Convenience Store Employees Share Their Craziest Late Night Shifts.
This article is based on the AskReddit question: "To all of the people who work the "late shift" at convenient stores, what is the craziest story that you have from your time working there past midnight?" [Source can be found at the end of the article]
1/18. 1. I was working the graveyard shift at 7/11. I closed up beer sales at 2 am (state law) and locked the doors. A drunk guy comes in around 2:15 and gets mad about not being able to buy more alcohol so I kick him out.
He comes back about an hour later, parks his car near the edge of the lot but doesn't come inside. I see him get out of his car and Suddenly the whole store went dark. I called 911, waited, they found him knocked out behind the store and a camping hatchet (non-insulated metal kind) buried in the severed power conduit. The owner had to shut the store down for a full day to have it repaired.
2/18. Found out during a robbery that the emergency button under the counter actually just LOCKS YOU IN THE STORE WITH A NOW PANICKING ARMED ROBBER. My boss later told him it was to "prevent people from getting away". I mean, it did also put in a call to the alarm company, who eventually called the police, but for a good 25 minutes I really thought I was going to die there.
3/18. I once saw a man come in, stare at me for a few minutes walk into the soda aisle, and slowly pour a 2 litre bottle of sprite down his pants. Then he left.
4/18. I had a guy overdose on heroin in the bathroom of the gas station I worked at once but that was at like noon so I guess it doesn't count.
On new years 2012 a guy came into the store I was working at super drunk while I was cleaning and I assumed he didn't buy anything and left until about an hour later I found him asleep in the candy isle.
5/18. Had a drunk guy come in fully clothed. Walked around for a minute. Stood in place for minute then head to the bathroom. When he came out he was wearing nothing but his t-shirt. Left the store hanging dong into 3 degree weather. Never saw him again.
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6/18. While my crew and I were on break sitting on the loading dock at our grocery store, we witnessed a very drunk man coming from the recently closed bar try to steal a Christmas tree from our parking lot. We let him get about 20 feet with it (which took him a good ten minutes) before yelling at him and scaring him.
7/18. There was the time a woman drove her car into the 7-11 I worked at overnight.
It all started when a guy no-called no-showed again. I get called in so a guy doesn't have to work 24 straight hours. Goes well, I'm tired, counting cash ~4Am and all of a sudden I hear a loud noise behind me. Then the rack of cigarettes behind me rains down on me like a waterfall. Once the cigarettes stopped, I used colorful language to ask what was happening (to myself, but outl oud), and go check outside. There's a jeep pulled back into the spot. I check if the driver is okay, and she is. But I hear through her phone that didn't seem to be on speakerphone "HOW DID YOU CRASH INTO A 7-11?"
So I call the cops and the owner, it all gets worked out, but when the cops arrived they first laughed, then breathalyzed and alphabet tested the woman to see if she was drunk. She was not, just a tired/shitty driver, I'm betting shitty based on the phone call I overheard.
The owner trusted me from then on, as I ended up handling the initial insurance portion and regional manager pictures of the damage.
8/18. Not super crazy, but a few years ago I worked 3rd shift at Walgreens.
I was working and noticed a car in the parking lot with its lights on. Didn't think much of it. An hour or two later they were still there so I told my manager. We went out to investigate (not supposed to do this) and noticed the car had a lot of damage on the driver side of the car and the driver was passed out on the steering wheel. We knocked on the window and they woke up and were clearly wasted and we noticed there was a kid in a child seat in the back.
Long story short, we called the police and they gave them a sobriety test and arrested them. Saw their mugshot on the local newspaper website a few days later.
Felt bad for the kid.
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9/18. One place demanded all the money in the register, he was not armed and the place was in a bad neighborhood so it had bulletproof dividers. It also had a button that would lock the door. We locked the door on him to prevent him from leaving and called the police. He spent the next 5 minutes tearing up the place. The place was tiny maybe 80 square feet of merchandise.
Got a free paid day off out of it.
10/18. Used to work graveyards at a Chevron, in a pretty ghetto area. Anyway, someone got shot about 100ft from the store. I heard what I thought was a flat object fall to the ground, but then about 5 minutes later I hear sirens and I look over and there are like 20 cop cars in this area. I thought Oh my God, someone got shot
Yeah dont know if they lived or died. I dont know, I was outside cleaning the pumps and I saw a group of three dudes walk past me and when they got further down the street, I heard the gunshots.
