Monday, November 12, 2012

9 YEARS!!!

Hey there. Sorry for the delays.
Celebrated NINE YEARS working at the gas station on Nov. 7 -- the longest I've ever worked for any employer other than the Air Force, and the longest I've worked in one location EVER.
So, how's it going? Glad you asked.
Things seem a little easier lately. WAY easier since new electronics for the gas pumps were installed this past July.
Doesn't mean the job isn't occasionally stressful, but there's half as much to stress about now as there used to be.
I do occasionally get a little wound-up, but usually as long as I can keep my cool, the customers keep theirs. Maybe I've mellowed a bit -- or maybe the customers have. Not sure which. But most nights seem way less trouble lately.
Course part of that's because Winter is coming on strong and it's getting seriously colder at night -- fewer people want to mess around at night if it's 35 degrees and raining.
Still have some busy nights -- Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays seem to be the best bets for business. Other nights of my work week seem practically dead compared to days past.
The fact that gas prices have been dropping helps a little bit. When I left work Sunday night we were at $3.49 for a gallon of Regular gas -- $3.39 if you've got enough discount points piled-up -- the cheapest prices we've had for awhile.
A month or so back, I was hearing "experts" on the national news talking about $3-per-gallon gas by the end of the year, and I'm hoping for that. It would do the economy good.
And I'm in favor of anything that means less screaming and yelling.
Lately, the biggest thing on my mind has been the fact that I'm one of only TWO employees who actually WORK at my store -- stock the coolers, clean up, mop floors, empty garbage cans, clean the bathroom, etc. Everybody else just seems to take money, chat a lot, and pick up a paycheck.
I've been fighting against this for years, but it's becoming more and more obvious that my main job is just to PICK UP AFTER EVERYONE ELSE. Make everyone else Look Good.
When I come in to work on Wednesday evening -- my Monday -- the place is usually a wreck and it's usually abundantly clear that nobody has stocked the beer or soda coolers since I went home Sunday night.
I wonder how stupid management thinks I am...? "We don't have to work very hard -- let's let the balding, high-strung, stressed-out 53-year-old do the job! He'll do anything! He'll clean up after anybody! He'll make us all look good! And we won't REALLY have to do SHIT!"
That's what I get paid for.
Shit, I get worked up just WRITING ABOUT IT.
I've been trying to figure out for years how to approach this topic with my boss so that she won't immediately turn me off. But there's no way to win this discussion because SHE'S PART OF THE PROBLEM. Any time I try to address this issue, she starts up with "Everybody here works hard, we all put in long days, we all have things that make us crazy...." And that may be true.
But I do everything I can to make my co-workers' jobs EASIER, so they hardly have to THINK about what they're doing. And I hardly see anybody doing anything to make my job easier.
And I know from past experience that if I choose NOT to do certain things at work, to save time or stress or overwork, all that'll get me is a big ugly yellow note from the boss.
And then I'll still have to do the work....

Anyway, I guess I shouldn't bitch. These days, any paying job is a good job. And at least I can keep up with my bills. And I've survived 9 years and reached the point where it's almost all automatic now. I can almost go through a whole evening's shift without thinking.
And that's got to be good, right?
I just wish it were easier. I feel like I run my ass off EVERY NIGHT.
And maybe that's what they pay me for. But I don't see ANYBODY ELSE doing it.
Maybe I'm getting too old for this.
But I can't quit.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

All new gas pumps!

Or: It takes so little to make me happy....
And other things....

First off, my apologies to the dozen or so of you Out There who read here -- it's been awhile since I've updated. Sorry about that....
Back in the last week of July, my little gas station received all-new electronics for our 10 gas pumps, which means that for the first time in 3 years, almost everything WORKS LIKE IT'S SUPPOSED TO.
I'd been waiting anxiously for this for quite awhile. I've joked with customers for years that the job-related stress was what made all my hair fall out....
Naturally, there were a few minor problems. Two gas pumps started running IMMEDIATELY, charging you money even though the pump wasn't actually pumping any gas into your gas tank. And some idiot was so distraught about his cat throwing up all over his new car that he drove off without hanging up the nozzle ... so that after 2 weeks, we already had 3 gas pumps that were DOWN and unavailable.
There were other, minor things. One pump printed nothing but BLANK receipts. Another wouldn't accept any punched-in zip codes -- a step used as an anti-fraud device.
But overall, things are much smoother and quieter at my work now -- proving again that the challenge of my job isn't so much THE WORK (a trained monkey could do that) -- it's more about dealing with PEOPLE'S WEIRDNESS. And of course that never ends....
This summer's been quieter than others, though. There have been a few freaks around -- and the hot weather we had last week (mid-90s, which is hot for us) did bring more of them out. But it could be worse. Has been many times. I'm happy to report that life at Work is actually ... sort of good. Been awhile since I've been able to say that.

