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What am I doing wrong?

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Cessnock on Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:01 am

Awesome that you recieved your pay rise.:-)

Unfortunately everything in life does not always go our way & the adult thing to do is to be reasonable & come to a compromise...if you always expect things to go your way you will have a very dissapointing life...sorry im a realist :-)

..I would go into the meeting with them ..maybe ask to have coffee b4 your next shift so there is time to sit & talk with no pressing matters/work ...& have a chat about the times needed etc ..maybe draft up something with breed, coat type etc & times needed to refer too to give to them & ideas on how you can get a groom done quicker & keep the standard. ie...have the dogs stay an hour extra..so they can be bathed 1st & 3/4 crate dried while you work on another dog ?? Im sure if you ask around the peeps on here can give you plenty of time saving tips to make a day more productive.

IMO dont think you can put an exact number of dogs to be groomed in a day...if it was all malty x shihs in blade cuts...I could do 1 every half hour...make them comb cuts & I would need 45 mins...add a few knots or matts & then you have an hour plus ....I thinks its time allowed for certain breeds that you need to talk about.

In my salon we book the toy-smalls in every half hour...1 is being bathed/dried while the other is being clipped work on 2 dogs at a time...the med-large we book each hour...the xxl dogs we allow 2 hours . ..1 bather, 1 groomer (me) & hubby that floats around playing boss man lol ...we turn over an average of 20 full grooms (all size sorts & styles) a day ..8am-4pm ..& they are in no way rushed busy days...most dogs only stay at the salon for a hour & half ..we send a text/or phone when they are ready so there is no pressure to have them done on time...its all about getting a good routine sorted & have everyone working as a team.

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Homeward Hound on Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:40 pm

Ah Nat, you see this is why your advice regarding the email was so helpful - my way of wording things is pretty poor! lol

My previous post wasn't worded properly at all.. you're exactly right - what I need to get across to them is how much time to allow for each dog..and that it is very dependent on coat condition, breed etc...

Bearing in mind that the lady who takes the bookings in the last four weeks up to Christmas was booking in 4 to 5 littlies to come in bang on 8.30, then saying 'but that's ok because the next dog isn't in 'til 10.30am' AND that same lady is doing the bathing, brushing out & drying (often leaving the dogs knotty!) and then wondering why I'm stressing... AND that same lady thought that by asking if a labradoodle was more poodle or lab would help.. and that same lady thought that a Kerry Blue was just a 'blue' terrier therefore a small breed... oh my days!!! Head against brick wall anyone Smile

Nat, your last paragraph sums it up for me.. my days would normally be 8.30am to 4pm (or earlier of course if I finish all the dogs booked in), but in a nutshell there IS no routine.. I have a 70 year old dog washer who is also answering phones, receiving clients and takes a looooong time about it.. then the dogs coming to the table knotty... it's just not working basically.. there is no way on earth I could get 10 dogs finished to a standard I'm happy with let alone 20 Sad
I've tried my damnedest to get into a routine, but without solid back-up it's just not happening..

I DO get what you're saying though, and I shall speak with the owner, and I think I'm going to have to be honest here and say until they have a GOOD dog bather AND someone who can deal with the 'client' side of the business (OR a person who can do both as my previous wonderful dog bather could Sad) then I'm not going to be expecting too many dogs per day booked in... if they don't like that then they can whistle - oooh I think I've just got my 'tough' on Smile

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Cessnock on Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:29 pm

this might help you with routine

8am...dog 1 arrives...straight to bather..for bath/dry brush out ..groomer has coffee cleans blades, potters around etc

8.30 ..dog 2 arrives groomer takes dog 1 to table for clipping dog 2 goes to bather.

9am ..dog 3 arrives...dog 1 is just finished & pick up text sent...dog 2 goes onto grooming table dog 3 goes into tub

9.30 dog 4 arrives...larger poodle...goes into tub.....dog 2 is finished & message sent.... dog 3 goes onto table

10 no arrival as last was big dog ....dog 3 is finished & message sent...dog 4 now has bather & groomer working together to finish the blow dry ...then onto table...coffee for bather.

