Around closing time, I noticed that the mall was starting to get busy. This wasn't unexpected, since the new Harry Potter movie was slated for a midnight debut. I had some puttering around to do -- normally, I vacuum during the slow periods on Thursday night, but I had a few other tasks and not that many slow moments.
i decided to stay open while I was vacuuming, and see who wandered in.
A little after 9, I called my boss and let him know that I had more people wandering around the store than I'd had at any other point in the day.
... particularly after I sent a co-worker out to drum up business by handing out freebie comics and letting folks know that we had Harry Potter wands left over from Halloween, and were selling them at 20% off.
(I didn't clear that particular discount with the boss, but given that I sold all but two of the wands, and most everyone who came in to look at and/or purchase wands wound up buying other stuff, I don't think he'll complain.)
We wound up staying open until 11; a full third of yesterday's sales were made in those last two hours. There were, evidently, several thousand people in a line that ranged all the way around the mall. The theater wound up shutting down other shows so they could open Potter on more screens and clear the crowds out faster.
The energy of the crowd was infectious. Everyone was upbeat and happy and excited, and the realization of just how long two hours of waiting in a line really was only diminished that slightly (and fueled the impulse to head into Geek Heaven to find reading material, decks of cards, and other ways to kill time, so hey, bonus). That aura of enthusiasm kept me rarin' to go (RAR) well after I normally would have been fading out (aided and abetted by a 7PM can of Dr Pepper), and I have to admit: I had fun.
Pity we didn't have more Potter paraphernalia in stock.
My last customer of the night was also my favorite: a person in a Green Lantern shirt who admitted she was really there to see the GL trailer on the big screen. You gotta respect that.