On other fronts, I note that the Media is At It Again, predicting that a fire at a huge oil refinery in Richmond, California, three weeks ago might jump West Coast gas prices by 50 cents to a dollar per gallon.
There HAS been a jump -- when I left work Sunday night we were at $3.95 for a gallon of Regular, up about 20 cents in the 3 weeks since the refinery fire.
And I have seen competitors' prices as high as $4.09 per gallon, which is way too much. But their prices were higher than ours from the start.
But a 20 cent jump is in no way 50 cents or a dollar per gallon.
Once again I have to conclude that The Experts consulted by the Media are full of shit, alarming people for their own reasons. Which will, of course, go unrevealed.
Don't be sucked in.

If you enjoy the ranting I sometimes do here, please feel free to join me over at my other blog, TAD's Back-Up Plan, where I sometimes rant about Strange Music and off-the-wall books. I tend to be a lot sillier over there, and have a lot more fun. Got to figure out a way to import some of that silliness over here....

I turned 53 years old today, and life is good. Hope you all are the same.
More soon....

Monday, July 2, 2012


Wow, this is the lowest price we've had for a gallon of Regular gas since ... well, since I don't remember when. And I've been driving around the area a little bit lately and noticed that practically all the gas stations in my area have higher prices than we do! Some of them are 15 cents higher or more....
Of course all of this holiday-weekend good-feeling could change in the next couple weeks, when our station is supposed to get all new electronic innards for the gas pumps. That should lead to a whole new round of headaches.
But I've been waiting for this stuff for more than 2-1/2 years, since back in the days when I still had hair ... before it all fell out due to job-related stress. So I'll keep you posted....

Monday, June 25, 2012


Have been woefully lax in updating things here at The Nazi. My apologies. My allergies have been kicking my ass for the last week. Can't type when I'm busy rubbing my eyes out of my head....
Our current price for a gallon of Regular gas is $3.54 -- down 40 cents since early in June. I had a customer tonight say the media is talking about prices dropping under $3 per gallon by Fall. That would be wonderful, but I'll believe it when I see it....
Our station is supposed to get all new electronics for our gas pumps sometime around July 4th -- which may mean all of our gas pumps will work like they're SUPPOSED to, that for the first time in nearly THREE YEARS we might actually have 10 gas pumps that REALLY WORK....
I'll also believe this when I see it. But I'll keep you posted....

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Hey, our price for a gallon of Regular gas has gone down 30 cents in a little over 2 weeks. Maybe there really IS something to this Congressional-investigation-of-gas-prices thing.
Maybe it's also the end of those $5-for-a-gallon-of-gas-this-summer rumors. Hope so.
More soon....

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Hey, maybe my roommate was right about that whole Congressional-investigation-of-gas-prices thing. Our price for a gallon of Regular has come down 20 cents in 2 days. This might end up being a good summer after all....

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Hey hey -- our lowest price for a gallon of Regular gas since the end of April.
My roommate says gas prices are coming down because members of Congress are looking into why gas prices have been so high -- especially on the West Coast.
Hmmm, Good Luck with that. You can bet that members of Congress aren't going to look TOO FAR into the business of governmentally-subsidized oil companies. Bet on that.
Meanwhile, we finally got some fake "CASH" and "CREDIT/DEBIT" signs posted on our big station ID sign out in front of the store, so there's been a lot less screaming about our prices. Thank Ghod. The whole cash-discount vs. card thing is still bogus, though. I don't really blame people for screaming about that. Wish they'd be a little nicer, though....
More soon!

Friday, June 8, 2012

$4.08! (cash)

It's the end of the first week of June and a cool rain is falling over the gorgeous Pacific Northwest as Monsoon Season continues....
We're at $4.08 per gallon for Regular gas, a drop of 10 cents from yesterday and a pretty good deal in our neighborhood -- if people could get it into their thick heads. We're 2 to 16 cents cheaper than our two competitors at our intersection, but nobody seems to notice that -- they're too busy trying to zing us for being misleading about our posted gas prices....
But at least people have been nicer the past two nights than they were last Sunday night. Thank Ghod....
Around 11 p.m. tonight a guy came in, filled up his truck with $75 worth of gas, then complained when he was charged $4.16 per gallon -- because he used a credit card at the gas pump rather than paying me cash. He felt we were being deceptive and threatened to call our parent company/headquarters office to complain.
I gave him their 1-800 toll-free number and wished him luck. We'll see how that turns out....
By the way, the "discount" he didn't get for using a charge card totaled $1.44. If he wants to cause trouble over $1.44, more power to him. It's the principle of the thing, right...?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Second Anniversary (a little late....)

