• Report: #280928

Complaint Review: PetSmart

  • Submitted: Thu, October 25, 2007
  • Updated: Thu, September 23, 2010

  • Reported By:Dallas Texas
PetSmart
http://petsmart.shoplocal.com/petsmart/default.aspx?action=entry&pretailerid=-99867&siteid=508&adref Richardson, Garland, Plano, Texas U.S.A.

PetSmart Bathers work the hardest, paid the least, treated as maids/servants for the Groomers Richardson, Garland, Plano Texas

*UPDATE Employee: I love my job as bather @ petsmart

*UPDATE Employee: Get over it!

*Author of original report: Guess it has to be me, can't be the groomers....

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Bather

*UPDATE Employee: SERIOUSLY

*Consumer Comment: LOL, welcome to life as a bather

*UPDATE Employee: A day in the life of a petsmart bather

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I see your point but....

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Ex-Employee....but for different reasons

*UPDATE Employee: Not All PetSmarts

*Author of original report: Reached my limit

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Umm Ok,,Why is this person telling his storey under my kennel name???

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Ex-Bather Response

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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!

Karmax10fold
Dallas, Texas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/25/2007 03:36 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/PetSmart/Richardson-Garland-Plano-Texas/PetSmart-Bathers-work-the-hardest-paid-the-least-treated-as-maidsservants-for-the-Groom-280928. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

I love my job as bather @ petsmart

AUTHOR: eris - ()

I work as a bather at petsmart salon, and its not bad at my store the groomers are all nice and will volunteer help if they see you are struggling you are asked if you can help with the groomers dogs sure but not required the groomers have it alot harder than you think. Most of the dogs I have seen are just as scared of the clippers as they are the driers and fight as much as they can some even biting and this on top of getting clawed up while bathing dogs sure we have to clean but come on didn't you expect that when you took the job? Bather or groomer one is going to be on the low end of the totem pole thus have to clean more I actually expected much worse than what I got. The groomers have even stopped working on their own dogs to help you if they see you are having too much trouble meaning they might not get done on time with their own dogs so I always ask them if they have any dogs they need me to bath while they are working on their dogs its hard work sure but in the end I know I put in a good days work and earned my money and more importantly peoples respect by doing my job and doing it well and not complaining about my job description

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#2 UPDATE Employee

Get over it!

AUTHOR: NachoChZ - (United States of America)

First off, if it's that bad....you need to find another job!  Secondly I am a dog groomer at PetSmart and it is in no way shape or form what you describe.  And all that you describe as being all these horrible duties is YOUR job!  You get paid to that job.  I don't agree with how they're treating you if it is as horrible as you say.  There is a lot of immature dram in my salon and a lot of things I am unhappy with. But we do all work as a team and all pitch in. There should be a weekly cleaning list and all our groomers are usually the ones that do that.  Which is a lot more dirty work then what your describing. I als agree with on of the older posts on wich I really wish you knew how much harder it is to be a groomer. And I don't know why you are being treated the way you are when most of the groomers all started out as bathers. Seems odd to me. They should know how it is.  Because at my salon we know what a pain it is to be a bather and be booked and to have nail trim after nail trim come in. SO we help out with those.  We also help our bathers who fall behind on bathing their dogs and drying them...In return they help us when we fall behind. I personally will throw my bather a couple of bucks for bathing one of my dogs for me to show my appreciation. But WE do a lot more work then you. TRUST ME!  I really don't think your maing this up but I do thik you may be exagerating a tad. And could go about it in a totally different manner. And there are things you can do to change this.  By calling corporate.  It sounds to me though those groomers need to get off their high horses and get over their power trips and realize they will get a lot more help if every one works as a team. It makes life so much easier. BUT don't bash PetSmart groomers! Bash the people you have encountered and don't be so ignorant on putting a label on us!  Most people suck these days and have a horrible work ethic no matter where you go! Trying being a buser for a waitress! They take full advantage of you and don't even tip you the 10% they are suppose to! Oh wait. I am sure that's not ALL waitresses just the B*TCH I worked with :)
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#3 Author of original report

Guess it has to be me, can't be the groomers....

AUTHOR: Karmax10fold - (U.S.A.)

I have to say how interesting it is that some here would like to believe that is it has to be something I am doing to cause this type of poor treatment. I have now been in 3 different stores/salons and seems to be the normal way, not the exception.


Show respectget Respect Yes, however this should be a two way street here. I have never been disrespectful to anyone, I wasnt brought up that way and do not intend to begin now. I have never had any issues with helping out anytime/every time needed and/or asked. I do however, have issues when it is expected that I do things that I know I do not have to do, am not required to do, when I have more to do already than time permits.


Groomers are also much more busier than bathers I do not know where you work, but not once during a day do I have any down time, I cannot say that about the groomers. Do you think that bath dogs do not bite at bathers or move around a lot or fall off tables? Bathers may not have clippers in their hands, but that sure doesnt mean that there are not plenty of hazards in the job.


As for work with scissors around the entire dog. very rarely do any groomers hand scissor an entire dog and even though hardly a day passes that I do not help hold a wiggly dog for a groomer, getting a groomer to hold one for a bather is like asking for a million bucks from them. I asked for help doing a sanitary on a very unwilling pup, not one of them stepped up, not even the salon manager.


So maybe my post is very offensive to (some) groomers, but so is many replies here offensive to those bathers that work our butts off and when we complain, we are told how easy we have it compared..now that is amusing.

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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Bather

AUTHOR: lifeishard - (United States of America)

all of what you all are saying is so not true i stated working for petsmart at the age of only 16 and the groomers in my store all helped out i was never treated like you are where so mabey its all in where you work so to bash on petsmart is low and wrong cuz not all of them are like that it is all and who you work for
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#5 UPDATE Employee

SERIOUSLY

AUTHOR: ambro - (United States of America)

ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Where should I start. I am a groomer for petsmart. Honey I dont know what store your working at but it sounds like they dont like you. We treat our bathers with respect. Yes bathers do clean more then groomers do, groomers are also much more busier then bathers.


Honestly you think your job is hard? Try grooming a dog that constantly bites at you, or how about one that moves alot and falls off the grooming table. Grooming is a very stressful job and requires alot of skills.


Unlike bathing which frankly is quite easy. It sounds like the people you work with are lazy, and Im sorry you have to deal with that. Transfer to a different store if you dont like it that much. Im not trying to be rude but honestly look at your job discription. IT bluntly says a bather is a groomers assistant.


If you dont like it get another job. I wish bathers would understand the amount of stress and how difficult it is to groom a dog. Yeah bathers get bad dogs too, but you dont work with scissors around the entire dog, you dont have the risk of cutting a dog.


Your job is easy, everyone helps with cleaning and if its not that way in your salon then speak up and tell your manager and if she doesnt understand then sorry for ya.


I know I sound rude but your post is very offensive to groomers.

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#6 Consumer Comment

LOL, welcome to life as a bather

AUTHOR: Devilsadvocate4education*just My Opinions* - (U.S.A.)

I have been working with animals all my life, and have worked as a bather in several private shops, and that's just the way it is, LOL. It is a VERY hard job, and underappreciated. I am used to train alot, and you know what I tell them? You can't call yourself a REAL bather until the first time you get hit in the face with anal gland :-). That's always fantastic. *just my opinions*
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#7 UPDATE Employee

A day in the life of a petsmart bather

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (U.S.A.)

I was reading this story and all i could say was oh my god this person has just said everything thats happens to me on a daily basis at work well when i am ever in the book to work wich has been cut down now to 2 days a week they change your hours at the last min and then write you up because you didnt show up to work at the new time because no one notified you that they change your hours or days.



