How to Handle A Dog-Hairy Situation

, , , , , , | Right | December 11, 2018

(I am a regular at a local sewing store where I’m also taking classes. One day I drop by to get fabric and decided to bring my dog, since my mum and I have to go there by car, anyway, and my dog is still kind of anxious about driving after a recent bad experience. When I bring her into the shop, this happens.)

Owner: “Oh, I’m sorry; you can’t bring your dog in here. My husband is really allergic to them.”

Me: “Sorry, I didn’t know that.”

Mum: “I’ll just take her out and wait in the car with her.”

Owner: “I’m really sorry. It’s not that I don’t like dogs. I love dogs, and yours looks really cute, but my husband swells up and can’t breathe when he’s near dog hair, and…”

Me: “Really, it’s no problem. She can use the time in the car, anyway.”

(We go on to discuss fabric choices for my project, and she helps me personally, since only one other customer is in the store who is already being helped by one of the employees. When we move closer to them to look at some belt straps, the owner notices that in a bag on the floor is a tiny dog, even smaller than mine.)

Owner: “Excuse me. I didn’t notice it before, but dogs are not allowed in this store. Please leave your dog outside.”

Customer: *in a tone so rude I can’t possibly portray it in writing* “It’s none of your business. He’s in a bag.” *turns back around to the employee*

Owner: “My husband is extremely allergic to dogs, so I have to ask you, again, to please take your dog outside, as I can’t have him in the store.”

Customer: “And where am I supposed to put him? My car? He’d just destroy it. No. I’m keeping him with me, in here.”

(The dog in question is a chihuahua in a closed bag, on a leash that ties him to said bag. He couldn’t possibly get out of there.)

Owner: “I frankly don’t care where you put your dog, as long as he’s not in my store. Please get him out of here now.”

Customer: “No. I won’t. And if you make me, you’ll lose me as a customer.”

Owner: “I don’t want you as a customer if you don’t take your dog outside right now!”

Customer: “I won’t.”

(With that, she turns back to the employee, who obviously doesn’t know how to deal with that and is extremely uncomfortable, but resumes helping the entitled woman with choosing some buttons. The owner is obviously furious but doesn’t know what else to do. I’m furious, too; the tone and general attitude of the customer are so rude, and to such a nice person, that I basically feel ashamed to belong to the same species as that person. After taking a deep breath and contemplating, I decide to step in.)

Me: *in a calm but incredibly icy tone, with my best menacing stare* “Excuse me.”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “I just took my dog outside to wait in the car, too. You have been asked repeatedly to remove your dog from this store. It is not okay to endanger the health of a human being just so your dog won’t have to spend ten minutes alone in a car. Do you really believe that the fifteen Euros you’re spending here are more important to [Owner] than her husband’s health? Pull yourself together, get rid of that attitude, and get your dog outside right now.”

Customer: “FINE! I will buy my buttons here, and then I will never come back! You’ve just lost a customer for life!”

Me: “Thank God. I wouldn’t like to encounter the likes of you in here ever again.”

Feel For Her Poor, Coddled Children

, , , , , | Legal | December 8, 2018

(I’m working at an aquarium. Today I’m in charge of doing a feeding show with the penguins. As little kids in the audience go, “Eww,” or, “Aww!” a full-grown lady walks up.)

Lady: “AAAH!” *covers children’s eyes, and then turns to me, through the tank* “How can you let kids watch this?! Dead animals being given to these cute creatures! Disgusting!”

(She stalks off, and I continue the show. Just a week later, I get a notification from management telling me I have to show up in court for this lady who’s suing us.)

Lady: *in court* “They were corrupting our children, letting them see these dead animals being fed to the animals they thought were these cute, fluffy creatures!”

Me: “Ma’am, with all due respect, the penguins need the fish to survive. The children aren’t ‘corrupted’ by it because they eat fish, beef, and chicken themselves! Are you expecting us to have to feed them at ten pm when we close and they’re about to go to sleep?”

(This went in a circle for a while, but she ended up losing!)

Drowning In Prank Calls

, , , , , | Right | December 7, 2018

(It is Sunday morning and I am opening the animal cages, which includes misting the reptiles, giving some lizards their morning veggies, etc. We have already opened, but things are slow. Suddenly my store phone rings.)

Me: “Hello. Thank you for calling [Store]. How may I help you?”

Customer: *pause* “Hi, yeah, um… My fish is like… floating on his side at the top of the water and um… Is there like… anything that could fix that?”

(I recognize the voice of the caller. Lately we have been getting calls with ridiculous stories from the same person; some are about his “drowning fish” or how “he took his fish out to play with his dog and his dog ate the fish.” It was a little amusing at first, but now it’s just annoying and time consuming, as my coworkers and I usually have work to do.)

Me: *trying to hide my annoyance, as I’m getting behind on work* “You know, I am pretty sure you called last week about your fish drowning. So, no, there is nothing I can do to help.”

(The customer is silent for a moment.)

Customer: “Oh… okay.”

(I can hear him stifling his giggles.)

Me: “Okay, thank you. Have a good day.” *hangs up*

(Fast forward to the end of my shift. I’m about to go clock out, but I am chatting with my two coworkers about the prank caller. They’ve dealt with him before. I quickly go clock out and come back to them. Suddenly, my coworker gets a call.)

