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What am I doing wrong?

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What am I doing wrong?

Post by Homeward Hound on Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:00 pm

Hi All

I guess I should have begun by going to the introduction section, but I'm in such a dilemma, I really wanted to come straight here and ask for help! Hope that's ok?

I'm Tracey btw Smile

Long story short, I worked for a salon owner who was offering a rate of hourly pay ($18) and who would essentially call me when she needed me to work. Therefore I invoiced for the hours I did and that was that, all reasonably simple.
Anyways, new owners have since taken over, and for whatever reason (my own slackness in no small part) I have ended up staying on the same hourly rate.
The only difference in regard to work terms is that I do a set 3 day week, because they've basically gone through at least 5 employees (dog washers & a couple of other groomers) who have got fed up with the new owners Mother (who is there on a daily basis trying to do the washes, drying, answering phone and taking dogs in).
I've stuck through it and stuck with them, but I'm now getting to the point where I've had enough.

I don't have a say in what dogs are booked in when nor do I have a say in whether to accept clients dogs who are sometimes in such a state it makes my job so much more difficult, which in turn is then putting me under pressure to make good a bad job! I guess I don't expect to have a say in those things particularly, but some consideration would be nice. Problem is these guys are so desperate to build up the business and extra clients that it seems to be at any expense - mostly mine!

I've had a bit of rough treatment from them when I have said that I can't work a certain day, even though I've always tried to give them as much notice as possible.

I feel like I'm really stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment (until I can afford to set up either a mobile service OR at home - which is going to be difficult as we currently rent our property).
I feel like I've made a rod for my own back and need to toughen up (so I wont' be surprised nor offended if I get replies to that effect Smile).

I WANT to run my own business and get the heck out of there really... guess I've probably answered my own questions here..

But, any additional advice would be appreciated...

Homeward Hound

Location : SE Queensland
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Cessnock on Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:29 pm

sounds like you are an employee who is learning what she doesnt want in her own salon/workplace when it opens up in the near future :-) This will make you a better boss to your employees :-) Unfortunaltey now you dont have a say in what dogs get booked in on what days & on prices etc...thats the salon owners job & if they stuff it up its their business that suffers.

You should approach them in professional way outlining your issues..ie have in writing times that it takes you to groom...ie 1 hour to do a maintained full groom , 1.5 hours to do a matted naughty dog of the same size & maintain the standard that the owners expect...etc Your not complaining but advising the salon owners of things they might just be unaware of...& therfore if they book you in 3 dogs in a time slot that cannot be possibly done it falls back on them not you as they know & have in writing the time needed ..

Check your award...my casual trainee of 19 yrs old gets (NSW)$16.96 week days & $25 ph Saturdays ...this will go up to full adult wages on her next birthday ....I take tax out & pay her super ..if you are only working at this salon then you would be considered an employee not a subcontractor ...sounds like you may be loosing the benifits of an employee ie the super.

Oh Btw hi Tracey..Im Nat owner of a salon in Cessnock :-) Hope you sort your issues out soon...hate to hear of someone not loving their work place

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Homeward Hound on Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:17 pm

Hi Nat Smile Thanks for replying (and also replying in 'Introductions' too).

You see, this is where my difficulty lies.. not so much in the wants/don't wants department lol, but in the employee/contractor bit! lol

I've since spoken to my accountant, after much ado with the ATO & various other agencies that wanted me to be on hold for 1˝ hrs!
My accountant reckons that I'm definitely a contractor, as I invoice the salon owners under my own ABN, etc.
In other words, despite the fact that at the moment I am ONLY working at the salon, I have the capability of taking on my own work/clients too.
I think I just need to toughen up and outline my concerns (not just verbally - already tried that!) but in writing, professionally, calmly etc.
I'm capable of doing that Smile

I hate not loving my work place too.. it all seems to have gone t*ts up really Sad I'm starting to wonder if whoever said 'never work with animals or children' had a point! :/

Disappointed face on Smile

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Location : SE Queensland
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by mutleymanor on Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:43 am

Hey Tracy, grooming is hard enough work without inconsiderate employers. Nat is very experienced and gives excellent advice, plus she has been on both sides of the fence and is fair to her employees. I agree, put it in writing and it will make a difference. If not I believe there are other grooming places. Have you tried Emily Myatt at Animal Magic?
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by tezzymusic on Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:40 pm

Hey Merryl,

what is animal magic u are saying?

