Happy Holidailies – Dec. 9, 2022

Update: The plumbing issue has been solved. Niece appears to have the flu. And we’ve located some Children’s Tylenol.

Prompt: Tell us your personal holiday shopping-mall horror story.

This is not so much horror as humor. 

I worked for Thrifty back in my early 20s. For those of you not familiar, it was a drugstore chain in California famous for its cheap ice cream (still available at Rite-Aid if you’re looking for it). We were always open until 10:00 PM no matter the day of the year, or how many customers we had in the store.

So, it’s Christmas Eve. Because we were attached to a mall, we were either busy until the mall doors closed at 6:00 PM or we were busy until we closed. This year the store went dead the moment the mall shut down. So we spent four hours doing the usual chores – putting up the go-backs, cleaning the register stalls, stocking items. Eventually, most of the other shifts went home until it was me, another cashier, and the manager. We were ready to close and go home counting down the seconds.

Then, at 9:55 PM, a man walks into the store, picks up a basket, and starts shopping. We make the ‘store closing in five minutes’ announcement and wait.

Five minutes pass and we lock the door and make ‘the store is now closed’ announcement and wait.

We make the same announcement at 10:05 PM and 10:10 PM. The lone shopper in the store keeps shopping.

At 10:15, it is decided that one of us should go see if he needs help. And the manager decides that I’m the one who’s up to the job. So I approach the man and say the store is now closed, and if he needs help finding something, I’m more than happy to, so we can get his purchases checked out. 

He looks at me and asks. “Are you going to be open tomorrow?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Well shit. I could be doing this tomorrow.” He put his basket down and walked out of the store buying nothing, leaving a basket full of go-backs and a register to count down.

So that’s how I ended up doing overtime on Christmas Eve because of one customer.

Quick reminder that paperbacks make an awesome present. Here’s a bunch of indie authors whose books you can order and still get in time for Christmas.