Today is Sunday. On Sundays during the summer, I work at the local gun club. I tend bar, take care of people signing up to shoot and keep the throwers full. It’s a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I’m open from 11 until 3. That means when I get there at 10:30, there is usually a few people waiting for me. No big deal. They just have to wait until I’m ready. Generally, they help set up the trap and skeet houses.

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As a general rule I don’t allow people to sign up after 2:30 because, I still don’t want to stay there all day. And if you sign up after 2:30, chances are you’re going to dink around so much I won;t get to leave until 4 or later. I’m lenient on this though. But when a group of 5 shows up at 2:45 and want’s to shoot 4 rounds, I get cranky. For those who don’t know, it takes about 20 minutes to shoot a round. And with 4 rounds, I have to load a thrower twice. It takes about 10 minutes to load. Plus, people don’t shoot a round, the shoot again right away. They dink around between rounds for 5 -10 minutes. So, I’m looking at 4:45 if I let them shoot. So I explained the situation to them. And they didn’t care. They said they were here before closing, so I should let them shoot. I explained that technically, sign ups closed at 2:30. I didn’t have to let them shoot at all.

Well, they got pissed. They didn’t understand why I was being a dick about it. They were there and they wanted to shoot. I asked if they were shooting for a score for league, and they said no, they were shooting for fun. I said I was sorry, but if it’s just for fun, I wasn’t willing to stay late.

One of the guys said, “Well, I know the president of the club. I’m going to give him a call and see what he thinks about it!” I told him to go ahead.

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He talked to the president for a few minutes, and after he got off the phone, my phone started ringing. It was Dave, the president. He told me that I should go ahead and lock up the throwers at 3:00, and close the clubhouse. He told the guy I was a volunteer and I was there working as a favor to people who wanted to shoot. He also told the guy that if he had a problem with it he could go shoot at another club, and even told him of 2 in the area that were open until 5.

After I got off the phone, the guy actually apologized. He said he didn’t know I was a volunteer, and they thought I would just get paid extra for staying late. I told them it wasn’t a big deal, and I was sorry, but I had things to do after working. I did say they could shoot one round if they wanted. I’d stay for that. So they shot one round. After they were done, they helped me close up the trap houses and came in and asked if I would stay long enough for them to have a beer. I said sure. So they bought me one too. (they were going to buy me a beer even if they didn’t know it...) Plus, they gave me a $10 tip for staying open an extra half hour. They went on their way, and I closed up.

I wasn’t really happy, but the tip helped sooth my feelings.

The whole point of my rant is, if a place has posted hours, and you show up 15 minutes before closing, don’t just expect people to be happy about you wanting them to stay as late as they want you too. Ask them if it’s ok, and make sure you make it worth their while.

Also, GO VIKINGS!