10.30 dog 5 bath/dry ...groomer only has to trim eye area & butt...does b4 bath if bather cannot do herself..goes back to her dog 4 to finish & have coffee pee break lol

11 am dog 6 arrives ...dog 4 is finished ...dog 5 is close to finish so groomer will take from bather to final brush & check over ..dog 6 goes into tub.

this is how my salon day runs ....we will have a few day stay doggies whos mum work...so they will get a bath when you have a spare 5 & the clip will get done a bit here & there between the other time slotted dogs..we all pitch in to make things run on time...if a blow dry is not quite ready for the groomer..then pickup the 2nd dryer & get it finished.

Of course each salon has to find out what works for them but we find that this method allows us all to work at a steady pace & have no empty times where you are waiting for either dogs to arrive, dogs to be bath/dried to groom. little dogs every half hour ..big dogs every hour ..tell owners you will call /text message (prefer this way have one we just click on pc & send. (hi your furkid is now ready to be pick up from the salon now...cheers..) when done but its usually an hour & half stay .

Good staff is the key ..maybe as you say your boss needs a floater ...phone calls, recieving & booking out the dogs, filling in grooming cards for you..chatting with clients about random bullshit that they wanna hear ...this is my hubbies job & its one of the most important ones that keeps the salon running smoothly..Frees me & sam up to get our jobs done.

Hope you can all work something out & your grooming days become fun again :-)

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Homeward Hound on Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:44 pm

Smile You're an angel, thank you Nat.

If only it were that simple.. like I said before (I'm sounding real defeatist aren't I? Sorry!) if the staff their were capable of the speed and thoroughness that you have mentioned in the daily routine, then I really really don't think there would be that much of a problem..
previous dog bather I worked with was fab.. and we got through the day real breezy... a lady who is older in years and has no idea of this business is not really any good to me at all..
I don't mind getting my hands in and doing the bathing and drying / brush outs myself.. but I can only do so much...

After all of this at the end of the day, I've got to be honest with them and myself.. I don't really want to go back.....

Well the heck with it.. I'm sending them another email and outlining that at the very least I would like to be able to have a good 1-1 hours per dog, and if that means imposing a limit on the amount of bookings per day UNTIL such time as they have more adequate support staff, then that's what I'm after.. and if they can't agree to that (and again, their business, so I totally understand if they won't, but can't hurt to ask Smile) then I'm out...
Smile

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Tail's a Waggin' on Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:57 pm

Seems like you got your MOJO back. Very Happy Stick to your guns. Don't go back until you have come to an agreement that you are happy with. Again inexperienced people around you will not understand the pressure they are presenting you with. Unfortunately Nat as a realist you'd have to agree your a bit of a freak when it comes to times and production and you would be hard pressed to find someone that could do the numbers that you do. I know it is time management but remember you and your husband have been a team for some time which to get such a fine tuned, well oiled machine does take time, practice and probably an incrediable relationship. All the power to you both. Until the new owners of the business deliver exactly what Tracey wants she must stay firm by the guidelines she is prepared to work in. If they are prepared to accept your wage increase they will bend a little more. Inexperience verses experience. Why comprimise if you don't really want to go back? Pushing for reply will show nerves. As nail biting as it is you have to let them come crawling to you..... You'd agree Nat you wouldn't crawl as you already gluide with confidant steps but these employers don't........

