…. On and off I’ve worked at the Chevron for about 4 years now, and I’ve never been even remotely threatened. Until tonight.
…. It wasn’t an outright threat, but I knew what he meant, and yes, this is another panhandler story.
…. It all started when I was taking the trash out to the dumpster and this guy asked me if JR* had been by the store. I told him he was just there and had headed back to the park. He said something about how he was supposed to meet him here “at his office.” I didn’t say it, but I thought “Uh, this is our store, not JR’s office.”
…. 10 minutes later I was walking out to one of the pumps to clean up a mess out there and this guy was sitting in front of the store and asked me if I had any change to spare. I said no, and headed out to clean up the mess. On the way back in I told him that he couldn’t stay there if he was going to be hitting customers up for spare change, and he assured me that he wouldn’t.
…. A few minutes later I watched him hit a customer up for change, went out there and reminded him that we didn’t allow that at the store. He mumbled something and walked away.
…. Not much after that I was mopping the floor in front of the store and heard him ask another customer, he’d moved to the corner of the building to where he didn’t think we’d notice him.
…. I went out and said “You can leave the property now.” The rest is all paraphrasing, ‘cause I don’t have a photographic memory.
Him: “Oh, I can leave the property now?”
Me: “Yeah, goodbye.”
Him “Goodbye.” Doesn’t move.
Me: “You need to leave the premises now.”
Him: “I’ll have to look that up later, p-r-e-m-i-s-e-s.”
Me: “You need to leave now or I’m going to have to call the police.”
Him: “Oh, you’re going to get the Police, you mean a concert here?”
Me: “No, police, as in the cops.”
…. At this point is wasn’t very funny anymore. It was obvious that he wasn’t just being schizophrenic, he knew what was going on and just trying to get to me. Fortunately 13 years, and 2 months just recently, of teaching junior high students kept me calm. But this is where it got creepy, although I didn’t feel it until a half hour later.
Him: “Can you spell Marilyn Manson?”
Me: “No. Goodbye. Leave now.”
Him: “How about Slayer?”
Me: “Yeah, I’m calling the cops now.”
Him: “F--- You.”
Me: Heads into the store to get the phone.
Him: “F--- You.”
…. I went inside and called the Salt Lake Police, not 911, and told her who I was, where I was and what had happened. I described him to the dispatcher, as I headed out the side door, and when she asked me where I last saw him I told her that he was headed off the property and westbound on 2100 South. She asked me whether or not I still wanted them to send a patrol car out to look for him and I decided that since he was gone for now that there was no reason to waste their time on it, but that I just wanted it on record in case he came around again. She noted that on the record and told me to call them if he came back.
…. I have to admit that 20 minutes later or so I started to get this creepy feeling and became a little anxious to get out of there. I’ll be fine tomorrow – I don’t work any shifts alone and am usually there only for the busy times, so there shouldn’t be any problem. But I am happy to be home right now.
*JR is a regular that has been hanging around the Chevron since before I even started working there. He is, generally, pretty good at not bugging the customers, but he does show up quite drunk every now and then.