By ALMA J. BUELVA
RECENTLY, Tiendesitas in Pasig City moved its popular Pet Village to a newly built area dedicated to pet stores. The upgraded Pet Village features more spacious and better lit hallways. The stores look livelier and cleaner and, more importantly, most animals for sale were in a cleaner environment.
If the new Pet Village really has air conditioning, I didn't feel it. Either it was a very hot day or the air conditioning was just weak. For the sake of the animals, I was really hoping it would be cool.
I was also hoping for better vendor practices. Despite the facelift, Tiendesitas' Pet Village is still home to lurking pet hawkers who can make buyers feel uncomfortable by acting shady.
They sit or stand around the corridors, near their place of business, spying on customers. As it happened, I would be in front of a shop window when, out of nowhere, a man or woman would suddenly ask, almost in a whisper, what dog do I wanted. Sometimes, the unsolicited conversation would be more direct: a price quote for the dog breed that I've been looking at.
At one store, a man who was leaning against the window like a bystander unenthusiastically spewed out prices without bothering to ask what I wanted. Not only was his behavior arrogant, it was creepy.
What's the point of having these hawkers hang around the corridors when the stores are so much nicer now? The pets for sale are not cheap, so how about some propriety, decency and professionalism?
Pet Village stores' first contact with customers should be inside their stores and not with some shady hawker behaving like fixers in front of a corrupt government agency.
Not knowing who you are dealing with is scary and it also makes you wonder where they get their prices.
Tiendesitas management should not stop at giving the Pet Village a new look. They should also educate their tenants on how to conduct their business professionally and treat customers properly. If not, then there's no point asking who let the dog (sellers) out.