In store shopping - The Planted Tank Forum
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  • 1 Post By Blackheart
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-29-2020, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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In store shopping

So today, I went to my LFS for the first time in months since the COVID19 pandemic exploded. It was really nice to go there as its my favorite LFS. Sadly, It was busier than I've usually seen it and most people in the store, including the owner AND employees were not wearing protective face coverings. I was afraid for my safety there. There is a state-wide order where I live to wear them in businesses and anywhere in a indoor, public setting.

My goal is to not turn this into a debate thread or convince anybody of what they should or shouldn't be doing, but my general wondering is, in such circumstances and times like this, how do people like us, the fish crazy people, feel safe going into stores and establishments to purchase that we cant other-wise find online or through other means? It's rather difficult.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-29-2020, 05:53 AM
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Was in my LFS today. My state has mandatory mask wearing outside your house. They will not let you in AND there was a 20 min limit...like you had to leave.

I hated rushing my shopping but itís the only LFS I have. Iím not in a small city either.

Honestly for me, if that wasnít the case I wouldnít risk it. You could try some workaround. Like if you know what you want call them and ask to pay over the phone and they can get it ready to you can just pick up. Or offer to pay a little more for shipping. Ask them their least busiest time and/or day and go then. Try and get everything you can online.

Yea I get the whole not seeing it thing and online returns are a pain plus itís more expensive but do you want to risk not seeing something before you buy it or risk getting infected with COVID? The choice is yours but ultimately going into an establishment with the conditions you describe is poor judgement IMO.

If you decide to go remember 3 rules besides wearing a mask properly:

1. Donít touch anything. Especially door handles, bathrooms and credit card machines are the big 3. Wear gloves or put a paper towel in pocket. Donít touch stuff in store.
2. Do not touch your face until you get home and can wash your hands. Or even better sanitize in car.
3. Try and keep 6ft from the next person and if possible the opposite direction theyíre facing/breathing.

These things are easy to do mostly and will cut down the risk significantly.
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Last edited by Darkblade48; 06-29-2020 at 06:43 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-29-2020, 02:42 PM
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Curbside pickup. If they're able to take payment over the phone, it's easy enough to arrange. If they are unwilling to oblige, just hold off. If what you need to purchase is an absolute necessity, I would suggest finding an alternative to the product if you're not comfortable going there in person.

You can also report the business if you'd like, but this has the potential to cause more harm than good (owners can be slammed with a hefty fine or ordered to close temporarily). Personally, I would call the store, ask to speak with a manager/owner, and voice your opinion about your safety concerns. Then, ask if they offer curbside pickup. If they do, pickup your order, then sanitize the bag exterior and everything the bag may have come into contact with (hands, car seat, table, etc.).
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-29-2020, 03:13 PM
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If you would like to actually be able to shop -in-store I would put the responsibility of following state guidelines on the owner. Call and ask if there are special hours in place where state guidelines for masks and social distancing are followed. Explain that you came into store to shop recently and saw that both employees and customers were not following guidelines for safety and had to leave. Then ask what arrangements have been made for customers that do not feel safe to shop in these conditions, but would like to shop-in-store.

Put the onus of responsibility on the shop-owner because, actually, not following state guidelines for the health of employees and customers undermines the efforts of all businesses that do. These businesses may be independently owned, but the impact of one business not following safe practices undermines the health and safety of the whole community.


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-29-2020, 05:08 PM
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If I go into an establishment and they're not wearing a mask I turn around and walk out. They've lost my business even post-pandemic. I was in NYC the other day, ordered a pizza over the phone went to pick it up and neither the guy making the pizza or the guy at point of sale 3 ft from me was masked. Turned around and walked out. Ignored his follow-up call as to why I haven't picked up my pizza.

Anyone not wearing a mask at this point with all the scientific data out is simply making a statement and pointless to argue with them.


