Category: Time


Unable To Contain Themselves

| Los Angeles, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Time

(My family owns and runs an Indian restaurant and grocery store. The restaurant is deli-style where we prepare the meals at the counter and take payment before handing over the meals to the customer. We usually close at 9:30 pm but because we are a family-owned restaurant, we have a little leeway in our closing times. We generally ask customers to take their food to go after 9:15pm. A couple walks in at 9:25 pm.)

Me: “Hi, how are you?”

Guy: “Good thanks; we would like to get two plates.”

Me: “Sure, is that going to be to go?”

Guy: “No, for here.”

Me: “Sorry, we close within five minutes and are only doing to go orders now.”

Guy: “Ok, that’s fine.”

(I prepare their meals in takeout containers and hand them over to the couple.)

Me: “Here you go; that’s going to be [total].”

Guy: “We have five minutes, right? Can we eat really quickly and I can pay after that.”

Me: “Okay, that’s fine.”

(I void out their transaction. I start closing up the registers and perform the end-day-transactions and accounting. I figure I’ll charge them when they are done. At about 9:45 pm, I’m done with the end-of-day transactions. The couple is done with their meals but are sitting around and chatting with each other. I start turning out the lights in the refrigerators and display cases.)

Guy: “Are you ready to close?”

Me: “Yes, sir.”

Guy: “Okay, let me pay you.”

(He pays up but then goes back and sits at the table with the lady to continue chatting. At this point, I’m the only one left in the restaurant and am waiting for the couple to leave before I can close up and go home. At about 10:00 pm, I start turning off lights in the sections of the restaurant away from the couple.)

Guy: “Are you closed already?”

Me: “Yes, sir, we closed at 9:30 pm.”

Guy: “Okay, we’re leaving.”

(They continue to chat about. I’ve turned off every light in the restaurant except the one that’s nearest to them. At about 10:15 pm, another customer walks into the restaurant.)

New Customer: “Hi, are you open?”

Me: “No, sir, we closed at 9:30 pm. Sorry about that.”

New Customer: “Okay, no problem.” *leaves*

Girl: *looking at new customer leaving* “Oh, are you closing up?”

Me: “Ma’am, we’ve been closed for the past 50 minutes, since 9:30 pm.”

Guy: “Oh, why didn’t you tell us before. We would have taken our food in to-go containers.”

Girl: “Yeah, we would hate to keep you from going home.”

Me: “…”


You Must Stay Past Four-th Of July

| IL, USA | Crazy Requests, Time

(I’m the store manager to a fairly large nationwide pool supply company. It’s currently the fourth of July. I’m the only employee working due to labor cut backs so I’ve stopped answering the phones with our usual long greetings. Instead I’m answering with the company name, my name, and our hours, since that seems to be all anyone is calling to ask for. The phone rings while I’m ringing out a customer.)

Me:: “Thank you for calling [Store]. This is [My Name]. We are open until four today.”

Customer:: “Are you open today?”

Me:: “Yes, ma’am. We are open until four.”

Customer: “Oh, my goodness! How can they make you work on the fourth of July?! That’s so unpatriotic!”

Me: “I don’t mind. We get to close early today.”

Customer: “What time do you close?”

Me: *while trying hard not to roll my eyes so the other customer doesn’t witness my irritation* “We close at four.”

Customer: “Well, your website says you close at eight!”

Me: “That’s our regular time, ma’am. Today we close at four.”

Customer: “Well, that’s just not going to work. Can you stay open an extra hour for me? Don’t you have stuff to do around there after close? You can take your time and I’ll be there around five.”

Me: “No, ma’am. I can’t stay open until five. We close at four.”

Customer: “Well, that is not going to work for me. I’ll be there at five.”

(She hangs up before I could tell her I won’t stay. Ten minutes before four I have three customers walk in so I end up getting stuck until 4:30 pm helping them and I don’t get to my car until almost five pm. As I’m putting my purse in the car an older woman approaches me and I recognize her voice as the lady from the phone earlier.)

