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Yes, We’re Open

March 31, 2008

For those of you unaware, it was Easter Sunday a week or so ago.

I, typically enough, was at work.

The number of phone calls I fielded asking if we were open was unbelievable. With the employer’s blessing, I took to finding increasingly creative ways of telling people we were open for business; for instance, responding to my favourite question with “I doubt it, but all these people sitting around drinking coffee seem to think so; and I am here, so …”

We got increasingly creative as the day went on, the only rule being that they had to know we were open and be invited down.  We are courteous and a business, after all, for all that fielding the same question 20+ times in a day gets old pretty damned fast.

However, my favourite for the day was the man that called at 5:20, and responded to my answering with “Oh, good, you are open this evening!”  Now, this was my favourite for a few reasons.  First off, being that he made the spectacular intuitive leap that someone answering = open.  No one else had done so during the day.  This, in and of itself, was hilarious.  The fact that this particular caller made this leap of intuition made it greater.  The second was the time.  He had, in fact, called just after closing time.  His great leap led him to jump to the wrong conclusion, when anyone else applying the same intellectual premise during the day could have spared themselves much ridicule.  Finally, we’re never open late there.  It’s a Sunday, we always close at 5:00.  It catches people off guard every time, but we close early.

I got to re-educate one of the charming sort that show up at 4:45 and plan on hanging out “for the evening”.  I grinned at my boss as the call unfolded.  “No, sir, we actually closed 20 minutes ago.”  “Oh…  But…”  “At 5:00, sir, as we do every Sunday.”  “…uh?…”

I loved the final, puzzled grunt before the call ended…  It had so much meaning, contained in a single nonsensical syllable.  “Really?  You close then?  But…  Wow.  I didn’t know that!  How inconvenient.”  It was … the most rewarding portion of my evening, especially given that we’d been nailed to the wall by a super-rush most of the day, and were only getting out of there on time ’cause the owners were also there to assist close.

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