Unfiltered Story #199855

, | Unfiltered | July 2, 2020

I work in my local branch of a nationwide pet shop chain, and this happened on a Sunday; one of our busiest days of the week. I was still fairly new to the job at the time, and still undergoing the training required of the job, including the specific needs of the animals under our care. As I’m heading towards the back area to ask my duty manager for a job to do, a woman with two children suddenly flags me over.

Woman: You there!

Me: Hi, how can I help?

Woman: Two things! First! Your guinea pigs have no water!

(She leads me to one of the display units containing guinea pigs. Lo and behold, they have a full bottle of water in their unit)

Me: Did you mean these guinea pigs? (I gesture into the unit) They have water…

Woman: Yes! But they can’t get to it!

(I look again and realise that the wooden hide we provide them hadn’t been put under their water bottle after cleaning, which would’ve made it easier for them to get their water from the bottle bracket which was placed at a height more suited for rabbits.)

Me: Oh! I’m sorry, yeah, you’re right! The hide’s not been put back under it. I’ll grab some keys and sort that out right away!

Woman: How will they know?!?

Me: Sorry?

Woman: How will they know to climb that? How do you know they’re smart enough?!?

(I begin to open my mouth to say that the guinea pigs have been in there for a while and haven’t had a problem climbing the hide to get water before she cuts me off.)

Woman: They should have a bowl of water! And hard feed! They should have access to hard feed at all times!

Me: Erm… Do you mean nuggets? We always make sure they have hay which I’ve read is a dietary requirement for them. We only give them their nuggets at 11 A-

Woman: (dismissively holding a hand up to silence me) I’ve had enough of this! I am a RODENTOLOGIST! I know more than vets about guinea pigs! They need their hard feed now AND a bowl of fresh water.

(At this point, I’m just going to go fulfill this woman’s demands and ego trip veiled as concern for the animals, and begin to head into the back.)

Me: Sure I’ll just go g-

Woman: SECOND!

Me: Sorry?

Woman: My second point! (She begins leading me away from the guinea pigs’ pen and points at one of the high shelves.) That cat litter tray up there! It has a reduced label. Why?

Me: (Having written the label myself) Oh! Uh, it’s had 20% taken off because the door on the front has been broken.

Woman: Well that’s alright, I don’t need the door. I’ll take it!

Me: (Taken aback by her sudden shift in priorities from “neglected” animals to her own shopping, and general rudeness) Oh. Okay…

I reach the litter tray down and hand it to her, finally getting into the back I begin filling a bowl with water until the duty manager stops me. Relaying the story to her she tells me to ignore the customer and just move the hide under the bottle. In the meantime, she has a quick peek up at the tills before coming back into the warehouse area.

Manager: Oh, [My Name], I’m so sorry… You’ve just dealt with one of the regular problem causers…

I turns out this woman used to frequently come in and make wild accusations about animals being neglected, claiming she knows better than anyone about all aspects of animal care and similar. I’ve even found out since that the local branch of [Countrywide Animal Charity] essentially blacklisted her as a volunteer and animal fosterer because of her attitude towards pets. Luckily, I have never seen this lady since.