About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sick to My Stomach...Literally!

I had a post already planned for tonight.
I actually started it last night, but because of the three separate thunder storms with tornado warnings attached to them, that went through our area last night, I had to turn off my computer for the night.

I won't be posting it tonight either.

I am sick. 

I am sick in my heart.

I am physically sick to my stomach right now.

I have a lump in my throat that makes me feel like I want to throw up.

I constantly feel like I want to cry....

I lost a very good customer today.
I lost two dogs that I really care about.
I lost them because I write this blog and I have offend one of my customers.

I did not write the post to offend anyone.

I am not a mean spirited person.

I know that I rant about some of my customers on this blog.
It is my way to release some of my frustration for a job that can be thankless sometimes.
I do not use my customers names when I blog.
I even change the sex of the dog sometimes that I am talking about in my post.
Of course I do use pictures.

I have read and re-read the post that upset this customer.
I have tried to read it from her point of view.
The post was about comparing two dogs of the same breed and how different the amount of work they are.

Offending this customer was the farthest thing from my mind when I wrote that post.
I really like both of her dogs, and I like the customer too.

I feel so sick that this happened.
Yes, one of the dogs is very large and a lot of work, but it did not mean that I did not like working on it.

I apologized and tried to explain why I write about the dogs that I groom.
She seemed to understand.
She still very nicely told me that she feels that she should find another groomer. 

She felt that I was unprofessional.
I can't express how much that hurt.
I always try to be very professional.
I work really hard to please all of my customers everyday.
I do the best groom that I can on every dog that I groom.
I care for every dog as though it were my own.

I am sad that one post on a blog wiped out 6 years of service just like that.
No one has groomed either one of her dogs but me, not even my daughter.
They were to always be booked  only on me.
I know everything that they like and don't like.
I know everything that their owner likes.

It is always hard to lose a long time customer when they move away, or the dog passes away, but this is devastating.

I really care about those dogs.

I guess that I am being unprofessional again.
I guess that I should not be writing about this.
Only people that know me know how much this is killing me.
 
I am thinking about deleting the post that offended my customer.

I started this blog with the intention of blogging about grooming and helping other groomers out there by showing the way that I groom.
Most of my posts are just that, examples of grooming.

Of course, customer relations is also a very big part of our job.
I will continue to blog, but I will try very hard to stay just with the grooming aspect of it.
The post that offended my customer was just about grooming, but I guess that I should not have used her dog as an example.

I will be much more careful from now on.
I have paid a very large price for being too open in the way that I write on this blog.

This is a lesson that I won't soon forget.

I am in tears, MFF

18 comments:

  1. She will go to another groomer. She won't like the groom, then they will be back. However, you won't be able to book them anymore because you will have no room in your schedule.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Holly,
      Still not sure how I feel, but it would truly be very hard to work such a large dog back into the schedule.
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  2. You cannot please every single customer 100% of the time, some people are going to be offended by something that has no offense to it. It is a shame that she reacted this way, she felt ashamed that you had 'singled her out' as a customer. I have had to put myself in my customer's shoes at times, I offended a customer of mine by posting a photo to my facebook of a giant matted pelt and explaining how to properly brush your pet. I did not tag her, name her or her pet, or even disclose the gender or day that I groomed her... she outed herself and caused a scene over a photo of her pet's outrageous matting, I didn't make a deal over the matting, I calmly posted about how to comb your pet on a regular basis to avoid this, and the technique and tools you need.
    I did explain to her that I understood where she was coming from, but that she isn't the only one who has a tangled pet, this post would benefit many people who can see it.
    When she had come in for grooming and insisted that her pet wasn't matted at all, when it was pelted to the skin. I gave her a comb and asked her to comb a small section out, frustrated she gave up and told me I could clip it very short.
    She was angry with us after that post though and took a bad photo of the pet and said, "Look what Lu Lu's did! She looks like she lost a fight with a weedeater!!!!" We didn't spend months watching the tangles form and not brushing her pet, but we were supposed to have a magic wand or a time machine to magically fix it immediately... because anything is possible if you have enough money... of corse.
    There are just people in this world that can come to you many times, seem sweet as peaches and cream... but one little thing can set them off. I groomed her dog for 3 years, had a few close calls with her pet and matting, had explained how to keep her out of trouble with tangles... she was a very young girl and didn't understand. :\