A couple years back, I started this blog because I was spending too much time writing about Work over at my other blog, TAD's Back-Up Plan, which was supposed to be mainly for music and book reviews. I figured if my job was making me THAT crazy, maybe it needed more space....
And one of the first things I learned was that I didn't really want to think about my job or write about it all that much. I've written more posts since February of this year (due to increasing gas prices) than I did in the previous 18 months....
There's still some things I'd like to do. The gas-price updates will continue until we get back down to a reasonable price -- whatever that is -- or until I get fired. Which COULD happen, the way this summer is starting ... but more on that below.
I'd still like to do a piece on DRUNKS -- but they've mellowed-out lately. Or else I have. Anyway, I'm getting along with them better. Most nights....
I'd still like to do a piece on The Gas Nazi's Ten Commandments. But I also know well one of the Blogging Commandments: Thou Shalt Not Write A Post Before Its Time. So that one's gonna have to cook for a little longer....
Anyway, to the handful of folks who are out there reading this, many thanks.
And when I get fired, you'll be the first to know.
And then I'll have to think of Something Else to call this blog....

By the way, our current price for a gallon of Regular gas is $4.18. If you're paying cash. If you're using a debit or credit card, you'll pay $4.26 per gallon.
My boss put this new system into effect last Wednesday, but it took people until Sunday to realize what was going on, and then they REALLY started complaining.
I'm against anything that gives people more reasons to bitch.
The basic gist is lots of people seem to think we're doing something wrong, that there's some kind of rip-off going on.
There isn't.
The station across the street from us does this; the station over the hill from us does it; LOTS of stations across the country give a price-break for paying cash.
People just hate change. And they love a chance to complain.
And they're rude as hell about it, too.
Right after I got to work Sunday night, SIX CUSTOMERS IN A ROW zinged me about the price, about why card-users didn't get a break. Three of them left. One woman said if she'd known she got a break for paying cash, she wouldn't have used her credit card. She was going to hang up the pump and pay for the rest of the gas in cash, but then she realized her car was almost full, so.....
I admit that the signs telling people what's going on could be A LOT more obvious. A LOT MORE. But it's an old station with old equipment -- don't get me started -- and YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT. And in the meantime, the employees take the beating.
One woman argued with me for 5 minutes over the 80-cent price break she DIDN'T get by using a credit card. After pointing out what a small amount of money she was worried about, I offered her the 80 cents if it would make her feel better.
"I don't want that," she said. "It's just ... it's CHEATING!"
Then 2 gas pumps decided to act stupid all night. First they'd work, then they wouldn't. First they'd read credit cards, then they wouldn't. My boss came in and fixed them by throwing computer switches in the back room, and THEN they worked great. For ONE customer. And then it was back to a guessing game.
At 11:30 p.m. a woman came in and tried to get gas out of one of these stupid pumps -- the card-reader screen was hash, she couldn't see what she was doing. When I offered to set her up, I realized I had NO FAITH she was going to get her gas out of that pump, so I advised her to move somewhere else.
"I don't mean to be rude, but is your gas any good?" she asked. "I mean with your little signs and notes all over everything, I don't get it. My truck won't run on bad gas...."
"Ma'am," I said, "I've worked here 8-1/2 years. The gas is good. It's just the EQUIPMENT that keeps on breaking down."
She left. Was I not nice enough? At least I didn't tell her to keep her stupid opinions to herself.
Hey, we've got a lot of problems, no point denying it. Pumps don't always work. Printers don't always print receipts when you use your credit card. The boss still hasn't fixed the faceplate on a pump somebody punched-in two years ago. We've got our problems.
And then there's just the high price of gas, of course.
And the employees take the beating for all the problems. Especially the ones we can't fix.
And how well do things work where you work? Does everything ALWAYS work perfectly? 24/7? No matter what kind of a beating the equipment takes?
All in all, the worst night I've had at work in months.
Happy anniversary.
I'm gonna go grump through my weekend.
Think I'll start by being in a coma through most of Monday.
More eventually....

