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A Little Bird Told Me That This Customer Is An A**

, , | Right | October 13, 2015

(I work at an animal shelter that only takes dogs and cats. Despite this, a man walks in with a scarlet macaw in what looks like one of those old-fashioned hanging canary cages that is obviously much too small for it.)

Me: “Can I help you, sir?”

Man: “I don’t want this parrot anymore.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but this shelter only takes cats and dogs. We don’t have the necessary provisions to care for exotic birds.”

Man: “What do you mean, you don’t take birds? You’ve always taken birds here!”

Me: “No, sir, I’m pretty sure we haven’t. Only cats and dogs.”

Man: “What am I supposed to do with this thing, then? I bought it for my daughter’s sixth birthday two months ago but she got bored with it already because it doesn’t talk! All it does is scream!”

(Almost as if by command, the parrot starts screaming. I have to start talking loudly to be heard over it.)

Me: “Well, sir, I actually have a list here of other shelters and rescues in the immediate area, and I can give you the address of a bird rescue that’s a few blocks from here, or if you’d prefer, I know of a vet clinic that accepts animals that their owners can no longer care for. I’m pretty sure they accept birds.”

Man: “I don’t have time for this! I have things to do! I’ll just leave it here and you can take the bird there yourself!”

Me: “I can’t do that for you, sir. You’re going to have to take the bird.”

Man: “So are you saying you aren’t going to take the parrot for me?”

Me: “Yes, sir, that’s exactly what I’m saying.”

Man: “This is unbelievable!”

(He storms out with the screaming parrot and makes sure to slam the door on the way out. A coworker who was in the back comes out to check on me.)

Coworker: “Did that man just say he bought a parrot for his daughter’s sixth birthday and now they don’t want it just because it doesn’t talk?”

Me: “Yes, he really did.”

Coworker: “Wow. They really need to make it mandatory to take a test to prove you actually know what you’re doing to weed out the idiots before you can get pets.”

Me: “You should have seen the cage it was in, too. There weren’t any toys and it was really small and something tells me that it wasn’t just a travel cage.”

(Nothing much happens after that until about an hour later when an elderly woman comes in.)

Me: “How can I help you, ma’am?”

Woman: “Oh, I would just like to adopt another cat, preferably one that’s a little older.”

Me: “Certainly, ma’am. I’ll gladly help you find the right cat for you.”

Woman: “Also, did you know there’s a parrot sitting in a cage outside?”

Me: “There’s what?”

(Sure enough, the man left the parrot sitting outside on the sidewalk, exposed to the cold November air. We brought the bird in and warmed him up and despite having sat out in the cold for an hour, he was perfectly okay. The man had the audacity to come in a week later with his daughter, who acted like a spoiled brat the entire time, and demanded to adopt a puppy, but thankfully when I told my boss who he was, she let us refuse to give them an animal. The story had a happy ending, though. One of my coworkers stopped in to pick up her paycheck and saw us with the parrot and immediately fell in love with him and decided to take him home with her. He got along well with her other parrot and now has a happy home with someone who doesn’t care that he doesn’t talk. She named him Screechy.)


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