Retail Hell Memories: Closing Time Lock Up



From Lee:

Many moons ago I worked for a big box computer seller; the red one that for a while had exclusive rights to sell Apple Computers - though this isn't about Apple.  This is about the time that closing took much longer than usual, and custys were *not* to blame.

I worked the "upgrades" counter at this store; which is where RAM, video cards, hard drives, CPUs, etc were stored.  Basically things that were physically small but very valuable.  We had a specific closet that we stored all these items in, and every night at close whoever closed the counter (often me) had to go into said closet and take a full inventory of what we had in there.  Count every single stick of RAM (thankfully all in retail packaging), every video card, etc.  The closet was the size of a very small bathroom. 

One night I went in to said closet, starting 10 minutes to close as usual, and began inventory.  I was done around 20 after 9.  I came out and saw that the store lights were dim. I thought that seemed ... odd. I made an overhead page in case people were in the break room waiting
for me.  No answer.  Eventually I realized that the manager (and the other last employees that day) had closed and left without me. 

Jason 026I realized the alarm was on, as well.  I knew where the cameras were, and looked at one.  Then I intentionally walked to where the alarm would see me, keeping myself in front of the camera the whole time.  The alarm started to wail.  I think it even announced something like "you have set off the alarm", though it was years ago and I'm not sure any more.

Eventually the local police showed up.  I happened to be sitting near the front door, and I could see them through the glass.  I was still in my uniform, which seemed to cause the cop to be a lot less worried.  A few minutes later my manager returned and saw me through the glass as well.  He then proceeded to open the door from the outside and come in with the cop next to him.

Being as I was still on the clock, I needed to clock out once he came in.  With the cop next to him, I offered to empty my pockets.  The manager who came back for me knew me well enough to know I wouldn't steal from the store, but the cop had never met me before.  Manager declined and told me to go clock out. 

When I got back to the front door, ready to go home, he asked me why I didn't just leave through the fire door.  I don't remember what I told him but the honest answer was I knew there was another manager who did not like me, and I wanted to make sure if he really wanted to he could review the security tapes and see that I didn't do anything the least bit interesting while I was alone in the locked store.  The manager who locked me in did give me a bonus on my next paycheck for my inconvenience.

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Closing Time Nightmare Revenge: Flutilicious Gets Her 15 Minutes Back



From Flutilicous, March, 2016:

My coworker and I were threatened with write ups last week. 

The reason why.....we were busy.

This happened last Sunday.  It was the last day of a (basically) half-price sale (The sale was $50 off of every $100 spent)so of course it was crazy busy. 

On a normal Sunday we have three people on the schedule for the majority of the day.  For some reason one of our usual Sunday people needed it off, however the SM did not bother to schedule anybody else in her place.  We had a part timer (R) who worked open to close (we are only open 7 hours on Sunday), the SM worked four hours and I worked four hours. (the extra hour is opening and closing the store).  Since it was the last day of the sale we also had to change the ad signs. 

R took care of the majority of the customers in the morning while the SM spent most of her time in the back, and she started a big project that she knew she wouldn't finish, never mind that it's against company policy to do any tasks on weekends.  The store closes at 6:00, the last customer did not leave until 5:30. 

The SM called at least three times after she left to see what the sales were (why the heck she just didn't stay all day is beyond me...well yeah, she's the SM, if she doesn't want to work a full day she doesn't schedule herself for one). I finally got back to her at 5:45 to tell her that we were at almost $2500 in sales (more than double what we do on a 'normal' Sunday).  When you consider that the sale was basically half price, we sold about $5,000 in merchandise.  SM tells me to start the ad change so we can be out by 6:30. 

OCTOCAROL 075I couldn't find the signs I needed because the SM didn't put them back in the right place when she did the last sign change, and the window signs were torn from when they were changed for the last sale (again, the SM's doing).  By the time we got everything together, finally got the window signs put up, we had about 10 minutes to change the rest of the we basically were running like headless chickens to get the signs up.  We didn't even touch the rest of the store...the SMs mess was just as she left it (maybe a little worse because custys shopped it), stuff was still in the fitting room from the last custys.  We ended up punching out and leaving at 6:45.  Monday morning SM sends a nasty group text yelling about the state of the store and since we only had two transactions in the last hour we weren't busy...then she threatened a write up.  

R responded that most of that was HER (SMs) mess that she left, and I responded that if she even tried to write us up for having a $2500 sales day that I would turn in my keys.  R had already given her notice and only had two more days to work.  I wasn't scheduled again until Friday.  I punch in, check my time and find out that SM had adjusted R and my time back to 6:30 on Sunday...basically having us working the last 15 minutes without pay.  I talked to R on Friday, she said she has already contacted the DM and was going to go to the RM and HR about it.  I said I'll find a way to get my 15 minutes back (which I did...that's coming in the next paragraph).  

