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Say It Louder: This Is How You Kick Out Customers After Closing!

, , , , , , | Right | August 30, 2023

I work in one of those stores with the annoying rule given by corporate on high that we’re not allowed to kick customers out past closing time. Despite numerous announcements and a personal reminder delivered by the manager, this customer is still browsing our shelves twenty-five minutes past closing.

After completing all our closing duties, I am standing at the customer service desk with my manager and another coworker. We have to man this desk until all the customers are out of the building; it also acts as the one open checkout after closing.

Me: “That guy is still here!”

Manager: “I swear, this is the third time I have seen him do this. I think he’s figured out he can get away with it, so he does it on purpose.”

Me: “Why?!”

Manager: “You’re new to retail, so let me tell you this truth right now. Some customers live such sad and miserable little lives that they’ve convinced themselves that the only way they can get any kind of pleasure is to exert power over retail staff, the only people who they can do that to.”

Me: “The little jerk!”

Manager: “F*** this. I am done with his BS.”

My manager goes to his office and then to the back with one of the other managers, who looks as exasperated as we are.

Seconds later, the fire alarm goes off, and the sound is deafening. I hear my manager over the speakers.

Manager: “All customers, please evacuate the store immediately! The fire alarm has been activated! Please evacuate the store immediately!”

Amazingly, this customer spends about fifteen seconds IGNORING the fire alarm, but then he gives up and finally leaves, scowling at everything on the way out. As soon as he’s out the door, the fire alarm magically stops. I am locking the door behind him as he turns around to hear the alarm stop, and he realizes what has just happened.

Customer: “Hey, wait a min—”

Me: *As fast as possible* “Thank you, we are closed, byeeeeee!”

I lock the door and run away. My manager and the other manager are back on the shop floor looking pleased with themselves.

Me: “Doesn’t activating the fire alarm automatically call the fire department?”

Manager: “What fire alarm? My custom ringtone just accidentally went off right next to the microphone at full volume while [Other Manager] accidentally sat on the button to turn on the announcement speakers. It’s uncanny.” *Winks*

The customer did complain in the end. Corporate asked questions. We all pushed back, and that stupid rule about not being able to kick out customers after closing time was abolished!

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