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Why Your Head Shop Employee Hates You

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In the tradition of our anonymous flight attendant, book buyer, yoga instructor, and house cleaner -- a head shop employee shares his stories of dealing with glassy-eyed customers and Why Your Head Shop Employee Hates You, as told to this writer.

This head shop employee has worked at an independently-owned store in the West Valley for the past three years -- basically since he graduated from high school. We are not revealing his identity or place of employment, because despite a handful of annoyances, he really likes his job.

You bring your stash into the store.
Just because I work in a place where people buy pipes does not mean it's okay for you to walk into my store with a bag of weed. It happens more often than you'd think. I remember one guy who came in and bought a pipe and a screen, and then he asked me to put the screen in the pipe for him. So I did, and then he pulls out a bag of weed and tries to hand it to me, saying, "Can you pack this for me?" Damn, do you want me to smoke it for you, too? Keep your illegal drugs out of my workplace. I know what you're probably buying a pipe for, but please, just let me play dumb.

You put your mouth on the merchandise.

Would you walk into a Bev-Mo or a Pier-One Imports and start putting empty wine glasses to your lips to "see how well they work"? Well, it's equally uncool to go into a head shop, ask to see a glass pipe, and then put it to your lips to "see how it'll hit." We're not a tattoo shop, we don't have an autoclave to sterilize things. So if you put your mouth all over a pipe, congratulations: you just bought it.

You try to haggle.
There are price tags on things for a reason. If that big, beautiful glass water pipe you're drooling over cost us $100, we're not going to give you a "discount" and sell it to you for $75. End of discussion.

You use "illegal language."
Yes, we think it's stupid to have to refer to bongs as "water pipes" and post signs saying products are for tobacco use-only. It's just something we have to do. So please, don't come in looking for "a good pot pipe," "a killer weed bong," or something to "help me pass a drug test." The only thing we'll show you is the door.

You ask me stupid, personal questions.
I'll be happy to tell you how well I like the smell of our Nag Champa incense or how well tobacco burns in one of our pipes. But don't ask me things like, "Have you ever smoked weed out of this?" or "Are these scales good for dividing meth into one-gram baggies?" My answer to any question like that is always "I don't know." But what I'd really like to say is, "Are you fucking crazy?"

You ask me for a hookup.
I sell products for smokers, including cigarettes. If you're looking to smoke something illegal, don't ask me where to find it. You may think you know me because I work at a head shop, but I don't know shit about you, other than you're an idiot for asking a complete stranger where you can buy drugs.

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