The Police Force Versus My Mom

, , , , , , | Legal | November 6, 2018

I’m 17 years old, at my first job, working the closing shift on my own for the first time. The store closes at 9:00. At 8:50, two cop cars pull up outside and four officers come in, order sandwiches, and sit down to eat. My manager has previously said we’re not allowed to tell people to leave at closing because it’s bad customer service, and just to let them finish, so I just go about my closing tasks while they eat and chat. I can’t mop the lobby or lock the door while there are customers still in the store, but I finish up all the tasks I can — putting away food, nightly inventory, cleaning the bathrooms, etc. — being not at all quiet or subtle about what I’m doing, even down to turning off the lights behind the counter. Still the officers are deep in conversation and don’t seem to notice.

By 9:30, I’m well out of tasks to do, and they’re still chatting over half-eaten sandwiches. I try to call my manager, but she doesn’t pick up. At 9:50, another car pulls up outside, and then my mother bursts in the door. She runs up to me at the counter practically yelling, “Oh, my God! What happened? Are you okay?”

I quickly explain what’s going on, and she immediately turns on the officers, who are all staring at this point, and goes off. “Do you know what time it is? My daughter has school in the morning; she was supposed to be home half an hour ago! And then I come up here thinking something horrible must have happened and see nothing but cop cars in front of the building. I almost had a heart attack! You should all be ashamed of yourselves!”

She goes on like this for several minutes while the cops sit there looking mortified. When they can finally get a word in edgewise, they have the decency to apologize, and one of them mentions he thought we were open until ten.

They quickly wrap up the rest of their sandwiches and shuffle out, looking thoroughly chastised, and the last one out gives me a $20 tip as he goes. To this day, we still laugh about the time my mom chewed out half of that small-town police department.

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