May 2012

    Thursday May 31, 2012:

Temporarily shut down for an hour or so for my annual testing and inspection. I’m amazed to see just how many people possess the innate power to completely see right through 10 or so big ‘ol cones surrounding the pumps. So jealous…

    Tuesday May 29, 2012:

Customer while getting his car filled: “Hey, does your vacuum machine work?” Rajeev: “Yes, it does.” Customer drives over. 20 seconds later, customer screams “Hey, it’s not working!” –> After finishing off a car, I walk over. “Sir, how much did you put in?” –> Customer: “A dollar.” –> Rajeev: “Umm so I guess you thought that big ‘ol sign above the quarter slots that reads $1.25 is just a suggestion?” –> After 5 seconds, customers starts laughing hysterically and puts in another quarter. It’s amazing what excessive heat can do to the brain….

    Tuesday May 29, 2012:

Now, I don’t care what your Law of Scientific Physics to the 9th Power Carry The 1 and do the Hokie Pokie says. Standing in front of a fan definitely cools me down despite the fact that it’s just recirculating the hot air. Insert me sticking my tongue out at you here –>

    Tuesday May 29, 2012:

Customer drives in with a big SUV and asks me to fill it up. Rajeev becomes super excited. Aaaaand then a conversation ensued between mother and her son. “You have such a ghetto daddy. Your daddy is so ghetto. He don’t pay for shit! He’s so useless!” This kept going on and on and on. And all I could think of was “Oh god why did she have to ask for a fill up?! Oh god make it stop! Oh god why didn’t I install turbo jets on these pumps?!” Awwwwkkkkwaaaaard….

    Tuesday May 29, 2012:

Irish Grandpa: “It’s going to be a hot one son. Here’s a dollar. Go buy yourself a cold Budweiser.” Customer proceeds to drive away. He stops 3 seconds later, rolls down his window, and looks back at me. “But, not now. It’s too early. After work.” Thought that was kinda funny….

    Monday May 28, 2012:


And now….Weekend Story #2 of 2: Okay folks you only get one shot at this. Can you guess what happened at 7:23:32 PM?! Yes. This did actually occur. Clickity clank clickity clank the hose gets yanked off the tank. Fear #2 became a reality on Friday evening, just 7 weeks after getting into the gas station business. And what makes this epic saga even more delicious is that my attendant still had his credit card in possession! Where the hell was he going?! The Word of The Day is: Concentration. Boys and Girls, please concentrate to the matter at hand. Thank you, come again.

    Monday May 28, 2012:

Okay, so Weekend Story #1 of 2: Before coming to work for me, my attendant pumped at another station across town. About 6 months ago, a guy cheated him of $5. Customer asked for $10, but then said he didn’t realize that he only had a 5 on him. He “promised” to come right back. Obviously, that never happened. And in fact, the customer never showed up at that station ever again. Well folks, can you see where this chapter is headed? Yes indeedy. On Friday night, this lovely individual showed up at my station! Of course he had no idea that the attendant he slighted is now working over here. He was so f’n shocked and embarrassed that he paid my guy the $5 right then and there….Karma….you gotta love it….

    Monday May 28, 2012:

Customer: “Are you sure put in the gas?! My gaslight is still on.” –> Rajeev: “With all due respect ma’am, you’re driving a Ford Expedition and you asked me to put in $5.” –> Customer: “Yeah, you’re right. Better put in another 5 bucks.” –> Interesting. Sometimes logic does in fact work on women….

    Monday May 28, 2012:

Well, the good news is that there’s a big sensual smell of bacon wafting through the air filling my station with pleasurable thoughts of silk, rose petals, and chocolate. It must be coming from All American Deli that’s right behind me. The bad news is that I’m not currently eating any. Life’s kinda cruel like that….

