The Customer is NOT Always Right
Misadventures in Retail

You don’t have to go home, but you can’t shop here.

Here is one I definitely know my fellow retail workers will relate to.  It’s called closing time.  For some reason customers just don’t get it.  Now for all you shoppers that read this, I know what you all think.  We give the closing announcements and you think “well I’m already here, they won’t kick me out.”

You’re right, we won’t, that’s not good customer service.  But do you stop to think about all the workers that have to stay late because of you?  They have to miss spending time with significant others, miss hanging out with their friends, miss a late night movie date.  All for what?  So you can buy that thing you need to fix that other thing that’s probably been needing to be fixed for weeks and you won’t even do it till the next day anyway?

“But I have to work the next day…”

Well then you should hurry up and go home and go to bed.  Some of us have work or school the next morning, a test to study for, or other such things.  Why are shoppers so selfish?

We had an old man come up to our door the other night after we locked it.  He knocked and the manager opened the door. Before he could say anything the old man berated him.

“Are you going to lock me out or can I come in to buy the goddam thing I need?”

“Well sir we are closed.”

“That doesn’t answer my question.”

Why the hell not?!  What more of an explanation do you need?  Why does “we’re closed” not mean anything anymore?  If your date says it’s late and she doesn’t want you to come up, do you say “just let me come in for 5 minutes and do what I need to do and then I will leave?”  Do you wait til 5 minutes before closing before entering a restaurant?  Probably not, because you know your food may have a little extra undesirable something in it.  Do you enjoy staying late when your work is over for the day?  These are things to think about.

Now I know this isn’t a message board, but I would really like to hear some feedback on this. Even if you don’t agree.  I know we’ve all been in this position, even if it’s just as shoppers.

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6 Responses to “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t shop here.”

  1. Oh yes, when I worked at a local deli, I’ve had people get pissy with me and my coworkers when we were closed yet they still wanted food (which we had already painstakingly sealed up for the night).

    “I want (whatever).”
    “Sorry, we’re closed.”
    “Your lights are still on.”

    Now, I wanted to be the smarmy firing-bait and say that we needed the lights on to see, but I instead pointed out that we had nothing to sell. Customer got angry, and left in a huff at least.

    It apparently got so bad that management decided to step in. Instead of closing at 10PM, we closed at 10PM and everyone had to stay an extra hour to clean up and we had to keep food ready in case people wanted something AFTER HOURS. *forehead slap* If this place wasn’t in a 24hr supermarket, this problem wouldn’t mostly exist.

  2. Ugh, I agree with you completely, but you are wrong on one point. People are more than willing to walk into a restaurant five minutes before it closes. They are also more than willing to hang out for more than an hour after it closes. People are selfish all over.

    Although there are the people who leave upon realising we are almost closed, and the people who make a reasonable effort to go quickly after we are closed.

    I guess it takes all kinds.

  3. I will guiltily confess to being one of those described by Rabbit above- I’m ‘people who make a reasonable effort to go quickly after we are closed.’ Now, this is usually because I don’t notice the sign saying that they are closing soon. None the less, just the other day I was out to dinner with a friend after seeing a movie and the waiter, in a strong accent, informed us that they were closing soon. Thank goodness for my friend or I wouldn’t have realized what he was saying (I often have trouble deciphering accents, its a weakness of mine). So we ate quickly and got out, and left a generous tip.

  4. Ugghhh…
    I hate it when customers do that. I have 2 regular customers that come in before we close and don’t leave until after we have shut everything down. One lady comes in and spends hours looking around. Once we make the announcement saying we are closed she slowly makes her way to check out. Usually, with only a few items.
    This other lady comes in throughout the day, but only comes back to return all of the crap that she has bought late at night.
    This week, I had shut down all the registers and this lady pops up out of nowhere and asks “Oh are you closed? Normally when you guys close there are still a few people checking out, so I can shop some more.”

    I have been in that building for a minimum of 10 hours when it is closing time. I want to go home, people!

  5. I totally understand in these situations, but there are other times when there really are emergencies close to closing. My example isn’t retail, but today I had to rush to my bank 10 minutes before closing to take care of something that took half an hour, but I work tomorrow all day during the hours that my bank is open, and it couldn’t wait till Monday. Not exactly a retail situation, but I think the principle may apply.

  6. I feel for you man. I used to work in a store where the boss never let us leave until there were no customers left. It was a gift shop in downtown for tourists. What’s worse, we wouldn’t lock the door or say anything until the last person has left. Sometimes people would come and leave for 4 hours after our (10:00pm) closing time. Sure, we got paid for the overtime, but who wants to be forced to work an extra 2-4 hours a night?


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