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Your Attitude is Shih-Tzu, Part 2

, , , , | Right | December 11, 2020

It is a busy Saturday at our pet store. We have signs up everywhere telling customers to ask for assistance to spend time with any of our puppies.

While attempting to navigate the crowd to bring a puppy to a customer, I’m abruptly stopped by a woman who has no regard for the fact that I am already helping someone. I know this is going to be bad, because the woman has two obnoxiously screaming children.

Children: “We want to play with the puppyyyyy!”

The woman rudely jabs her finger in the direction of a kennel.

Woman: “We’re going to see the toy fox terrier.”

Me: *Thinking* “Oh, are you? That’s an unusual way to ask for assistance.” *Out loud* “Actually, he was just visiting with a family, so he’ll need to stay in for a short rest.”

Woman: “He’s a puppy. They have endless energy. He doesn’t need rest right now.”

Children: “We want to play with the puppy, noooooow!” 

Me: “No, ma’am. The newest puppies to the store are on a strict schedule with frequent breaks from visiting. This is to ensure that they don’t start developing anxiety from too much handling while they get used to crowds of strangers. They could also get sick.”

Woman: “That’s stupid. You’d rather leave him in a cage than let him be out playing?”

As a matter of fact, yes, I would, if it means keeping him from possibly DYING, absolutely! But as we all know, customers won’t respond positively to being told they CAN’T DO SOMETHING. They don’t understand anything that prevents them from getting what they want, no matter how obvious the reasoning behind what you’re telling them. What she probably heard me saying was: “blah blah blah… NO… blah blah blah blah blah,” a suspicion she confirms.

Woman: “So, why won’t you bring the dog out for us? And what do you mean, he could get sick?! Are you saying that we’re filthy?!”

Me: “Ma’am, new puppies that weigh less than three pounds have to be watched carefully to make sure that their kidneys aren’t overworked. He could develop hypoglycemia by handling him too much.”

Woman: “You mean that the dog is sick? It has hypoglycemia?! That’s why I would never buy a dog from a pet store!”

I start to correct her, but it occurs to me…

Me: “If you would never buy a dog from a pet store, then why are you here?”

Woman: *As if it’s obvious* “We just come to play with the puppies. They deserve some love from somebody before they die horrible deaths at your hands!”

Right, because me taking care NOT to kill off the adorable little fuzzballs means that I personally am responsible for all the sins of the industry…

Me: *Sighing internally* “Ma’am, as I told you, that puppy needs rest or he will get sick. Excuse me.”

I finally maneuver around her and take the puppy I currently have to the family that is waiting for him. I stay with the family for a while, and they eventually leave, discussing the costs of supplies for their eventual purchase.

My manager later says that the kids threw well-rehearsed tantrums, while the mother loudly blamed the manager for making her kids cry and then stormed out, saying, “The mean manager wants the puppy to die alone and friendless in a steel cage in the basement.”

Me: *To my manager* “Do we… even have a basement?”

My manager rolls his eyes and sighs.

Manager: “No. Feel free to take your break if you need to.”

It’s hilarious the way that people who claim to hate pet stores have no issue with visiting them to scavenge for the free fun that they offer. I really don’t mind people coming just to play with puppies, but somewhere along the way, they seem to have gotten the idea that they are allowed to judge a minimum-wage lackey based on the misdeeds of the industry that I work for… in a store that actually has stringent rules to help prevent the deaths of our charges.

Your Attitude is Shih-Tzu

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