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Pet Store Custys: Reading Isn't Fundamental

Cujo2 Hello again fellow RHUers!

This week I've got a scaly little number to share with you, straight from the Little Pet Shop of Horrors.  As always, if you're not interested in hearing about Pet shop retail horror I fully support your decision to skip over this post.  However, I will admit that this past Saturday left me questioning my status as a Puppy Pimp, since all day long I really felt more like an elementary school teacher because most of my time was spent teaching people how to READ.

Since we live in a Facebooking/Twittering/Text-messaging don't even have to talk to a person to order a pizza because you can do it on-line society you'd think that one ability that the general public wouldn't be lacking in would be READING.  After-all, it's all they do all day, to the point that they can't even go into a movie theatre without text-messaging. It seems like a LOT OF PRACTICE at READING. 

Is there something about shopping-induced euphoria that over-whelms that ability of the left side of the brain to function and leaves people unable to read? 

I've always marveled at the way that customers are presented with a challenge any time reading comes up.  Whether it's store hours posted on the front door (as they're pounding on the locked door at two in the morning screaming "ARE YOU OPEN?"), signs advertising certain items on sale, or coupons, reading seems to become IMPOSSIBLE for people the second that they're within fifty yards of a friggon cash register.

Puppiesexercisingsign My store is limited in signs.  We don't even post prices due to this idea of the owner's to "initiate interaction" with customers, so there's not a lot of reading required.  The few signs that are posted are in regards to policies in place to insure the safety of the puppies, and allegedly for the safety of the children as well (though I've seen more substantial injuries caused by children than to children).  Even though the one pictured on the right is posted in three places at the very front of the store it got over-looked quite a bit this weekend:

I almost dropped a Chihuahua because I was so startled by the blood-curdling screaming of a little brat who became instantly terrified when approached by a trio of large-breed puppies that were out of their kennels exercising.

"He's afraid of big dogs," his dad said, scooping him up. 

Wise move; bringing a child that's afraid of dogs to a pet store where there's a bunch of dogs running around.

Not two minutes later another little brat who was left unattended (mom was far too busy texting on her phone to watch her little crotch-fruit) also became scared and ran screaming as fast as her little three year old legs would carry her.  She was no match for Jezebel, Gwyneth, and Steve, who (like most of the dogs) interpret squealing (especially from children) as incentive to play and will gladly chase anyone who runs from them because it's a game for them.  Without tearing her attention away from her phone the brat's mother somehow realized that her daughter was now on the floor at the center of a pile of dogs.  She crossed the room with much less urgency than she applied to her texting, which didn't cease even when she was forced to to it one-handed, as she used the other to pick her daughter up off the floor. Psign

"You should have better control over those dogs," she scolded, without even looking at me, her eyes still riveted on on her phone. 

I told her that she should have better control over her child. 

Once the bigger dogs had their exercise I began taking out some of the smaller dogs, warning people as the came in to watch where they step.  Within five minutes a woman stepped on a puppy and expressed her concern by yelling at me that there should be a sign or something.  I decided that maybe the dogs might need a break from their break and I put them all away back in their kennels. 

"Oh it's so sad to see them in cages," a woman said as she walked into the store.  "They look so sad," she said turning to me, "do they ever get to come out?"

Later on in the afternoon I brought a family to a visitation room (a small penned-in sitting area where families can meet a dog)  so that they can spend some one on one time with my favorite poodle puppy, Mr. Foo.  Because it's been such a bad day for reading I told the family in very nice terms what is already written several place in the room:  Because Mr. Foo is a new puppy, he just needs to keep two feet on the ground.  When I returned after a few minutes to check on their progress was just in time to see the mother holding Mr. Foo above her head like she was about to shoot him through a basketball hoop.


So I coughed gently, and tapped on the sign. 

"Oh, right!" the dad said.  I assured them that it was okay, telling them it's not a big deal, but just make sure that his feet stay on the ground, or sit on the floor and let him sit on your lap.

Within two minutes I found myself back at the room, this time in response to Mr. Foo's whining.  I raced over to see him perched on the bench, sitting next one of the kids while the mother tried to get him to look at her so she could take a picture with her phone.

