Archive for the ‘petsmart’ Tag

I still remember when I first posted about lizards on this blog and my professor showed it in class   1 comment

Sonny had a very exciting day yesterday! After months and months of brumating, he was finally perky enough that I decided to take him out for the day (“perky” being a relative term for a bearded dragon — he was keeping his head up most of the day).

James saw a “no exotic pets” note on the lease, and had been concerned that our new apartment complex wouldn’t allow bearded dragons. When he called up the leasing office, though, all the staff demanded to meet our glorified pieces of furniture, so that was settled. Sonny got to run around and do some human business with Mom for a while. He likes being in the car.

First Sonny visited our current leasing office. He sat on my shoulder while I signed our 60 day notice. The leasing manager didn’t even seem to notice him.

Then Sonny got to sit in the warm car for a good long while as I bought gas* and then drove to our new apartment complex. Or should I say townhouse complex, because we’re getting a toooowwwwnnhooooouuuussssee.

The leasing agent greeted me as nicely and professionally as she had done before, and then she noticed Sonny sitting on my shoulder. She went nuts. She went nuts over how tiny he is. She went crazy over his harness. She picked him up and tried to put him on her shoulder, but he settled more comfortably on her boobs, which made her laugh. Then she brought Sonny and I into the leasing manager’s office. The leasing manager was talking with a maintenance guy. As soon as Sonny was there, though, the conversation immediately switched to borrowing Sonny for a prank on one of the residents. They all cooed over Sonny and asked about the proper way to pet him. The maintenance guy asked me questions about how old he is and how long he is and stuff like that.

Sonny was perfect and sat still and took in all the attention. He sat patiently on my lap while I went and signed the lease. The townhouse is now ours!

Because he was so good, I took him to Petsmart afterwards and got him 20 crickets instead of 10. I probably would have gotten him 20 anyway. He’s looking a little skinny after a long brumation. Time to fatten him up for spring!

*I stepped in a small puddle of what I assume was gas, and then had to do a little dance to try to get as much of it off my shoe as possible. Now I’m scared to wear those shoes.

Posted March 3, 2015 by agentksilver in Lizard

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no gods no masters   Leave a comment

no gods no masters

The guinea pigs on the sales floor of Petsmart have taken to knocking their hutch on its side. I have absolutely no idea why. I can only surmise that they’re just rebelling against the dictations of their human masters. Whenever I see that they’ve knocked over their hutch, I mutter, “Viva la revolucion” and set it back. I’ve named the guinea pigs Joan and Ida to acknowledge their revolutionary spirits.

One of the cashiers decided to watch me feed the reptiles and small animals instead of work for the last ten minutes of her shift. We chatted all friendly-like about bearded dragons, and then turned the corner to look at the rodents. Joan watched me as I approached the cages.

I looked into the guinea pig cage.

“Look at this,” I said. “Look at you!”

I unlocked the guinea pig cage and took out the bowl of guinea pig food. It was mostly full.

“Look at this,” I said. “What have you been eating this whole time? This is full of healthy and nutritious foods just for you and you refused to eat it! What have you been eating all day? Was it hay? I have a whole box of hay that I was going to give you two, but now I’m not sure.”

The cashier was giggling behind me.

“What do you have to say for yourself, young lady?” I asked.

Joan responded by biting the lip of the metal food bowl. The cashier and I cracked up.

joan

Posted November 2, 2014 by agentksilver in Personal

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Stellapecunia and the start of carrot soup   Leave a comment

So the Starbucks at the Harris Teeter still hasn’t opened yet. They haven’t even broken ground. I’m going in every few days to a different Starbucks over in Durham. When I was given the store location, the store manager said, “But don’t worry. It’s near the border of Durham. It’s closer to Chapel Hill.”

I replied that I was new to the area and didn’t really know the geography of the area.

“It’s not in the Durham you’ve heard about,” he said. “It’s near the border. It’s practically Chapel Hill.”

I hadn’t heard anything about Durham at all. Apparently my confusion reached my face, because he said, “You don’t have to be nervous. It’s not really Durham at all.”

I hadn’t been nervous until he had said something.

I’ve only been once to this Starbucks at Harris Teeter. I worked an opening shift. The morning was extraordinarily slow — they usually get rushes of eight people at a time, but this time, there was just one rush, of four people. People came in ones and twos and there were long stretches of no one at all. We got to stand around and shoot the breeze a lot. The lead barista, Steve, has announced that he will completely retrain me in my espresso-machine-operating skills. I was trained to squirt the syrups into the cup, start the espresso, and then steam milk. Apparently he starts with the milk. I’m not sure what the difference is, but if that is the Harris Teeter way then I suppose I will learn it.

