A Mutt Of A Human

, , , , , , | Right | December 27, 2017

(I’m visiting family with my dog in tow, and I decide to hit the local big-box pet store to pick up some toys and treats for him, since we only really have boutique pet stores that are uber-expensive in the city I live in. Since it’s a pet store, I’ve brought my dog along for the trip.)

Customer: “Aw, he’s so cute! Can I pet him?”

Me: “Sure, he’d love that! He’s a big old cuddle bug.”

Customer: “He’s so friendly and fluffy!” *drops to a whisper* “I know this store wants everyone to adopt mutts that nobody wants, but I’d love to get a high-quality dog like yours. Are you breeding him or can you tell me what breeder you got him from?”

Me: “Um, actually, I rescued him from a shelter a couple years ago. He’s actually a ‘mutt,’ and, since he came from the shelter, he is fixed. I can give you the information for the shelter I rescued him from; it’s local. They often have smaller dogs like him up for adoption. They even sometimes have pure-bred or designer dogs, if you’re looking for a specific breed or breed mix.”

Customer: “What, do you work here?” *laughs* “I’d be willing to pay a handsome fee for one of his pups. Just tell me where you’re breeding him and I’ll go put a deposit down. Whatever you want for one of his pups, I’ll make it back breeding that puppy, anyway.”

Me: “Ma’am, don’t make me lift up his tail and show you that he has no balls. He. Is. A. Rescue. He’s fixed, and I am an avid supporter of adoption and rescue. I’m actually in this aisle because I’m going to buy a large bag of good dog food and donate it to the rescue I adopted him from. Again, I think it would be a good idea for you to consider adoption, but if you insist on buying a ‘papered’ dog, there are plenty of Amish puppy mills in the area that will sell you an expensive and sickly ‘purebred.’ Just go to any flea market and I’m sure you’ll find the ‘perfect’ dog you’re looking for.”

Customer: “Well, you don’t have to be so rude about it! I was just trying to make both of us some money! If you knew what was good for you, you wouldn’t have had his balls cut off!”

Me: “I know that I have a dog that was purchased from a flea market and summarily dumped at the pound when his owner was uninterested in doing the basics of dog ownership. I know that he cowers if you show your hand to him palm out, which leads me to believe she hit him. I know that he was flea-bitten and malnourished when she turned him in, and now he’s healthy and happy. And I know that he won’t be producing any puppies that just mean shelter dogs wait even longer, or even die, because shallow b****** need a cute accessory. That all makes me feel pretty good. You can keep the money. So, if you don’t mind, I’ll get back to buying that bag of food for the shelter, and a couple of toys and treats for him.”

Customer: “Well, I have never been addressed so rudely by a sad little girl. Have fun with your shaggy mutt!” *storms off*

(I mention this interaction to the cashier:)

Cashier: “Oh, yes. She comes in here a couple times a week looking for people who are breeding their dogs. She seems to target people with small-ish, long-hair dogs. She never really gets anywhere, and ends up leaving totally pissed off. She’s yelled at the rescue groups we host out front several times. I don’t know why management doesn’t just kick her out and tell her if she’s that dead-set on getting a designer dog, just go to the flea market up the street!”

Some Doors Shouldn’t Be Open At Christmas

, , , , | Right | December 25, 2017

(I work at a pet store as a cashier and have to make the closing announcements, but we let the customers shop for a couple of minutes after closing if they can tell us what they’re looking for. When I finish the announcement on Christmas Eve, a customer immediately approaches the register.)

Me: “Welcome! Find everything all right today?”

Customer: *already incredibly angry* “I would have, but I’m being forced out of here! How could you close an hour early?!”

Me: “I’m really sorry about that. I would love to help you find what you’re looking for. Just remember that it’s Christmas Eve and we’d like to get back home.”

Customer: “NO, THE A** ON THE PA SAID IT WAS TIME TO LEAVE, SO JUST RING ME UP!”

Me: “I’m really sorry about that, sir. I would be happy to ring you up. Do you have our store card?”

Customer: “H***, no! I’m never shopping here again!”

(I realize that it was probably best that I just ring the store card through rather than try to ask him any more questions, plus he can’t leave a bad employee review.)

Customer: “WHAT DID YOU JUST SCAN?!”

Me: “I put the store card in. I don’t want you to miss out on any deals.”

(I scan his items through, and the transaction was luckily uneventful; however, the doors are locked and I cannot let him out because I don’t have keys.)

Me: “Just give me one second. My manager locked the doors after we closed.”

(I page my manager and the customer walks to the doors. After 30 seconds the customer comes back inside. I am at this point terrified; there is something wrong with the customer.)

Me: “I’m really sorry, sir. My manager must be taking out the trash. I’ll page him again.”

Customer: “WHY CAN’T YOU OPEN THE DOOR?!”

Me: “I don’t have the key.”

(The customer says something unspeakably rude and starts waiting at the door again. My manager arrives and unlocks the door. my manager begins sliding the automatic door open manually when the customer grabs the door and pushes it so hard that I could hear it outside the atrium, and runs out the door. My manager tries to close the door, but nothing happens.)

Me: “What are we going to do?”

Manager: “Well, I guess you can go home. I’m stuck here until I can get somebody to fix the door.”

Google Translate: Now Includes Parseltongue

, , , , | Friendly | December 14, 2017

Little Girl: “I can talk to snakes!”

Cashier: “Oh? What do they say?”

