Working in a convenience store has to be nerve-wracking. I mean, the news is filled daily with stories of these places being robbed. All too often, the result of that robbery is a dead clerk.
To make matters worse, many clerks who would prefer to carry a firearm for their protection are barred from doing so by store policy. That means either risking their job or their life.
One convenience store chain has decided to start putting armed guards in their stores.
News of QuikTrip looking to hire armed clerks — a hybrid position between a protective services agent and a store clerk — appears to have generated a lot of inquiries, though some may be confused about what specific experience the position requires.
A spokesman for the company said he was confident they’ve had “probably pretty significant” inquiries after advertising the position, which QuikTrip is looking to staff with certified peace officers, veterans or armed security guards.
“It’s just kind of natural for us,” said Mike Thornbrugh, a QuikTrip spokesman. “We tend to bring things inside if we think it works.”
QuikTrip has been testing the hybrid employee program for six months at a few locations in Wichita. There are visual cues that make it easy to differentiate between regular QT workers and the hybrid employees, who are armed, according to a previous story.
According to a job description, the purpose of the hybrid employee’s role is to “deter illegal activity, theft and vandalism,” as well as protect employees, customers, visitors and the company’s property. All that will be in addition to the regular, day-to-day activities comprising a clerk’s duties.
“This is an extension of what we’re already doing,” Thornbrugh said. “What I mean by that is we utilize off-duty law enforcement, and we have contractual agreements with security companies to provide assistance.
“All we’re doing is hiring some individuals to perform the same work who are going to be full-time employees, that’s it.”
It’s probably not a bad idea.
My guess is that there will be some breaks on insurance for having the guards on staff. That makes sense. Insurance often covers a variety of losses, and a guard will stop most of those short of an act of God. As a result, insurance companies will be less likely to have to pay out for things. Lower cost to them means lower premiums for QuikTrip.
At least, that’s my guess as to the reasoning.
Either way, it’s clear that someone at the company recognizes the fact that a good guy with a gun is an asset. They know that it’ll protect people and property. It’s the same thing we’ve been telling people for years.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’d still rather all these chains change their policies to allow clerks to carry at work too, but at least this move will put a gun in the store so that if it’s needed, it’s there and not five minutes away.
What do you want to bet that it’ll be a long time before someone’s stupid enough to rob a QuikTrip?