    Friday May 25, 2012:


This is the last of my morning pictorials and is of a serious venting nature. White car boxed in blue pulls in at the same time as a customer looking to get his propane tank filled. Rajeev to white car customer: “Ma’am, I’m going to set your car and then go help that gentleman over there. As soon as I hear it click off, I’ll be back.” Without any exaggeration, 5 SECONDS after her car is filled she starts honking her horn incessantly! She knew very well that I was helping this other guy. Meanwhile the SUV boxed in yellow pulls in. Upon hearing her repeated honks, they pull right back out. I don’t blame the SUV. He/she had no idea that I’m on the other end filling propane. In their eyes, the gas attendant is nowhere to be found. Ladies and Gentlemen, kindly take note of the time stamp. 21 SECONDS later, JUST 21 seconds later, you see me boxed in red sprinting back to her car. Customer’s propane tank was just about finished, and as you know, propane should be handled very carefully. Are you f’ing kidding me woman?! Because of her obnoxiousness, I lost a customer. Will my business go under because of it? Of course not. But, it’s the principle of it. It’s not my fault you hit snooze one too many times this morning lady. Folks, please be courteous to your neighborhood gas attendant. They work hard….

    Friday May 25, 2012:


I’m just full of pictorials today. Runner-ups for the “Not So Smart” Award goes to….Me and This Customer! Gentleman pulls in to have his lawn mower filled up. It’s sitting in his back seat and I failed miserably at coaxing him to take it out of the car. He insisted I just fill it as is. So be it. I pull the hose into his car and attempt to pump gas into the thing. It kept clicking off after every few seconds. Here I am starting to tense up thinking there’s something wrong with my pump, hose, and/or nozzle. This went on for several minutes. FINALLY it dawned on me. “Sir, did you bring me an already full lawn mower?” –> Customer: “I don’t know, let me check.” Ding ding ding ding ding! I had pumped a measly 46 cents worth. Customer sheepishly hands me his credit card. By this point, we’re both laughing hysterically. Rajeev: “Sir, it’s probably going to cost me more money in transaction fees than to just give you that 46 cents for free. Consider it an early Memorial Day gift.” Ohh what fun I’m having today….

    Friday May 25, 2012:


Aaaaand the “Not So Smart” Award goes to….This Woman! Although tough to see, she pulled in JUST to put out her cigarette on the ground and then sped off. While I appreciate her not wanting to litter the streets of South Toms River, one would think that putting out their Newport at a GAS STATION isn’t the brightest of ideas….

    Thursday May 24, 2012:

Customer comes in and asks for $3 worth. Customer: “Oh wait a minute, I need to give you the key to unlock the cap.” –> Hmm. I’m guessing she’s a tad bit overprotective of her gas fumes….

    Thursday May 24, 2012:

The life of a gas station owner entails bouts of solitude intermingled with tens of minutes of über chaos and hustle. So, during my tenure here, I’ve been perfecting a rather stimulating game: “Don’t Choke On The Cheerios.” The rules are simply really. How many spoonfuls can you inhale before the next car drives in? If you reach the end of the bowl without experiencing soggy cereal, you’ve won! Of course if you run out to tend to your customers and the cheerios come back up and pay you a visit, you automatically lose. Fun for the whole family! I should totally patent this….

    Wednesday May 23, 2012:

GOING TO LBI OR ATLANTIC CITY THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND? We’re only 25 miles to LBI and 50 miles to Atlantic City. I know this because there’s a sign right at our exit off the GARDEN STATE PARKWAY! Kindly get off at EXIT 80, come fill up, and experience some of the craziness that goes on here firsthand! We’re just a 1/4 mile off! Stay left on the exit ramp towards South Toms River. At the stop sign, make a right onto Double Trouble Road. Then make your immediate left at the traffic light onto Dover Road. We are up on the right across from the 7-Eleven. 389 Dover Road. Many thanks!

    Tuesday May 22, 2012:

I’m pretty certain that I’m not the cause of your bad morning. In fact, I am very confident of that. Therefore, please make a note of the following: When I ask you to pop your tank, it’s not to annoy you or to belittle you. It’s because you haven’t done so yet and I’ve been playing the “Let’s See Who Blinks First” game with your gas tank for oh about 15 seconds now. Lastly, when I say “Thank you. Have a nice day,” it would be nice if you would acknowledge my presence instead of driving away with your nose in the air. Other than that, I love you and wish you nothing but success with a small bout of indigestion….

