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Old 01-26-2013, 02:10 AM   #1 
Cez
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What would you tell Petsmart/Petco/Insertchainstorehere?

I've applied to both stores for employment in the aquatics departments, and I was thinking about all of the times I've seen sketchy practices/sick fish at both stores.

If you could advise someone at those stores - someone who actually cared what you thought/felt - what would you say? What grievances would you voice and what problems would you solve if you knew that your words would be genuinely thought over and actions taken if possible?
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:16 AM   #2 
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I'd tell them not to sell so many poor betta fish all at once. :( There's always so many at my Petsmart. They have two shelves in one aisle, a front rack full of them, a back rack full, and two more shelves in another aisle. At least half of them look sick and miserable, or dead, too. :( Even the moss balls look sad.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:29 AM   #3 
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I think what stores like Petco are looking for is someone with retail experience first and foremost. Animal expertise seems to be secondary.

ALL retail stores try to determine how honest you are since employee theft is rampant.

Once you get hired, THEN you can possibly suggest changes or try to do the best you can for the animals with the time you have. I know my Petco has only a few workers on during the day and if illness strikes, everyone, especially the animals, suffer.

They also train people to be dog trainers and groomers. At my local Petco the head dog trainer is also the aquatics manager.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:00 AM   #4 
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Originally Posted by Cez View Post
I've applied to both stores for employment in the aquatics departments, and I was thinking about all of the times I've seen sketchy practices/sick fish at both stores.

If you could advise someone at those stores - someone who actually cared what you thought/felt - what would you say? What grievances would you voice and what problems would you solve if you knew that your words would be genuinely thought over and actions taken if possible?
"Someone who actually cared what you thought/felt" I find that a little offensive. I work at PetSmart, and I do care about the customers and their pets. I do not know anyone who works in the pet care department who does not have animals at ours, and who does not care about animals. I have seen co-workers cry when animals die, and try to move heaven and earth to save them. It is not an employee "problem", as much as it is a corporate culture "problem" and a customer "problem" in my opinion. Customers continue to shop there, and corporate will not change their policies (which employees must follow), until customers demand change.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:20 AM   #5 
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There have been some nasty employees too. Since the majority seem to not care, I think that is who they were aiming towards :3

Personally I would want to be in the fish section. I would make it my priority, to not only be able to encourage people to properly care for their fish (to avoid them coming back probably with a bit of annoyance behind them when the fish dies), make sure the fish are healthy - any dead are removed immediately (they are an eye sore and an ammonia problem), and if fish are sick to bring it up to the management, to see if we cannot put a "NOT FOR SALE" sign on said tank, to avoid wronging our customers.

But it really depends on the store too, since some stores won't let you do a proper job. They don't care. At least when I worked at the pet store (family run) here in town, I brought to his concern GUINEA PIGS with WET TAIL. Rare, and very contagious. And I took every measure to make sure they were quarantined, cleaned (bathed, cage cleaned out, sanitized) and not sold to anyone. We made sure feeders were cleaned, everything had food, and I personally made sure there were no dead fish in the tanks. The one thing that irked me since he was rarely there (busy man) was the other employee refused to let me clean the betta jars -.- THAT irked me a lot. If I could get hired there again, I'd take a lot more charge and make sure that EVERYTHING was good.

KEYS to a better STORE: communication, understanding, an open mind, confidence, consistency.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:37 AM   #6 
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There have been some nasty employees too. Since the majority seem to not care, I think that is who they were aiming towards :3
Maybe I have just been lucky. I have 2 PetCo's, 3 PetSmarts, and a local aquatics store that I visit and I have never met someone who did not "care" that was working with animals. I have met people who were not knowledgeable and were sharing incorrect information. But, again, that is a training issue not a "caring issue". Maybe I am not seeing the whole picture, because we do have people come from far away to our store because our fish our supposedly some of the healthiest. Our employees watch the fish carefully, and I know they do remove sick or dead fish quickly from the general population.

