Unfiltered Story #214285

, , | Unfiltered | November 8, 2020

Some years ago, I was hired by a chain of convenience stores that is pretty popular in the Midwest and the northern part of American South. They hired me for overnights at a location in the shady part of town as the overnight guy they had wasn’t completing his duties.

This is just about the time I became a no-nonsense person. I was living in a town I hated, leaving a job I kind of liked just because the owner didn’t have enough hours to offer me. It didn’t bother me at all that the job was overnights or that the neighborhood was sketchy.

It was guaranteed 36+ hours a week, making about a dollar over minimum. I wasn’t going to complain; it was miraculous I had gotten the job, since the deciding factor was that the district manager and I had a hobby in common that I was able to use in my favor in a big way.

So, me a girl, in sketchy neighborhood, at night. I have a million stories, but here are the best two:

1) Our manager has just established a new rule: no returns without his approval. If he’s not in the store, call him. If he doesn’t answer, ask the customer to come back when he’s in.

It’s easily eleven o’clock or midnight when a young lady comes in with a friend of hers to purchase [brand name] cigarettes. She begins the transaction by asking for the price of two packs of [brand name] cigarettes and I tell her it’s double the cost of one, which is about $6.25. She claims to have seen a sign that advertised a lower price for two, just outside the store. I am reluctant to leave the register without knowing precisely where this sign is, so I ask her. From inside the store, she can’t find it again, and neither can I.

She decides, then, to just purchase a single pack of [brand name] cigarettes. She turns around, after having paid, and finds the sign she meant, Right Next To the door!

She whips around and demands a second pack at the lower price in order to meet the difference. That is absolutely not something I can do, and I let her know in friendly but definite terms. She demands an exchange so she can buy two packs and get the lower price. I let her know I’m not allowed to do that without manager permission. She tells me to get his permission.

So, midnight, on a night when my manager is guaranteed asleep because he opens at 6 am the next morning, I call his phone, terrified of the consequences should he answer, and terrified should he not.

He does not.

The customer demands that I call again. I do. He doesn’t answer this time either. I’m very apologetic throughout, but the customer becomes belligerent, swearing at me, demanding that I fix it immediately, even though I have explained that I cannot.

As she begins to get louder, I pull out my last card trick.

Me: If you don’t leave, right now, I will call the police.

I pick up the phone.

Customer: Fine! Call the police! I don’t care!

She then begins to shout her name and address at me. Eventually, her friend dragged her out of the store, still screaming at me out ridiculous this all was.

I couldn’t have agreed more, but for the opposite reasons she had…

2) State law does not permit the sale of alcohol between midnight and 6am weekends, and 11pm and 6am weekdays. 5:45 one morning, a regular customer of ours comes in and attempts to buy a rather large bottle of [name brand] vodka.

Naturally, as it is illegal, I refuse the sale, and my manager, who is directly behind me, counting the safe, agrees.

The customer leaves without much fuss, but returns shortly after, and accuses us of stealing his wallet.

As we refused the sale previously, we hadn’t seen his wallet at all that day, and we told him as much.

He began to sling accusations around, shouting that we had stolen his wallet. My manager and I continued to deny it, even when he threatened to call the police. Eventually, my manager calmed the man and sent him on his way.

A few moments later, he came back, while my manager was outside on a smoke break, and tried to smuggle a very large bottle of vodka out of the store, right past my manager, who took it from him and promptly called 911.

There were lots of other things about that store that stuck with me:

1) We had a snooty little girl on staff at our store who was demoted from supervisor not long after I was hired. She was constantly talking down to, and bossing, everyone within earshot, which was part of why she was demoted. In fact, she snapped at me as I was clocking on one evening because I had refused the sale of alcohol the previous evening to a man I had good reason to believe was already intoxicated. When I explained to her why I refused to sell to a man who reeked of whiskey, she insisted that I did not have the right to make that judgement call. I rolled my eyes and reminded her that I had just completed training a few days before and was quite certain that I did, in fact, have the legal right to refuse service to anyone for any reason.

2) We had a deaf customer who came in every day to get a beer brand named after the city that brews it and nicknamed “[City’s] Beast”. The customer was always very friendly and always had a smile at the ready. I still kind of miss him.

3) One night while I was mopping the restrooms, the doorbell dinged, as it does. I called out that I would be available in a moment. The doorbell dinged again and, assuming there were two customers waiting on me now, I left the mopping…and returned to a solitary customer standing over an overturned rack of [popular brand] lighters on the floor in the doorway. The customer in the door said he stopped another from stealing all that had been on display. We stopped displaying as many, instead hiding them under the counter.