Working with Tough Limits

Samantha had a disk problem that could not be fixed, so she had to learn to survive while in constant, unremitting, excruciating pain. Her department of twenty customer service phone reps lived in fear of her temper, since Samantha so no reason to tolerate excuses, whining, or lack of effort. Performance in her department suffered because of this rigidity, and she was fired.

She decided to become a pet groomer, imagining how soothing it might be to work with lovable pets all day. On Tuesday, Mrs. Rhinehorn brought her border collie, Sheba, in for grooming at Samantha’s new shop.   And….

23 responses to “Working with Tough Limits

  1. ~~The New day~~

    Well here I go on my new adventure. So glad to be in a stress free place. My first customer is going to be here any minute. I think I am ready to enjoy this.
    “Good morning and how are you two doing this fine day”
    Sheba’s Mom greeted me with a smug look. She started to tell me how to do my job I knew I was in trouble. There were parts of the animal I could not touch and other parts I was to clean shave. I tried to keep my mouth shut thinking this poor dog was going to look awful. But I kept my cool. Trying to remember why I started the company.
    At last Sheba and I were alone. I tried to calm the dog down and myself also. Then I began with a bath.

    “The water is to hot please cool if off a bit”

    I looked around to see who was in the room with me, there was no one. But I added a bit of cold water to the shampoo. On I went and was almost done. When I was asked to use a certain conditioner.

    “ the one in the pink bottle please”.

    Again no one was there. But I did what the voice asked. Wondering if there was a one way mirror in the room I had not been told about. And the owner was watching me to check if I was able to do the job.

    At the end of the blow dry I stepped back to check on my work. Happy that I had done a good job.

    Just as the door was about to open Sheba turned looking at me and winked. Really she winked at me.

    “thank you for making me look pretty” Sheba winked again.

    “See you in a month, I’ll pass the word your okay”.

    After that I sat and had a coffee and knew I had found the right job for me.

  2. I’m a sucker for talking animals. They always seem so wise and all-knowing. Good one!

  3. Samantha had a disk problem that could not be fixed, so she had to learn to survive while in constant, unremitting, excruciating pain. Her department of twenty customer service phone reps lived in fear of her temper, since Samantha so no reason to tolerate excuses, whining, or lack of effort. Performance in her department suffered because of this rigidity, and she was fired.

    She decided to become a pet groomer, imagining how soothing it might be to work with lovable pets all day. On Tuesday, Mrs. Rhinehorn brought her poodle Kiri, in for grooming at Samantha’s new shop. And Kiri told Samantha this story.

    Mom has a good friend, Carol, who lives next door, and Carol has a fish called Bug.

    Bug is a very unusual fish, because he’s not really a fish! Here’s how he came to live in a fish bowl.

    Carol was at the lake swimming, and left her shoes lying near the water. When she came out of the water she didn’t want to get her shoes wet, so she just carried them to the car and drove home.

    When she got home and put her wet shoes on the bathroom floor to dry, out popped this little black thing. Carol thought it was a bug and was about to squash it, but when she looked closer it looked like a fish. She ran into the kitchen and got a big bowl of water and scooped the little fish into it. Since she had thought he was a bug, Carol named him Bug.

    Bug was a fish with an attitude, and because of it he had to live all alone in his fishbowl. If you leaned over his bowl he would jump up and butt you in the nose. He also had a bad habit of jumping out of his bowl. Carol tried to introduce him to a nice lady fish, but he made it clear he didn’t want to share his space with anyone.

    Bug told me the reason for this strange behavior one day. He said, “Kiri, I’m not really a fish. I’m a toy dolphin. Not many folks know we exist, but we are just like other dolphins, only much smaller. We can breathe air when we’re out of the water, and we love to jump.”

    When Carol left town, Bug would stay at our house. Mom had a place near the sink where he could look out and see his home across the way. On the tile surface he couldn’t make too much of a mess when he tried to jump out of his bowl at feeding time.

