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talk to the frog / General chat / A Petstore Employing Dilemma
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spydergirl4594
Member
1607 posts
1607 posts

# Posted: 27 Sep 2004 04:11


Well. I've been with the company I've worked for for 2 years now. It was a mom and pop shop,but now has 9 huge branches. In my store I am in charge of the kennel, all 32 puppies and some kitties. All of the reptiles in the store-50+ species, and all of the small animals in the store(birds,hamsters,ferrets,bunnies,etc) We have a huge selection of animals, and i have a huge responsibility being in charge,cleaning,feeding,etc them all(except for puppies-i get some help there). The animals are also checked by a veterinarian once a week, and i also give vaccinations if need be. For this huge responsibility,and eventhough ive been there for 2 years soon, I'm only paid $7.25 an hour. With no benefits.

Just this week I stopped into a pet sotre close to my house. Notoriously known to me for their poor caretaking in their animals. Usually there are plenty of dead fish, the reptiles are mixed together and dont always look so good. They usually have no more then 3-5 puppies at a time,and a few kittens if that. They have a few small animals, but nothing compared to my store. My store blows them away in cleanliness, caretaking and selection. I used to love the store,but when i saw how great everything was ran at my store, i was completely turned off. I applied to this store quite a few times befor eI got my current job, but eventhough the owner is a friend of the family,I never got the job. So when I was in this week, I said hellp to the owner I know,and walked back into the fish. There were only 2 people working in the store,the 2 managers. The fish department was really sad. Dirty tanks, dead and dying fish all over, algea growing like crazy, empty broken tanks around,etc. I was pretty turned off. On the way out of the sotre,the owner stops me and asks if I've ever applied before. I told him I had a loong time ago, and he tells me he is hiring. He said he knew I worked at Pets Plus and that I had alot of experience. He shot a few questions at me trying to outsmart me, but i definately threw it right back in his face. He was suprised to learn I had so much reposibility at my store and that I was so young with it all,and that I was so poorly paid. He offered me $10 an hour w/ benefits just to start. They need a manager for the store,seeing as the owner lives 50 miles away now,so they need someone to take over.

So what do i do??? Im so lost,and would love to hear everyones viewpoints,and what they would do.
I mean I could really use the extra cash(now in college,now have a car and an apartment)and benefits(im too sick to not have any). But the place is such a dump. My place is so nice and clean and the animals are in great care,i also love the people i work with. But this is what I'm going to school for-to own my own pet store. Do i take the opportunity? Use everything I know to turn everything around? Can I handle that? I'm thinking if i do I will have to enforce some major differences in the animals' care.Its just a tiny mom-and-pop shop,not big at all. Can i handle turning everything around? I dont know!

Ive had a few days to think about this and i cannot decide what to do for the life of me. Keep in mind there is no real chance of me ever being able to climb the chain to Management status in the store im working in,its just never going to happen. So give me some of your opinions guys, i"d love to know. What would you want in a petstore?


-Sheryl
Josh
Member
3432 posts3432 posts
# Posted: 27 Sep 2004 06:11


I would go for it, you don't have to change everything immediately, I would go in and clean everything out and start over with fewer species of everything and build it back up, but do it the way it needs to be.


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Charlie
Moderator
5432 posts
5432 posts

# Posted: 27 Sep 2004 06:11


I'd take it and look at it as a chance to whip that store (and some pet store flunkies) into shape.


We can never go back to the way it was...
bonsai
Member
1925 posts
1925 posts

# Posted: 27 Sep 2004 06:17 · Edited by: bonsai


Ok, I have ONLY your post to base this reply on, so there could be data that would swing my thinking one way or the other that isn't available.

You are young and neither of these jobs are likely to be in your long range career growth, but rather stepping stones and experience to augment your growth.

I think that you may want to explore a couple of options.

One, if you really like where you are and what you are doing, try to use this offer (be sure it is firm) to leverage an increase in pay. That alone can help make up your mind.

Also, try to be sure (words alone aren't enough, but rather on paper), just what your role is and that everyone is aware what your role will be it, at the place that is making you the offer.(this is if you are to have control in making changes)

Why are they making you the offer? To take control (and having that control be real) to improve the conditions, up sales, have return costomers, ect. or is it just to be another body and continue with policy as normal?

