Doesn’t Even Close A Sale

| Right | August 15, 2014

(It’s been a slow night, and my coworker and I have been the only people in the store for over an hour. It’s five minutes until closing time.)

Coworker: “I think I’ll go lock up a few minutes early. I don’t think anyone else is coming in.”

Me: “Fine by me. I’ll get started on the register.”

(Right on cue, the door opens and a customer walks in.)

Coworker: “Oh, welcome. Is there anything we can help you find?”

Customer: “No, not right now. I’m just here to look around.”

(The customer wanders over to the trinket section. Since we’re not allowed to tell customers that we’re about to close, my coworker makes a big show about locking the door. The customer doesn’t notice.)

Me: “Hi, ma’am. Is there anything I can help you find tonight?”

Customer: *flipping through a magazine from the display* “No. I’m good, thanks.”

Me: *loudly* “[Coworker], I’m gonna go grab the vacuum so we can begin the nightly cleaning!”

Coworker: *just as loudly* “Okay! Make sure you hit some of the lights in the back too! I’m going to flip the sign on the door since it’s past eight o’clock!”

(My coworker and I continue loudly discussing our nightly duties every time we pass by the browsing woman. We keep asking her if she needs anything, and each time she waves us away. In desperation, I turn off half the lights in the store, which doesn’t phase the customer at all. Finally, we are out of nightly chores to do; the only thing remaining is to close the register, which we can’t do while the customer is in the store.)

Coworker: *loudly* “Man, I can’t wait to go home. I’m really hungry.”

Me: *loudly* “Me, too! I have homework to get started on once I get home. What time is it?”

Coworker: “8:15.”

(We drift into silence and stare at the customer as she picks up figurines off a shelf, examines them, and sets them back down. After a few minutes, the customer suddenly looks up and seems to realize that the lights are off, the store is deadly quiet, and the two employees are staring straight at her.)

Customer: “Oh, my. Are you guys closing?”

Me: *relieved* “Yes, ma’am. We closed nearly 20 minutes ago. We’re just waiting on you.”

Customer: “Oh.”

(She continues browsing for another 10 minutes. Finally, she makes her way to the front of the store.)

Coworker: *unlocking the door* “Was there anything you needed to buy, ma’am?”

Customer: “Oh, no, not tonight. I just like looking around. Good night!”

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