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That’s Exactly What “Expired” Means

, , , , , | Right | October 2, 2018

(I work in the grooming salon at a popular pet supply store. It’s a fairly normal day, not too busy, so when a walk-in comes in I’m more than happy to help. The salon requires all pets over four months of age to have updated rabies vaccinations for any and all services; if the rabies vaccines have expired or aren’t in our system yet, we require pet parents to bring proof of rabies paperwork. For legal purposes, a rabies tag isn’t acceptable for documentation.)

Me: “All right, it says here that your dog’s rabies vaccines expired in May of last year. If those vaccinations are up to date now, we’ll need proof of rabies paperwork before we can get him checked in.”

Customer: “Well, they should be all up to date. I didn’t bring paperwork with me. I’ve never been asked for it before.”

(This is clearly not true, since the past vaccine dates are in the system. Nonetheless, I offer to call her vet’s office to get verbal confirmation over the phone. I’m on hold for about fifteen minutes, which is fine, but at the end the vet just confirms that the rabies shots have not been administered since last time and the dogs are overdue by a year. I tell the woman this.)

Customer: *getting visibly angry* “No, they’re not expired! I just have to get them done again! So, what, because those shots aren’t up to date, he just has rabies now? This is bulls***! I’ve never been asked for rabies paperwork before! If you change your policies, you need to tell your customers! You know what? We’ll see about this!”

(She marched out of the salon and into the store. When my salon manager got to work that day, she told me that the woman had bypassed speaking to a store manager and actually called corporate to complain. Nothing came of it; the policy’s always been that way. I was just doing my job.)

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