Mr. Foo whines when he gets put down on the bench because he hates it.  He hates it because he's fallen off of it so many times, like most of the dogs have, since people LOVE to put baby dogs on the bench and take pictures of them.  Why, I don't know.

The best part is that they put him *right on top of the sign* that specifically says to not put the puppies on the bench.  The mom laughed saying that she didn't even *see* the sign.  I wanted to scream HOW COULD YOU MISS IT??  IT'S RIGHT THERE!  RIGHT THERRRRRRRRE!!!  But instead I managed to tell her yes, because it seems to somehow have gotten covered with a PUPPY.

Out of shear desperation I would consider tattooing DON'T MESS WITH  THE DOGS on my forehead just to get someone to actually read, but I'm fairly certain that no one actually looks at me.  If they did I'm sure someone would've found something to say about the accusatory way I look at them for being so illiterate. 

Out of all of the things where you work - signs, receipts, coupons, anything - there is one that gets read the absolute LEAST out of everything.  What does it say?  And also, how do you respond to the people who manage to do something fucked-up because they haven't read it?






We have a store coupon that reads, "Buy 4 cases of Nestle pure water get a case of Nestle sparkling water free." It even has the pictures of both items. Inevitability noone knows how to read it. Most of the time they think if they buy 3 of the items they get the fourth for free. Or like yesterday I had a woman bring four of the Nestle Pure water to my register and a case of a store brand water--not even sparkling water--And hands me the coupon. Fully expecting to get the store brand water for free.

The exchange when like this:
me: "Ma'm this coupon is for the Nestle sparkling water--"
Stupid cunt: "I have four cases."
me: "I know that ma'm but the coupon reads, When you buy four--"
sc: "I can count, apparently you can not, let me show you, ONE, TWOOOOOO, THHRRREEEE, Four...geeze I'd a cashier had basic math skills."
me: "Do you have the Nestle sparkling water?"
sc: "What?"
Me: "The coupon is for the sparkling water, not the store brand water."
sc: "Not it's not."
me: "Can you show me on the coupon where it says you can use it for the store brand water?"
After fumbling with the the coupon for a few seconds, she ask, "Well can I just use it this time and I'll buy the sparkling water next time?"
me: "I'll have to ask my manager." Goes to flash my light. The stupid cunt then says, "Oh don't bother. Just take the store brand out..."



When I had my tobacco shop, we sold cigarettes. Since the place was high end, the cigarettes were down out of sight and we had a professionally made sign which matched the decor and everything which said "YES, WE SELL CIGARETTES!" I placed this sign up at standard eye level, right by the cash register, not near any other signs, and yet we still had people who would come in, stand in front of the dang sign, peer around it, and ask "Do you sell cigarettes?"


MY CLOSED sign is often ignored. I will have my light out, and the CLOSED sign will be perched at the opposite end of the belt, facing toward oncoming customers, as I am spraying cleaning stuff on my belt, or filling my bag wells. On a daily basis, at least one customer will walk up, look at the sign, look at me, then proceed to unload groceries. And of course, when I say that I'm closed, I get the intelligent response "well, how was I supposed to know that?"

Joe the Cigar Guy

Custy: "Is [Big Sale] still going on?

Me: (standing next to 5-foot tall, white lettering on red background sign advertising said sale) "Yes ma'am, it is."

Custy: "Well, you should have SIGNS up or sumthin'!"

Me: "Haha, yeah. I know, right?"

Custy: "What's funny about that?"

Me: "Well, you asked about the sale and here's the sign and..."

Custy: (*looking at me like a deer in the headlights*)

Me: (cough) "Well, you have a nice day!"

Kiliana Nightwolf

I d'awwed at the last picture.

Cujo, the semi-literate puppy pimp

Killiana, those are the dogs that scare all the little kids :) The white Boxer pup is Jezebel, the Yellow Lab is Gwyneth, and the English Golden Retriever is Steven.
They love to play and they chase kids and parents are ALWAYS freaking out about, but until the day that one of them actually manages to bite someone I don't really care.


