Rhonda Jo, or "RJ" has lived 35 years of #lifeatpetsmart and describes it as "happiness, inspiring, and challenging." She is a legend among us who has been with PetSmart since nearly the very beginning, and we are so happy to have her amazing self in our pack! Starting as a cashier in PetSmart's third store, she has since held several other positions. Her current role is the Infrastructure Asset Manager (ITAM) at our Phoenix Home Office. Yay, PHO! ☀️
Let's dig into some of the goodness that's been part of RJ's journey over the years. 👍
RJ's motto is "Keep your smile on," 😄 and she's been making pets, pet parents, and the people in our pack smile for about 67% of her entire life—how cool is that?! ❤️ She says,
"My motto is not meant to instruct, but to remind…mostly myself, but hopefully others, too. Even on a bad day, it is important to find our smile as it is our best weapon against sadness, the best motivator to find joy, and the best way to inspire a little #happiness in others. My #lifeatpetsmart and the amazing people I have had the pleasure and honor to work with in the PetSmart Pack make me smile…how about you?" 👍🏻😃🐾
We asked her a few questions about #LifeAtPetSmart over the years...
What’s the craziest change to hit the pet industry over the past 35 or so years?
An automatic cat litter box that cleans itself, oh, and the internet (online sales -vs- only in store) 😊
What’s inspired you to stay with PetSmart for all these years?
Animal lovers have a special place in their hearts for pets and are kind and thoughtful people…this makes for amazing coworkers and a strong, successful team.
What’s your favorite PetSmart memory or a favorite pet/pet parent you’ve worked with?
Going to have to go back to my first week on the job for this one. My fellow Associates at the store I worked in played a prank on me right when I started. I was a teenager, full of ambition to help every customer who walked through the door with all the right answers and a big smile on my face.
A coworker told me that there was an elderly woman in the next aisle who needed help and I jumped at the chance to offer her assistance. I walked up to her and saw that she was very perplexed and had a look of worry on her face. I asked if I could help her, and her face lit up a bit when I asked to meet her little teacup poodle. The pup and I exchanged the customary pleasantries of some hugs, kisses, and my baby talk, and then the sweet woman started asking questions about the food her Vet told her to get. I had researched off the clock so I could answer questions, and I thought I was ready for anything she could fire at me. Little did I know, she was very worried that the Growth (Now puppy formula) was not the correct one to purchase, even though her furry friend was just a baby. I told her that the Growth formula was specially designed for young puppies and had all the important vitamins, minerals, and higher protein and fat content for growing pups. She nodded and yet still seemed concerned. I asked her why she was worried, and (I kid you not, and you can’t make this stuff up) she said, “I understand that it is puppy food, but since it is called “growth,” will my teacup poodle turn into a standard poodle?”
As you might imagine, a group of my fellow Associates had gathered in the next aisle to listen to the exchange and were laughing and waiting for my response. I resisted laughing and looked her right in the eye and told her that even though the product is called “growth,” it was only because it was supposed to be fed during the growth period of a dog’s life and would not cause her tiny breed poodle to turn into a standard poodle since that is a different breed altogether and I promised her it would not and could not happen. She was extremely relieved, and we laughed together. She even hugged me and thanked me for being such a “sweet girl with a smile on.” That story has stuck with me for over 30 years and will forever leave footprints on my heart and was the beginning of my personal motto to always “keep your smile on.” 😊
What’s the biggest change in PetSmart in 35 years, and something that hasn’t changed at all?!
The number of stores has grown tremendously, and the addition of online resources to shop, apply, connect, and more. PetSmart’s commitment to never selling dogs and cats and offering adoption space in every store instead has never changed from day 1.
⬅️ PetSmart's logo sure has changed over the years! Scroll to the bottom to see the latest. 🤩
Year after year, RJ continues to love and thrive in her #lifeatpetsmart, and we LOVE that about and for her! ❤️💙 Check out a few celebratory words she's had to say recently.
"Short and sweet (not my norm - IYKYK 😃)…65% of my life…34 years part of the PetSmart Pack. Truly blessed, grateful, and humbled by this journey and all of the wonderful souls along the way. My #lifeatpetsmart is nothing short of PAWmazing." 🐾💜😃
"Starting on 11/22/88, this girl embarked on the most amazing journey. My #lifeatpetsmart has been incredible from all the people I have had the joy to work with and serve, to the pets I have helped find homes and find the best food to eat and bed to sleep in, to the many PetSmart stores I have worked in and assisted all these years, to the home office I have helped provide support to all stores and associates, to the vendors who have been amazing partners along the journey and to all the wonderful memories along the way. I could not be more blessed to be part of such a stellar team. Nothing but gratitude and all the feels." #blessed #33years #bestcompany #team #anythingforpets #keepyoursmileon
"Holy cannoli! How long?!?! I have officially been working on the PetSmart Team for 64% of my life, and I wouldn’t change a moment of it. My career has been a joy, a challenge, and a blessing, all rolled into a package with a bow on top." 😃🙏🏻🐾
Find a company, an idea and amazing people to work with and your work will not just be a paycheck, it will be your passion and a true blessing.
- Rhonda Jo, Infrastructure Asset Manager (ITAM)