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Asking a bit too much of your customers…

April 6, 2010

Our dog Eva is a sweetie with some … issues. She’s a champion puller and has some serious dog aggression problems. We’ve been working with a behaviorist, and making great progress. Our relationship with the behaviorist is cordial at best, and downright frosty at worst. She’s a bit abrasive and  makes really weird comments about other people (“I think that guy down the block is drunk” or “Maybe Eva is scared of that fat man” (referring to a girl walking towards us.)  She also has a habit of kind of making proclamations and exclaiming that she had told us information previously (“I’m not early, our appointment was always at 7:15!” Sure lady, and we were always at war with Eastasia.) Also, long unanswered silences. So, she’s a little off, but Eva loves her and her methods seem to be working.

We just finished a lesson about two hours ago, and I was sacked out on the couch watching a Suze Orman when my phone rang. It was the trainer/behaviorist. She asked if I had a minute to talk about her Cuckoo Client. Of course. So, she proceeds to tell me this story about a client of hers that she thinks is a little “off” (hello pot, meet the kettle) and she has been involved in an email back-and-forth regarding a payment discrepancy.

I begin thinking that she is telling me all of this because maybe the woman is conducting a smear campaign? Maybe online? I did talk to the behaviorist about online reputation, social media, marketing, etc.  in a previous conversation.

So, she finishes up the story by saying that she doesn’t have time for this kind of back and forth and she told the woman she couldn’t make the next appointment because her aunt has been hospitalized or something. She says the woman wished her a good Easter and asked when the next appointment would be.

Okay …

So then the trainer asks  if I wouldn’t mind giving this woman a call and telling her that she has been hospitalized or something.

What?

I clarify. “You want me to call one of your clients?

The trainer, obviously a master of psychology, apparently senses my hesitation and quickly says that it’s not a big deal, she just figured she would ask since we spoke about this during our session.

I am totally taken aback.

I tell her that I’m sorry I can’t help, I’m just not comfortable with it and would rather not get involved. She starts telling me how it’s nothing, because its not worth her time, this isn’t a big deal. Almost berating me for my apology.

I try another tact. “I’m sorry you have to deal with this situation.” Another berating – “this isn’t something to apologize for, this isn’t a big deal.” Not “sorry for asking” or anything. Then she starts going into how the only reason she called me was because we talked about this during our session. I tell her that I have no recollection of discussing any client of hers during our session, other than a fat pug she worked with earlier in the day. She accuses me of not paying attention to her, but “that’s okay.”

I am totally, totally weirded out. I confirm our appointment for next week, and we hang up. I also want to make sure she has my payment correct in her records.

So, to recap

  • Someone I employ to help me and my dog revealed that she lies to clients (“I’m hospitalized”)
  • Sees nothing wrong with asking clients to call other clients for her
  • Apparently doesn’t feel she can make these calls on her own
  • Either was refused by or didn’t ask her intern for this assistance
  • Likes to accuse me for random things
  • And is really, really, really awkward.

I don’t know what to do. I can find a new trainer (and have one last session with her, since I am pre-paid), or just accept that she’s nuts and keep working with her until my pup seems rehabbed or … well, that’s about it.

But seriously? How do these things keep happening to me?

Update: I realized I had to fire this woman. The more I thought about it, the crazier and crazier this got. So, I called her this morning. Long story short – when she called me, she thought she was calling her intern. She was appropriately horrified, appalled and apologetic. In fact, she was looking for a new intern, because she couldn’t figure out why the intern didn’t remember the conversation and would refuse to do this for her. She was also confused why the intern would say “so, I’ll see you next week.” All in all – oh my god.

We still agreed to end the relationship, she ripped up the check, and I have  a new person coming in a week who sounds a lot more balanced. And is bringing therapy dogs!

Only me, people. Only me.

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5 Comments
  1. April 6, 2010 10:57 pm

    Umm, new trainer. For serious.
    .-= Alana´s last blog ..Wear clean draws =-.

  2. jake permalink
    April 7, 2010 11:57 am

    oh man, FIRE THIS LADY

  3. April 7, 2010 5:59 pm

    See, I would continue with her just for the amusement value and stories (assuming she’s getting results with your dog, which it sounds like she is).
    .-= Ask a Manager / Alison Green´s last blog ..did I blow my chances in this phone interview? =-.

  4. Duane permalink
    April 8, 2010 4:17 pm

    You’d never get this sort of entertainment value from Cesar Millan. But yeah – psycho. And if she is this “botched in the head” (as my mother would say), then Eva has got to be picking up on that energy somehow. Better for you, and better for the dog, to let the trainer peddle crazy somewhere else.

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