We have a HUGE returns policy sign right up at the front of our store that is very easy to read and lists everything that cannot be returned. In spite of this, I still get people who ask me "can this be returned if I don't open it?" It's not as simple as that, returns have to be done within 60 days with a receipt or else you get in store credit. It's gotten to the point where I just list the three most important conditions if I know they don't have sale stuff or other non-returnable items.

The puppies are so cute!

bizhub bitch

Unfortunately, our society has become so self absorbed that no one notices ANYTHING anymore. People need to wake up, BAD. Funny thing is, it's always someone else's fault that they didn't pay attention and screwed something up. You could tell them the giant sign was right in front of their face, in the direction they were looking, but they would say "well, you should have told me there was a sign!" No dumbass. It's called accountability and repsonsibility, which is swiftly dwindling in our society.

bizhub bitch

OH! I forgot! LOL We have our company name on the only door you can open to get into our building, right at (average) head level, and our address right next to it. But I continuously have people come in here asking "is this XYZ Company?" Uuuuh, no *points at door* we are ABC Company. DIPSHIT. Then they of course proceed to ask me where XYZ is, in an office park of 40 businesses. No, I don't. I don't drive around the park on my lunch hour so I can be your information booth.


I just started volunteering at my local library (yay books!) and not 15 minutes after I arrived yesterday, some mom and her two spawn started banging on the glass doors and peering in through cupped hands at us as we shelved books. Really?!? The sign RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU THAT YOU ARE LITERALLY BANGING WITH YOUR FIST said we were closed for another two hours.

Token Female

OMG PUPPIES! Those cuties in the last picture (particularly the little pit - so adorable) totally just made my day!

Since I work at a supermarket, there's not a lot that you actually have to read. We do, however, have a problem with customers who can't locate something RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR FACE. I have no problem with people who are looking on the wrong shelf, since there are certain areas of the store where we've got tons of little tiny bottles on shelves so it's hard to see what you want in that mess, but the people who don't even say thank you when I point out an item that's right in front of them really annoy me. So do the people who ask me "Where are your eggs?" as if they're not in the refrigerated section of just about every grocery store ever. And typically this is right in the front of the store where you can stare down the aisle and see all the bags of refrigerated cheese... which should be a good indication that that's a refrigerated section.


I work at a pet store too, and we have a cat adoption center in-store. For some reason, everyone's instinct is to tap on the plexiglass on the outside of the cats' cages, despite the 5 signs reading "Do not tap the glass." I get the appeal- you want to get the cat's attention, but all that noise is making them anxious. And the worst part is when parents who can read don't stop their small children from just pounding on it like they're going to break through.

But that's beside the point. The point here is OMGWTFBBQPUPPIES!!


We have the menus posted in at least 2 places in EVERY restaurant I work at, and NOBODY bothers to read them. EVER.

So I constantly get asked if I have things that are not on our menu. >.o It's especially irksome when I'm in one of the smaller stands where you can LITERALLY see our entire food supply. I wonder where these people think I'm hiding the stuff they ask for.


Can you have anyone who takes puppies into the socialization area to SIGN something stating they will abide by the rules listed or the puppy goes away?
PS: I want Steven!!


“No dumbass. It's called accountability and repsonsibility, which is swiftly dwindling in our society”

Tru dat. It’s always someone else’s fault - the scary muslims, the scary atheists, the scary feminists, the scary gays, the scary immigrants, the scary scientists, the scary teachers, the scary unions, the scary government, etc etc etc.

I wonder though if the lack of attention to signage is at least partly because of the sheer ubiquity of signage. I mean, seriously, everywhere you go you’re inundated with signs and advertizing. I can’t speak for everyone, but I certainly start to tune it out.

But, since I was once a retail slave, I do pay attention to those. Perhaps that’s the ticket - make everyone go through a stint as a retail slave.


Siggghhhh- we have a massive "CONSIGNMENT BY APPOINTMENT ONLY" sign that gets routinely ignored.When someone is a condescending bitch about it-or pulls the "Oh,I used to do drop offs alllll the time, the owner let me do it"- I give them the look of someone who has seen a fat turd steaming upon their Louis Vuitton bag, and show them the amount of work that I am singlehandedly responsible for.I even have some assholes try to weasel their way further-until I show them the backroom full of crap to be donated & claim that all of that is my awaiting work.Cue jaw drop, gulp, apology.


