So Who Has Stories From This Place?
Lazy Coworker Gets On Sales Agent Guy's Nerves

Without Nametag Shares Closing Time Horror Stories

Carolanne arghHey RHU. Without Nametag here, and Greeter Bitch's story about customers trying to shop after closing times reminded me of some crustomers who tried shopping in the dark.

At the department store where I worked, we had zero control over things like air conditioning, music and lights. It was a chain, so all of those things were controlled by computer on the other side of the country. Meaning that if the lights go out because we're closed, it's time to GTFO. We would not and could not turn the lights back on for customers to shop more. The kicker: they didn't care.

Every slave in my store avoided being the Last Register Open. It meant that custies would seek you out after closing time to be rung up, you'd end up with a line, and you'd get stuck working an extra 15-20 minutes (or more) because you still had to cash out and finishing closing duties. There were a number of times when this happened to me, but a few that stick out in my mind as being particularly obnoxious.

I was Last Register Open one evening with a line, hoping it wouldn't get longer, and I was working in the men's basics area (meaning socks, underwear, pajamas, ect). The one thing about his area: you get a lot of returns. Men don't like to shop for things like socks and underwear, so it's up to whatever female is in his life to do it for him, and said wife/girlfriend/mother/whatever never gets the right brand/color/cut/style/whatever. Always comes back.

So this ditzy Mom of Teen Boys wants to return a bunch of unopened packages of guys' shorts. But she has a coupon, and she wants to get another kind instead. Did she approach my register with the items she wanted to purchase as well as the ones that she wanted to return? This is an RHU story... of course not. I start to process her return, and she says that she wants to buy more, and wants to do one transaction, but she hasn't picked them out yet.

"Where are the ones on sale?" she asks.

"Are you fucking kidding me?" I wanted to ask. I pointed to the clearance table across the department.

At this point, there's a line forming. The customers behind her are getting annoyed. She keeps running back to that table to get underwear and socks and dashing to the register, only to have me tell her that the items she selected aren't working with her coupon, because they don't add up to the minimum, or because they're excluded. I can't pass her off to someone else and ring out the others behind her because I'm LRO.

At 15 minutes past closing, the lights go off. We have some lights that are on all the time, but none where that table is located. MOTB is shopping in the dark and can't see. Fortunately, a manager walks by, takes inventory of the situation, and takes a flashlight back to the table to help her shop more quickly, which meant that I could pass her off to him. Relieved, I was able to suspend her transaction and quickly ring up the others, apologizing profusely. Fortunately, they could tell that it wasn't me keeping them from going home, but MOTB and her stupid coupon, leisurely shopping at the clearance table with a flashlight.

BloodsuckercheckoutNext up the docket: Rainbow Butt Lady. This ditz approached my register with an armload clearance-priced Expensive Brand clothes. She was one of those custies who want you to help her select things to buy while at the register. It's Christmas, we're extended hours, it's very late at night, the lights are off, and there are at least 7 or 8 people lined up behind her. I think most people have figured out that if you don't know what you're buying by closing announcement, then it's time to give up and go home. Not Rainbow Butt Lady. Her pile of Expensive Brand clothes needs to become 2 or 3 items before she can buy them, and she has to be reassured that her purchases are the correct ones.

"He's getting out soon," she says excitedly, and she holds up a pair of Expensive Brand men's jeans. The back pockets are heavily embroidered with rainbow-spectrum stripes. "Do you think he'll like these?"

1) I hate that question. I don't know the recipient. How should I know if he'll like them?

2) I never figured out if "he" was getting out of jail or the military, but as far as rainbow-pocket jeans goes: no. Those are not a good choice. Put them back, buy the plain ones, and go home. No one who is working LRO has time for your life story. Shop on a Wednesday morning if you want to chat.

The last custy I have mixed feelings about: Denim Guy.

Denim Guy was shopping for Popular Brand jeans. Again, it was Christmas, it was extended late night hours, it was past closing. I'm helping Denim Guy find his size/color/cut, and we're out on the selling floor, so I look it up.

The computer says that we might have one in the back. (Anytime it said that I had less than 5 of something, I'd tell the custy that it was a "maybe". I'd been burned by that damn computer too many times.)

At this point, I'm LRO again, and people have been lining up at my register. Denim Guy graciously offers to wait while I ring some people up. I thank him profusely, and begin ringing as fast as I can. But it escalated quickly. For every person I rang out, it seemed like 2 more appeared at the back of the line. Everybody wanted to get out of here quickly, so I skipped the formalities went with barebones transactions. More people got in line - how many custies were in still in this stupid store? Denim Guy was losing patience. I think he thought I'd ring up like 3 people and get back to him. That was the original plan on my end, when the line was relatively short. No such luck. He lost patience.

"Excuse me, were you going to look for my jeans?"

Jason crossI excused myself from the line at the register, now frustrated with the fact that it never seemed to stop growing. I quickly re-checked what size/color/cut he wanted, and annoyed, kicked the door to the dock open in front of me.

