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Old 10-27-03, 07:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
Cas
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Pet store "dream job".... HA!

Every so often I see someone post here about how they'd just LOVE to work in a pet store....... *lol* Now, I just have to wonder if these people are just unaware of what petstores are like, or if for some reason they think that they'll be the special person who can reform their big box petstore with it's policies set in stone, and can make customers who only want to be told what they want to hear do the right thing. So... here's my comment to everyone who thinks a petstore is their 'dream job'.....

Sorry, but have you ever worked in a pet store? Unless you're lucky enough to live somewhere with a <i>good</i> reptile speciality store, you're probably going to be rather frustrated with a pet store job. Pet stores in general are lilke any other retail store, except for about 1 hour out of the day where you feed and clean up after animals. The majority of petstores, especially the large ones, do not provide the correct heat, light, food, or shelter for the reptiles. And one employee will not change it - it's against policy to take out uvb bulbs, calcium and vitamins, hides, etc from the store's stock and give it to the animals..... it costs the store money. Some stores won't even let an employee buy things for the animals <i>with their own money</i> and put it in the cages. And while sick puppies or kittens will immediately go to a vet, sick reptiles and small animals very rarely do.

I work at a petstore, and at least at my job the reptiles get all the basics, and a reasonably good diet. But, then you still have to deal with the customers......... like the many many people who buy a green anole or a green tree snake and a critter keeper, and <i>swear</i> they'll be back for heat lamps and uvb bulbs and everything else.... and you never hear from them again. And the people who feed live mice because it "looks so cool!". Or the people who ask if they can put an anole in with their water dragon, or a house gecko with their green tree snake, or a leopard gecko with their bearded dragon.... and decide to try it anyway even when you tell them flat out one or the other will probably die. And THAT is just the hour or two that you spend on the animals, and the breif periods when you're helping customers. The rest of the time you're stocking shelves, carrying around 33lb bags of dog food or 40lb bags of kitty litter, sweeping or mopping the floor, scrubbing the fish tanks, scooping dog or cat poop, getting yelled at by customers because "my kid sat on his hamster and you should have to replace it and what do you mean there's no guarantee?" or "what do you mean you're out of X? My {insert type of animal here} is starving/picky/depressed/uncontrollable and will die/be unhappy/be uncontrollable until you get X in and it's all your fault you don't have it right this instant" or "my hedgehog/hamster/lizard that I bought 6 months ago that I kept in a cardboard box with cedar shavings just died and what do you mean you won't replace it?", etc. And then there are the times when you get in a sick, stressed out animal which you manage to get eating and watch as it slowly becomes alert and healthy..... only to see someone who doesn't know the first thing about it buy it and kill it because they don't listen when you tell them how to take care of it. And for all this, you'll probably get paid somewhere around minimum wage.

Still sound like a dream job?

And that's my rant for the day.
Dawn
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Old 10-27-03, 07:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Outstanding Post......
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Old 10-27-03, 07:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 10-27-03, 07:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Not another disgruntled pet store employee!!!!!!!
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Old 10-27-03, 07:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds like you had a good day at work Cas.
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Old 10-27-03, 07:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Phox, *lol*I didn't even work today....
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Old 10-27-03, 08:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm sorry to hear that you are not having a good time at the pet store you work at, Dawn. Erin and I both work at a pet store here, which is exclusively fish, reptiles, and inverts. Our boss gives us pretty much free reign to do what we need to do to keep the reptiles healthy. He's allowing us to bring in a bottle of Nix just to be safe. We change around the herp room as WE see fit. We take items off the shelf when needed to set up new arrivals. He recognizes that Erin and I do NOT give empty advice to customers, and if we tell them that they are going to end up with a dead snake when they put their king snakes together or feed their BP a live rabbit, it's because the customer needed to hear it. And yes, she and I are working hard to save the evil pet store from itself - and thus far, we have improved the conditions many times over, and will continue to d so until the herp room at our store is as well kept as our herp room at home.

And, lo and behold, I like it a HELL of a lot more than my white collar day job.

I just wanted to say that not all pet stores are the same - some care about the animals, even if just from a business perspective - a dead, sickly looking animal DOES NOT SELL.
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Old 10-27-03, 08:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I also work in a pet store and when I was hired I said straight out. I will not sell people a reptile, or any other animal for that matter, unless they are willing and will take home everything needed for that animal. I am very firm on this and the customers though hesitant at first really respect that and I think that is why I now have people asking my advice of various animals and setups. I have been put in charge of the reptile section and though small have made it work very well and have kept the animals in top notch conditions.

I know there are a lot fo people out there who want a reptile on an impulse and those people I send home with a book and or some websites such as this one so they know what they are getting into and can have any questions they ask answered.

As for lights, vitamins and such, I am free to do whatever I want to make the animals that people are taking home healthy.