What are you looking for as a challenge. The place you are at or improving on something that needs it (with better pay and benefits)?

Which one will expose you to the latest technology and experience in the field that you are working toward.

My experience has been that the role I play has to be now and not promises (words again) of in the future.....yaky-yaky...blah blah or it doesn't happen (and your leverage is gone by that time).

Also, I ALWAYS have left the doors open to the places I have left (even the ones I wasn't fond of) and I actually went back to two places I had left. One was a place I wasn't fond of but I had enlisted in the service and wasn't going on active duty for several months. I was looking for a job to fill that gap and was being honest about the length of time I could only work for. No place would hirer me for such a short period of time. The place I had left didn't bat an eye and said sure, no problem.

I had your decision problem happen to me when I was young and one of the older guys at the place said "whatever choice you make, it will be the right one." He was right, and I past that on to you as well. Good luck.

P.S. The place that that guy made that comment, is the other place I went back to.

Focus on a your attributions, not to attitudinize, as some may have you do!


*snarky remarky at your service*...http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=snarky
lostriver
Member
1737 posts
1737 posts

# Posted: 27 Sep 2004 16:54


Find out just how much control you will actually have in making changes before you make your decision to switch jobs. It would certainly be frustrating to find you have no say in changing the past policies and practices. Outline the changes you would like to make and be sure the owner agrees and will give you the clout to make them. Be sure to cite how these changes will increase customer business and profit. After all, any business is primarily for profit.


Lee
utopia781
Member
423 posts
423 posts

# Posted: 27 Sep 2004 16:58


congrats to you for working so hard! i too work at a petstore, and the reptiles are entirely under my care, so i know where youre coming from. bonsai made some really good suggestions. its sounds like the other store could really use your help. you could really make a difference in the way the animals are cared for, and i think its a good oppertunity.

Josh
Member
3432 posts3432 posts
# Posted: 27 Sep 2004 18:32


Yes, like bonsai and Lee said, definately make sure they'll let you make these kinds of changes before you agree, you could use it as your leverage with them since they want you to work for them.


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spydergirl4594
Member
1607 posts
1607 posts

# Posted: 27 Sep 2004 19:22


OK,I've just come back from my interview with the other store. I told him I wanted a position IN CHARGE. I liked to have power,and that was the only circumstance I'd work there. He took me back to the reptile department(which is only about 30 cages if that) ad everything was seperated,and pretty decent in care actually. He said I would be in charge of the reptiles solely,and in charge of training new employees on products,what works,what i use,etc. I like this company because they do not have some name brand pulling their strings to use products that are garbage.So basically what I say goes there. There were other simple things aroudn the store that could be done. Like bathing the puppy(theres only 1,lol)Cleaning under end caps, Keeping the store tidy,cleaning fish tanks(about 100 of them-nothing compared to my store)Etc Etc. Aside from him there are only 3 employees in the store, and one of them is management.They DO infact work with the same veterinarian i work with every week,but only on occasion.

So i am pretty sure the changes i want to make will be happening. The manager also lives a state away with a new wife and baby on the way, and is only at the store for about 3 hours a day, that is another reason he would need me there.

I was really upset about leaving my company, but they havent done much for me lately. I feel bad for them having to hire 3 people to fill my shoes-but perhaps they couldve paid me properly.I love the people i work with,and i hope i can leave on good terms and still be friends and a regular shopper at the store. So I suppose my mind is made up. Im just dreading giving my 2 weeks notice tomorrow.They never saw it coming.

Thanks everyone so much for your help and opinions,i took your great advice. I hope this works out right-otherwise its your faults :-p


-Sheryl
Brian
Member
2274 posts
2274 posts

# Posted: 28 Sep 2004 00:10 · Edited by: Brian


Honestly I think they were useing you for free labor and to aviod paying another salary or two.

Charlie
Moderator
5432 posts
5432 posts

# Posted: 28 Sep 2004 02:20


Well thats just life there. People will work you as hard as you let them. Sometimes good, but sometimes its a little much. I hope things do work out sheryl. It sounds like it might be a good hop in the right direction.


