Sadly Having A Ball

| Cranston, RI, USA | Right | August 6, 2015

(I’m working registers at the moment which also means I’m in charge of answering the phones; I’m certified throughout the store, so usually I don’t even have to transfer the call. Note, we are a just a pet store, not a specialty vet. This transpires one day:)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi, I think my hamster might be injured. My son put him in a hamster ball, and then the ball slipped and hit the floor. The hamster just kinda stayed in one position for a minute or two, like he was dead and didn’t look like he was breathing. Then we flipped him over and he moved a little bit so we can see he’s breathing, but he hasn’t moved since. What would you do?”

Me: “Well, if I was in your position, I’d bring him straight to the vet; we use [Local Vet] because they specialize in small animals.”

Caller: “Sooo… do I bring him, or do you?”

Me: “You would take him.”

(The customer still didn’t seem all that concerned that her son may have caused a serious injury to his pet.)

Not Very Manly Behavior

| ON, Canada | Right | August 2, 2015

(I am in my 20s. I am a moderately tall and sturdily-built woman. An older man, perhaps in his 70s, buys a 50 pound bag of dog food. My coworker on cash asks if he would like someone to carry the heavy bag out to his car, and he says yes. Since I’m working the front, I go to do that.)

Old Man: “No, I want your boss to do it.”

(My boss is a small man, shorter and slimmer than me, and is helping another customer.)

Me: “He’s busy at the moment. I’m perfectly—”

Old Man: “No, you can’t. I want him to do it.”

Me: “Really, I’m quite strong…”

Old Man: “No, no, you can’t do it. Just put it down!”

Boss: *having overheard, comes over and gestures to me to give him the bag* “It’s okay.”

Me: “But I’m bigger than you…”

Boss: *taking the bag* “Yeah, don’t worry about it.”

(When my boss came back, he told me that the older customer just didn’t want a woman doing something he could not.)

Should Have Vetted Their Outbursts

| ON, Canada | Right | July 22, 2015

(I have worked in a pet store selling dogs and cats for five years at this point, and wear a tag that says my name and that I am a ‘dog specialist.’)

Customer: “Psh, dog specialist my a**. That girl looks like she is just starting high school.”

Coworker: “So, [My Name], how is your third year of veterinary school going?”

(The client turns bright red and leaves the store. The next day, she came back and started asking me questions as to why her dog might be limping.)

How To Neuter A Prank Call

| NY, USA | Right | July 8, 2015

(The phone ring.)

Me: “Hello, You’re through to—”

Caller: “—ah, yes. Do you neuter men?”

(There is giggling in the background, and it is clearly a prank call.)

Me: “Yes, we do. In fact, I am with a patient right now.”

(One of the parrots chooses that moment to scream.)

Me: “Sam, if you held still this wouldn’t hurt so much! Sorry, we ran out of anesthetic and he just won’t hold still… Hello?”

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Carried Away With The Carrier

| USA | Right | June 4, 2015

(I work at a pet store where a donation bin is located at the entrance/exit. People can drop off pet food and toys into these bins to be picked up by an organization that distributes them among local shelters; all this is clearly written on the bin. I am working the register when a customer who just spent around $150 dollars on cat supplies mere seconds ago returns and inquires about the bin.)

Customer: “Is that bin for donations?”

Me: “It is.”

Customer: “So could just take a few things? The kind of food my cat eats is there and I really like one of the carriers.”

Me: “No, sorry, everything there is going to a shelter.”

Customer: “Oh… well, I mean, if you’re giving it all away anyway, why can’t I just take a few things?”

Me: “Because everything in that bin is for local shelters. We can’t give it to anyone else.”

Customer: “Can’t you make an exception? I really like that carrier.”

Me: “Sorry, I can’t let anyone but the [Collection Agency] take anything from that bin.”

Customer: *annoyed and raising her voice a bit* “What difference does it make if I take a few things? Either way it’s going to an animal! You just want me to have to spend more money here!”

Me: *speaking calmly despite my annoyance* “I’m sorry, but those items are not mine to give. People drop them off to go to shelters, so until [Collection Agency] picks them up they must remain in the bin.”

Customer: “What’s a shelter gonna need with a fancy carrier like that, anyway?!”

Me: “Shelters often have to transport their animals for vet trips and adoption events. Granted, not many people donate carriers, but that’s all the more reason that such a donation would be appreciated. I can’t give anything from that bin away.”

Customer: *suddenly speaking softly and dejectedly, probably in an attempt to gain sympathy* “But it’s the holidays…”

Me: “Yes, and shelters really need these items.”

Customer: “Fine!” *storms out*

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