I currently work in the PetSmart Grooming Salon and I am not a 'young' employee and this is far from my 'first' job and I have to say that never in my life had I been treated with so much disrespect as I received as a Bather!
A Bather at PetSmart is treated as the Groomers maid and servant. The Bather does all of the 'dirty work', is expected to be at the beckoned call of the Groomers, is expected to wait until it is convenient for all of the Groomers before they are 'allowed' to take breaks or lunches, always the last one to leave since they have to clean the entire bathing and kennel area by themselves and then carry (or drag) the heavy bag of wet towels and the bag(s) of trash to the stock room.
Oh the Groomers will tell you that 'they' have to clean the Salon of which consists of a quick vacuum, light dusting, putting their 'toys' away, logging off TouchPoint, plugging in the phones to the chargers, put their stools on their tables and even though they rarely do this, they are supposed to clean the Salon windows. But no one Groomer has to do all of this since each of them are responsible for their own areas but happily pitch in to help out a fellow 'Groomer'.
The Bather washes each bathing tub, (along with collecting all the days used toothbrushes dropped in the tubs or floor instead of being tossed in the trash where they belong, and putting back all of the shampoos/conditioners/eye wash/toothpaste/etc that were left for the Bather to clean up), empties and cleans all the pre-mixed solution bottles, cleans the grates in each in each tub, cleans the non-slip mats in each tub, cleans the drains in each tub, collects all the leads/leashes dropped/left/kicked under/partially washed down the drain/vacuumed up/etc., sprays off all of the dog hair from the days 'fur explosion' off of the walls, floors, on/under/stuck to the tables (after picking up all the wet towels left on the floor, on/under tables, in/on/under tubs), clean dog hair off soap proportioner's, remove and clean the days dog hair (and far too many times intermixed with feces someone left for the Bather to have to clean up) from each drain cover, clean the drain before replacing the covers, clean the hair off of all the air intake filters (hand dryers, cage dryers, floor dryers and ceiling vents) before spraying/cleaning down the entire bathing area with Lemon Quat.
Then the Bather cleans each used kennel (top/bottom), each water bowl, each grate in each used kennel, vacuums under/over each before putting each kennel dryer hose up top of the kennels and removing any remaining cage cards then filing them. Some Salons the Bather only has to vacuum the kennel area, others the Bather has to spray each kennel, inside and under them, with the water hose before using the squeegee to rake the water into another floor drain.
Yes there are policies 'everyone' is required to follow but to be chastised for missing breaks/lunches as being 'one's own fault' is exactly the type of reply a Bather can expect from an Manager or Groomer. Groomers/Managers come and go as/when they please rarely ever even letting the Bather know what is going on, even when it affects them. Many Bathers have found themselves totally alone to 'run' the Salon because all of the Groomers have either gone home, on break or lunch failing to let the Bather even know they were now 'in charge'. After all, the Bather will 'figure it out' when the ringing phone mysteriously appears in the bath area just as they applied the Flea and Tick shampoo to the Mastiff.
Bathers need to stop telling the Groomers when they are taking a break or lunch unless they want to be told to wait until'.or before you do you need to'.. then you have to do that nail trim that came in while you were doing the other 'before you go', but that has to wait to be done until after you take the appointment holding on 21, and you need to check in 'your' bath dogs coming in before you go, but now since one of the two Groomers just left for lunch while you were doing the nail trim, so you are informed that it would be unfair of you to take your break/lunch now since the Groomer would be alone in the Salon, so you will just have to wait since only Bathers can be left to deal with it all alone.
Handbook? I still have never gotten 'my' handbook and I am sure there have been a few new editions by now. Splash information? A couple of days of scanning information you are not allowed to even take out of the store and watching a few videos is far from proper training at any age. I was fortunate to have been 'trained' properly prior to working at PetSmart since watching a 90 second spot on how to trim a dogs nails before putting a dog in front of them and placing a pair of clippers in a person's hand again is far from proper training.
The Bather is the hardest worker; the least respected, the most overlooked and lowest paid person in the Salon. Yes they can go to a different manager every day reporting problems/asking for help, but I know from personal experience that a Bather at PetSmart will ever be given respect, consideration or even common courtesy. Their schedules will be changed without any regard to them having a life outside of PetSmart or the common courtesy of even letting them know it was changed until they either come in at the known scheduled time to be told to go home and come back later or receive a call at home demanding to know why they are not at work blaming them for not knowing the schedule had been changed 'again'.
Heaven forbid a Bather should ever become ill because they will be made very aware what a horrific burden 'they' have put on the Groomers, these same Groomers whose dogs the Bather washed in addition to the 15 of their own, when 'they' called in sick.
I have witnessed many instances of abuse in the Salon and I have reported each of them to the store manager. One thing I can personally guarantee is that no animal will ever be abused in my presence at PetSmart or anywhere else for that matter. I have and will again, taken a dog away from a person when they got 'rough' with it, putting it up and blocking the kennel door letting them know they will be going 'through' me to get to the dog unless they go chill out first.
What really gets me is that almost every PetSmart Groomer started as a Bather and they know how horrible Bathers are treated and how horrible it feels to be treated this way, yet those seem to be the ones that treat the new Bathers the worse.
Putting clippers/scissors in my hand will never erase the memories of the many nights driving home crying my eyes out over being treated like gum on the bottom of a shoe as a PetSmart Bather. The promise of being sent to Grooming School paid for by PetSmart really sounds great at first, but expecting anyone to suffer abusive treatment on a daily basis while waiting for the 'opportunity'. With each new 'reason/excuse' why it is still not your turn to go yet (always with the "Even though you are ready to go we have to wait for ....."), well lets just say if only I knew that first day what I know now, I would have taken that job washing cars making $4.00 more per hour!