Use this to your advantage and start making your plans to go out on your own again. Good groomers are very hard to find. Don't lose your confidence now. You have lots of support here...... Wink Keep us posted.
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Cessnock on Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:29 pm

Freak...hahaha I like that...I guess I am ...I also line my blades up in order in my draw..scissors in size & type.....colour match towels....& if something is not back in its place when I want it ...arghhhh a bit OCD i am hahaha :-)

Totally agree Tails...its the great team work that makes a good work enviroment ...Tracey if the bosses are not happy to help & work towards developing a team enviroment that suits all employees its never going to be a great place to work ....but have faith it can happen ...maybe just not where you work now.

the good side is that when you go out on your own & hire your 1st employee he/she will never have a problem as you already know what the flip side is like :-)

There is nothing like self employment..yes its a scary step to take but well worth it !! & if you neve have a go you will regret not giving it a go ....Its not too late in the season to start up...all it takes is an ad in the paper to get you started (thats assuming you already have your own tools )

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Tail's a Waggin' on Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:43 pm

...I also line my blades up in order in my draw..scissors in size & type.....colour match towels....& if something is not back in its place when I want it ...arghhhh a bit OCD i am hahaha :-)

Nothing wrong with that and I think color matching towels would be a must........

Tracey I also agree with Nats reponse to employing and self employment..... Now that's freakish...Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by yapidiyap on Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:25 pm

Nat, do you ever do a pre-clip or do you put all your doggies in the tub first? I'm interested in the process that you take to get through so many dogs in a day. I remember one of your posts a while ago which said that no matter what they throw at you (the dogs) ie behaviour issues, that doesn't slow you down. Your handling skills must be pretty awsome. i'm always trying to find ways to get through a groom faster while maintaining a quality groom. Snappy dogs or dogs with issues really slow me down. i wish there were courses available to teach just that alone. Does anyone else feel the same?
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Guest on Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:24 am

Yapidiyap I know sue zecco & jay scruggs have a dvd on difficult grooms and how to get through them, Ive heard thats good.

Personally I slow down with dogs with behavioural issues because I want them to get to the point where they are comfortable being groomed, you will always struggle with these dogs if you don't give them the chance to learn what the desired behaviour is, this goes for both fear and dominant behaviours.

Thats for me anyway Very Happy

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Cessnock on Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:23 pm

yapidiyap wrote:Nat, do you ever do a pre-clip or do you put all your doggies in the tub first? I'm interested in the process that you take to get through so many dogs in a day. I remember one of your posts a while ago which said that no matter what they throw at you (the dogs) ie behaviour issues, that doesn't slow you down. Your handling skills must be pretty awsome. i'm always trying to find ways to get through a groom faster while maintaining a quality groom. Snappy dogs or dogs with issues really slow me down. i wish there were courses available to teach just that alone. Does anyone else feel the same?

Yes I will rough cut those coats that take way too long to dry...or that are matted (if Im not wet clipping them) ,,but its usually just a hack job in a skip blade longer than I intend to finish on...so a real quicky to take the bulk off...& if you saw them after the dry you go OMG poor doggy lol

I dont know if I can explain it right but here goes...

Yes there is not many behavioural problems that faze me anymore...you learn to read the dogs..& most are just reacting in a way that they have learnt that keeps mums & dads, strangers away ..its usually just noise, teeth & wriggling (oh pee & poop too :-S ) ..when they get no reaction from me/us...umm dont know the right words ...it like a switch goes on in their heads & they realise I am going to continue no matter what they do....once they hit this point, thats it...they respect me as the pack leader & are very happy to continue with whatever I do next ...& never try to 'argue' with me again..even if its months between grooms it still seems to stick....they actually seem to be relieved that someone is taking charge & telling them what to do....they are happy to play with me after the grooming is finished...& dont exhibit any behaviour signs of fear etc afterwards.... I dont yell at them, hit or anything like that the occasion sharp "uh" is the only words I use to them...its body language & eye contact..I totally ignore the bad behaviour & continue..it could mean I have to flip the clippers over & hold them against the body while continuing a normal convo with others i the salon til the bad behaviour stops...the second it does I make a huge fuss & pat/praise the dog....I always start at the rear of dog...face is always last, they are usually happy for me to groom the face once we sort all thier issues out on the body & front feet. An agressive nasty dog is the same ..just their give in point may take a little longer to reach, but once again once the respect is there never a problem again.

