Recently, I seem to be having the same discussions over and over. Much like an episode of The Twilight Zone, something strange seems to be happening. Perhaps some great force in the Universe is pointing me toward a message. Or perhaps I’m manifesting the conversations myself. Regardless, I’m caught in a loop- and I can’t get out. Welcome to my loop.
Having spent over three decades in the pet service business, one thing that I’ve said more times than I care to remember is, “Well, that’s never happened before.” That seems to be an oft repeated statement when you are working with animals. My personal experience in both the equine and canine worlds has proven that ANYthing and EVERYthing- even the things you can’t imagine can and will happen at some point.
And that brings me back to the looping conversation. When something doesn’t go as planned with dogs, there is always a reason. I have learned to assess every situation posthumously so that we can prevent it from happening in the future. Anything from a dog flipping a grooming table over while throwing a tantrum to an employee slipping on a puddle of dog urine can bring the entire shop to a grinding halt. By assessing the reason, and learning to predict the issues, hoping to prevent any serious situation from occurring- I’ve become a master at finding REASONS that things happen.
Subsequently, I’ve also become a master at reacting to what happens with swift improvements or adjustments to make sure they don’t recur. Where I’m finding that I fall short, though, is getting the results that I’m looking for. Who hasn’t placed a rule, policy, or procedure into place only to find out that it was not followed? I am plagued by the proverbial and pesky “Theys”. When I ask why a policy is not being followed, I am often told “they” said it was done a certain way. I’ve actually found myself livid at “they” before- and I don’t even know who “they” are.
So, in my quest to snuff out the effect that “they” have on changing policies- things as minor as lunch times, the order we bathe dogs in, or placing bandanas on dogs- I realize that “they” is a synonym for ME. I have taken my eye off the ball and “they” are the invisible force who move in. “They” are the invisible army which stand in the spot I’m not standing in when someone has a need to vary a rule. “They” are the vacuum created by the space I should be in when someone has a question and there is not an immediate answer.
So, I have set out to eliminate “they” from having a presence in my business. If I can’t be present (and I just can’t be everywhere at once), I am making sure that the answers are presented- either in the form of better management tools, better training tools, or better reference tools. I have found a REASON for an ongoing problem in a growing organization and am creating my own RESULTS!
Wish me luck- I am fortunate that there IS an army who helps with See Spot- my husband and co-owner William Berry, my son Josh, daughter in law Amanda, and daughter Brittney are the true leaders of the amazing Spot.