On Thursday afternoon, with an excited child, I returned to PETCO and requested help from an employee at the front desk. My son ran ahead to try and find the two fish he wanted. [Redacted], who identified herself as an Aquatic Specialist, joined me on the way to the fish department. I told her we wanted two small goldfish ($2.99 each), at which point she asked the aquarium size. When I informed her it was five gallons, she stopped and informed me she could not sell me goldfish. Stunned, I asked why. She told me that since goldfish grow to ten inches, I would have to have a tank that could accommodate such a fish.
Incredulous, I explained to her that I had purchased the entire tank system only last week, and I had been clear with the previous employee that we intended to buy two small goldfish. She informed me, in her opinion it was unethical to put two goldfish in a five gallon tank, because they would grow larger. I stood agog in the fish department, while my son continued to press his face to the blue tanks in anticipation of his new fish.
My son was still blissfully ignorant of the conflict— children with autism often struggle with change, and this was an event he had been anticipating with great joy. Through rising tension, I told her I would simply purchase a larger tank if the fish grew too big, but for right now, two 2″ fish in five gallons of water was reasonable. She self-righteously stated that was not acceptable, and refused.
Lady, I don’t care that your son has autism. If he doesn’t deal with change well, how the hell would he deal with his ‘beloved’ goldfish dying within WEEKS of being put in a 5 gallon aquarium? Just get the kid a betta. A betta would work out great for a 5 gallon tank.
One goldfish would not.
Two goldfish would not.
You are a terrible person for thinking it’s okay for you to torture goldfish to make your son, autistic or not, happy, and for getting pissed off at the knowledgable employee who tried to tell you that you didn’t have an appropriate setup for goldfish.
The employee was CORRECT in refusing to sell you two goldfish for a 5 gallon tank.
More employees should refuse pet sales to people who have lethally inappropriate setups for them.
The best part?
I spent a fair amount of money on the tank set-up and supplies, and I returned to PETCO out of loyalty to buy our fish. Instead of a friendly experience, we were shamed and more care was shown for the well-being of a two-inch fish than was shown for my child, and for me as a customer.
Oh, shut up, you cruel, entitled, self-centered, bitch.
You and your son are, in fact, NOT so important that it’s okay for you to justify torturing “little 2 inch goldfish” because he has ~*~*~autism~*~*~. Your son having autism doesn’t give you a magic “get out of being a decent person free” card.
There are exactly two people she would have any right to be upset with:
1) Herself, for not bothering to research the needs of a pet she wanted to let her son get.
2) The employee who gave her incorrect information and told her that a 5 gallon tank would be suitable for a pair of goldfish.