Something Fishy About These Hamsters

, , , , , | Right | June 27, 2018

(I’m talking to a customer about hamsters. We are standing in front of the hamster cages, going over basic care when a young girl — seven or eight at the oldest — comes up.)

Girl: “Excuse me.”

Me: “Yes?”

Girl: “Where are the real hamsters?”

Me: “Real hamsters?”

Girl: “Yeah, where are the real hamsters?”

Me: “They’re right here!” *smiles and gestures to cages in front of me with hamsters in them*

Girl:That’s going to be my class pet!? I knew we should’ve gotten a fish!” *looks horrified, then runs away*

(I couldn’t tell if the customers I’d been helping were laughing at the girl, or my facial expression.)

“Can” You Not?

, , , , | Right | June 4, 2018

(I work in a pet store. We are extremely busy and understaffed. I am the only cashier working, though others who are not cashiers have stepped up to help get people out quicker. A customer comes up with a basket FULL of cheap cat food cans. She just dumps them onto the belt and stands there. Policy says that I have to scan each can individually, unless the customer knows how many of each kind they have. This customer does not.)

Customer: “Why is this taking so long?”

Me: “I’m sorry. I have to scan each can individually, as per policy.”

Customer: *huff* “Fine. Just hurry up.”

(Twenty-some cans later, I am finished.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am. Your total is [total].”

Customer: “What?! How much did the cans ring up for?!”

Me: “[Price] cents each.”

Customer: “That’s wrong; fix it.”

(Now I have to call up a manager to do a price check and manually change the price. Note, since we are so busy, the manager is acting as a cashier.)

Customer: “Where is your manager?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. It is very busy here, so she is cashing out other customers.”

Customer: “Well, I come first. I demand to see the manager!”

(The manager, who is in the lane next to me, hears this and comes over. The person she was serving is nice and understanding. The manager finds out the price difference and changes it. Each can must be changed individually. The customer pays and leaves. The next customer comes forward.)

Next Customer: “Did she seriously just hold up this line for one cent per can?”

This Is Going To Be A Real Treat

, , , | | Hopeless | May 29, 2018

(It is right after Hurricane Harvey. I work at a pet store and we receive word that a rescue group that we work closely with will be driving down to Texas to help rescue abandoned and stranded animals. They ask us to spread the word that they are looking for any and all donations to bring down with them. They have rented a large U-Haul to take down all the donated supplies they can get to help out the animals and families. We start asking every customer for donations, and we are surprised and touched by the amount of donations we receive. I am checking out one of our regulars who is known to be incredibly generous.)

Me: “All right Mr. [Regular], your total today is going to be [total]. Would you like to make any donations today?”

Regular: “What are you collecting donations for?”

Me: “[Rescue Group] is driving down to Texas on Friday and they are asking for donations. Anything that you could donate would be put to good use.”

Regular: “So, like, just food, or would they take other stuff?”

Me: “Food, treats, bowls, beds, crates, leashes, collars, harnesses — all the good stuff! They need as much as they can get, since they run entirely on donations.”

Regular: *thinking* “Hmm… Here. Cancel my transaction for right now, and check these others out; I am going to go grab some things to donate!”

Me: “Of course! Thank you so much!”

(The regular walks off, and I expect to see him back in a few minutes. He comes back about 15 minutes later with a cart FILLED with an assortment of things: kibble, canned food, treats, two brand new expensive crates, shampoos, brushes, bowls, and a multitude of different leashes, collars, and harnesses of varying sizes. I am astounded, and honestly in awe.)

Regular: “Ring it up! All of it! You’ve got to be prepared, you know!”

Me: “Are… Are you sure? This is going to be hundreds of dollars!”

Regular: “My dog was rescued after a tornado ripped through my town. I wouldn’t be around today if it weren’t for rescue groups that do what they do. If it takes a couple hundred dollars to show my support, then so be it!”

Me: “Oh, my God. They are going to be thrilled! Thank you so much!”

(I ring up everything and get permission from my manager to give him a discount. He ends up spending roughly $400 on all the donations. The regular pays and leaves with his dog, leaving all the donations behind for the rescue group. Later that night, one of the volunteers for the rescue comes by to pick up any donations. My manager tells me to bring them over to surprise her.)

Me: “And this is from [Regular]!”

Volunteer: “I… Oh… ALL OF THIS!?”

