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SincereArtisan

Cold as Ice...

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We had a very bad day yesterday.

 

I pulled up to work early--6:45am, to be exact. I peeked through thewindow to see that our groomer ad gotten there only minutes before, because she was already cleaning some cubbies. Though we're not supposed to be there until 7, we usually get there a bit earlier to get a head start on feeding and cleaning. Besides, the dogs don't complain.

 

I get in there and I'm immediatey confronted by our groomer demanding to know who worked this week-end. I won't call names on this board, but I'll identify them as P and S. I wasn't even supposed to work that morning, but my friend S wanted to sleep in, because her bf came in from out of town, so I did her a favor. S was the one who closed up last night.

 

We have a huge back-yard area bordered on all sides by a 12ft chain-link fence, and its set right against the back of the building, so a garage door opens into it. When the groomer got there this morning, she found Clyde, one of our adoptable puppies, huddles right outside, so cold he had icicles frozen around his neck.

 

I reached for Clyde at this point, who's neck was still wet, but only a few particles of ice were left. She'd been toweling him off to get the ice melted and him dry. All I could think of was when I pulled up I got te weather forcast, and it was curretly 6 degrees outside, with a wind-chill of -5. Poor, poor puppy...he's so lucky that he's fluffy.

 

He played fine all day long. No signs of distress after his terrible ordeal. He was a bit more sleepy, understandable, and we put him up ehind our desk with us and let him sleep uninterrupted.

 

S came in right as I was leaving. My managers had been in a meeting, and the decision boiled down to : Personally, they forgave her, but professionally they had to let her go.

 

I felt bad for her. But I was also faced with the realization that MY dogs were staying overnight all week-end, too, while we were moving. It could just has easily been them. Or, another customer's dog, with not so much fur, who would have frozen to death...

 

S felt it was unfair, and that she deserved another chance because "it wasn't like it was a client's dog." To me, thats unacceptable. It was a dog, a poor, helpless puppy to be exact, and just because it didn't have a HOME is no excuse to pardon such a mistake. She didn't double-check to make sure everyone was in his/her place before leaving, something I--and most of us--do every night because we hand out treats before leaving. I hate to see her go because she is one of my good freinds, but if I was in my manager's position I would have done the same.

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I'm with you...could have easily have been frozen to DEATH pup.Safety and security of all,since when does it matter if there was an owner or not...should not matter when you are entrusted with the care of an animal.

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A mistake like, not picking up the dog poo, or forgetting to refill a water dish, (since it was just overnight) could be forgiven. But for a wee pup to have to spend a night like that, cold and alone, I have to agree with the mgr. If there were a remote possibility of a dog being left out, you gotta double check. Sounds like she was too distracted about her BF than the animals dependent on her. I know you feel bad cuz it's a friend, but like you said, the outcome could have resulted in a dead pup, and no amount of sorry will fix that. Also, her attitude would really bother me. For the reasons you gave!

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The sentiment that "it's not a client's dog" is despicable!!! Sheesh - it's still a living being!

 

My boss at the dog daycare I worked at a while back was kind of like that with one dog there - he was technically the boss's dog, but didn't get along with his other male so lived in a kennel at the daycare. he was a 4yo oversized malinois (90lbs) and intact, so he never was let out to play w/ the other dogs. His life consisted of a 4 by 10ft run or a fenced gravel area and a single, empty black kong. My boss saw nothing wrong w/ that situation. :rolleyes: He was a great dog too!

 

My personal dog was treated like crap at the same facility because she was an employee's dog and needed special care.

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Yes, the manager did the right thing. There is no excuse for 'forgetting' a puppy and then trying to excuse her behaviour by literally saying this puppy's not important because he's in a shelter.

I once boarded Zachary and Jazz at a facility that was recommended to me when the one I really trusted wasn't available. When I dropped the dogs off, the owner was away. Her written instructions to her staff (I can read upside down) basically said "MY dogs are more important than the boarding dogs". Because we were going to the states to my in-laws, I didn't have a choice but to leave the boys. I had a horrible time, thinking the whole while my guys were being neglected. They were fine when I got them, (they both sleep for hours after) but DH & I haven't gone anywhere together again, at least not without the dogs.

That puppy could just have easily been a client's and the results could have been devastating.

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The sentiment that "it's not a client's dog" is despicable!!! Sheesh - it's still a living being!
Perhaps one more worthy of care and concern than many human beings, including those who express sentiments like S's...

