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Old 04-06-2013, 03:19 PM   #21 
LittleBettaFish
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Wow I am 23 live at home, pay no rent, pay no bills and mum currently helps support my hobby and she still respects my opinion and is willing to admit on certain matters that I know more than she does. The fact that you still live with your parents should have no bearing on the respect with which you are treated.

Unfortunately, pet and fish store employees seem to become elevated to Godlike figures by a lot of members of the public. I don't understand why, but there are so many people out there who are much more inclined to listen to whatever is spouted by ignorant employees, than they are to individuals who have spent years in the hobby.

You even see it on this forum when new members post some horror story and their only defence is "but the man at the fish store said it was okay".

It is really hard to change the mindset of these people. Sometimes I try to convince people by saying that no one really explicitly trusts the word of a used car salesman. You know he is just going to try and make a sale and will say whatever it takes to convince you, even if he does have to stretch the truth a little.

A fish store employee is exactly the same. There are good ones out there, but most either push for sales or truly know very little about the livestock and products they are selling.

I have found with some people, unless they waste an embarrassingly large amount of money based on what the 'fish store person' said, they will never believe that any mere hobbyist could possibly know more than someone who is employed at a fish store.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:57 PM   #22 
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Fish store employees are like tech support and teachers. The good ones are the ones with a passion for the jobs, who truly care about the work. The same way I'd rather lose a sale than have an angry mother come back, or a kid left with a bad experience (I'm a theme park face painter, kinda stupid, I know but it's fun, and the hours work with my classes.), there are fish people who care to do the research on their own. And then there are the ones who it's just a job, and they're only there for money, which is a valid outlook to have, to be sure, but it's irresponsible when there are living things counting on you knowing what you're doing.
In that respect I can kind of understand how pet store employees get elevated to this 'godlike' state of omniscience, because the general public trusts the company to hire people who give correct information, because there are lives at stake; however insignificant some people may feel they are. The stores advertise experts, and there's a trust between store and customer to supply what they advertise.

If they do decide to go through with the pond, I'll have a bit of leeway in the supplies they buy. I suppose I could start with pointing out the big issues we had with my old tank and the pond at the rental( the filter was wrong and the fish occasionally got pulled through it. Most of them actually survived...). My dad's strange though, he gets stupid in love with his pets, he doted on those pond fish and loves our cats to death, but he has these bizarre arbitrary guidelines on what he'll do for them. Usually it's a time and/or money constraint.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:07 PM   #23 
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When I was younger and the internet wasn't as widely used, I was lied to by what I believe was the owner of a fish store. She convinced me and my mum to spend all my birthday money on a pair of seahorses, which she assured us were 'easy care' pets.

Well they died about a week later and I felt so terrible I didn't pick up the hobby for over a decade.

I learned from that to never trust the word of a salesperson, even if they sound like they know what they are talking about. I always now do my research before and after visiting a store.

It's kind of sad that there are many stores that operate out there where the welfare of animals is put below the importance of a sale.

It's even sadder still when the employee is in fact a very knowledgeable person, but they are supposed to stand there and forget everything they know because their boss or manager wants them to flog a certain product.

My dad sounds similar to yours on bizarre guidelines for animal care. Sometimes it's enough to make me want to pull my hair out.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:22 PM   #24 
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I think part of the problem is we've, as a family let ourselves let him take on a lot of the work. I do cook a lot and clean some, but even though my brother is 14 and certainly strong enough to do yard work, it's my dad that does the majority of it. He was actually angry that I bought Altair, because he assumes that he'd end up taking care of it. (Admittedly, that's what happened with the cats; in my defense I was 11 and lazy. ) it seems like in the breakdown of priorities, he goes "well the lawn won't mow itself, the dishes won't do themselves, but if the cats are outdoors the litter box will CLEAN itself." We're all guilty of it, and I'll be the first to admit that all of us fall prey to the "I am nerd I know all the things" attitude. So they're hard to reason with.

