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Closing time: Accidental crimefighter
  #1  
Old 04-24-2020, 10:16 AM
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Default Closing time: Accidental crimefighter

I had an interesting experience closing the Store tonight. In the six weeks or so since we've started closing overnight due to the slow-motion apocalypse that has become our daily lives, I've become the point-man for handling the close more or less by default, as I work the late-evening shift five nights a week and nobody else really wants to deal with it. The Store's philosophy is that if we say we close at 10 PM, that means that 10 PM is when the last customer needs to be out the door, so at 9:30 PM I've been closing the exit door, putting a barricade in front of the entry door, and standing there to let people out while not letting anyone else in, while making overhead announcements every 5 minutes that if you aren't in line by 10 you're out the door.

At about 15 minutes to close, while I'm dealing with a woman at the door who's worried that her friend who's still shopping isn't going to get done in time, "Mr. Wayne", the Store's faithful detective and LP specialist, radios me to let me know about a customer checking out who's acting like she's got all the time in the world - she's putting her items on the belt at a rate of about one per minute, she's talking the cashier's head off with bizarre questions, she appears to be under the influence, and if she keeps up at this rate we're all going to be here all night. I call the customer service clerk and the other person working the grocery floor to come up and start loading her groceries onto the belt, but she tells them not to touch her stuff and I hear her raise her voice. I wave for the self-checkout clerk to watch the door so I can go over and deal with the matter, and I take a page from our Store Manager, who has taken a no-fricks-given approach to dealing with disrespectful/abusive customers during these times.

Me: Ma'am, the Store closes in ten minutes. We're gonna have to get you rung up right now or we're not gonna be able to serve you.
C: I don't know if I want all of it yet.
Me: Well, you need to get what you want onto the belt right now.
C: Don't fucking rush me!
Me: You don't need to curse at me, ma'am.
C: I ain't cussing! You're an idiot.
Me: We're done. I'm not going to tolerate verbal abuse of myself or my crew. You can leave now.
C: I didn't cuss at you!
Me: You just called me an idiot.
C: No I didn't!
Me: (pressing the talk button on my radio) Mr. Wayne, I'm trespassing this woman. Can I get assistance escorting her out of the building?

Mr. Wayne walked her out, without her purchase, while she continued shouting and cursing at him and I and complaining that her ride had left without her.

Once we had her off the lot and I'd closed the gate for the night, Mr. Wayne filled me in on the part of the story I didn't know; she'd been in the Store since 6:30. He'd been watching her on the cameras for most of the time since as she wandered around the aisles, put stuff in her cart, put it back, argued with another woman (who turned out to be the same woman at the door worried about her friend that I mentioned back at the beginning of the story) and generally milling around the front end. He was pretty sure that she was planning a cart-push (I.e., filling a cart up with stuff and just walking out the door with it in the hope that noone will notice) and that the other woman was her getaway driver, but once I closed both the doors she had to change her plans and wasn't clever enough to make for one of the emergency exits so she tried obfuscating at the checkout in the hopes that she could sneak some stuff out without paying for it.

Lots of people have been trying to rip off us lately - whether via petty shoplifting, trying to pass bad checks, attempted Western Union scam calls, fraudulent returns, or other meshugas. I'm just glad that I was able to foil one without even knowing I was doing it.
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  #2  
Old 04-24-2020, 04:35 PM
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Victory Sabre Victory Sabre is offline
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Wow!
I'm at a loss for words with that woman, well, creature might be more accurate.

Good for you for kicking her out.
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  #3  
Old 04-24-2020, 06:07 PM
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I was stationed near one of the out doors last week by a manager and told to keep an eye out for a customer who looked like he was going to walk out with his cart without paying. The dude wandered around for a while before finally leaving (after paying). I don't know what that was about.
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  #4  
Old 04-24-2020, 10:56 PM
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A "no-fricks-given" attitude towards people like these is long, LONG overdue.
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Old 04-25-2020, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Quoth Pixelated View Post
A "no-fricks-given" attitude towards people like these is long, LONG overdue.
Yep, I agree. Nothing more annoying then a customer who thinks that the closing announcement means “I’ll just pick up the last few items then”. I’ve taken to closing the doors then looping the store telling customers that due to the cost pressures of the current pandemic, the cash registers will automatically shutdown 5 min after close (which is a load of shit but they don’t have to know that) and if they aren’t through by then then they’re SOL because there’s nothing we can do (read: willing to do). There’s a cord you can pull with your foot that makes the machine crash so if a customer does bitch we can turn the screen around to show it shutting itself down and since our hands are clearly in view the entire time we couldn’t have hit any buttons either. Sometimes it helps when your customer base is made out of rich bitches that have never worked a real job in their life and have no idea how to manipulate people because they’ve always just thrown money at the problem.
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  #6  
Old 04-25-2020, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Quoth AkaiKitsune View Post
Yep, I agree. Nothing more annoying then a customer who thinks that the closing announcement means “I’ll just pick up the last few items then”. I’ve taken to closing the doors then looping the store telling customers that due to the cost pressures of the current pandemic, the cash registers will automatically shutdown 5 min after close (which is a load of shit but they don’t have to know that) and if they aren’t through by then then they’re SOL because there’s nothing we can do (read: willing to do).
The PA announcement I've been doing has been diplomatic but firm; "Attention Store customers! The Store will be closing in X minutes for cleaning and restocking. Please complete your selections and make your way to the checkout lanes by that time. If you are not in line by that time, you will not be served. We appreciate your understanding and thank you for shopping at the Store."

I haven't had to enforce the bold part thus far, though I was told by one of the floor workers a few weeks ago that they watched a guy start running at breakneck pace with his cart, throwing the last few things he needed into it, in order to make it to the checkstand before closing time. He made it with a few seconds to spare.
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2020, 10:32 AM
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Yeah, sadly we can’t even do a five minute warning anymore because someone complained “it made them feel harassed and rushed”.
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  #8  
Old 04-26-2020, 11:39 AM
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Monterey Jack Monterey Jack is offline
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Quote:
Quoth AkaiKitsune View Post
Yeah, sadly we can’t even do a five minute warning anymore because someone complained “it made them feel harassed and rushed”.
Thankfully, our store is allowed to do overhead announcements every fifteen minutes or so throughout the last hour (down to ten minutes for the last half-hour). At least on days when I've been closing, no one has really put up a fuss.
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2020, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Quoth AkaiKitsune View Post
Yeah, sadly we can’t even do a five minute warning anymore because someone complained “it made them feel harassed and rushed”.
One of the advantages of working for an employee-owned company is that corporate is occasionally OK with harassing and rushing the customers to take care of us.
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  #10  
Old 04-27-2020, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Quoth AkaiKitsune View Post
someone complained “it made them feel harassed and rushed”.
"Good, that's the point."
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