For those who don't know, I am a receptionist at a car dealership. I greet people when they come in, keep track of which salespeople are available and make sure the customers are distributed evenly between them. This means that generally a customer will not get assigned to a salesperson without me doing so.
A little more background info, our managers do not enforce closing time. In fact, they have told me I cannot tell customers "I'm sorry, but we're closing/closed." They will also not ask customers to leave even an hour after closing for fear of losing a sale. This puts me in an awkward position of asking the salespeople to stay late, and being stuck there late myself to finish the paperwork, because the customers will ignore the hours posted at literally every entrance.
This occurred exactly at closing time. A woman and a man I assume to be her husband walked in just as my computer changed from 5:59 to 6:00. I stand up and greet her, but don't take down her information because she goes straight to a car. Her husband approaches me and asks what time we close.
Not wanting to get in trouble with the manager, I reply "6." He then asks what time it is, and I glance at the computer and reply "6:01."
He nods and walks off with his wife, and I presume he's going to tell her we're closing, and they will leave. I was wrong. I sat down to return to the paperwork, and three minutes later she approaches the desk again. These were her exact words.
"This is bad business. It is bad business not to have a salesperson ready for me when I walk in the door."
My jaw dropped at this. She must have known we were closing. Salespeople were leaving, the finance guys were locking up their offices, and her husband knew for a fact we were closing. Even if she had somehow missed our posted hours, it must have been pretty obvious. She walked out before I could reply, and I sent out a salesperson before they could drive off to talk to them and try to alleviate the situation.
They didn't come back inside, thank god, and I didn't get in trouble for them walking out. It just blew my mind a bit that not being able to provide service properly after our closing time is such 'bad business'. I can't help but feel like the whole thing could be avoided if I were allowed to tell customers that we are closed.