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  • Need advice

    Hello, I am new to the area and Friday my boss made 2 requests that just dont make sense to me. The first is that I was to have a colly done start to finish in 2 hours and also be working on others as well. This was because he had paid for a full day of daycare. I have always been taught that you blow dry the dog most of the way, and then Kennel dry the dog. I did have to just put the dog in front of the dryer as we do not have big dog cages. Also, we had 3 walkins, which I thought was great. However without asking me the owners said that the clients dogs 2 large pointers would be done in an hour. About 5 min after that a person with aVERY large double coated dog walked in, and I was asked if I could do it. I said yes, no problem,. but I need to finish these other ones first, so it will be DONE in about 3 hours to be on the safe side, as I had not started the pointers yet. I was told that this was not acceptable and if I could not do it they would. I explained that I was only asking the client to wait his turn just like if he were at the grocery store bank, or anywhere else. Seems like common sense to me. I was told that "We are not like other places and there is no reason this dog should have to wait for me when the staff is capable of doing this dog themselves. I feel that this is unfair, as I had not had several good weeks in a row. My previous checks have not been anywhere near 400. I know this is alot and may seem like whinining, but I am really confused. If this is an accepted practice, then I will just change my thinking and get on with it. I must admit that for the past 12 years I have had my own shop. Therefore I am a bit out of touch with dealing with bosses. Also just as a note, this shop has only one tub.

  • #2
    Clueless boss

    Sounds like your boss thinks grooming is like a fast-food drive-through.

    If he really thinks that everyone who walks in should get their dog NOW, then you will have to clarify things with him. What he is doing means that whatever dogs you can finish in about 2 hours, you will do, and then you will have to wait for someone else to show up.

    Perhaps you can suggest that he check with you and check with the owner if a longer time is OK. After all, if the owner is OK with it, then there is no rush, right? Then, if the owner also needs the "drive-through" service, the dog might have to be handed to someone else (a non-groomer???).

    Anyway, it sounds like a drag, and not a "real" grooming atmosphere.


    • #3
      Sounds like a place I had applied at once years ago. The boss told me if it took me longer than 1 hour to completely groom a Standard Poodle, it was taking too long. I've been grooming 11 years now (and own 2 standards of my own) and to this day, unless I'm shaving the dog down from head to toe with one length, I still can't get a St. Poo done within an hour. 1.5 yes.... but not an hour unless you want the dog to look like ****.

      Needless to say, I passed on the job. I really don't care to work under stress like that. Especially with an animal.


      • #4
        Oh boy, I bet you get a lot of support here!

        This is not good business, IMO- on many levels. And I speak from plenty of experience.
        It is common to have a boss who knows NOTHING or very little of grooming, and these types of managers or owners are quick to make impossible and unfair demands (after all, they are not doing any of the work). Often those demands and expectations result in them turning dogs out that are poorly groomed or burning thru good staff and vastly hurting their productivity,,which in the long run will ruin their reputation and business. It is also common to get plenty frustrated when returning to the employee workforce after owning your own shop. It is certainly hard to do work with love and dedication and hapiness when your hands are tied and you've got hoops to jump thru that only make your job harder. I feel for you. I have been there, and I have a big mouth and won't let others sacrifice my quality of grooms (or my reputation as a groomer), so I never lasted long in those spots, but oh well!
        I think you are right on with doing dogs in the order that they come in. If comfortably possible and ONLY if without letting the clients ahead of the one who wants immediate service, I might do their dog first (but I don't think that applies in this case here),,however they are going to get a "premium" price or added fees for wanting to be bumped in priority- also common sense,,otherwise it is common sense to do first come, first serve, and appointments ALWAYS come first. But you can find that you run into this problem a lot when accepting walk-ins for more than ala carte' or quick services. I stopped taking walk ins as a policy across the board long ago, but will still take one in once in awhile if they are simple grooms, but they NEVER supercede my appt. clients. After all--those people often pre-book, they always re-book, they are courteous and understanding of how I work thru my day, they are my regulars and they deserve to have their patronage rewarded with my care. I cater more to them than to those who walk in and expect to get immediate care. IMO most of those people are out of touch with all the work that goes into grooming, so often they SHOULD just do it themselves- as a learning experience,, as likely you'll see them again soon as an appointment because their dog is a mess (and then they are also going to pay more since you'll have more work to do and their haphazard grooming to fix).
        Also, IMO you should be hand drying your double coated (DC) dogs and not letting them kennel dry completely while going on to another. Now, kennel drying to very damp and then going back over and re-fluffing and removing undercoat with an HV until completely dry and setting the lay of coat, or allowing certain areas like the head and face to kennel dry is alright, and probably most comfy for the dog. But I too have seen SO MANY groomers allow DC dogs to kennel dry start to finish so they can work in other dogs,,and not only is it NOT healthy for the animal's skin & coat (or overall grooming experience), but it really makes more work for finishing anyhow because the HV will always remove most loose hair and tangled undercoat for you and you don't have to comb out so much-- so you really won't be saving time in the long run. These coat types need active drying methods if at all possible and smooth coats even need a good HVing to remove dead coat and skin and to set the lay of coat or you end up doing more physical brushing to remove what the dryer could be blowing out for you (so it can be harder on your body, too).
        This is all just my opinion, but they are definitely educated opinions. I have been on both ends of the spectrum, and it is not fun being where you are at. So tell your boss (s)he can call me for an education anytime- I'll set them straight!
        Good luck!!
        Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt


        • #5
          I worked for a while in a non-grooming job, a large part of my salary being determined by "piecework" bonus, each job rated for speed.

          The hourly rate for each job was set by engineers who were supposed to know what they were doing when they set rates. But sometimes the hourly rates were set sky-high and we would get chewed out if we did not make the expected production.

          On one job, nobody could make the rate. The department manager was getting irritated about it. Then I was put on the job and I couldn't make the rate either. And the supervisor and DM got on my case about it.

          In return I simply stated, "I want to see the person who SET the rate, MAKE the rate! If we all don't know what we are doing per this job, tell that engineer to get his "ash" down here and show us all how it is done!"

          The next day the engineer put in his appearance - and the rate ended up being cut a third of what it originally was.

          Next time a similar situation comes up, tell the boss you want to see how it is done HIS way, him doing it, so you will get it down pat.


          • #6
            Thank you for alll your opinions. It sounds like "normal groomers" here do it the way I have for 20+years. Seems like this boss is just someone who really dosnt get it. No wonder she has burned thru so many groomers. The comments I have been getting already, are Oh another groomer? or this is the thrid groomer in almost as many months, or my favorate, Are you going to stay? I am half way tempted to take some on these papers in to show her, but I do not want to get in trouble with other groomers. I will keep you guys posted.


            • #7
              You go right ahead and print mine off for her!!
              Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt