For the past decade, I’ve made my living in the bustling metro area of the all–mighty Mickey Mouse. With hundreds of physical storefronts and an additional slew of mobile units, one might think that—due to the immense local competition—Guerilla grooming warfare was either in full swing or lurking in the eminent future.
United We Groom, Divided We Fall
I’ve lived in the greater Orlando area most of my life. Like many, while having compassion and sympathy for the tragedies aired daily on our media, I found it far too convenient to rationalize that such horror couldn’t possibly unfold in my own backyard.
“Twas a Saturday with a full moon expected that evening. Need I say more? Every kennel had an occupant: an incessant, howling, banging resident. Both human and canine customers, wrapped in some mystic force’s embrace, felt compelled to issue impossible or ludicrous requests and behave as if all common sense was lost. It was only 10 a.m., but I had already come to the conclusion that it was going to be a margarita night once I survived this test of moral and mannerly fortitude.
My life as a groomer is controlled insanity. Trying to service clients, balance family, and get time for myself often leaves me pulling chunks of hair out and mumbling in a corner. To add insult to injury, the more hectic life gets, the more keeping organized and tidy takes a backseat.
On particular mornings, the sun beams, a choir of birds serenade, and my soul is full of boundless optimism and goodwill toward my fellow earthly inhabitants. Then there are those mornings. Those mornings, which more often than not, fall on Saturdays. Mornings where I emerge already depleted over a work week and just pray to get through this last day as smoothly as possible.
As a small business, you’re always on the eternal quest for the next golden stash of new clients, and with it, the reputation of being the best groomer far and wide. In a service based industry such as ours, image and reputation can be the difference between a full client book and moping around listening to crickets chirping.
The majority of my clients are wonderful blessings; dear people that are the back bone of my business and allow me to support my family. And then there is my hemorrhoid, Ms. B., a preverbal pain in my rear, whom even after liberal medical treatment just seems to pop back up at the worst time.