So at this time of year, I wanted to do a post on what a groomer goes through to get as many of our clients in at Christmas time as we can, (because I want fluffy to be beautiful for family too). No we cannot accommodate everyone; that is why I start pushing pre-booking around October so you get the exact time you want. Nothing is worse than hearing we will call you closer to Christmas, when I say you should book now because you won't get in. I push myself along with every other groomer out there to get you in for Christmas and get fluffy groomed as usual with as little stress and no injury from being rushed by owners. Often to the point of being completely stressed out and so exhausted I could literally cancel my last few days and be okay with it. I get upset phone calls with fowl language because I cannot accommodate your last minute 150lb dog as you are leaving town tomorrow. I'm sorry as I am only one person.
So I will delve into a day into a holiday groom.
It begins as any other but with a lot more on the books. I still try to keep myself calm as the dogs feed off of my energy so if I am upset by a client or rushed they feel it and do not behave as they normally would. It starts with opening the shop, mixing shampoos and checking the voicemails. If time allows I call a few before the first client shows up. It just so happens that the first client is 15 minutes late... Which puts me behind the rest of the day and for all the other dogs/owners. Let's just hope all dogs behave today and no one goes to the bathroom on themselves and have to be re-washed :)
So I start on the first dog and give the owner the pick up time. Since I run by appointment only, I do the dog from start to finish, unless you are late or like affore mentioned and someone has an accident, which does put me behind. I am 30 minutes from getting the first dog done and the second shows up early and wants to know what time. Well I am 15 minutes behind, because 1st client was late, but you are early so it should work out. I get 2nd dog started- barely in the tub and 3rd client shows up with 2 dogs, 1.5 hours early and wants me to start right now as they need to pick up by a certain time. This should have been discussed with me upon booking. I cannot start until your appointment time as it's not fair to the 2nd client. So you leave your dogs. I finish 2nd, by then dog number 1 has gone home. I start on 3rd and 4th dog shortly after checking more voicemails and returning a few. Mostly wanting in right now when I have 16 on the books today, so they are put on the waiting list. 3 & 4 are done... and I sit, with a call reminder the night before dog number 5 no shows. By this point I don't have time to call a client from the wait list... I have lost money. Well I will get in a load of laundry and clean and mix more shampoo, finish voicemails. Dog 6 & 7 shows, and is 20 minutes late, and are two medium sized dogs that never get brushed and are matted and going to take me 2x as long. Which puts me into dog 8. By this time it is 1:30 and I have yet to have a bathroom break or lunch. I finish dog 6 & 7 and start on 8 when a client that called several times and hadn't heard back yet decided to come in and bring their dog to see if I can groom it today. Normally this would not be an issue, but as with anyone during the holiday I'm super busy. So 20 minutes as I try to explain I have no openings, and I begin to receive attitude and anger for not being able to accommodate, now I am farther behind. Now owner of dog 8 is calling- when will my dog be done; you never have them this long....
So I will stop there, no need to go through all 16-20 dogs. This is how my day goes. Please think about all the stress I go through trying to fit as many as I SAFETLY can during the holiday season. I often go well in the afternoon without a break and never get to eat lunch. I do this because I love my job, and I want to get everyone done in a timely fashion. I won't even mention when I get bit or pee'd/pooped on how much time that takes. Please be nice to your groomers during the holidays. We honestly push ourselves more than a person should. Our job is VERY physically and mentally exhausting, but we still care enough after a LONG day to make sure that your baby looks perfect.
Thank you and Merry Christmas!!