To make my partner’s life of business travel a little bit easier, I offered to take his car to the grocery store today so I could fill the gas tank up on the way home. He cautioned me that perhaps I should get gas on the way to the market, because there was a chance that I wouldn’t have enough to make it all the way to the store. You see, he likes to live on the edge. I discovered very early in our relationship that he believed when the gas gauge was on “E”, the idiot light flashed a little gas pump and the warning chimes chimed, you easily had at least 100 miles worth of gas left in the tank. The vehicle you driving didn’t matter, you had 100 miles left if you were driving a Yugo, a Fiat, a tractor trailer or a tank.
So I stopped in to the local gas station to fill up the tank. Luckily, I made it without needing to coast. It was close though, because the gas station is over one mile away from our house. At the station I went through the usual routine: I pressed the “PAY OUTSIDE” key, swiped my card in a spastic, hurried manner hoping the reader wasn’t clogged with ice, punched my way through various menus including credit or debit, car wash or no, age, weight, zip code and sexual orientation.
After listening to the pump shake, rattle and roll as it presumably put a 89 octane Tiger in my tank, I put the nozzle back on the rack and waited for the next question. “RECEIPT? YES/NO”
I don’t know why I bother answering yes. We all know that nothing is going to print there at the pump. Do you know why? I’ll tell you why. The manager holds the secret key to the roll of paper in the pump and the manager is relaxing in Bermuda on stolen lottery money.
Why is the manager the only one that holds this magic key? Can someone please explain to me why the staff members of a convenience store are not allowed to change the paper in the gas tanks? They hold the key to the storage tanks of thousands of gallons of a highly explosive fluid but they are not allowed to change a 3/4-inch by 25 foot roll of receipt tape.
I find that baffling.
What makes the situation worse is that the manager never changes the paper on Friday, so by mid morning Saturday all of the pumps are out of paper and the Speedpass “Pay at the Pump” ain’t so speedy because you have to go into the store, stand in line behind the smelly woman that’s buying $200 worth of scratch of lottery tickets and four cartons of Pall Malls and then beg for your receipt.
Getting gas is such a gas.