By Bonnie Wonders–Trent
Apparently my career in the dog grooming world is coming to an end. I don’t know the exact date, however, as no one has informed me yet. I rely on the “Doggie Grapevine” to let me know the scoop on the poop.
For about the seventh time in my dog business life, I (as usual) am the last to know that I am going out of business. Someday, yes, I will retire as we all plan to. However, now is NOT that time—not unless Publisher’s Clearing House or the lotto comes screaming my way.
It all started months ago. One lady called and asked if I would do her dog “one last time.” Usually, when I get a call like that, it means that 1) the dog is dying, 2) the owner is moving, or 3) somebody’s getting a divorce. During the call, I asked the owner why it would be the “last time.”
“Because of you going out of business,” she said matter-of-factly. “I’ll really be sorry to see you quit,” she added.
“Who told you that?” I asked her.
“Oh, Ron down the street said that someone told him. I don’t know who it was,” she said.
I chuckled. “Well, please tell him that it’s not true,” I said calmly.
“So Sissy won’t have to go somewhere new?” she asked.
“No, not unless you’re not happy here,” I assured her. That was the first call that I remember getting about it. From that point on, it just kind of snowballed. I started getting several calls a week to several calls in one day all about the same thing.
“Why are you quitting? I can’t believe you didn’t at least call us,” one woman said as her tone got hotter and hotter. “We’ve been coming to you for almost 20 years and now you up and decide to quit without bothering to tell us at our last appointment? You should have said something without ME having to call YOU first,” she practically yelled into the phone. During her rant, I couldn’t find a break long enough to tell her that I had no intention of quitting. Finally, I did get in an “Ugh… It’s not true. I have no plans to quit. I don’t know who started it, but it is definitely not true,” I told her.
“Oh… Well then sorry if I sounded a little miffed,” the woman said. “I’m glad to hear that. You have yourself a good day,” she threw in.
I’ve actually had a few people stop in with tears in their eyes over the whole thing. I will admit that it is nice to be that well liked by some. I’ve gotten two “we’ll miss you” cards in the mail. The writing in one really sounded like it was a eulogy thing. Creepy, but nice.
Usually people call and start out saying, “I have something to ask you…” Then I know what’s coming next. I’ll just jump right in and say, “No, I’m not going out of business.” Each time I ask someone where they heard it, no one seems to know where it started.
I just keep repeating myself when asked about it and made another of my infamous signs to put up in the shop that says it’s not so. Then I go on about my life. I will admit, though, it really does get on my nerves that it hasn’t yet died down. My husband thinks he’s Columbo or something over it all. I keep hearing, “I’m gonna get to the bottom of this!” from him.
“Yes, dear. You do that,” I mumble.
“What if people stop coming here?” he asked one day.
“Hello! Have you not heard me complaining about all the calls from people to find out if it’s true before they go somewhere else? I could stand having a lighter load sometimes anyhow,” I told him.
“That’s it! I’m gonna do some investigating,” he said, leaning over the counter.
“Okay, you go right ahead. I’m promoting you to damage control,” I told him. He actually looked impressed. There. He had an official job. No idea of how to go about it, mind you, but a job none the less.
Apparently, the only people who haven’t found out about my “retirement” are the telemarketers. I can’t escape the day without having at least one call from them needing me to update my Google listing or help me collect on unpaid accounts. I keep telling them I don’t have “accounts” and I keep hitting “2” to be removed from their lists. That is about as effective as me trying to squash this rumor.
Today, I think I finally got closer to the root of the problem. I had a call from one of my long-time customers today. He asked if the rumor were true. I told him no, but that I’d love to know where it was coming from. He told me he could easily find out for me. He said his uncle told him, and he knows where it originated. Unfortunately, the uncle is not home right now, and he’ll talk to him tonight and call me tomorrow. Looks like I might crack the case wide open. (Don’t tell Columbo…)