Thursday, October 31, 2013

"Hours" or Something of the Sort

I'm sure I've gone over this time and time again, but it keeps coming up.  The rescue does not have hours.

If you email me and ask to come by, and ask when I'm available, I will tell you, this day after 6, this day after 7, this day all day free... and then I make sure to ask, "let me know what day/time works for you."  Here's what this means -- let me know what time you would like to come, so I can pencil you in.  Here's what this does not mean -- these are hours where I will be sitting home in the hopes that someone may stop by.  No, no, no.

This is not a pet store.  We are not open 9-5.  If we were, then sure, you could stop over anytime between 9 and 5.  But this is a house where I happen to live.  Just because I get home from work by 6:15 does not automatically mean I plan to sit home all night.

I have told people time and time again, do not just show up, let me know when you're coming.  I'm fine with a range.  Between 1-3 is fine, assuming I don't have a busy day full of lots of people.  But I need an idea.

Here's what is frustrating.  This is today.  Yesterday I was asked for my availability and I gave it to them.  They asked about last night, I told them that would be fine, and then they said, ok, if that doesn't work, what about the next few days.  So I gave them that availability and asked when they'd like to come.  Heard nothing back, so I emailed and asked if they'd figured out when they were going to come.  The answer "Saturday or Sunday."  Not helpful.  In a lot of ways, because this Saturday is literally PACKED, so they couldn't just randomly come at any time Saturday, and even Sunday, leaving that wide open.  So I email them and ask if they know what time, and I tell them to not just stop by, because if I don't know what time they're coming I may not be home.  The response "in the afternoon."  Maybe this isn't frustrating to anyone else, but it's frustrating to me, because if I didn't respond, and just assumed they're coming in the afternoon, I could end up sitting home from 1-5 pm with them showing up sometime there.  Now, if I was already planning on being home all that time, that's not such a big deal, but I still like to know what time people are coming.

If I need to run out to get food, I need to know what time to go so I don't leave 5 minutes before someone gets here.  If an animal gets sick, I need to know whether or not I should cal someone to tell them we need to reschedule the appointment.  If the animal's sick at noon, and they say "afternoon" -- I would need to cancel a 1 pm appointment, but probably not 2:30 or later.

Not to mention, sometimes I do like to have a life outside of the rescue.  That's why it's not bothering me to shrink down the rescue when I move, because the rescue has taken over my life.  I have been trying to limit appointments to a few days a week, rather than one person every day of the week.  I need to have some free time to myself, and telling me that you're coming in the "afternoon" doesn't allow me to do that.  I need to know when to be ready for you.

And... it benefits you if I know when you're coming.  Say you give me a laundry list of things you want with your chins.  The reason I ask for those ahead of time is so that I can get it ready so you don't stand there while I dig out everything you want out of various places I have it stashed.  If you tell me 1 pm, it will be ready at 1 pm.  If you tell me afternoon, I don't know whether to have it ready at 1 or 5, and the thing is, if I have something more pressing, I may do that first, and then if you show up early, your stuff may not be ready.

This is why the rescue is appointment only.  So I can plan my life around the rescue.

Don't get me wrong, I understand some people don't know exactly when.  I have no problem when someone tells me, they have their kid's soccer game in the morning, and they think it'll end at 11, and they'll come right after. Ok, fine, the time they actually get out could differ.  What frustrates me is the people that just don't want to pick a time.  I have literally been told before, "oh I'll show up whenever I get up."  What?  No.  That could be 8 am or 2 pm, depending on the person.  I don't need it to be 4 on the dot, but at least be courteous enough to say, between 4-6.  It makes my life so much easier.

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