I do the morning show at a radio station. Because we’re in a small town and have a small staff, we close our offices at noon. I give away tickets to a concert that night, and tell the winner that she has to be at the station before noon to pick up the tickets. She says that she can’t make it by noon, but can be there shortly after noon, and asks that we stay open late to accommodate her. I ask her how late she’ll be, and she says just a few minutes after 12:00…12:15 at the latest. Since I can wait around a few minutes, I say we’ll stay open late for her.
12:15. She’s not here yet. 1:00 pm. She’s not here yet. 2:00. She’s not here yet. 3:00. I’m still waiting for her. I’ve also been at work since four am and hadn’t eaten anything all day. I decide to close up for a few minutes and run across the street to the store to grab something. I come back at 3:10 to find an angry note taped to the door. Sure enough, it’s from our contest winner, calling us a bunch of lying SOBs for saying we’d stay open late for and then not doing so, and calling us various other nasty names.
Ever since then, I’ve made no more exceptions for contest winners who’ll be “just a few minutes late.” If you can’t make it by closing time, tough.