Me: “Yep! He bought it all today. It is all paid for and ready to go to Texas!”

Volunteer: *bursting into tears* “This is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for us! Oh, my God, this is more than we could ever ask for. I can’t believe this!” *she spots the expensive crates* “And crates?!”

Me: *beaming* “Brand new!”

Volunteer: “This is amazing! I don’t even know what to say!”

(We were all on the verge of tears. The rescue group leaves that Friday and, with all the donations, they are able to save dozens of animals. They bring a lot of them back with them, while handing some off to other rescue groups they work with. When they come back, a volunteer comes over to me with an envelope.)

Volunteer: “When [Regular] comes in next, can you give this to him, please?”

Me: “He’ll actually be in later to pick up his dog. I will be sure to give it to him!”

(Later, when [Regular] came in, I handed him the envelope. He opened it. Inside, every volunteer had signed it and written a message of thanks. There were so many people they had to write on the back, as well! [Regular] was touched, and he told me later that he still has the card sitting on his mantel.)

The Mole Sounded Better Off On Its Own

, , , , | | Right | May 22, 2018

(A customer comes up to me as I’m talking with three other managers. She is carrying a shoe box with a small blanket.)

Customer: *frantic* “I found this baby mole! Could you guys take him, please? I think his mother abandoned him!”

Pet Care Manager: “No, ma’am, I’m sorry. We can’t.”

Customer: “BUT YOU’RE [PET STORE]!”

Store Manager: “I’m sorry, but we can’t accept any animals other than from our suppliers.”

Customer: “What?! What am I supposed to do with him? The vet won’t take him, either; can you please just take him!?”

Pet Care Manager: “I could give you the number for the wildlife rescue.”

Customer: “NO! THIS IS RIDICULOUS; YOU’RE [PET STORE]! You have to take him! Can’t you just feed him to your snakes?!”

Store Manager: “I’m sorry, ma’am. We can’t, but we can give you the number for the rescue.”


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Rat Chance At Redemption

, , , , , , , | Working | May 16, 2018

(I work in a big-box pet store in the pet care department, meaning I do customer service for people interested in buying the fish, reptiles, birds, and small mammals we sell, and I also take care of those animals. I love all animals, and it’s well-known among my coworkers and managers. I particularly enjoy taking care of the rats. Unfortunately, our suppliers keep and ship them in dreadful conditions, and some animals don’t do too well, obviously. Even more unfortunately, one of our new managers has taken it upon herself to micromanage the animal care, but has no experience in this area. She therefore makes mistakes like not turning away shipments of animals that have skin conditions or other serious health issues. Then, she has the nerve to blame employees for not curing them. She particularly hates me for some reason, even though we both adore rats. One new shipment has a rat that is particularly aggressive. Even after acclimating it, it snarls and tries to bite any human who approaches it. I try to steer clear of it because [Manager] insists that it’s just temperamental and won’t send it back or isolate it. One morning, I open the cage to give the rats food, and the evil rat RUSHES at the door, LEAPS out, and bites my finger hard. I wince as I scoop the rat back up with my non-bleeding hand and put it back in the cage, then go to get cleaned up. My finger is completely sliced open. Of course, the first aid kit is in the manager’s office.)

Manager: *immediately chewing me out* “What were you doing to the rat that it did that to you?”

Me: “I just opened the cage, and it rushed toward me before I could react.”

Manager: “Nonsense. Rats are sweet creatures. You did something wrong. That’s it. I don’t want you near the rats anymore. You’re forbidden from interacting with them.”

(I’m offended, and still bleeding, but gently remind her that I am the only person working in the department that morning and still need to give the rats fresh water and potentially show one to a customer.)

Manager: “They’ll be fine without fresh water until [Coworker] comes in. If a customer wants to buy a rat, come get me.”

(Sighing, I went back to work while nursing my finger. An hour or so later, a family came in, and guess what they wanted to buy? I alerted the manager and accompanied them to the rat cages. [Manager] was going on and on about how gentle and sweet rats are and what great pets they are for children. She opened the cage to retrieve an adorable gray one for the customer to pet; of course, it was the evil rat, who did not take kindly to the family’s cooing and promptly chomped down on [Manager]’s finger. She gasped, turned to look at me, and turned red with fury. The family decided a rat was not a good pet for them. [Manager] was eventually transferred to another store, although she never bothered me again for the remainder of her time at our store.)

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