We can never go back to the way it was...
lostriver
Member
1737 posts
1737 posts

# Posted: 28 Sep 2004 03:59 · Edited by: lostriver


Sheryl, the only problem I have with your change now, is you say your former employer didn't see it coming. You really should have tooted your own horn first, and told him you were considering a change for better benefits and pay. Sometimes, you just have to knock people in the head before they fully appreciate the consequences of you leaving for better pay and benefits for essentially the same job you are doing well for them now. If they indeed need to hire 3 new employees to replace what you do now, you might point that out before you quit. I have no doubt that this is true.

Any honest person will work as hard as best he or she can, regardless of pay. That's merely self esteem and loyalty. It's also rare. But no one needs to continue do it for an employer who fails to recognize and reward it. Doing a half-assed job just because one thinks he deserves more pay is unacceptable. But doing an excellent job without reward is just as unacceptable. Sometimes, it's like a poker game; you just need to call and raise.


Lee
spydergirl4594
Member
1607 posts
1607 posts

# Posted: 28 Sep 2004 05:29 · Edited by: spydergirl4594


Ive brought the issue of payment up before and the response I got was "Didn't you just get a raise?"

I started making 6.00 an hour at this joint( mind you kids who start now in the same position are making $6.50.) I have explained many of times to my bosses what I plan on doing,that I'm going to school to do this,and planned on staying with the company as long as I could if I had a good position. Theyve felt the wrath of my absence when I was out for a month this summer when I broke my hand while working. The store was a disaster when I returned, so I think my threat may bring some good my way, but it for sure wont guarentee what I want. There is absolutely no way in hell they would bump me to $10 an hour, then I would be the highest paid non-manager in all of the stores combined, and most of them have employees who have been with the company longer then I have. I can completely ensure I won't be bumped to management status with this warning, as theyre bringing in a manager 'who knows someone,who knows someone'. "Where is the loyalty?Hello??? What am i really here for?" I cannot stay because I cannot live the life i want to live when I'll be a middle-aged kennel girl living with no benefits and on minimum wage. I am too sick #1 to have no benefits,and because I am an independent now, i do not have any anymore. The most my company would raise me to would probably be to $8.50 give or take-no benefits. Same hours, usually no more then 43 a week, can be less alot of the time as well. Theyve stepped on my toes and booted me in the butt a few times. Namely when a boy from PetSmart applied to our store. They hired him to take over MY job(because he was in charge of reptiles in PetSmart) in the Reptiles dept,cutting my hours. When they saw what a lacking job was done, they ran back to me. And like a sucker, I've been putting up with this more times then I shouldve. When i was out with a broken hand, which was caused by my narrow working space, i felt more grief and guilt put onto me then anything, in fact, 2 months later i still havent heard anything about any compensation. Everytime i ask im redirected to someone else who has no clue. Its just enough, enough is enough. I like the people iw ork with as people. I like the animals car ein the store for the way it is, but this policy and backstabbing has gotten the best of me,and i think it is time for a change.

I have a day tomorrow to warn my employers of this new offer,and how much my hard work is being appreciated by someone who actually noticed. I am going to tell i will give them the appropriate time to find someone who will fill my shoes,although (as cocky as this may sound)will take them a few tries.

Lee,thanks for your advice. Its true I dont toot my own horn much, but I do let them know on occasion how much blood,sweat and tears I've really put into my job. Even if I warn them ahead of time with this new offer, it will do little to fill in the gap that there is now. $10 an hour with benefits, or the $8.50 an hour theyll offer with no benefits. Same amount of work, just a higher position. While my manager may be cringing when I leave, it is nothing to our owners who have absolutely no recognition for the hard workers their priveleged to have. I hear so many horror stories from co-workers about house reposession, children not seeing a doctor because theres no insurance, borrowing money to pay the rent, etc. Its just not how I'd like to see my future.

BTW- I know $10 an hour doesnt seem like much- but I am only 18(will be 19 next week) and this is a huge difference to me. PLus, it is only my starting rate, which i hope to increase gradually with my impression.


-Sheryl
Charlie
Moderator
5432 posts
5432 posts

# Posted: 28 Sep 2004 06:15


Hey $10 an hour aint bad at 18. Hell down here, your lucky if you hit that here if you dont have a specific skill like trades or management.