Little Girl: *starts hissing*

Cashier: “And what does that mean?”

Little Girl: *face scrunches up* “It means—” *hisses louder*

Getting Cagey About Buying A Pet

, , , , , | Right | November 29, 2017

(I am a manager at a pet store. One day when I come back from my lunch break, another manager approaches me.)

Manager: “Hey, we kind of have a situation. There’s a family here that came in looking for hamsters, but they’re not really listening to any of us. We told them that they can’t mix different species of hamsters together, and they can’t put a hamster in with a guinea pig, but they have these two boys that both want something different.”

Me: “Can’t they buy two different cages?”

Manager: “They don’t seem really interested in doing that. I told them that they might be able to put together two hamsters that grew up together, but I don’t know. Hamsters are territorial, so it’s just not a good idea. Plus, the boys keep changing their minds on what they want, and [Employee] is kind of uncomfortable selling to them. Could you go over there and back her up? I really need to do the fish count before my shift ends.”

(I find the family with [Employee]. The family consists of two young boys and three adults who I’m guessing are the mom, dad, and grandfather.)

Me: “Hi! What are you thinking of getting today?”

Grandfather: “Well, we aren’t really sure. We were kind of thinking maybe a guinea pig?”

Boy #1: “I want a hamster.”

Boy #2: “I want a guinea pig!”

Me: “Were you guys thinking of getting two different cages?”

Grandfather: “We don’t really know. What do you think?”

Me: “Honestly, I think your best bet would be to get some of our care guides and take them home. They are free brochures that list how to take care of our different animals, so you could look over them and compare the different pets you like. That way, you’ll have time to think about it and really make sure you know which animal you want. You really don’t want to buy a pet on impulse, you know? Guinea pigs live for seven years.”

Boy #2: “Wow! That’s a long time!”

Me: “Yep! So, it’s a really big commitment.”

Dad: “We’re not going to abandon it! We take good care of our pets! We keep them until they die, and then we bury them in our yard!”

Mom: “Okay, it sounds like we need to take you boys home and really think about what animal you want, okay?”

(I figure the situation is resolved and go track down the other manager, who is visibly relieved when I tell her that I talked them out of getting a pet today. Other than the weird defensive outburst from the dad, I personally didn’t really see any red flags from the family myself, but I definitely trust my coworkers’ judgment. The family hangs around for a while. I later see them talking with [Employee] again, and they eventually leave the store empty-handed. Ten minutes later, I get paged to the front, where the mother is waiting.)

Mom: “I want to talk to a manager!”

Me: “I’m the manager. How can I help you?”

Mom: “My family came in to get a guinea pig, and everything was going fine. We had all kinds of employees coming and talking to us, and it was really good customer service. But then your employee told us that we have to buy the cage first and get the guinea pig tomorrow! Now my boy is crying in the parking lot! How are you supposed to tell a seven-year-old that he has to wait until tomorrow?”

(Right on cue, the two boys come back into the store, both dry-faced. They try to give me the puppy eyes, but it has no effect.)

Me: “Did [Employee] give you a reason why you have to get the cage first and the guinea pig tomorrow?”

Mom: “Yes! She said it was less stressful for the guinea pig to do it that way!”

Me: “She’s right! We like to recommend that people get the cage first. That way you have plenty of time to set it up and have it ready, so the pet isn’t stuck in a box for a long time–“

Mom: “I’ve never heard of that! You know what? We’ll just take our business elsewhere!”

(She ushers out her two boys, looking furious that I sided with my employee over her. Another ten minutes later, the dad comes in.)

Dad: “Where’s the other manager? The one who was counting fish?”

Me: “She went home half an hour ago. I’m the only manager left today.”

(He walks out, and the family finally leaves our parking lot. My dog trainer, who overheard my conversation with the mom, later approaches me.)

Dog Trainer: “You know the answer to her question? The one about how to tell a seven-year-old that he can’t have a guinea pig today?” *squats down until she’s eye-level with an imaginary child* “NO!”

My Mother, The Lizard Woman

, , , , , , , | Right | November 27, 2017

(I am working the floor at a large pet store. A young man, about 16 years old, comes in and says that he is thinking of buying some lizards and wants to know what he will need. I explain to him that these lizards will need an aquarium, a lid, a heat source, places to hide, a special lamp — especially as there is little sunlight in winter in Alaska — and a few other items. I also talk to him about what kinds of lizards would be good for him, and which ones will be relatively inexpensive. At no point do I try to sell him anything, since I figure he is just getting a feel for what he’ll need. While I am talking to him his mother comes in:)

Mother: “What are you doing?”

Son: “I’m thinking of buying some lizards, and I want to know what I need.”

Mother: “What did this guy tell you?”

Son: “Well, I need an aquarium, a lid, a heater, a special light, and some other things.”

Mother: “Why are you trying to sell my son this stuff that he doesn’t need?”

Me: “He asked me what he needs to keep lizards.”

Mother: “Don’t lie to me. You people are always trying to sell other people things they don’t need. You do not need a heater or a light. There is no way we are buying things from a liar like you.”

(The son looks absolutely mortified at this point.)

Son:Mom! I asked him about this. He was just answering my question.”

Mother: “We are leaving, and if you can’t recognize liars who want to steal your money for things you don’t need, then you can’t go into any more stores.”

(The mother then physically dragged her son away while loudly complaining about liars, and her son just looked back at me with a horribly embarrassed expression on his face.)

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