Can I Close the Store Early If No Customers Come By?

Q. I got an invitation to a party but am scheduled to work until 10PM. If no customers come in by 9PM can I close up early?

A. Imagine that you are the business owner and think about your question again. Would you want to lose an hour of business just because an employee cut out early for a social engagement? Would you employ someone who is unwilling to work assigned shifts and dishonest about meeting obligations? How would you respond if you found out later that your worker left early without asking permission? You have made a commitment to your employer, just as he or she has made a commitment to pay you for your work. Ultimately you, your boss and the rest of the staff all depend on each other honoring those commitments. It is unfair to simply renege. A better tactic would be to ask a coworker to sub for you. If you can’t find anyone, ask your boss if you can close up early that night. If he or she says no, you must honor your commitment and work your full shift.

Neela Kale is a writer and catechetical minister based in the Archdiocese of Portland. She served with the Incarnate Word Missionaries in Mexico and earned a Master of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology. Some of her best theological reflection happens on two wheels as she rides her bike around the hills of western Oregon.