    On one of Bug’s visits to our home, Mom and Dad went out for dinner, and they left the TV on to keep me company. As soon as they were out the door, Bug started splashing around and calling me to come talk to him. I was in the middle of an important cartoon, so I just ignored him. Before long, though, I thought I heard a funny noise over near Bug’s bowl, like a big plop! When I went to see what it was, I saw that Bug had jumped out of his bowl and was slipping and sliding his way across the room to the TV set. “ Oh, now you’ve made a mess,” I said. “ Look at the water all over the floor. I guess I’d better clean it up before Mom and Dad come back.” I slurped Bug’s puddles off the floor with my tongue. “Yuk, that tasted awful,” I said to Bug.

    “I guess, since you’re already here, you might as well watch TV with me,” I told Bug, so I leaned down and stuck out my tongue for Bug to climb on. He slid on and I put him down on the couch beside me. We watched more cartoons and had a wonderful time. We talked about dogs, and fishes, and friends. Suddenly we realized Mom and Dad were at the door and we were going to be in big trouble if we didn’t get Bug back where he belonged.

    “Here, jump into my ear and they won’t see you, since we’re both black. I’ll just stand over there by your bowl and you can jump back in when they’re not looking,” I told Bug.

    Our plan was working well so far, except when Mom and Dad came in and I didn’t do my usual wiggle and jump to greet them. “I wonder what’s wrong with Kiri,” said Mom.

    Soon Mom began to fix dinner and forgot about us. “Finally,” I whispered to Bug, “you’re beginning to tickle my ear with all your squirming around in there.” I strolled over near the sink, and when no one was looking, shook my head and threw Bug back in his bowl. “Boy, that was close,” I whispered to Bug.

    After dinner the folks sat down to watch TV. Wouldn’t you know it, Mom sat on the squishy spot where Bug and I had been just a little while ago. Mom said, “Kiri. Did you have an accident? Come here, and let me talk to you.” Although I hadn’t had an accident since I was a puppy, I walked over with my head down so I didn’t have to look Mom in the eye. “She’ll suspect something, I just know it,” I said to myself.

    As I walked toward her, Mom sniffed the air. “Something smells funny in here,” she said. Bending over me, she sniffed closer. “You smell like fish,” she said. “ I think I’d better check your ears, because an ear infection can smell like fish.”

    With that, I decided I had to take some action. I flopped down on the floor where Dad had left his dirty socks this morning. I rolled over and over, getting a wonderful stinky sock smell all over me before I returned to Mom for that ear inspection. “No. Don’t come near me until you get Dad to clean you up,” Mom said. “I told him to stop leaving those smelly things lying on the floor.”

    “I’m OK,” I told Mom with a look, “I just had a Bug in my ear.”

    ©Meegiemom, all rights reserved

  4. Sorry it double posted, Ann. Can you remove one of them?
    Something weird is going on with WordPress. It’s asking me to sign in every time I post something…thus the problem above.

  5. Working with tough limits.

    It was a glorious autumn morning in Venice where Samantha, sitting on an outside table at the Caffe Florian. was having a cappuccino accompanied by a delicate pastry, watching tourists from all over the globe going about the Piazza San Marco.
    Feeling a throb on her back due to her disk problem that was the sure harbinger of a severe pain, she swallowed two Percocet pills.

    Last week was truly a nightmare: her boss fired her from the job she held for 15 years on account of she having a bad temper and being intolerant to excuses and lack of performance from those she supervises.
    How could I get fired for trying to achieve the best results? She thought.

    The day after she was fired, she went to the office of Carlo Montinegro, his lawyer/accountant old friend, and told him what had happened.

    After listening to her story without interruptions, Carlo asked her “What do you want me to do? Do you want to initiate a legal procedure against your former employer?”
    “No, no I don’t want that. I received a generous severance package that will carry me for the entire year. What I really want to do is to start on something new. Do you have any suggestion?”

    “Well, if it is something new what you want, I will give you an idea.” said Carlo opening a folder what was lying on top of his desk. “Why don’t you become the owner of a pet grooming store?
    “What? Carlo, I have a dog but that doesn’t make me an expert on pet grooming” responded Samantha completely flummoxed by the question.

    “Actually Samantha, there is nothing to it. I’m referring to an on-going successful business owned by Mrs. Jetson who is now retiring. I have been her bookeeper for 12 years and have seen the growth and the profits generated by this store year after year. This is a sound and safe business for you to get in” said Carlo with some passion in his voice. “The price she is asking is very reasonable and I’m sure she will be willing to entertain a reasonable offer.” Why don’t you go visit the place and have a conversation with Mrs. Jones?”