    What it comes down to with all customers is what is their breaking point? Telling them No, or that you can't groom their pet TODAY? It could be anything.
    What I think offended your customer had nothing to do with any of that though... which is rather odd.
    Your customer was offended at the idea that their pet is 'difficult to groom'... a thought that hadn't crossed their mind. Not that you never said it was hard work, or tiring... nothing offensive at all. It just offended them that you had called it difficult... and to them making or labeling their pet as 'difficult' or hard to groom. It embarassed them probably because they don't realize what you go through on a daily basis, all of the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into throwing yourself into a career that you love and are truly devoted to. Not many can comprehend that some groomers would do this job even if they had won the lottery, I know I still would... I would just move my shop to another state, lol.
    I feel for your customer, I have a feeling that in time she will require another groomer, hopefully she won't gossip and tell them about your blog, she will go there and it won't be the same as your job, the pet will not know or trust the groomer right away after being groomed by one person for all of 6 years. The haircut will be no where as seamless and perfect as you can do. She will either try a few groomers and settle with the best of the others, or she will come back to you realizing that what you did was not a bad thing, and that she may have overreacted.
    Your blog is the only thing you have that is truly yours, your one outlet after hours that keeps you from just exploding. You can talk about the good, the bad, and the furry without being judged. :)
    Please don't delete your blog, just use a different watermark for the photos and don't name your business. I'm sure that if enough of your customers found out it would be a bloodbath.
    Hang in there!
    ~Serena XOXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Serena,
      I have no ill feelings towards this customer, and I really like her dogs. She was always very specific about the way she wanted her dogs groomed, but that was okay, because I always knew exactly what she wanted. She always complimented my work when she picked up the dogs. She always showed for her appointments and always booked ahead of time. She was a very good and nice customer.
      I think my biggest mistake is that I was always telling her how much work her dog was to groom. I wasn't complaining, although I think she may have thought that I was. I guess I always felt the need to stress how much work her dog was, because her other dog, that I had been grooming for a while, was a very small dog. It didn't take that long to groom the small dog, but when she got the larger one, the dogs had to spend most of the day at the shop. I always felt bad about that. I don't groom as fast as I used to. I guess I just felt like I always had to explain why her dogs were at the shop so long. Brushing the dog was also a little hard on my wrists sometimes, so I would have to take a brake in the brushing which in turn would cause the grooming to take longer. BUT, I was not complaining. She had a beautiful, sweet dog that was wonderful on the table. He was just a big job. I think that she got tired of me telling her that he was a big job.
      I wish her all of the best in finding a new groomer. I hope that they treat those two wonderful dogs good. I tend to get a little possessive about dogs that I groom. It hurts my heart to know that someone else will be grooming my guys now.:(
      Maybe you are right. Maybe I should not use my real shop name on the blog anymore.
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  3. I understand someone taking offence however, this is your personal blog space. Having read over past posts I see you never list names, and very non-specific about all dogs and customers, and I see nothing offence here that you've posted. Maybe she was embarrassed instead of angry (don't know, can't figure out which post you speak of) Maybe send a card in the mail telling her that you will miss her patronage but understand this is a decision she needed to make and send love to "insert her two dogs names here*.

