[imgz=http://forums.silverstackers.com/uploads/753_55203417.jpg][/imgz] Memes like this have been doing the rounds of facebook lately, accompanied by the usual comments from customer service workers who feel exactly the same way when someone walks in at closing time as well as the usual comments from those who don't work in the service industry who think that the magic world of economics means that just because they have a fistful of $$ and a burning desire to part with that fistful of $$, that they should be welcomed lovingly. This is my Austrian take on the meme and why customers should not expect to receive the same quality of service at closing time as they would expect at other times. Economic activity is that activity whereby individuals apply means to their ends, and in this case as either shopkeepers or customers. In applying means to their ends individuals make subjective judgments ie value based decisions. These judgments are based upon many criteria, some implicit and others explicit, some that are given no conscious thought but are arrived at through experience, some that are impulsive or have no basis for justification and some that involve hours, days, weeks etc of research or procrastination. There are as many variables involved in transactions as there are individuals. But the basis is a value judgment. The customer buying a cappuccino for $4.50 at 1:30pm values the cappuccino more than he values his $4.50 and the time it takes to wait for it to be made etc. Likewise the shopkeeper values the $4.50 more than his coffee beans, expenses to run his equipment and the time taken to make the coffee etc. Moving forward to closing time at 5pm, whilst the customer's subjective judgment may not have changed in regards to his $4.50 and available time, the shopkeeper, who has spent the last x amount of hours at work, is giving thought to having some time to himself and possibly his family or friends. His subjective judgment of the value of the $4.50 at 4:55pm is markedly different to the way he would have viewed it earlier in the day, in his mind he would much rather be cleaning up than making a coffee. Even though he is getting paid he doesn't think it is worth it. Despite his resentment though, he grants the customer's wish - as a favour to the customer or with an eye to future business. So next time you venture in to a shop at closing time and get "that look", don't despair, you're actually getting better value for money than if you'd been there 30 min earlier, you just shouldn't expect the red carpet treatment.