Ferreting Around For Some Good Parenting

, , , , | Hopeless | July 6, 2017

(I often take my very tame, very friendly female ferret out on her lead to get some fresh air. I mostly get a lot of strange looks but for some reason people with small children act like ferrets are awful, vicious creatures that carry all kinds of disease. On my walk one day a young woman is walking along with a little girl, about three years old. I brace myself for the worst.)

Girl: “Mummy! Mummy, what’s that animal?!”

Girl’s Mother: *laughing* “That’s a ferret, sweetie!”

Girl: “Awwww, so cute!”

(I pause for a moment a few steps away from them, mostly out of shock, and a little bit because I’m used to people wanting to skirt me and my ferret in the street.)

Girl: “Can I pat it, mummy? So cuuuuuute!”

Girl’s Mother: “Remember we don’t touch other people’s pets without asking; they might get scared, or they might not like kids.”

Me: *still slightly stunned* “This one does. She plays with my nephews all the time. She can pat her if she wants to.”

Girl’s Mother: “Oh, thank you!”

(The mother kneels down and keeps telling her daughter, “Now, gentle! Don’t scare her; nice and soft,” and stopping her daughter from touching my ferrets face. The little girl is over the moon and incredibly sweet and gentle, giggling like crazy as my loveable lump of a ferret sniffs her and revels in the attention.)

Girl’s Mother: “Thank you so much. She LOVES animals.”

Me: “It’s no problem at all. Most parents yank their kids away like my ferret might set them on fire.”

Girl’s Mother: *screws up face* “How stupid! Our guinea pig has probably bitten more people than this little guy.”

(After a quick chat I learned they’d just moved in up the street from me and they were walking to the park down the block. Almost every afternoon for the next several months we met up along the same patch of sidewalk and the little girl would pat my ferret, and the mum and I would chat for a bit. When my ferret finally passed away last month of old age, they met up with me the next day with a card and a box of chocolates, and an adorable drawing of my ferret done by my tiny toddler friend. All it took was one person realising my ferret was not a danger to her kid for me to gain two wonderful friends.)

The Great Zucchini Heist

, , , , , , , | Friendly | July 3, 2017

My grandfather is a landscaper and gardener, so my grandparents have a massive vegetable garden in their backyard. It produces way more food than they actually need. My grandmother has a deal with one of her neighbors, who is an amazing cook and baker as well as a good friend to my grandmother, where she can come over at anytime and take as many vegetables as she wants and she’ll bake my grandparents several loaves of chocolate zucchini bread in return. She is the only person they have this deal with, though my grandmother will sometimes give free vegetables to neighbors who ask for them.

One day her friend comes over for some zucchini because she is having a get together and decides to make some bread for the dessert table, only to discover that the plants are completely barren of fruit. There aren’t even any unripened, not quite ready to pick zucchinis on the plant despite the fact that it’s peak season for them. She asks my grandparents about this, wondering if they’re having a bad year with their plants, but my grandmother shows her a zucchini she just picked the previous day and claims there were dozens more at least.

A week later, someone takes most of the tomatoes and digs up almost all of the carrots, which is discovered because the neighbor came over for a couple of onions for a soup she’s making for a dinner party she’s hosting. After the theft is discovered, her husband, who is a retired, disabled Vietnam vet who doesn’t really do much other than stay at home and entertain friends because his disabilities make it difficult for him to walk or travel, sits outside for two days, watching the garden while my grandparents aren’t home, until he catches the thief.

It turns out another one of the neighbors saw that my grandmother’s friend was going in and out of their garden and just taking vegetables whenever she wanted and decided that meant it was open for anyone to just take whatever they wanted. He was stealing the vegetables and selling them at a local farmer’s market.

When my grandfather confronts him, the guy tells my grandfather that it was his own fault for not telling him that he couldn’t just take all of them for profit. He never asked if it was okay or even indicated that he was doing it in the first place…

He later got arrested after security footage revealed he was the one who was stealing another neighbor’s prized, show-quality lop rabbits from an outdoor hutch and it turned out he was butchering and eating them. He had even cut a lock they had installed to try to prevent the theft. I guess she never told him that he couldn’t just take and eat her pets, either.