Friday I worked and I was livid about the time adjustment.  The AM opened and I closed.  All the AM could do was complain about her period, left me to deal with the custys while she hid in the back.  My first hour at the store we did $1100 in sales.  After the AM left another part timer, T came in and worked a 4 hour shift.  Before she left, the AM decided she needed to talk down to us like we were children and tell us what needed to be done, and tells us not to worry about recovery since it was just two of us and it was a busy day.  T and I worked our butts off, did another $1,000 in sales and got everything done that we were supposed to.   Saturday morning, the SM says we didn't recover the store because we only sold $57 in the last hour and she found one hanger out of place.  Commence another 5 year old discussion that we aren't doing our jobs...despite the fact that we had high sales for the rest of the day.  (Yes, the SM judges the entire day based on the last hour). With everything we did, one hanger out of place isn't all that bad.

How did I get my 15 minutes back? 

I volunteered to take our deposit to the bank on Saturday.  There's a McDonald's on the way to the bank so I pulled in, got some breakfast, sat in the parking lot and ate it, then went to the bank.  When I got back to the store I told the SM that the bank was busy.  So basically I got paid  for sitting at McDonalds eating a sausage biscuit with a cup of coffee.



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Molly Mog's Craziest Customers From Hell


Gas station 1


From Molly_Mog, June, 2014

So it was a lovely insane day at the petrol forecourt, everyone was  a little, umm, odd. There were the middle-aged little boys who stamped out of the shop because the coffee machine was working at that moment, cursing and swearing about how unfair it was and how shit we are. There were the idiots who come in the exit and park the wrong way, who when we ask them, politely, to turn around go into a fit about how they aren't thieves and how dare we! (Pump and runners often face the wrong way so we have been told by the area manager to make them turn around, this is an area manager suck.) One even tried to scare me by turning around and moving as fast as possible as if he was going to hit the pumps or the bollards, which actually made me laugh because, well, pumps and bollards will hurt his car more than he'd ever hurt me.

Then there was Mr Important, he'd spent the best part of ten minutes slowly making a coffee while talking over Important Things on his phone and blocking anyone else from being able to because obviously he's the only person in the shop. Then he continues to wander around the tiny little shop talking loudly and Importantly. Then another customer comes in to pay and tells me that a Range Rover is blocking the middle of the pumps. I knew it had to be him. So I asked him if it was his, of course it was, so could he please move it as it is blocking the pumps for other customers to use. He said he would and didn't. After a few minutes I asked him again and he shouts that he can't while he's on the phone. I don't have to be sickly sweet to arsehole customers, thankfully, so I suggested that he actually hang up and move the car. He slams his unpaid coffee down and storms out, still on his phone and I think no more, of well we lost a sale of coffee just because he didn't want to get his hair wet. Weirdly, ten minutes later he comes back in hands me a tenner and says "Large coffee £2.40" as if I can't read or don't know my job and when I hand him the change silently he snaps "£7.60 right?" I just smiled. He was not happy. He really needed that coffee.

RHSEPT 501Finally there was Mr Creepy. He's new-ish to our place but has become a semi-regular for about a month. He's very loud and very imposing, though not to me as it's hard to cow me, he looks like Brian Blessed and Boris Johnsons' love child. I listen to the radio at work, it helps my sanity levels, and I dance and mime along to the words (I don't inflict people with my singing) and I genuinely don't care what others think about it. Mr Creepy likes me singing along, he really likes it. He asked me many questions the first time he came in and saw me, including does my husband approve? Because I need permission from a man/woman/wookie to do what I wish that doesn't hurt others.  I told him my ex-husband had no say in what I did and I knew it was a mistake because then came all the creepy questions. Just ugh. This time I wasn't singing or dancing because there was nothing on I wanted to join in with and immediately he starts commenting about it. Then he tells me to start singing. My polite smile drops and I refuse point blank, then he asks when I'll be singing again, to which I said later, "Oh when later?" to which I replied I didn't know, because you know I don't run of a bloody schedule, spankfish. I didn't say that last bit to him but the tone did. He finally left and I really, really felt like taking a long shower in boiling water.

Today was a funny day but I really am so very tired of the adult children.


June, 2014

All the talk about sock and boob and, shudder, pants money has reminded me of a fairly recent horror.

It was an early Sunday morning and a couple were getting coffee from our machine and a couple of other bits and pieces. They came up to the till and then the woman pulled out her purse and removed a rolled up £10 note only to giggle in a little girl way (hideous in anyone over the age of 7) and said to her partner: "Oh it's the one from partying, it's all I've got."

Then she hands me the rolled up note, I unroll it, and you are probably way ahead of me here, I get white powder all over my hands as I unroll it. My face becomes a mask, trying not to show the horror, then hand her the change. Thankfully it's Sunday and no one else is there yet so I tell my manager that I need to wash the money and my hands thoroughly before I scream hysterically.

