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Old 12-03-2011, 10:15 AM   #1
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Oh, humanity.

Work Rant.

The longer I work in retail, the more my faith in humanity is whittled away. I work at a semi well known pet store in the pet department, working with fish and reptiles. Unfortunately, for the most part, we are not allowed to tell a customer "no". Occasionally you get lucky and you have a manger that actually cares about the animals we sell closing and you can get away with it... But otherwise its a "well, you warned them, its their fault if it dies." mentality.

Stores from yesterday:

Gentleman comes in who has a 40 gallon tank. He wants an oscar and two convicts. I explain that the 40 is just big enough for two convicts, let alone an oscar. I explain how big the oscar gets and he brushes me off saying hes had them in there before. I asked him how long the fish lived "Oh a long time - two years! And they didnt get THAT big" I had to stop myself from laughing in his face. I tried to explain that Oscars can live more than ten years, and he just rolled his eyes again and told me to "just get the fish." UGH.

A couple comes in. They have a five gallon betta tank with live plants that has snails everywhere. Their brilliant solution? Buy a CLOWN LOACH. I told him it would get too big for that tank and wouldnt survive long. "Oh fish only grow to the size of their tank". No, actually, they dont. Their grow gets stunted and then they DIE YEARs before they are supposed to! Would you keep a german shepherd in a closet its entire life?! I tried to suggest a kuhli loach- at least it would do better in a five gallon than a clown loach- but he wouldnt have it. "They are ugly and you never see them".

A woman returns three oscars. They are only like two inches long... But she added them to a brand new 20 GALLON TANK. Im not going to even go there.

Seriously.... As much as I love my job sometimes (I really do enjoy teaching people who want to learn about taking care of animals, and I enjoy just interacting with the animals we do have) I feel that if I have to stay in this industry much longer, I am going to end up snapping at someone. Hardcore.

Its too bad that we really need the extra money from my job. That and I feel a little better knowing, at least, that I am helping out some animals by telling people the truth.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:58 AM   #2
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I feel ya sis. I was in the industry at a privately owned shop for nine years and then worked for PetSmart for about a year and a half. (I'm, just about willing to bet this is where you work. ) There's no doubt it's difficult when you have to answer to someone else in this situation without it looking like you're just being rude and disrespectful to a customer. I've always actually wanted to get back in the business for myself so I could be the owner and run it the way I wanted to: not sell certain things, tell people flat out "no", run aquarium classes, etc. If I ever hit the lottery, I imagine then I will, becasue I won't have to worry about profit and making ends meet.
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:02 AM   #3
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Sis, lol.

And I may or may not work at a store that may or may not be called Petsmart. That information is classified. XD

In any case... I know alot of people who say that exact same thing. I wish I could work at a decent mom and pop shop that had a policy stipulating you need a water sample to get fish and that the associates have the right to tell you no.
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:12 AM   #4
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The worst part is whenever it does go to pot for them, it's never becasue they wouldn't listen to you; it's becasue you sold them lousy fish.

Oh, and I edited my original post to "sis."
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:41 AM   #5
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I know how you feel. What's even worse is when you know more than the LFS and you see the LFS giving out bad info, but when you try to help you get shot down.
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:58 AM   #6
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Yup!

I ran an idea by my manager for a "fish book" Basically what it will entail is a binder with pictures of the fish we sell in it. Except these pictures will be full sized... So when you get to fish like the oscar, or the ID shark.... It will be three or four pages linked together that you have to unfold. She actually really liked the idea, and our store manager said to put it together and shed take a look at it.

By the way... Id much rather have a fish WALL. Full scale models of each fish posted so you can really get an idea, length, width, and height that these guys get. That was shot down immediately by the head honcho.

Id also love for it to include pictures in the back of fish that have been stunted... Ive seen some pretty horrible cases where the fishe's back have become all twisted. Not sure if thats genetic or lack of tank size... But it makes a good story as to why you shouldnt put fish in a smaller tank than it actually needs?

...Maybe we'll do a comparison chart. Oscars = size of small cat. Put said cat into a 55 gallon tank. How ridiculous would THAT look?
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:14 PM   #7
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Tell them to stick this in their 10g..... How sad
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:34 AM   #8
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Figured Id just resurrect this thread rather than make a new one detailing horror stories at work... Today I have a horrible story, as well as one that made me smile.

A woman came in and wanted a fancy goldfish. I asked her the basic questions, how big of a tank do you have, what other fish, etc.

She had a 29 gallon tank. With five fancy goldfish in it. She had two red cap oranda, two red ryukin, and one black moor. She wanted a second black moor. Shes had all of them in the tank for a year. Shes only done ONE water change. She was complaining that they werent growing very much, and that the red cap orandas were turning black, and the ryukins were getting black spots on them.

I tried to tell her she needed to upgrade her tank to a 60 gallon for the fish she had and that she needs to do a 50% water change once a week and she completel blew me off and told me I didnt know what I was talking about and that I was just some dumb teenager, what do I know? (Btw... Im 23, almost 24. Married. With a kid. And I have a tech degree in Animal Science.... just some dumb teenager, huh)


Second story from this last week... At least this woman I managed to turn around. She told me that she had a betta fish (for her daughter) that wasnt eating and was just sitting at the bottom, on its side. She told me it was in a half gallon bowl with virtually nothing in it, and that she only changed it out once a month. I told her that she would need to upgrade the tank and get a heater if she wanted it to really thrive...

She told me that she loved animals and was really upset that the people who sold it to her told her it would live in such small conditions. They told her it would probably only live a year and she was surprised when I said they can live five or more...

She left the store with a 5 gallon tank that has a small filter, as well as a heater for him. She came back yesterday to tell me that her Betta was swimming around in the tank now and hes finally eating again. She wanted to thank me, and to ask more on the cleaning schedule. I think she helped give me just a little faith back in people!
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:14 AM   #9
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Wow. Good for you trying to inform people. You are a hero for animals. Thanks!
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:02 PM   #10
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Good to hear! It's always nice to see the people that will listen. Although there are some that don't want to at all, eventually it's all worth it when you see the happy case.

Why is it that teenagers are thought to not know anything? I mean seriously, some of us might be stupid, but we're not all incompetent. And why do people give me dirty looks sometimes when I walk into the fish store? It's really uncomfortable, and I don't like it.
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