(Edited - content/another story added :)
Same place, actually - that convenience store/gas station I worked at in the 90s, when my daughter was little, because it was close to my house and I was also trying to save towards going back to college, right?
It was brand new, we actually all opened the store together - except K, she came later - and as mentioned, she was the problem.
Myself and a wonderful lady named "Thelma" were chosen for the 7-to-3 day shift, the busiest time.
Though looking at us, we couldn't be more different - she was from Eastern Kentucky, I was a city/suburban girl - but we worked very well together, were on the same wavelength, good senses of humor, and we both had great BS detectors, we didn't miss a trick.
People used to call us "Thelma and Louise" LOL.
Besides the owner being great, as mentioned in the post below, our general manager, J, was also awesome. Smart, hilarious, made sure we had what we needed, super sweet to my daughter - just an all around good manager.
I remember once, some guy nearly came over the counter at us, all drunk and acting crazy, something about the pump not working and we were trying to cheat him.
J, who was ordinarily a very calm, even-keeled man, ran over to the counter and stepped in front of us and set his jaw - I'd never seen him angry before. I could tell he was about to come over the counter right back at him.
He started yelling at the man, and I pressed my hand on his and whispered, "I've got this. He's not worth it. Thank you, though."
I guess I was conditioned to know how to handle drunk and/or crazy people lol.
I then lowered my voice to both of them and sweetly asked the man to let me go over to the pump with him and see what the problem was, and he calmed down.
There was a glitch and he was right, but I reassured him no one was intentionally trying to cheat him, closed the pump for repair, and I took him to another pump and pumped the gas myself, plus gave him a $5 gift certificate for his next purchase - and he actually apologized.
But the point was, the general manager was ready to come over the counter back at him to protect us.
Aside: You may be wondering about what possessed me to touch/press his hand - that just kind of came out of me in the moment to protect him from getting hurt, because I had a huge secret crush on him I tried to hide. I otherwise never let him know, though, because he had a fiance, who I liked very much and respected, named Jane.
When she would call for him, we'd chat away and giggle about stuff first, and he'd say, "Well, that must be Jane calling for me, because only you two carry on like sisters so much first lol - Jane and Flossie"
I'd say, "Yes, it is, good sir - but that's "The LADY Jane," to you!"
We could all tease each other that way, like him calling me an old-lady name, "Flossie" to begin with - but for the life of me, I can't remember exactly why he started calling me that lol.
So he'd just laugh and say "Oh, is that right? Well, probably is. The Lady Jane, she'll like that" - and then told me she was already laughing on the other end, having heard me :)
You can't help how you feel, I guess, but there was no way I was ever going to let him know, I liked and respected them both too much!
They probably sensed it, or at least Jane probably did - but they also knew I'd never, ever do anything to disrupt them - plus I knew she was better than me - so I was super happy for them!
Another time, a doctor came in, came over to the counter - and snapped his fingers at us - saying, "Girls! I need one of you to pump this gas for me, I don't have time, I'm on my way to Eastern Kentucky to see heart patients at our satellite clinic."
Translation - "Though I'm a doctor, I can't figure out these new computerized pumps - plus I'm used to my all-female office staff doing things I feel are beneath me, when I snap my fingers."
Thelma and I looked at each other, rolled our eyes, and laughed - and I said to her "*Sigh* - I'll do it."
I was on my way to do it, when J jumped in front of me.
J went right up to that doctor and snapped his fingers right back at him - right in his face - and said, "I'll do it" - and went and pumped it for the doctor himself! LOL!
And if we had a shoplifter, we'd shout over to J - "J, can you check the back for more Pepsi. The blue kind, with a red label?" as a code that meant "Heads up, we have a shoplifter, blue shirt, red cap - watch them."
This is how I caught two - but actually after warning J, J did and called the police after witnessing it himself.
Most of the time, however, they just sensed they were being watched and threw the stuff back lol.
Also, just a general story that I still find hilarious, that sounds negative at first, but wait for it ...
There was one time I worked up the courage to speak up, at least, before I later re-learned to speak up for myself in general - and the general manager, J, fully had my back on it.
So these construction guys would come in every day, and I noticed one would blush and get really shy with me.
Guy's Friend: "Okay, my friend is super shy, but he has a crush on you. He's doing construction to work through college, he's going to be an engineer. You think you'd go out with him?"
Me: "You may not believe this, but I'm super shy myself, I force myself to talk to people, so that's okay. Tell your friend to force himself to ask me himself and I'll consider it? However, fair warning, I'm generally not open to dating, right now - I have a little girl who's a toddler and she's my focus. I usually don't make exceptions, but shy guys might be considered, being shy myself."
Guy's Friend: "He says you're really kind to him. He also thinks you're beautiful, but I don't see it. I like blondes with big boobs, so I'd never date you."
(Insert record scratch and awkward moment here.).
Me: "Yeah, so ... you should've stopped with the ask for your friend lol."
"But that's fine - because I have no interest in dating a shallow, early-balding, short, fat guy, who imagines that gorgeous blondes with big boobs would be ever be interested in him, without having to pay her for her services, so glad we've established that."
"However, your rudeness is not your friend's fault, I'm not going to hold what you said against your friend, but it does make me think twice because of the company he keeps."
He looked like someone punched him and walked back to his friends.
I don't know what possessed me to come back at him like that, I usually put up with any number of things from customers, but that one got too personal and, well, he deserved it.
When he went back to the table, his friend loudly said:
"I can't even get a date with some gas station girl. LOL."
I said, "Gee, it's a mystery. You might consider, oh, I don't know - not referring to your potential date as a lowly "gas-station girl," any more than I'd refer to you as a lowly "construction guy," since we're both working towards school?
"And at this age, you should be asking a girl out yourself, instead of enlisting your rude, shallow, loser friend to be your wing man, who might as well have checked my teeth and hindquarters."
"But yeah, in the end, you're right - you can't even get a date with a lowly gas-station girl - who, mind you, just put both your egos in check. But have a good day!"
They just left, dumbfounded.
I turned around and Thelma high-fived me, then hugged me, and we both laughed about it for half an hour.
J came up and asked what happened and Thelma told him.
J laughed and said:
"Hahaha! Way to go, Flossie! Look at you, getting some confidence - 'bout time!
"Good for you, you normally kill them with kindness! See, sometimes, you can't and the customer isn't always right."
See, that's why we put you two on the main day shift, Thelma and Louise - you make people feel welcome, but can also handle these rowdy men who get out of hand. Good, I'm glad you told them off, hope they don't come back. You don't talk down to the women in MY store."
Unfortunately, Thelma's boyfriend got a promotion, a few months later, so she quit working, but she'd still call me sometimes.
In fact, my grandmother told me she called me while I was living in Florida, married to my first husband, years later. I should've called her back :/
Point being, there are some good managers and good coworkers out there - they're just harder than ever to find.