There's a large sign behind the front desk that says "CHECK-OUT 11AM." We verbally tell the guests this when they check in. It's even printed in bold on the form they have to sign. And yet people keep asking when check-out is. Or worse, they're surprised when we phone up to their room at noon to remind them that they will be charged late fees if they don't get down to the front desk tout suite.

Eyescan Chick

I rather like the fact that we have hand-sized, stop sign shaped and colored signs on every u-scan that says "Please do not remove bags until your transaction is fully completed" But people continually take them into their wagon and then look at me like it;s my fault the machine won't let them continue. "Please place the last item BACK on the scale"

Parking Bitch

Well, I work in a parkade so you can just imagine the illiteracy that goes on in there. My favourite though is the people who ask where the elevator is. I get 20 of them a night. This is pretty frustrating for me because a) On a busy night, there is literally a constant stream of people all heading towards the elevators b) every second pillar in every aisle (so every 6 parking spaces) has an arrow painted on it with the word elevator just above it c) The ENTIRE North wall of the parkade has "ELEVATOR" painted on it in 4 foot lettering and d) the majority of the customers have to drive past the elevators and giant lettering in order to find a parking spot.

There's also the people who ignore the giant arrows pointed on the ground and go in the opposite direction that they're supposed to. One woman drove around the main floor 4 times trying to find the ramp to the lower level, and of course she couldn't find it because it was in a Y-shaped split; she was going from the top of the Y to the bottom, instead of from the bottom to the top like everyone else.

Laughing Barista

We have a sign on the register that reads "If your receipt is not accurately priced your order is FREE."

The other day one of my employees was finishing the transaction and waiting for the receipt to print (the registers have been lagging lately--yay technology!) when the customer goes "MY ORDER IS FREE!" The employee now has the receipt in his hand waiting to give it to the customer and tries explaining that he was just waiting for it to print. The customer tries to argue and claims that he deserves his order for free because he didn't receive a receipt (even though the employee was trying to hand it to him the entire time).

I don't get why people can't read. I get that if you don't get a receipt then you haven't gotten an accurately priced receipt, but you're right in front of the register and the employee has your receipt in his hand trying to give it to you. Come on.

enslaved beauty advisor

Many times it's selective reading. They want to read what they want or think the sign should state.
We get this a lot during a purchase with purchase. The sign will be printed "$32.00 WITH fragrance purchase." Meaning, duh, you can BUY the promotional item FOR $32.00 when you buy a fragrance. It is not a free gift with purchase, when the sign is printed with "FREE with any $32.00 purchase."
But we have so many people obsessed with freebies they will not read the sign, or they will with limited reading comprehension skills. They will insist that no, that's not $32.00, but FREE. They will point to the sign as if we're imbeciles, and say, "No, it says here…" and we have to explain it five times or so before they, reluctantly, give up. "You mean it's not free? I have to buy a perfume and pay for this too?"


OMG Cujo, Thse pups are adorable. I give you credit doing what you do, I'd have to take everyone one of those pups home.

Nothing to do with RHU, but I have cute story.

I have a Landseer Newfoundland. She is very well trained and one day we were walking off leash and she was trotting down the middle of the road. Everyone knows her and loves her, but this one day 2 new little girls were out playing with the neighbor kid. Next thing I know these two little girls are screaming and crying...I'm yelling "She's friendly, don't worry." As I take off running and get closer to the little girls, they are now half laughing, half crying and saying "Oh, it's just a dog, we thought it was a cow running down the street." I laughed so hard and they fell in love with her.

C-Store Jockey


Posted on the door in RED BLOCK LETTERS, then again on the side of a filing cabinet in customer view as they are walking towards the stockroom.

Laughing Barista

I just thought of another one.

We do not accept $50s or $100s anymore due to a counterfeit ring in our area that has created bills that have deceived the little markers that we have.

We have a sign on the door clearly stating this before you walk in, a sign in front of the registers clearly stating this and a sign on the speaker in the drive-thru that also clearly states this. However, at least once a day we get someone trying to give us a $50 or a $100 claiming that they just got it from the bank and that it's money and how can we not take it? I once had a lady ask me "What, are we in a third world country now?"

