I can recognize that... I just dont know what I should have done about it? Also, does anyone else have this problem when it comes to confrontation or yelling? Anyone know of anything that I can do to help me? Any tricks? Any advice is appreciated.

    Sio

  • #2
    First of all, are the grooming manager? If, not STAY OUT OF IT and let the manager handle it.

    If yes, I would have asked the bather to leave, the client should not have been allowed to belittle an employee.

    I would have gotten Mrs.L side and told her I would research it and would call her later. I then would have researched it and came to a conclusion.

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    • #3
      I have gotten an irate customer complaining about warts being cut off. We had one cocker that was older than dirt and very very gross. Scabs all over him, ear infections dripping with goo. And warts on top of all that. We told him we do the best we can to avoid them but we are using a clipper that runs over skin hair anything that we can't feel with our hands may be nicked. We are not going to sit there with a 10 blade a purposly try to do surgery on their dog. But when they warn us their dog has warts we tell them we do our best to avoid them, but when they have a lot it is common to nick one or two. They are much more sensitive to injury than people realize. Even a slicker can get one bleeding. I had never managed to cut a wart completly off though. If your groomer did cut one off that would be a little negligent and the owner should be notified anytime a dog bleeds, just so they know. It makes them feels better when you are honest. Rather than 2 weeks go by and the dog has an infection because you knicked it and it has cushings disease making any minor cut highly supseptable to infection. As far as you bather going she should have stayed out of it there is a reason places have managers it is because they are trained to calm down the customer. She should have said let me get my manager to speak to you and walked out of the room. Although where I worked before our manager would make people angrier because she sounds sooo fake. She talks to the people like they are babies in a coochie coo tone. I can usually calm down a customer 95% of the time. If it was clearly the groomers fault the owner should be given a discount for the day, and a discount for their next groom. When it is not completely the groomers fault because dog was severly matted or aggressive, the owner should get an appoligy and an explanation on why it is much more likely their pet can get razor burned or irritated or nicked when the condition is in that state. If aggressive say we did the best we could with him being so aggresive you may want to consider a groomer that works with a vet so he can be sedated for his groom, it will be much safer for both him and the groomer. You have to make the customer feel like it is not there fault how ever you word it. When you start pointing the finger it will make the client much more defensive. You have to also protect your employees reputation and have them still respect you.
      So you say Mrs J, Groomer B has been grooming for 2 yrs with an exlemplriary record with no record of ever mistreating or harming an animal, I assure you that this was an accident and we will put this incident in our record so that we may not make the same mistake we did today. Next time Fifi comes in we will have you mark each mole with a highlighter so that we may avoid it. We are so sorry this happened and hope you accept todays groom at half off and next appointment we will give you an additional 15% off.

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      • #4
        That's a tough situation. I hope that you can get it all worked out.

        I would probably just let the managers handle it seeing as how you really weren't a part of it. You were just kinda drug into it. I would just try to let the manager and bather talk it out...maybe they can get everything setteld between them. Seemed like some things needed to be cleared up anyway, with the lady saying how the bather called her and the bather said that she didn't.

        Well, anyway, good luck with the situation. Work stress is not fun for anyone, and when one person is feeling down it brings everyone else down, unfortunately.
        Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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        • #5
          You poor thing, what a nerve wracking situation to go through. For what it is worth, I react about the same way as you do when someone gets aggressive or confrontational w/me or when yelling starts. I have learned w/time how to be able to control my breathing. This really helps to not get dizzy and shaky and out of control feeling and I am able to respond in a somewhat intelligent manner (I hope...lol). Now I get those symptoms AFTER the situation has happened which is okay, I can deal w/it then.

          Your neighbor sounds like a nightmare customer. Even though you have been friendly neighbors you should be wary of her since she flys off the handle like this and also since she apparently lies. If you aren't in management you need to step back and let them handle it since you don't know anything about the actual incident except what the moonbat told you.

          Take a deep breath and try to relax this will blow over before you know it. As far as neighborly relations I would wait till you calm down a little before you decide if or how you want to deal w/her.
          Last edited by sheilabgroomer; 04-11-07, 05:02 PM.
          SheilaB from SC

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          • #6
            Why do you care what a 'neighbor" in an apartment complex thinks of you???She soiling the reputation of your placve of employment, that would bother me mpre than what she thinks of you.

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            • #7
              I know how you feel. I either shut down or go into a rage. I've had customers try to jump over counters b/c I said something under my breath. If it's unprovoked as was the last case where I was called a F***** B*****, a "yahoo" (whatever that is), amongst many other four letter words....simply b/c she was angry her full coated cocker clip on her matted 6 month old puppy that had never been groomed before on a really busy saturday from hell wasn't done 45 mins later. Mind you I couldn't even get near it with a dryer. It pooped and screamed and spun until the lead tangled up and it's tongue turned purple and I almost killed it b/c I couldn't get the noose off it's neck. So needless to say I threw it (not literally) into a dryer and went to smoke a half pack of cigarettes. I laughed at her, and then proceeded to tell her if I was a little B**** then she was a crazy B****. She continued to curse me, I tried to be nice at first and apologize but she was just nasty this was before I called her crazy. She said she bet I was real sorry while I was tallying up the bill and that she would call her credit card company and cancel the transaction and I would never see my money blah blah blah. SHe asked to speak to the manager I told her I was the manager and then she went into a rage again and wanted the store manager who was already en route b/c you could hear her big mouth all over the place. She started screaming at her and she just calmly told her to leave. SHe had her little abercrombie clad blondie daughters with her also and they were chiming in as well. I shook for I know 45 mins after that. It still enrages me to think of her and this happened a while ago. That is the only time I have actually lost it with a customer. Most of the time an apology and a promise it will never happen again works. This woman was nuts. I was so tempted to go online to all the websites for crazy pills and have information brochures sent to her house. I feel bad for the poor dog, does she fly into a rage every time it chews her kid's 25.00 rubber old navy flip flop?

