Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Death of a Doormat

I am not one to cause a scene. I am married to one who enjoys causing scenes, and thus I avoid them like the plague. I have been known to drive away from a fast food establishment knowing that my order is wrong just because I don't want to make a fuss. Yeah, I know. It's pathetic. But something is happening to me the older I get... I am growing a backbone. Maybe it's because I don't want my children to feel the same sense of helplessness that I've felt in the past when I've been slighted. maybe it's because I'm somehow older than many of the salespeople I now deal with. Or maybe it's just because I've grown a pair. In any event, it's happening. 

In fact, it just happened about 10 minutes ago. 

I was at a gas station (the Shell station on Peachtree Industrial and South Old Peachtree to be exact) doing what one does at a gas station. It was the same thing I've done for over 20 years now when I fill up my car. 

1. Swipe my credit card
2. Select the cheapest gas I can
3. Put the nozzle in the tank and press down the automatic finger holder thingy
4. Return to my car to clean out the random cracker bits and crumpled up Sunday school crafts left behind from my loving children

After digging under the seats for what felt like an abnormally long time, I glanced at the price gauge to see when I could expect to hear that familiar click - you know, when the finger holder thingy AUTOMATICALLY SHUTS OFF LIKE IT WAS MADE TO DO.

And that's when I saw it. And smelled it. Gas was spewing out of my tank like Old Faithful, creating a huge (expensive) puddle all around me and underneath my car. I immediately grabbed the nozzle, shut off the pump, and surveyed the damage. 

My car is supposed to hold 15 gallons of gas. My friends, I had just paid for 20. That's right, 5 gallons of gas at almost $3 a gallon was just sitting on the ground laughing at me. 

I cleaned up the side of my car and headed for the driver's seat when a wave of outrage swept over me. Wait a minute!!! That's not my fault. The whole point of an automatic shut off feature is so that it will automatically shut off! So, I marched into the store to talk let them know that they had a serious problem. 

All I got from the guy behind the counter was this reply, "Yea. Our pumps sometimes do that. You have to push the nozzle really far in and jiggle them to make sure they are in place."

My reply: "Are you kidding me? That's all you are going to say? Look at the river of gas under my car. I just paid for all of that. If your pumps are "tricky" you should post a sign to that effect - otherwise, how are we supposed to know?"

His response, "I guess you should have just pumped it yourself without using the automatic handle."

And here's when it happened. I really let him have it. I pointed my finger right at the clerk and in front of all of his customers, I said, "YOU need to get some new pumps. And I'm never shopping here again."

I hope that the good Lord can forgive me for that verbal beatdown. And I hope that sometime in the foreseeable future, I stop smelling like gasoline. 

1 comment:

Tara said...

In this day and age of social media employees need to know that customers are more able to reach other potential customers and either let them know of poor service, or good. That, dear Shell employee, was a very poor choice in how to handle this situation! If I lived where you do I would not attend that gas station any more!!