    Wish I had better advice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Queen,
      Thank you for the advice. :)
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  4. I am so sorry that your customer was offended. I know that you are a sincere person and a great groomer. I have been reading your blog for months and I must say that I find your pictures and instructions very informative and they have taught me a lot about grooming techniques. Please don't be down hearted. I look forward to your posts and I can tell you that they are appreciated. So, thank you and please continue to share your experiences.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!
      I am glad that my blog has helped you with grooming. That is what I hoped when I started writing it. I certainly never meant to hurt or offend anyone.
      Thank you for your nice comments. They make me feel good.:)
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  5. Lisa,
    If I've learned anything at all over the past 23 years of doing this, it is this: I will never, ever always do and say the right thing, or what is perceived as the right thing, that makes each and every one of my customers happy. Keep this in mind....you have done NOTHING wrong here. And I am certain that this customer will take her dogs elsewhere and within 3 or 4 months, she will be back. Sometimes it takes peopls a few weeks to step back and look at a situation for what it is, and realize that they have over-reacted. I'm am also certain that the service she gets elsewhere will not compare to 6 years of service at your shop. You were obviously doing something right. I also would not change anything about the way you blog or post on this site. It would completely defeat the purpose of what you're trying to achieve here. Keep your head held high, and please don't let this situation get the best of you. It's unfortunate that it happened, but I'm sure there are far worse things you can think of that could happen in this crazy business of ours. Happy up!! The sun will rise tomorrow, even if it's cloudy outside. Karen in NJ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Karen!
      You are right. I learned a long time ago that I can not and never will be able to please everyone. I try to live by; 'I do the best work that I can and if they like it, they like, if they don't, they don't.' As long as I know I did my best.
      People have become so touchy now a days. I am so tiered of trying to be 'politically correct' all of the time. I listen to rude, insensitive comments from customers all of the time, but I chalk it up to ignorance and don't hold it against them. I have come to the conclusion that some people just enjoy being rude.
      I will move on and get over what happened. This one just bothers me so much, because of how senseless it was. A good customer, good dogs gone because of something written that was never intended to hurt or offend someone.
      Thank you again for your kind words. Everyone who has commented has been very nice and helped to make me feel better. I enjoy writing this blog and telling stories. I'll just be a little more careful about what I write.
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  6. I honestly don't see why she was offended. You didn't even use her pets' name. I'm sorry this happened. I think you are a wonderful groomer and have learned a lot from your posts. Thank you for your blog and please don't be sad:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I am very glad that my posts have helped. You are right I do not use names, but I did have a picture of her dog so that she knew that I was talking about her dog, even though I did not say anything bad about her dog.
      I am better, but will always be sad when I think of her guys.
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  7. Lisa, im a groomer in the UK and your blog has kept me going at times when ive felt like throwing in the towel, you are an incredibly talented groomer and sometimes you write things that make me feel so much better, please dont feel sick and dissapointed, she will more than likely be back, and to be honest I was a tad smug the shoe was on the other foot this time, as its ok for them to offend us and treat us groomers like nothing, however its a shame she was one of the good ones, this time next week you will feel so much better about this all,chin up, your wonderful xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Thank you very much for the kind words. That is one of the great things about this blog, I even reach groomers from other countries. I am so very glad that the simple things that I write help you continue to groom. There were many times, in my grooming career, when I would wonder if other groomers were dealing with the same kind of things that I was. That is why I started my blog. I wanted to show real, everyday grooming.
      It is fun going to the grooming shows and watching groomers compete, but those dogs are trained for the table and have wonderful coats. That is NOT everyday grooming. I will always be sad to lose a customer in such a senseless way, but I am feeling better. I still love what I do, because I do it for the dogs and only the dogs. :)
      Thank you again!
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  8. Lisa, don't take it personally, it is her problem she got offended over nothing, not yours! And it will be her, and her dogs, loss if she leaves you as her groomer.
    Maybe from now on you should ask all you new customers, when they fill out new customer papers, to let you know if they will be OK with you using photos of their pets in your blog, for educational purposes, without naming names (just like you already do).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi tvergirl2001,
      Thank you for your kind words. I don't tell my customers that I have a blog. Mainly because most of the things that I post are for groomers and I really didn't think that my customers would be interested, but thanks for the suggestion. :)
      Lisa, MFF

      Delete
  9. Love what you write. Am encouraged by your honesty....and appreciative of the price you just paid for it. In this day and age, it's almost impossible to remain anonymous, but if you take the steps mentioned above it may not happen again. Most customers aren't going to be interested in all the things a groomer has go on in a day. Thank goodness. Good on ya and I hope you know how much you are respected.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Tiercel,
    Thank you. I will admit that sometimes when I am writing, I am wondering if I am being a little TOO honest with the way that I feel about things. BUT, that was why I started writing the blog. I wanted to show the real world of dog grooming...well at least MY world anyway. :/
    Lisa, MFF

    ReplyDelete