Walk this way

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Remember how I had interviewed for that dog walking job back in September? And how I was sure that I got the job? But then I didn't?
I looked around for something else and ended up finding a part-time job at a neighborhood card store. I had been working there for about three weeks when I got a call from dog walker guy saying that the person he hired (instead of hiring me!) was quitting and was I still interested? Hmmm....I had already started working at the store but it wasn't many hours so I decided to do both and see how things went.
The first week I trained with the exiting dog walker, Trevor, who curiously enough, I remembered as the guy who was waiting to be seen back in September as I was leaving my interview. "Training" basically consisted of me driving around with Trevor and watching him put in security codes, unlock doors and pick up poop. Oh, and talk. A lot. There's not much else to do while you're walking a dog and waiting for it to do its business.
It turned out that young Trevor was uber bright and was working on a dissertation to complete his doctoral degree in clinical psychology. I worried that his training would allow him to see into the depths of my psychological issues so I encouraged him to talk. I pretended to be interested in what he was saying,  nodding intently at references to great philosophers that I had never heard of.
I came to the conclusion that Trevor was ill suited to be walking dogs. Not because of his intelligence level and multi-degreed educational background but because he didn't really seem to like dogs. He mentioned his wife's cat and I thought it was odd that he didn't say "our cat". Geez, he didn't like cats, either. Oh well, I'm sure that psychology thing will work out for him.
The hardest thing the first few weeks was just learning the route. Unlike what you see on TV, you aren't walking multiple dogs at once. You walk one, get in your car and drive to the next location, walk that dog and so on. The route isn't big with only 5 dogs  and a few add ons here and there but Mr. Owner assured me that dogs were always being added to the route. Okay, no biggie, it's a pleasant way to get some exercise and make some money.
When you get paid, that is.
I was told that I would be paid every Friday for the prior week. Week one, Friday came and no paycheck in the mail.
Ring, Ring "Hi, Mr. Dog Walking company owner, I didn't get a paycheck today."
"OH! I forgot to pay you. I'm sorry."
Week two. No paycheck on Friday. Again.
"Hi, Mr. Dog Walking company owner, no paycheck again."
"Hmmm....not sure why. Let me know if you get it tomorrow. You shouldn't get it any later than tomorrow."
I think we all know what happened here. No check Saturday. No check Sunday. No check Monday. TUESDAY, I get the check.
Week three. No paycheck on Friday. Again.
"Hi, Mr. Dog Walking company owner, no paycheck again."
"Hmmmm....maybe it's late because of the holiday." He claimed that he uses a payroll service and that he has it set up to be delivered to me by Friday.
I'm sorry, but no reputable payroll company is going to screw this up, holiday or not.
This continued for another 4 weeks with the check always arriving on Tuesday until I was told that there was a direct deposit option.
"Then you'll be paid on Friday for sure!"
Okay, so I sign up for direct deposit and the first check I get is short $100. The total isn't much money to begin with, so $100 is huge.
"Yeah, so it's me again. This time the check is wrong."
Idiot didn't open the entire spreadsheet to look at my hours.
"No worries," he says.
"Well, no worries for you. I'm the one who didn't get paid." Ass wipe.
I have managed people long enough to know that you can make them work in shitty conditions with shitty co-workers they hate, working shitty hours and they will be fine. The only thing you can't fuck with is someone's money. That's where everyone draws the line.
Maybe I wouldn't be so annoyed if he had shown any concern over the state of my paycheck, or lack thereof. I work for him as an independent contractor so I get a percentage of what the client pays him directly. And I know they're paying him on time because some of them leave checks for me to pick up weekly.
It was a fun job but it's all becoming more trouble than it's worth so I've been looking for something else. At first, I felt guilty because I love the dogs and I love the clients but, honestly, I'm sure they could care less who walks their dogs as long as it gets done.
I even considered starting my own dog walking business but, who am I kidding? You know I would be ready to quit after the first 90 degree day! I figured I would probably only last until the summer with this anyway. You can't blame a girl for trying.
One thing I have to say, though, is that I have a greater appreciation for mail carriers. I'm out there in all kinds of weather so now I know what they go through. This was the first year I gave my mail carrier cash to say thanks!
Here are some of the beauties I walk.
This is Nico. His owner rescued him from the streets of Nicaragua. How cool is that?
Three legged Lucy with two different color eyes. There's something new chewed up every day I pick her up to go walk.
Sweet Mugsy. He is the biggest scaredy cat.
Silly Grady. He has the most beautiful coat I have ever seen.


  1. " The only thing you can't fuck with is someone's money. That's where everyone draws the line."

    Amen, Chrissy! Don't fuck with someone's paycheck.

    I had a similar thing happen over the Christmas holidays, while working for another company. The woman who was the account executive was TERRIBLE about getting all the payroll in, thus, I (and other people) were not paid each week. So you know what? I called her up one day and just quit. I said, "I ain't working for FREE...adios!"

    Great photographs of the dogs! Little Nico is adorable!

    1. Good for you! I was tempted to do that but I felt bad for the clients.

      Aren't they sweet?? I'm going to miss them. :-(

  2. You should start your own company. The beauty of that is in the summer when its 90 degrees, there will be plenty of high school kids looking for a summer job. Win, win for you!

    1. I looked into it, insurance, etc. You're right, there would be plenty of kids looking for work but I would want to do it all myself to be sure that it was getting done and done right.

  3. I need you to walk my son's dog. His wife wont leave their room long enuff to let the dog out. I know its a long drive but it is a tad warmer here. You can thaw your toes before heading back.

  4. Hell-o Chrissy,

    Yes, the remuneration is the value of the contract; without it you have either wage theft, and/or slavery. It is true of the conditions, hours, and all else; total disrespect for those that do the work. Those guilty use people as implements. This is worse than hatred. There is a denial to extend labor the recognition of humanity. [No, i am not going too far. This is part of the big picture. This is macro-economics, this is American capitalism.] I am sure the employer values the money he keeps from his customers' charges, and his employees' labor.

  5. Just be glad you get paid more than a couple times a year...

    If I were you... I'd ask the clients to pay you directly each week if you still want to do it. It's another check for them to write, but no more money and you'd get paid for doing the job.

    1. That would be ideal but I can't do that since it's his business. I did contemplate stealing all of them when I started my own dog walking business but that's not going to happen. I would love to expose him for the jerk he is.

    2. If you ain't gettin' paid darlin'... it's YOUR business! ;)

  6. That Mugsy cracks me up. Very nice to read your posts again. I have been absent for a while and have a ton of catching up to do. Have a good day!

    1. I've been absent, too! Isn't it funny how "life" gets in the way?

      I ADORE Mugsy! He is a bundle of sweetness and the cowardly lion all rolled up in one.


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