Number Two Over By Number Seven

, , , , | Right | May 14, 2018

(I work night shifts at a service station. When a customer picks up a fuel hose to fuel up their car, it sets off an alarm inside that alerts the station attendant that the pump needs to be authorized. Fuel won’t pour until they do so, and the alarm won’t stop until it is either authorized or hung up. Unfortunately, a system error crashes one of the pumps with the alarm still going, so the entire pump has been turned off to shut it up until it can be fixed. Each nozzle on the pump has been covered with a bright orange out-of-order sign that must be removed before it can be used. I am in the cold room of the store stocking shelves when I hear thumping sounds and swearing, so I return to the front in time to see a man seemingly standing up from beside the non-functioning pump. There is no car, but I see he has a fuel can.)

Me: *over PA system* “Sorry, customer on pump seven! That one is currently out of order. I’ll just get you to move over to six and you’ll be all set.”

(The customer storms over to the night window, swearing loudly the whole while.)

Customer: “Oh, and you couldn’t d*** well tell me that ten minutes ago, you useless f****** w****r? What the f*** were you doing?”

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir.” *I explain the error, the pump alarm, etc.* “So, when you attempted to fill up, it wasn’t able to notify me, and since you walked in, I didn’t hear a car entering. Again, I’m extremely sorry about the wait. If you want to head over to one of the other pumps, I can get that started for you right away, and I can grab you a coffee card or free drink as an apology.”

Customer: *slightly mollified* “Well, you still should have had some kind of d*** sign out so tha—” *he gestures angrily at the pump, pausing as he notices the fluorescent orange hose-covers* “Huh.”

(He pauses for a moment, then turns back to me, looking absolutely mortified.)

Customer: “Look, I’m really sorry I went off like that. I messed up, and you’ve treated me a lot politer than I deserved. Don’t worry about fuel or a freebie. I’ll just go. Uh… Who… cleans out by the pumps and that here, by the way?”

Me: “The night staff do it, so that’ll be me just before I finish this morning. Why?”

Customer: “Oh, uh… Um, here.” *he shoves a $10 note into the cash slot and leaves hurriedly*

(Some time later:)

Another Customer: “Jesus, did somebody take a s*** over beside pump seven?”

(Sadly, the answer was yes.)


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