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  • Takes One To Blow One

    | Nashville, TN, USA | Pets & Animals

    (I’m working on a particularly stormy day at the petstore. Lights are flickering and the wind is rattling the doors and siding of the store. Everyone is visibly terrified, save for one unscathed customer.)

    Customer: “I’m looking for a hamster for my daughter.”

    Me: “Uh, sure sir… our hamsters are over here. We have quite a selection and I can open the bins if you see one you’d like to hold.”

    Customer: “These are all males. I’m looking for a female.”

    Me: “I apologize for that sir. We only carry one gender to keep from in-store breeding. It’s in the best interest of the pets’ health and customer satisfaction, and we’re a male store.”

    Customer: “You mean I HAD to drive all the way in THIS storm for a hamster you don’t even have?”

    Me: “Well, you didn’t have to. But if you’d like, we have a female store located close by.”

    Customer: “No way. Only a psycho would drive in this weather!”

    No Species For Feces

    | Omaha, NE, USA | Pets & Animals

    (A couple comes in with a bag holding a few dead Cory catfish.)

    Me: “Is there anything I can help you with?”

    Female Customer: “We have some fish that didn’t make it.”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Do you have any other fish in the tank these came from?”

    Male Customer: “Yes.”

    Female Customer: “We have a couple of those over there…” *points at the mollies* “…and a few of those…” *points at some tetras* “…and one of those suckers, too.”

    Me: “Are all your other fish doing okay?”

    Male Customer: “Some of those stripy ones died, but they were ate up.”

    Me: “Alright. What size tank do you have then? Twenty gallons? Larger?”

    (The male customer motions with his hands; it’s definitely not a large tank.)

    Me: “It looks like you have a ten gallon or so. How many fish did you say you have in there?”

    Female Customer: “About twenty or so.”

    Me: “And how often do you do water changes?”

    Male Customer: “We put new water in weekly.”

    Me: “How much water do you take out each time?”

    Female Customer: “None. We just add to it when the water evaporates.”

    (At this point, I take the time to explain to them the basics of proper tank maintenance. I also explain to them that their tank is too small for the amount of fish currently being housed inside of it. This takes a few minutes for them to understand, but finally they seem to get it.)

    Me: “If you move to a larger tank, siphon and do water changes your fish will be healthier.”

    Female Customer: “I just don’t understand why we have to clean the gravel.”

    Me: “That is where most of the fish waste gathers. Your filter will not get it all.”

    Female Customer: “But that’s why we bought those things for! To eat all the poop! But they didn’t do anything, and then they died.”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Male Customer: “They were supposed to be cleaning fish, but they never cleaned anything.”

    Me: “You bought these fish with the expectation they would eat the other fishes’ waste?”

    Female Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “Yes, they are bottom feeders, and yes some people buy them to keep the tank a bit tidier; they’ll eat food that reaches the bottom. However, they don’t eat poop. I don’t believe we sell fish that live off of the waste of other fish.”

    Male Customer: “Well, you should!”

    The Scales Will Never Fall From Her Eyes

    | California, USA | Family & Kids, Pets & Animals

    (I am a female working in a reptile store, so it’s fairly common for people to question why I would be interested in snakes and lizards. On this particular day, I’m helping a woman and her 6-year-old daughter hold a snake.)

    Customer: “So, do you have any reptiles of your own at home?”

    Me: “Oh yes, I have a ton.” *laughs*

    Customer: “How does that affect your dating life? I mean, boys can’t possibly think that’s attractive in a girl!”

    (The customer’s question has caught me off guard, but I try to remain friendly.)

    Me: “Um, it doesn’t really have an effect. It’s not usually an issue.”

    Customer’s Daughter: “Mommy, can I get a pet snake?!”

    Customer: “No, sweetie. We want YOU to have boyfriends.”

    Me: *speechless*

    Avoid This Customer Like The Plague

    | Edinburgh, Scotland, UK | Bizarre, Pets & Animals

    (I work in a large pet supply store which also sells pet rodents and rabbits. My job includes offering advice and info to those who want to buy a pet.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, are these a kind of hamster?”

    Me: “No sir, those are rats.”

    Customer: “Wild rats?! Are you sure they’re not a kind of long-tailed hamster?”

    Me: “They’re definitely rats. They’re not wild; they’re domestic. They’re also known as ‘fancy rats’.”

    Customer: “Okay, so do they carry the plague, too?”

    (I’m used to this question. It’s always been asked jokingly, so I chuckle.)

    Me: “Nope, no plague. Rats are very clean pets and are actually cleaner than your average pet dog or cat.”

    Customer: “I don’t want disease in my house. Are you sure these aren’t carrying plague?”

    (I realise he is totally serious.)

    Me: “I assure you, these rats are perfectly safe to own.”

    Customer: “I don’t believe you! How do you know?”

    Me: “I actually own several rats and they make really lovely pets. They’re very clever and affectionate.”

    (Suddenly, he becomes very agitated and backs away from me. He covers his mouth by lifting his t-shirt over it, simultaneously revealing an obscene and racist tattoo on his stomach.)

    Me: “Sir, I need you to lower your shirt please…right now.”

    Customer: *loudly so everyone in the store can hear* “She has plague rats in her house! Stay away from her! Oh my God, what the f*** is wrong with you?! Do you want people to get ill?! I’ll kick your a** in for trying to make me ill!”

    (At this point, two burly male colleagues of mine come running from other aisles to help. They make the customer put his shirt back down and try to escort him out of the shop, but he struggles like mad in his bid to ‘warn’ everyone. They have trouble restraining him, despite their height and strength.)

    Customer: “She’s diseased for God’s sake! She has plague rats!”

    (One of my coworkers who has been escorting him out decides he’s had enough and speaks up.)

    Male Coworker #1: “I keep rats too, mate. Now, get out in case I give you the plague too! Don’t come back, either—the plague might be in the air!”

    (At this, the customer freezes and then bolts screaming from the shop. The other customers applaud my coworkers, I get an extra 10 minute break and three nice people gave homes to pairs of rats after wanting to find out more about them!)

    How About A Chia Pet Instead, Part 2

    | Louisiana, USA | Pets & Animals

    (I am bagging some fish for a customer who is setting up a new tank.)

    Me: “Alright, here are your fish. If you’d like to follow me, I can show you where the fish food is.”

    Customer: “Fish food? You mean I have to feed them?”

    Me: “Well, yes, unless you want them to die.”

    Customer: “But I don’t have time to feed any pets. Don’t you have an animal I don’t have to feed?”

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    How About A Chia Pet Instead

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