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    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.)

    Blowing A Lid Over A Cichlid

    | Cincinnati, OH, USA | Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals

    (A customer comes up to me with a 20 gallon tank in her cart.)

    Customer: “You got any of those ‘chicklid’ fish?”

    Me: “You mean cichlids? Yes, ma’am, we do. Were you looking for a particular species?”

    Customer: “D***, I don’t know… How about that one?”

    (She points to our tank of juvenile tiger-oscars, a fish that can easily grow to a foot in length. Because of this, we do not allow them to be sold unless the person has or is buying a tank of at least 50 gallons.)

    Me: “No problem, ma’am. If you’d like a tiger-oscar, you will have to buy a bigger tank, though, along with a heater and filter. These fish get very large.”

    (I quickly explain the final size and tank requirements for the species.)

    Customer: “S***! I’m not buying no 50 gallon for a stupid fish!”

    Me: *ignoring her comment* “I’d be happy to show you other species that are perfect for the tank you’ve picked out.”

    Customer: “No! I need something for my kids to look at TONIGHT! They won’t be able to see no pathetic little guppy! I want that ‘chicklid!’”

    (She continues yelling at me to get her the fish while refusing to buy a filter, heater, or even gravel for the tank.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I cannot sell you a fish that you’ll be putting into a bare tank of stagnant water.”

    Customer: “You can’t deny me a sale! I am a customer and I deserve that fish!”

    Me: “My job is to care for these animals first. You are wanting to buy a live animal and that comes with requirements and responsibilities. As I said before, I am more than happy to show you other species that are better suited to your tank size but I will not sell you a tiger-oscar.”

    Customer: “I want to see your manager. You’re being mean to me!”

    (I got my manager, who promptly agreed with my decision to not sell to her. She then asked to speak to the regional manager who also agreed with us. Furious, she stormed out of our store and vowed to never come back… not that we would have let her.)

    When The Cat’s Away The Pranks Come Out To Play

    | Columbus, OH, USA | Bizarre, Extra Stupid, Pets & Animals

    (It’s a very slow day so I decide to take one of our cats out of her cage and hold her. She’s slung herself over my shoulder when a guy walks in.)

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

    Customer: *staring at the cat* “Holy s***! Is that thing real?”

    Me: *sarcastically* “Nope. It’s a new animatronic model from Google. We’re testing them in stores to eventually give people an option for a pet without the mess!”

    Customer: “That’s so awesome!! I have to tell my friends!”

    (He ran out the store before I could tell him I was joking.)

    A Cancer Of Society

    | Knoxville, TN, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Health & Body

    (Our store is selling stuffed toys to give to children undergoing cancer treatment. I’m on register checking out a couple.)

    Me: “Would you like to purchase one of the toys and donate it to a child?”

    (The customer reaches for one of the toys and I think I’ve made a sale. But then she puts the toy back on the counter and says:)

    Customer: “My hunch is that kids who have cancer get enough of these.”

    Her Bargaining Power Has Gone To The Dogs

    | WI, USA | Bad Behavior, Money, Pets & Animals

    (I work at a pet store that sells puppies. A very angry customer comes in to buy a Boston terrier.)

    Customer: “This place is filthy! You only have sick dogs!”

    Me: “We are very proud of our sanitation standards as well as the fact that we have not had an outbreak of a major illness in over five years.”

    Customer: “Hmph! Well, then I’m going to have to have some cosmetic surgery done on the dog because I don’t like this feature the dog has.”

    Me: “Uh, well, these are natural features, and pose no health risk.

    Customer: “I still demand the price of the puppy dropped down.

    Me: “Our prices are already very fair. Especially when everything comes with the puppy, even the microchip and the vaccinations.”

    Customer: “I demand to see the manager!”

    (The manager comes over and the situation is explained. Eventually, the customer makes an ultimatum.)

    Customer: “I will be out the door with the puppy for $800 or with nothing!”

    (It is then we all realize that the customer has not actually established what the price of the puppy actually is, which is just $600. For all her yelling and harassment of the staff, she was very nice after the manager changed the price to $800.)

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