I often let owner stay to watch this process..they stay behind the counter & are not allowed to say a word to their dog...& if we had a dollar for every mum that said ' If I did not see it i would not have believed my dog could be good' ...when the dogs having its hissy fit...i tell them that what they are doing is like a 2 year old wanting a lollie & chucky a tanty & how you react next will teach that child/dog ...what that tanty brings....lollies to the ones that give in & try to comfort...not to have another tanty cause mum & dad do not accept that behaviour.

It starts form the moment the dog walks into the salon ..they read body language...Im confident, unafraid & they respond to that..they feel it in your hands while you are grooming them..they see it in your stance...they hear it in your tone of voice....as pack animals they respond to an alpha & a real alpha does not have to be loud or nasty to get their pack to follow orders.

An dog that will bite & mean it you can spot before the mum even hands them over once you know what body language to look for....the rest just bite because they have learnt if 'i nip & make noise the human will not make me do that'

does this make sense to anyone??

I have a certificate in "Handling dangerous Dogs & advoiding difficult situations" it was run by Steve Austin..i do not know if he still does these courses. but im sure there are other ones out there too...you def do learn things at these courses.

Or you could always come & do a day at my salon :-)

PS Cesar Milan is great too ..I always tell people to watch his shows.

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Guest on Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:29 pm

I agree with everything you said cessnock, Ive seen some people who work with dogs that tend to think they need to argue with the dog. The best reaction is no reaction to the bad behaviour ESPECIALLY to a terrier it only loads them!

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Homeward Hound on Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:55 pm

Tail's a Waggin' wrote:Seems like you got your MOJO back. Very Happy Stick to your guns. Don't go back until you have come to an agreement that you are happy with. Again inexperienced people around you will not understand the pressure they are presenting you with. Unfortunately Nat as a realist you'd have to agree your a bit of a freak when it comes to times and production and you would be hard pressed to find someone that could do the numbers that you do. I know it is time management but remember you and your husband have been a team for some time which to get such a fine tuned, well oiled machine does take time, practice and probably an incrediable relationship. All the power to you both. Until the new owners of the business deliver exactly what Tracey wants she must stay firm by the guidelines she is prepared to work in. If they are prepared to accept your wage increase they will bend a little more. Inexperience verses experience. Why comprimise if you don't really want to go back? Pushing for reply will show nerves. As nail biting as it is you have to let them come crawling to you..... You'd agree Nat you wouldn't crawl as you already gluide with confidant steps but these employers don't........

Use this to your advantage and start making your plans to go out on your own again. Good groomers are very hard to find. Don't lose your confidence now. You have lots of support here...... Wink Keep us posted.

I will and thanks so much for your support.. it really is needed and appreciated Smile

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Homeward Hound on Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:57 pm

Cessnock wrote:Freak...hahaha I like that...I guess I am ...I also line my blades up in order in my draw..scissors in size & type.....colour match towels....& if something is not back in its place when I want it ...arghhhh a bit OCD i am hahaha :-)

Totally agree Tails...its the great team work that makes a good work enviroment ...Tracey if the bosses are not happy to help & work towards developing a team enviroment that suits all employees its never going to be a great place to work ....but have faith it can happen ...maybe just not where you work now.

the good side is that when you go out on your own & hire your 1st employee he/she will never have a problem as you already know what the flip side is like :-)

There is nothing like self employment..yes its a scary step to take but well worth it !! & if you neve have a go you will regret not giving it a go ....Its not too late in the season to start up...all it takes is an ad in the paper to get you started (thats assuming you already have your own tools )

Smile Thanks Nat, again all this is so much appreciated.
I've had leaflets printed up for a while and I've got the equipment set up to work from home (again have had for a while) and I'm going to get on my toes and get a good few posted in a letter box drop tomorrow. I've GOT to do it.. I've said myself I don't really want to go back to the salon, so I am the one that needs to do something about it... phew... scary..but gotta be done!

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by yapidiyap on Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:02 pm

I appreciate your suggestions and response Nat. All you said makes perfect sense. i will take it all on board. Thanks so much.
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