Sunday, July 24, 2011

If You Can Make the Powerplay - Then Make It!

For 13 years of my life I was a greyhound trainer. I was very good at it. I guess that is where I developed such an independent streak because I learned very fast that I could dictate the terms and conditions of my employment. Depending on what was going on in my life I could take a high paying job or a job that worked the hours that I wanted or just change kennels because somebody pissed me off. What dumbfounded many people that I worked with is that many times I would quit high paying jobs in top kennels to go to bottom kennels. People even now can't understand that money is not what motivates me. I wish it were because I would be in a much better financial state now!

Within 3 months of starting the greyhound business I was the highest paid help in the compound even though I was female. This business was so dominated by men that for the first 6 months I was in the business they hung a sign on the ladies room that said "Pam's room". I have to admit that one of the reasons that I was the highest paid help so fast is that I had a boss that like to brag that "I have the highest paid help in the compound!" but that is another story.

When that job ended it was like a bidding war started for my services. I jumped from kennel to kennel so much that the track enacted a rule stating that there had to be a 24 hour notice before you could start a new job. I was grateful for this because it gave me a day off! One trainer commented "You would quit a job for a $10 pay raise." I told him that was okay because I had quit 10 jobs (several of which I was rehired back from other jobs after I quit). He saw then the wisdom of my ways because even at $10 each that meant a $100 pay raise. (all of my pay raises were for more than $10 by the way)

The reason that I got into the dog business was not money it was the dogs. The money was just a fringe benefit. I quit jobs more than once for top kennels to go to bottom kennels because I knew nobody else would work for them or more importantly that the dogs were being mistreated in some way. (I have blogs farther back about that subject) Also before long I was finding homes for greyhounds that were finished racing.

When I first started finding homes for greyhounds people would laugh at me (this was back in the 80's). Back then almost all the dogs were killed. I am happy to say that is not the case anymore. I took one dog at a time and gradually it built up to where I found homes for close to 2000 dogs. At one time I had an adoption network that covered the east coast. USAir even flew them for free for me.(Kudos to USAir by the way).

Fortunately attitudes changed one at a time. I would have old timer come to me and say "I got a dog that I want you to find a home for. I don't want anybody to know that it came from me and don't expect me to ever do this again." I would thank them for the dog and invariably they would end up coming back to me with another one when they saw that everything worked out ok

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