We Weren’t Creeped Out Until The End

, , , | Working | December 24, 2020

I’m on a business trip with a colleague. I’m not very experienced with travelling, while he has been all over Europe due to work or pleasure.

Soon after we leave the car rental, the tire pressure alert on our rented car goes off. We stop at the first gas station on the road. The attendant, a young, mild-mannered man, comes out of the shack to greet us.

Attendant: “Hello. Do you need petrol or diesel?”

Colleague: “Hello. Neither. Our tank is full, but is it possible to check the tire pressure?”

Attendant: “No problem.”

He goes inside the shack, returns with the pressure gauge hose, fits it to the column, and starts checking the tires. I’m embarrassed that he’s doing all this for free, since pressure checking is complimentary and we’re not buying gas. During our entire exchange, the attendant is polite and smiling.

Attendant: “All in order. Anything else?”

Me: “Yeah, is it possible to get two coffees at the bar?”

I figure that if I pay for the coffees, I can at least leave a tip for the work on the tires. We get inside the bar and the attendant prepares two coffees using a small espresso machine, of the kind you find in households.

Me: “How much for the coffees?”

Attendant: “Nothing. Coffee is free.”

Me: “Oh, come on. Do you at least have a tip jar?”

Attendant: “No, really. There’s no need. It’s on the house. It’s fine.”

Stranger and stranger. I’m puzzled by this, but my colleague seems fine with it and I don’t want to drag this for long, as we still have a day’s work ahead of us.

Colleague: “Well, all right, then. Thank you very much and goodbye.”

Attendant: “Have a good day.”

We leave in silence. I’m still mulling the whole thing over.

Me: “Do you also think he had just murdered the real attendant and was just waiting for us to leave so he could run away with the cash?”

Colleague: “I don’t know, but this is the creepiest R&R stop ever.”

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