Customer: “Excuse me. I was hoping you could help me.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, the store is closed. I could maybe answer some questions?”

Customer: “No, I need some pool shock. You can’t just go back in and ring me out for a box? I’ll pay cash.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but the alarms are set and the cash is in the safe. I can’t go back in until tomorrow morning.”

Customer: “That’s just not right. I told you I wouldn’t be here until five! I know you helped other people after four! I saw you when I drove passed to go to the grocery store!”

Me: “Ma’am, if you would have come in at that point, before the doors were locked, I could have helped you, but since you went to the grocery store first my hands are tied.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! [Competitor] would help me!”

Me: “I think they closed at five today. You can try to see if they will still help you.”

Customer: “I can’t believe how selfish you are! I’m going to call your boss and let him know what you’re doing!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am. The corporate number for complaints is [number]. Have a great night.”

(The customer stormed off complaining as I got in my car. Three days later my district manager called and asked if I had kicked an old woman out of my store before close on the fourth. I explained the situation and my company, staying true to who they are, gave the customer a $20 gift card.)


In A Late-Night Pickle

, | USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Time

(The restaurant I work at used to be open 24 hours but now we close at 1 am. This has been going on for 5 or 6 months now. All the signs around the building have been changed to reflect this. The outside lights are off and the only employees are myself doing paperwork and the person getting the place ready for the morning shift. I get a call at 1:50 am.)

Me: “[Restaurant].”

Caller: “I’m at the drive-thru but no one is taking my order.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we are closed right now.”

Caller: “But you’re supposed to be open right now. Google says you are 24 hours.”

Me: “We have not been 24 hours for a few months now.”

Caller: “But you’re still here.”

Me: “Everything has been put a way for the night and I’m just here to finish up for the day.”

Caller: “Can I just have some pickles?”


Closing In On Copying

| Victoria, BC, Canada | Bad Behavior, Books & Reading, Time

(I am working the closing shift during the summer season when we are open quite late, and it is basically time to go home. The lights are all off, and mere seconds before the door is locked, a woman runs in. I approach her.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but the store is closing now.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s fine! Don’t worry, I know exactly what I’m looking for.”

(We are known for being very polite in this situation, and seeing as she seems to know where she is going I let her search. Sure enough, she comes up to the counter with a book about 20 seconds later, which is a pleasant surprise.)

Me: “Wow, that was quick! Okay, I just need to scan the book—”

Customer: “Hold on a second, I just need to take a look at something.”

(I sigh inwardly, but I know I like to give books a quick scan before I buy them, so I let her do it. My coworkers are a bit jumpy and want to go home, but we all remain silent. After about a minute, the woman pulls out a pad of paper and a pen and actually starts copying part of the book onto it.)

Me: “Umm… ma’am, perhaps you could do that after you’ve bought the book? it’s just that we’re past closing and we need to lock the door.”

Customer: “Oh, no, I’m not buying it. I just need to get this information. Just give me some time.”

Me: *shocked* “I’m so sorry, but I can’t let you do that. I might suggest going to the library for this book as you can take it out for free. If you do need to come back tomorrow, we are open at nine, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave so we can lock the door.”

(The customer sighed sharply, jammed her paper and pen into her purse, and stomped out. I have no idea if she came back for her all-important information.)


It’s Madden-ing

| OH, USA | Technology, Time

(I’m talking with my friend over the Internet. He works at a video game store, and at the time of the conversation it is exactly one day before the latest Madden NFL game is released.)

Friend: “You know, the week before Madden is always a fun time for the phone. Every five minutes, the phone rings, we say ‘[Store]. Madden comes out tomorrow. How can I help you?’ and they ask, ‘Do you have Madden?’ Every f***in’ time.”

Me: “Hah.”

(He pauses for a while.)

Friend: “Either that, or they just hang up.”

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