I don’t really mind taking my time with this training. They haven’t even broken ground yet on my Starbucks. A lot of my coworkers are getting assigned as cashiers just to get their hours. I suppose I should be more worried, about, like, my money, and stuff, but it still hasn’t really fizzled into my conscience that I make money to pay bills. Besides, I have a bit more time off, so I get to rest and focus on other things.

Like make new recipes! I’ve spent some time reading through various recipes on carrot curry soup, so I think I’ll head to the grocery store to get some ingredients. Last time I just made up a soup recipe after doing some consultation it worked out alright, so I’ll do it this way:

4 cups chicken broth
1 bag carrots (grated? baby? I’ll decide later!)
1 cup milk or sour cream or coconut milk or something
1 tbsp curry powder
Seasonings (I’ve seen ginger, cinnamon, and garlic all suggested)

I also felt sick this morning, and it just got worse and worse as the morning progressed, so I took an early lunch and stopped by Target to buy lunch and pain meds. I chatted it up with all my former coworkers, like Levy, Hunter, and Matt. Cheryl stopped me as I was leaving. She shops at the Harris Teeter where I’ll be working, and had talked with Angel, the hiring manager, about the Starbucks. She had found out from Angel that I’ll be working at the Starbucks there.

“Yeah, I didn’t want to tell anyone at Target that,” I said. “It seemed inappropriate to say, ‘Hey, Starbucks, I’m going to a different Starbucks.'”

“I’m glad you finished out your two weeks,” Cheryl said. Referencing a comment I had made about Ashley dropping Petsmart like a ton of bricks, she said, “We’ve had a lot of people just quit with no notice, and we had to scramble to cover their shifts, which you can’t really do, because no one here is trained in Starbucks.” She said it showed a lot of my character, and I got embarrassed and tried push the conversation on a different path. She said stuff like that a few more times, but I think her statements had more to do with her frustrations over the past several months. Lots of people have been quitting the Starbucks at Target; Manny, the lead, openly loathes his job, and Cheryl can tell his higher-ups all she wants about her frustrations with the job, but nothing gets done. I wasn’t the first person to quit Starbucks after just a short while, but at least I had the courtesy to treat my coworkers like human beings. I got the sense that Cheryl had talked to Angel because Cheryl wanted to get hired by Harris Teeter. Like me, she wants to try the same job with a different company.

People are more complicated than they appear on the surface. Manny appears to be a chill boss during the interview process; he avoids doing work. Cheryl openly rants about employee performance; she cares about your work and wants you to do better, and also she’s frustrated and needs to get it out.

Posted October 23, 2014 by agentksilver in Food, Personal

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This post has a lot to catch up on, bear with me here   1 comment

So last Friday I had probably the closest thing to a mental breakdown that I’ve had in a long time. I had gotten Saturday off, the day off for the first time in a long time, and even better, James had the same day off! Except that both my jobs asked me to come in and cover shifts for people. And then I cried, and then I cried some more, and I couldn’t stop crying, and then I couldn’t stop screaming, and then I realized that I was screaming because I didn’t have anyone to tell that I had Feelings. I tend to get over Feelings as soon as I tell people that I have Feelings. In case anyone is still wondering, that is why I vagueposted “I really need someone to talk to.” Thankfully, I was able to talk to people eventually (thank you, Leandra and Lacey), and when James got home that night I kind of sobbed into his chest for about two hours.

Still, it was close enough to a mental breakdown that it took me the better part of a week to get over the Feelings. This would have been a terrible week for me to make major life decisions.

Recuperation was slow. I nearly started crying again when I started talking to one of my managers. I was dealing with a bearded dragon with an infection foot; someone had had the bright idea of prescribing oral medication to a beardie. As she waggled a mealworm in front of his face, trying to get him to open his mouth, we started talking about Sinbad, who was chillaxing in his cage under the hospital aquarium. She referred to him as “the retard” and said that Alex had suggesting euthanizing him, and that she was in favor of it.

