That is what my daughter told me when I lost it over a customer today.
She is right!
We need a Vacation.
We need warm, sunny days.
We need to be outside in the sun.
I need whatever has been in the air lately, making my customers crazy, to go away.
Today my husband came in the grooming room to tell me that a Self-Serve customer wanted her dogs nails clipped.
I was in the middle of grooming a special needs dog, so I told my husband to tell the customer that I would clip the nails after she finished bathing her dog.
Before I go on with this story, let me talk a little about clipping nails.
I offer nail clipping as a walk-in service and as an extra service for the Self-Serve.
It is a few dollars cheaper to get the dogs nails clipped if the customer uses the Self-Serve Dog Wash.
Not to toot my own horn....
What the heck, I will toot my own horn here.
I am very good at clipping nails.
I clip them as short as possible and rarely bleed the nails.
I am very careful.
I am also very quick at it.
I am also very good at getting dogs that don't normally like having their nails clipped accept it.
There, did I toot my horn enough? :)
Anyway, when I clip nails for walk-ins or in front of Self-Serve customers, I am a little conservative with the length that I take off.
I still clip the nails pretty short, but not quite as short as I would when doing a full grooming.
The last thing that I want to do is accidentally bleed a nail in front of a customer.
Most of the time the customers are very happy with the nail clipping.
Every once in a while a customer will ask if I can take them shorter.
If I know that I could get a tiny bit more off, I will warn them that if I take more off there is the possibility that a nail may bleed.
The customer always says 'that's okay, I don't want his/her nails to bleed.'
So..... on to today.
After the customer finished washing her dog, my husband came and told me that she was ready to have the nails clipped.
The dog was a very pretty yellow Lab.
"He does not like his nails clipped," the owner told me as I walked up to the dog in the tub.
"That's okay, I told her. "You can stand there with him and talk to him."
"I thought you would do the nails before I bathed her," the owner said to me has I was petting the dog, letting him get to know me.
"It really doesn't matter whether I clip them before or after the bath, but the nails tend to be softer after the bath making clipping easier on some dogs," I told her.
"Oh, that makes sense I guess. You would know, you're the professional," she said.
I picked up one of the dogs front feet, pausing to see how she would react.
The owner immediately wrapped her arms around her dogs neck and smashed it's head into her chest.
A lot of owners do this.
The dog was fine.
He never tried to fight, even once.
The only time he struggled a little was to get his face out of his owners chest.
After I finished clipping the last foot, I reached up to pet the dog again, telling him how good he did.
While I was talking to the dog, his owner picked up one of his front feet and said, "Is that as short as you are going to take them? I can still see white on the nail."
I had taken them pretty close.
I was even a little worried that I had taken one too short.
I took the foot out of her hand and said, "I could possibly get a tiny bit more off, but even though you can still see some white on the end of the nails, you have to be careful because the quick tapers down into a point inside the nails, where you can't see it, and I could cause the nails to bleed if I go shorter."
"I think they can go shorter, closer to the pink," the Labs owner told me.
I picked up a foot and started to carefully clip a little more off of the nails as the owner watched.
The dog was being so good.
"I might as well file them if that is all you are going to do," she told me when she didn't see me put the clipper all of the way back to the pink and just cut a big hunk off.
"They can go a lot shorter, but if you are to scared to cut them..." she continued talking.
"I am not scared to clip your dogs nails!" I told her, dropping the dogs foot, not quite believing what I just heard her say.
The owner grabbed up her dogs foot again and pointed to the pink spot on the nail.
"When I cut the nails I cut all of the way up here," she told me, trying to grab for my nail clippers.
That is probably why your dog doesn't like it when you cut his nails, I thought to myself.
There was no way I was letting her have my nail clippers!
I moved back towards the dog again to explain to the owner why it was not a good idea to clip a dogs nails back that far, and to explain that I would not purposely cut nails that short to make them bleed, when she said, "Well, I'll just take him to Pet***. They always cut all of the way back to the pink."
At this point I threw my hands up and said, "Fine, you do that. Would you like me to help you get him out of the tub or would you like to use the steps?"
"I'll use the steps," she said.
"Okay, my husband will bring them over as soon as the other lady gets her Labradoodle in the tub," I told her as I turned and walked away.
I had to walk away.
It was all that I could do to keep a smile on my face.
I am not here to hurt and bleed a dog just because the owner wants the nails short.
Needless to say I was beyond pissed.
I don't know what it was, but when she accused me of being scared to clip the nails short enough, something snapped inside.
That was not the end of it.
I had walked back into the grooming room and my daughter and son instantly asked me what was wrong.
I barely had time to start telling them when my husband popped his head in the grooming room door.
"The lady with the Lab wants you to come back out because she said that she can't see any nails in the bottom of the tub and she doesn't want to pay for clipping nails if you didn't do them."
"Diiiiii..............., I tried to talk.
I really did, but my brain was exploding.
"Didn't...do...the...nails?!" I sputtered.
"She was standing right there watching as I clipped the nails!!" I said through my teeth.
"I thought that you did. What is going on?" my husband asked, startled at my reaction.
He had been waiting on a customer, and had not seen the exchange between me and the Labs owner.
I quickly enlightened him, and then I did something that you are probably going to yell at me for.
I told my husband to tell her that I was not coming back out and that the nails where no charge.
I told him to just get her out of the shop.
I know, I know.
I cut that dogs nails.
I got a lot off of them.
She should have paid.
I didn't want a confrontation over nails of all things.
I just wanted her gone.
I haven't felt that mad towards a customer in a very long time.
I wanted to hit something.
I couldn't let it go.
After 15 minutes I was still fuming, and I was working on a biting dog.
I needed to calm down.
Then I remembered PITA.
I still wanted to hit something.
I called my husband in to watch the dog that I was working on.
"Watch this dog please," I told him when he came over to my table.
"Where are you going?" he asked.
"I'll be right back," I told him.
I walked out into the lobby and past my son.
"What are you doing Mom?" he asked me.
I gave him a look and just kept walking back into the employee room.
With my 12 year old sitting at his desk doing school work, and my 17 year old son standing in the door way, I walked over the the PITA punching bag, pulled back my fist and punched the bag.
This is the point in the story where I must give a warning.
If you have never used a punching bag before, let me warn you.... not to stand too close.
Can you guess what happened?
I punched that bag, and SMACK!
It came back and smacked me in the face....right in the nose!
At this point you had to pick my boys up off of the floor.
I thought they were going to revert back to babies and pee their pants.
Who knew kids could laugh that hard, for so long at their mother.
So, did it break my bad mood?
You bet. :)
You just have to laugh at yourself sometimes.
It did hurt my nose though.
And, now I will have to live through the retelling of the time that the punching bag smacked Mom in the face, every time the boys get together with the rest of the family.
My oldest couldn't wait to run in the grooming room and tell my husband and my daughter. :/
That's what I get for getting mad enough to want to hit something. :)
Happy Grooming, MFF