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It’s A Weird Time For Hiring And Job Seeking

, , , , | Working | February 24, 2022

I put in an online order to pick up some cat litter at my local pet store for curbside pickup. When I get to the store, I click in the app that I’m there, but after several minutes, no one comes out, so I go inside to collect my order. 

I’m wearing a ratty T-shirt and gym shorts, my hair is barely brushed, and I have my headphones around my neck as I was going to do some yard work after this quick errand that I didn’t expect to get out of my car for.

When I walk in, there is a line of seven or eight people at the only open register, and there are no other employees in sight. I stand behind the open register and wait to catch the person’s eye so they can radio someone, and they look over.

Employee: “I’ll be with you in a moment.”

They finish with the current customer.

Employee: “Are you here for the interview?”

Me: “No, I have an online order.”

They looked disappointed and then radioed someone who came from the back and got the cart with my litter. 

I went to their website and they are hiring at $10 to $11 an hour. That might explain why they are short-staffed, but if people are showing up in yard work attire, that might also explain it.

The Doggo Chose Its Human Well

, , , , , , , | Right | February 8, 2022

I work part-time for a small online pet store that sells treats, accessories, and a limited supply of animal-themed homewares. It’s a small business the owner made to fund her animal advocation work and to support smaller, animal-friendly suppliers. A percentage of money from every sale goes to various charities and shelters.

I deal with a lot of entitled customers who complain about all sorts of things to try and score free stuff.

A common complaint is about our prices. We’re a small company so our prices can be higher than at big chain companies since we can’t order in bulk in the same quantities they do, but they’re not that much more. For example, some pet treats that a major pet store sells for £1.50, we sell for £2.00. So, yeah, they’re more expensive, but we’re hardly double the price or even close to it.

A lot of people complain that we charge postage when larger chains offer free delivery, and they regularly try to come up with some BS excuse to get their postage refunded.

We also get all sorts of weird complaints and people going full jerk trying to get refunds or compensation over ridiculous stuff like how the bag of treats was smaller than they thought it’d be (the size and weight dimensions are clearly stated in the product description), or because their pet didn’t like the food, or because they’re not using the item anymore, or because it took too long to get to their order even though it arrived well within the five-to-seven-day delivery window we gave them.

One day, I get a call from a customer.

Customer: “Hi. I purchased a large order of dog treats last week, but my dog died this morning.”

I check the account and see that this is one of our regulars. She buys stuff a few times a month, mostly dog treats. The order she is talking about was indeed big and she ordered it last week. It arrived a few days ago.

My stomach drops as I think she is going to ask for a refund. This wouldn’t be the first time a customer has demanded a refund because their dog didn’t like the food or they no longer had the animal. I’ve already been yelled at by customers several times today over petty stuff like this.

Customer: “We don’t have any other pets, so now I have opened treats I can’t do anything with.”

This is it. The customer is going to demand a refund. I brace myself.

Customer: “I saw on your website that you work with several shelters and charities, and I wondered if you knew whether any of them accepted donations of treats if they’ve been opened?”

I’m stunned for a moment.

Me: “You… you want to donate the treats?”

Customer: “Yes. I called the local shelters near me, and they won’t take opened treats, so I wondered if you knew any who would. I’ll cover postage if need be. It’d be a shame to see them go to waste. My boy loved those treats, and I’m sure another dog would love them just as much.”

The customer’s voice wavers a bit, making it obvious she is holding back a bout of tears. I immediately feel bad for assuming the worst.

I regain my composure and tell her I’ll see what I can find. The owner is normally the one who deals with the charities and does a lot of advocation for dog rights and shelters and such. She is currently away at an event, hence why I am covering.

I call the owner and explain the situation. She informs me that none of the organisations she works with will take them, but there are some other animal advocates and representatives from various charities and shelters at the event and she will ask them and call back.

I go back to the customer.

Me: “I called my boss and she said none of the charities we work with will accept them, but she will see if she can find somebody who does. Can I call you back?”

The customer agrees. I take a number.

A few hours later, my boss calls and gives me some good news: she found a charity that will accept open treats. I call the customer back.

Me: “We managed to find a charity that will accept the treats as long as they were bought less than two weeks ago, which yours were. They give treats, food, and blankets to the dogs of homeless people.”

Customer: “Oh, that sounds perfect. Thank you so much for your help! Where do I send them?”

I give her all the details.

Me: “I’m really sorry about your dog. I know how hard it is to lose a beloved pet. My boss said I could offer you a refund if you like, whether you donate the food or not.”

Customer: “Thank you, but it’s okay. I appreciate you helping me. If I sent them back to you, you wouldn’t be able to sell them, and you’d lose money. It’s not your fault my dog passed away. And anyway, I’d rather a dog somewhere gets to enjoy them rather than letting them go to waste.”

I wished the customer the best and hung up. When my boss got back from the event a few days later, she decided to send the customer a condolence card, which the customer thanked us for via email.

I know this seems like a pretty normal interaction, but as I said, most of the messages and calls I deal with are from people who demand free stuff, or scream at me that their delivery isn’t there, or complain about our prices, or just generally try to take advantage of a small business. It was so refreshing to have a customer be so nice, particularly as they were obviously grief-stricken. I thought she was especially sweet to think about the welfare of other unfortunate dogs even as she was processing the loss of her own. I hope she’s doing okay.

You’d Have Better Luck Getting A Quarter Back Down At The Stadium

, , | Right | February 7, 2022

I worked at a little mom-and-pop pet store that sold all sorts of animals. We had a sign at the register indicating that there is a twenty-five-cent charge for debit transactions.

Customer: “I was in here yesterday and you charged me twenty-five cents for using a debit card. I want to dispute that charge!”

She wasted far more than twenty-five cents in gas just to complain and not get her quarter back.

Pet (Store) Peeves

, , , | Right | January 31, 2022

I was working the close shift alone at a pet supply store, and two women came in about a minute before closing. There was nothing I could say; I just had to wait for them to leave so I could close the store.

Me: “Do you ladies need any help?”

Women: “No, thanks.”

They looked at every collar, leash, and harness possible before finally choosing one of each about thirty minutes later. I worked the open shift the next day, and the women were waiting for me already, demanding to return everything they had just purchased — without a receipt or tags, of course.

We Know Dogs And Humans Are Different, But…

, , , | Right | January 31, 2022

I worked at a little mom-and-pop pet store that sold all sorts of animals.

Male Customer: “I want to return this dog that I bought here. I wanted a male dog, but this dog has nipples. Male dogs don’t have nipples!”