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Aren’t Enough Hours In The Day To Deal With You

| Right | August 31, 2014

(I work in the retail store of a contemporary art museum. The museum and the store have slightly differing hours on Thursdays, meaning the store is open two hours before the rest of the museum. For fire safety reasons, the entry to the museum remains open, with a sign in place informing guests of the hours.)

Me: “Good morning. Welcome to [Museum Store].”

Customer: “Thank you. You all were closed yesterday.”

(The galleries are closed on Wed. The store, however, was open.)

Me: “Yeah, the galleries are closed on Wednesdays. And they don’t open today until 1 pm.”

Customer: “Okay.”

(I watch the customer feign interest in the shelves while trying to stealthily make their way towards the main lobby.)

Me: “Excuse me. The galleries aren’t open until one. I need you to remain in the store.”

Customer: “You should have a sign.”

Me: “We do.” *point to the sign*

Customer: “Why aren’t you open?”

Me: “The museum stays open late on Thursdays, so it opens later in the day.”

Customer: “That’s not what it says on your website.”

Me: “Actually it does.” *I swivel my monitor around and show her the museum homepage with the hours on the front* “There are hours for the galleries and the store. See? Store open: 11am-8pm. Museum Open: 1pm-8pm.”

Customer: “Well, you shouldn’t have different hours on different days. I really wanted to see [current exhibition].”

Me: “Well, we open at one, and I can give you a voucher for half price admission.”

Customer: “I can’t! I have a plane to catch; I have to go to the airport in an hour. We tried to come yesterday but you were closed!”

Me: “I’m very sorry about that.”

Customer: “Is there someone from the museum I can talk to?”

(She clearly means, ‘someone I can complain to to get special treatment.’)

Me: “Since we don’t open until one, the staff doesn’t arrive until around 12:30. I can also give you the phone and e-mail address if that’s not convenient.”

Customer: “Oh, I was just wondering. I’m a friend of [Staff Member].”

Me: “Well you can certainly call them and see if they can arrange a tour for you today before we open.”

Customer: “Do you have her number?”

Me: “I can give you her extension here at the museum.”

Customer:” No, her mobile. You said she’s not here yet.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I don’t have access to personnel contact info.”

Customer: “Well, you’re not very helpful!”

(The customer left. A few minutes later I heard a banging. I looked into the lobby and saw her yanking hard on the front doors, as if the reason they weren’t opening was because she was not pulling hard enough. She looked at the hours on the door, she looked at her watch, and finally figured it out. I never saw her again)