How would doing your job well get you fired? o.O
Caring for animals is not 'your job', selling product is your job. If a person wants to buy a betta, they expect it to be cheap. If you tell them otherwise(5 gallon+heater+plants etc.) petsmart might lose a sale. Believe it or not, petsmart makes more money off of the cheap 5 dollar .5 gallon tanks than they do selling 5 gallon tanks for bettas. There are NOT many people willing to put in that kind of money and effort--however there are MANY people willing to put in little to no effort, so in the long run, petsmart makes more money pleasing the masses, even if for a smaller amount of money each. Besides, even if their fish dies, they'll get another one, and another one, and another one.
One day at a petsmart could mean you could end up speaking to 10 potential betta owners. Now, the potential unknowing betta owner will pick up their 5 dollar fish, along with one of those 'complete betta kits' which are about 15 dollars. That's about 20 dollars a person, so if they all left the store with that, petsmart would get 200 dollars right there. Then they start buying decorations. Now imagine if 20 potential betta owners showed up, or if one of them bought an even more overpriced small fish bowl or tank. Heck, they could even buy that special "betta water" made to exactly fill one of the betta bowls with pre-chlorinated water, and THAT is just ridiculous.
Now if you stop them and talk to them, most people would probably just decide against the fish--we already know, most people get these fish for their kids or as decoration. They usually don't even like bettas all that much, and if they are going to spend 100 dollars on a pet, it'd probably more likely be their dog or cat. Most of the people will just leave without the betta if they even believe you. Maybe there is one person still interested despite hearing about all the work that goes into it. That person will buy the 5 dollar fish, plus maybe the top fin 5 gallon aquarium kit--38 dollars. They'll still need a heater. Honestly most petsmarts don't carry the best heaters--they might have one 15 dollar heater there, but knowing the people of this forum, we might even (gasp) suggest they shop online or elsewhere. Same goes for if the store doesn't have something good like prime. We know the store isn't what matters, it's the betta--So if the store doesn't have what the betta needs, we will gladly tell them where to get it. But where does that leave petsmart? Well, that person might spend... 100 dollars there, or maybe even less if they decide to buy plants and decor online. I know I spent 150 dollars on Dionysus's tank, but it was not all in one place. The gravel and tank was at walmart, a piece of decor was at a local petstore, the food, heater, and conditioner was on amazon, and the plants were on another online plant website.
So it went from 200+ to maybe 100 dollars, despite the person buying all the extra stuff for the betta. It ends up being a good day for the betta, but a bad day for petsmart.
So yeah, they could fire you for that! And they've done it before. Same goes for the reptile section. Show your boss you know what they are doing wrong, they won't take too kindly too it. Most of them have rules they HAVE to follow anyway, it's not that they're all jerks, but they have to watch their backs too, if their employees don't sell what they are supposed to, THEY are the ones who get in trouble.