Staying Past Closing Is A Severe Demerit

, , , , , | Right | January 18, 2019

(I work in a fast food restaurant. I am scheduled to work closing the night before school starts. Because I have an 8:00 am class, I am rushing to finish all of the closing procedures so I can leave at my scheduled time — 10:00 pm — when a group of young men comes in. Unfortunately for me, they all decide to sit in the dining room. The owner has installed cameras with audio, and listens to make sure we don’t tell customers to leave. He has had employees fired before for even hinting as such.)

Manager: “I know you need to be home soon, but don’t rush them.”

Me: “I hope they finish quickly; they’re wearing [University I attend] shirts.”

Manager: “Then maybe they’ll leave soon.”

(The young men eat quickly, but then they sit and watch videos on their phones. I wipe down tables around them, hearing that they are dorm students. After a half-hour, the manager checks on the dining room.)

Manager: “They’re still here?”

Me: *grudgingly* “Yesssss.”

Manager: “You’ve done everything else to close, right?”

Me: “Of course.”

Manager: “Just wait. Policy says we can’t tell them to leave.”

(Another two hours go by. It is now two and a half hours after our dining room is closed and two hours after I am supposed to get off. I still have to stay a half-hour after these customers leave to vacuum, so I am nearly in tears.)

Manager: “[My Name] what are you– They’re still here?!”

Me: “Yes. [Manager], I’m sorry, but I need to get home!”

Manager: “You’ve left the vacuum out to give them a hint, right?”

Me: “Of course! They even asked about it when they came up for a refill.”

Manager: “I’m sorry, I can’t tell them to leave. You know what [Owner] will say.”

Me: *gets a realization* “Actually, I know what to do.”

(My manager agrees to the plan, so she walks out to the dining room.)

Manager: “Hello, gentlemen. Still out celebrating your move in?”

Customer #1: “Yeah. School starts tomorrow, so it sucks.”

Manager: “Aw, that’s a shame. I was just talking to my employee; she also attends [University].”

(The customers start to look a little sheepish.)

Customer #2: “That’s cool.”

Customer #3: “Shame she’s out here still.”

Manager: “Don’t sweat it. Although, I have to confirm something she told me in the past, if you guys don’t mind. Is it true that [University] places severe demerits on your student profile if you’re not in your dorm before midnight?”

(The men all went wide-eyed and bolted out. Since it was past midnight and almost time for the drive-thru to close, as well, the manager made everyone help me vacuum the dining room. I got home only a few minutes before one in the morning. The store has since been bought by another company and that policy has been changed.)

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