I went into the back rolling my terrible eyes and gnashing my terrible teeth, wondering who in the hell shops for jeans for himself at 11:30 at night during the Christmas season. I was pissed off. We were far past closing now, and I wanted to go home, but now I had to climb a ladder and look for jeans that I was certain we did not have. Which turned to be correct. I returned to the floor and told him that we were out and apologized. He left irritated, and I quickly rang out everyone else.

I was pretty angry then, because I was stressed out, but I feel kind of bad now. I mean, he got short with me because he'd offered to wait, it took far longer to finish getting service, and then it turned out that he'd waited al that time for nothing. I wish I'd just checked quickly right off the bat. I wish I'd at least found his jeans. And I wish that he hadn't chosen to shop at closing time. *Sigh*

May your customers know the meaning of the word "closed",

--Without Nametag



I'll see Rainbow Butt Lady and raise you Sourpuss Granny.

She came in The Baby Store at closing time, surly look firmly on her face, and asked me to help her find a Christmas gift for her grand-daughter...oh did I not mention this was on Christmas Eve? Yep that's right she came into the store AT CLOSING TIME ON CHRISTMAS EVE to start shopping for her grand-daughter.
Did she know want she wanted? Nope.
Was she easy to please? That would be no!
I finally got her to settle on a fancy red-velvet dress, and while I was ringing her up I noticed the other associate talking to someone through the gate. I prayed that person would be gone before I had to open the gate to let Sourpuss out, and luckily the other associate managed to get rid of her.
After I let Sourpuss out, the other associate turned to me with an incredulous look on her face and said, "That woman I was talking to just now? She asked if we were open tomorrow because she wanted to make a return!"

The Last Archimedean

One of my former jobs had registers that automatically shut off at 5 minutes past closing time. That's one way to get the customers out of the store...


I understand why you feel guilty, but honestly you have no reason to. If you had known that it would take far longer than you thought it would, then you would've done something else - but there's no way to know these things. You made a good decision with the information you had available. That it turned out perhaps not to be the right decision is something over which you have no control. You did the best you could with what you had. There's nothing there to be sorry about.

Without Nametag

@Chicajojobe: Really? A freaking RETURN?
@TLA: We had a handful that would shut off with the lights, but I think it was a fluke :P
@Diane: Thanks :) I have this built-in thing where I must be helpful at all times, and sometimes I feel like I wasn't as helpful to that guy as I could have been. But I think you're right - it was just an unfortunate situation.


I worked at a gas station briefly and once when the power went out we locked the doors and put up signs as we couldn't run transactions without the register. People would ignore the signs and start beating the door. It was pretty funny.

Bored at the Bookstore

I close up at six, Thrognar willing, which means lock the door, turn off the "Books" sign, turn the sign in the window and the one on the door to "Closed", then cash out and scoot for home, Have to leave the lights on, though, so I can see to count up.

Invariably, someone will drive up, park smack in front of the window with the big yellow-and-black heart-shaped "closed" sign still swinging, walk to the door, pull on the handle, step back and look at the door sign (CLOSED - will return at 10:00 a.m.), then step up to the glass and knock, hollering, "HEY! Are you _closed_?????" Yup.

Last Friday I finishing cashing out, walked over to turn off the lights, and let myself out. As I opened the door, a lady walked up, held the door for me, and then started inside. Into the darkened shop. "Oh, are you closing?" Yup, thirty minutes ago, See you tomorrow. G'night.


I hated having to follow customers around 20 minutes after close. I love my little mom and pop shop. We close promptly when we say we close. That means that the music turns off, the lights go out, all but one of the registers is already closed, and all the underlings are allowed to leave. You can stay to help get a customer out if you're feeling nice, or you can pass them off to a manager. Said manager is allowed to tell a loiterer to leave. At the door, the minute we close, is a manager guarding the door and not letting any new customers in.
It's so wonderful it could bring tears to my eyes.


Ahhh, the fun of "GEDDOUTTAHERE!" Working at a bar, we kind of get that at closing time. People always ask why the bar clock is set 15 minutes ahead, It's because it takes us 15 minutes of yelling and prodding to get people out the door sometimes.

It's actually easier on weekends, because of the feedback fairy. 230am "real" time hits and I hang the mic from the DJ gear in front of one of the speakers.


I love to work the late shift at the library (it usually dead by that time and I can get homework done) but with that comes the shut down. We close at 1 most nights, and the computers are shut down when doors lock, 15 minutes before closing. Of course we have to manually shut the computers down which is always a treat. Having to explain to people that, no you can't just save that document our computers wipe back to default settings each night (while signs say the same thing) and other such nonsense, and then shutting down the computers (some of which have rather disgusting messes around or on them) is always the pain. And then there are the wonderful students who come in during that time and ask if they can check out a reserve book to take to their dorms. Sorry, but those are not allowed to leave the library.

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