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Homeward Hound on Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:53 pm

mutleymanor wrote:Hey Tracy, grooming is hard enough work without inconsiderate employers. Nat is very experienced and gives excellent advice, plus she has been on both sides of the fence and is fair to her employees. I agree, put it in writing and it will make a difference. If not I believe there are other grooming places. Have you tried Emily Myatt at Animal Magic?

Hi there, sorry for delay in replying.

Yes, grooming is hard work, and it's not so much that they're inconsiderate, just not clued up on the industry I think perhaps. Plus the other points I mentioned about making a rod for my own back - I know I've not helped my own situation that's for sure Smile

I will respectfully decline the idea of working for anyone else however - been there done that and as I ran my own grooming business when I still lived in England, I know that's the position I want to be in again Smile It's just getting the ball rolling I guess.
I have heard of the person/place you mention, having had a groomer from there work briefly with me.
Thank you for your input, all thoughts are much appreciated & taken on board Smile

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Location : SE Queensland
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by mutleymanor on Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:19 am

Sounds like you've decided your course of action so the very best of luck with that. Very Happy I also refuse to work for someone else after 35 years teaching and adore being my own boss - no-one to answer to but my clients (and their dogs of course), flexible hours, home with my guys and full control of how I work. Love it!
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by shiveringpuppy on Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:56 pm

it is a pain working for crazy people isn't it?

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Homeward Hound on Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:51 pm

Ok folks... so the time has come. I've been away from the salon since23rd December, and have now finally plucked up the courage to put something in writing... I don't really want to go back to the salon, but equally I don't want to just leave things unsaid. My financial situation at the moment too means that I do need some work.... though what I should be doing is pulling my finger out and getting my flyers out and posted - someone give me a swift kick up the derrier please!!!

Anyway, this is what I am thinking of sending by email - any thoughts welcomed... I hope that what I have written doesn't sound rude - so if anyone does think that I'd appreciate some comments - thanks all Smile



I want to take this opportunity to contact you to mention a
few issues. I felt it easier to contact
you in writing as I have a house full of guests at the moment & I am
dashing in and out most days. Also I am
a little uncomfortable discussing things such as this in person, so I hope you
understand the formal approach to these matters.



First and foremost ; remuneration. From 1st Jan 2012 my hourly rate is
$22.50 plus GST. I have had to do this
due to general maintenance of my equipment, an increase in business insurance,
fuel costs and other general costs to run a business. My previous hourly rate was only ever agreed
with the previous owner of the salon as a starting rate, and whilst I was initially
happy with that, the time has come to make the increase.



Also after comparing other grooming jobs on the market, I
feel that this is a fair rate, and considerably less than a groomer would earn should
they be working for themselves. As an
example a recent grooming job was offering up to $25 per hour as an employee OR
65-70% of daily takings as a contractor for grooming 4 to 6 dogs per day.



Secondly I have struggled to cope with the way in which dogs
are booked into the salon on the days that I work. I understand from your point of view that you
have a business to run and need a
healthy turnover and influx of customers, however, with the high volume of dogs
that were being booked in I know that the quality of my work has suffered. I am not happy with some of the dogs that I
have sent home in recent months at all, and I do feel that this needs to be
addressed.



I take some of the blame for this. I should have discussed this previously and although
I have tried to mention it before to *******, the bookings were still crammed
in. The volume of dogs being booked in on the days
when I work is just too high. Although I
have been loyal to your business, I have also felt somewhat ‘stuck’ because of
the knowledge that there was no-one else to groom the dogs.



For example, as a contractor if there is a particular day I
cannot work, whilst I would always give as much notice as I could, I am not
responsible if I cannot be there.
Likewise, when there aren’t any bookings on a particular day, the salon is not obliged to offer work (as has happened in the past).



Ultimately, I want to work for myself from my own home, and I
think now is the time to think of my own business and future. I think it is only fair that you are aware of
this.



I’d appreciate any discussion to be kept in writing for the
reasons outlined previously.

