I’ve just passed my three-year anniversary at my place of work, so I figured I’d share one of the many experiences I’ve had.
I work at a gas station to help my way through university. Our company is very strict on age-restricted sales (items such as tobacco and alcohol). As examples of this, we have to retake our age-restricted training every six months to stay refreshed, I.D. everyone for alcohol purchases, and I.D. everyone who appears under the age of forty for tobacco purchases.
On one of my shifts in the summer of 2019, two younger-looking people came into the store. They both headed to look at the cigarillos and wraps behind the glass. I was helping other customers at the moment, so I couldn’t help them right away.
When I was finished, I went over to see what they wanted. One of them pointed out what he wanted (I don’t remember what they were). I then moved onto the register to ring them up. I asked for both of their I.D.s, since they were together.
The one who had picked out the items admitted that the other was a minor and wasn’t old enough. I apologized to them and said I couldn’t make the sale, telling them it was against company policy and federal law (for those of you who don’t know, if someone purchases a tobacco product and gives it to someone under the age, we could get into legal trouble). The two left the store.
Some time later, the older one returned and asked to purchase the items. I told him that I couldn’t do that, because the two came together earlier. He told me that he dropped off his friend back at his house. I shrugged and told him I had no way of knowing that, and he could still give a cigarillo to his friend. He responded, saying that he had no reason to lie. I apologized and reiterated that it was against company policy (when in doubt, don’t make the sale. I almost feel brainwashed by all the training).
He became frustrated and looked around the store to look for someone to back him up. That’s when he spotted an older guy, with a peppered-gray goatee and ponytail. This older guy was a semi-regular. Little did we know, this was perhaps the worst person to look to as backup in this situation.
After complaining to him that I refused to sell to him, the older guy just looked at him and said, “I’m a retired police officer. He has every right to not sell to you.”
He just sighed and left.