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Recent Stint as "Mark"
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Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Location: Saint John, NB, Canada

PostPosted: 2012.12.02(Sun)8:46    Post subject: Recent Stint as "Mark" Reply with quote

Mark is my employer's Fish Room Manager. He usually works the day shift and focuses his attention solely on fish, whereas I usually have to share my time between Fish and Herps.

Recently I had the chance to work his shifts for a week while he went on vacation, and I have to say, I'm glad he took over from his predecessor and overhauled our fish-care practices. Between his hand-written task lists and the old task lists from the employee manual, it's pretty clear that the company we work for has a much higher tolerance for fish loss than he and I do, and absolutely no idea how to correct it.

I also have to say, it's probably the most fun I've been able to get paid for since I left the restaurant industry.

Below are the tasks I had to do on a daily basis that weren't in the book, or were changed from the book:
-Shifted Water-Changes of 20% per tank for six to twelve tanks per day. (Each tank have "days" they are assigned to for changes, so they all get changed once per week).
-Dose replaced water with IAL extracts (where necessary), AquaClear, and aquarium salt (old procedure had no mention of even basic water conditioner)
-pH monitoring for tanks cleaned to ensure shift was minimal; correct if necessary.
-Feed each fish the appropriate food (live foods on Tuesday and Thursday); original policy had all fish eating goldfish flake.
-"Dead Run" every two hours to remove any dying fish and prevent crashes.

In all seriousness, it seems like the jerry-rigging, changed-on-the-fly task list that Mark and our store manager came up with were all the important fish-keeping tasks, whereas the corporate guide consisted of little more than "make the fish room look pretty".

It becomes pretty easy to see why these stores have a bad rap in the hobby. In point of fact, I used to boycott this store entirely until my current boss approached me through a mutual friend and offered me the fish room job. He had recently been promoted to store manager, and was busy firing his old staff and bringing in people who actually had experience and passion for the animals in their department. I think that works a lot better, to be honest.

How about you guys? How do you feel about corporate-owned pet stores as opposed to mail-order or ma-and-pa shops?
_________________ - now with 100% more fish.
Solving the Problem from the Inside - Proud Pet-Store Fishkeeper
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