At one point in time they made me a full time bather after weeks of them beging me to go full time because they had no other bather because one was leaving to go to grooming school now mind you they finally hired 2 other bathers now as a full time bather i never recieved full time hours but was sent a letter saying i was in jepordy of losing my benefits because somehow they made it look like i wasnt working all the hours givin to me but i was they were not giving me full time hours.

anyway as the full time bather i asked my manger since we had 2 part time bathers that could not work during the week because they where both in school i ask if i could have sat and sun off as my reg days off and i would just work monday through friday or how ever they wanted to do it i was told that i could not be fulltime and have set days off but my manager had set days off every week i was also told that it would be unfair to the other bathers and groomers because they have things they wanna do too yet i had to work monday -thursday just about all day because no one else could work but that wasnt unfair to me.

i was then demoted to part time given 1 day or 2 day a week hours and the rest of the hours where givin to the other bather which was my manager at the time friend well i tell you this place is like hell on earth i mean it they want the bathers to do nonstop ad ons top dogs low sheds nail trims yet we get no money for any of the grooms the groomers have a limit to the amount of dogs a day they have to do they only have to do 8 they can do more if they want to the bathers dont get a limit we have to take people with appointments and any and every person that walks in where not allowed to turn anyone away even if where overwhelmd with dogs then custmers get mad at us and want to know why there dogs have still not been serviced or are not done and what i hate is how i can be so back up with dogs and a nail trim will walk in you have 8 people standing around doing nothing but i have to stop what im doing to do a nail trim and corporate keeps adding on services bathers can do but still wont give us commission why should i push for services or make more money for them and i get nothing but my hours cut petsmart suck when it comes to making there employees feel like part of a team






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!

Karmax10fold
Dallas, Texas
U.S.A.
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#8 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I see your point but....

AUTHOR: Groominggal05 - (U.S.A.)

I was a Petsmart emplyee myself and I left the company, for different reasons. While I was a bather, I had the same exact thoughts. I felt I was the maid of the groomers', but I knew I wanted to be a groomer so I just assumed I was paying my dues. And that is exactly what it was. You do what is expected of you and you succeed. My petsmart was never quite that bad. We worked as a team and I didn't appreciate always cleaning and such, but I did what I had to do in order to climb that corporate ladder.

I was never told to bath a dog for a groomer. They would ask me to do it if they were busy and if I had time I would help them. Also, any time that happened, I was tipped. The groomer would either float me a few bucks, buy me lunch, or split their tip with me. Of course there was that one particular groomer in the shop that everyone hated working with because she was the type that would call you up from the back to answer the phone, but that was one out of 8 that I worked with. Once I became a groomer I tried to be nice to the bathers too but sometimes they just weren't with it at all and it was hard to be patient with someone when you still have two dogs to groom and you close in an hour and the bather can't even get it together enough to figure out how to properly clean a kennel. But, even as a groomer there were many nights I would get stuck doing the cleaning.

There were even quite a few nights when one of my bathers would call in sick or leave early due to illness and not only would I have 8 groom dogs but also approx 5 bath dogs and ALL of the cleaning to do myself. Not to mention the all of the nail trims, questions, and phone calls. Plus, groomers are not paid by the hour. So for us to still be there after our dogs are gone is a waste of time. We are not getting paid, like the bathers are. We are paid on commission so when I would get stuck cleaning by myself - I was doing that for free.

I would also like to point out that anywhere you work you must start at the bottom as the, dare I say, b***h and work your way up. I recently worked for a mom and pop shop who really did treat the bathers as slaves. The groomers didn't even go into the bathing room, let alone get their hands wet. Yet, when I worked there, the bathers wouldn't even touch my dogs and, if by some miracle, they did do a dog for me, because I would beg, they would do a horrible job and give me a hard time about it.

So I guess my points are: Everyone has been there, not all petsmarts are terrible (though personally I hate the company), and you have to start at the bottom and work your way up.
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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Ex-Employee....but for different reasons

AUTHOR: Amanda - (U.S.A.)

I have to agree with the person in the last response. NOT ALL Petsmarts are like yours. Maybe you should try a different petsmart. At my store, we all respected each other and let the bathers know how important they are to us and all that they do. ALL of our jobs are stressful and yes, tension would build.. but what do you expect from 12 females stuck in a little box together all day long with dogs trying to rip your arm off and only 4 tables to work on? Most stores show a lot of respect..and though I have heard of stores like yours... they are not all that way.. so please stop dogging ALL petsmarts.. when it seems to be only a few..

Show respect.. get Respect...
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#10 UPDATE Employee

Not All PetSmarts

AUTHOR: Wburks1 - (U.S.A.)

