Not Exactly Snowed Under With Customers

, , | Working | November 21, 2016

(It’s Valentine’s Day 2014 and a massive blizzard has struck, with snow coming down and the streets becoming increasingly dangerous. I’m supposed to work from one pm to close, but my manager gives me a call around noon.)

Manager: “The roads are pretty slick and there aren’t many customers in, so don’t bother coming in right now. I’m sure corporate is going to let us close early because of the snow, but I’ll give you a call around four to let you know.”

Me: “Sure thing. I’ll be ready if you need me. Stay safe.”

(At four, my manager calls again.)

Manager: *annoyed* “So, despite the storm, every other store in the plaza closing early, and us having virtually no customers for the past three hours, corporate is insisting we stay open. I’m really sorry. Could you come in at five so I can have a dinner break? It’s going to be just the two of us tonight. I told [Coworker] to stay home, but I need another person, and you live much closer than she does.”

Me: “I understand. It sucks, but what can you do? I’ll be in in an hour.”

(I leave early due to the slick roads, but even though I only live 15 minutes away, it takes at least twice that time to get there. For the next four hours, my manager and I putter around an empty store, only having two customers the whole night. After we officially close, I’m leaning on the counter while my manager counts the registers. We haven’t even made $100 for the whole day.)

Manager: “So, think it was worth corporate dragging you in here?”

Me: “I work barely more than minimum wage, and they paid me more for four hours work than we made in that time. The only two customers we had were heading out to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and were only here because her dress ripped. Add in your salary, heat, and electricity, and I’m pretty sure they would have been better off setting a bag of cash on fire.”

Manager: “At least you got paid?”

Me: “Not enough to cover my funeral if I die getting home.”

Manager: “Yeah, I know. Considering corporate HQ is in New Jersey, you’d think they’d understand no one in their right mind shops for clothes during a New England blizzard.”

(That winter ending up being one of the worst, with over a foot of snow coming down every week. Thankfully, corporate wised up and let us close, but I’ll never forget their initial idiocy.)

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