Reiterate The Eight

| Oslo, Norway | Right | January 28, 2015

(I work part-time at a dry cleaning place that closes at 8 pm on weekdays. I always close at exactly 8 pm, and finish up as fast as I can to catch the bus home. This particular night, I am running a few minutes late, and don’t get to start closing the register until 8:05. A customer comes with her arms full of clothing at 8:10.)

Customer: “Hi! I want to hand in some clothes for cleaning!”

Me: “I’m so sorry, but I’m already closed. I can’t take in any more clothes today. You’re going to have to come by tomorrow.”

Customer: *seeming perfectly calm* “Oh… that’s all right! I’ll do that then!”

(The next day, the customer comes back. This time, the manager, who works the daytime shift, is still there.)

Me: “Hi! How may I help you?”

Customer: *very angrily, to the manager* “I came here last night, and this girl told me I was too late and that I couldn’t hand in my clothes!”

Manager: “Oh? [My Name], did you close early last night?”

Me: “No. Actually, I closed later than I usually do.”

Customer: “Well, I was only here three minutes past eight! I don’t understand why you couldn’t take in my clothes!”

Me: “Actually, you were here ten minutes past eight. I was looking at the giant clock that’s hanging right behind you. But I’d be happy to register your clothes in now.”

(I finish the transaction, with the customer still looking generally unhappy.)

Manager: *to the customer as she’s leaving* “And by the way! We close at exactly eight. Three minutes past is still after closing time!”

Customer: “Well, that is just horrible customer service!”

Manager: *to me, after the customer has left* “How is it bad customer service? Technically, that’s no customer service.”

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