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I cant believe she said that "its not a clients dog". I know she's a friend of yours, but I would NOT want someone with that viewpoint ever looking after any of my animals. That is awful. Im in agreement as well. That poor lil dog, I cant imagine how cold it was.

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That was a serious error to leave the puppy out in the cold. Glad to hear he is okay. Termination of your friend is sad, but in my opinion the punishment fits the crime.

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Very sad situation, I'm glad the pup was okay. When you are responsible for living, breathing creatures, there is often no margin for error and sometimes you don't get a second chance to make things right.

 

I have to say, I hope "S" doesn't have children. :rolleyes:

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Doesn't matter if the poor little pup has a home or not!

 

It was her repsonsibility to care for it and she flubbed it up. End of story.

 

I'd let her go too.

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The pup is fine as of today, was bouncing about, playing, sleeping, all in the norm.

 

I had to tell my boss what 'S' said to me last night. I agree with the rest of you, it shouldn't matter whose dog it was, its a living, breathing, creature...but, I think, in her defense, she was angry at the time, and probably trying to make ANY excuse not to blame herself. Reality is, she screwed up, and she screwed up bad. Sometimes its hard for us to accept it.

 

I can't believe I'm defending her right now, though. Over the weekend my dogs had been boarded because of the move, and she admitted on the phone to letting Idolon outside where she could eat poop, but she swore they just played fetch and she had a close watch on her. I, however, was skeptical, and insisted she still be kept up front, inside. Everyone has been very good about this lately, Ido even knows she isn't supposed to be outside. Except 'S' is too lazy to clean up after my dogs up front. *sigh* So to avoid the mess she lets her outside...

 

And Ido has had diarrea for the past two days. Great. Back to the vet we go....and we were SO close to getting her spayed next week!!!

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Sounds like you have your hands full. I don't think there's any reason any person should do something like that. It's still a living thing, home or not. I could never do that to a little pup.

 

I'm glad the pup is ok though, at least it didn't hurt him to bad.

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I was just about to ask if S was one of those people who wouldnt listen about Ido's issue. Im sorry for the pup, but not sorry for the girl. Yes she screwed up, somthing we all do sometimes. But instead of feeling like absolute crud for what she did, she tried to brush it off. Like almost taking the life of a pup was no big deal. Says a lot about her character. If she is a "close" friend, I'd be wary if I were you. She's not the type to take responsibility for her actions.

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Originally posted by prosperia:

I was just about to ask if S was one of those people who wouldnt listen about Ido's issue. Im sorry for the pup, but not sorry for the girl. Yes she screwed up, somthing we all do sometimes. But instead of feeling like absolute crud for what she did, she tried to brush it off. Like almost taking the life of a pup was no big deal. Says a lot about her character. If she is a "close" friend, I'd be wary if I were you. She's not the type to take responsibility for her actions.

Ditto

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I'm glad to hear the pup recovered w/no ill effects. As far as "S" is concerned, I agree that her poor judgment deserved termination. Her comment only bolsters that the mgr made the right decision.

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Makes me wonder why she wanted to work at all in any kind of daycare setting.

 

It was obviously way more repsonsibilty for her then she wanted.

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She was probably feeling defensive when she said that - but that doesn't excuse the thought behind it. The FIRST thought should be "Oh, my GOD, I might have killed that puppy!" rather than, "Well, since it doesn't have an owner, it's not like we'll get in big trouble from being sued or something." The underlying attitude there is the problem, and unfortunately I think the sitaution probably DID reveal her secret thoughts on the matter.

 

For me it wouldn't be JUST that she made a mistake and left the puppy outside (although that is clearly a BIG problem.) It's ALSO that she tried to avoid the responsibilty of what she'd done after the fact, instead of owning up and taking it to heart.

 

Glad the pup is okay.

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I just don't see how anyone could do something like that, or think something like that for that matter. It makes me mad people like her work places like that, but don't care for them.

 

I'm just glad the pup is ok, but that might not have been the case next time if she was still there.

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Looking at this as a former boss, and reading some of the details that have filtered in, and, yes, reading between the lines a little bit, it sounds to me as if this was probably not the first time S had screwed up. If it were the first time and I were the boss, I would be tempted to find some sort of disciplinary action short of dismissal -- a three month probationary term or something like that -- so that she would know that what she did was in fact grounds for dismissal, but that she was being given a second chance.

 

But if she's dishonoring SA's requests about how her dogs be managed, she was probably shaving corners in other ways. And for those of you who think your bosses don't know when you cut a corner, we usually do. Bosses aren't all as stupid and disconnected as you might think. I'd even go so far as to speculate that she had been spoken to about it.

