I'm half-doomed and you're semi-sweet (likelystory) wrote in bad_service,
I'm half-doomed and you're semi-sweet

I live in Oregon, where all gas stations are full serve (i.e. we have pumpslaves who are paid to stand out in dark uniforms in the 100+ degree summer heat and pump my gas so I don't have to get my lazy ass out of the car). I generally stop at the same Union 76 gas station whenever I need a fillup, even though it's a little more expensive than Arco or the like, because the pumpslaves are always really nice and friendly (instead of just communicating in grunts).

It was hot again today (I'm guessing high 90s or low 100s) when I stopped by after work to fill up on gas. Obviously, turning off the engine while gas is pumping means no A/C, so I was sweating by the time the tank finished filling. And then I sat and waited. And waited. I don't care how long it takes them to get to me if the station is busy, but there was only one other car there, and I could hear my Friendly Neighborhood Pumpslave chatting and laughing loudly with its occupant. I began to get somewhat impatient, being hot and tired and hungry from having been on my feet for 8 1/2 hours, when Friendly Neighborhood Pumpslave #2 saw me waiting and started to head over to my car. Pumpslave #1 noticed this, and walked over to my gas tank, so Pumpslave #2 headed back to his station. Pumpslave #1, however, merely stood there, hand poised over the nozzle, and continued his conversation. A few minutes later, the other car drove off, and Pumpslave #1 finished up and got me my receipt.

Now, this wasn't particularly awful service, just a tad annoying considering the heat. I love my pumpslaves, so I'm willing to forgive oodles of things. The story that Pumpslave #1 regaled me with upon handing my receipt, however, showed me that my tiny discomforts were nothing compared to the bad_service that could have happened...

Apparently, the person in the other car was one of his coworkers, and Pumpslave #1 was giving him a hard time because of a mistake he'd made. On the coworker's second day at work, he had forgotten to fill a woman's gas tank. He'd taken the money and everything, just not filled the tank (I wonder if the heat and gasoline fumes proved to be contributing factors to this). The woman had somehow not noticed this until she ran out of gas on the freeway, prompting her husband to call her a tow truck because they thought the car had broken down. Not only did this mistake cost them the price of a tow truck and a visit to the mechanic, but she'd been unable to pick up her children from their various activities because of the "breakdown."

...from now on, I'm double-checking my gas gauge when I pull out of the station. :-P
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