Almost every fish that comes back dead is the fault of the owner. I do try to convince people not to buy fish the day they buy their aquarium. And, no you can not put 3 goldfish in a gallon bowl, but I can't stop you. Yes, those fish need a filter and can not be in a 2.5 gallon tank, but okay I can not stop you. No you can not use distilled water, I do not care if it worked for your last fish, fine but it'll die. YES, you need water conditioner, alright good luck without it. No do not put a male and female betta together, they will kill each other, alright but I warned you and your kid is going to watch them die.

What I wish is that we could say "NO" and refuse sale to people. That would be a huge progressive step and save a lot of lives.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:53 AM   #7 
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I know right? I have had more people ask me (a non-store employee, random person who knows I deal with fish) what the right way of doing things is, why they had their other fish live "just fine" etc rather than ask the stores itself xD Here PJ'S PETS apparently has been bought out, Big Al's is decent for information and caring members, and Petsmart no one even cares to help you. Or give you the right information.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:04 PM   #8 
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"Someone who actually cared what you thought/felt" I find that a little offensive. I work at PetSmart, and I do care about the customers and their pets. I do not know anyone who works in the pet care department who does not have animals at ours, and who does not care about animals. I have seen co-workers cry when animals die, and try to move heaven and earth to save them. It is not an employee "problem", as much as it is a corporate culture "problem" and a customer "problem" in my opinion. Customers continue to shop there, and corporate will not change their policies (which employees must follow), until customers demand change.
I most certainly did not mean to offend by that statement, nor to say that all employees at all stores are uncaring.

It's widely thought that chain stores take poor care of their animal charges, especially fish. If people think that the employees of these chains cannot generally take good care of the fish in their care, they feel that the employees are either ignorant or do not care for the lives which they are paid to care for.

I was, for sake of conversation, simply trying to ask people what they'd ask of an employee whom they could be certain were invested in what they were asking, which is atypical of the general stereotype of chain store employees.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:29 PM   #9 
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ok here is something a lot of u miss out dont mean to get any 1 mad but most ppl i find working in pet stores care about makeing money looking good for they boss but how many of them do really care about the fish not much of them so if u have wat it takes to do the job i say go for it learn as much as u can about all the fish they carry , the customers will love u for sure , i have been in pet stores n see employee's on phones calling other ppl to ask them "wat is this fish" and i have met some that know wat they were doing too, it a hard job tho
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:54 PM   #10 
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I most certainly did not mean to offend by that statement, nor to say that all employees at all stores are uncaring.

It's widely thought that chain stores take poor care of their animal charges, especially fish. If people think that the employees of these chains cannot generally take good care of the fish in their care, they feel that the employees are either ignorant or do not care for the lives which they are paid to care for.

I was, for sake of conversation, simply trying to ask people what they'd ask of an employee whom they could be certain were invested in what they were asking, which is atypical of the general stereotype of chain store employees.
I do not think you meant it in an offensive way. But, it still came off that way none the less. I still stand by saying I do not think it is usually a situation where people are "uncaring", it is usually people are not knowledgeable, and thus as you put ignorant. Ignorant does not equal uncaring. There are many other jobs available at stores like PetSmart and PetCo within the store. If they did not at least have some desire to care for the animals they wouldn't have chosen that job. They would have applied for stocking or working as a cashier. In fact, I work with several cashiers who do not like animals and they chose cashiering because they did not want to work with them.

What people read as uninterested in customers, is likely employees who have a lot to do and are trying to get through many customers quickly. When you work in that department you are not only working with the fish, you are in charge of all the tanks and cages. You are also in charge of all the quarantines in the back, and all the sick animals who need medication, sometimes hand feeding/hand watering. You are in charge of all the products related to everything that is not dog or cat, and you are expected to be the one who answers questions about them. The people in that department arrive 3-4 hours before the store opens just to get a jump start on all the stuff they need to finish before closing at night. At PetSmarts that have adoption centers, (I can only speak with PetSmart experience) they are also in charge of the care of all the adoptable animals. That is cleaning, feeding and socializing (which is important if you want them to find homes) those animals. They work their little rears off all day (which you'll find out when you work there). I am a cashier and floor customer service, so none of this is anything I do.
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