 

Firing someone is the hardest thing a boss ever has to do. I've only done it once. It's hard on many levels. It means owning up to the fact that you have failed as a leader. It means making sure that you handle it correctly to avoid litigation. In many cases, it means having to do the fired person's job yourself in addition to your own responsibilities, plus hiring a replacement. It also means that you are probably creating a disgruntled person who may pose a risk to your business either via vandalism, exit theft, or bad-mouthing you.

 

I remember one young guy who worked for me at the farm. It was kind of the reverse of this situation -- which sounds to me like S was more concerned with what was going on with her boyfriend than what her responsibilities at work were. Most days, I had to tell him to put one foot in front of the other. He showed little initiative at all and was never looking for what the next thing to do should be. If he finished a task and couldn't find me, he'd sit down and put his feet up until I found him. I had spoken to him about working without constant supervision and direction, with no improvement. I was seriously considering letting him go.

 

But one day he brought his girlfriend to work with him, and you'd think he was running the place. He had picked up the routine. He did know what needed to be done. When he wanted to impress someone, he could work. The next time he came in, I jokingly said that he should bring her more often because he worked so much harder when she was around. From that day forward, he worked as if the girlfriend was around most of the time, and he stayed on until the season ended.

Edited by Bill Fosher

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Looking at this as a former boss, and reading some of the details that have filtered in, and, yes, reading between the lines a little bit, it sounds to me as if this was probably not the first time S had screwed up. If it were the first time and I were the boss, I would be tempted to find some sort of disciplinary action short of dismissal -- a three month probationary term or something like that -- so that she would know that what she did was in fact grounds for dismissal, but that she was being given a second chance.

 

I was thinking the same thing. I was also thinking that if one of my employees made a comment like that after such a mistake, I'd be much more inclined to just terminate rather than do any discipline/probationary step first. But she sounds like she is the kind of person who looks for ways to avoid doing her job and finds it an imposition at times when she actually must do her work. I'd say she needed to go and this incident with the poor puppy was the final straw.

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The only way in which I'd ever noticed S not doing her job, was when it came to my dog boarding there on the weekends. I'd blown up enough at everyone else to turn them terrified at letting my dog out, not to mention I'd drop in at random on the weekends during their shifts to make sure they were following my instructions.

 

Oddly enough, I never dropped in on S. Mostly because, she was a "good" friend, and I trusted her. However, more than once I'd recieve a phone call informing me that my dog was "just fine" outside, and when I'd drill her as to WHY she was out there where I did not want her to be--all the while insisting she be put back up front because you can't watch her ALL the time with all the cleaning that needs done--S would say that she didn't want to clean up after her up front. A poo spot, a couple pee spots? Something that takes 5 extra minutes of your time? *sigh* It enrages me, because if she's willing to do that with MY dog, she's willing to shirk the special requirements of other dogs, too. Its not that I expect MY dog to be treated better than the rest. I expect them to treat every dog equally, and you'd think a fellow employee's dog would especially be one you'd not overlook the needs for, because one day you're going to have to rely on that employee to look after yours, most likely.

 

In a way, I'm kind of glad she was terminated, because yesterday I got the promotion I had been hoping for. I would now be her boss, and I worry that S is the sort that would expect preferable treatment or something. Not something I would be eager to give, especially when it comes to the care of my dogs, and the care of others.

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This employee should be terminated on grounds of endangering a dog's life. No other alternative.

 

Firing someone is the hardest thing a boss ever has to do. I've only done it once. It's hard on many levels. It means owning up to the fact that you have failed as a leader. It means making sure that you handle it correctly to avoid litigation. In many cases, it means having to do the fired person's job yourself in addition to your own responsibilities, plus hiring a replacement. It also means that you are probably creating a disgruntled person who may pose a risk to your business either via vandalism, exit theft, or bad-mouthing you.

 

I agree with Bill on how hard firing is on the one who does the firing. I've had to do it a number of times, and I hated it each time. What made me feel better is that, most of the times, the person in question did not see it as a surprise. I always give my employees feedback on how they are performing and try to find ways to help them and get them to the point where they improve their performance.

 

There were, unfortunatly, a couple of times, where I had to lay off a number of people, and THAT came as a total surprise to them. I felt so bad, that one time, one of the people I was laying off came and hugged me and promissed me everything is going to be all right :rolleyes:

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