December 2014

Monday December 29, 2014:
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They just don’t make them like they used to. ’76. Primed and ready for a new paint job….

Wednesday December 24, 2014:
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Merry Christmas from the Delta Gas Station!
Now, come sit on Creepy Santa’s lap….

Tuesday December 23, 2014:
“When Humanity Strikes in The Most Unlikely of Places.”

I have a certain set of customers that could afford to use a little attitude adjustment. I’m very grateful for their business, but they come in here with such rudeness that sometimes it messes with me mentally.

Doesn’t respond when I say “Hello.” Doesn’t bat an eye when I say “Have a good day,” Doesn’t look at me when telling me how much gas they want. Pulling up to the pump and then making me wait for them to get off the phone. And if I’m helping other customers, they start honking the horn once they’re done with their call. The insanity list goes on and on.

A little while ago, one of these customers pull in. His fill came out to $22. He hands me $24 and starts driving away. I catch up to him.

“It was $22. You handed me $24.”

“Nah man. That’s for you. Every morning you’re out here doing your thing.”

Has he changed? I’d like to think so. I’d like to think that this new appreciation for your fellow man will last post holiday season.

Only time will tell I suppose. But, damn I was not expecting that.
At least for today? Point for Humanity….

Friday December 19, 2014:
“Disparaging an entire group to a total stranger.”

I really shouldn’t be surprised by this, but somehow I am. I guess that’s because it’s not something that I would even remotely consider doing.

A contractor comes in irate at a customer for trying to negotiate a lower price on the project.

“He’s Jewish that’s why. Those Jews. Always trying to pinch pennies.”

And then he looks at me expecting an approval head nod!

I really don’t know what’s more ridiculous. That comment or the fact that he was comfortable enough to make such a remark to me.

Blindly shunning a specific set of people seems too easy. I’ll stick with judging folks on an individual basis….

Wednesday December 17, 2014:
Sometimes, it takes an encounter from total strangers to see the error of your ways.

Yesterday, an elderly couple passing through town came in for a fill. We began talking about the holidays.

“Did you finish all your Christmas shopping yet?” They asked.

“Yes. I do it all online. I absolutely hate crowds. I can’t even tell you the last time I’ve stepped foot in an actual retail outlet. How about you?”

“We’re heading back up north and hitting the mall near us. I’ve never done the online stuff. I know it’s more convenient, but just because the technology is there, that doesn’t mean I have to embrace it. To each their own, right?”

He begins to chuckle. We exchanged a few more pleasantries and they leave shortly thereafter.

That ‘one’ line stuck with me: “I know it’s more convenient, but just because the technology is there, that doesn’t mean I have to embrace it. ”

There’s just something special about the frequency in which you interact with friends.

Yes, you can go a year without talking to someone, and once you do connect it will feel like you haven’t skipped a beat. But, does that mean that you should go that one year?

So, I did something yesterday that I hadn’t done in a long time — I picked up the phone and started dialing.

Everyone doesn’t ‘have’ to succumb to email or social media. I don’t particular like being on the phone. First choice is obviously face to face. Next is written words.

But, having that frequent interaction with old friends is a lot more important than the technologies that I prefer.

I will never see this couple again. But, mentally I have thanked them for this Life lesson….

Wednesday December 10, 2014:
“Retail Employee Amnesty Day.”

That should be a thing. I’m not looking for a day off. I’m not looking for more pay.

I’m merely requesting one day out of the year where all retail workers can mouth off to an obnoxious customer ‘without’ any sort of repercussions (loss of business, loss of job, loss of a limb, etc).

5:50am. 4 cars arrive at the same time and situate themselves around the pump. A 5th car is waiting. I walk up to the first one. A woman hands me her credit card.

“Try $15 and go down a dollar until it goes through.”

If you recall, we are a very old school operation here. The credit card machine is not attached to the pump. We have to walk inside the building to do the swiping. And for me to swipe, punch in the number, see that the transaction declined, then repeat how many times?

Potentially losing one customer is better than losing four in my opinion. Speed is everything during the early morning rush. Getting folks out of here as quickly as possible is key.

“Ma’am, there are 4 other cars waiting. Would you be able to call the 800 number on the back and find out how much you have left in your account?”

“See, this is why you don’t have a real job. You can’t even do this one right.”

Ignoring that remark, “Let me set the other cars then I’ll come back.”

As I’m setting the second guy, she drives away and pulls into the Citgo. Good. Pay 4 cents more per gallon. Now, you’ve lost time ‘and’ money.

What I would have ‘loved’ to say was:

“I’m not your fucking financial adviser. I’m your gas attendant. And EVERY job is real as long as it earns you a paycheck. Otherwise, it’s just volunteering. You’re a grown ass woman. Older than me actually. You should probably learn how to balance your checkbook.”

“Retail Employee Amnesty Day.”

Sigh….

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