    Tuesday May 22, 2012:

Customer pulls in while eating a bowl of corn flakes with bananas. Glass bowl. Steel spoon. Now that’s talent. Oh. And did I mention that he filled his $80,000 Bimmer with regular? I know it won’t spontaneously combust while downing his breakfast, but I still find it amusing that he can splurge on a car like that, but won’t spend the extra bucks on premium….

    Monday May 21, 2012:

Cop pulls over a pickup for running a red light. Instead of pulling off to an open part of our parking lot, the pickup pulls right up to the front pump. Cops pulls up right behind him with the lights flashing. My attendant: “Sir, do you need gas?” –> Customer: “In a minute. Right now I’m getting pulled over.” The usual “license, registration, insurance” ordeal ensues. 5 minutes goes by. After the cop leaves, customer fills up $20. And here I thought the rain would slow down the craziness. Boy was I wrong….

    Friday May 18, 2012:

Customer: “But….you speak perfect English.” –> Rajeev: “Yeah, well some of us managed to escape from the Accent Asylum.” Dollar tip earned successfully….

    Friday May 18, 2012:

Customer comes in asking for $3 worth in their gas can. Not a problem. Hands me all pennies in a ziplock bag. Cars on the bay. Don’t have time to count penny for penny at that moment. After tending to said vehicles, I go into my little office area and count. $2.35. I really wish I took some mental classes in college so that I can begin to understand the satisfaction one gets by cheating a gas station by 65 cents. Un.Real.

    Thursday May 17, 2012:

Customer: “$20 Super please.” –> Rajeev: “I’m sorry Miss, but we do not currently offer Super at this station. It’s coming very soon though. You will see signs.” Customer drives off. Very nice girl, but I’m afraid that even 93 Octane is not going to bring her 1987 Mercury Cougar into the 21st century.

    Thursday May 17, 2012:

Oh wow. I think I just totally nailed the title for my future reality show. Ready? Ready for this? “Raj Has Gas.”

    Thursday May 17, 2012:

Hmmm. Interesting. I never knew that a handful of pennies, nickels, and dimes could be so heavy….until I was just handed $15 worth as payment….

    Thursday May 17, 2012:

Customer walks in and asks if we have a gas can that she can temporarily use. Apparently she ran out and is parked up the road. I kindly pump a gallon into said can, walk over to the car, and pour it in for her. Here I am thinking it’s an old vehicle with a busted up meter or something. It was a late 2000’s Lexus RX. Umm….right. I’m guessing the big ‘ol amber gas light staring her in the face wasn’t a good enough indication to have stopped 1,000 feet sooner right into my station….

    Wednesday May 16, 2012:

My apologies for not posting this sooner, but it took me a few moments to stop laughing hysterically. Customer pulls in and asks for $2 of gas (yes. Just $2). After the split second it took to fill, they sheepishly tell my attendant, “Sorry. But, it looks like I only have $1. But, you can also have my unopened Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail.” Seeing this as an opportunity since temps are going into the lower 80s today, my guy happily accepted. I mean come on. It was a 24oz can! In somewhat related news, I’m now seeking investors for my reality show….

    Wednesday May 16, 2012:

Cute Little Grandma Customer: “You know, you have a really pleasant sounding voice. Have you ever considered going into radio or broadcasting? You enunciate very well. You should trust me. I have a good ear for this kind of stuff.” My vocal chords earned me a dollar tip. Damn. Good thing she didn’t meet me during my embarrassing marbles phase. Oh wait. That was yesterday….

    Wednesday May 16, 2012:

“Gas Station Courtship”, Chapter 5: Biiiiig ‘ol pickup truck pulls in (Locking eyes with the girl across the bar, very excited). Customer asks to fill it up (moving past the small talk, going out on a few dates, which eventually leads to becoming an awesomely loving couple). Not a moment too soon, you shockingly find out that “filling up” meant ‘topping off” and the whole relationship amounted to a mere $11.84 (Breaking up after finding out your girlfriend is really a man). Tears. Big tears…

    Wednesday May 16, 2012:

Every day, it gets harder and harder to watch the sunrise from my gas station. Every day, the morning light approaches just a few minutes earlier on my commute. It could not have been more than 15 minutes in when I saw glimpses of Wednesday life. That can only mean one thing folks — Summer is quickly approaching! Happy Hump Day! Cheers!

