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    Got Ants In Your Pants About Buying This Animal

    | AZ, USA | Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals, Theme Of The Month

    (I work at a well known pet store chain. Late at night, just a half hour before closing, we get a phone call from a tired sounding woman.)

    Me: “Hello, thank you for calling [Pet Store]. This is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

    Caller: *sounds of customer trying to silence a barking dog* “Uh, yeah, do you have any anteaters?”

    Me: *I pause because I’m a little surprised by this* “I don’t believe we do.”

    Caller: “Are you sure? Because you kind of hesitated like you weren’t sure.”

    Me: “You said anteaters? Is that a name of a product or—”

    Caller: “No, like the animal. You know, like an anteater? Do you sell them?”

    Me: “I’m sure we don’t.”

    Caller: “You hesitated again. Maybe you should go make sure.”

    (The store is not very large and neither are the animals we sell: nothing bigger than a guinea pig. I tell her I will check and put her on hold for a few seconds. I inform the working manager and he tells me to just tell her I didn’t find any anteaters, which is what I do.)

    Caller: “Aw, man, really? I really need an anteater. Do you know if the other store carries them? What is it?”

    Me: “[Competitor]?”

    Caller: “Yeah! Do they have them? Do they have anteaters?”

    Me: “I’m very certain they do not.”

    Caller: “Are you sure? You kind of paused. Can you make sure?”

    Me: “Ma’am, there is no way I can check a competitor’s stock but I am pretty sure they don’t sell anteaters.”

    (After exclaiming her disappointment once again, she described to me her reason for needing an anteater. She told me she has a cousin who has a serious ant problem in her apartment and was told by a friend that they had solved a similar problem using an anteater, which, they said, can be purchased at some pet stores. What she intended to do with the large exotic animal after it served its purpose is still a mystery.)

    Pooped Trying To Explain It All

    | Austin, TX, USA | Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals, Theme Of The Month

    (I have been working at a popular, well known pet store for about two weeks. It is my first night closing alone when my manager finds me to ask if I can talk to a family about adopting a small pet. I am lead to a family of two young boys, both under 10 years old, and their father.)

    Me: “Hi! How can I help you?”

    Father: “Yes, well, we have never had a pet before. They want something that doesn’t bite, will run in a ball so they can play with it without it getting away, something they can hold and play with, and something they can take care of themselves.”

    Me: “Well, sir, you will need to watch the kids and be sure the pet is being taken care of since they are so young. There is no pet we have that very young children can take care of alone.”

    Father: “Really? Not even the hamsters?” *points to our gerbils*

    Me: “No, sir. They all require daily care, food, water, cage cleaning.”

    Father: “What about the gerbils?”

    (He points to our mice.)

    Me: “Those are mice, and yes, they need daily care. I also would not recommend them to new, young owners who want something calm that they can easily handle. They are quick and tend to bite.”

    Father: “What about those? Are those mice?”

    Me: “No sir, those are dwarf hamsters and also bite.”

    Father: “What about those? Are those gerbils?”

    Me: “No, sir, those are bear hamsters. They are calmer but also bite and need time to warm up before they are easily handled and will need adult supervision before being allowed alone with small children.”

    Father: “Even the gerbils?”

    Me: “Yes, sir, even the gerbils… Maybe you would like to look at our guinea pigs? They don’t really bite and it’s kind of hard to lose them if they get out. But still need to be watched by adults.”

    Father: “That’s a guinea pig?” *points to the bear hamsters*

    Me: “No, these are. Would you like to see one?”

    Father: “How do you take of care of it?”

    Me: “Well, it needs to be fed and watered everyday, needs hay daily, and it’s cage bedding needs to be cleaned at least once a week.”

    Father: “Once a week?! How often does it poop?!”

    Me: “Every day. All our animals poop every day.”

    Father: “What about this hamster?” *points to the mice*

    Me: “Those are mice. They bite, and also poop daily.”

    Father: “And this? It’s small, it can’t poop everyday.”

    Me: “That’s the gerbils. Again, they also bite and poop.”

    (At this point I recommended a fish, which he turned down, so I got my manager to help me explain what pet care means. He ended up getting a guinea pig but not before I, my manager, and other staff, including the cashiers, reminded him of its species and needs, gave him numerous free booklets and phone numbers, and made sure he knew he could bring it back for anything. We even allowed him to bring it back past our normal 2 week return policy.)

    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!)

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