Like Talking To A Parrot

| NM, USA | Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals

(It is a slow day, and there are two people working. I am at the cash register and the owner is checking on all of the animals. A teenage girl walks in, looking confused.)

Me: “Hi, ma’am, is there anything I can help you with today?”

Customer: “I want a parrot.”

Me: “Of course. Do you know what kind of parrot you would like?”

Customer: “One of the fancy ones that can talk.”

Me: “We have several that can talk; if you could perhaps describe it more I might be able to help you find it.”

Customer: “Uh, I dunno; I’ll know it when I see it.”

Me: “These are all of our parrots in these cages.”

Customer: *continues looking, and turns around* “Oh! This is the one!”

Me: “That is an African Gray Parrot—”

Customer: *to the parrot* “Hi! You’re coming home with me!” *looks at price, then to me* “Oh dear, this is very expensive. Can I get a discount?”

Me: “Actually, ma’am, this one has already been paid for and is on reserve for customers who are coming later.”

Customer: “Oh, so it’s already been paid for?”

Me: “Yes, it has. This bird is theirs; we’re just holding it for them.”

Customer: “But, can’t I just take it?”

Me: “I apologize but we can’t just give away somebody else’s bird.”

Customer: “But it’s paid for; I should get it!”

(This continues for a couple of minutes until…)

Customer: “I demand to speak to your manager!”

(I go and get the owner and tell her the problem.)

Owner: “What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “Hey! I said a manager! You’re an owner!”

Owner: “I am in fact a higher ranking than a manager and can help you with anything that a manager could help you with.”

Customer: “No! I was told to speak to a MANAGER if I had any problems, and you aren’t a MANAGER!”

(After a couple minutes of back and forth about managers and owner, the owner gives up and goes into the back room. She comes out with a note taped on to her name badge that says “Manager.”)

Owner: “Hi, I’m the manager. What seems to be the problem here?”

Customer: “Finally! A manager! Anyway, your stupid employee won’t give me this bird. It’s free!”

Owner: “Well, that is because that this bird belongs to somebody else. We are simply watching it until they can come and get it.”

Customer: “Oh, okay then!” *walks out, completely satisfied*

Me: “…”

Owner: “…”

A Scam Not Even Fit For The Dogs

| TN, USA | Liars & Scammers

(Every now and then, we get scammers or thieves trying to return stolen merchandise at my store for cash. However, one scammer tried a different approach.)

Me: *answering the phone* “Thank you for calling [Pet Store]; how can I help you?”

Scammer: “Yeah, uh, I bought a bag of dog food last week, but it was bad, so I threw it out. I talked to a manager last week, and he said he could give me a refund. Let’s see… I can’t remember his name…”

(I recognize the bait immediately; he is waiting for me to list the names of the managers to help him “remember.”)

Me: “Do you have a receipt?”

Scammer: “Uh, no, I don’t. I’m trying to think of that manager…”

Me: “We can still look up your transaction. Do you remember the date that you bought it?”

Scammer: “Uh, I don’t know.”

Me: “Do you have a [Pet Store] account?”

(About 95% of our customers have an account because it gives them the sale prices.)

Scammer: “No, I don’t.”

Me: “Do you remember what food you bought?”

Scammer: “No, I threw it out.”

Me: “Then unfortunately, sir, there’s nothing I can do to help you.”

Scammer: “What? But I talked to a manager!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but if you don’t have a receipt, you don’t have an account, you can’t remember the date you purchased your food, you can’t remember the food you bought, and you don’t have the food with you anymore, then I have no way of proving that you purchased it.”

Scammer: “But why would your manager say I could get a refund if I couldn’t?”

(I realize at this point that he doesn’t realize that I AM a manager, and none of my coworkers have ever mentioned a customer needing a refund for food he threw out.)

Me: “I don’t know, sir. You’ll have to ask him. Every manager here follows the same policy: you need proof of purchase to make a return.”

Scammer: “Well, then, uh, I guess I’ll have to complain to corporate!”

Me: “You are free to do that, sir, or you could come into the store tomorrow to see if you can find that manager you spoke to last week, and we’ll see what we can do for you.”

Scammer: “Yeah, I’ll do that! How many managers will be there? What are their names?”

Me: *still not falling for it* “We have several managers here, sir.”