I have a hard time agreeing with your report. I also work as a bather in a local PetSmart, and I must say that I have no complaints about my job or the groomers with whom I work. Everyone treats each other with respect and we understand that each person (bather or groomer) is busy with her own dogs to take care of. If groomers somehow get overbooked, they are polite enough to ask if a bather has time to bath one or two of their dogs for them, but the bathers are in no way obligated to do so if they do not have the time.

Whoever is available in the front of the salon takes the phone calls as they come and helps customers as well. We all do our best to keep our salon a professional and fair environment for everyone involved. On the weekends of course it is busier than the weekdays, and everyone in the salon has a tendency to get a little stressed here and there, but that is to be expected in any job.

If you're salon is really as bad to bathers as you say, you might want to consider talking to the store managers or even go as far as talking to corporate. They might be able to switch you to another local store (if you have one) or at least try to speak with the groomers and make things a little better.
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#11 Author of original report

Reached my limit

AUTHOR: Karmax10fold - (U.S.A.)

Sally,

I am so very happy for you that you got out' and into a much more humane' environment! I have been so close to walking' myself to the point that one day I got so fed up without a word I left the salon, walked out the door to my car and put the keys in the ignition. But just as I did, one of my non-salon' co-workers that I really like, just happened to come out and allowed me to vent' (not the first time they had lent me a sympathetic ear) I think some times we just need someone to let it out' to but it helps even more when the other person can relate to what we are saying, which this person could.

I have never heard of a lead' bather. I only know of full-time (me) and part-time (we have 2) and even though I would think that the full-time bather would be considered the lead' that is far from the case in my experience. I have noticed that the PT's seem to be given personal' consideration in the scheduling over mine, the same way it was for you. I also close 3-4 out of 5 days every single week because of conflicts' for the others and now during the holidays, I close 4 out of 5 with extra' time slots added for more dogs. Even on one of my early' days someone scheduled me a dog at 3pm when I get off at 4pm.

Last week I had two 1 yr old labs scheduled for me at 7pm, that did not get there until 7:20pm, so I had less than 2 hours to get these 2 scared unwilling/unmanageable large dogs done, as well as do all the cleaning after what I call hurricane bathing days' where the entire bath area is covered from top to bottom in 2 inches of dog hair! Could you imagine the reaction I would get if without asking them first, I were to schedule a groom for just 1 dog at 7pm, even if it was only for a full service groom?

But if a bather complains' about things like this they are told They are labs, short hair, easy/fast to do, clip the nails, wash them, blow them out, toss them in a kennel, stick a kennel dryer on them, and by the time you finish cleaning they will be dry and ready to go, so what's the big deal? No big deal if the dogs were in on this plan' and cooperated, which so was not the case.

I constantly get justifications' for getting extra' dogs, like it is a small dog, it is short haired, preferred customer, etc, and really if I were asked' if I could fit them in', only a couple of times would I have declined the dog, but it is the lack of common courtesy that I feel is just wrong.

The management gets upset when employees don't clock out/leave at their scheduled times but would get even more upset if someone left without finishing their jobs. I am not one to leave until my job is not just done, but done well, I have numerous times talked to the manager(s) about reworking the scheduling to where I would be doing the same amount of dogs, just doing more of them earlier as well as adhering to the 6pm cut off time like the groomers do.

Regardless of what shift I work, I always give the bath area a once over' with the hose several times a shift as well as a tidy up' in order to minimize the damage' at closing. But I have noticed that the early bathers not only do not ever do this for me but many times they do not even pick up/clean up after themselves! When I have mentioned this to the manager I get the I will talk to them' but apparently either she doesn't or doesn't make it clear that this job function' is for all' bathers not just me.

No, I certainly am not working as a bather for the money' since I am beginning to think that we are the lowest paid in the entire store and the least likely to ever get any type of raise. I guess the lure' of possibly one day being sent to groom school is considered ourreward' (providing we are able to survive paying our dues). I would find it humorous if it weren't so sad, this mindset that bathers have to earn' theright' to be a groomer by seeing just how much abuse' they can endure rather than being sent because they deserve' it after hard work, a knack for handling the dogs as well as obvious potential for being a good' one.

