They Bit Off More Than They Could Sue

, , , , , | Right | December 13, 2018

(We recently partnered with a local shelter to help get their animals adopted, by showcasing a few within our store. We generally don’t allow people to remove the animals from their cages for a day or so after they arrive, as they are usually stressed and we don’t want anyone to get hurt. As I’m putting our new shelter friends in their cages, one of the rabbits tries to bite, kick, and scratch me. I notify management, who tells me to just leave the rabbit in its cage and tell people not to touch it. To me, it would make sense to allow the poor creature to decompress off the sales floor for a few days, but I don’t make the rules. I print a sign that says, “I NEED SPACE. PLEASE KEEP YOUR FINGERS OUT OF MY CAGE. THANK YOU!” and hang it on the front of the cage. About an hour later, I’m helping a customer with an aquarium when I see a small boy with his father, looking at the rabbit. The father sticks his finger in the cage and pokes the rabbit’s backside. The rabbit jumps away from the father and the boy laughs.)

Me: “Uh, hey, guys. I’m sorry. That rabbit hasn’t quite adjusted to life in the store yet. We don’t want people trying to pet him.”

Father: “We’re not petting him.”

Me: “Then… what are you doing?”

Father: *matter-of-factly* “I’m touching him.”

Me: *inner sigh* “Please leave him alone. I don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

Father: “You always tell people what to do?”

Me: “I do when they might get bitten.”

Father: “Mind your own business before I call corporate.”

(The son sticks his tongue out at me and they walk away. I return to the man I was originally talking to.)

Me: “I’m sorry about that. I just didn’t want that boy to get bitten.”

Customer: “It’s okay. You’re just looking out for your customers.”

Me: “Thank you for understanding.”

Customer: *laughs* “Ten dollars says one of them gets bitten later.”

Me: “Oh, no. I wouldn’t take that bet.”

(The man decides on an aquarium, and I help him load it on a flatbed to be loaded in his truck. While I’m on the register, the father from earlier comes storming up to me.)

Father: “You’re in a world of trouble, missy!”

Me: “Uh… Ex-excuse me?”

Father: “Your f****** rabbit just bit my son!”

Me: *deep breath, apologetic customer service tone* “Would you like to file an incident report? I can call a manager and get a first aid kit for your son.”

Father: “You’re d*** right, I do! And I’ll be suing the store and you!”

Customer: “Good luck with that.”

Father: “What did you say?”

Customer: “I said good luck. You were told not to mess with the rabbit, by her and the sign on the cage.”

Father: “It’s her job to read, not mine!” *storms off*

Me: “I told you so.”

Customer: “Ah, I wish you’d taken that bet.”

(The father did file an incident report and called corporate, claiming I told him it was perfectly fine to hold the rabbit and that I’d left them unattended. Our store doesn’t have cameras, so I could have been in serious trouble. Luckily, the customer I worked with also called corporate and gave them a heads up, complete with a photo of the rabbit and the sign, just in case. The boy was fine, mostly just scared, and since the rabbit didn’t break the skin, he didn’t have any medical bills.)

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