Scammer: “Well, uh, I’ll be in tomorrow!”

(He never showed up, and we never got a corporate complaint. I’m still flabbergasted that he thought we would give him money when he not only had no food to “return,” but he couldn’t even invent what type of dog food it was!)

This Customer Is A Real Treat

| IL, USA | Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals

Customer: “Can you recommend a dog treat?”

Me: *grabbing a container of treats my dogs especially enjoy* “Well, these are good.”

Customer: “Have you tasted them?”

They’re Like A Fish Out Of Water

| NSW, Australia | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids, Pets & Animals

(I am in a chain pet store when I overhear a conversation between a middle-aged lady, a young teenage girl and a store employee. The teen is looking at the fish display which is split into warm and cold fish.)

Teen: “Oh, this one is pretty cool!” *points at one of the “cold” fish, before moving over to the warm display* “—and this one, the angel fish!”

Lady: “Um, I think they are a warm and a cold fish… They don’t go well together.”

Teen: “So? I’m sure they will get along.”

Employee: “That’s not the point, ma’am. One lives in warm water and one lives in cold water. They are more likely to get sick and die if they are not correctly taken care of.”

Teen: “So? I’ll just put them together; they will be fine.”

Lady: “This employee just said they will probably die if you put them together. I’m not going to waste money on this.”

Employee: “We do have a 30-day return on fish that die, but I cannot in good conscience sell you these creatures if you aren’t going to take care of them properly.”

Teen: “But you will make money. Why do you care?”

Employee: “Because believe it or not, everyone who works here cares about the animals in our care. Actually, do you have everything set up ready to go or were you just looking today?”

Teen: “Oh, I was just going to put them in a goldfish bowl. They will be fine.”

Employee: *looking strained but trying to keep her cool* “We advise that you have a proper tank set up for a minimum of a month before introducing fish to it. A bowl for a goldfish only works if you clean it daily if it does not have a filter.”

Teen: “You don’t need to clean them! I want fish because you don’t ha—”

Lady: *interrupting her* “I’ve heard enough. You said you had done research on this and that everything was ready. This is why your pets keep dying. I’m going to go buy you a plant instead.” *turns to the employee* “Thank you for your help. Good bye.”

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This Tail Has A Sad Ending

| PA, USA | Pets & Animals

(The first person our customers interact with when entering our store is a cashier. Some cashiers are trained for dealing with the animals we sell and some are not.)

Lady: *to my coworker* “I just bought this hamster two days ago and it’s dead! I called your manager and I want my money back for all of this!” *shows cage, food, etc.*

Coworker: “We can help you with that. You’ll just need to go over there where you see the fish, and talk to one of our pet care associates first. After that we can do the refund at the register.”

Lady: “Why should I go all the way over there? I’ve got the dead thing right here!”

Me: *taking over for my coworker as I am also trained for pet care* “Ma’am, only pet care associates can handle your pet now. We are not allowed to handle it unless we have the training to do so. May I see your receipt?”

Lady: “Fine!”

(I examine the receipt and notice she bought a gerbil, not a hamster. I also note the water bottle has been installed upside down.)

Me: “Ma’am, I see you bought a gerbil. Is that correct?”

Lady: “No, I got a hamster. He’s right here! See?”

Me: “Ah, okay. Well, this is a gerbil; notice the tail? So we can refund you the price for a gerbil and the equipment.”

Lady: “Your manager said you’d refund me for a hamster! That’s what I want!”

Me: “I completely understand your frustration, it can be rather confusing, but you purchased a gerbil. This animal right here has a long tail, which means she is a gerbil.”

Lady: “She?

Me: “Yes, ma’am. All of our animals are female.”

Lady: “Well, now I’m glad he’s dead.”

Me: *losing my patience* “We can process your refund and I’ll take this over to pet care for you. And for future reference, the water bottle is upside down. Your gerbil died from lack of water.”

(I return to my coworker after I’ve handled to poor dead gerbil.)

Coworker: “It’s a hamster. It’s a gerbil. It’s a jamster! I bet it likes skrillex.” *does some crazy techno moves while mimicking dub step music* “What a rare breed!”

Me: “It’s extinct now. Unfortunately Darwinism was not really at play here; it got the wrong species.”

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