Update: There's no explanation as to what exactly went wrong, but Rockstar has confirmed that the problem has been fixed, and the clerks are back on the job on all three platforms. You may now resume your usual life of crime.
Something very strange is afoot in the world of GTA Online. As reported by Kotaku, all the clerks in the game's convenience and liquor stores have simply disappeared. They've apparently been missing since yesterday, May 2, in fact, and nobody knows why.
Now, you might be inclined to see this as a net positive. GTA Online is not the sort of game that rewards good behavior and upstanding citizenship, after all, and stores being left unattended means there's nobody around to stop you from doing, and taking, anything and everything your little heart desires. Except this is a videogame, not real life, and so in order to get the things you need, you need a clerk.
Their absence is vexing for players whose daily missions include robbing a convenience store, but it's even worse for new players, because no store clerks means the tutorial can't be completed. It can be skipped, but why should you have to do that?
Kotaku also noted that players are encountering other technical issues including an inability to set bounties and organize the cars in their garages. It's not clear how widespread the problems are, but reports of missing store clerks had appeared in the GTAV subreddit less than an hour prior to this post. I've reached out to Rockstar for more information about the problem, and will update if and when I receive a reply. In the meantime, if you're roaming the streets of San Andreas, how are things looking?