This last bit from the plumbing store isn't directly related to it being retail. It has to do with the location. We were in the corner between a major, busy street and a freeway, and the on-ramp that went in front of the store started well before our driveway. So, we had two lanes of through traffic, a left turn lane on the left (that went under the freeway to the ramp on the other side), an the on-ramp lane on the right. Traffic was *heavy* during the day; it was a very busy street.
And a wonderful view of the profound stupidity of humanity. And the ones who were trying to be nice were the stupidest of all.
We had a lot of accidents because of the nice people. There would be three lanes of traffic stopped at the light, and one lane moving at 30+ mph (something a *lot* faster, but more on that in a moment) on the far right. So somebody would be in the center suicide lane going the other way, trying to make a left turn into our parking lot, with three lanes of stopped traffic blocking their view. And some dumbass would leave them a space, and wave them through, and being a moron, they would go. And get t-boned at 30 mph by someone getting on the freeway. In the seven years I was there, that must have happened several dozen times. The worst was when a delivery truck (for the chemical plant next door) driver was the idiot making the left, and got t-boned by a woman who must have been doing close to 60. It wasn't pretty.
And speaking of people going way too fast, well, that was a bad idea. You see, you have the straight lane that's over a city block long, that comes up to a turn onto the actual on-ramp, and it is a *tight* corner. Safe speed is no more than about 30. There was one woman who hit that corner so fast that she slid sideways into the curb on the side of the ramp and folded her left front wheel under the car to about 45 degrees (we could see it through the window). Ok, that was stupid. She she comes into the store (this was before cell phones were common) and wants to call her husband, because she was just too stupid to know what to do. Refused to do anything else until she talked to him, and her husband wasn't answering. With her car blocking the ramp (which was nearly as busy as the street). Note: the on-ramp was one lane wide, with maybe 3 feet to either side as a shoulder. We watched a couple of dozen cars nearly run into her wreck, looked at the clock and realized that rush hour hadn't started yet - but was about to. And called 911, and gave them a detailed explanation. The highway patrol officer showed up with a tow truck, and basically ignored her hysterical whining while they cleared the wreckage from the very busy ramp, then gave her a ticket.
There was also the time that we got to watch the local police department make a felony stop right in front of the store. No idea what the three people in the car were wanted for, but the cops clearly considered them very dangerous. Must have been a dozen cop cars there by the time it was all over (they didn't even start getting people out of the car until there were about four cop cars there), with perps getting out of the car one at a time with their hands behind their heads, walking backwards to the cops to be taken down and handcuffed. Very professional, really. And right in the middle of this, there's a tractor trailer, behind them, wanting to make a left turn onto the freeway, who HONKS AT THEM to see if he can go (within 10 feet or so of cops with shotguns out). From across the street, through a closed door, we could clearly hear one of the cops (who at no point took his attention off the guy who was walking backwards towards them at that very moment) scream "FUCK YOU ASSHOLE!" The truck driver had barely enough brain matter to make the turn and head for the hills before they had the guy handcuffed. I'm pretty sure if they hadn't had someone walking backwards to them at that very moment, half the guns would have been pointed at him (and deservedly so).
The most exciting moment, however (other than the time we were robbed at gunpoint, but that's not all that entertaining a story), was from the off ramp across the street. It pointed directly at one of our big plate glass windows. There was a fence, with a rather large bush outside it, for which we were thankful that day. What happened was, a dump truck full of *wet* sand came down the ramp, and lost his brakes (I'm guessing because he was overloaded by a *lot* - wet sand weighs several times as much as dry sand, his truck was *full* of it). Professor Newton would have predicted that this truck would have stopped somewhere in our back parking lot, after going through the front windows, half a dozen shelving units, two employees and the back wall. But the driver, despite being stupid enough to load his truck with wet sand, was a genius driver. He managed, in the space of six lanes and a five foot thick bush, to a) avoid all the other vehicles, and b) turn the truck 90 degrees, without tipping it over, and bring it to a stop sideways in our bush. What made it even more memorable was the guy I was working with at the time. He watched the truck coming down the ramp, not slowing down, and realized it wasn't going to stop. So he hightailed it out the back door - silently. The first I knew anything was up was when I heard the truck jump - sideways - over the curb. Bastard.