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15 Convenience Store Clerks Recount Their Strangest Encounters Working The Night Shift

Working the night shift in a convienience store can usually lead to some interesting stories. More than likely, something strange and unexpected will tend to happen when people need food, gas, or beer in the late hours of the night.

We dug around and found some of the creepiest, hilarious and shocking tales from convenience store clerks. Mind you, these stories should be taken with a grain of salt. Some are downright terrifying.

Enjoy.

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“I am the law.”

A guy came in to buy beer after hours. Told him I couldn’t sell, it was against the law. He pulled out a badge, said “I am the law.” I called 911 and a cop shows up, tells me if I can just let it go, I wouldn’t have any more problems.

I let it go.

Two weeks later, driving home late at night, WAY over the speed limit I got pulled over. It was cop #2, he came up to the car, recognized me, said “Slow down” and left.

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Greasy-Burrito-Cover

Out of burritos

I worked at a small convenience store in the early ’90s. They had one of those fry delis that had chicken, jojos (deep-fried potato wedges), corndogs, burritos etc. This particular night I had run out of burritos and chicken. I also shut the thing down and cleaned it all out about an hour before closing.

About five minutes before I was closing up, a guy walked in and asked for some burritos. I told him I was out of them, and that I was just about to close and the fryer was shut down. He walked around the store for a minute (I assumed he was looking for something else to buy) and then he came up to the counter, pulled out a knife and told me if I didn’t cook him some burritos he was going to stab me.

I freaked out, but told him I had none to cook. I showed him the freezer and told him I would happily cook anything he wanted from it, but he will see I was out of burritos.

He looked in it for a minute, turned to me and said, “You really are out.”

I replied, “Yeah.”

He then put the knife away and left the store.

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“I really don’t want to talk about it.”

A man came in ten times within a single hour. He kept leaving and coming back without buying a single thing. Finally, on the tenth time he comes up to the counter with a box of tampons.

I proceeded to ask him, “Rough night?

He responded, “I really don’t want to talk about it.”

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Clerks-Brick

This is a brick up

Brother worked at a gas station at night.

Guy tried to rob the place with a brick.

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The deal-wagging man

Had a guy pull up to the pump, unhooked it wanting post-pay. Our policy said not to authorize it between midnight and 5am (pre-pay only). I announce this to the dude over the loudspeaker. I’m pretty sure he was wasted; he continued to get more and more beligerent. When he started beating the pumps with the nozzle/hose, I called the cops.

Dude starts banging on the door (locked, no way he would get in), can’t, gets frustrated, and finally just whips his deal out and starts wagging it in the general direction of the store.

The CCTV (closed-circuit television) is getting all this, so I just start laughing my ass off. Then the cops pull up, and two deputies put this poor, drunk, deal-wagging man away in the back of a police car.

I quit a few months after that.

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Pickle Chips

I worked third shift at a Sheetz. For those of you who don’t know it’s a gas station/convenience store/fast food place. On multiple occasions I have been cussed out because we discontinued pickle chips.

I’ve had people tell me to fuck off, break things, demand to call corporate, etc.

People love pickle chips.

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The old man and the Devil

I work nights at a gas station in a pretty good neighborhood in New Hampshire, so usually it’s pretty boring. One night I did have a customer really creep me out. I was just getting ready to close down the store when a little old man came in.

He was small and dressed in khakis and a button down shirt. I made the usual small talk of asking him how his day was going.

Then as I was handing him his change he firmly grabbed my wrist, made direct eye contact with me and said, “Hell is a real place and the devil has already got his hand on you girl, be careful.

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Clerks-Eggs

Six Eggs

A guy walks up to the surly clerk, who seemed to work 25 hours a day, and asks: “Do you sell eggs by the half dozen?”

Clerk: “No, you have to buy a dozen.”

Guy: “I only need six.”

Clerk: “I’d don’t care. You get 12 or you get zero!”

Without saying another word the guy walks back to get his dozen eggs, pays and walks out.

He then throws his six unwanted eggs at the store window before driving off.

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The woman and child

I used to work the graveyard at a gas station near my place. Pretty normal night. Clean, stock smokes, clean again, sit behind the counter. A woman came in about mid 30’s with a little boy with her. She was in tears and her clothes were torn a bit. She came up and asked to use the phone.

When she got off without getting an answer, she asked to stay here for a bit. I told her it would be no problem. About 20 minutes goes by and I wound up giving her and her kid free drinks and one of the sandwiches we have on the hot rack. She was in the store for about 30 minutes until her “boyfriend” came in and found her and her kid.

He was pretty calm at first but then started screaming at her and telling her she needs to come with him. Luckily before anything crazy happened, a cruiser pulls up to the front and two cops come in and interveined.

He was arrested right there.

I guess he had been beating her in front of her kid and she was trying to run away. I’m glad I got to keep her away from harm for at least a little bit. Was a scary night!

