From an RHUer:
So I was pleased to land a job at PetsRUs. It started out rather well, I was older than other employees. I proved I was hardcore early on, tarantulas? No problem. Rats and rodents of all kinds? My kid has rats for pets and they're cute. Snakes? Don't like them but not afraid of 'em. The bully breed dogs customers bring in? Love them, I have two at home. Okay so tolerable second job.
Then of course things fall apart. One of the first things I noticed was how quickly people disappeared. A co-worker and the manager that hired me POOF, gone just like that...the second week I was there. The next one was finding out which critters various co-workers were afraid of. You work in a pet store and perhaps you'd be pretty open to all creatures right? Wrong.
Next indication of where people stood. I overheard the store manager talking to someone while stocking shelves " Stupid people who spend money for clothes, toys, horseshit overpriced food...they're animals". Okay so obviously he's bitter that he didn't get a district manager gig. The next issue was following corporate guidelines. A shout out to anyone dealing with senior aged underlings, we like to know "why".
Young employees will suck up your commands without question. Us old folks tend to actually think. Wow what a concept. So there was the matter of changing cages. If you have experience with small animals you know there are cedar shavings and various kinds of paper litter for the bottom of a cage. Maybe twice in the same week I was told I "used the wrong litter and the cage had to be changed".
It turns out big corporate had guidelines on exactly the type and color of litter in each cage. It doesn't matter they all basically do the same thing. Okay gray crumble for hamsters, small crumble for other rodents, green litter for birds only and the ferrets get one kind in cage and another in their litter box. Unless the store runs out. Then you take litter off the shelves. When that runs out you cannot substitute another type. Maybe someone has to make a run to a sister store for the right bag.
The event that made me realize what kind of store I was in. They kept sick animals in the back room. They were supposed to be checked regularly. Don't forget people being afraid of certain animals. The guinea pigs did well. The rats, mice and snakes were lucky to get water. This back room was a death sentence. There was one rat that I knew was suffering. Swollen feet, labored breathing, after a week the manager got the vet. She left antibiotic and instructions to hand feed him.
When I was off they left food and water...not noticing he couldn't get to either. Finally the manager said I could take him home. The first day he ate from my hands everything he could. He must have been starving. By the second day I took him to my vet who was shocked he had been allowed to grow so ill. She put him to sleep on my dime. They eventually fired me for not answering the phone in the set script. At will and you don't even get a second chance...bastards.