Have a bad feeling about work tonight. Like I might get the dreaded "customer complaint."
Old lady came in five minutes before close. Fat, scowling, bad news. This annoyed me. But you can't say, "Hey, we're closing." That'd be rude, right? Right. So anyway. I didn't say anything. I resolved that this woman would be there until 15 after, and I just had to deal with it.
She went up to the counter and set a candle down. Hallelujah! She's done! And it was only 9:02. I said, "Will that be all for you today?"
"No," she said, "that is NOT all for me today."
She gave me this impression that she knew damn well the mall was closing, and that she was aggravated about it, because the mall should stay open, I mean, she's buying a CANDLE, for God's sake. This is America and her business shouldn't be denied. This was leading her to insinuate things about me (i.e. that I wanted her the fuck out of there, which was true, but she couldn't know that, since I was playing it cool) that existed entirely in her head.
I stood at the register. She wandered a bit more. She said, "Is it time to close?" And you just would've had to have heard it. The tone said, "I wish I could murder you with a hammer."
At this point a mixture of rage and awkwardness was boiling in my brain. The rage is due to several factors, some of which don't seem to bother other people at all (those people have saintly patience and are much more cut out for retail work than me). My irritation at late-runners can be summed up as a matter of opportunity costs (this is for you, Chermaine):
LeBron James didn't go to college. Why is this? Because Nike offered him $100 million to not go to college. Though college wouldn't have costed him anything, the opportunity cost of not taking the Nike deal would've suddenly made the price of going to college about $100 million.
I can't tell you how much I make per hour. That'd get me in trouble. But let's say I make X amount of dollars an hour. My hours are 4-9:30, with 9 being the close time and the :30 (usually it's more like :20) is to close down the registers. Now, every day I work, every hour, there is an opportunity cost, Y. It's not always monetary. For example, when I'm at work tomorrow, I could be at home, vacuuming, or walking my wild pooch. But, I continue to go to work, because I need X more than I need Y. X > Y.
For me, once it's time to go, X < Y. At that point I feel like it's costing me more than it's worth to stay. Because you, the customer, must shop, now my dog gets a five minute shorter walk. Or my dishes go undone. Or my blog or novel goes unwritten. But you see what I'm saying. The opportunity cost begins to outweight the monetary X.
Also, the store is always empty the last twenty minutes. Come twenty minutes before we close. You'll have plenty of time to shop. It's maddening to me that the store is empty...empty...and then three people pop in at five-till. Jesus, folks.
Like I said, there was (well-contained/hidden) rage and awkwardness there. But the awkwardness was much more potent, you could feel it hanging in the air between us. I kind of stuttered, "Well, it's nine, but it's okay."
I rang her up. She picked up her candle and walked out. On her way out, she said, "I wish I had more time to shop," and then left. The whole vibe was really bad. But the funniest thing is that in this case I really didn't do anything. I kept my voice friendly, and smiled a lot. But still, I feel like the lady will call and complain. Because stores close. Which is totally uncool. Everything should be like Wal-Mart. Which is probably where her fat redneck trailer trash ass is used to shopping. I don't feel like that insult had enough bite. She was ugly and a poopy-pants. OOOOO. If she had the internet and could read she'd be totally pissed right now.