Coworker #1: “Hi. Thank you for calling [Store]. How can I help you?”

(Her smiling face drops to blank emotion and then annoyance. She pulls away the store phone for a second and says it’s the same prank caller we were just talking about.)

Coworker #1: “It’s the drowning fish story.” *goes back to the phone* “I’m sorry, you say your fish has drowned?”

(The caller hangs up. Not two seconds later it rings again. She doesn’t have time to catch it that time, as a manager catches it. However, it rings again.)

Me: “Get me the number. We’ve got to do something about this.”

Coworker #2: “Pretend you’re with the police department and tell them to stop bothering us!”

Me: *laughs* “I don’t want that legal stuff on my hands, just in case. I’ve got an idea.”

(By now, the prank caller is calling us, and as soon as we pick up, he hangs up. He does this repeatedly, harassing us. My coworker reads off his number to me, and I quickly dial it using my personal phone.)

Caller: *long pause, then very sheepish and confused voice* “Hello?”

Me: *in a very thick, fake German accent with great emotion* “YES, HELLO, THIS IS DR. BETRUG WITH THE UNIVERSITY. I HEAR YOU HAVE A DROWNING FISH? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!”

(The caller immediately hung up, and we did not receive any more prank calls from him for the rest of the day! I made both coworkers’ days.)

Energy Drinks For Dogs

, , , , , | Right | December 2, 2018

(I am doing a product demo for a popular energy shot that’s supposed to keep people alert and awake. An elderly couple with a chihuahua comes by my booth.)

Me: “Hello. I have [Brand] for sample today. It’s an energy drink—”

Male Customer: “Oh, we should try this.”

(He picks up the cup, sips it, then offers it to the dog, who investigates the drink.)

Me: “Sir! It’s a half-dose, but that’s still a large amount of caffeine and taurine; I don’t think that’s a good idea—”

Female Customer: “Oh, nonsense. We never get anything that our buddy doesn’t like.”

Me: “It’s still probably not safe for him to drink.”

(The couple walked off, their dog lapping up the drink. I really hope my concerns were unwarranted!)

Coughing Up The Truth Takes Some Coughing

, , , , | Right | November 30, 2018

(I answer the phone on Saturday:)

Me: “Hello. [Vet Clinic]. This is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Client: “I think I need to bring my dog in to see you guys.”

Me: “Of course. What is your dog’s name, and your last name?”

Client: “Bruiser Jones.”

(I pull up Bruiser’s file and see that his annual examination, vaccines, and routine testing were all due yesterday.)

Me: “It looks like it’s time for Bruiser’s annual exam, vaccines, and heartworm test; is that what you wanted to come in for?”

Client: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay, when would you like to come in?”

Client: “Monday afternoon, if that’s possible.”

Me: “We can do Bruiser’s annual on Monday at 3:00 with [Doctor he has seen before]. How is that?”

Client: “I’ll take it.”

Me: “Okay, I’ve got you down. Bruiser is doing well, right, no concerns?”

Client: “Well, he’s coughing. That’s why I called you.”

Me: “Oh, that sounds like something we should check out. [Doctor] can still see you, but we only vaccinate healthy pets; if they’re already sick we don’t want to make their immune systems work even harder by giving them a bunch of vaccines. So, we can take care of the cough, but the annual exam and vaccines will have to wait a couple of weeks until Bruiser is feeling better.”

Client: “I wasn’t going to do the vaccines until January, anyway; I can’t afford them right now, what with the holidays coming up.”

Me: “Okay. Bruiser is doing well, otherwise, though, right? Still eating and drinking? Normal energy? Any vomiting or diarrhea?”

Client: “Well, my friend is watching him because I’m out of town, but I think he’s fine except for the cough. Does he need to be seen sooner?”

Me: “Well, I can’t say for sure without seeing him, but usually as long as he is still eating and drinking well and isn’t having other symptoms, it should be fine to wait until Monday. We actually close in about half an hour, and we’re closed on Sundays, as well, but I can give you the number of a 24-hour clinic if you’re concerned, or in case anything changes.”

Client: “I have it already; I think I’ll just wait until Monday.”

Me: “Okay, please call us from the car when you arrive; coughs can be contagious, so we want to make sure we have an exam room available for you so Bruiser won’t need to stand in the lobby.”

Client: “Okay.”

Me: “Have a great day; we’ll see you Monday at 3:00.”

(I hang up the phone.)

Coworker #1: “What was that about?”

Me: “A client with a sick dog called, but when I asked, he said he wanted to schedule an annual exam with vaccines. He didn’t tell me the dog was coughing until I double-checked he had no concerns.”

Coworker #1: “I wish people would tell us up front that they have sick pets.”

Me: “It’s amazing how many people suddenly remember their pet is sick when I ask if everything is going well after they call to schedule an annual exam.”

Doctor: “Yeah, I had a new puppy yesterday where the clients said there were no problems. We did the whole exam, all the vaccines, decided on heartworm and flea preventatives, and had the long ‘new puppy talk’ before the owner said, ‘Doc, I have a question. Is it normal for him to cough all the time?’”

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