Have you see the show “Dirty Jobs” with Mike Rowe? On each episode the host does an expose, touched with humor and sarcasm, on the ins and outs of professions many of us would never consider doing, no matter what they paid us. The audience gets to join in and laugh along with Mike as he traps leaches, farms maggots, cleans pigeon crap, inspects sewers, burns turds, collects road kill, cleans diapers and portable toilets, cleans up crime scenes and plugs abandoned mines. You get the picture.
Pet Grooming was featured the first season. I watched it with dismay. For the life of me, I cannot comprehend how pet grooming could be lumped in with the professions listed above. What do we do that is so distasteful? We care for pets, many neglected by their human owner, often restoring their health and well-being. We are just as important as veterinarians in caring for our furry friends and yet we are lumped in with professions such as hoof cleaner and avian vomitoligist. Frankly, I’m offended.
The problem is not the job itself; it’s the way the general public perceives our job. On the pet grooming episode, Mike spends an afternoon with a groomer. He dons a smock and immediately gets to work, dragging a terrified cat out of its crate with his hands around its neck as dogs bark and the doorbell rings. Chaos ensues when the dog manages to jump off the table when Mike and the groomer trim the “whizzer” and clip the “pooper chute.” This is entertainment for entertainments sake but being a pet owner I would not find this one bit funny. This is a grooming establishment of which I would never be a customer.
After watching this episode I decided to take another look at the way I run my business. What could I do to kick my image up a notch or two? Perhaps it could be washing the outside of my van more often since I’m mobile or investing in new grooming smocks to look my best. Maybe your shop could use a fresh coat of paint or if you sell retail items, dust and reorganize the shelves. Having a neat, organized grooming station is important for all of us everyday. Always being prepared is a good idea if a new customer wants to take a look “behind the scenes” without notice whether you’re a shop, mobile or home groomer. Making a good first impression is what your customer is going to remember when you greet them at their front door or when they step into your grooming establishment. This is the customer that is going to tell their friends, neighbors, co-workers and relatives about you.
I don’t have a bone to pick with Mike Rowe and I do enjoy watching the show. However, on the flip side, Mike should also make an appearance at shops like Little Shops of Howlers in Connecticut or Finer DeTails Pet Spa in Wisconsin recently featured in Groomer to Groomer magazine but that wouldn’t make for very entertaining TV now would it?