Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Four Legs And An Interview

I have learned that it is always wise to interview a potential client before you hire them. Anne Wayman over at The Golden Pencil commented on how to handle interviews with clients on March 19. I used Rocky's experience to demonstrate that this theory is good in all areas of our lives.

This is my dog Rocky. Legally his name is Rocky II and he is two years old. My husband and I adopted him from a rescue shelter when he was about four months old.

The shelter told us he was a cross between a Labrador Retriever and an Akita. I love the looks of an Akita and almost looked for one, but I settled for half of an Akita.

If you can see half of an Akita in that face then your eyes are better than mine. I must admit I have never had a Labrador Retriever either. Well, I have discovered that Rocky is neither one. There must have been a third party around when he was conceived.

As expected, Rocky immediately bonded with my husband and I and my toddler grandchildren. However, Rocky decided that his bonding duties ended with us. Rocky is afraid of people. It was evident that Rocky was in sore need of some type of training.

I interviewed a trainer from Bark Busters, a dog training franchise. The local franchise in our area advertised they employed an advanced training method which guaranteed the successful training of any breed of dog or they would give you a free session.

When the trainer arrived to demonstrate his advanced dog training method, I thought it was unusal that the trainer began to growl (explaining to me he was speaking Rocky's language). He threw a short piece of link chain on the floor near Rocky with a loud hacking, ack, ack, gutteral sound, akin to clearing your throat before you spit. I began to have second thoughts.

This interview wasn't going too well since Rocky had by that time retreated to his crate. After 30 minutes of coaxing and pleading, the trainer conceded that he and Rocky had obvioulsy got off on the wrong foot. Rocky had a definite advantage with four feet. The idea was for the trainer to leave the house and come back in to start all over.

The minute the trainer went out the door, I noticed his briefcase still sitting next to the chair directly in front of Rocky's crate. I was not the only one in the room who noticed this.

In comes the trainer. Rocky feels secure in his crate and the trainer feels secure in peering into the crate until the growl (Rocky's, not the trainer's). The trainer never did offer me a free training session. I guess he was too much in a hurry to leave.

I love Rocky and his four legs help keep me in shape when we walk to the park and I can feel confident that he will not try to attack anyone.

Is it your practice to interview potential clients? Or do you think they should interview you? I guess it works both ways.

(Disclaimer. I am sure Bark Busters is a fine business. It just was not a fit for me and Rocky)

Write it down,