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Old 06-10-2012, 11:29 AM   #1
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Even more horror stories from a lfs employee

This is a continuation from a thread I wrote awhile ago. I figured I'd post some more frustrating situations that I've dealt with. (More horror stories from a LFS)

I'm beginning to get really frustrated with people. I think I am burning out in retail!

1-Mr. Jersey Shore guy comes in with ditsy girlfriend. They pick out the smallest tank "kit" we have (a 1.25 gallon 'goldfish' tank with a filter) and proceed to pick out the LARGEST black moor we have, who is currently 4 inches long. I told them in no uncertain terms that the black moor was entirely too large for that tank and that they would need a 20+ gallon tank for him, ASAP. After a little hemming and hawing, they decided they wanted the fish - and the tank- anyways.
I was obviously irritated, so the guy tries to pacify me by saying "We'll take really good care of him." I looked at him, the fish, and the tank in his hand and said "Obviously not," and walked away. Its a good thing he didn't complain to my manager. I went to the register and voided his receipt, so at least if it dies, he cant just keep getting new free fish.

2- A woman comes in with her two kids. She keeps complaining that her fish are dying because *our* fish are sick. Concerned, I asked her the basics... Tank size, what kind of fish, what her maintenance schedule is, etc. Her answer? A ten gallon tank with 1 fantail goldfish and FOUR comets. She has yet to do a water change on the tank because its "only" two months old. So far, 7 comets have died, and they replaced the fantail once. I rolled my eyes. Couldn't help it.

3-An "expert" on goldfish came in. He had three large orandas in a 20 gallon tank. One of them died, and he was concerned as to why. I started off by asking what his maintenance schedule was. 50%... Every three or four months. He had the tank for six months so far and only did ONE water change. His Nitrates were over 200. I told him he had had too many fish in too small of a tank and that he should be doing a 50% a week at the very least. In no uncertain terms, he called me a dumb kid.

4- A young college girl came in with her parents. She wanted a ten gallon tank for her dorm room. I walked them through the process of setting up an aquarium, the whole fish in or fishless cycles, and told them some options for stocking - ember tetras, guppies, rasbora, etc. I told them they should get the tank home and set it up before getting fish.
What happened? They decided that they were going to get the fish that day. What fish were they going to get? A blood-red parrot. Obviously I told them that was a bad idea since the fish would get 8"+, and obviously they didn't listen. Another void on another receipt...
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:04 PM   #2
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Is it legal to refuse to sell a fish our a tank to those ignorant people? Hopefully, it is. That is just horrible.
I especially enjoyed "Mr. Jersey Shore and his ditsy girlfriend"
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:25 PM   #3
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I would never be able to work at a pet shop for that exact reason. I have an ex who works at an LFS and I've been in there when people ask him questions. I just wanna slap him and tell him to use freakin Google lol
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:15 PM   #4
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I want to work at a pet shop, but most of the workers at the LFS nearby (the BEST one, I have ever seen) are all experts. The store is kept amazingly, and if the people make stupid decisions, they tell them they they can't return their fish if it dies! :P A girl walked out of the store with a goldfish, shaking the bag, and the employee yelled in a sing-song voice "Too bad we won't replaaaace that one!" I laughed a good while.

And I mean, I figure it's okay if you know what you're doing to keep a fish while it's a baby in a smaller tank.. but upgrade it within a few months. I have three fish that will get very large in a smaller tank, but only at 1" each and very slow growers, it's just to make sure I understand their feeding habits/social tendencies, etc. I'm getting a new tank in the next two to three months, it's a definite, and by that time they won't be even an inch larger.

But people like that who don't know much and will KEEP a full sized fish like that in a small tank.. argh. That bugs me. It's almost like kennel-training a great dane in a kennel meant for a collie or something. It's not considered humane. I feel like fish are such wonderful creatures, just like birds or reptiles, but some people see them almost undesirable. Like, they want them, but don't see them as living creatures, but as decorations.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiroptera
I want to work at a pet shop, but most of the workers at the LFS nearby (the BEST one, I have ever seen) are all experts. The store is kept amazingly, and if the people make stupid decisions, they tell them they they can't return their fish if it dies! :P A girl walked out of the store with a goldfish, shaking the bag, and the employee yelled in a sing-song voice "Too bad we won't replaaaace that one!" I laughed a good while.

And I mean, I figure it's okay if you know what you're doing to keep a fish while it's a baby in a smaller tank.. but upgrade it within a few months. I have three fish that will get very large in a smaller tank, but only at 1" each and very slow growers, it's just to make sure I understand their feeding habits/social tendencies, etc. I'm getting a new tank in the next two to three months, it's a definite, and by that time they won't be even an inch larger.

