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Fuel Or Thought — Can’t Have Both

, , | Right | April 22, 2022

I work at a small, family-owned petrol station. We are also a grocery store and have a popular hot and cold deli. At our station, you pump your fuel and then enter the store to pay. A lot of people will obviously browse the grocery aisles and/or the deli when they come in.

After buying their food and groceries, it can be a good fifteen or more minutes since they pumped their fuel, and we know from experience that, quite often, by the time customers reach the till they have forgotten about the fuel. We ask each and every customer if they have fuel before we cash them out.

We have six pumps, and we can see the pumps through the large window by the tills. And we obviously can see on our tills which fuel on which pump has not yet been paid for. This, and multiple variations of the same interaction, happens at least once a day.

Cashier: “And have you bought any fuel today, please, sir/ma’am?”

Customer: “Oh, and could I get a pack of [item], please?”

Cashier: “Certainly, your total is [price]. So, any fuel?”

Customer: *Inserting card* “I need [amount] cashback, please.”

Cashier: “Certainly. I just need to know if you have fuel, please?”

They enter their PIN, remove their card, gather their purchases, and walk off.

Customer: “Thank you. Bye.”

I watch through the window as the customer heads to a car parked at pump four which has some unpaid fuel. I watch as the customer hesitates. I watch as the customer heads back to the till.

Customer: “Sorry, I had fuel.” *Laughs* “You should have asked me!”

Once A Waiter, Always A Waiter

, , | Right | March 31, 2022

I work in a restaurant (Harvester, a chain of traditional British family restaurants) on the Surrey/London border, way down in the south of England. My first holiday in about ten years comes up. It’s a musical theatre cruise with a day stop in Cobh, Ireland, hundreds of miles away from home and on another island completely.

I walked into a tiny pub there and a guy stops me and says:

Stranger: “You work in the Bulldog Harvester!”

Totally lost the will to live.

Chicken Sandwiches From Heaven

, , , , | Right | March 23, 2022

Around 2006, I was travelling around Ireland on a budget. I was not earning much then and got really good at budgeting. I joined a local tour so the whole tour was already taken care of; I just had to bring extra for some meals, transport, and souvenirs.

At the end of the one-week tour, I was back in Dublin and going to the airport for my flight back to London. I realized that I had forgotten to set aside the €5 for the bus from Dublin to the airport. I emptied all that I had, and after setting aside that amount, I was left with about €1.37.

I had a night flight, so I did have to get dinner. I tried walking around Dublin, going into convenience shops, small shops, etc., trying to even find a sandwich to just fill the stomach. I couldn’t find any, as even the cheapest one was a few cents too much.

I decided to take the bus to the airport first as maybe, without tax, things might be cheaper there. After checking in and checking on the gate, I had a lot of time and I decided to try the airport’s [Fast Food Chain]. I wanted just a chicken burger or small thing, just to fill the stomach. I soon realized I was still a little short. I was trying to look at the menu and prices in front of the counter and trying to count my money when the teen working at the counter asked:

Employee: “What is it that you wanted?”

Me: “I don’t have enough so I’m not getting anything.”

Employee: *Emphasizing* “What would you like to get?”

Me: “Just a chicken burger.”

Employee: “How much do you have?”

Me: “€1.37.”

Employee: “No problem.”

With that, he walked away. He came back with a tray holding a chicken meal!

Me: “I can’t afford that. Just the burger will be enough.”

Employee: “It’s okay, just give me what you have.”

I gave him all that I had and thanked him profusely. He just waved me away with a smile and told me to enjoy my meal. I was so grateful that I ate with tears in my eyes. I was not destitute or homeless — in fact, I was travelling for leisure — but I had to accept the graciousness from a teenager. I felt so guilty. After I was done with the meal, I specially went to the counter to thank him again. He behaved as though it was nothing.

I’m so grateful after this incident that I’ve tried to show kindness and graciousness to whoever may seem like they need it. I never forgot about that incident even though it has been so many years. Thank you, angel boy!

Table For Four, Meal For One

, , , | Working | March 23, 2022

The ordering system in my bar and restaurant is pretty flexible. I can enter details like allergies or custom requests, and the chef knows exactly what they want just by reading it. Sometimes, though, it gets colourful.

I’m serving a family of four.

Me: “Welcome! Can I take your order?”

Mum: “Yes, chicken wings, please, with buffalo sauce.”

Dad: “Chicken wings, BBQ sauce.”

Daughter: *Hesitantly* “Sticky toffee pudding.”

Me: “You’d like the dessert?”

Daughter: “Yes, that’s fine.”

Son: “The cheeseboard, to share!”

That’s a dessert, too. It comes in two sizes: small, meant for one person, and large, shared between two.

Me: “All right, thank you!”

I go to enter it into the till, and the manager appears.

Boss: “Hey, [My Name], we’re out of chicken wings.”

I take two menus back to the table.

Me: “I’m afraid we’re out of the chicken wings. Can I get you something else?”

Mum & Dad: “We’ll have one well-done steak, shared between us, please.”

I confirm the order and put it through, but I know the chef won’t believe it. I go to the kitchen. He’s holding the docket that printed out, looking confused.

Me: “Hey, chef? Can I talk you through that order?”

Chef: “Err, please do.”

Me: “I know it looks like two courses, but send it all together. The steak is for Mum and Dad to share, the sticky toffee pudding is for the daughter, and the cheeseboard is for the son, not actually shared. So, I’ll be sending two side plates and two steak knives with the steak. The cheeseboard is definitely the big one, but with no side plates and only one cheese knife.”

Chef: “I’m glad you explained that. Weirdest order for the whole of Christmas, but if that’s what they want!”

I explained it to the manager, too, or there would have been mistakes serving it. They left us a good review.

Aquariums Make Me Crabby

, , , , | Related | February 27, 2022

I was at an aquarium one time with my two daughters when they were toddlers. I saw a tank that was labelled “King Crabs,” and there was this big, ugly, gnarly, and leggy-looking thing staring back at me. The tank was set into the wall, so this big guy was at eye level with me. I was feeling slightly unnerved at the size of this thing.

Three-Year-Old: “Oh, look, Mummy! There’s his mama.”

She pointed behind the crab that I was looking at, and there behind it was the biggest monster I had ever seen! I screamed and dragged the kids away from the tank.

Yes, the huge King Crab I had been looking at was the baby! Mama scared the bejesus out of me, and I have stayed clear of aquariums ever since. And of course, my girls, now grown up, like to remind me of the time I got the s*** scared out of me by a mama crab.