I bet I am not alone in feeling that some' of the new groomers do not display a natural talent' for grooming and not likely to improve, but yet there they are. Of course when they' request assistance, other groomers' are more than happy to lend a hand as a professional courtesy' type of thing. But should a bather ask for any type of assistance, it is a sign of incompetence and very difficult to find any volunteers, at least from the more seasoned' groomers. I do have to say that the new grads' in the salon are really great about helping out the bathers because their memories of what it is like being the bather is still fresh.

I kept telling myself I only have to make it through the holidays since I have been promised I would be submitted for groom school in January, but today I too had that jolt' of reality. I was scrubbing out a filthy bathers kennel that I had not even used, and it hit me. That arm inside that kennel had 3 large bruises on it underneath all of the gouges/scratches, some fresh and some had begun to scar. Both of my arms are torn to shreds, the work is so brutally hard that far too many times I have just sat in my car at the end of a shift wondering if I even had enough strength left to drive home. I have to rearrange everything else in my life around the ever changing schedule, and reminded daily of my place' in the salon. Why in the world should I, or for that matter anyone, tolerate this type of abuse? And worse, all of this for poverty wages!

I have been working a couple of part time jobs as well as full time at PetSmart in order to make enough to live on, and the sad part is that each pays far more per hour for doing easier/more pleasant work, than being a bather. I have already contacted them for more hours, one of which contacted me a month ago wanting to give me 20 hours a week, so as soon as this is in place, I will no longer be a PetSmart bather!
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#12 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Umm Ok,,Why is this person telling his storey under my kennel name???

AUTHOR: Evonne - (U.S.A.)

I am Not petsmart??
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#13 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Ex-Bather Response

AUTHOR: Sally - (U.S.A.)

I couldn't believe my eyes when I first started reading this!!! This was me only at a different salon. As of today @ 3:00 I just walked out! After weeks of disrespect and lack of manager involvement I just couldn't take the abuse anymore. That's exactly what it was too, ABUSE! Here is my experience:

Although I have been a bather for Petsmart since March 07' I had worked at another location as a Manager from 03 - 05. I wanted to come back to Petsmart because I wanted to pursue my interest in grooming. I was told I would have to bath for a couple of months then they would send me to school.

Well month's came and went and still no school. I did have to take several weeks off however, because of my extreme pain in my hands and wrists (carpal tunnel disease) from intense use of my hands and wrists from griping hoses to rinse dogs, washing down bathing area multiple times a day (groomers are too good to clean any hair left from drying dogs such as chows, shelties, or any other dog with lots of undercoat)and from use of high velocity dryers (again, groomers just assume you have the time to dry THEIR dogs). But lots of abuse came directly from my manager, so it was hard to get anything done as far as everyone dishing on me.

When I came back from surgery she had hired a new bather that transfered from another store. Apparently in the 6 weeks I was out she had went through 5 different bathers each only lasting a few weeks. The new bather had such a "strong" personality, and I say that lightly, that it was very difficult for me to work with her. I was told that even though our salon mgr seemed a bit tough sometimes, she really liked my work. I was one of those kind that likes everything in its place, and I clean as I go.

So you can imagine how anal I was in the back and in the bathing area. It didn't take me long after returning to figure out everyone liked me just because I did ALL the cleaning. I was put on the night shift 3 days out of 5 only because one of which was a Sunday and the store closes at 6. The other bather HAD to work a 9-5 shift because she had a 10 yr old at home. Please excuse me, I don't have children of my own (even though I am 40) but if you chose to work in a retail environment, shouldn't you make arrangements for a baby sitter or a relative to stay with them! I mean really..... that's just a thought!

Anyway, after weeks of "kicking my a*s" I asked my manager if there was such a position as lead bather, not for the pay (God forbid I get paid another cent) but for the responsibility of keeping the back in check. I was told no, there was absolutely no such position and everyone was an equal as far as the bathers in the back and also the groomers too.

