I have no complaint in the tip and X-mas cheer dept. with the clientele at my shop. One of my groomers was shocked after coming to work for me from a vet's grooming job, at the generosity of the cusomers on a daily basis. But she has one customer that she does exclusively that really got to her on X-mas eve.
It's a family who runs a high-class Inn & Spa in our town. They are very well off, and HAVE to know about tipping, but never do (the man is also a real estate lawyer into large multi-million dollar deals. They have a lovely gold Lhasa (which they think is a shih tzu - pet store - nother story...). Sam comes in every 2 - 3 weeks and it is sometimes worked in last minute and often stays late with us calling around trying to locate someone to pick him up because these are such "busy" people. 4 out of 5 times it is the sec'y who gets roped into it. Anyway, the Mister of the household picked him up 1/2 hour late on the eve of X-mas - no biggie, we were all there cleaning after the rush. My groomer went out front to release this last little dog of the day, loaded up his owner with all the special goodies we had for him for X-mas and he left. As soon as the door shut, she turned & said in all seriousness, shaking her head (I thought she might cry) "That MAN! You'd think once a year if he's not going to tip, he'd at least say MERRY CHRISTMAS." She was right, some people, I just don't know about...
I had a very good christmas season. Customers were very generous. But to me its the fact that they show their appreciation for my work. Some people give me a tip and say they are sorry it can't be more. I try to make them feel like they are my very best customer because its really not the amount. Sure I like the big tips but I just like to feel appreciated. Some people will never get it. I have found that the most generous are usually not the richest ones but the people who work hard like us.
For the groomer that got so frustrated by the wealthy man for whom they often stay late, have to call around for, etc., I have been there! We need to realize that going the extra mile for these people will not pave us a path to heaven. If we are constantly staying late and making exceptions for the same client, all it will do is make us hostile towards that person, and maybe even towards the innocent pet. We should enforce pick up times equally for everyone, keeping in mind that our lives and personal schedules are important, too. A client that is always asking for or needed more and not paying for the "extras" forces us to feel that the client "owes" us-usually financially. We need to realize that it is US that is allowing the client to abuse our time and services and good humor, and either put a stop to it or start charging what we feel it is worth so that we will not mind being put out.