I have been driving with the low fuel light on for a few days, so today after work I decided I should fill up before I strand myself somewhere. I drove to the 7-11 about two blocks away. I pulled up to the pump and saw a brand new professionally printed sign stuck to it. I've seen signs with similar messages on these pumps recently, but previous versions were always written in ballpoint pen on a piece of loose leaf and taped to the pump. The first sign I saw said 'Please pre-pay after 10'. I thought that made sense. I imagine there are people out there who take advantage of the fewer staff on and the dark of night and simply drive away without paying. A month later the sign changed to 'Please pre-pay between 7:00 pm and 7:00am'. Ok, I guess this one make sense too, for all I know there is only one staff member on between those hours. Today it just simply said 'Please Pre-pay'. I thought this was ridiculously restrictive.
I was actually ticked off when I read that sign, but when I thought about it a moment it seemed to work out to the same amount of time in total. The only difference is I have to pay before I fill up. It shouldn't be much of a change at all. Still, I was annoyed, so I walked inside and asked the clerk why we have to pre-pay 24/7 now. She looked around like she was about to tell me a secret, she lowered her voice and said "It's because of all the drive-offs..." she glanced behind her, then back at me, "... I have one or two a week." I guess that adds up over time, but I still felt that forcing everyone to pre-pay just means that 7-11 is treating everyone like a thief.
I went to use the bank machine and I grabbed a couple bottles of diet coke. I also picked up a container of raw veggies to have for supper. I headed back to the counter and my cashier friend had her back to me and was counting stuff. I waited and waited for her to turn around and ring in my stuff, but she was engrossed in her counting. I cleared my throat a couple times, but that didn't work. After a couple minutes I reluctantly began tapping my keys on the counter and she finally turned around. With a level of awareness like that I am surprised she doesn't have every car drive off on her.
She punched it all in and said it was $8.27, so I added that I also wanted to get $31.73 in gas. She asked what car was mine. I said "Pump 8".
I realized it wasn't what she asked, but I wanted to make sure she enabled Regular, and not Premium. She then asked "The red car?", so I said yes. "Or the blue car?"
"The red one." I confirmed. "Pump 8 though right?" I asked. She looked out the window for quite a few seconds and then meakly said yes. She looked really confused. I didn't think it was that hard to figure out. I should have paid attention to what she was looking at out there.
She bagged up my stuff and I walked out to my car. On the way I noticed a woman beginning to pump gas into the blue car, but to be honest I was looking at her bum, not what pump she had in her hand. I put my stuff in the car, then walked around to the passenger side. I took off the gas cap, then reached over to grab pump 8's nozzle and - you guessed it - it wasn't there. The woman with the bum was pumping the gas I paid for into her blue car.
You know that thing on gas pumps you have to flip up after pulling out the nozzle? I reached over and pulled it down and said "Whoa!". The pump immediately cut off and the woman using it gave me a look that said 'what the fuck are you doing?' Before she could say anything I said "I already pre-paid for this gas..." and I pointed at the sign.
She said "Yeah I saw the sign... I guess I just didn't think it meant this time of day."
She had already put $16 something of my gas into her tank, so she pulled a twenty out of her wallet and gave it to me. She filled up the rest and handed me the pump. I tried to pump the rest of my $31.73, only to discover the cashier had only authorized $31.00. I looked inside and saw a line at the counter. I decided it wasn't worth the hassle to get the seventy-three cents, so I left.
Luckily there is a gas station directly across the street from 7-11, so I got the rest of my gas there.