I put up the register-closed sign and was readying the final safe drop when the cop walked in and approached the counter. He strode with purpose, not just stopping in for a pack of cigarettes,a cup of coffee, a doughnut, or can of Copenhagen. He was on the job, and deep down I had a feeling that I was going to lose mine. This is how it ends, working as a third shift gas station attendant. Canned on New Years Fucking Day. It had to happen sooner or later. In the business, there are sting operations with underage kids coming in and buying beer and cigarettes. We lost a co-worker that way during the summer, didn’t bother to ID, the cops came in and she was fired on the spot. Emails circulated among the other stores in the district, copies were printed out and posted by the registers. “‘Tis the season for Cigarette and Alcohol Stings,” was the subject line, instilling a great wave of paranoia in with our holiday cheer. There were three violations in one night just the week before. I had been hyper vigilant and extra paranoid for the holiday season. I must have slipped didn’t ID, probably when I was too worried about my own damn stomach acting up, or if the stupid bagged onions would ever get changed over. I looked to the co- manager as she stood beside me scanning the scratch-off tickets and gave her a “nice knowing you” look. Seems I won’t be handing in a two- week notice after all, I thought grimly. “Hello officer,” I tried to keep my voice calm.
Continued in Dark Days on the Dixie Highway: Diary of a Third Shift Zombie