There is a small, tentative, slightly scary hope. My mom noticed the plants left over from setting up Altair's new tank, and suggested I set up the old one for my brother. I need to talk with her and see if she was serious, and see if its something my brother even wants, but it might give me an opening to establishing myself as knowledgeable.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:35 PM   #25 
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Maybe you can get a job at the fish store, then you will BE the person at the fish store who gives the advice they listen to. Plus you can start paying a bill and that will REALLY make them listen.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:37 PM   #26 
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Wow. I don't see anything wrong with living at home (rent free), and I don't think that means a person needs to refrain from offering advice to their parents. I am 27 years old, and I live at home. It's not for a lack of motivation or work ethic. I have a MBA from a well respected university, I'm working on a MS and PhD at another university, I teach at a community college, I work at a pet store part time, and I care for my grandparents (that's the home I live in and grew up in) large horse farm (basically a farm manager, without the $$$). They listen to me, and respect my advice. Now, I will admit they are not happy about the 3 fish and 3 guinea pigs I have in my room. But, they respect my room and the fact that I do their daily care and pay their bills (including crazy high vet bills on my pigs).
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:53 PM   #27 
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Maybe you can get a job at the fish store, then you will BE the person at the fish store who gives the advice they listen to. Plus you can start paying a bill and that will REALLY make them listen.
I've got a job, dude. It's a lot harder than people think it is, but I love it despite the low pay. On it I can just about pay for our Netflix account and my lunches through the off-season with a little put away into an emergency fund. I'd love to get something with some more regular hours and better pay, and air conditioning, like a retail job or a pet store job, but school comes first and my class schedule makes me all but unhireable. I'm under contract to finish out each season, so essentially I'm stuck where I am until Christmas unless I want to leave on poor terms. I respect my bosses and coworkers too much to do that.

Wow neptunesmom... I hope you don't mind me saying you're a little bit crazy, taking all that on. If I may ask what classes you teach? Speaking of thankless, underpaid jobs...
Kudos to you though, I have enough trouble with just working on my BFA and the one job...I can't imagine having to do all that.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:08 PM   #28 
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I'm a 22-year-old student living at home, who is also a facepainter. It pays 1.5x better than my retail job, and it is much more fun.

How did I get my parents to listen? Persistence. I got told off for nagging, for being boring, but in the end, you can't argue with water test kit readings, hundreds of hours of research and healthy, long-lived fish.
What's the motivation of the petshop? To make money. What's our motivation? To keep fish healthy.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:18 PM   #29 
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Originally Posted by Esahc View Post
Wow neptunesmom... I hope you don't mind me saying you're a little bit crazy, taking all that on. If I may ask what classes you teach? Speaking of thankless, underpaid jobs...
Kudos to you though, I have enough trouble with just working on my BFA and the one job...I can't imagine having to do all that.
I teach Introduction to Sociology at a community college about an hour away, and I have a teaching assistantship at my university in the Women's and Gender Studies program independently teaching an online Intro course. It is a lot of hard work to teach 2 classes, take 3 grad classes, and work weekends at a pet store. You do what you have to do to pay for the things you need. I will say, as an undergrad I could never hold down a job and attend school. I like to think it was a wisdom/time management thing as I got older, but to be honest in grad school full time is only 9 credits, so it makes it easier when you only spend 9 hours (as opposed to 12, 15, 17 or more) a week in classes. The workload is about the same as an upper level undergrad course (maybe an extra presentation or paper). It's just the quality is expected to be higher, which is not that difficult after figuring it out your first or second semester. I'm on my 4th year of full time grad school (I went straight from my MBA to a MS in Sociology, now working on PhD courses but still categorized as a MS until I defend my research) so I have a pretty good flow now.

As an undergrad, the best job I had was tutoring. It was flexible and you can make some good $$$ (even more if you did it independently and set your price). You just have to be good at a foreign language, math, English or natural sciences to make a lot. I tutored social sciences, which never makes as much, but there are still people who need help. My most was tutoring like 5 people 2x a week at $9 each session.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:21 PM   #30 
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I'm a 22-year-old student living at home, who is also a facepainter. It pays 1.5x better than my retail job, and it is much more fun.
Fellow facepainter! I imagine your summers are even worse than ours ;~;

I think if I can convince my brother he wants a fish, I might have an opening to do just that. He's ambivalent about it, though. At least he's up front and honest with himself that he's not willing to do the work...

Edit:
I had thought about tutoring, I'm semi decent at basic math up to about mid level high school, but I'm not so great with the extended social interaction thing...my mom keeps trying to get me to apply as a paraprofessional sub for her school district but, no. I remember exactly how I was as a kid. No way they pay me enough to deal with that.

Last edited by Esahc; 04-06-2013 at 05:27 PM.
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