To start out, I don’t work at a pet store but work at a big department store that sells some fish. I like fish and have read over the little factoids a couple of times, trying to decide on fish for myself. I know that the fish bowls are terrible, but if a customer has one small fish, I let it go.
Tonight, we were dead. We had two cashiers on our GM side. I call over a customer from my coworkers line and they bring up three koi fish (not sure what they really were) and a tiny bowl, along with some flakes and rocks.
I take one look at the fish and decide I’m going to be a bad cashier for once. FL for fish lady.
Me: You can’t put those fish in that bowl.
FL: The person who got me the fish said they’d be fine!
Me: Those fish grow to sixteen inches EACH. That bowl is too small for even one of those fish. Plus, you need filtration for those.
FL: Oh I didn’t know that.
I turn to my manager (she was at self checks behind me) and I ask if I can shut down and go help these people with fish. She told me to go hurry, so I grab the bowl and run off with the customer to the fish section.
Me: Okay, so for that bowl you’re going to need a small fish. The neon tetras need to be in a school of five, which is still too much for that bowl, plus you’ll need a heater. continues explaining a bunch of fish, before showing a small fish that likes colder temps
Me: These ones MIGHT work, but they’re schooling fish as well. Generally it’s 1” of fish per 1 gallon of tank, and you need five of these. You could MAYBE get away with three in there, but I’m not quite sure on that. (This was on a different fish I forgot).
FL: Oh, well I guess I’m not going to get a fish tonight then.
I couldn’t tell if she was mad or just shocked at how much more goes into owning a fish than just picking out all the pretty fish you want and throwing them in a tiny, cold, unfiltered bowl.