We can never go back to the way it was...
Brian
Member
2274 posts
2274 posts

# Posted: 28 Sep 2004 07:29


I'm doing an internship for free which I found out in previous years paid money so $10 an hour sounds great.

lostriver
Member
1737 posts
1737 posts

# Posted: 29 Sep 2004 01:24


Sheryl, it looks like you've made up your own mind, whether we've helped with this or not. I think you are making the best choice.

Brian: My own internship was paid-- 8 hours a day, split shifts or whatever they needed, at $200.00 a month, for two years. We did get free meals, of hospital food. One of the games was to play "gross out" with each other at lunch by naming the source of our sustenance. I named one "kitty litter surprise" and won the gold star once. "Am I supposed to eat it, or have I already," was considered a cliche' too ancient to bring up one more time. It was supposed to be an extension of our post graduate education, overseen and supervised by our working mentors, who more often than not, just split and left us to do their work.

Actually, this was probably a better education in the long run. It was like learning to swim by being tossed off the pier, when you know nobody is even bothering to watch. You either learned to swim or you didn't.


Lee
cheshireycat
Member
3789 posts
3789 posts

# Posted: 29 Sep 2004 01:35


Sheryl, I think you are making the right choice as long as you have the new job secured. Leave your old job on a good notice, but if you're paying bills and need the benefits, you've gotta' do what you've gotta' do.

I mean, I understand why your old job won't pay you more. Even if they do have to pay twice or thrice what they paid you because they will have to add another couple of employees, it's better than paying you too much and having to pay much more when everyone else demands a raise.

I just hope your new job really is what it seems like it will be. You know your herptile stuff and I hope you make a huge impact on them. Good luck


- Evolution is a theory, not just a fact. -
ginevive
Member
989 posts
989 posts

# Posted: 29 Sep 2004 19:50 · Edited by: ginevive


I think you made the right choice (sorry for jumping in on this thread so late, lol.) Sounds like they were not willing to pay you what you're really worth; think of all the animals' lives you have touched, and even more important, those animals that would have been improperly maintained without you in the picture. I am sure that you'll turn things around at this new shop.
Not only the salary increase, but the benefits package, would be enough to sway me. It is so hard (in my area, anyway) to get a job with benefits, unless you are fortunate enough to know the right business owners who owe your parents a favor, or have some expensive schooling behind you; and even then, you've got no guarantees.
I truly believe that you'll have your own shop someday. A friend of mine opened her own pet store here in Arcade, NY, about a year and a half ago, and she's doing awesome. It is definately a realistic goal for someone who really knows their stuff when it comes to pets (that would be you.)


-JEN- :)
spydergirl4594
Member
1607 posts
1607 posts

# Posted: 29 Sep 2004 20:17


Aww thanks so much,guys. Nothing may be too stable in my life right now, but I'm so happy i have yous to look to.

Well, it seems this new employer wanted to to a bit of fancy work with my pay. When i met him once and for all yesterday,he told me my duties,as follows:
-Clean all reptile Display cages
-Keep all reptiles priced accordingly
-Bi-weekly reptile inventory report(in stock)
-Weekly ordering of reptile dry goods
-Keep accurate records of shaffers(dead animals). File Shaffer report along with inventory report.
-Maintain clean,efficient, orderly reptile room
-Provide purchase order for reptile livestock as necessary
-Enter item numbers for all reptiles in point of sale. Provide an updated list of item numbers for specific reptiles( basically, each Specie has a UPC)
-Prepare reptile care sheets for specific reptiles
-Keep sink area clean
-Maintain 2 active floor displays
-Present report detailing new products, livestock, information, problems or questions to all employees at staff meetings.

So it is basicaly what I do in my job now, just I am not used to ordering goods(i only order livestock).

But the thing about the pay is this: For the first 90 days(probation period) i am paid $8.50 an hour. After that, i am bumped up to $9. 90 days later,if all is going well still, i am at $10 an hour. SO either way it is still more then I ever will be making at my place now. And the benefits have completely swayed me. It is insanely hard to get insurance around here now without some sort of corporate job,and even then your required to be there for about a year before they kick in.

I gave my 2 weeks notice to my boss today. My stomach was turning, I was sooo nervous. But I did it,and bawled my eyes out in the process,and he was actually very nice about it and told me not to worry and everyhting will be ok. Im still quite sad, but you gotta do what you gotta do.


-Sheryl
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