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.)

Espionage Doesn’t Cost As Much As It Used To

, , , , | Working | September 4, 2017

(I’m relatively poor, living check-to-check on minimum wage, so I tend to frequent dollar and discount stores for many of my basic needs. I’m currently in a dollar store near my apartment. I pick up a few items I think I’ll need, but after wandering around for 15 minutes, decide to put some of them back. Suddenly, a worker approaches me as I’m putting back the some of the items.)

Worker: “I’m gonna have to ask you to leave.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. Are you guys closing or something?”

Worker: “No. It’s not that. We just don’t want you here.”

Me: *taken aback* “What?”

Worker: “I saw you at [Other Dollar Store]. I know you work there!”

(I do not work there.)

Me: “I don’t work there. And even if I did, what’s the problem?”

Worker: “We don’t appreciate corporate espionage here, sir!”

(This is so ridiculous and unexpected a response, I actually burst out laughing.)

Me: *between laughs* “What?”

Worker: *firm* “I know you work at [Other Dollar Store]! I saw you there. I bet they sent you over to check out our prices or something. They always steal all of our business!”

Me: “Dude… it’s a dollar store. Do they really need to send someone over to spy on you in order to figure out how much most of your stuff costs?”

Worker: “I know you work for them!”

Me: “Uh, I’m sorry, but I don’t.”

(The conversation continues for about another minute, with him repeatedly accusing me of “corporate espionage” and me dismissing these ludicrous claims. Finally, he seems to relent…)

Worker: “Fine. Whatever. But I know you work at [Other Dollar Store].”

Me: *laughing* “Okay, buddy.”

(I go to the cashier to ring up the things I am buying.)

Me: “Uhh… You don’t really think I’m committing corporate espionage, do you?”

Cashier: *confused* “What?”

(I explained the situation to the cashier, who was completely dumbfounded by her coworker’s claims. I also noted that in order for him to have supposedly recognized me from the other dollar store, which admittedly I do shop at occasionally, he would have had to have been in there a lot himself… I returned to the store repeatedly several times in the following weeks and so far as I can tell, the worker who confronted me was no longer there.)