I panicked. I didn’t say anything, but I plotted. And yesterday, I was finally able to take Sinbad home. His bone disorder has rendered him “unadoptable”, so I got him for absolutely free.

sinbad

He’s not here to stay. James has made his position very clear. He likes Sinbad just fine. Sinbad is a charmer. His silly walks, his horrible attempts at climbing, and his little bit of beardie sass all combine to make a wonderful, unique beardie. It’s not that James dislikes Sinbad. No, we just have no room for Sinbad. Right now, Sinbad is in a makeshift tank: the old frog aquarium with some leftover tiles and Slinky’s heat lamp (Slinky is starting to brumate, so he doesn’t need the light as often as he normally does). We’ve shoved the tank in the corner by the dining room table, because we just don’t have anywhere else to put him.

sinbad

So on Monday or Tuesday, I’m going to hand him over to a reptile rescue. I just have to decide which one. Right now we’re giving Sinbad some space; he definitely has Relocation Stress, refusing to eat crickets. I’ll try again tomorrow. The important thing is, he has a chance at a real life now, instead of hiding in a too-tiny tank in the back of a Petsmart, surrounded by sick guinea pigs and anorexic geckos.

Other pleasant developments were chatting with a woman about Italy while I made an iced coffee for her. She wanted the largest size available. I told her the largest size was a Venti, and then corrected myself: for iced beverages, the largest size available was a Trenta. She laughed and shook her head and said that they really were “trying to force the Italy thing, weren’t they?” and I said yes, totally and rattled off a few more instances of fake Italian that Starbucks uses, and suddenly were were discussing Prosciutto and I told her about the Piramide in Rome.

pyramid in rome
source

I DIDN’T MAKE IT UP. THERE IS A LEGIT ROMAN PYRAMID IN ROME BECAUSE OF A RANDOM EGYPTIAN CULT DURING AUGUSTUS CAESAR’S TIME MEANT THAT SOME RANDOM PERSON SPENT MONEY IMPORTING A ROMAN PYRAMID AND NOW ROME CAN’T GET RID OF IT AND FINALLY SOMEONE OTHER RICH PERSON DECIDED TO RESTORE IT AND ALSO THEY NAMED A METRO STOP AFTER IT BECAUSE WHY WOULDN’T YOU IT’S THE ONLY OTHER THING AROUND BESIDES THE PROTESTANT CEMETERY AND A MEXICAN RESTAURANT.

I also get along fine with the girls at Starbucks. I have to suck in my breath and just take it whenever Manny, Cheryl, or Matt is around, but Makala, Alicia, and Shandy are totally awesome and I love working with them. It makes me happy that not all of my feelings about Target are negative.

And also, tomorrow Lacey is coming to visit!

whatever man

The downside of working at Petsmart   Leave a comment

Two days ago, the Pacman Frog showed signs of an eye infection; it was brought into the Quiet Room, and its eye was dosed with medication twice a day. I closed last night and opened this morning (I was covering a closing shift for someone else). Last night, the frog seemed…well, frog-like. Still. Pensive.


This is a Pacman Frog by the way. source

Last night, a man came into the store with his dead betta fish. He wanted to exchange it for another betta fish. I said that I couldn’t test the water if the fish was in the water. He asked what that had to do with anything. I explained that, per our policy, before we did an even exchange for fish, we tested the water. He exclaimed that no one had told him that. I said that it would be no problem, if he just brought back another water sample. He said something about how he had had the fish for two months and then it suddenly dies — Two months? I said. Because that even-exchange policy for fish only lasts for two weeks.

Long story short, he spoke with the manager, who corroborated my story. The fish policy is only for two weeks. The man left, sans fish, furious. The manager gestured at the fish in my hands and said to throw it away.

I went into the back room and held the fish cup over the trash can. I looked at the dead fish. He was a blue crowntail-plakat, with a blue body and head, rimmed in rainbow colors. He had been a beautiful fish.


This is roughly the body shape I’m talking about. source

I thought that perhaps I ought to say a few words. It was a dead creature. He had probably lived a short, horrible life, full of cramped spaces and too little oxygen. Probably overfed. Probably cold. I hadn’t known about him for but five minutes, and he had been dead the whole time. Still, some respect was due.

All I could come up with was, “You were a beautiful fish.”

Then I dumped him and the cup into the trashcan with the kitty litter, used tank filters, and hamster food, and then went on my way.

This morning, the Pacman Frog was dead. I didn’t react as strongly as I had to the leopard gecko that died last week. All I did was take out a pair of tongs and poke it a few times to make sure that it was dead, before I wrapped it in a paper towel, put it in a fish bag, and wrote down the date, my name, and the Pacman Frog’s UPC code on the fish bag. Then stuffed the whole shebang into the freezer. Then I went about my day. Feeding animals. Sanitizing water dishes. Medicating the living sick animals.

I’ve seen a lot of dead animals lately.