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-29-2020, 05:49 PM
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Agree 100% except for that last sentence. When the World Health Organization put out "info" like this https://twitter.com/WHOWPRO/status/1243171683067777024 early on, a lot of people bought it and took it for gospel. I get that the reason was that they worried there would be a buying surge leaving no PPE for health professionals but I blame the early constant messaging about masks not working to be a big factor.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-29-2020, 06:14 PM
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Don't disagree initially some bad info came out, in fact it was hard to get a mask but nowadays the masks are everywhere and you don't need a medical grade one to make a difference.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-29-2020, 06:41 PM
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Never thought I'd see the day that safety equipment became politicized. Now that masks are mandatory in NC, I'm half dreading the next couple of weeks at work. Really hoping everyone who hates wearing masks gets turned away from someplace else before they shop at my store. My employee had an angry couple on Saturday over it. Imagine harassing a minimum wage employee because they politely ask you to wear a mask per state mandate.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-29-2020, 07:47 PM
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Never thought I'd see the day that safety equipment became politicized. Now that masks are mandatory in NC, I'm half dreading the next couple of weeks at work. Really hoping everyone who hates wearing masks gets turned away from someplace else before they shop at my store. My employee had an angry couple on Saturday over it. Imagine harassing a minimum wage employee because they politely ask you to wear a mask per state mandate.
Unbelievable. Its commonsense.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-29-2020, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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It is commonsense. I dont feel save anywhere without it. I work in a local hospital chain and I have have had first hand personal experiences in how bad this pandemic is. I wear two masks all day long, 8 hours. I know somebody personally who has died from their battle with it and my wife who was infected with it, sick for a month and recovered from it. So this kind of thing really hits close to home for me. As much as I love my fish hobby, nothing could make my safety less important as well as my family's. I did find that another LFS that I used to frequent is making all customers wearing masks mandatory in store. Sadly that LFS isnt as good as the other one.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 01:45 PM
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To each their own, obviously. But I'm not going into a business like that for any reason at the moment. If I can't do curbside or have some tiny bit of assurance that you take the health of your staff and your employees seriously, I can't do business at your store. Fortunately, most stuff near me has been fine. And I've ordered online in a way that I'm sure has murdered the planet.

This pandemic has strengthened my opinion that hobbyists tend to do best when it comes to livestock and plants. Can't remember the last time I considered buying anything alive from a store that wasn't hobbyist-run & trusted. Most of that stems from members here being awesome.

Everything else - hard goods - are easy to get online. Tanks and equipment, if they can't be ordered, can almost always be picked up curbside. Even at the local chain pet supply company.

Something to consider: Is it possible that the owner or management of the store just haven't considered focusing more on distancing and masks? Maybe it'd be helpful if you sent them a friendly note about masks and asking if they would consider opening for 30 minutes to an hour a couple times per week just for those who don't want to be in close contact with others. Many smaller shops have less than stellar ventilation, so surely it'd be something they'd want to take more seriously.


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Something to consider: Is it possible that the owner or management of the store just haven't considered focusing more on distancing and masks? Maybe it'd be helpful if you sent them a friendly note about masks and asking if they would consider opening for 30 minutes to an hour a couple times per week just for those who don't want to be in close contact with others. Many smaller shops have less than stellar ventilation, so surely it'd be something they'd want to take more seriously.

100% Agree.

If I had a customer tell me they havent come into my store since the pandemic because heard or seen that safety wasnt being followed ( masks, social-distancing) I would take notice. I mean, even if you didnt believe any or all of the measures helped.
Wouldn't matter- those are lost sales ( temporary lost sales in best case scenario or permanently lost at worst case scenario).
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 06:28 PM
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100% Agree.

If I had a customer tell me they havent come into my store since the pandemic because heard or seen that safety wasnt being followed ( masks, social-distancing) I would take notice. I mean, even if you didnt believe any or all of the measures helped.
Wouldn't matter- those are lost sales ( temporary lost sales in best case scenario or permanently lost at worst case scenario).
Lost sales at a time when your business is probably hurting pretty bad.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I went to another LFS today that I used to frequent a lot. They were a bit better. There was a sign on the door saying that masks were mandatory and don't touch merchandise. There were only two employees and they were not wearing masks however... I asked one if they were being made to wear masks and they said they are technically supposed to... But their air conditioner is out. That's a pretty bad excuse. I commend them for at least making customers wear masks and all of them that were in there were wearing them. They do do curbside pickup though.
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