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Old 04-04-2004, 12:34 AM   #11
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50 Kudos to you dude!

I am very unloved by the petsmart fish manager.. he looks like he at e a bad clam when he spots us. But I didn't havet o be the PITA customer.. just as I can not stay silent one of my obnoxious children steps to the plate..

"pssst! that guy is a minimon wageslave- you really think he is an expert? heh!....you CAaaan't put an oscar in a 15 gallon..they get big enough to eat! And he will chomparoo All your tetras like they were Colonel's poppers!....didn't you google search him online first??

<the little one:loudly>" oooh nooo, moom, they killed all the bettas..they shut the lids...why are they fishkillers mom? Don't they like bettas? I would neeever do that to uncol fish...."

"*snort* Shhez!Poor guy, he'll be SOL when he takes THOSE home! Even I know you can't put goldfish with tetras..hasn't that store guy ever heard of those mashed tree thingys? Squarish, thin..called a book?"(this said in "poor guys" hearing!) and the internet is easy enough for raven to google search...

What can I do but blush and stammer an agreement when asked 'is it so'?

"Fish! Thank You! Oh, tropical huh? Did you buy a heater? Auuugh!"

Mega-pet stores prolly should not be allowed to sell animals as retail "items".
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Old 04-04-2004, 01:00 AM   #12
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I am sticking my neck out here saying that I myself work for a LFS, and that I can pretty much assure you that the sales person is way out of line. I am pretty much positive that the manager or owner would almost loose their head over that.
I ended up at the LFS because I was self employed (and still am) and was looking for a part time job to help occupy my time. And since I was already a very regular customer and very experienced with saltwater, I got the job. (plus being friends with the owner helped too ) I was put in charge of the saltwater department. I maintain, feed, order all the fish, corals, inverts, etc. Anyways, i'll try and keep this short. I soon learned a lot of the hardships that goes into owning a pet shop. One of the biggest ones is finding good sales personel. LFS's don't make enough to pay high wages, so your stuck with the problem of paying low wages and finding someone who truly knows what they are doing and trying to hang on to them. let me tell you, that it is about near impossible. When it comes to hiring, everybody and their 'fish' wants to work there, but nobody ever stays. In the last year I think we where able to hang onto somebody for almost three months straight.

When I started, everybody that I worked with fed the fish, checked the levels, added salt, so on and so forth. What we ended up with was, crappy looking tanks and dead fish. I got permission, (which was not hard) to take 100% complete control over the salt fish. I am the only one that feeds, cleans, checks levels, etc. I have a cell phone number that the other employees can call and get a hold of me regarding any ?'s. And when the new employees come in, I sit down with them and personally lay down the rules, evaluate their knowledge on fish, and do constant training. The result....beautiful tanks, lively fish and corals. And sales have gone through the roof. The only problem is that I have a real hard time keeping everything stocked . So long story short.

I would definately inform the manager and the owner of the situation. Maybe recommend having them put some stricter guidelines on the way salt fish are sold. Don't hold it against the store, just the sales person. And if it is the store, keep looking for that one store or sales person who really cares. I can't be the only one can I?????? Atleast I hope I am not the only one

Remember, we are all in this together. Let's make it a happier world for our 'fishfriends'.

95% of fish mortality results from improper housing and nutrition.
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Old 04-04-2004, 01:31 PM   #13
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Doan, IMO you did the right thing. Every life saved counts and hopefully these customers will do some research next time before trusting the word of a LFS employee.

