Who's that lying on the ground, barely able to move? Is that a zombie that's on its last legs? Is it someone who had too much to drink? Perhaps it's someone who didn't get their coffee?
Nope, just Misty Meanor, all worn out from her latest experiences at the gas station. And boy, she must really be wiped out if she's collapsed like that, right? Well, let's hear it from Misty herself...
Keep in mind, a lot of this will deal with tobacco and ID situations.
Ever since my last report from the gas station, things have only gone from bad to worse. I thought lacking a co-worker for the overnight shifts was bad, but just wait until you hear what else has happened at the gas station recently.
For one, it turns out the other overnight worker "Anna" apparently had a stroke caused by hypertension a while back. To be honest, I feel like I could easily have a stroke as well if things don't get better around here. But I digress...
I learned recently from Michelle, my GM, that Anna had requested a week off, but Michelle had to reject her request because the schedule had already been made out. Fast forward to the day before the week she wanted off began, and Anna calls in saying she's in the hospital having suffered a stroke from hypertension. Given that the stroke occurred right before that week began, Michelle and I are very suspicious about this, especially since Anna hasn't been in touch with the store at all, directly or otherwise. It's true something might have happened with her and that's why she's not able to communicate with us, but until we learn more, we're still suspicious given the time frame.
Another thing that's worth mentioning is that the store has a rule that if you look under 40, we must ID you. Seriously, if we think you look under 40 and you're over 40, you should take it as a compliment! If you look underage, though, we're not doing it to be mean, but because it's the law! And if I turn you away because of a lack of ID, don't try to get someone to buy the tobacco for you, because we do know what's going on outside and we are keeping an eye on you! If we see you trying something funny, you will be ejected from the premises!
In one case, I was refilling the coffee, because customers like their coffee, and a kid came up and asked me, "You got [brand] cigars?"
Trying not to sigh or roll my eyes, I told him, "One moment, please." I got behind the counter again and I looked again. Just like I thought, he clearly looked underage. "Do you have an iD?"
His response was, "I left my ID at home."
I sternly told him, "Then I cannot sell you those cigars."
He immediately responded with, "Oh, OK, I understand. No problem." He made his way to the door and said, "Thank you, have a nice day." The way he was acting made me suspicious, so I glanced out the window. Sure enough, I saw him talking to a woman who was about to enter and holding his money in his hand.
I immediately went to the door and told him, "I know what you're doing, so cut it out!"
"I was just asking her a question!" He replied.
"Well you're not getting any cigars!" I replied and went back inside. I proceeded to check out the woman and then noticed he was still standing there. He also had a couple of other kids there and was about to hand money to one of them. "What are you doing?" I asked.
"We're just hanging out here." One of them replied.
"No loitering in the gas station! You need to leave now!" I told them and went back inside. They started to walk away towards the bus stop nearby. A few moments later the door opened and the two kids who were with the original stuck their heads inside just as Michelle came out of the office.
"Can I help you with something?" Michelle asked.
"We were just looking around," One of the kids said.
"I've seen you before," I said sternly.
"Oh yeah," The kid replied nervously. "I live around here." Eventually, they got the message and left.
Another time, my co-worker "George" was putting the trash out, and as he came back in, he told me that a woman had come up to him and said she forgot her ID but that she was 35 years old and wanted to buy cigarettes, at which point her told her no ID, no smokes. I shook my head, then saw her asking someone in the parking lot to buy them, at which point the person walked away.
I went into the back office for a moment and when I came out, the woman was there holding up her credit card, saying she was 35 but she forgot her ID. It took us several tries to get her to leave.
Come on, really? If you forgot your ID, then what makes you think we're going to sell you tobacco?
Then there was the time a woman didn't have her ID so she went to the car and got her brother/boyfriend/whatever (he claimed she was her sister, but I dunno.) They both came back in and asked for the same cigarettes as before. I told them I needed to see both of their IDs, and he replied that they were just for him. I sternly informed him of the policy requiring us to check everyone's IDs, and he said, "She's my sister, she's twenty-five years old!"
"That's not good enough," I replied sternly. "I need to see both of your IDs!"
"But they're just for me!" The guy insisted.
"I don't care! Rules are rules!" I said, starting to lose my patience.
"OK, then how about she goes back to the car and I buy them?" He asked.
"Nope, not gonna happen. You're buying cigarettes with someone who didn't show ID, I can't allow that." I said, trying not to lose my temper.
"But they're for me, not her!"
"No smokes, end of discussion!"
Then there was the time several kids came in and asked for rolling papers. I told them I needed their IDs. One of them claimed that they were there last week and that 'the guy' (most of the workers there are male) let them have the wrapping papers, and that I should remember them. Kids, I started the week you came in, and even then we still need to check your IDs. They left.
Last, to round things out, I had a dude come in and ask for gas and cigarettes. When I asked for an ID, he said he couldn't give it to me, something about being federal or something. I told him I needed to scan it, at which point he got rude and said, "I don't want my cigarettes. Just gimmie my damn gas!" So I did so, and he walked out, only to turn around and say, "You know what, give my money back! I don't like how you're treating me!"
I did so and the whole time he was ranting about my being racist and that it was a federal offense. OK, if it were a federal offense, there wouldn't be any racism in this country. And furthermore, we were both white.
The whole time he was ranting louder and louder. The moment I handed him his money, I told him to get out.
Because of the shortage of staff, I've been forced to work more hours than usual. Most of them are overnight shifts which I'm hoping are rather quiet like my previous one. At least I get to relax in a chair during quiet times and sip soda. But it seems like there's no shortage of crusties.
For now, may your customers be respectful and may your co-workers be considerate!