Latest posts by Delton Childs (see all)
- How I’m Selling Vaporizers That Cost Over $100 - October 26, 2015
- Bernie Sanders Wants To Reform Cannabis Prohibition - October 14, 2015
- My First Smoke Shop Disaster - October 7, 2015
- How Was The eJuice Manufactured? - October 2, 2015
In my adventures in an actual smoke shop, as opposed to just administrating smoke shop websites, I had my first disaster day. I’ll tell you what happened, what was going through my mind, what I did and how it resolved. I’d love to know what other smoke shop owners have encountered as well and how they handled similar disaster situations. I’d also love to know if you think I did the right thing.
The day started out pretty good. We were selling products all day. A normal work day by any other measure, little did I know I was about to have a huge disaster go down.
Two guys walked into the shop, they needed jewelry bags, a small pocket scale and some wraps. I helped them out pretty quickly and they walked out of the shop. A few minutes later they walked back in saying they accidentally locked their keys in the car, were waiting for a home boy to help them out and they both started to browse around the shop a little more. I don’t know if it was intuition but I tried to get them back out the door by telling them there was a bad ass raspa place a few shops down they should check out but they said, “No, we just ate.”, and continued to browse. They asked me about the G-Pro Herbal vaporizer so I popped that bad boy out of the case and started to demonstrate it’s usage, fired it up, showed them how to control the temperature, my normal product demo to sell an item. Here’s where things get really weird. I’m very focused on demonstration this device and look up at the customer for a second. I notice his eyes are rolling back in his head and his face is twitching a bit in a very unnatural way. I’m frozen looking at this guy’s face trying to process what’s going on. In an instant he starts to stumble backwards into an entire glass display case filled with dry herb and wax vaporizers, he knocks the entire 7 foot glass case over in a huge crash of glass and the nightmare doesn’t stop there. He doesn’t just trip and get up.
The “customer” is laying on top of about 100 lbs of shattered glass and the highest quality vaporizer we carry, batteries, super wraps, and a few boxes of Swisher sweet cigars we had on top of the display. He’s convulsing with his eyes rolling back in this head and his penis hanging out (because his saggy pants fell down). His buddy is freaking-the-fuck-out, so am I. I haven’t been working at this shop very long. I’m just here to learn more about the industry (which I’m getting a literal crash course in at the moment, see first article here). I have about a million things rushing through my mind all at once in this instant, this includes my moral responsibilities save this guy, help him in any way I can, to call my boss and/or call 911. In less than a second I’m wondering if this guy is on drugs he can’t handle or if he has some pre-existing medical condition I’m not aware of that could cost this dickhead his life if I don’t act fast. The crash was hard enough to just about crush this Efest 3000 mAh battery.
How Things Resolved In The End
So this guy crashes through the glass and I’m freaking out. After about what felt like an eternity, which turns out to be only 3 seconds now that I’ve seen the security footage, I gather my senses. In a disaster situation everything moves in slow motion. I look at his friend and ask, “I should call 911?”. He says, “No”. I’m assuming I need to do the opposite of what this guy says. I don’t do the opposite though. I call the Big Boss first, my friend who owns the 4 locations in San Antonio, a friend I can trust. I’m in such a panic I clumsily get the phone call him and say, “I think this guy is having a seizure in the shop and he crashed through our display case, should I call 911?”. He made me feel better with two words, he said “It’s OK.”. That’s all he said. When I heard him say that I was a bit flabbergasted. I’m still in a bit of a panic but confused I asked, “Ok… (long pause), so I should just clean up and keep things going?”, he said, “Yes.”. I think I said, “Yes Sir” and hung-up the phone at that point.
The bad customer has started to come to his senses at this point, so he’s not dying on the floor of my smoke shop, thankfully. He puts his penis up and is still very confused about what’s going on as he clumsily picks himself up out of the 100lbs of shattered glass and vaporizers and asks if he can use our restroom (employees only). Let me be clear about this request. In order to let him use the restroom I must allow him behind the counter and to walk past thousands of dollars in glassware. I paused for several seconds when he asked but in this situation decided to do the human thing and allow it and bit my nails the entire walk to the restroom. Thankfully this good deed wasn’t punished. He spends about 2 minutes in the bathroom and I walk over and ask if everything is OK… No response. I yell louder… he finally answers, asking for water which I provide at no cost. Based upon the overheard conversation between him and his friend I gathered the knowledge he definitely did not have a medical condition I needed to be concerned with. At this point I wanted them out, and fast. That happened soon but not fast enough for me. As these two guys walked out the door and rather drunkenly apologized for destroying half the shop I noticed his face was still twitching extremely unnaturally, he was a little cut up but not anything severe. That’s enough about him though.
What Could Have Happened and Why The Boss Was Right
Let’s say I did call 911 and an ambulance showed up in 7 minutes along with the police. Let’s be practical and explore the worst case scenario: I might have had a full on drug bust going down (if they had illegal drugs) in the middle of my smoke shop, an ambulance in front of the shop, sirens, and tons of gawkers rubber-necking to find out what kind of ghetto situation is going down at this small local smoke shop. I would likely have to lock the doors for a few hours, fill out reports, who knows how much of the business day would have been burned up, how many sales would have been lost, in addition to still having this huge mess to sift through and clean. The owner would likely have had to come and handle this situation as well.
Instead he choose to allow them to leave and they left. I swept up the glass, moved things around to put the shop back together and get my merchandise ready to sell again. I never even locked the door and never turned away a single customer and it was a successful business day in the end, imagine that. There was some damage but in that specific display case it was mostly boxed vaporizers with plastic wrap around them. We’re not even going to get into the “what if” situation where it was the display case one over with Grav Gold water pipes. It wasn’t. There were some Juicy Jay Super Wraps that got crushed, a few glass globes for wax pens were crushed. Fortunately, most of the items needed the glass to be dusted off and re-shelved. The merchandise loss was not huge, I think the display case itself was the biggest loss. It was a nice case. Everything was back to normal within two to three hours.
It’s Your Call
I’d love to hear what other smoke shops think, what other owners and employees would have done and what they think I should have done. The path I choose to take was the quick and painless, had there been more damage to merchandise I might have been compelled to call the police, like if he had destroyed that wall of water pipes & oil rigs on his way to the bathroom. Thankfully this didn’t happen. I’d love to know what kind of disasters other smoke shops have faced what you did and what you would have done in this situation if you where in my shoes.