Homeward Hound

Location : SE Queensland
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Tail's a Waggin' on Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:27 pm

Hi Tracey. From other postings you will find we all have a different prospective on things. I believe Cessnock probably has more experience in this field. I have never groomed for anyone else except the clients I have found myself so IMO I can't understand why you would be so polite about all this whilst it appears you are the one who has the experience and is doing them the favour. You may not think you can't yet go out on your own but there are plenty here that have shared your same thoughts and are now successfully working independantly. Why settle for any less than 50% of groom with your knowledge. If you are using your own equipment and paying for blade sharpening then 60%. Idea

Can the employer do a better job? Are they as time efficent? Do they share the same knowledge? Question Why are there convienetly so many dogs being booked in on the days you are scheduled to work ? Question

Sounds like your being taken advantage of.... Why also do you have to explain it in writing via e-mail. If they can't sit over a coffee and have a sound discussion on terms of your contract then maybe they need to find out how hard it really is to get a good groomer on the books. Only there business will suffer as those unhappy clients will seek you out.....

Stand up and be heard one on one, face to face, with your conditions backed up on paper ready for there signature. You have what they need....

If they don't like it F%*K EM. Bluntley........... Go on you can do it....
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Cessnock on Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:57 am

Homeward Hound wrote:Ok folks... so the time has come. I've been away from the salon since23rd December, and have now finally plucked up the courage to put something in writing Good idea :-)... I don't really want to go back to the salon, but equally I don't want to just leave things unsaid. My financial situation at the moment too means that I do need some work..sad that you have lost your passion working at your current place & are only staying for the $$ because you cant get yourself motivated to change the situation (is that a hard enough kick? lol) . though what I should be doing is pulling my finger out and getting my flyers out and posted - someone give me a swift kick up the derrier please!!!

Anyway, this is what I am thinking of sending by email - any thoughts welcomed... I hope that what I have written doesn't sound rude - so if anyone does think that I'd appreciate some comments - thanks all Smile key to any letter is to stick to facts..no emotions, no he say she say ..keep it simple & too the point.



I want to take this opportunity to contact you to mention a
few issues. I felt it easier to contact
you in writing as I have a house full of guests at the moment & I am
dashing in and out most days. Also I am
a little uncomfortable discussing things such as this in person, so I hope you
understand the formal approach to these matters. you owe no explination as to why you are writing this letter ..delete that bit...all important things in life are done in writing.


Dear ...

I am taking this oppuritunity to bring to your attention a few items that need discussing re our working relationship.


First and foremost ; remuneration. From 1st Jan 2012 my hourly rate is
$22.50 plus GST. I have had to do this
due to general maintenance of my equipment, an increase in business insurance,
fuel costs and other general costs to run a business.once agian you dont need to justify your price rise to anyone ,annually prices go up & this is now your 'annaul price rise spot' so to speak My previous hourly rate was only ever agreed
with the previous owner of the salon as a starting rate, and whilst I was initially
happy with that, the time has come to make the increase.


Firstly ...remuneration...please note my annual incease is now in effect & my hourly rate on all future billings to your company is $ 22.50ph +gst this a set amount until the same time next year & adjusted to meet standard inflation cost of running a business.

If you would like to employ me as a employee with set hours per week on a wage amount I would be happy to discuss this option (??? would you? or another option could be made at this point set amount of pay plus extra $$ for each dog groomed over the days normal limit)

Also after comparing other grooming jobs on the market, I
feel that this is a fair rate, and considerably less than a groomer would earn should
they be working for themselves. As an
example a recent grooming job was offering up to $25 per hour as an employee OR
65-70% of daily takings as a contractor for grooming 4 to 6 dogs per day.justifying yourself again ..delete ..dont tell your boss you have been looking for other jobs





Secondly I have struggled to cope with the way in which dogs
are booked into the salon on the days that I work. I understand from your point of view that you
have a business to run and need a
healthy turnover and influx of customers, however, with the high volume of dogs
that were being booked in I know that the quality of my work has suffered. I am not happy with some of the dogs that I
have sent home in recent months at all, and I do feel that this needs to be
addressed. good point & one that needs discussion :-)


Secondly..the amount of dogs that can be groomed in a day & the time needed to maintain a high standard that will keep clients returning to the salon.

I understand that its been the busy season but feel that the time limits 'imposed' (?) on me to groom these dogs has made my quality of work drop to a standard that I am not happy or comfortable to be returning these dogs to their owners & knowing that they will be happy to come back for repeat service. Can we organise asap a sit down talk about the times needed to keep each dog to complete thier grooming , breed style, hair condition makes a huge difference in the amount of time it takes me to complete a groom & we can become more productive if the salon is running smoothly without backlog.