    Tuesday May 15, 2012:

Perks To Owning Your Own Business, #16: You don’t have to ask the boss if you can leave early for a dentist appointment, unless of course you have a split personality. Then it can get a bit complicated….

    Monday May 14, 2012:

Customer, in a very mumbling manner: “$20 cash.” –> Rajeev: “I’m sorry sir, I didn’t quite get that. Did you say $20?” –> Customer, again in a very mumbling manner: “Yes.” As I unscrew his gas cap, I hear him whisper to his friend. “Fucken A I’m speaking American aren’t I?” –> Rajeev, to himself of course: “Well, I’m so sorry. If you weren’t munching on them chewin tobaccers while a big ‘ol big rig zoomed down the road, perhaps I would have been able to hear you.” After his fill, I said “Thank you. Have a good day.” He didn’t even look at me. Just drove off. Yes my friends. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to wish really painful explosive diarrhea upon him later today….

    Friday May 11, 2012:

I just witnessed the most adorable act via my gas station surveillance camera, as I wind down a long week by sipping some Chivas on my back deck. 2 little girls run into my station, one holding a bicycle tire. My guess is that it was flat. Being the awesome guy that he is, my attendant runs into the office, grabs some quarters, and goes out to my air pump machine and fills this child’s tire. Meanwhile, a car pulls into the bay. After a minute, this would-have-been-customer grows impatient and drives away. After tending to the little girl, my attendant resumes his duty and starts pumping the next car that comes in. All of a sudden, you see the little girl go and hug my attendant as an innocent gesture of gratitude. Let me tell you something folks. Losing that one car’s sales was well worth it so that this poor girl could bike her way home. Humanity rocks…

    Friday May 11, 2012:

Filled a car with a group of kids inside. After receiving payment, I went about my business. Collected the numbers for the sign, brought out the step ladder, and began to change pricing. Car remained at the pump. I turn back, and see these guys itching to pick a fight with me. Several minutes go by. I walk back into my little office area and sit down at the computer. The looks on their faces when they realized that I only dropped my diesel price was f’n priceless. Gas Station Owner – 1, Customer – 0.

    Friday May 11, 2012:

In my dreary eyed state of mind earlier this morning, I ran around my house frantically looking for my jacket. Well, in my head I was running. In reality, I was going so slow that I was probably actually moving backwards. Anyways, it dawned on me that perhaps I left it at the station. After all, we’ve been having cold mornings and warm afternoons, so I probably took it off at some point. As I was pulling out of my garage, the most brilliantest idea hit my noggin. Log into my inside surveillance camera via my iPhone just to be sure. And low and behold, it was right there sitting on my chair. If technology had female reproductive organs, I’d so impregnate it….

    Wednesday May 9, 2012:

It’s quite amusing that customers will drive in, and as they get their tank filled, will start a playful(?) argument with me as to why I’m charging more than some of the other gas stations in the state. Definitely not in any mood to break it all down for them (geography, inventory levels, costs, etc), so I generally just let out a chuckle and agree with them. But, at the same time, they do realize that they voluntarily ‘chose’ to come to my station, right?!

    Wednesday May 9, 2012:

Customer drives in and asks for $50 worth. Customer hands me a $100 bill and in return I flip him a $50 bill. Customer: “I don’t want that 50. It could be counterfeit.” –> Rajeev: “Sir, I’m not even going to point out the obvious here.” We both laughed so hard that I told him that if I had tea and crumpets, I’d invite him in for tea and crumpets….

    Wednesday May 9, 2012:

Customer: “I’m not trying to be rude, but I have to raise my window because the rain is getting in.” –> He cared enough to make sure I knew he’s generally a nice guy. This gentleman has restored my faith in humanity….

