I assume you mean the scale was zero'd end-to-end (as normally done) but the whole apparatus tilted sideways toward you?
Yes. It was properly zeroed (before, and while it was titled). Having the weight on the beam far from the poise just made it unstable. Without 55.5 gr in the scale pan, the beam would drag on the guide at the left side of the scale (sighting piece, I believe is the proper term ?). With the addition of weight in the scale pan, the poise was dragging and the beam was dragging on the guide (near side, and/or far side).
I think the reason it was such an issue, is that the 5-0-5 and 5-0-2 scales don't have fixed bearing blocks. The blocks are free floating, under their retaining plates, to allow self-alignment as they wear. If the scale is out of level, the free-floating bearing blocks allow the beam to move around, and drag on parts of the base the beam is not supposed to touch.