Sunday, January 31, 2010

So What Did You Do On A Typical Night?


So, after spending about a week being babysat by a twit who really needed to be bitch slapped with a 2x4, I was finally left to my own devices. In other words, I was ready to fly solo, or so the owner thought.

It only took me about a couple of days to develop a decent routine so as 1) make my job easier; 2) make the shift go smoother with less hassle; and 3) be the master of my own dominion.

One of the first things I did when I got to work, was to empty the outside trash. Considering how large this gas station/convenience store was and where it was located, there was no way in hell I was going to be emptying twelve trash cans at two o'clock in the morning.

Furrows his brow for a few minutes as he thinks long and hard about how pathetically dull this post is turning out to be. Finally, a teeny tiny little light bulb goes supernova and blows up in his head. In other words, he has an AH-HA!!! moment.

So....enough about the dullness of what I actually did working the overnight. How 'bout something completely different?

Something like...........drug dealers? Yeah, that's the ticket, drug dealers!

By and large, the area where I worked was a strict by-product of the neighborhoods that surrounded it. Back in the early 90's, there was a lot of illegal activity of the pharmaceutical kind going on about a couple of miles from where I worked.

For the most part, the drug dealers that came into my store were pleasant to deal with, respectful and so long as I didn't give them any grief, they didn't give me any. Sort of live and let live you might say. They would come on, spend a few bucks on gas, munchies, buy a roll of dimes from me (in the early 90's, a phone call from a pay phone cost one thin dime), and continue on their merry way.

However, through an extremely weird chain of events, I got to know two of them as regular customers. One I came to know as a semi-decent guy and the other I came to know as a real slime ball.

First up, semi-decent guy. He would come in on my shift about two or three times a week, usually with his skanky druggie girlfriend. He'd buy some gas, smokes and shoot the breeze for a minute or two. Skanky girlfriend was a different story. She was a sight...well, just a sight. Can't really say anymore than that, other than to tell you about an incident between the two of them that happened on my day off.

First off, let me preface this little story by saying that the store was camera'd up to the max. In other words, there were about five security cameras in the store: a couple near the doors focused on the front counter, and three more in the aisles. In essence the store was about 95% covered on the inside with cameras.

On that particular night, the dealer got into an argument with his girlfriend over the fact that he thought she was hitting up on the attendant the other day. Well, she got to questioning his manhood, and he got to questioning her womanhood. They bickered like this for a minute or two, and finally, she says loud enough for the attendant to hear, "Oh yeah? I'll show you what kind of woman I am!" then drops out of view for a couple of minutes....of the attendant that is. Not the camera.

Remember, not only is this store saturated with cameras, but it's a wickedly busy store to boot. I'll leave you to your own vivid imagination on what this "woman" was doing.

In public.

Now for the slime ball. You know how you get an instantly bad vibe on certain people just by listening to them talk? Well this was one of those kinds. The guy used to rub me the wrong way, simply by opening his mouth and talking.

Example: One night, he came into the store with his girlfriend, and they were both arguing about something. They eventually made it to the back of the store where there was a little hallway that contained the bathroom, a locked door to the back room and the entrance to the cooler. So as they were arguing, the dealer wound up trapping his girlfriend in the hallway and wouldn't let her go by. She starts yelling at me to call the police because he wouldn't let her go by. I wound up calling the police, they come, give the guy a talking to and take care of business. Then the next night, he starts yelling at me for getting him into trouble with the police. I'm like, "yah. you're busting your girlfriend's chops and what not, and you yell at me for your screwup."

Drug dealers, gotta love them because they're such kind, wonderful, warm human beings....who had enough bling on them to make you stare at them until they said, "What?", which in turn forced you to think fast on your feet...but that's another story for another time.

Up next: People that make the city such an interesting place to work in.


  1. This was a real job for you, right, G? Dangerous living my friend. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I remember once my daughter had to move out of an apartment that was not in a nice neighborhood. The other roommate didn't want her to leave and called up some friends, with lots of bling, to stop her.
    I sat out front, with my large, VERY large black German Shepard, in the front seat, with me.
    One gentleman came over to the window, with a not very happy look on his face. Thank God, I was so respectful towards him.
    Hannah, on the other hand, grinned, showing all her teeth and muttered under her doggie breath. :)Bea

  2. For the entire year and a half that I worked there, I actually had no problems with any of the clientele.

    I was respectful towards them, and in turn they were respectful towards me.

    Doesn't mean that I didn't keep my guard up, because I did.

  3. Wow. Plenty of material for a book, I'd think.

  4. Wow - that was a slice of life, huh?

  5. R.K.: It's been an interesting trip down memory lane with this job, simply because it was almost 18 years ago when I worked it.

    I'm not sure if I have enough for a book, but at the very least, I should have a few more interesting stories up my sleeves about that particular time in my life.

    Lynn: A very bizarre slice of life indeed.

  6. My brother worked the night shift at a convenience store. Second time he was robbed at dad said that is enough. quit the job.

  7. I've been very fortunate not to experience a robbery at gun point (although did experience a robbery that made the evening news only because the guy escaped, fled to the city and T-boned a car before he got caught. stupidly enough, I actually listened to the cops and didn't speak to the press), but if I did, chances are I would not show up for work the next day. Hell, I probably wouldn't even finish out my shift.

  8. There sure are some interesting characters in the world. I enjoy your memories of your convenience store work, but I'm glad I only have to read about it and not experience it. Something happens to the world at night when most of us are sleeping and not everyone gets to experience that.

  9. Talon: Thanks.

    Yeah, the overnight can be a incredibly strange place to work in and experience. Glad I don't have to do that kind of thing anymore.

  10. wow, the first woman had such high self esteem.

  11. Absolutely!

    I guess one could say that her answer would be "yes" to the question of:

    If I was up, would you be down?

  12. Sounds like there was never a dull moment then? I can imagine you were always on guard and never totally relaxed.

    I can relate to getting a bad vibe about certain people, yes.

    Good experience for you anyway, and you are still here to tell the tale!

  13. Joe: I was always on guard the second someone stepped into the store in the wee hours of the morning.

    Initally, whenever someone came in, I would instinctly move towards my little plexiglass enclosed booth. By the time I finished working there some 1 1/2 years later, I got to know a lot of the regulars and really had gotten use to ways of living the overnight.

    Which took me about a week to get rid of once I stopped doing it.

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  15. Definitely some characters to build on from those experiences.

  16. Sharm: Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the offer.

    However, I think I will pass on it, but if anyone else is interested, they'll be sure to see your comment.

    Kelly: There are some characters that I met during my time there that I can definitely build on, and those three are very much included.


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