Not sure you want to be a groomer anymore?
Not sure if you should be a groomer anymore?
You feel like no matter how hard you work, all of your customers have been super picky, or mean and nasty.
You feel like every dog that you put on the table is fighting you, or biting you, or won't stop moving.
You feel like your grooming is never going to get better, or that the dogs are never going to cooperate.
As Pet Groomers we all have bad days.
Sometimes more than our fair share.
This happens to every groomer out there at some point in their career.
It does not matter how long you have been grooming.
If only I had a dollar for all of the times I threatened to quit grooming, or close up my shop.
We get tired...
We get tired of our families thinking that we don't have a real job.
We get tired of every dog fighting on the table.
We get tired of pet owners getting mad at us because we can't groom their dogs when they want, or they want the impossible from us.
We get tired because a boss is putting too much pressure on us to groom more dogs in a day.
Grooming can get tough even for a seasoned groomer.
For a newbie, it can be unbearable at times.
I had those moments when I was a newbie groomer.
I had them a lot, partly do to bad work environments.
I would actually start crying sometimes while grooming a dog, because I felt so overwhelmed.
How did I get through it?
Bare with me.
I am going to go off track here for just a minute.
Every Sunday morning I like to listen to Joel Osteen.
Don't worry, I am not going to get all religious on you.
I enjoy listening to him because he is so up beat.
You feel good after listening to one of his sermons.
Anyway, yesterday he was talking about 'changing the channel'.
The point of his sermon was learning how to 'change the channel'...turn your thinking around when things get you down.
Even when you are not a 'the glass is half full' kind of person.
As I was listening to him, I could not help but think that that is exactly what I do when I am grooming.
That is what has helped me get through my grooming career all of these years.
Okay, back to my crying while I was grooming as a newbie.
Yes, I would actually cry.
Thankfully I worked alone a lot of the time.
When I wasn't alone, I would go in the bathroom and cry.
I would get a dog on the table that had a coat that I was trying to demat, because I didn't know how to tell the owner 'no'.
I would cry out of frustration because it was taking so long, I was hurting the dog, or I was too scared to just clip it short and have the owner be mad at me.
I was running behind.
Every owner would seem to want their dog back at the same time.
The dog was flipping its head all over the place while I was trying to scissor around the eyes.
I was scared to death that I was going to cut the dog, or hurt its eyes.
I had a boss that put me down, criticized my work, rushed me, did not have my back when a customer complained and threw me under the bus.
Any of these things can send a groomer over the edge.
Can make a groomer want to give up and quit.
I don't know how I learned how to 'change the channel'.
Joel wasn't around when I started grooming.
I didn't have any other groomer friends to help me, or give me tips on how to get through it.
There was no internet to go to for advice.
And, family and friends just could not understand what grooming was all about, after all, you are playing with dogs all day.
I loved grooming!
I really wanted to be a groomer!
I really wanted to work with dogs!
It was something that I was actually good at, and I needed to find a way to get through the though times of grooming.
I really wanted grooming to be my career even though most of my friends and family thought that I was crazy.
So, what would I do?
I have talked about this before in some of my earlier posts.
Believe it or not, I 'changed the channel'.
Only I did it a little differently than Joel talked about.
I would have a stern talk with myself.
Yep, I would even talk out loud to myself, having a full blown conversation.
You are only just now realizing that I am a little crazy?
Yes I am, and proud of it!☺
When I felt like I was overwhelmed, and forgot how to groom, I would scold myself and tell myself to stop it.
I would tell my self ....
'Stop whining Lisa'
'You know what you are doing.'
'You have done this clip a ton of times.'
'You do a good job...just relax...take your time...you will get it done.'
'You are grooming because you love working with the dogs.'
'Don't over think it, just get it done, you know how to do it.'
'Don't worry about the owners, worry about the dogs.'
'You will get through this day.'
'The owners will like the groom, and if they don't, you did your best.'
'You can't please everybody.'
'I can do this!!'
Now, I am sure that Joel would have not wanted me to scold myself while I was trying to think more positively, but it worked for me....many times.
I needed to remind myself that I was a good groomer.
I needed to tell myself that my grooming could only get better with time.
I needed to remind myself how much I loved grooming and making dogs feel good.
I needed to tell myself to calm down and relax as I groom.
I needed to remind myself that I was only human, and could only do the best that I could.'
I needed to remember that I was working on a living, breathing animal with feelings.'
And most of all....
I needed to stop and talk to, and hug the dogs. (I am going to talk more about this in tomorrows post)
I guess what I am trying to tell groomers that feel like they are at their whits end....'change the channel'...change your thinking.
Try to remember all of the reasons that you wanted to be a groomer in the first place.
If it helps, keep a small note book by your table and write down all of the good things that happened during your day.
~Muffin didn't try and bite me till the last nail today.
~Ms. R---- actually showed up on time today and didn't need her dog out right away.
~Ruffles stood up for me today while I was scissoring his legs, and they turned out nice.
~The new puppy I groomed today was wonderful.
~Scrappy let me pluck his ears today.
~Ms. B--- told me that Lady looked great.
~Three people tipped me today...yaaaaa.
~Lily ran to me, giving me kisses when her owner brought her in today.
~Nobody barked a lot today.
~Six of my dog were really great today.
Some of these things may seem to be really small things to be happy about, but they all add up.
Also, have a small pad of paper next to your table and write down the things that went wrong during the day.
~My first two appointments of the day were late, making me behind all day.
~Ms. G--- got mad at me when I could not fit her in for an appointment tomorrow.
~It took me twice as long to groom Puddles today because he was being a little brat and it upset me.
Look at the two lists.
I can almost guarantee that your good list will usually be longer than your bad list.
We tend to let the bad things stick with us and forget about the good things that happened during the day.
Just one customer, or one troublesome dog can ruin our day.
Now, at the end of the day, read 'the good list' to remind yourself of all the good things that happened during the day.
Then take the bad list and rip it up!!
Yes, put all 'the bad' in the trash and get rid of it!
Let it go!
Reread that good list if you have to.
Train yourself to dwell on 'the good'.
I have a 40 minute drive to work every morning, and the one thing that I do on that ride is give myself a pep talk.
"Today is going to be a good day."
"All of my dogs will behave, and if they don't, I will work with them calmly."
"I will not let negative customers bother me."
These are just some of the things that I say to myself.
I admit, it does not always work.
I am a woman.
I can be moody...so shot me.
I will say that it is very important to me not to let my moods effect the way I groom and treat the dogs.
I am very proud of the way I care for and treat my furry customers.
I wish that I could say the same for my family.
Unfortunately, they are the ones who have to listen to my bitching.
I have to bitch at someone, don't I?
Anyway, don't give up on grooming...'change the channel' and try to dwell on 'the good', and 'the positive.'
Don't be too hard on yourself.
Try not to stress yourself out.
Take control of your grooming schedule so that you can better control your day.
And, write down the good things about your day.
So that you don't forget.
So that when you are having a rough time you can go back and read those 'good lists.'
You can remember the good times and know that there are more good times ahead.
You can remember why you became a Pet Groomer in the first place.
We need good, caring groomers out there. ☺☺
✂Happy Grooming, MFF ✂