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Timing, Like Their Dogs’ Health, Is Not A Priority For Them

, , , , , | Right | November 12, 2022

I’m the manager of a pet grooming salon for a corporate chain. Our setup is annoying only because the outside wall (facing the parking lot) is all glass, as is the inside wall (facing the inside of the store). We also have both an internal and external door.

I have a pet parent with two dogs who’s a no-show. After ten minutes or so, we call to see if they are on the way. As it’s a packed day, we warn them that we might have to reschedule them.

We try to be understanding that we have three stores within fifteen minutes of each other and sometimes people go to the wrong store.

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name] from [Pet Chain]. I had Fluffy and Fido for a 10:00 am appointment. I was just wondering if you were still on the way and running late or needed to reschedule?”

Pet Parent: “Oh! I’m on the way! We went to [Location ten minutes from us]; that’s normally where we go, but they were booked out six weeks, so we forgot we booked with you!”

Me: “I understand; it happens. You should be only ten minutes away, so as long as you can get here by 10:30, I can still get your pups handled. It might take me a little longer, as they’re going to bump into my next appointment due to being late.”

Pet Parent: “That’s fine. We’ll be there in five to ten minutes at most. Thanks.” *Click*

I go about preparing for them to try to make sure I can keep my day on track. At 10:30, they still haven’t arrived. I call and get no reply.

At 10:35, the phone rings and it’s the pet parent.

Pet Parent: “Hi! We are almost there! You can still do my dogs, right? I’m not sure how you expected me to be there by 10:30 when I was coming from [Location thirty minutes away]! I’ll be there in two to three more minutes!”

Me: “I’m so sorry, but I was very clear about you needing to be here by 10:30. It’s now 10:35 and you’re not here. You said you were coming from [Closer Location]; otherwise, I would have warned you that you wouldn’t be here in time. I can do one dog still, but I can’t do both. I suggest that you reschedule a day that works better for you, or you can have me just do one today and the second tomorrow at [time].”

Pet Parent: “This is stupid! I went to the wrong store! There is no f****** way I could make it there! This is horrible! My dogs need this! They’re so bad they look homeless!”

She did not disclose that they were matted when asked when booking.

Pet Parent: “I’ll be right in!”

Me: “Ma’am, if they are matted, I will absolutely need to reschedule you. As advised when you booked, we need extra time so we can take the care and time needed for the safety of your dog.”

Pet Parent: “This f****** b**—” *Click*

I think this is the end of it, but no. At 10:45, she comes in with severely matted dogs. I feel insanely bad for them, and I would take care of them if it wouldn’t cause issues for me and my other clients who didn’t lie to me and showed up on time.

Pet Parent: “I spoke with someone on the phone. They know I went to the wrong store and said they could still—”

I cut her off. I’m not trying to be rude, but I see where she’s going already.

Me: “That was me; I’m the only one working today. And yes, I spoke with you and advised you that I could only do your dogs if they got here by 10:30, and when you called back, I advised you that I could no longer do them. I can reschedule them, but I am due for another client in fifteen minutes, and it would be unfair to them to take your dogs in now. Plus, you did not tell us when asked originally that the dogs are this matted; we have to reschedule them so we can take the time and care needed for their safety and health.”

This leads to her blowing up and stomping out after a short back and forth about going to the wrong store (not my fault) and about how there was no way to get to our store in time from that other store (still not my fault).

She calls back right at 11:00. She’s in the parking lot staring at me and clearly sees that no one else has come in yet.

Pet Parent: “Did they show up?”

I slowly turn to look at her in the parking lot. I lie.

Me: “Yes.”

She hung up without saying anything else. She then sat in the parking lot for the next hour, staring into the salon, at some point pulling out some fast-food French fries and feeding them to the dogs as she waited. She waited until she saw both my 11:00 (who came in at like 11:02) and 12:00 appointments show up before she tore out of the parking lot.

I felt horrible for her dogs, but giving in would have only led to her pulling that stunt again. For the sake of my staff, I had to stay firm on what I said so next time she hopefully respects her groomer better.

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