Back in the 70’s, I worked at many jobs. A grocery store, a couple of restaurants, security guard, McDonald’s.
The convenience store initially was a great gig – walking distance from my apartment, college-age crowd, and close to the downtown nightlife (in a white-bread college town).
THEN, the company transferred me!
Driving distance from my apartment, college crowd-coupled with highway travelers through a ‘bad’ part of town, biker gangs and gang members. Lots more ‘action’ and ‘danger’.
Well, concern, anyway…
Against company policy, I carried a gun, concealed. And had legitimate fear of the gang in the barrio just North of the store.
I worked graveyard shift, 11-7. Alone. It quieted down for restocking after 0100, which was the no-booze sales law at the time.
But, every so often, late drinkers would stop in and attempt to beg, borrow or steal after-hours alcohol. I had a couple ‘beer runs’, but mostly folks left dry, begrudgingly.
One night, about 0200, two large gentlemen came in and asked for beer. I explained it was after hours, so it wasn’t happening. I knew them as barrio gang members, and had no interest in messing with them, but, I stood firm on company policy and the law.
The each took a couple six-packs, tossed some money on the counter (not enough), and dared me to do something about it. I took no action, but did try to get their plate numbers off their motorcycles. No luck.
The very next night a short man entered the store, accompanied by the two previous-night’s customers. He was bookended by them, tall on the sides, short in the middle. He was their leader. It was almost as if they were bad children being dragged in by their ears by a tiny father.
He came up to the counter and asked, “Did these guys steal beer from you after-hours last night?” I said yes. He looked at each of them. They bowed their heads, mumbled apologies, and made certain they left enough money to pay for all the beer!
He then told me I would have no more trouble from them or him. He said he liked me. He had my back!
And they left.
There were many more (questionable) adventures at the convenience store. This was just one.