I recently got a job at my LFS. It actually is one of the nicest stores in the surronding few states however I bite my lip countless times in a day as I hear various comments by other employees to customers that are completley wrong. I feel bad not saying something but if I did I'm sure I would be fired by now from everybody hating me. It's sad to say but most people are uninformed and just don't want to invest the time or energy to research this investment on there own and are happy to take the advice of an employee thinking they know what they are talking about. There are a lot of employees who do know what they are talking about but working with 15-20 other fish people everyday gets very frustrating when I hear what they tell some customers. Since I've been working there I've probably referred 100 people to this site, not sure how many have joined or checked it out becasue a decent amount of people think that informatin on the internet cannot be trusted. I was thinking of getting some AA business cards made up to hand to customers but I have to get it cleared with my boss first.
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Old 04-04-2004, 02:06 PM   #14
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I'm like you Doan, nonconfrontational... I know exactly how you feel about that sort of thing... just remember that you did that one guy a huge favor. I helped out, practically ran for a while, at this one small pet store before it closed and I didn't really have a clue what I was doing... not good, but better than it being closed all the time... long story... anyway, if people asked what went with what and stuff like that, I knew better than to say it was ok if I didn't really know it. I would tell them as much as I knew, pick up the books they had in the back and try to find something else for them. If I couldn't come up with a good answer I would later research it for them and get back to them... I even had a poster type thing on the counter with this sites info on it so people could do some searching for themselves if they wanted to. It is such a shame that stores end up running the way they do... If I were running one or working at one, and was one of those underpaid yet still unexperienced workers, I would find a way to answer questions. Certainly the employees must have some info on hand to know what to feed and what temps and so on... if I were working in a pet store I would work to have some sort of database of every fish we sold with very detailed info of all the obvious data as well as compatability and stuff like that... if you think about, it really wouldn't be that hard to come up with such a database... I wouldn't be surprised if there was already some sort of software out there... then all you'd need is a computer terminal or two and you can have the employees only use it of let the customers do their own browsing... My local Walmart has those tiny little tags underneith but the best they can manage is something like : Oscars, they need a larger tank... what in the world does larger tank mean to a customer... oh well... Just don't give up... it's a worthy cause...................
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Old 04-05-2004, 12:05 AM   #15
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Certainly the employees must have some info on hand to know what to feed and what temps and so on...
One would hope!

Doan, coming from a former introvert--You did the right thing!

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Old 04-05-2004, 09:01 AM   #16
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Thank you for all of the positive words. The letter has been written and is wating in the mailbox for the postman this morning. I did however not reaveal who wrote the letter just signed it "a concerned customer" So I was able hopefully able to bridge the gap between not wanting to be a paria to the employees there but letting the owner (who I know from my local Saltwater club) know that there is at least one employee who (lets give her the benifit of the doubt I dont' wanna bash people) needs some training real bad when it comes to salt water. Unfortunatlly as I said in my post this is a Sell Sell Sell kinda store ... but this was just way over the line. My personal opinion is that commission in a LFS is a bad idea. Perhaps bonuses on a quarterly basis or something. Thanks mabye I have been overthinking this. It was good to hear from all of you and I really do feel better after writing the letter. That was a real good idea.. If you live in the area it is real easy to determine which one it is ...also I don't think a fishcape lends a whole lot to your credibility but I sure would love to have one

Thank you

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Old 04-05-2004, 10:13 AM   #17
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Hope everthing works out ok. I'm a little less forgiving, I'd given my name and the name of the employee that asked me to leave. But that's just me.

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Old 04-06-2004, 10:02 PM   #18
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Congrats Doan, I would have, and have, done the exact same thing. Actually been banned from a lfs for doing something of the sort. I am the type that when I walk in, if I see something amiss in a tank, I let the salespeople, and the manager know right off hand. And generally stand there until they either do something or ask me to move or leave. And I agree about petsmart, the one here, there is one, thats right just one, salesperson I trust at the store, only because I have frequently spoken with the gentleman and he, like me and most of us, has had fish for a long time. I havent ever heard him give bad advice to anyone that comes in and even once refused to sell a fish that would not live in the tank they wanted to put it in.

Live in or around Alabama? Why dont you check out the Alabama Regional Forum.

Sold all tanks but
29 gal planted(lightly) tank now with 10 neons, 9 serpae tetras, 4 otos, 2 kribs and 3 gourami for the moment.
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