The Common McCarthy Lynx

, , , | Related | July 1, 2017

(I work in the deer pen at a local zoo. In my area we have an enclosure for a Eurasian lynx. The lynx is found throughout Europe and into Russia.)

Guest #1: “Hey, Dad, look at this animal! It’s a lynx!”

Guest #2: “Oh, that’s nice son. Let’s look at the sign.”

(The guest spends a few moments reading until he stumbles upon something he doesn’t like and quickly turns and grabs his son’s hand briskly walking away.)

Guest #2: “We don’t like that one, son. It’s a communist.”

Mom Thinks Your Problem Is Licked

, , , , , | Related | June 26, 2017

(One teacher sends drug dogs to do a search at my high school. I have undiagnosed autism and bipolar disorder. The mere idea of anyone, even a dog, touching my backpack is enough to freak me out for days. My mom is also a teacher there.)

Mom: “Don’t worry. The dogs didn’t actually sniff anything. It was just practice.”

Me: *pulls out my breakfast* “Well, someone licked the cream cheese on my bagel.”

(My mom continued to insist no one had been in the bags. I got another breakfast.)

Dogged With Complaints

, , , , | Right | June 24, 2017

(I work front desk at a hotel. We have a strict policy on pets. While pets are welcome to stay at the hotel, we do charge a hefty price for their stay. On this particular day there is a local dog show event in the area. We’ve been getting guests all day staying with their dogs. This guest is no different.)

Me: “Hello, welcome to [Hotel]. Checking in?”

Guest: “Yes, I would like to get a room for the night. It’s just me and my friend, so we would like a room with two beds in it.”

Me: “Okay, no problem. So, what brings you to the area?”

Guest: “Oh, I was showing my dogs at the local dog show.”

Me: “Oh, that’s sounds awesome. Just so that you’re aware, we are pet friendly, but it is $20 per pet per night.”

(Guest stops mid-sentence and looks at me like I just slapped her across the face.)

Guest: “Excuse me? That is a rip off!”

Me: “I’m terribly sorry, ma’am, but it is our company policy.”

Guest: “But they’re show dogs! They’re not some ordinary filthy animal; I demand I be charged less for my dogs. I want to speak to a manager!”

(So, of course I oblige and call my district manager and tell him about the situation. He tells me that it’s all right if I charge her only $10 per dog as long as she doesn’t have more than two dogs with her in the room.)

Me: “I just got off the phone with my manager. He said that we can reduce the cost of fee down to $10 per dog. How many dogs will be staying with you?”

Guest: “That’s the best you can do?! This is ridiculous! They’re show dogs! I should not be charged this much for them.”

Me: “Again, ma’am, I’m sorry for this inconvenience, but that is as low as I can go on the price.”

Guest: “Fine! I’ll just go somewhere else!”

(Guest leaves in a huff. I go back to what I was doing. Not even an hour goes by when the same guest comes back, practically yelling the entire transaction.)

Guest: “Well, I guess we are just going to have to take the room. No one else around here will accept my dogs! I demand we have a room next to an entrance on the first floor away from other guests.”

Me: “I only have a couple rooms left; we are rather full tonight. I will try to get you as close to an entrance as possible.”

Guest: “Unbelievable!” *shaking head, looking like I’m the stupidest person she ever saw*

Me: “I am able to get you a room on the first floor and it’s as close to one of the entrances I can find. I just need you to sign and initial this registration.”

(On our registration form, the guest must initial for the rate they agreed to pay, initial if they brought any pets and how many, and sign at the bottom. Once the registration form is signed, no refund can be given if they have an issue with the price of the room, and if there is any damage done to the room they will be charged for the incidentals. She signed the registration form stating on it that she only had two dogs in the room and left with her keys. Now, at the front desk, we have a screen with cameras on it that cover all the hotel and entrances. I watch as she starts to unload into her room. She and her friend bring in not two dogs, but five! Needless to say, with permission from the manager I charged her the original price of $20 per pet for the additional dogs. I heard later that she talked with my manager about the extra charges and he pretty much told her off, in a polite way, of course. Thankfully we didn’t hear from her again.)

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