RHSEPT 288I'm not a germaphobe, I don't think you can be when you work with money that much, but the white powder absolutely freaked me out.


 October 2016

I finally encountered it, after all the years in retail, reading the sites saying that the customer just stared at the person as if the stare would change the answer they didn't like.

It finally happened to me.

I'm in the bakery/coffee bar and a customer comes up and asks if there are any more croissants available. There had been a rush and I had some in the oven so I told him so. He just stared at me.

So I said I was sorry there were no more croissants left and we were baking some.

He just stared at me some more.

I think my brain left for the moment because I just ended up staring back at him until I tried one more time: No there are no croissants, they're in the oven and they won't be available for at least 20 minutes (including cooling time).

Finally he stopped staring and asked me for a coffee. I've never encountered anyone like him before, he has a coffee loyalty card, he's going to be back.




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Closing Time Nightmares: A Collection of Really Bad Ones



From Harry, July, 2011:

I was ringing up a customer on July 4th three minutes after close and she was up to 50-something dollars worth of clearance shit when Douche and Douchette (40 year olds trying to be 17 kind of deal)  walk in and walk right past my manager who politely explains to them we are closed. They say 'whatever' and saunter around my store.

They complain about our cheap shitty earrings and how they'll turn Douche's ears green. Whatever, fuck them. The lady I'm ringing runs off to grab one more thing and Douche and Douchette throws a pair of five dollar earrings on the counter amid the pile of stuff from the other lady.

I can't pause a transaction and go onto a new one and I'm certainly not going to cancel out 50-something dollars worth of stuff that I just spent the last five minutes ringing up.

I explain to him that I will be with him in just one moment. Douchette goes 'wow' really loud and Douche is like 'I know, fucking everyone's gotta be rude cause they're closed.'


I couldn't even respond. And my manager just blinked, as dumbfounded as I was. They left in a huff and the lady, who, though was making us late to close, was pretty nice, was like "You aren't rude. He just needed an excuse not to buy those earrings for his girl."

Anyone wanna share some bad closing time stories?

[Read them all here]



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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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Closing Time Nightmares: Regan's Quarter Niners

Rhu_characters_026ax From Regan, July 2008

So as I'm listening to my neighbors upstairs FUCKING for the upteenth time today I am reminded of how sometimes we get fucked at our lovely retail hellholes :) The lovely 2-10 shift first of all. Gotta love it. Especially on a Saturday. Oh joy!

So it is pretty much dead from 7 p.m. on. Until about....oh I'd say...8:45? Yeah.. we close at 9. Ha! Lovely. So these two fat cows come in at about 8:45 and I see they have like literally....about....25 pieces of clothing each? They are headed to the fitting rooms at 8:56. LOVELY. Fucking lovely. EIGHT FIFTY SIX? Fucking blow me Quarter Niner bitches! You are NOT getting your fat asses in and out of those clothes in 4 minutes and cashing out. Especially TIMES TWO! They are tee-hee-in and gigglin and saying shit like "Oh, we might need some accessories too! Teehee teehee!"

12My associates and I are gritting our teeth and smiling painfully and trying not to break a fucking hanger in half and slit their fat cow throats with it. Mind you, we had EVERYTHING done. Except for the last couple registers I had to, and deposits and what not. We would've been out at like... 9:15. Instead of fucking TEN.

So one of my associates finds a polite way to tell them that we have been closed, without actually saying "Hey bitches, we be closed. Scram."

So the stupid heffer is like "'re closed!?!?"

Noooo. Duh? So 9:20 rolls around. They're finally cashing out. They spent way less than a hundred bucks between them. NOT worth my 20 minutes if you ask me. Actually, no, it would've been....about 35 minutes total. Yeah. Definitely not. I was so hoping they would at least buy 3/4 of what they fucking took it. Stupid fucking cunts. I clock out at 9:50 something. So much for the quarter after 9 finale I planned on. The fucking Quarter Niners ruined that.

Then I come home to fight with a stupid fucking fly that will NOT leave me alone for 20 minutes. You know, those retarded ones that just fly and fly and fly in circles and you canNOT seem to swat them? Kind of like customers....Huh. The clothes would be the "shit" that the "flies" are attracted to. Huh!

OH and tomorrow on my day off I am so lucky, I get to drive around God's country to look for used boats because the old man just NEEDS a fucking boat. (Good thing HE doesn't work on a fucking retail salary!) What's even better is that he gets to drag my happy ass around to do that but he won't go with me for like 30 minutes to one of the biggest fucking book sales around! It's the last day of it. Books are fucking therapeutic to me after a shitty day of Retail Hell. They're all I have! To be around thousands of them would put me in a fucking Zen like trance. At least I would be semi-happy for a bit..
Ha! I killed the fly! Go me! *Does a jig*

I hate people -_-