Well that was BS. We had a salon meeting and 5 minutes in, our mgr announced that " the other bather" was now the "lead bather" the other bather and I were supposed to "help her out" to keep the back in tip top shape. HELLO........ who in the Hell does she think does all of that and has earned her time with the company. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

So weeks went by and the other day I couldn't hold it in anymore, I asked the salon mgr why she appointed the other bather as the lead bather. I told her if anyone keeps things in order back there it's me. Besides she told me there was no such position. She said "no, no, I didn't mean she was over anyone, just that because she works the day shift during the week her responsibility is to make sure everything is done when I am not here in case the district mgr comes in" Well the only reason I am not there during the day in the week is because she does not schedule me to work days.

I work my a*s off the night before to get everything spic and span and she just comes in the next day and takes all the credit. Something is not right here, I am the older one with much more experience in all aspects of Petsmart, yet because she has a child she gets to work the day shift.

Well, I thought, O.K., I'll just keep working hard, I was going to be sent to grooming training soon anyway (because that is why I came back from surgery) I was told that, lord knows I didn't come back for the money!

Well, all of the sudden the "lead bather" started being a total B. Apparently she had heard of my thoughts on the whole lead bather thing. One day I was in the bathing area, there were 2 other groomers back there and herself, and I was trying to restrain a Great Dane in order to bath him.

As I was trying to leash him to the teather, he knocked me into the the wall causing me to bump into her. I said "sorry, he's a big guy". She said that's o.k. and finished what she was doing and walked off. Later that day the other bather said "WOW, you really ticked her off, she said you tripped over her back there and she cused you out". At first I didn't have a clue about what she was talking about. Then I remembered the thing back in the bathing area with the Great Dane. Sorry, I need to wrap this up:

After my frustrations were running high, the other 2 bathers and myself were pulled to the office to vent in front of our salon mgr. Well, all it really was, was to pretty much say that as the mgr. I am giving HER in charge of everything and we were to mind her and not say anything about it. SHE indicated that she was kidding about the whole situation (God forbid she look bad in front of our mgr) well, I called her on that and told her that if it was such a joke, why didn't she say it in front of me. The other bather had my back on that one. The next day I was treated like dirt from the whole salon not one person except for the other bather (the nice one) spoke to me.

Today I came in with dogs everywhere (Thanksgiving Holiday) everyone wants their babies looking and smelling good. It seemed apparent to me that the mgr was trying to "test" me. I had way to many dogs scheduled I usually do a max of 10-12 and more if they are small, but today she had about 16 most of which were big ones and then told me to wash another that the "lead" needed help. I went back to get started on my dogs, I was trying to work fast yet efficiently.

I had a big golden with lots of hair and go figure, he didn't like the high velocity dryer, so I needed to put a cage dryer on him, but because of lack of kennels, we had to use lots of taxi kennels off the sales floor. I asked "the lead" if I could have her dryer on her lab, it was dry everywhere but the feet, she said NO. So I had to put my half wet dog in a kennel with no dryer. I began to wash "her dog" and again no dryer available, she needed them all where this dog was kenneled. My God! Was she freakin' kidding me.

Everything just came to a head, I am 40 years old putting up with some cracked out w***e that was just made my supervisor. How much more do I have to deal with here. So I took a deep breath looked around me, everyone was tripping over everyone pulling dogs around everywhere (dogs were scared out of their mind in that environment) all the while the salon mgr had dollar signs in her eyes, because if the salon makes more money she makes more money. Again, I took a deep breath told the nice bather where my dogs were that I had started and told her, I am so sorry for you, but I am getting the hell outa here!!!

I looked over and my mgr was looking right at me, with my things gathered, I said I can't deal with this anymore, it's not worth it, this is pure abuse and you know it, good luck!

Within 2 hours I had another job with a major chain of retail stores making more money with a team lead position already granted to me!

I really wish if the district and regional managers cared about "their team", then they would make some MAJOR changes! Its horrible how bathers are treated, and although the money is always the bottom line, they should consider how "stressful" all of this is on the dogs, after all aren't they the reason we are all there! If the salon associates are stressed you know the pets are. Not a pretty picture at all!

I pray for all who enter a Petsmart grooming salon, be they 2 legged and 4!


"Fed Up"
In Tennessee
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