Unfiltered Story #222140

, , | Unfiltered | January 6, 2021

(I work night shifts at a gas station. My workplace is located near a highway exit, so there’s another gas station just on the other side of the street. It’s Friday, I arrive at the gas station during a thunderstorm and learn from the evening shift employee that the station suffered from a power outage caused by the storm earlier, but most systems are operational. The cash register works, but our card reader doesn’t – after a customer has input their PIN, the transaction seems to go through but then never does. Card readers on the gas pumps outside also aren’t working – and we have no way to solve this issue until the next morning, when the assistant manager comes in and can call someone to repair the system. That night, for every customer showing up to pump gas, I must contact them on the Intercom and tell them that a power outage messed up our systems, so they can’t pay unless they’ve got cash on them. A little past midnight, a man with grey hair shows up and readies to fill his tank. I turn on the Intercom for that pump.)

Me: Hello sir! I need to inform you that because of a recent power outage, our card systems aren’t working right now, so you will have to pay with cash for your gas tonight. We’re sorry for the inconvenience. Will it be okay?

(At that point, most customers who couldn’t would leave, often disgruntled – not that I could do anything at the moment to prevent that – and those who could pay would tell me on the Intercom or give me a thumb up or anything of the like. This customer, however, closes his car’s fuel door and comes inside, followed by two other customers, two women who were in a different car that had just parked at a different pump.)

Customer 1: What do I do if I want to pay gas? I need gas right now!

Me: Well, do you have money on you? We could complete the transaction right now.

Customer 1: No, I only have cards on me, but I need gas for my car!

Me: We’re sorry sir, our card register won’t let you pay this way at the moment, it’s something out of our control until tomorrow. You could withdraw money at the ATM we have inside the station.

(That particular ATM charges a 3$ fee whenever someone withdraws money, and the man refuses.)

Me: I could file an “unpaid gas” paper, you could fill in your contact information and come back tomorrow to pay for your gas.

Customer 1: I don’t want to do that, I just want gas! Is that so hard to understand?

Me: Well I’m sorry sir, those are the only things we can do at the moment, as we can only repair the system tomorrow. Until then, only transactions with physical money can be done.

Customer 1: Well, I’m going to the gas station next door! And you can be certain that I’ll file a complaint to (gas station central)!

(On this, he leaves, visibly annoyed and angry. The women from the other car walk up to my counter, seemingly just as exasperated by the previous customer’s behavior as I was.)

Customer 2: Don’t worry, we can pay cash.

(They were quite nice and the transaction went smoothly! That was a good reminder that most customers I see every night are decent people.)