Sorry I didn't post any Tuesday Tip or Test this week.
It has been crazy and weird the last two weeks.
There must be something in the air.
Some of my customers have been really ....weird lately.
I don't know how else to describe it.
They are forgetting appointments ,even after being reminded the day before and saying okay.
For the past five or six years, I can't remember anymore, we have been sending out letters for scheduling for the coming year.
We have been getting calls from long time customers with questions about the letter.
Really strange questions that don't make sense, like they have never seen this form before.
Those are just fairly little things.
The weirdest thing was three customers that I have had come in the last few days.
I have had a number of new customers in the past couple of months.
About half are customers belonging to the groomer that is out on maternity leave, and just needs me to groom her dogs till she gets back.
The other half are customers that have been recommended to me or have seen my website.
I am afraid that I have to say, I will be happy when the other groomer starts back to work again, because some of her customers are just....I don't no....strange??
Don't get me wrong, most of them have been very nice and are very appreciative of me grooming their dogs while their regular groomer can't.
It's just that a few of them have been way over the top.
I had one lady that was very nice, but I had to spend almost half an hour reassuring her that I was not going to kill her dog.
I think that if someone had come up behind her and said 'Boo', or if a dog had chosen right then to squeal about a nail or having it's ears plucked, she would have run out the door.
I am pretty good at making people feel relaxed about leaving their dogs with me, but this lady took extra time to say the least.
She was very happy with the groom....thankfully.
Many of the customers belonging to the other groomer have made a point of telling me that they where only coming to me till the other groomer comes back from maternity leave.
It's nice to see loyal customers.
I can only hope that mine would feel the same way.
But, the last few of this groomers customers that I have done this week truly made me feel like I was going insane.
The first customer came in with her 13 year old Westie.
A very nice dog with a really nice coat.
As the customer filled out the information form, I held the dog.
He was a happy, kissy dog.
His owner told me about his medical issues, and I reassured her that I would have the dog out as quickly as possible.
Then she asked to say goodbye to the dog.
I put it up on the counter.
She grabbed him and started hugging him and rubbing his face, and saying over and over and over again, looking like she was going the cry I might add.
"I am sorry."
"I am so sorry."
"I am sorry."
"I am sooo sorry."
I mean really....I lost count of how many times she keep hugging and putting the dogs face in her face, saying the same thing over and over.
All I could do was just stand there.
I had to check and make sure that my mouth was not hanging open.
This dog was 13 years old.
It has been getting groomed for 13 years...right?
She has left it before...right?
Then, while still hugging the dog, she looked accusingly up at me.
"He is shaking."
"Why is he shaking?"
"He is feeding off of you," I explained.
"He can tell that you are nervous and worried about leaving him."
"Ohhh, should I stay with him?" she asked, startled.
I felt like looking around to see if someone was punking me.
"No, no I mean that he is shaking because he can tell that you are worried," I explained as quickly as I could.
"Once you leave he will be fine," I finished.
After another hug, she reluctantly let me take the dog from her.
I have had people worried about leaving dogs before over the years, but never like this.
This owner really looked like she was going to have a break down.
I almost didn't want her to leave the dog.
I have no problem with her going back to her groomer.
I had him back to her in a little over an hour.
I was not keeping him there any longer than I had to.
She still did not smile when she was picking up the dog.
She did not say one way or the other whether she liked the cut or not.
At least the dog was happy.
He was wagging his tail and playfully dancing all over the lobby.
As the Westie was leaving, my 1pm appointment showed up.
Yep, you guessed it.
Another new customer belonging to the other groomer.
A creme colored miniature Poodle.
The first thing the owner told me was, that he was the other groomers customer, and thanked me for giving him an appointment while his groomer was on maternity leave.
Okay, we seemed to be off to a good start.
While he filled out the information form, I picked up his dog.
She was a very sweet Poodle.
"I see that Dad does not like you to look like a Poodle," I teased the dog.
"How do you know that?" the owner stopped filling out the form, and looked at me with a confused look on his face.
"Can you tell by the way I look?" he asked.
"Uh, no, I can see that he is not cut like a Poodle," I told him.
I continued to pet and talk to the Poodle while he finished filling out the form.
Once he was done with the form I asked him how he wanted the dog cut.
"Our groomer cuts her every 10 weeks, so cut her so she will last 10 weeks," he told me.
"She is also very aggressive," he added.
"Who! Her!" I said in shock, before I could stop myself.
I was getting absolutely no bad vibes off of this dog.
"Yes, she can be aggressive," the owner said.
"Don't worry, I have very low expectations," he added.
Don't worry, I said it to myself this time.
"I am sorry?" I said instead.
I must have miss understood.
"Don't worry, I won't be upset if you can't do the whole cut."
"I have very low expectations," he repeated again.
"I don't think that I will have any problem with her, I think she will be fine," I tried to reassure him.
"Don't worry, my expectations are low," he smiled.
OMG mister will you please stop saying that!
Once again, someone must be punking me.
"I don't know how our groomer does it, but she gets her clipped," he told me.
"So don't worry if you have to call me because you can't do her."
"Just call my number if you need me," he said, as he started to walk out the door.
"I just don't know how our groomer gets her done," were his last words as he walked out the door.
Once again, I just stood there looking at the door.
Okay, I don't think I want to do anymore of this groomers dogs.
So I groomed her.
I gave her a bath.
I dried her with the HV.
I fluffed her up.
I clipped her down with the #4F blade.
No poodle feet.
Very short topknot.
Very short ears.
I clipped her nails.
I plucked her ears.
She was wonderful!
She did not mind me doing anything.
She never once so much as lifted a lip.
Was the owner happy?
He seemed annoyed.
He did not believe that the dog was good.
He seemed upset when he left.
I let it bother me.
I let both of these people bother me.
I could not help it.
I have gotten pretty good at not letting customers bother me.
But, these people...
I don't like doing other groomers dogs.
Does that make me bad?
I don't need this.
I have my own nutty customers.
Not quite that nutty though.
Then to top it all off....
Oh, you thought I was done didn't you?
Nope, today was a new day....and another new customer.
This was a new customer for me.
She was nice.
The dog was a very nice Lhasa/Poo
Everything went well with the check-in.
Then she asked me a question right before she left the dog.
"Will you trim things if I want them shorter?" she asked me with a big smile on her face.
"Sure." I told her, as little warning flags started dancing in my head.
This should be easy.
She told me what blade she wanted used on the dog.
She told me how she wanted the face and ears done.
The dog was very good.
I clipped it with a #4F blade.
I scissored the ears short.
I scissored the face very short and tight like she wanted.
I trimmed the tail.
The owner came in to pick up her dog, and....I was transported back to Grooming School.
She stood the dog on the counter.
She checked his face.
She checked his belly.
She checked his legs, plucking at the hair to see if there were any long pieces of hair left on the hocks and elbows.
She asked me to trim a little more over the eyes.
I had clipped the top of the head with a #4f blade and scissored it.
There was not much left on the head to trim....but I did...as she watched...right there on the lobby counter.
Did I pass?
I guess, she said she was happy.
No, I don't have another customer story.
At least not right now.
It's only Thursday.
I have two more days left in the week.
Happy Grooming, MFF