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.
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.
"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?