Writing Prompts: Late Arrivals

Now, really?

I have lamented the trend of customers to arrive late to my places of work before, and I feel now is a good time to explain what renders this so aggravating. It is, fortunately, not an issue where I work now, but it has been a problem in prior jobs.

On one level, I do understand. Sometimes, someone who works a 9-5 office routine can only come out to a store outside of those hours, and a lot of stores run a 9-6 (or in past cases, 8-8, 9-7, or 9-8 routine) schedule, which limits the opportunities for someone to rush out and get what they need. I’m not oblivious to this, where it comes to important or essential supplies for work or home. What is considerably more frustrating is when it’s an environment that is more showroom sales-based, such as sofas.

In that past job, this was a regular occurrence. With the showroom open until 8pm, and with most office-based workplaces closing no later than 6pm, why would someone come through the door at 7.55?! This was pretty annoying as a retail worker in office supplies, even though I could understand it more. For a showroom environment, it’s just plain rude. The opening hours of the showroom are widely known, and easy to discover. There is no excuse to turn up, right as staff are preparing to bank, lock up, and go home, to merely amble about, as though you have all the time in the world.

I can promise you this. Whenever you go into a store with less than half an hour to go before closing time, and especially if you do so within the last 15 minutes, you are quietly derided and lambasted for doing so. The staff are going to resent your presence, especially if your intention is only to browse. They’ll plant a smile on their faces and go about their job, but they’ll be steaming behind that facade.

It’s even worse at weekends. When you have all day to visit a store, and choose to go there, right before closing time, I can guarantee you have earned the condemnation of every last person working there. Staff who work in retail have lives too, and at the end of a long day, we want go home. We’re not paid to play beyond the whistle, so to speak, so every second of time that the late-comer costs us is our own, personal time. Some due consideration that we are human beings, with interests beyond work, would not go amiss.

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