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All Pumped Up For The Wrong Reasons

| MN, USA | Crazy Requests, Money, Transportation

(I work as a cashier at a pre-pay only gas station. Many customers don’t know we’re a pre-pay only station and frequently insert the nozzle into their car expecting us to turn on the gas for them, which we cannot do. The customer in this story has just tried to pump without paying and we’ve informed him over the intercom that he needs to come inside to pre-pay. He comes in moments later looking annoyed.)

Customer: “Why do I have to pre-pay?”

Me: “Sorry about the inconvenience; it’s store policy. How much would you like to pump?”

Customer: “I just want to fill it.”

Me: “In order to pre-pay we need a dollar amount of gas that you want to pay.”

Customer: “I don’t know how much I need; I just want to fill it.”

Me: “Yeah, but we don’t know how much it will take to fill your car. Just guess how much gas you need and if you don’t end up pumping it all into the tank you can come back in and get your change.”

Customer: “I don’t want to have to come back in. I just don’t see why I have to pre-pay. Is this such a bad neighbourhood that you get people driving off a lot?”

(I start to try and tell him the policy has to do with how our store is arranged, we can’t see the pumps well enough from the store to determine if someone drove off without paying, but before I can say that he interrupts.)

Customer: “Can’t I just give you my keys and you turn on the pump for me?”

(At this point my manager who is close by steps in to tell him we can’t do that and that he needs to pre-pay an amount before we can turn on the pumps, which he does but as he’s leaving he says:)

Customer: “This is ridiculous, I don’t want to have to come back in for my change. It’s supposed to be a convenience store; this isn’t convenient.”

(He starts pumping his gas, and as he’s doing so my manager comments on how annoying it is when customers do this.)

Manager: “And you know the ironic thing is that if he left his keys in here, he would still have to come back in to get them.”

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Getting Tender Over Legal Tender

| Dublin, Ireland | Criminal & Illegal, Money, Transportation

(A customer pulls up and fills their tank with petrol, €55 worth.)

Customer: “Pump five, please.” *places a €500 note on the counter*

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I can’t accept a €500 Euro note. Would you perhaps have a credit card?”

Customer: *annoyed* “Why can’t you accept it? It is legal tender!”

Me: “I do not have enough change in my till to provide you with. Also, as it is over 20% of the value of your purchase, I can refuse to accept this as payment.”

Customer: “But it is legal tender.”

Me: “Sir, if I could provide you with the change I would; however, it is not possible. Do you not have a credit card you could use?”

Customer: “No! This is outrageous.”

(The cycle of discussion continues where I try to remain as polite and calm with the customer as possible.)

Me: “Perhaps there is someone you could call and I can accept payment over the phone?”

Customer: “I’m going to drive away if you will not accept my money!”

Me: “As I have explained, sir, I cannot accept this as payment as I do not have the change to give you. I would if I could but I’m sorry, I don’t.”

Customer: “I’m going to leave now.”

Me: *I turn away to look out the window and take down the reg of his car* “Sir, if you leave the forecourt without paying I will be forced to call the Guards.” *police*

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “As you have not paid for the petrol it would be theft.”

Customer: *muttering in anger they storm out*

(The next customer steps up and I ask if he wouldn’t mind waiting a moment while I look out to the car. After a moment I notice no movement so I begin to serve the next customer, however mid transaction the customer storms in.)

Customer: “Here!” *throws the money at me and I have to kneel to pick it up, as the customer is storming out*

Me: “See you, sir! Have a nice day!”

Customer: *stops turns glaring at me* “What did YOU say to me!?”

Me: “I said ‘See you, sir! Have a nice day!’”

Customer: “Mind your f****** business!” *storms out*

(Everyone in the store begins to laugh as I resume to serve the next customer.)

Customer #2: “I don’t know how you kept a straight face.”

Me: “The nicer I got, the angrier he got. What a d***-head. Sorry about that!”

(The other customers got a good chuckle out of it.)

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Getting The Wrong Smoke Signals

| IN, USA | Extra Stupid, Health & Body

Customer: “I’d like a pack of [Brand] cigarettes, the brown pack.”

Me: “Sure! You know, we don’t sell much of this kind. Had a regular customer special request them and accidentally got most the other varieties trying to order the right kind.”

Customer: “I’m glad you do. They’re addictive-free!”

Me: *taken aback for a split second but managing to keep my incredulity mostly in check* “Actually, it’s just additive free. See?” *I point to the packaging* “It just means they don’t add in any extra stuff to them.”

Customer: *being super nice but sticking to her guns* “Well, they’re nicotine-free.”

Me: “No, they still have it.”

Customer: “They’re 100% tobacco, so they don’t have nicotine.”

Me: “Oh, no, nicotine is part of tobacco; you can’t really separate it out.”

Customer: *having completed the purchase starts walking away, continues responding to me, but sounding either confused, or doubtful of my knowledge* “Oh, okay…”

Me: “Yeah, it only say 100% U.S. grown. It’d be like having orange-free orange juice, you really can’t have it without the oranges… Um, have a nice day!”

(I realized as I said it that with artificial flavoring, you CAN have orange-free orange juice, but that’s beside the point.)

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Making A Messy Diaper Of Things

| CA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

(I work in a small gas station that has a small aisle of hygienic products tampons, diapers, soap, etc. A guy who looks about twenty three walks in and goes over to the aisle, he stays for a moment, looking in his wallet a few times before coming up with two boxes of diapers and a pack of tampons. He’s behind an older man with two cases of beer and a box of diapers.)

Older Man: *mutters* “I only have ten f****** dollars…” *places diapers off to the side and pushes beer towards me*

(The man pays for his beer and leaves, muttering about how mad his wife’s gonna be when he gets home without diapers. The younger man steps forward and put his stuff down. When he saw the price he smiled a bit.)

Young Man: “And a pack of [Brand] cigarettes. But I can actually put my kid and girlfriend before habits.”

(He had his ID and everything.)

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Adding Fuel To The Fire

| Perth, WA, Australia | Crazy Requests

(I am the manager at a petrol station when, one day, a car LITERALLY explodes on the driveway — the fireball is about 20 feet high. The emergency stop button is activated to stop all fuel flowing as three staff members run out with fire extinguishers to control the blaze and keep it away from the fuel tanks. We get it under control just as the fire department arrives, then need to wait until the fire chief gives us the all clear to resume business. The staff are all quite shaken and hovering near the closed front door while customers continue to drive in and park at the pumps.)

Customer #1: “Hey, your pumps aren’t working!”

Me: “No, we’ve just had a fire. We can’t operate until we have the all clear from the fire department.” *I gesture to the fire truck, lights still blazing, and the dozen or so firefighters examining the melted & smoking remains of the car*

Customer: “Oh, okay.”

(He then starts walking toward the store. I stop him at the door and he looks puzzled.)

Customer: “Let me through. I want to buy some drinks.”

Me: “Sir, as I said, we can’t operate until we have the all clear from the fire department.”

Customer: “…but I just need a few things.”

Me: “Mate, we are closed. Again, because of the FIRE.”

(This went back and forth a few times before he finally stormed off in huff, jumped into his car and raced off. It took another two hours before the car was towed and we were able to re-open. Sadly, I repeated the above with at least another twenty customers in that time who “just wanted” a few things.)

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