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              • #8
                I would have called the vet to comfirm Mrs. L's story about the warts and back. I would've of questioned the bather and the groomer. Mrs. L should've had those warts removed to make the job easier for the groomer anyways but then again, I have quite a few doggies with warts. I'm glad I haven't had a Mrs. L in my shop for years.

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                • #9
                  Wow! That sounds terrible. What a scene. I would be all shook up at that myself. All I can say is try not to obsess about this as you could make yourself crazy. Put it out of your mind and don't lose sleep over this. I'm one of those people if something is on my mind I'll talk to myself and obsess. So, don't be like me! lol Also, from your other thread, I saw your picture and you are beautiful! :0) Just wanted to tell ya!
                  www.gomobileandsucceed.com
                  http://thesuccessfulpetgroomer.com

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                  • #10
                    Kind of side note but, there is where the grooming consent comes into play. People are then aware of the risks of grooming and are willing to accept the outcome. Growths that get nicked are part of the equation and the client needs to understand this before the groom.

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                    • #11
                      skc, sounds like you're still shaking from that one! Lol.

                      The first time I did a Std Poodle, the daughter dropped off, father picked up, you know the story, one tells me one thing, the other's not happy. He was yelling at me, saying did I know how to cut a poodle? How horrible the dog was, etc etc. I said I'm sorry for the miscommunication, it won't happen again. He came back, and for the next 4 appts apologized for his behavior, and I got the cut right after that first one.

                      I respond the same way...freak out! When it's anyone other than my immediate family, I get totally tongue-tied, nervous sweat, sick to my stomach, breathless. It's awful, I'm a dagum basketcase. Now if it's my family and those I love...gosh I can let it fly like it's no one's business! The zingers I come up with are priceless, though there are consequences later.

                      I can't imagine your groomer cut the warts OFF. Maybe it was a cyst that had ruptured and it looked all bloody and gross. I know the bath often times softens the scabs and leaves like a dry socket of reddish ooze and blood. I'm sorry you had to deal with this woman, she sounds like a total quack (no offense to ducks). Hope everything works out smoothly for you!
                      Erin
                      No Fur, No Paws, No Service.

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                      • #12
                        I also have problems with angry customers. The only diff is I cry at the little things. I had a lady come in with a shihtzu with a long coat, she told me over and over how she wanted it. I thought that was going to look funny but I did it anyways. So I groomed the dog and called her to come pick it up, she asked me how the dog looked I said "ok", she then began lecutring me saying that I wasn't very confident in my self and that I should go back to school and that if she didn't like the hair cut she wasn't going to pay. She went on and on and on.... Finaly I told her to just come get her. By then I was in tears and really feeling incompitent. She gets there and just loves the groom and leaves me a huge tip. What is with some people?! If I were in you situation I would have called managment and then take the bather by the hand and walk away. Easy as that.

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                        • #13
                          Ok ok, I guess I should clarify. I was just embarassed that my last post was getting so long, I didnt want to go into too much detail. The wart situation was taken care of yesterday. She had told me that he ripped them right off, but apparently it wasnt that bad. She saw the vet yesterday, but it was a full week after this happened, so there wasnt much the vet could do. Whatever cuts the warts had were healed by then. The store took care of THAT vet bill. Today she had come back in and said that her dogs back was messed up and she wanted the store to take care of that as well. The store was not so quick to take care of that, but said that if the vet determined that the dog was injured a week ago and there was a chance it was in our salon that the store would take care of it. If it wasnt then she would have to take care of it. I dont know exactly what was said between the vet and the managers and Mrs L, but the store was cleared. The dog is a 9 yr old cocker. Taking care of her as a customer was not what I was concerned about. The managers make the deals and such. Difusing the situation is where I needed help. Once the managers came in to rescue us, Mrs L's complaint was that the bather was rude to her and she demanded an apology. She didnt want an apology from anyone but the bather, and the bather was not about to do that.

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                          • #14
                            In this particular situation, you should have just said "I don't know. I wasn't involved." and walked into another room. No reason in the world to be put in the middle of that mess.

                            But when you do find yourself dealing with an irate customer, one of the simplest solutions is to just ask them "What would you like me to do?" and if their request is reasonable, do it. If not, call someone with more authority to deal with it, and excuse yourself from the conversation.

                            If you happen to be the one with the ultimate authority, and what the person wants is something you're unable or unwilling to do, express how sorry you are that you can't oblige them. Then invite them to leave. If they're being vulgar or threatening, pick up the phone and offer them one chance to leave before you call the police.

                            No one should put up with being sworn at, screamed at, or threatened.

                            One last thing; document it. While it's still fresh in your mind, write it down as clearly as you remember it. If other employees were present, ask them to do the same. It could come in handy.

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                            • #15
                              gee I'm glad I've never had that happen! I've never been yelled at by a customer...in 28 years!!! its a good thing too, because I would be coming unglued!!!! guess I would hit myself in the head with something, knock the b#@@$ to the ground and call the police and tell them she hit me first! hehehe!!!!

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