I’ve worked at some strange places doing strange things. Whenever I have an interview where I am asked “How do you handle stress?” or “What do you do if you have to refuse someone service?” I just laugh inside…and then lie to their face knowing my ass would do the complete opposite of what I tell them. Hey, a man needs money to live, okay?
I’ve worked at two pet stores in my life. Petco when it was on Melrose and a shitty ass one on Venice Blvd. that I wont name because fuck you. I really hated that job. I’ve had jobs that I flat out didn’t like but could still do it without looking obviously miserable but the pet store was not that job. Here’s a list of five things I learned while working at them.
1. People Ignore All Logic
I know there are people that have well behaved pets. They can take them off a leash (which I recommended you do not do in public) and they wont go berserk. And that’s because their owners have trained them or taken them to places that handle that kind of thing. But it is not safe to assume that just because you like your pet and it is your angel that I wont want to wear it like a slipper if it pisses on the floor.
People would let their pets run free like it was fucking Runyon Canyon and they would grab food that wasn’t paid for, pee on shelves, or tear shit open. The owners of course thought this was cute. Knock knock. “Who’s there?” Its not cute!!! Control your damned pet when its in the store.
2. No One Listens
Even when I worked at the shitty pet store I had to take hours of training to know about every damned product on the shelves. This included all the food. All the flea products. All the bedding. Between both shops I know a lot of shit that I rarely have to use concerning your pet. Try telling that to granny who has had Bosco for 14 years and thinks he got into the trash which is why he has coffee grounds in his ears.
No, your dog has ear mites and those “coffee grounds” is dried blood. She wont listen to that and will buy a chew toy because I didn’t know what I was talking about. People come into pet stores to ask questions just so they can tell you that you have no idea what you’re talking about.
3. People Tip
This was one thing about this job that I loved. I would do a carry out just because it was something that we would do and people would slide a fiver into my happy hand. I would smile knowing that it was almost as much as I was making an hour then ($6.00 if you wanna know after two raises). Actually people would get upset if you didn’t take their tips. Not something they had to worry about with me!
4. The Managers Suck
Seeing as how I haven’t worked at a pet store since last century I feel fine talking shit now. Its not like I use it on my resume anymore. The managers at Petco ruled. They liked their jobs and trained me well. The first pet store had a manager that was close to insane. If crazy was a street, he’d be the speed bump in the middle of it.
They don’t want to be doing that job. They didn’t dream of being the manager at a pet store when they were children. If they want to make their employee’s lives miserable than by god they will! They don’t love pets as much as you’d imagine and hate people even more. They rarely help and when they do they hate it.
5. Everyone Is Expendable
No, not in a cool Stallone type of way. You will rarely see the same staff working there for longer than six months and you can tell which ones have been there that long because they just don’t give a fuck. Fishes floating dead in tanks. Dog poop in the cages. The cats are trying to slit their wrists in their cages. It’s a mess. I got fired from the shitty pet store. Why?
Because I hurt my knee.
That’s right. I was doing a carry out with a 40 pound bag on each shoulder when I stepped off the handicap ramp and all my weight plus the bags came down on my leg. The old lady I was carrying it for told me to be careful because she had almost gotten hurt before. My knee swelled up like a balloon and it bothered me until last year. This job taught me the meaning of “high turn around rate.” That’s a fancy way to say “We fire people very fucking often.” If you go to a pet store and the employee is nice, tell them thank you and listen to the advice they give you. But don’t let them upsale you. That was the second thing I learned to do when I first started working there.