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    We’ll Sell You One When Guinea Pigs Fly

    | Cincinnati, OH, USA | Bad Behavior, Pets & Animals, School, Theme Of The Month

    (It’s late August and temperatures have been in the high 90s since 7 am. It’s now nearly 3 pm when I get a call.)

    Me: “Hello. Thank you for calling [Store]. How may I help you today?”

    Customer: “Do you have any orange and white guinea pigs?”

    Me: “Sorry, sir, all our guinea pigs are black but they’re very sweet and personable.”

    Customer: “No, it really has to be an orange and white one.”

    Me: “May I ask why?”

    Customer: “Well, I’m a teacher at [Local Middle School] and I set the class guinea pig outside to clean my classroom this morning. I just checked on him and he’s dead.”

    Me: “Sir, you’re telling me you left that guinea pig outside in near 100-degree weather without checking on him, leading him to die of heat stroke, and you want me to sell you another one?”

    Customer: “…I’m not getting a guinea pig, am I?”

    Baby Boa

    | PA, USA | Family & Kids, Health & Body, Pets & Animals, Theme Of The Month

    (I work at a pet store in a large shopping mall. We sell pets and supplies. The customer in question is a well dressed woman in her late twenties.)

    Customer: “Do you sell rabbits?”

    Me: “Not year long; they are a seasonal item.”

    Customer: “Do you have any large rats or guinea pigs? I need to feed my snake and it is quite large.”

    Me: “Well, we do have some rats. Let me show them to you.”

    (I take the customer over to the enclosure with the rats.)

    Me: “Will any of these do?”

    Customer: “Well they are a little small. I will just buy two of them. The snake is probably really hungry since he escaped for a while and we just found him.”

    Me: “I am glad you got him back safe and sound. Was he gone for long?”

    Customer: “Yes he was missing for quite a while. In fact, he hasn’t even met the baby yet.”

    (I don’t know if it ever occurred to her that a missing snake large enough to eat a full grown rabbit could be a danger to her infant child!)

    Like A Dog With A Bone About Your Dog

    | USA | Bad Behavior, Pets & Animals, Theme Of The Month, Wild & Unruly

    (My dog and I are at a popular pet store where we are regular customers. I am pushing around a cart with my dog in it. He is very friendly and greets anybody who walks by.)

    Customer: “Aw, what cute dog!”

    (The customer pets him. She stops and looks into my cart to see a leash.)

    Customer: “What the h***?!” *picks up and waves it on my face* “You are a animal abuser! Dogs should be running free!”

    Me: “What? No! I am doing this for his safety. He gets out of my yard and chases after cars!”

    Customer: *grabs my dog* “I am calling the police!”

    Me: “No! Give me my dog back!”

    (An employee runs over.)

    Employee: “Miss! I am going to have to ask you to give the dog back.”

    Customer: *holding my dog tightly, while he is fighting to get out of her arms* “No! He is being abused!”

    Employee: “I assure you, that dog is not abused. I am going to call the police if you don’t let go of him.”

    Customer: “Fine!” *throws my dog on the ground and runs out of the store*

    (Luckily my dog was okay!)

    Making Them Sleep With The Fishes

    | AB, Canada | Extra Stupid, Pets & Animals

    Me: *answering phone* “Hi. Welcome to [Pet Store], where pets are family. How may I help you today?”

    Caller: “Hello, I’m looking to return a fish that I bought yesterday. He is dead now.”

    (She seems a little slow, and mumbles at the same time, so I just assume that she is embarrassed by the fact that the fish died so quickly.)

    Me: “Of course we can. Just as long as you bring in the receipt, and the body of the fish, we can exchange it. No problem.”

    Caller: “Oh. Okay. That’s good.”

    Me: “Was that everything today?”

    Caller: “I was wondering if it was my fault.”

    Me: “Sorry? Do you mean if it was your fault if the fish died? I am sure that it wasn’t your fault. These things happen.”

    Caller: “Well, was it my fault when I hit him on the head with a spoon?”

    Me: “Excuse me? Why would you do that?”

    Caller: “Well, he wasn’t going to sleep so I hit him on a head with a spoon. So he would sleep.”

    Me: “That’s… not how it works.”

    Caller: “Oh. Well. I’ll come for my other fish now.” *click*

    Afraid To Be Their Guinea Pig

    | Bryan, TX, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Pets & Animals

    (I am not actually a store associate but I try to help out since I work as a vendor within the store and I have plenty of information from my veterinary college program. So, I was not really getting paid to do this.)

    Customer: “Yes. I would like to know about these gerbils. I want a pet for my daughter. She just turned six.”

    Me: “Well, ma’am, gerbils tend to bite if not handled properly.”

    Customer: *gasps and points to the guinea pigs* “They bite?!”

    Me: “Oh. Those are guinea pigs. And no those don’t usually bite.”

    Customer: “Oh, guinea pigs.”

    Me: “So were you interested in getting one?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    (She starts asking about all the information on guinea pigs, which is on the info card right under the aquarium at eye level. Shrugging it off, I answer her questions.)

    Me: “Anything else?”

    Customer: “Which one is the healthiest?”

    Me: “Uh. All of them.”

    Customer: “Okay. But which one is the healthiest?”

    Me: “Ma’am, they wouldn’t be on display if they weren’t healthy.”

    Customer: “Which is the youngest?”

    Me: “Since they came from a breeding distributor they are all the same age. Most people pick them out by what colored fur they have.”

    Customer: “Okay. But which is the youngest?”

    Me: “You’ll have to ask up front for that information.”

    Customer: “Oh, okay. I can leave one of these alone for a week?”

    Me: “… Seven days? No, ma’am. There aren’t any pets aside from some fish you could ever leave alone for that long.”

    Customer: “Oh. What if it’s just a weekend?”

    Me: “No, ma’am. If something happened to their water supply or they got hurt there would be no one there to make sure it was okay.”

    (At this point I don’t want her taking an animal due to her lack of knowledge and the potential danger the pet would be put in.)

    Me: *hands her a book on guinea pigs* “There is also plenty of information online so you can be better prepared.”

    Customer: “Okay.” *turns to her daughter* “We better just get this! It’s a lot more work than we thought for your first pet!”

    Daughter: “Second. We had a fish.”

    Customer: “Oh, yes. Second pet.”

    (I shook my head as I walked back to my store section, thinking that the fish is definitely dead.)


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