The dogs ran their hearts out. Had a blast.
In anticipation of their transformation from citified Golden Retriever and Yellow Lab to "Chocolate Swamp Hounds," we had the jeep at the ready and immediately loaded them in for a drive to the dog wash place - a franchise store for bathing your dog.
We pulled up to the front of the dog wash at the strip mall where it`s located and noticed a scribled sign on the door:
There we were. The two Chocolate Swamp Hounds were steaming up the windows of the Jeep. A smell something like that of fish washed up on a beach was starting to seep into our fleece jackets.
We waited for a few minutes not saying much. And then I made the first comment...
"Twenty minutes from when?" I said it very quietly, just above my breath.
"Exactly!" said my wife. Loudly.
I made a proposal. "Let`s go get a Starbucks and come back. By then they`ll be open again probably." And off we went.
When we returned about 15 minutes later things didn`t look much different. The sign was still there. The same few cars were in the parking lot.
"Maybe we should call the phone number on the window," my wife said, in problem solving mode.
"Good idea" I responded. It`s part of why I married her.
I dialed. A woman answered "Hello."
"Hi! We`re waiting out in front of your store. We were just wondering when the 20 minutes started...." I said it sarcastically, trying to make it clear that her sign didn`t have all the information a customer might expect, like, when did the 20 minutes start and more importantly, when did it end?!
"Oh, sorry. I thought my sister would be back by now. I`m, uh, actually, I`m at the nail salon next door. Getting my nail nails done. Should be finished in about 10 minutes."
She didn`t sound like she really cared if we stuck around. Maybe she had caught a glimpse of us through the front glass of Lee`s Nails. Maybe she could see that we were starting to gag from the odor of our dogs and she KNEW we would wait.
So, we waited. After a few more minutes, we stepped out of the Jeep to get some oxygen. It was spitting rain. Then my wife made an abrupt announcement.
"I`m going in," she said.
"The door`s locked, I already tried it," I reminded her.
"No, I`m going into Lee`s Nails." And with that, she turned, Starbucks in hand, and moved assertively into the nail salon. A minute later, she came out the door, jingling keys in her hand, smiling.
"Get the doggies. I got the keys to the place," she said. And then she added, "this person should clearly not be running a store - she`s letting us in there unattended so she can finish her nails."
Well, the store owner eventually came back into the dog wash store to watch over our shoulder as we scrubbed down the doggies - and all was good. She was actually helpful from that point on.
But, I wanted to share with you this experience. And just in case it`s not obvious, if you ever have to leave the store for something important... like a manicure ... just remember to post the actual time you`re returning and also, no matter how zealous, don`t let a customer have the keys to your store unattended.
Rich Sloan , Co-Founder, Chief Startupologist, StartupNation