    As suggested, Samantha went visiting Mrs. Jones at her store the following day. The visit lasted 4 hours of a pleasant long conversation about the nature and the handling of the business plus a tour throughout the store which included the presentation of the employees working on that day.

    “Today is Tuesday,” said Mrs. Jones looking at her watch, “that means that Mrs. Rhinehorn should be entering the store at any time now, bringing her border collie Sheba for her bi-weekly grooming. I think it would be an excellent opportunity for you to meet and talk with one of our regular customers.”

    “Yes, I think that would be great” replied Samantha.

    As anticipated, Mrs. Rhinehorn entered the store accompanied with her dog Sheba, a medium size dog with a shinny black and white coat, few minutes later.

    Mrs. Jones made the pertaining introduction of the two ladies and explained to Mrs. Rhinehorn the purpose of Samantha’s visit. Mrs. Rhinehorn commented most favorably about the service and the attention she has received from Mrs. Jones throughout the years and expressed that she hoped to receive the same from the new owner.

    Samantha was so excited with the prospect of becoming the owner of a business that she called Carlo immediately after she came out the store and told him to go ahead and make what he would consider a reasonable offer to Mrs. Jones.
    Two days later Carlo called and left a message in Samantha’s cell phone informing her that the offer was accepted and that he will be preparing the documents so they could go to closing within a month.

    Samantha called back as soon as she heard the message and addressed her friend with a cheerful voice. “Carlo I want to thank you for all the help you have given me and for the idea of looking into Mrs. Jones’s business. Yes, prepare the documents for closing. The question now is, how could I be around here for a month with nothing to do.?

    “Take trip somewhere for a week. Relax and enjoy the free time” he said.
    “A trip to where?”
    “Venice” he responded.

  6. “Up, Sheba, up!”
    Please, she begged silently, please get onto the table.
    Samantha groaned with annoyance and pain. Always pain.
    The dogs at Miss Suzie’s School of Dog Grooming had all been perfectly well behaved, well trained, and happy to be combed, shaved, and shampooed endlessly. The pets that had showed up at Samantha’s new shop, however, were not so glad to be there. They struggled, they pulled, they growled and snapped. That little schnoodle had yapped nonstop till the sound had become a physical sensation stabbing relentlessly into Sam’s left ear and working its way to a throbbing spot just above her right eye.
    Each day grooming dogs brought new dimensions of pain. Combing out the tangles in Sheba’s thick undercoat woke the tender nerves in Sam’s back, each stroke with the shedding rake a shrieking agony from the middle of her spine to her shoulder. This would be her last customer. Samantha had decided to close the new business, though it had barely begun. Sheba was the last appointment of the day, and the last appointment ever. Sam would get on the phone tonight and let her other customers know she was retiring from the dog grooming life.
    “Thank you, Mrs. Rhinehorn, you have a nice weekend, too. Sheba really is a beautiful girl!” Samantha sighed deeply as she watched the pair cross the parking lot. She knew she was making the right decision.
    As she turned to begin cleaning up, she was startled to hear the jingling of the bells on her front door. She spun around to see a frazzled looking woman and a very large, very exuberant golden retriever exploding into her shop. “Oh! I know you’re closing for the day, but I really need this stinky dog washed, and I can’t handle the job myself! I don’t mind paying a little extra for you to take him on such short notice!”
    Samantha tried to be strong. Intended to refuse. Attempted to explain that the shop was closing, her back pain was intolerable, she wasn’t taking new customers; but instead heard herself saying, “No problem! I’d be glad to get him cleaned up for you.”
    “What was I thinking?” Sam complained aloud to the dog. His owner had run off for a prescription or something. They always seemed to run off somewhere. “You are like a wet blanket with legs!” The dog just smiled and lapped at the sprayer. “Your mom was right. You do love water.”
    Cleaned, trimmed, blow-dried, the Golden was beautiful, and much better smelling. Sam held the dog’s leash and rubbed his ears while she waited for his owner to return. The dog had calmed down considerably, and the fire in Sam’s back had quieted to a dull throb.
    “You are a sweet boy, but I’m still glad to be done with the dog washing business! Those pills the doc gave me can’t touch this pain. Maybe meditation would help, huh? Some gentle yoga…”
    The bells jingled softly as the front door opened. The blanket with legs sprung to life, leaping and spinning to greet the woman. The leash, wrapped lightly around Samantha’s hand, pulled tight. The dog lurched, the leash yanked, Sam’s arm was pulled straight, her feet shot out from under her. Before she hit the floor, Sam felt her arm pulled hard, stretching far up over her head. The pulling reached down through her shoulder, into her spine, to the very spot that had been the center of her misery for the past four years. She felt something snap in that center, and as she flopped onto the cool tile floor, a peculiar awareness moved through her.
    Her elbow was sore from the yanking, her hip and thigh bruised from the hard landing, but her back, her aching, shrieking, throbbing back, felt… fine? Her back felt fine? She sat up, hardly believing. She shrugged her shoulders a few times. Turned. Twisted. Stretched. She jumped to her feet. She hugged the excited dog and his apologetic owner. She whooped, yes, whooped with joy.
    That night Samantha slept peacefully for the first time in many months. The next day she signed up for her first yoga class, and she never washed or brushed another dog as long as she lived.

