3 min read

this one time..

I've had an interesting life, some of the stuff sounds like I'm making it all up (I've gone down one of those big inflatable emergency exit chutes that jetliners have.) but I think that all of us have had experiences that others would think are too crazy to believe. I just feel like I've had more than my share of those interesting moments.

I think I want to tell some of those stories here.

So, this one time when I was going through school, I worked at a gas station part time. This was back in the days of having a choice between self-serve, or full-serve. This gas station was in a not-great part of town, but I grew up in those same parts of town, so it was just "normal" for me. Anyway, this gas station had a tiny little building that the employee sat in, a single chair, the cash-register, a draw that you'd push out to take people's money for their gas purchase, or for a pack of cigarettes that filled the wall behind the chair, etc. The employee would only ever have to leave this little building to take care of the 'full-serve' customers. So things like pumping their gas, or checking their oil, or transmission fluid. When you left that little building, the door would lock behind you as it automatically closed.

Okay, I think we have all of the relevant information.

So, I'm out pumping gas for a customer,  and when I get done, I collect the money and walk back to the little building, and there's a customer waiting at the window, waiting for me to return so they can pay to get some gas. As I get close they say 'That guy just stole money out of the register in there!' pointing to some care driving away, in no apparent rush.

I said 'the door locks as soon as you walk out, he'd need a key to get in there.' But the person insisted the guy had robbed the gas station. I go in, open the till, and there's plenty of cash in there. I said 'It looks fine, I don't see anything missing.'

The person ends up paying to get some gas, and I'm sitting there for maybe 4-5 minutes wondering about that. Every time time the cash register had over a certain amount, I think it was $100 we had to wrap the cash, and stuff it into a little safe that was sunk into the floor in a tiny room behind the chair. I hadn't gotten $100 or whatever the amount was, so I hadn't put anything in the safe yet.

All of a sudden, I see a car come racing up towards the gas station building and a guy hops out with a shotgun in his hand before the car had even come to a stop. I'm sure I must have looked like I'd seen a ghost or something.

'WHERE ARE THEY?!!' The guy yells. Now, the driver had stopped the car, and he jumps out and has a pistol in his hand.

Police, detectives, plain-clothes, something, I'd figured as much by this point, and then decided tat the person that had said I'd been robbed had called the cops.

I've got my hands up in the air, and I'm telling them that I don't think anyone had robbed the place, that there was money in the till, and if they robbed the gas-station, why would they leave money behind?

So I'm telling the one cop this, and the other one is walking around the building, I opened the door, and let the cop in, and I show him there's money in the till.

He said 'We had a call that you were being robbed.'

I told him what the customer had said, and that I'd been out pumping gas, and the door closes automatically, and locks, and it'd be impossible for someone to get in there without a key, etc.

So they verify everything is fine, and they take off.

You can imagine, my nerves are kind of frazzled (remember, I'm just a kid at the time). So at the end of each shift, you do a 'count' which includes how much gas was sold, how many packs of cigarettes, oils, etc. You have an expected total, and then you have the actual cash total So, you have a "this is how much money you should have collected." value, and then you count up how many times you put $100 in the safe, and the final tally on what is in the cash register, and that's you "and this is how much money we actually have." value.

Obviously, those values should be identical, but they never are. You have to rely on the previous shift having perfect math, and that their counts were 100% accurate, and you have whatever other issues, giving the wrong change, etc..

That day, I came up like $30 short, and that was a HUGE difference, that wasn't a math mistake.

So, did somone somehow get in that little building before the door shut completely and take just $30 out of the till? Maybe, but why so little?

Was I actually robbed?

I'll never know.