Last Minute

Friday, 20 May 2011

It's 5pm.  I'm just tidying up a bit before I go and lock the door.  Just as I grab the keys, a man walks in.

"When do you close?"

I'll assume he didn't notice the large clear signage that gives our opening and closing times which is right by the door.

"We're actually closed now; we close at 5." I politely inform him.

"Am I keeping you?  Do you not want customers?" he basically glares at me.

Erm, what?  You ask if we're closed, and we are.  Of course you'll be keeping me if you want to look around and buy something now.  And as far as wanting customers goes - yes, we want customers, but I'd rather they don't waltz in just after we close.

Let's face it:

1)  We've been open for 8 hours.  Could you not have come by just a little earlier instead of beyond the last minute?

2) I've been on my feet pretty much all day.  I maybe got to sit down for 10 minutes over the course of the day.   I ate my lunch on the go and only about half of it because I've been so busy.   Pardon me if I'm not that impressed with someone holding me up when I'm tired and want to go home on time.

He then wants some assistance in purchasing a gift for a young woman that he knows very little about - no idea what sort of thing she might like, no idea of favoured colours nor style.  Not the faintest idea.  Yet he looks at me as if I'm going to immediately present him with the perfect thing.

After running through the general questions to determine sod all about what he wants, I suggest he have a look around to see if anything jumps out at him.  He sort of grunts and does just that whilst I try to finish clearing up and getting ready to cash up. (Which I obviously can't do until he leaves.)

Thankfully he doesn't take too long, picking something fairly plain but stylish - put it through the till, boxed it up, wrapped it up nicely and handed it over with a smile.

There's barely a grunt of thanks and he stalks out.


Is it wrong to tell a customer to leave because you're closed?  Is it rude for the public to insist on being served when a shop is closed?   From a business point of view I can understand staying open for them, but surely from a common sense point of view shouldn't customers make sure they come to the shop in plenty of time?


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