I take some of the blame for this. I should have discussed this previously and although
I have tried to mention it before to *******, the bookings were still crammed
in. The volume of dogs being booked in on the days
when I work is just too high. Although I
have been loyal to your business, I have also felt somewhat ‘stuck’ because of
the knowledge that there was no-one else to groom the dogs. not really needed



For example, as a contractor if there is a particular day I
cannot work, whilst I would always give as much notice as I could, I am not
responsible if I cannot be there.
Likewise, when there aren’t any bookings on a particular day, the salon is not obliged to offer work (as has happened in the past).reword this point


third point, Time off...then reword


Ultimately, I want to work for myself from my own home, and I
think now is the time to think of my own business and future. I think it is only fair that you are aware of
this.if i was to recieve this point in a letter I would be planning on giving you your notice...no one wants an employee that is planning on leaving & just biding time working for you while they get up & running..never feel like you are indespensible ..there is always someone out there to replace you ...& as an employer knowing you are leaving I would also be concerned that you may start collecting client data etc (not saying you would) just pointing out things from the other side...dont forget as a subcontractor billing a salon you are ALLOWED to work elsewhere ..if they want you soley they have to employ you & pay tax/super etc :-)



I’d appreciate any discussion to be kept in writing for the
reasons outlined previously.
close the conversation with.... looking forward to your prompt return reply in these matters ...something along those lines :-) HTH


Last edited by Cessnock on Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:05 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : lots of typos & spelling mistakes..but im sure ya get my point lol)

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by WillowandMoo on Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:02 am

Hello Tracey. Whereabouts do you live, if you don't mind me asking? Thanks, Marea :-)

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by jonna on Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:57 am

Good luck.
I can't work for anyone but I have been known to team up with Lorie once a year Wink.

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Tail's a Waggin' on Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:05 am

Nice work Nat (Cessnock).... Wink Same page I'm just alot more to the point with no cotton wool in posting opinion, however in the event of moving on you need to leave with a professional integrity on your side. Good sound advice Tracey..........
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by WillowandMoo on Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:48 pm

Oh PS: Tracey, I am asking where you are located because I am considering expanding and MAY have something available on the Gold Coast in the not too distant future. If you prefer to email me, you can at:willow and moo @ hotmail .com Very Happy
Thanks, Marea.


Last edited by WillowandMoo on Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:25 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by tezzymusic on Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:50 pm

Where about are you locate may I ask Marea?

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by WillowandMoo on Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:04 pm

I am on the Gold Coast Smile

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Homeward Hound on Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:10 pm

Nat, I cannot thank you enough for being so thorough and to the point. You make some really good points, ones that I will take on board..

When I think I used to be a Business Continuity Manager for the biggest law firm in the world in recent years, I wonder where the heck my confidence has gone sometimes.... I'm too bloomin' nice for my own good I think!! Gotta get that business head back on !!!

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Location : SE Queensland
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by WillowandMoo on Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:16 pm

Sorry, I just saw a post where you said you wouldn't work for anyone else. Good luck Tracey

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Homeward Hound on Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:27 am

Tail's a Waggin' wrote:Nice work Nat (Cessnock).... Wink Same page I'm just alot more to the point with no cotton wool in posting opinion, however in the event of moving on you need to leave with a professional integrity on your side. Good sound advice Tracey..........

Definitely on the same page Smile

And I really do appreciate everyones input, including yours Tail's a Waggin Smile

I do wish I could be more 'up front' and to the point, but all replies have given me the impetus to get there Smile

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Location : SE Queensland
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Homeward Hound on Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:02 am

Ok well... all points taken on board, email re-written and sent on the 4th...

.. so far - no response! Aggh.. now I'm all a bundle of knots

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Homeward Hound on Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:44 pm

Man oh man... still no response...

Text message now to bring email to owners attention? Stomach churning here... Sad

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Cessnock on Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:54 pm

no dont chase up yet...give them 2 days ..thats ample time for them to read & have time to respond & to decide how they wish to respond :-) did you request a read reciept?

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by jonna on Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:45 pm

Time to work for yourself, you will be much happier. Twisted Evil

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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Post by Homeward Hound on Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:46 am

Well... I got a response by email late last night.

They have agreed to the hourly rate increase... BUT want to 'discuss the other issues on my return that can then be formalised'....

At the risk of moaning again, I'm not entirely happy about that last bit.

Part of the whole thing was to try and get stuff ironed out before I go back.... I feel that the amount of dogs (at the very least) I am able / willing to do per day should be agreed before I go back - or is that just me?

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