In chatting today with one of our clients who has become a dear friend, we landed on a few of the 'can't make this up' items that one deals with when taking on the challenges of small business, entrepreneurship, and millennials. The mere mention of the word millennials conjures up quite the emotions from many a savvy business person. We had a few laughs and then the toilet paper story came up, which as embarrassing as it is, happened by one of our millennials (who has since been relieved of duties) and this wonderful client.
Our team had been caring for her beloved, senior dog, at the owner's home. While we have a list of expectations and procedures and protocols, there are those items that just hit you on the list of you have go to be kidding me. And, this was going to be one of those! A lack of critical thinking skills, consideration, and just plain ignorance were going to rule the day.
The client had been gone for several days traveling internationally for business to Ireland. Upon her return, it was late in the evening. She was exhausted, jet-lagged, and just wanting to settle back into her home with her beloved dog. The next thing I know, a message is being received from our client expressing her frustration that all of the toilet paper had been used in the home and nothing replaced. Not one square of toilet paper was in the house! Yes, you read that correctly! NOT. ONE. SQUARE. OF. TOILET. PAPER! No paper towels, no tissues, nothing! The team member had used up everything and didn't replace any of it! Aaaaaaghhhh!
What proceeded were a series of messages blowing up phones to coordinate picking up toilet paper immediately and proceeding to run over and deliver supplies to the home of our weary and exhausted client. I was furious! To further compound the damage, there was a lack of remorse or even embarrassment by the team member.
As incredibly embarrassing as this situation was, it caused us to ask some really hard questions and further refine and tweak our Pet Sitting Service in the owner's home. After evaluation and asking ourselves, how can we help ensure this never happens again, here are a few items we have now implemented.
We have a 'Go Bag' for all stays in an owner's home. The go bag includes a roll of toilet paper, a couple bottles of water, a Kind food bar, a sheet, blanket, pillow, towel, and a few toiletries.
Additional rules were also implemented, including:
- If the owner has a guest bedroom, the team member is able to sleep in the guest bedroom. Otherwise, the team member only sleeps on the sofa or the floor in the living room area.
- Our procedures and protocols now dictate for Owner Home Stays, any paper towels, toilet paper should never be used (use the supply in your go bag), and if you do for some reason have to use any of the owner's supply, you must replace with new rolls and provide proof of replacement. This is of course in addition to nothing else at the owner's home being used.
- Upon arrival, a photo is captured of the main living room area, bathroom, and kitchen and submitted to management. At the end of the stay, another photo is captured of these same areas to document how things are left.
Does this seem like overkill? Honestly, yes, it does. I would like to say that we can just trust people to do the right thing and be wise and respectful and use critical thinking skills, however, this is unfortunately not always the case. And, since we have implemented these rules, we have had zero issues with our Owner Home stays. I think part of the reason is also that we are so exacting on the steps, procedures, and protocols, that we have left very little room for messing things up. We are heading off the possible drama that could happen by setting the expectations and rules up front.
What kinds of tips and tricks are you finding successful for your Pet Sitting stays at an owner's home? Let us know!
Keep up the great work and #elevatethecare!