11/18. So I worked at this gas station that constantly got robbed. One night it was me and this woman, we're dealing with a couple of customers, when these two guys walk in, grab four suitcases of beer, and walk out the door. They were so slick about it we almost didn't notice. They peeled out from the parking lot in an old white Ford F150.
So we call the cops, gave them our statements, went on with our lives.
Maybe two hours later we see an old white F150 tearing down the street followed by NINE cop cars. We're like wow!
Maybe fifteen minutes later we see that old white F150 tearing down the street going the other way, followed by about 14 cop cars. (Not an exaggeration, I counted.)
So the rest of our shift goes by, about 5 hours and we've forgotten about it. A cop stops in shortly before I punch out and is like yeah, they were in a stolen truck, we got the guys.
So I clock out, get in my car, go to leave, and have to pause while this toe truck trundles on by. I pull in behind it - what's it towing?
That same old white Ford F150.
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12/18. It was about 10pm so not super late, but I worked at a gas station. We had one customer who came in frequently around that time. He only mumbled gibberish and made these high-pitched keening noises for 'yes' and 'no'. He wouldn't make eye contact and it made him visibly nervous when you looked straight at him. He refused to touch his receipt and would mime ripping up a piece of paper, meaning he wanted you to rip up the receipt into tiny pieces and throw it away. He also refused to touch quarters, so when you gave him change you had to use dimes. He would also check the security camera each time he came in.
I'm guessing he was schizophrenic or that and a combination of other things. The other employees and even my manger would make fun of him and laugh at him while ringing up his purchases, which is fucked up because he knew he was being laughed at. I was always sure to humor him and be nice to him. It got to where he would pat the counter a few times after I gave him his change, I think kind of as a 'thank you?
13/18. Three years ago I worked graveyard shift M-F at 7 Eleven, I had a strange gentlemen come in a minivan, he had a group of people in the van with him, it was about 0300 hours, and he looked like a Green Day reject, green spiky hair, obese, greasy, denim vest, and had his eyebrows shaved off with the words, "End the world" tattooed across where his eyebrows once resided. He purchased $40 in gas, and handed me a $100 bill, it passed the counterfeit pen swipe test, and at the time that was the only way to detect counterfeit bills, but as I looked at the bill, I just felt really uneasy about it, but I accepted it. As he filled up his gas, I stepped outside to smoke, and I memorized the color, make, model of the van along with the license plate and scrawled it down as I returned inside and called the local police after he drove off. The officer arrived and spent 45 minutes checking out this bill, he determined in his 17 years of policing it was the best counterfeit he had seen, and the paper dissolved when it came in contact with moisture. The officer confiscated the bill and I gave him the information of the vehicle and a description of the man.
The next day, my supervisor called me and stated I am on "suspension until further notice", due to my actions of giving the officer the bill. I had no formal training on what to do if I received a counterfeit that passes the pen test; it was a fairly new 7 Eleven.
She caved two days later asking me to come in, jokes on her, I already had plans to give my two weeks due to moving to Cleveland, OH.
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14/18. My boss (and owner of the store) at the time and I were both blackbelts in BJJ.
Basically, I heard a scuffle outside the building around 2:30 am in the graveyard shift. I was the only one working in the store but it was dead so I went outside to check it out. It was a huge guy abusing a woman, probably his girlfriend or wife. I yelled at him to get off her and he charged me instead. So I beat him up and subdued him until the cops arrived.
Luckily there was a security cam outside that caught everything so he got in a nice amount of trouble and I got in none. My boss high-fived me saying he would have done the same thing himself.
15/18. I worked overnights at a gas station and around 4 am a customer came in with fresh, bleeding human scratches across his face at least 6 inches long. He went straight to the hotdogs and got one. While he was getting it, he stared at me in the reflection of the glass with an expression like Jack Torrence had at the end of "the shining". He then got a drink and started to leave, then he looked straight at me, daring me to say something like "are you gonna pay for that?" I didn't say a word. I don't even think I took a breath. He turned and left the building walking into the dark. He didn't have a car so he must have remained close by and I never felt safe the rest of the night.
