Not What’s Meant By Secondhand Smoke

, , , , | Right | June 5, 2018

(I work at a location of a national chain of gas stations. This particular chain is very strict when it comes to cigarette and beer sales. No matter how old a customer appears, everybody in the party must show ID every time they purchase one of these products.)

Customer #1: “Hey, can I get a pack of [Cigarette Brand]?”

Me: “Sure. Can I see your ID?”

Customer #1: “Dude, I’m 30 years old, and I’m here almost every day. I didn’t bring my wallet.”

(The customer appears to be no older than 17. Currently, both corporate and the local police are running undercover checks to make sure we are verifying proof of age.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir; it’s store policy. We need to ID everybody buying tobacco or alcohol.”

Customer #1: “[Coworker] sells me cigarettes all the time and never asks for my d*** license.”

Me: “[Coworker] doesn’t work here anymore. Do you know why?”

Customer #1: “…”

Me: “He sold without seeing an ID, and it turned out the customer was 15 and was sent here undercover by the cops. Both Binghamton Police as well [Gas Station] corporate are keeping an eye on us regularly, and I’m not risking my job over a pack of cigarettes.”

Customer #1: “So, you’re not going to sell to me?”

Me: “Not without your ID, no.”

(The customer starts rattling off expletives and walks out the door. A minute later, a car drives up to buy gas, and the original customer outside approaches the man before he comes inside. This happens in plain view of the front windows and is also caught on the security cameras.)

Customer #2: “Hi, can I get $20 of regular on pump one, and also a pack of [Same Cigarette Brand]?”

Me: “Sure, can I see your ID, please?”

(The customer shows their ID.)

Me: “Thanks for that. I do apologize, but I’m also going to need to ask your friend to come in and show his ID.”

Customer #2: “What are you talking about?”

Me: “He was in here not even two minutes ago trying to buy the same brand of cigarettes, but didn’t have ID.”

Customer #2: “He’s not with me.”

Me: “Then why did he hand you money before he came in?”

Customer #2: “…”

Me: “Sir, I could see it right from where I was standing behind the register. I also saw it clearly on the CCTV monitor.”

Customer #2: “They’re for me. Can you just sell me the d*** cigarettes?”

Me: “I have to assume you’re buying for him, and I am refusing the sale. I am now asking you to leave the store. If you insist on arguing with me, I’d be more than happy to call the police and let them handle this.”

Customer #2: “F*** you.”

(My boss and I had a good laugh about the story the next day.)

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