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Staying Past Close Is A Close Call

, , , , | Right | June 2, 2022

I work in a HIGHLY seasonal job in the northeastern US. It’s a pool store. Our swim season is May to September, with some outliers for having heaters, indoor pools, and hot tubs. By November, the store closes at 6:00 pm and I’m usually locking the doors at 6:02 pm.

On this particular night, I have to do a deposit, which requires two extra minutes of paperwork. So, at 6:04, I’m dotting the I in my final signature when I hear someone aggressively pull on the door. I look up and shrug and point to my imaginary watch. Too bad, buddy, right? Wrong. He tugs again. I go and unlock the door and crack it open just enough to converse.

Me: “Hey! I’m really sorry, but we’re closed for the night. I’ve got everything shut down already.”

Customer: “I got here as soon as I could. Can’t you help me?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but the registers are shut down. I can’t start them again until tomorrow.”

Customer: “I just drove for over an hour to get here. It’s not even five minutes past close; you should still be open.”

Me: “Sir, I have plans tonight. My last customer came in three hours ago. If you call to say you’re on your way but might be late, I’ll happily stay for you, but I won’t sit here all night for no reason. Just call ahead next time.”

The next week, I got four calls from him with traffic updates. He made it in around 5:45 and spent thirty minutes nitpicking and attempting to barter corporate-set prices.

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