Manners Matter: Closing Time

Dear Mary Pat,

I walked into a store this week, and half of the lights were off, and the worker (owner?) said, “Oh, sorry. You just missed us. We’re closed.” Normally I wouldn’t have thought twice about it because everyone seems to have different hours depending on their location. However, this was 3:50 in the afternoon. In June. The sign on the door said that they close at 5:00. Also, I didn’t “just miss” anyone because he was right there talking to me. If he had given me a good reason – such as a family emergency or a health issue – it would have made sense. However, he said he had been there too many hours and was short staffed. I know that good help is hard to find, but give me a break. I own a small business myself, and we keep posted hours because that is the professional thing to do.  

Disappointed Dan
West Allis, Wisconsin

Dear Disappointed Dan,

This situation is thankfully the exception rather than the rule in Door County. Most stores keep their hours, which can obviously change dramatically from season to season. I would be more likely to expect this in the middle of January when there isn’t a car in sight. However, this is just the beginning of the season. How will this man survive July? If he doesn’t have the energy to keep his store open until 5:00, he should consider changing his hours to read 4:00 (or 3:50?), closing one day altogether or moving to a nontourist location where you don’t have to be open seven days a week.

Good luck,
Mary Pat