As my readers will know, with the NHL lockout seemingly without end, I've been forced to seek alternate employment.
About a five-minute walk from my house is an old gas station that has served the community since the late 1980s -- Domo Gas, rocking the slogan of "we jump to the pump, for you".
Drivers of Western Canada will recognize Domo as one of the last bastions of Full Service gas stations. Some people are amazed, shocked even, that they don't have to leave their cars, or even pump their own gas.
Yes sir, we do it all. Pump your gas, bring your smokes right to your door, check your fluids, and this one time, me and the long haired kid actually helped to pick the lock off a guy's trunk so he could get his gear out.
The pay is kinda lousy (when isn't it, really?) but I enjoy the work, and we have a good crew manning the M.V store.
Sadly, as in any retail establishment, for every funny regular or flirty girl, we seem to attract about fifty idiots and angry people to barrage us with verbal abuse, stupid questions, sheer laziness, or potentially a violation of a federal law.
And thus, for the viewing pleasure of the general public, I present the 10 Most Annoying and Strange Customers of The Gas Pumper:
1. The Price Fixer: This can be any man, woman, child or dog driving a vehicle. It seems, despite the fact there are fewer places cheaper for gas in the city, the price can always be lower for these guys. Monday and Tuesday is the "cheap day", where we carry four cents off the posted price. And yet even with this discount, The Price Fixer will suggest, kindly or not, that the price can be lower. Typical tactics of The Price Fixer will include:
- Pointing out that 'X' station at 'X' location is cheaper. Then why come here?
- A sob story about being broke all the time and not being able to afford a fill-up on his 2012 Chevy Silverado with more accessories then a barbie doll.
- A long winded and pointless argument about the evils of the oil industry in Alberta, despite the fact he/she is now a purchaser of this evil substance.
- A semi-attractive woman attempting to flirt her way to a discount.
My suggestion is that The Price Fixer drive on down the road to the cheaper places, and pump their own gas.
2. The Forgetful Minor: In seven months of working, I've heard every excuse there is for a 17-year-old to buy smokes. "You did it once", "My dog ran away", "They are for my mom", "Just this one time", "A pimp don't need ID" etc. etc.
My favorite however was one young gentleman who attempted to pull a fast one on the boss and I with this brilliant line, "Dude, uhh... I'm like, late for work, and I forgot my wallet at home. Can you just sell me the smokes and I'll show you the ID later?"
For the record to all you youngins out there, selling cigarettes to a minor incurs the following penalty: A $5,000 fine to yourself. a $10,000 fine to the store, an instant termination of employment, and a blacklisting from ever working around cigarettes and booze ever again. So don't forget your wallet!!!
3. The Time Lord/Lady: To these people, time is never an issue. Forget that I have fifty cars backed up waiting behind you while you find that perfect parking spot. Forget that I have better things to do then wait 15 to 20 minutes for you to make up your mind on diet or regular Pepsi. Forget I only make $11.25 an hour to watch you waste half a day at the Ghetto Gas Station while you wait for your friends to arrive.
The Time Lord/Lady exists merely to make your day longer, by wasting your time with a pointless story about their adventures, debating the merits of buying a cheaper brand of smokes, looking for that one bottle of pop that will never expire, or simply staring into space while waiting in line.
Next time, bring your TARDIS so I can send you back to Gallifrey.
4. The Real Boss: Anyone who has ever worked in any retail industry has encountered this spawn of Satan. The one customer who seems to know everything there is to know about working at a gas station.
Two approaches are taken by The Real Boss. The first is to pull his best Jim Hughson and provide play-by-play on your every move, "Twist the cap to the left", "No use the other hand to pull the trigger" "Why cant you give me the debit receipt first, then the till receipt."
This tactic is annoying though rarely harmful. The second tactic is far more dangerous, to both you and The Real Boss' mental state. A seemingly minor offence is bottled up until the end of the transaction.
When the time is right, The Real Boss explodes into a furious critique of your performance. "You spilled a drop of gas on my car?! You stupid $%^&% idiot! You know, at my job if I mess up on the smallest thing, I get my ass sent to the EI line. The whole @!#@!$@ lot of you should be fired. I mean you stand here, smoke, listen to that devil's music, and you $%$$% up like this all the time. If I was in charge you'd all be...."
You get the general idea. Beware angering The Real Boss.
5. The Not So Pretty Girl: This name should be fairly self explanatory. This girl thinks she looks like Anne Hathaway, when in reality she's closer to Kim Kardashian sans make up. Sadly, she thinks she is in fact Anne Hathaway, and attempts to use her non-existent charm to bribe her way to cheaper smokes or gas.
Sorry hunny, but my mirror in the back disagrees with you.
6. The Change Hound: These disgraces to society, these generally not nice people, are the bane of my existence. Consider this, dear reader. It's 2 a.m. I'm in the middle of taking tank reads, while sorting a Pepsi Order and counting the "dash" (food) items. The Change Hound rolls up, in his fancy leathers and nice cars, then buys two packs of smokes, with nickles and dimes!!!!
So not only do i have to stop doing my more important tasks, but I now have to spend 20 minutes counting the pound and a half of change you just handed me. Seriously, I hate you.
7. Car Physics Specialist: For the record, not all women have this problem, but quite literally every incidence of this problem is from a woman.
It seems now that universities in Canada offer a course in "car spatial physics". At this course, they seem to teach some pretty radical concepts: The gas tank on the car is near the hood latch, parking a mile away from the pumps is feasible, and going backwards is actually going forwards, thus traffic issues are not, in fact, issues.
Tell ya what guys, save the money from car spatial physics and spend it on driver's ed.
8. The A&E Biographer: As though an invisible camera crew follows them every where they go, The A&E biographer feels the need to document every aspect of their annoyingly banal lives.
And of course, once the documenting has been complete, the story must be shared right? And of course, where does the A&E Biographer come to share these stories? M.V of course.
Sometimes, I don't mind hearing an interesting or crazy story. But your entire life story? No.
9. Drunks: Once in a while, I have to work the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift. During this time, about 90% of my business comes from drunks. Drunks come in two varieties. The Friendly Buddy out for a few drinks, not really bothering anyone, and then there is Drunky The Ass Clown. Drunky will either be really angry that I can't break a $100 bill for him, be really angry that the liquor store is closed, or just be angry that his wife left him or something.
Drunks range from entertaining, to depressing, to violent, to coma patients lying on my pad. Point here is that you should probably be at home if you want to drink.
10. Honkers: I can clearly see your car there. I can see you want gas. I can see you coming in. Do you see that I'm helping another car? Or that the clearly posted sign indicates I'm in the washroom?
Do you really feel the need to announce your presence by pretending it's the red mile and giving on your horn like it's the end of world?
And that is the ten most annoying and strange customers of the gas pumper. Thanks for reading!!!!!