---BLAKE-----
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Old 10-27-03, 09:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You know what? Honest to God you guys have seen all my "evil pet store" posts. But I can honestly say that the times that I DID work in pet stores, I had the best time of my life. It was the fact that they fired me BECAUSE of the proper care of reptiles that got to me.

But while I was there, I took home sick reptiles, I gave them all the proper housing and food. I did everything in my power to ensure their health. I even gave my supervisor crap for switching the sick gecko and the ball python into each others cages without cleaning...

It was the best time of my life to know that I was educating customers and also taking care of those animals. I didn't even mind Truck Day where we had to lug 20 lbs. bags of dog and cat food around. I didn't mind the mopping and scrubbing.

So it's not the pet store job that's a hassle...it's the fact that they FROWN UPON you doing a good job with the animals.

Jenn
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Old 10-27-03, 09:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm sure that's how it is with the large chains of pet stores. But I'd have to believe that if you work for a small pet store, they'd be more lenient and open-minded.
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Old 10-27-03, 10:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It's mostly the customers that get to me..... <i>most</i> of the policies where I work are at least tolerable........ besides things like, we're not supposed to refer customers to the internet to find information. Or tell people where else they can find something (hell, if we're out of mealworms, I'm sending them to the bait shop. If we're out of florescent fixtures, I'm sending them to canadian tire or the hardware store).

The thing is, most people who <i>want</i> to work in a pet store are NOT going to find a great job where the welfare of the animals in the store comes first. I only recently became the reptile caretaker at my store (I was the bird person..... I now hate lovebirds with a passion), and I love that part of my job - as long as I'm given the time to do everything that needs to be done. And I like telling people the correct care for the reptile they want to buy - as long as they actually LISTEN. I can't imagine trying to work at any of the chain stores that are complained about on a regular basis......... it would drive me up the wall to deal with the general ignorance and the inability to do anything about it.

And J-man, it really depends on the person or people who are in charge or set the policies. I've heard there are some individual large chain stores that do a decent job........ and there are some 'mom and pop' stores that absolutely suck.

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Old 10-27-03, 10:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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im in victoria and most of the petstores do an OK job such as safari pets, spechts and kritters & fins. all 3 of those i have asked how much they feed their pets, cleaning etc...and they do an ok job and none of their pets are very thin, sick and they usually dont have mites. but another store creatures great and small has possibly the worst staff, facility and pet care on vancouver island. they order shipments of ball pythons of like 15-30 at a time. i went back the other day and out of the 20 or so that were there about a month ago 2 were left in terrible condition, their eyes were surrounded with unshed skin, there was little pieces of skin all over the place, they were on sand and a mouse was left in the cage covered in sand waiting to be eaten. i would bet money 100% of their snakes have mites after being there for a week. but then again there are good pet stores that take good care of all their animals.

i also asked creatures what happened to their chameleons and some guy simply said ''most of them died''

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Old 10-28-03, 12:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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well while the pet store that I complained about isn't the best. They have definitly gotten better. I told the reptile person how to properly set up the BP cage (it's the typical pet store display, about 5 of them to about a 30 gal long tank). The next time I went back they had it set up like I said........2 hides (large so all of them could fit in there at once if they wanted to.) a LARGE bowl of water.......that was about the only thing wrong....they went on to put hides in the leo's cage (they have a friggin albino leo and a couple of leo's that have BRIGHT orange where the yellow would normaly be!) and in the Tokay gecko's cage (which I am falling in love with but don't have any room for him! )
But I do refuse to buy from pet stores anymore, and plan on getting the rest of my herps from breeders and expo's or shows.........
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Old 11-05-03, 04:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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i work in the reptile department in a petstore, only thing i dont like about it is that 95% of what i do is bag and sell feeders
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Old 11-05-03, 05:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I just started a new job at a pet store 3 days ago.....Im liking it so far, but our company gives a certain amount of money per month to which you may purchase/write off things for enclosures for all the animals, each departemt gets a diffrent amount and this is a big chain pet store. When i use to go in there i could do nothing but complian about the baby gecko that was in a 20 gal with no heat with the much larger bearded dragon! or the green tree frog with no water....or the birds with no tails 'cuse thir cages were too small....but things are really getting better, i think alot of it had to do with the fact that thier employees just were not knowledgeable enough to know that what they were doing was not good. Getting paid minimum wage to them just wsent worth the effort to reaseach what these animals needed. Now i know ive only been there 3 days but...in that time things have changed and willl hopfully stay that way. This is my second job at a chain pet store.....I worked at the other one for 2 years and had to quit because i was moving...Although their care was much better..im doing my best to teach the staff at this new place that what their doing could be done better. Maybe if you sit down and talk to your employees or co workers what you expect the enclosures to look like, they'd listen. I dont see why a company would say no to adding new things to an enclosure especally if it wasyour own money.....Anyways just my $0.02 Oh and as for customers not going home with the right purchases for the animal......I would refuse it no matter what anyone said.
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