I do not create the rules. That's the job of the owner. I just know that if I accept a fraudulent bill that I will be responsible for paying the difference and that's not something that I want to or should have to do.

I get where people are coming from with this (money is money and all of that) but it's a store policy that I have to abide by and whenever someone gives me a problem I remind them that there are signs all over the store that clearly state this.

NC Tony

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

You could have a ten foot sign, a neon sign, fireworks, a live band, celebrities, confetti, a parade, dancing girls, the terms and conditions on a repeat loop all at the same time and people would STILL miss the sign.

Cat Peddler

Ahhh, 672, I work for one of the rescues that puts their kitties in those stores. Everyone ignores that sign! I have even had parents show their children how to tap on the glass (the parents will literally tap on the sign), and children seem to love to head-slam the glass for whatever reason.

However, what really drives me mad are those people that bring their dogs up to the glass and then laugh like mad when the cats freak out and begin to attack each other because of re-directed aggression. The store won't let us put up our own sign (warning that many of the cats are scared of dogs) and they won't put up their own sign... not that anyone would read it...

Grendus the Self Check Guy

I have one of those "Lane Closed" signs on my register, because it's quite literally the worst register in the store (one square foot of bag space, one square foot of storage space, and the only place to put carts is right in the line of traffic - fine for small purchases but there's no way in hell I'm going to check groceries on that thing). At least twice a night, I have someone come up, point to me, and ask "are you open?" Yea, I just keep the sign there for the positive vibes it gives off *facepalm*.

People actually using the self checks are probably the biggest offenders though. The screen says "Please place item in bagging AREA!" They take the item, put it in a bag, put the bag in their cart, and then scream "I did put it in a bag!" They then completely miss the button that says "I don't want to bag this item," which would get rid of the error, and just stand there.

90% of them are really good, I swear, but the idiots just grate on your nerves.


To charge to a chipcard debit or credit card, slide the card into the slot and follow the directions on the screen. These directions include the following "please stand by" words:

Of course, half to a third of our customers read only the second line, remove their card, then when their transaction fails they claim the machine told them to do it -- as though arguing with me will somehow magically form a psychic link between their card and our bank.

Queer Geek

It's sad that no one bothers to read signs anymore.


I used to work in a retail store...people would read the signs alright. They would read the 40% discount that was put on items 4 ailes down and suppose their article was also on sale because they saw a 40% off sign "over there" .


I think what it amounts to is that no one bothers to READ anymore. Kids watch tv, they play video games, they might play board games or card games if they are really lucky. But nobody reads. I read a lot as a kid and as an adult, and my kids read a lot as a kid because I taught them the value of reading. Nowadays it just isn't done unless its an abbreviated text message "dun in txt spk & skmd ovr n cls".

Kids no longer have to get their information from books, so they get their information from the internet by skimming. They go through the whole world now by skimming. They skim the news, they skim for their homework, they skim Facebook, and now they skim what's directly in front of them including the most important things, like simple directions.

Also, how many are distracted by their cell phones/mp3 players? Ever since the invention of the earphone, people have been getting run over by buses because they haven't been watching where they were going because they were paying attention to what was on the other end of the earphone. This is nothing new. Its just way more obvious and in-your-face because back in the 60's-70's, your mother would have slapped it outta-yo'-face if you hadn't acknowledged the clerk when you paid for your candy by saying "please" and "thank you".

P.S. Token Female: Please do not use the word "pittie" to describe a dog. With the negative sensationalism surrounding several breeds, I highly suggest you check out this website:

And for anyone who thinks they know what a "pit bull" looks like, feel free to take the test:


AWWWW!!!! That last pic is ADORABLE! I'd plop right down in the floor (against a wall and hopefully out of the way) with them and let them attack me. lol I love love love puppies. I've always owned a dog for as long as I can remember and I know sometimes they just want to jump all over you with excitement.

I also think hellspawn have no place around young animals. Neither one can really control themselves yet and someone is going to get hurt.

Pandora Bracelets

"Please place the last item BACK on the scale"


with rebate. they NEVER read that part.


Least read sign at my work? (a coffee house chain)
The menu.

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