But people like that who don't know much and will KEEP a full sized fish like that in a small tank.. argh. That bugs me. It's almost like kennel-training a great dane in a kennel meant for a collie or something. It's not considered humane. I feel like fish are such wonderful creatures, just like birds or reptiles, but some people see them almost undesirable. Like, they want them, but don't see them as living creatures, but as decorations.
I would not last a week at a LFS. Im sure I would be reported for telling too many people 'no'. Also, I bet they have some sort of monthly sales quota they have to reach.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:48 PM   #6
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I would not last a week at a LFS. Im sure I would be reported for telling too many people 'no'. Also, I bet they have some sort of monthly sales quota they have to reach.
I'm sure they do, but this one is huge. So many people go. Each section has one or two specialists, a huge variety of fish (so it's easy to find something else if someone is being stubborn about a color or fish), and *most* people around here are sane and will be reasoned with. The only people I've seen had trouble with it were parents with small children that were screaming if they didn't get the fish they wanted.. what an ordeal, even just watching.
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:30 AM   #7
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We dont have a sales quota because we don't make that much off of fish compared to the rest of the store. Technically, we can refuse a sale, but it depends on the manager. Usually we are told to let them do it, or at the most, told to void the receipt so if the fish dies they can't return it for a new one. I think I've only seen one incident in two years where we out right refused a sale.. guy wanted two koi and a pleco to put in his ten gallon tank. He became quite rude and beligerent to my coworker... she was almost in tears. I got my manager and she told him to leave or he'd be charged with harassment.
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:16 AM   #8
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We dont have a sales quota because we don't make that much off of fish compared to the rest of the store. Technically, we can refuse a sale, but it depends on the manager. Usually we are told to let them do it, or at the most, told to void the receipt so if the fish dies they can't return it for a new one. I think I've only seen one incident in two years where we out right refused a sale.. guy wanted two koi and a pleco to put in his ten gallon tank. He became quite rude and beligerent to my coworker... she was almost in tears. I got my manager and she told him to leave or he'd be charged with harassment.
That's.. outright horrible. Two koi and a pleco? No..
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:18 AM   #9
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Yeah, tell me about it. I don't think he was... quite right anyways. He was just very... off. You know those people that don't seem all there? Yeah....

If had it all... People who want to put Oscars in ten gallon tanks. People who want to get koi for less than twenty gallon tanks. People who want to keep two or three goldfish in a tank under five gallons. I want to tear my hair out sometimes. I love my job, really. I enjoy taking care of the animals we have, as well as teaching people how to properly take care of their tanks. I've got a lot of regular customers that come in and ask for me specifically, so its not all bad.

Let me share with you my FAVORITE story. Its a little long, so please bare with me.

An older, middle aged woman comes in one day. Its been pretty slow so I immediately perk up a bit, despite it being about an hour before close. She is looking around and fish tanks and the plants and what not. I approach her, ask how she is and if I can help her with anything. She smiles and answers that she is very well, but she would like to ask me some questions about starting up a fish tank.

This woman, lets call her Mrs. T (she's a science teacher, after all!), and I spent the entire last hour together going over talking about the 25 gallon tank she had picked up from a friend. She expressed interest in a planted tank, so I talked to her about substrate, lighting, fertilizer, CO2 plant types, and the best fish for planted tanks. She picked up 2 bags of substrate, an anubias, and a java fern. I warned her about not burying the rhizome and even gave her some plant weights that we had lying around from our store planted tank. She even asked to see pictures of my tanks, which I gladly showed her.

She was such a pleasure to work with, had a great sense of humor, and was just a genuine nice person. I told her if she was able to come back relatively soon, I'd be more than glad to share with her some clippings of my plants.

Three days later, she was back in and I gladly handed off some wisteria that she had asked about as well as a small ball of hornwort, and told her if anyone asked, she had brought the plants in to have me identify them. She showed me how the tank looked so far, and said she was going to look online to the sites I mentioned for a T5 light setup as well as possibly a canister filter. She thanked me profusely for the plants and left, after mentioning to my manager that I had done a great job.

Now, almost two whole months have passed. Its a relatively quiet afternoon when suddenly, she pops around the corner with a big smile on her face. After greeting me and showing me a new picture of the tank, I asked her if she needed anything. She told me no, she was still cycling the tank with ammonia and it wasn't quite ready yet for fish. She had just been on her way home from running errands, thought of me, and just stopped in to say Thank you!
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:33 AM   #10
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Its been awhile since I posted, but I couldn't pass this one up.

A girl walks in and has a 1.5 Tetra Water Wonder Kit in hand, filled half the way up with water. She looks concerned. I ask her if I can help her with anything and this is what she has to say.

"I went to a commercial vendor about a week or so ago and bought a fish... I thought he looked really cool, but he seems really unhappy and kinda sick. I went to go feed him the other day, and he tried to bite me... So is there any way you guys could take him?'

Wait, a fish tried to bite her? What the heck did she get?

After saying sorry, we aren't allowed to, I ask her what it is.

A dragon fish. An 8 inch dragon fish. Who is kept in a 1.5 gallon unheated freshwater tank. The poor thing's nose is touching the glass, and his tail is curled half way around the tank. He has a few cruddy plastic plants, and no place to hide. He snaps his jaws if you get too close to his tank.

After sending her off with the numbers of two different places she could possibly take him, I just start shaking my head.

Apparently, they told her the 1.5 gallon was just fine, that she only had to feed him bloodworms once a week (nothing else) and that she only had to clean out the tank once a month, by putting him in a tupperware container, dumping everything out, scrubbing it with hot SOAPY water, and then put ALL NEW gravel and plants back in... And of course, they never mentioned that they do better in brackish water. Seriously?
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