Not Just The Puppies You Want To Shut Up

| London, England, UK | Right | January 25, 2016

(A customer who has recently bought a puppy comes in, complaining that she isn’t getting any sleep. At this stage I’ve talked her through a number of problems offering advice at every stage. Another customer has just come in.)

Me: “So, do you go to the puppy whenever it cries?”

Customer #1: “Well, the puppy sleeps in my bedroom so it’s difficult not to; it’s my partner’s fault.”

Me: “It’s actually better for you and the puppy if the puppy sleeps in a different room. The kitchen would be a great place and you might want to think about crate training.”

(This is where the puppy sleeps in a largish cage which is useful in toilet training and helps keep the puppy safe at night and being less destructive.)

Customer #2: *interrupting* “Excuse me, but crate training is a waste of time! I never used the crate for my puppy and had to give the crate away to charity when my puppy was six months old! It’s cruel and the puppy views it as a prison!”

(She then turns away to answer the phone but poor Customer #1 is now horrified and clearly questioning everything I’ve told her in the past 15 minutes.)

Me: *trying to save the situation* “Crate training doesn’t work for everyone but it can be a useful tool in helping you train your dog! Here’s the number of a good trainer and she can help you decide if it’s the right option for you.”

(Customer #1 leaves a little happier and Customer #2 comes up to the counter to pay. She’s still on the phone but as she’s about to leave she drops this gem:)

Customer #2: “Oh, I hope I wasn’t interfering!”

Some Dogs Like To Schnapp

| Sydney, NSW, Australia | Working | January 15, 2016

(I am at the pet store to buy some more pet food for my dog.)

Me: “I would like to get [Dog Food Brand], please.”

Worker: “Sure, may I see your ID?”

Me: “Wait, what?”

Worker: “I need to see your ID before you can continue with your purchase.”

Me: “Why?”

Worker: “Because it would be illegal for me to serve you if you are under 18.”

Me: “And buying dog food is illegal because?”

Worker: “That would be $7.50…”

(Later, she explains that she used to work at a liquor shop…)

In Soviet Russia, Hamster Buys You

| USA | Working | January 8, 2016

(Though I don’t consider myself an expert of any kind, I have kept hamsters for about ten years, and am familiar with them. I am picking up some supplies at a pet store when I overhear this exchange between a woman and — according to her name tag — the small animal expert.)

Woman: “I’m just not sure what kind to get her. She’s only six, you see, so I want something that would be good for a child just learning about animals. But she LOVES hamsters.”

Expert: “Well, I’d recommend the Djungarian hamsters. They’re dwarf hamsters, and it’s always better to get a hamster more their size.”

Woman: “Are you sure?”

Expert: “Absolutely sure. I am an expert in small animals.”

Me: “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to butt in, but actually I would never recommend a dwarf hamster for a smaller child. The Russian dwarfs are better than the Chinese dwarfs, but get a Syrian hamster. They’re the bigger, classic hamsters. They’re a lot more tolerant to being dropped, and they’ll forgive you if you squeeze them a little harder than is comfortable, or pet them a little too roughly. Russian dwarfs aren’t vicious, but if you pet them too hard, they feel threatened and bite. You don’t want to encourage children dropping their pets and stuff, but mistakes happen, you know? Syrians are much better for smaller children.”

Expert: *scoffs* “Dwarfs are cuter.”

Me: “I actually think the Syrians are cuter, personally. But, I just was making a comment about their age-appropriateness. And Syrians are better for smaller kids than Russian dwarfs.”

Expert: “Well, maybe. But these aren’t Russian dwarfs. They’re Djungarians.”

(I point to the info card which reads: “Djungarian hamsters, also known as Siberian dwarfs, or Russian winter white dwarf hamsters..”)

Me: “Yes, they are. Just giving my opinion.”

(I walk on. Later, I see the mother at the check-out. I’m very pleased to see that she bought a Syrian.)

Sold A Hamster By A Dirty Rat

| England, UK | Working | January 4, 2016

(My daughter’s hamster has died of old age. My daughter is still young, so we decide this time to tell her that her hamster is being looked after by the shop. The day before I see and reserve a hamster of the same colour. That morning we bring her to the shop to pick the new hamster up. Whilst my wife and daughter look at the pet toys I quickly pull a sales guy aside.)

Me: “Hey, we are here to pick up a hamster.”

Sales Guy: “Okay, sure, let me get a travel box for you.”

Me: “Just a sec. Look, my daughter’s hamster died. She is really upset about it and thinks this is her one. Can you please either play along? Her old hamster was called Ruby.”

Sales Guy: “Uh huh.”

(He disappears returning moments later with a box. My wife and daughter join us to pick up the new hamster.)

Sales Guy: “So, this is a Russian hamster, it needs [type] food and plenty of space. His name is Alan and he’s three months old.”

Daughter: *to me* “Why did the man call Ruby, Alan?”

Me: “Oh, I’m sure he is just mistaken. The hamster is called Ruby.” *glaring at the sales staff* “We know that, don’t we?”

Sales Guy: “Oh, yeah, sure.”

(We walk over to the till. The sales guy finishes the transaction.)

Sales Guy: *loudly to my daughter* “Look after Alan for us!”

(The whole way home our daughter starts to wonder why her hamster is being called Alan and why it looks different from the last time she saw her. She gets quite upset and confused. With no idea what to do, I return to the store after dropping them off. Luckily I see a staff member in a suit talking to the same sales guy.)

Me: “Excuse me? Are you a manager here?”

Manager: “Yes, I am; what seems to be the problem?”

(I explain the issue.)

Me: “It’s left my daughter very upset.”

Manager: *to the sales guy* “You come with me! And sir, could you join us, please?”

Me: “I– yeah, sure.”

(He led both of us to a back room, where he verbally laid into the sales guy. The manager was calm, fair but brutally honest. It turned out the sales worker’s attitude had been an on-going issue and he was now on his last warning. We visited the store to pick up some food later in the week. The manager recognised us and spent a while asking my daughter how Ruby was and how they looked after her for us.)

Time To Drop The Dead Donkey

| USA | Right | January 1, 2016

(I used to work at a pet store. One day during my second month on the job, a woman walks in and taps me on the shoulder while I am stocking pet food.)

Woman: “Excuse me, what is your largest size for pet shock collars?”

Me: “Our biggest size is about [collar size].”

Woman: “Would that be large enough to fit a donkey?”

(A nearby coworker of mine heard the conversation and walked over.)

Coworker: “Why do you need a shock collar for a donkey?”

Woman: “My neighbor’s donkey keeps getting into my yard and eating my flowers. I already put an electric fence out, now I just need a collar for the donkey.”

Me: “Can’t you just tell your neighbor that their donkey is eating your flowers?”

Woman: “NO! That’s extremely rude, and besides, my neighbor doesn’t speak English!”

Coworker: “Uhh… okay. We could probably find a size if we saw how big the donkey is.”

Woman: “All right.”

(She uses her phone to show us a picture of a plastic yard decoration that looks like a donkey. This woman is obviously on some kind of medication.)

Me: “Ma’am, that’s a decoration, not a real donkey. Your flowers are probably being eaten by rabbits or insects.”


Me: “Maybe you should’ve cast a donkey-proof spell…”

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