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I have a little story from my visit to some LFS's on Friday. I am a little ashamed of myself for this so keep in mind while your reading that I do at least feel bad for the way my brain works.

Friday I went to every LFS in the area (all the ones I had never been to, and the once I frequent). When I arrived at the store that I frequent I noticed a very young black boy and his mother. The boy was probably no more than 10-12 years old. He was dressed in very tattered clothing, he had holes in his shorts and his shirt. They were looking at the salt water fish at the store and the boy was trying to convince his mother to let him buy some chromis. (this is the ashamed part) I thought to myself "I can't believe this kid has a salt water tank when she should be out buying him some clothes."

The two guys at the shop were busy with other customers so I continued looking at the livestock, and eavesdropping on this little kids conversation.....what I heard next kinda suprised me. The mom said "Shawn, look at this fish" the kid replied "yeah mom thats a cowfish...or boxfish.....they look cool but if they get sad they will poison the tank" I was floored, wow this kid is pretty well informed....the part that really made me laugh was that it was obvious his mother didn't believe him, and was brushing it off as his imagination. This little kid proceded to name off almost every single fish on that store....all the while pointing out to his mom things like "no I can't get it it will get to big" "or you can't have more than one of those in a tank". But the next part suprised me more than anything else.

The mother says well, lets find that guy so we can get these little green chromythings (as she called them) and the boy says "no mom, I can't yet the tank is not ready". "You've had it up for a week when is it going to be ready", she asked. "After all the monia goes way" he responded.

I couldn't stand it anymore, I had to ask..."mam, that is amazing,where did such a young child learn so much about this hobby?" She explained that he had seen the store 9 months earlier, and had begged her for a salt tank. She told him no it was to expensive. So he had made almost $400 shoveling snow in the winter, and had not spent a penny....saved it all. Then when the weather got better he had been ridibg his bike down to the shop and "pestering" the employes. It was this pestering over the last three months that had gained him all the knowledge he was showing off to his mother. I told the boy what a good job he had done of learning before he jumped in and started buying fish, and he grinned ear to ear....before I walked off I pointed back up to the cow fish and told his mom "those really can poison a tank if they get stressed" and I think this time SHE was floored.

Well I guess this LFS that I complain about all the time is not so bad after all. They had put up with this boy for 3 months coming in asking questions and buying nothing...and now as a result they will probably get every penny of his $400 snow shoveling money...and a reefer for life.......

It really was a sweet thing to see....
Just wanted to share....


Dave
 

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Where's Jay? You read this yet!! Thanks Dave for sharing such a wonderful story although I was let down a little as I thought you were going to buy the boy those chromis!!!:D
 

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thats just plain awesome! i have the utmost repsect for any business owner that spends time with a customer BEFORE the sale. informing and teaching.

they get double points for it being a child, and he is well on his way to being a successful reefer..

who knows, all because of that store, that kid could grow up to be a marine biologist! it could happen.

it only takes one seed to grow a giant oak.
 

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Awsome story! I bet that kid worked as hard if not harder for the money than any of us! We may very well be hearing from that young child as an expert in the future! Did you give him the address for TRT! I am sure he would enjoy learning more from us, as well as being able to chat with fellow marine aquarium lovers (which his mom does not seem to be). If you see him again, please tell him about us. Hopefully he will have some access to the internet and will check in!

Andrew
 

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There are always more scenes in the bigger picture. Never stop learning and never pass up an oppotunity to teach :D
 

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What a great story :D

Jenn
 

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It's funny how reefing touches people in all shapes and sizes...
Great story Dave! :)
I'm sure what you said to him will have a lasting impact... when we're adults words don't have as much meaning as they do when we're kids (when the praise is coming from an adult).
Thanks for sharing... :)
 
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