“So what time did they go down last night?”
“Probably about 6pm or so. I couldn’t clock in or anything. All our sales had to be done manually.”
He sighed. Exasperated. Annoyed. I didn’t blame him. I felt the same. I hadn’t been able to clock in last night and all our information for attendance was double checked on Sundays. I had only the rest of our open hours today to put in a time correction, and none of our technology worked.
“So what should I do?” I asked.
“Call back later.”
“Okay. Good luck.”
The line went dead. I felt just as upset as I had last night when I was trying to figure out how to check out a woman. How annoyed she was, like I had been the reason the system went down. I was able to get her paid for and send her on her way, but not before she gave me an unnecessary verbal bombardment about how we shouldn’t be open if our tech didn’t work. I told her we aren’t allowed to make that call. We had to stay open until Corporate told us to close. She looked at me like I was the stupid one. I looked at her with narrow eyes that probably implied murder a
little too well. She would get over it. I still had to deal with the rest of that night, and for some stupid reason we were open until 11pm.
It felt unnecessary.
I felt worse for people who wanted to come in and pay their bills last minute. There was nothing we could do for them. Part of me wanted to tell them they should have paid the bill sooner instead of waiting until the day it was due. That probably would have gotten me fired. So I took the abuse from those customers too. The raw outrage. The questions about if they’d be penalized or not. I couldn’t even answer them. We had no way of doing anything. No way of knowing anything.
My manager was on hold with the Help Desk for almost an hour. When she got through to someone we were informed that this was company wide, and not just an isolated incident. We were even more upset, because now we couldn’t refer customers to another location close by. We were absolutely stuck. Corporate wasn’t calling it a night. So we stayed. Cleaned. I put security tags on all of the newest women’s ready-to-wear. It took me 3 hours. Not a single customer came into our store after 9pm, which is our regular closing time.
When I got home, I had drank so much caffeine that my poor boyfriend had to listen to me chatter until I pretty much talked myself to sleep. Venting all my anger at how stupid corporations could be.
They weren’t looking out for us.