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Live performance

The place I worked had a monitor/camera that showed you on it as you walked it. It was like ten minutes before closing and a guy walks in and just starts rapping into the camera and acting like he’s shooting a music video.

He went through an entire song.

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You skunk me up, I’ll skunk you back

Graveyard shift at a gas station. Full serve gets shut down after 11:00 pm because there’s only one clerk on site. Traffic cones block the full serve pumps, signs inform the customer.

Around midnight a van pulls up with California plates and peace/love signs in the windows. Woman gets out, moves the traffic cones and pulls up to full serve. I use the intercom to tell her that she will have to use self serve if she wants gas. No answer. I go to the door and try to wave her over or call out to her. Can’t see any sign of her. I shrug and go back inside. I’m not allowed to leave the store unattended, so there’s not much I can do.

Ten minutes later a woman gets out of the van and comes in.

“I’ve been waiting for service for over an hour,” she says.

I decide not to argue about the time elapsed and just say: “I’m very sorry ma’am, but we don’t offer full-serve after 11:00. Perhaps you noticed the traffic cones and signs to that effect?”

“You expect to pump my own gas?” She says.

“Again, I’m sorry. I’d be happy to help you, but I can’t leave the store unattended. I appreciate your understanding.” She snorts and digs a twenty out of her purse and tosses it on the counter. She goes out, moves the van to self-serve, pumps the gas. Then she comes back.

“May I use your restroom, please?” She asks.

“Absolutely, right back there,” I say, relieved. She goes to the restroom and she’s in there for about 15 minutes. I start to worry. Finally, she comes out and comes to the counter.

“I know all about you,” she says, “You, you’re the one brought the Black Plague. You brought it all the time forever. It was always you. You caused all those deaths, all that suffering. Did you like hearing the babies wail and scream? I bet you loved it. All the demons love it. That’s you. You’re a demon. You are evil. I can tell. And I’ll tell you something else: you skunk me up, I’ll skunk you back.”

I stared at her retreating back speechless. She got in her van and drove away. Skunk her up? Because I didn’t pump her gas? Weird. I went back to fronting shelves for about 30 seconds before I thought, “Perhaps I should check the bathroom.” I walked back and push open the door.

Shit. Shit everywhere.

On the walls, the floor the mirror, the sink. All over the toilet lid and the tank. Shit on the door, clearly smeared by hand. And, oh, the stench.

As I turned to get the cleaning supplies, I muttered under my breath, “You skunked me back all right. Yes, you did.”

Sigh.

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Clerks-Milk

Club milk

I worked at a 24/7 gas station in a small college town. One night, the club across the street had a fight break out and about 50 people were pepper sprayed by the police when they responded at about 1:30am.

Five minutes later cue 50 angry club goers busting into the store, running to the dairy cooler, dousing themselves in milk and then running back out.

I just stood there in utter udder confusion and then told my boss I didn’t want the late shift anymore.

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Hot Pursuit

I watched a truck pull up to one of our pumps. A guy gets out to pump gas and a Durango comes hauling ass from the back of the building. A second guy gets out with a gun aimed at the first guy.

I was on the phone with a friend of mine and said, “Someone just pulled a gun at the pump, I’m going to have to let you go.” I called the cops. Turned out the guy pumping gas had robbed a store three towns over and the Durango was an undercover cop who had been in pursuit.

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Yogurts and Preludes

I worked an 11pm – 7am shift in an all night garage for a few months when I was 18. There was this weird Vietnamese dude who drove a white Honda Prelude and always filled up with £6.66 of petrol. He wore the same pair of cutoffs every time, with blotches and bruises all over his legs, and used to literally wander in, leaning against the displays, pick up as many yoghurts as he could carry, pay with a £50 note and stagger out.

One time he came in with these two (obviously prostitute) women who were draped all over him with the biggest pupils I have ever seen. They stood at the counter while I scanned all their yoghurts, and he spoke for the first and only time.

Staring at me, he said to the women “She can join us, can’t she?”

One of the women looked at me and said “You’ll make a lot more money if you come with us, darlin.”

I nervously laughed, took their cash and they left, grinning, in silence.

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Clerks-Tacos

Paid with tacos

In high school I worked at a 24 pharmacy which also had a small selection of beer. At about 2am this guy walks in three sheets to the wind, saunters over to the beer and grabs two 12 packs. He comes up to the counter and slams the beer down. Reaches into his pocket and pulls out a half eaten taco and puts it on the counter.

I couldn’t say anything because I was so perplexed. I just let him walk out with the beer and told my bosses I thought he might have a gun also. It was the strangest thing I’ve ever seen.

A couple weeks later he apperantly tried this at the family-owned gas station across the street and got shot.

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Stories have been edited for grammar and format.

By Peter Pham

Pete's favorite foods include pizza, tacos and pretty much any kind of breakfast. He'll usually snap a photo or two while his food cools down.

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