Posted September 28, 2014 by agentksilver in Lizard

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Poor things   5 comments

James (reading off the internet): “Would you slap your mom for $2 million?”
Kelsey: Yeah.
James: Yeah. I’d just give her a million of it.
Kelsey: I wouldn’t. I would just tell her that I slapped her for $2 million. I feel like we have that kind of relationship where I could do that.
Kelsey: *feels pretty bad about that*
Kelsey: I mean, I’d pay for her house renovations.
Kelsey: I know what she would spend it on.
Kelsey: She would spend it on house renovations.

I haven’t mentioned this before, but at Petsmart, there’s been a leopard gecko that hasn’t been eating. We’ve been keeping him in the back and offering him crickets and worms, trying to get him to eat. He hasn’t, so every morning and night we give him a bit of liquid appetite inducer. We rub some of it on his mouth, and he instinctually licks his lips to get it off. It’s not much, but it’s something.

Well this leopard gecko finally died last night, and I was the one who found him, because of course I was. It was probably one of the strangest moments of my life. I hadn’t particularly liked the lizard, but still, it had once walked this earth. And it was dead. And I had found it. I wasn’t sad. I think I was in shock. I kind of paced in the room for a bit. I completely needed to take a break and deal with the sudden emotion, but it was 8:15 and the store opened in 45 minutes, and I hadn’t fed the birds, hamsters, and reptiles, much less started any of the other opening activities.

I made myself go take care of the birds. It’s a much more automated process, for me, than taking care of hamsters and reptiles. You take out the bowls, dump the food, replace it. The birds fly away from you, so you don’t have to interact with them.

The hamsters were fine, willing to sniff my hand. The reptiles were actually interested in eating mealworms. What made me feel better, really, was people bringing in puppies to the vet. Puppies get a lot of check-ups, so these were completely healthy puppies who were just excited about everything. They wouldn’t sit still for a second, not even for a petting, but they were so happy that it made me happy.

I really want a dog.

The Most Interesting Lizard in the World
I don’t always bang my head against glass, but when I do, I do it for hours on end.

But Sinbad is getting bigger! Look at him!

Sinbad growth

He’s alert and sassy too. I’m nervous about his prospects for adoption. Look at the top picture — his leg problem is never going to go away completely. But he’s really taken off, health-wise.

Man, I thought I had more exciting things to say. But yeah, other than Sinbad and the leopard gecko, I just worked for a few hours this morning, and tonight James and I playing board games at the Gamer’s Armory. I tossed around the idea of running an RPG in Savage Worlds or Josh’s FASTTRPG system. Just to stretch out my GMing legs. James was for it. We tossed around GM theory on the drive home. I need to think of/develop a plot, and then I’ll start reaching out at local gamestores and on reddit, see if there’s any interest. I looked at the Gamer’s Armory flier board; a couple of people looking for games, no one advertising for players. Also, Gamer’s Armory is running a Pathfinder intro on Wednesday nights. I might email the people running that. They’re looking for players and GMs.

Posted September 18, 2014 by agentksilver in Lizard, Personal

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Optimism, or hamsters   Leave a comment

Voltaire’s Candide: or Optimism is a novel meant to snub noses at the idea of philosophical optimism, or the idea that this is the best of all possible worlds. After all, in this world, bad things happen to good people. The book is about a good, optimistic young man, to whom terrible things happen. He never loses his optimism. Or maybe he does, I don’t know. I’ve never actually read it.*

This is relevant because when I came in to open Petsmart this morning, the entire tank of large feeder fish was infested with some kind of scale disease, and about 60% of the fish were already dead. I spent an hour today pulling dead fish out from the feeder fish tanks. It was disgusting, it was depressing, and it got me behind on my opening tasks.

And yet this is the best of all possible worlds, is it not? If there were a worst world, those fish would still be alive, festering in pain with their scale disease. If this were a worst world, there would be no hamsters.


source


Via tumblr

*Candide sits on my shelf, waiting for me to decide, on a whim, that I am a smart person who does smart person things like reading philosophical 19th-century literature for fun. Last time I did that, I only got about two-thirds of the way through The Scarlet Letter, which turned out to be a thoroughly dull book not worth reading. I don’t know why Scarlet Letter is so dull: it’s meant to imitate works from the turn of the 19th century. But I’ve read books from the turn of the 19th century, and, like, things happened and the plot moved forward and the writers didn’t try to hide what was happening behind terrible, terrible writing. I HATE SCARLET LETTER.

Posted September 11, 2014 by agentksilver in Personal

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