16/18. At a Missouri based convenience store. Had a guy in our parking lot, doing what looked to be Tai chi at 1 in the morning. He would do the motions, then kick flip off the side of the building and go back to doing the motions. We told him he needed to stop doing that. Goes to the pumps, takes the nozzle off, buzzes for inside pay, chooses a grade of fuel and splashes it in his mouth. He spits it out, chooses another grade and does it again. This is the point where we called the cops.
After he decided he was done Mouth washing with fuel, he comes in and just starts loading up with bags of chips, candy bars, a single 12oz bud light from a 6 pack. Half of the stuff was opened. Cop got there, told the guy he had to pay then put him in the back of his car.
Word from the cop the next day was that he was an extremely disturbed individual and he was admitted to a mental ward. hat was by far the weirdest.
I've had a 45 year old drunk lady dry hump me, people taking deuces in the bathroom and playing finger paint all over the walls. I had an idiot, one time, that stuffed a 6 pack down his pants, walked down the aisle, dropped it on accident and had 5 cans drop and just roll away and he walks out the door. By far the most disgusting one was someone placed the two plunger in the bathroom on adjacent walls and balanced a piece of shit on them. I just couldn't put my head around that one.
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17/18. I had a guy come into the gas station Where I work about a year ago. Obviously on drugs, but I have a lot of regulars that are addicts, and most aren't violent, just weird. So he wanders around the aisles, occasionally looking over and staring at me for 10 seconds or so each time. After the last customer leaves, he comes up and pulls out a small pocket knife, the Swiss Army knife kind. Looks at me and say, "I was supposed to do something very bad to you, but I decided not to, I think." All while opening and closing this knife. Robbing me is one thing, but this guy just directly threatened my life.
He gives me the knife... just hands it to me. Tells me to "hold onto this for me". Looks around for about 15 seconds, and asks for it back. Obviously I shouldn't give it back to him, this dude just threatened to murder me, but this guy is huge. About 6'3" ~200 pounds lean muscle. He could've killed me with his bare hands, so I just gave it back to him. He tells me to "keep my eyes open" and leaves.
I called the cops after he left, turns out he's an Iraq war vet who wasn't taking his medicine. Such a shame. I started open carrying my handgun after that though, since the owner was a pro-gun conservative. Really cleared out a lot of the trouble makers so I haven't had anything that crazy since.
18/18. This happened in '96 at a store in Live Oak, FL. On Fri and Sat nights we'd have a huge number of cars in the parking lot and lots of shoplifting, people getting high and drunk in the lot. I'd already had to call 911 on a heart attack in the bathroom and 2 others in the parking lot (at different times).
Anyway, I was working the store alone and was at the tail end of a double shift that was turning into a triple. I'd been there since 5am and it was coming up on 1am and my relief, which happened that night to be my manager, called in drunk and said I'd have to stay til 5 when the next morning shift come in.
I was mad as hell and I could see folks just openly stealing stuff and basically daring me to do anything. One of the workers came in from a different location and told me to just shut down for the night. I tried asking people to leave but they wouldn't. I had maybe 40 people in the store by then. Finally I called the police and then got up on the counter and made the announcement that cops were on their way, everyone had about 3 minutes to take whatever they wanted and get out.
It took about 3 minutes to clear us out of ever case of beer and every 40 of malt liquor, not to mention most of the bread and beef jerky and even the big jar of pickled eggs and pigs feet we kept on the counter.
When the last person left I put a chain and padlock on the door and went home. The next day I came by at lunchtime and police and insurance people were there along with a still-drunk manager who showed up hours late for the morning shift and had no idea what was going on. I asked if I was on the schedule for the week and she just slowly shook her head and told me to get out.
[Image credit: Ollyy / Shutterstock.com]
When you're a kid most adults will tell you one thing or another is "cool" and "fun." Odds are you're too young to form any kind of opinion on the matter one way or another. You're a kid, right? You don't know what you're eating for breakfast. However, when you get older and form that larger worldview, you realize that yeah, maybe that one time when you were a kid actually wasn't fun.
These are those stories.