Hello, RHU. Tenebris here with some tales of Convenience store woe.
It's been a long time since I worked for gas stations, so here are some highlights of my experiences.
Let it be said that, for the most part, the employees caused more havoc than the customers, with a few notable exceptions.
New years eve, 1999. End of the world scare
Multiple people driving off, leaving upwards of 20 or 50 dollars on the pump. It got to the point where we were putting the leftover money in envelopes with the pump number and dollar amount in case they came back the next day after the world didn't end. A number of them did. Some never got their money back, because the person who pulled up after them saw the change indicator on the pump and claimed their change.
People filling up industrial sized gas cans in preparation for the end of times
3 emergency gas deliveries called in that day, as the line for gas was circling the parking lot all day. Also an emergency propane delivery as we were filling up propane tanks left and right all day (we had a propane pumping station) A couple of almost violent altercations in the lots between customers trying to determine order of precedence to be served
And of course, many angry yelling people as the line was also out the door for the entire day.
That concludes the end of the world hell.
17 year old girl came in to buy cigs and had a complete meltdown, right down to the foot stomping and histrionics when I wouldn't sell her cigarettes. Her birthday was in a week and it just wasn't fair that we wouldn't let her slide. I had the fortune to hear her complaint to the manager trying to get me i trouble. Manager laughed her out of the store
Our slushy machine was in the back, out of line of site of the registers. Some kids came in during a rush and thought it would be funny to wedge the dispenser open and leave. Customers didn't inform us of a problem, and it was discovered when I got a chance to do a walk through. The entire back area was flooded with sticky slushy juice by this point. It took us over 2 hours to clean it up, customers ignoring the roped off area because "I just need to grab one thing"
Some idiot in a stretch limo got stuck in our automated car wash, since it wasn't designed to take cars that long, then threatened to sue despite the warning signs. This was the chauffeur. There was no passenger
And no story of problem customers would be complete without the Creep. About 50 to 60 years old, hitting on the 21 year olds and asking them inappropriate questions, lingering touch when handing over the money. It got to the point where I would assign them back end duties whenever he came in and handle him myself. When I got promoted, I called the cops and had him trespassed off the property
As I mentioned, we had a propane pumping station, that you weren't allowed to use until you went through the propane training, administered by a state propane guy (can't remember his actual title) but he didn't work for us, he worked for the state.
Our newest propane certified employee thought it would be a good idea to light a cigarette as she was preparing to pump the propane. Thank the retail gods that the customer came running back in to warn me. I don't honestly remember if I went around the counter or just jumped it in a single adrenaline fueled bound, but I never made it outside faster in my life, slapping the cigarette out of her hand before she could blow us all to hell
Our resident alcoholic on the graveyard shift broke our soft serve machine during cleaning by reassembling it wrong, then couldn't figure out how to stop the ice cream coming out. I came out from the back room to see him trying to catch gallons of soft serve in his hand with an utterly perplexed expression on his face
This same guy managed to get hold of the manager keys for the register (Old Gilbarco system. Put in the correct key and you can reprogram the prices) He set all the 18 packs of beer to .99 cents instead of 9.99. It was caught when the morning shift rang up an 18 pack and some other stuff and noticed the price was way lower than it should be. Thankfully, he was canned after that.
The 1st shift girl would wait until there was a rush, freeze her register, and take over mine while I fixed hers. For some reason, any time she was on my register, I would be 10 to 20 dollars short. This was the only time I deviated by more than a dollar or so, which was allowed in the interest of customer service. 5 cents short? we got you!
The second shift girl would hide in this little cubby when you were looking for her, and jump out if it looked like you weren't giving up, scaring the crap out of everybody
This is the same girl that put the hotdogs in the bun prior to cooking them in the convection oven. Causing multiple clouds of black smoke and wasted product
Idiot who carried a huge knife decided to open the BIB's by stabbing them repeatedly, then walked away when he punctured the bag and the soda started spraying everywhere. We had a sticky soda syrup fountain in the small back room. For those not familiar, BIB stands for Bag In Box, and it's a 5 gallon plastic bag of soda syrup contained in a cardboard box.
Got threatened with a discrimination law suit and called racist when we fired one of our graveyard employees. He would disappear for about 4 hours per shift and come back in reeking of weed, eyes red as the sun, and just baked out of his mind. This came to a head when we got robbed one night. Dude left the normal graveyard guy alone to toke up and only came back in when he say the cops converging on the place. The graveyard guy who got robbed quit, and the other dude got canned for time card abuse. You don't get a paid four hour break. Fortunately, nothing came of the suit or complaints
Fast forward about 2 weeks, and as manager, it's my duty to cover graveyard till replacement is found. I got robbed, dude stuck a gun in my face and passed a note asking for money. He got a total of 40 bucks, 4 5's and 20 singles, since I don't keep anything larger than a 5 in my drawer at night. A few months later, I was subpoenaed to testify at his trial. He's now doing hard time for armed robbery over 40 bucks, LOL
So, this store had staffing problems. We hired a new girl, and I was like Score! Someone normal. She worked out fine for a couple weeks, seemed sane, and fairly competent. Then payday hit. She was off the next 2 days, fine, whatever. Her next scheduled day, she showed up still wearing the uniform she was wearing the last day she worked, you could literally see the dirt on it. Her smell was so bad that customers were covering their mouths and leaving, waving a Nascar flag. Where she got the flag, I don't want to know. Thinking I'd be nice, I told her "Ok, so you get one screw up like this. You're obviously high, but rather than fire you or insist on a drug test, I'm going to send you home. Take a shower. Get some rest. Come back the day after tomorrow".
Day after tomorrow arrives, no noticeable change. She showered but clothes were still filthy and she decides to inform me that rather than going home, she was trying to cause propane explosions underground with her mind, to damage the propane equipment.
Quick write up, recommendation to corporate that she's fired. 2 days later, I had her termination paperwork. Needless to say she was on suspension till then.