‘Do your jobs’: Viral video sparks debate over customers entering store minutes before closing

There are few topics as hotly contested in society as the expectations of employees in the service industry.

Customer demands gave rise to the term Karen, one forever seeking validation from the manager over perceived slights committed by entry-level workers granted no authority for conflict resolution, which seemed to present the case that the relationship between employee and consumer was not symbiotic, but combative.

So, when a video of customers growing hostile at what appears to be a Cold Stone Creamery went viral after they were refused service, the debate over who was in the right raged across social media.

In the video, there is a dispute over whether the customers entered at closing or one minute prior. That point alone was enough to fuel both sides of the argument.

Warning: Language

Like the initial post says, “As customers.. don’t walk into a place 1 minute before closing .. just dont.”

This is the perspective of many low-level service industry workers, particularly in food service where equipment needs to be cleaned before shifts can officially end.

And even the user who reposted the video captioned it by stating, “He recording like we was gone be on his side I just bust out laughing.” He went on to add, “Now you look silly over some icecream you could’ve got throughout the day.”

While the employees lament how “We want to go home,” in the video, the irate customer was even willing to concede that he may have walked in at the closing time of 8:30 p.m. and not one minute prior at 8:29 p.m. For some, that “one f*cking minute” as he put it, shouldn’t make any difference on whether he received service since he was ale to enter the retail location.

What fewer observers of the viral exchange seemed to acknowledge was the fact that both parties had the capacity of being wrong. There was at least one who recognized that a line had been crossed by the customer when he passed the point of civilly disagreeing with the employees over whether or not he should be served and he proceeded “threaten a kid” as one can be heard saying in the video.

The bigger miss in all of the back and forth was that this is the battlefield upon which the Fight for $15 is waging. Both customers and the employees believe that they are entitled to something they haven’t earned. It is unclear if management defended their staff after this altercation was made known or if disciplinary action was taken for their failure to satisfy their customers.

What is known is what famed economist Thomas Sowell made clear in his book, “Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy.” In that work, Sowell laid out his premise on the reality of the minimum wage that applies to situations like this, “Unfortunately, the real minimum wage is always zero, regardless of the laws, and that is the wage that many workers receive in the wake of the creation or escalation of a government-mandated minimum wage…Making it illegal to pay less than a given amount does not make a worker’s productivity worth that amount–and, if it is not, that worker is unlikely to be employed.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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