Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Bad Day

bad day?
close your eyes until it goes away!

I had a terrible day today. Ok, the entire day wasn't terrible, just one or two things, but sometimes that's enough to taint the rest of the day. It began with a customer using a word that I find very insulting. While I'm sure she didn't use it on purpose, it still stung. I'm very careful with the words I use to describe the work I do and when someone uses a word like "skin", "scalp" or "razor" it zings my brain, and not in a good way. For the record, I would NEVER use a razor on any animal. I clip cats. With clippers. And clipper blades. I do not 'skin' or 'scalp' them. I also do not lather up some shaving cream and get out my Gillete Mach III.

See, getting worked up all over again.

I dare you to look at this cat
and not laugh

Then, I did something I rarely do. I didn't double check to see what "same as last time" was. I ended up doing the wrong thing. I thought I remembered what I had done last time. I assumed both cats got the same clip - a long comb clip. Only only cat got clipped, the other should have stayed in full coat. Entirely my fault and I felt horrible about it. I apologized up and down, but that doesn't change the fact that I made a mistake and did the wrong thing.

The owner was not forgiving. I don't blame her.

there are no mistakes in cat grooming, young lady

One of the last cats I did was in very poor health. She was matted. She was covered in diarrhea. She was very thin, her skin was even thinner. She was very agreeable for grooming - partly because she was too sickly to fuss too much - but mostly because she's a nice little cat. I was as careful as possible, but sometimes there's just nothing to prevent nicking or cutting the skin. I knew it would be rough going before I even started, but it doesn't make it any easier. Her delicate skin couldn't take much dematting, so even combing out the tangles would have the potential to rip her skin. It was a long, slow and gentle grooming. Even so I had to bring her over so the vet could check her few nicks and glue them together. She reminded me that it can happen and is one of the dangers of grooming cats, especially ones in poor health. The injuries were minor, and given the condition, unavoidable.

It didn't really help. I still feel really bad.

remember me? 
You helped me feel better!

I suppose it's human nature to focus on the bad things. Or, at least, my nature. There's a lot I can learn from today. 

Don't let my feelings get hurt over something as
simple as words.

always double check instructions!

Be careful. Be gentle. Be safe.
But know that bad things can happen away.

Bad things happen. Mistakes are made. People will unknowingly hurt or insult. Sometimes situations are not ideal. Sometimes it all happens at one time and can be overwhelming. The important thing is how you react. Getting upset is normal. I think being upset is invaluable, actually. Bad things happened! why would you be happy or indifferent about it? Being upset shows you care - you realize things are wrong and need to be better. Changes might need to be made. Lessons that need to be learned. 

So I was upset about all these things. Just for a bit. Then I talked to my good friend who is also a groomer. I told her all about it and how I'm a bad groomer and a horrible person. I tried really hard not to cry. Then she reminded me that I *am* a good groomer and a pretty ok person. We talked a little more and yeah, I remembered that I'm a good groomer. That I always do my best for my customers and my cats. That sometimes things suck and are unfair, and I do the best I can. And that's usually pretty damn good! Are there some things I should change? Yes. Are there some things I can't change and just have to deal with? Yep. Will it still hurt when I look back on today? Yeah, for a little bit longer.

There you go. A secret look into the life of a groomer. It's not always easy! But don't worry. I'll be back next week. I know that today is over. I know the things I did wrong. I know how to avoid them in the future. I know tomorrow is going to be a great day of grooming!

Also, for absolutely no reason at all, a picture of my dog in a pot.

um, you guys?
did you say Haiku Stew for dinner?

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