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Trust Is As Valuable As Gasoline

, , , , | Right | January 19, 2021

After a string of drive-offs — asking the cashier to turn a gas dispenser on, pumping the gas, and then driving off without paying — the gas station I work at institutes a new policy where a customer wishing to pay inside after pumping needs to leave some form of payment or their keys. They can’t leave their ID as they can easily drive off without it and simply go to the DMV to get a replacement. Everyone is okay with this policy except one “special” customer.

Customer: “Turn pump one on for me.”

Me: “Were you going to prepay or just pump and pay after?”

Customer: “Well, I don’t know how much I want so I want to pump first.”

Me: “Our pumps allow you to pay outside, as well.”

Customer: “I don’t trust those things.”

Me: “Fair enough! The options available would be to either leave your keys or some form of payment.”

Customer: “I’ll leave my license.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but that’s not one of the available options.”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “We’ve had people drive off without their license. Leaving your keys or a form of payment, preferably cash, insures the gas will be paid for.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous. I’m here all the time, always around this time.”

For context, even though I’ve only been here a few months, I usually always work the same shift.

Me: “I’m usually always working this shift at this time. I’ve never seen you before and your vehicle does not look familiar. I don’t know you so I’m not allowed to turn on the pump without your keys or payment.”

Customer: “Whatever.”

The customer goes back to his car and comes back in.

Customer: “Here.”

He throws an old-looking debit card on the counter.

Customer: “You said a form of payment, so there you go. Turn on the pump now.”

Me: “I should also let you know that if the card doesn’t work, and you have no alternate form of payment, the police will get involved quickly.”

Customer: “Are you threatening me?”

Me: “No, just merely stating facts. If you don’t pay for the gas, you will be getting a visit from the police. There are cameras everywhere and you’re on at least three right now.”

Customer: “Whatever!”

He throws his keys at me.

Customer: “Now turn it on. I’m not going anywhere.”

Me: *Overly cheerful* “Thank you! See you in a bit!”

He did end up paying, but not before causing a scene in front of a store packed with other paying customers, all of whom agreed with me that the right thing to do is ask for some assurance they will pay.

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