Somewhere It’s Beer O’Clock, But Not Here…

, , , , , , , | Right | February 24, 2020

Where I am, the law states that stores can only sell beer and wine up until 11:00 pm, and the registers will refuse all sales at 11:00 on the dot — they won’t even scan at that point until 8:00 am — and at 9:00 we lock the door so people can only be buzzed in or out. One night, at 10:50, two guys come in, of age, asking about what beer is on sale.

Me: “We have [lists brands], but you have less than nine minutes to get it to the register; otherwise, I can’t sell it to you.”

Customer #1: “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

The customer is clearly not listening. I go about my business tidying things up and doing my job. I see it’s now 10:55. They’re still looking at different beers, picking up the cases, looking at the prices, discussing, just taking their time, so I go into the beer fridge.

Me: “Hey, guys, if you want beer, you have to grab it now and come to the register. At 11:00 exactly, the registers don’t allow any sale of alcohol; it’s out of my control.”

Customer #1: “Yeah, yeah.”

Customer #2: “Hey, man, we’re deciding; just give us a minute.”

As they say this, other customers come in for random snacks, soda, cigarettes, etc., and I vaguely forget why the original two customers are in. They finally decide on a case after another five minutes, and when they come to the register, there are three people ahead of them. I see this, and when finishing with the first customer I let them know:

Me: “Hey, guys, I can’t sell you that. Please either put it back or put it down, and you can buy anything else, but both legally and literally, I cannot sell that to you until 8:00 am tomorrow.”

They don’t respond and just roll their eyes. They finally make it to the cash, and I’m hoping (incorrectly) that it’ll be easy.

Customer #1: “Hey! So, just this, and two packs of cigarettes!”

Me: “Two packs of cigarettes coming right up!” 

As I say this, I grab the case of beer, put it on the floor behind the register, and turn to grab what they asked for.

Customer #2: “Hey, man, that’s not funny. Give us our beer.”

Me: “I told you multiple times and was nice enough to warn you when you had five minutes. You’re well past the cut-off point of buying beer.”

Customer #1: “You didn’t say s***, you f****** a**hole! You’re gonna give us our beer for free now for this or I’m going to jump over that counter and f****** kill you.”

I’m used to angry people by now, so the second he got belligerent I hit the silent alarm, and the police station is literally across the street, so within seconds I can see three officers walk out the front steps and cross the street, headed straight for our door.

Me: “Our cameras record sound, too. And kudos to you if you can reach me before they reach you.”

I pointed to the officers moving very quickly towards us. It very quickly turned into the most bizarre cat-and-mouse game inside the store I’ve ever seen, with one of the idiots trying to run full speed, arms outstretched, into a pull door laughing, thinking he was making it home free.

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