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Retail Hell Memories: Closing Time Nightmares - But Did I Get My Due Discounts?


This story was originally posted on November 23, 2010


Closed bitchHey all,

This is UnEarthed at B-Cubed.

The rant I'm going to share with you today, I imagine, is universal to all businesses, whether it is a restaurant, hotel, or a retail establishment.

I'm talking about the very Last Customer of the Day... (thunder and lightning)

Most of my shifts are closing shifts so I've had time to observe the behaviors of many LCoDs. I should probably mention that I'm an anthropology major and this stuff comes naturally to me.

Most of the time, last custys are all right by me. They acknowledge that they know the store'll be closing in a few minutes and want to hurry out of our way; I <3 those custys. It's even better when the last custy splits 10 minutes before closing and I have those last minutes to clean up around the Customer Service desk.

Unfortunately, that is NOT what happened last night.

Last night, Murphy's Law slammed the store big time. Not only did 1 floor associate call out, but so did the other cashier I was to be working with that night.

And THEN the newbie whose shift ended at 5pm got a call from the hospital that informed her that her son was in the hospital and that she would have to come get him.

So she left around 3:30pm, leaving me mostly on my own to wrangle SATURDAY afternoon crowds 'til 9pm!

Coupon bitchesI was only supposed to work 'til 8pm, so by 9pm I was freaking ready to leave that hell hole.

But I couldn't.

Because there was one lone custy loose in the store.

And this wasn't just any custy, no, sir! This was a special breed of custy:the Fearful Coupon Clutcher, a subspecies of the Clearance Competitor that I have come to despise.

B-Cubed is famous for sending out 20% Off coupons that you can use for any item in the store and we also have coupons that offer $5 off any purchase $15 or more. We're relaxed about coupons: we can take as many coupons as custys have items (ex. 20 coupons for 20 items, theoretically). I have to explain this to countless custys multiple times a day.

Back to the fearful, Coupon Clutcher standing before me, thick manila envelope held tightly, her suspicious, beady eyes gazing on me with distrust. It's 8:58pm and I can tell that this encounter is NOT going to be quick. The Coupon Clutcher pushes her cart up to the counter; it is loaded with bed sheets and Channukah decorations.

I beckon her to start putting items on the counter, but she doesn't and instead empties out the huge envelope: loads of 20% off coupons spill out.

She says, in a near whisper, "I want to use some coupons."

"Ok, I can scan them all in at the very end, just so things won't get messy."

She eyes me. "But how do I know they'll apply to the items I want them to?"

Freddy custyI run through the schpeil of how the 20% off coupons will apply in order of the most expensive to least and that the $5 off ones I can only apply to items totalling $15 or more. (Sometimes I have dreams where I wake myself up reciting this!)

She then goes on to slowly place her items on the counter for me to scan them, placing a coupon on each item, as though I'll vindictively ignore her coupons.

So when I place her coupons to the side and begin to explain how much simpler it is to just scan the coupons in at the end, her eyes bulge. "Are you sure that will work?"

"No, Ma'am," I think to myself. "I've *only* been working here for 10 months and have absolutely NO idea how our magical coupon system operates."

She watches me scan the rest of her items and counts the coupons as I scan them. "And they all applied like you said they would?"

I oggle my register clock that indicates it is 9:15pm and sigh. "Yes, ma'am. You're all set."

I take a few minutes to collect myself then try to do all of my closing duties in a mere 40 minutes.


Does anyone else have last customer horror stories?

They's probably make me feel better.

Ta for now,



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