  7. Samantha had been plagued with back spasms and constant pain for so long that she forgot what a pain-free life felt like. The rotten disc in her back had caused an even more rotten attitude to take up permanent residence in her soul. She was as content as an irate junk yard dog on a short leash.

    She lost her job as a result of her constant howling and growling at fellow employees, so Sam decided, “If I am going to act like a Bitch, I might as well get into a Bitchy business.” Hence, Mad Dogs and Englishmen Spa and Groomery opened for business, with Samantha Sadstump, proprietor.

    One of her first customers was Mrs. Rinehorn and her border collie, Sheba. As Mrs. Rinehorn handed Sam Sheba’s leash, she made it clear that she expected a thorough and economical spa treatment for her princess Sheba. Samantha’s initial impulse was to snap back at Mrs. R with some graphic suggestion as to what Rinehorn could do with her precious little doggie. But she was in business for herself now and customer satisfaction was of utmost importance if she was to make a living.

    After Lady R. left the spa, Samantha turned her attention to Sheba who was laying on her back on a paw-print throw rug in the waiting room. The exuberant little collie was twisting from side to side, with her feet in the air and a big smile on her face. Sheba had started her own spa treatment, and by all indications, this back rub was most satisfying indeed.

    Sam was jealous of Sheba’s ability to waggle from side to side with such ease. If Samantha tried that her crippled back would surely break. Just the same, it did appear to be a quite effective therapy. Never had Sam seen such a completely happy creature.

    As her first full day of operation came to an end, Samantha could not wait to get home and take up her usual place on the Deluxe, Faux-Leather Lazy Boy which had taken the place of Sam’s bed. It was the only place where she could get any relief from her back pain.

    Around two o’clock in the morning, Sam was awakened by a most severe pain shooting from her lower back straight down her left leg. This was more routine than an exception. Samantha could not remember the last time she slept an entire night.

    Just as Sam decided to make a hot cup of tea and take another round of pain pills, she remembered Sheba, rollicking and rolling her way to happiness on the waiting room floor. Samantha decided to try Sheba’s therapy. She managed to lower herself to the living room carpet, lay on her back and began to gingerly move from side to side. At first, the pain was unrelenting. But with each waggle, Sam noticed a lessening for the gripping pain. About fifteen minutes into the exercise, Samantha was almost pain free.
    From that moment on, Samantha began to fully embrace the healing power of Doggy Yoga. She changed the focus of her spa from a groomery to a school where pet owners could learn about the health benefits of living life from a puppy’s point of view.

    Wag your Tail more.
    Run and Play with a ball everyday.
    Rip up a roll of toilet paper just for fun.
    Lay on your back and waggle and swaggle as much as you can.
    If you really want something, stare at the person with big pathetic eyes and drool. It never fails to get results.
    Let your people know just how excited you are to have them share your life.
    Take lots and lots of naps.
    Snuggle up every chance you get.

    Samantha’s Spa School was awarded the most successful new business in her city and she lived happily ever after. There was only one negative to Sam’s new life…every now and then, she would scoot across her living room floor on her butt.

  8. Hi Peanut. Doggie yoga, huh? I’m for that. Isn’t it interesting how everyone came up with a solution to back pain? I’m off to try the nap therapy.

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