    Wednesday May 9, 2012:

So, I see a crushed lemon on the ground. Either a Hindu used this station to inaugurate their new car, or someone is going to be mighty pissed off when they go home to do lemon drop shots….

    Tuesday May 8, 2012:

Umm, I just caught myself greeting a customer with a “Hello Buddy!” Wow. I have officially arrived. *Tear….

    Tuesday May 8, 2012:

Between working outside in the sun and being subjected to extreme pollen wind storms, I’m beginning to look like a cute ‘lil Oompa Loompa….

    Tuesday May 8, 2012:

I’m not obsessed with coffee. In fact, I only have 1 small cup each and every morning. But, the pleasure I get from finally sitting down and sipping on this fine hot love after running around the pumps for the last 2 hours tending to the first round of morning commuters can almost bring me to tears. Well….not really. But, I wanted to beef up the dramatic effect of this status update…

    Monday May 7, 2012:

Newest Most Favoritist Thing To Do To Totally Mess With the Minds of Morning Morning Commuters: When they come in for a fill and hand you a $50 or a $100 bill, tell them “Thank you have a good one” and walk away. Priceless faces my friends….priceless.

    Thursday May 3, 2012:

Now I’ve seen everything. This dude just came in on a bike holding a propane tank on his handle bars. Well, that’s all fine and dandy, but once I fill it up and send him on his way, it’s going to get mighty challenging to make that trip back….

    Thursday May 3, 2012:

It’s been very interesting to see what gets under people’s skin during the morning hours at the gas station (Today is my 4 week anniversary by the way). Lady just rolled her eyes at me after I politely asked her to move her car up a little. Really? I wasn’t aware that turning your car back on and moving up a few feet was such a taunting task. I think in her head, she truly believes that I purposely positioned the pump so far from her gas tank just for shits and giggles….

    Thursday May 3, 2012:

Customer: “$20 please” and rolls up his window. 5 seconds later, he rolls it back down. “Unleaded.” Rajeev, to himself of course: “Umm, I didn’t know we were still doing that. Perhaps someone should tell him that his Honda Civic is not an airplane.”

    Thursday May 3, 2012:

Driving in this morning, skies opened up and I had to go slower than usual. Very first thing that ran through my head? “I should probably call in to say that I may be running a few late.” That thought was immediately followed by another one. “Oh wait. Who the hell am I going to call?! I’m the boss!” Taking an Entrepreneurship class in high school has fiiiiiiiiiiinally paid off. In somewhat related news, I used Siri for the first time to send Shivani a text message asking her to please drive safely as it is pretty bad out here. I ♥ voice-activated technology.

    Wednesday May 2, 2012:

I just witnessed a woman circle the pumps a full 3 times ’cause she originally pulled up on the wrong side. Suddenly, my surveillance camera goes from being purely a safety mechanism to a wacky fun-filled diabolical bonanza….

    Wednesday May 2, 2012:

Wow. I just pumped $20 into a Toyota Yaris and it didn’t even fill it up. Driving is stupid.

    Wednesday May 2, 2012:

Customer: “$9 please.” –> Rajeev: “No problem.” –> Customer hands me a $5 bill and 5 singles. Rajeev: “Ma’am, you gave me an extra dollar by mistake. Here you go.” –> Customer: “Keep it. You deserve it for being truthful.” –> Moral of the story kids? It LITERALLY pays to be honest….

    Tuesday May 1, 2012:

You don’t know what sleepy is until you try and sign a credit card receipt with the pen cap still on the pen, and instead of removing such cap, you dig harder into the clipboard as if that is going to make the ink darker. Surprisingly though, her signature did come out fairly legible….

    Tuesday May 1, 2012:

Customer: “Sorry I made you walk out here during this torrential downpour.” –> Rajeev: “I’m sorry you only asked for $15 instead of filling up. Damn man, I have bills to pay!” –> While that response didn’t earn me a dollar tip, I did almost make him choke on his bacon egg and cheese on an everything bagel due to his excessive laughter. Sometimes, it’s almost imperative that you seek out the humor on gloomy rainy mornings.

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