Out Back Fishing

| Nanuet, NY, USA | Right | October 23, 2014

(I’m the manager on duty. At the time I’m back in the aquatics department feeding the fish when a customer approaches.)

Me: “Hello. Can I help you with anything, Ma’am?”

Customer: *points to one of the tanks* “Do you have any more of these in the back?”

Me: *I assume she’s gesturing to the fake plants, which we sell* “Possibly, but we also have them out on the floor. I can show you the aisle.”

(I take her over to the decor aisle.)

Customer: “No, not those!” *walks back over to the tank, jabbing her finger at the glass*  “Those!”

Me: “The… fish?”

Customer: “Yes!”

Me: “I’m… sorry. But, ah… no. These tanks are the only place we keep the fish. I don’t put them in the stockroom.”

Customer: *huffs and walks away*

When Hunger Bugs You

| VA, USA | Working | October 20, 2014

(At my pet store we sell crickets which many animals, such as lizards, use as a staple in their diet. We are encouraged to chat with the customers to make them feel welcome. The following conversation happens while I am putting crickets in a bag for a customer.)

Customer: “Do you have any reptiles yourself?”

Me: “No, but I have nine hermit crabs and their care is very similar to the reptiles at the store. Do you have any critters yourself?”

Customer: “No, I just felt hungry…”

Me: *speechless*

Customer: “That’s not what I meant! I stopped by [Popular Fast Food Restaurant] and decided to get some crickets for my son’s bearded dragon.”

Me: *hands him bag of crickets while laughing*

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Rabbiting On

| UK | Right | October 10, 2014

(I’m working at my till when an old lady in a wheelchair approaches me. Our rabbit hutches are situated right next to our office that keeps the safe inside.)

Customer: “Hello, dear. I was wondering if you could give me some advice about your rabbit hutches.”

Me: “Of course. Is it just for one rabbit or two?”

Customer: “Oh, it would be two.”

(I take her over to the hutches and show her around explaining the features of each one.)

Customer: “I don’t have much room in my husband’s car and I really need one for today. Do you sell them un-built?”

Me: “I can grab a flat packed one from out the back if you’d like?”

Customer: “Could you bring one out to show me so I can see if it will fit?”

(I run out to our storage area and grab a flat-packed version of the hutch she had asked for. When I bring it out her attitude has completely changed.)

Me: “Here you go. This is the one. It’s really simple to build and will only take ten minutes.”


(I stand there in stunned silence as the customer quickly leaves the store, cursing frequently under her breath. Later on my manager, who ran home from work, couldn’t find his trainers which he leaves in the office. We decide to look on the CCTV to check if anyone has moved them. The video shows me walking off to get the hutch for the customer. When I leave she proceeds to get out of her wheelchair, enter the office (which has a combination lock on it), and try to open the safe. After failing to open it she grabs my manager’s trainers, shoves them in her handbag, and returns to the wheelchair.)

Manager: “Who the h*** was she?”

Me: “I think I almost sold the Devil a rabbit hutch today…”

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Monitoring The Breakup Situation

| Anchorage, AK, USA | Romantic | October 6, 2014

(A friend of mine is dumped rather cruelly out of the blue by her boyfriend for being ‘too weird’ for his tastes. To help cheer her up, I’ve taken her to the local pet store to get something to help fill the void in her life.)

Me: “So, we need suggestions for a pet that’s loyal and affectionate.”

Employee: “Well, we’ve got a lovely variety of kittens that need a good home. They’re nice and soft and will grow up to be very friendly when they get older.”

Friend: “Yeah that’s cute, but my family had plenty of cats and kittens. I’d prefer something different.”

Employee: “Hmm, well we also do rabbits. They don’t shed that much and you still get the benefits fuzz therapy and a nice quiet, loving pet.”

Friend: “No, rabbits are boring. No offense but I’m not that kind of person.”

(The employee looks her up and down, taking note of her attire and hair style.)

Employee: “Hmm, let me try one other thing.”

(He walks off and comes back holding, of all things, a baby savannah monitor lizard. My friend promptly goes wide eyed.)

Friend: “Is that a…. Wait, you’re allowed to sell those now?”

Employee: “Yep, he’s the first monitor we’ve gotten in, which technically makes him the most exotic thing in the store currently. He’s a bit off the beaten path, but I thought he might be more to your liking.”

(My friend looks at the little reptile, which in turn cocks its head and looks back up at her.)

Friend: “Uh, can I hold it?”

(The employee hands her the monitor which promptly scurries up her arm and climbs into a pocket on her jacket.)

Employee: “They’re also perfect for carrying around when they’re young due to their preference of wanting to curl up somewhere and sit still.”

(I can see the faintest hint of a smile on my friend’s face as the monitor pops its head out and flicks its tongue at her.)

Friend: “So, uh… do they get bigger later in life?”

(The employee nods and begins to go in depth about housing, feeding and the what-not while I wander off. After some time I walk back to the registers and find my friend now setting down a complete beginners terrarium set, plus bedding, food, a mister, and the monitor which is still sitting happily in her pocket.)

Me: “My, my, it seems someone managed to make a new friend.”

Friend: “Mmm, I’m thinking he’s going to be more of my personal boyfriend tester from now on. If they aren’t okay with him, then they aren’t worth my time.”

Me: “So he’s going to be your monitor both by name and by function?”

(My friend nodded with the biggest smile imaginable. Several years later she’s now with a much more like-minded boyfriend whom she thanks ‘Cubby’ (as she named the monitor) for helping her find.)

Not Quite On A Career Rat Race

| Cincinnati, OH, USA | Working | September 2, 2014

(My manager and I are talking about an upcoming trade show when one of our employees walks up to us. She has worked at the store for about six months and her mother is the manager of another one of our locations.)

Employee: “So, when do mice grow up into rats?”

Manager: “[Employee]! You work at a pet store!”

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