Monday, May 28, 2012

Media Fail

Hope you had a great Memorial Day holiday weekend, and as you may have noticed, gas prices DID NOT GO UP 30 TO 50 CENTS PER GALLON LIKE THE NATIONAL NEWS MEDIA HAD PREDICTED.
At least they didn't in my neighborhood. We're still sitting at $4.24, just like we were last Thursday night -- a price hike of 7 CENTS for the big profit-taking weekend.
How about you?
So, the world didn't end. Again.
More and more often these days, I get pissed off at the national media. Every time they predict something, some end-of-the-world calamity guaranteed to spoil your vacation, IT FAILS TO HAPPEN. I swear they do it just to make people panic, just to make people look stupid.
As a former reporter, I don't think this kind of prediction should be considered as the media "doing its job." If the media was doing its job, it would tell you in a clear, detailed, in-depth way how Mitt Romney plans to save this country.
But they can't be bothered to do that. And Romney doesn't have a plan anyway.
Too bad no media types have enough balls to ASK him.
...Course it wasn't just the media. The guy who delivered our last gas shipment last Friday morning said he was POSITIVE gas prices were going to go up 30 to 50 cents over the weekend. This guy should KNOW, he DELIVERS the stuff....
Lots of people still think Obama's to blame for high gas prices. You might as well blame God. Obama has nothing to do with it. But oil companies and those slimeballs who speculate on future gas prices, they have a lot to answer for.
One guy in the store over the weekend said that if high gas prices will keep Obama from being re-elected, he'll take the higher gas prices....
Lotta stupid people out there.
Don't let the media herd you into doing something just because they think they have the power. That's how we ended up with things like the annual "Black Friday" start to Christmas shopping season. And what a great national tradition THAT'S become, right?
In fact, consider that maybe you SHOULD do everything the media tells you NOT to. What the hell do THEY know? Red wine causes cancer? Better stock up! Red meat will make your intestines fall out? Broil me up another steak!
EVERYBODY has a hidden agenda -- the national news media is no different. Any time they predict disaster, they're just softening you up for it to happen. Where was the all-knowing media when the housing market crashed? Where were their all-seeing predictions then? Where was the all-knowing media when the economy went down the toilet? Probably trying to figure out if Michael Jackson was still dead.
Think for yourselves, while you still can. Before it's too late. And don't be swayed by stupid predictions of "disaster" from those who supposedly Know Better Than We Do. It's probably bullshit.

COMING VERY SOON: The Nazi marks its Second Anniversary....

Friday, May 25, 2012

$4.24, down from $4.27!

Just in time for the Memorial Day Weekend....
On Thursday afternoon, my boss raised our price for a gallon of Regular gas up 10 cents to $4.27. But he dropped the price 3 cents later Thursday night, so we're now sitting at $4.24.
Could be worse. I heard the national TV news was predicting gas prices might rise from 20 to 50 cents per gallon this weekend. That would be pretty hard to believe -- it's never happened before. And at least we haven't hit $5 per gallon like everyone was predicting....
I don't know how reasonable $4.24 is -- I've heard prices as high as $4.35 quoted in the last week, I just haven't SEEN them.
I'm still not sure what's driving this recent price rise. Oil barrel prices still seem to be dropping, according to the media. My boss might be competing against the newly-opened gas station across the street. Those folks don't seem to be doing that well.
Don't think it's DEMAND, either. We've been pretty steadily busy, lately. We'll see if this Memorial Day breaks any records. I kind of doubt it....
More soon, including the official Second Anniversary of this blog. What will I do to celebrate...?

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Seriously? Our price for a gallon of Regular gas has gone up 22 cents since Wednesday. Still haven't heard what's driving this. We still might hit $5 per gallon by Memorial Day....
More soon....

Friday, May 11, 2012


Our price for a gallon of Regular gas went up to $4.07 on Thursday, up 12 cents in 2 days. A couple customers wondered if we were beating up on them for Mother's Day weekend? I told them to wait for Memorial Day....
I still don't get what's driving the latest price increase, but I don't really want to talk about that.
What I want to do instead is talk about the worst customer I've had in awhile....
I said awhile back that it's been a very smooth and mellow last couple of weeks? Well, that sort of came to an end on Thursday.
During Rush Hour I had a guy chew on me like I haven't been zinged in awhile. He left me shaking. He was scary.
The sun was out, a beautiful afternoon, and it was mildly busy. In the middle of it, a big red pickup pulls up to Pump #1. An older guy climbs out, runs his card, everything seems to be OK. After his card is accepted, I check on the computer screen to make sure he's getting his gas OK, like I do with everybody, because I don't like to get blindsided by problems.
The old guy takes a LONG time to start pumping his gas. WAY TOO LONG. I start thinking there might be a problem. Probably nothing major. #1 might've lost pressure -- happens all the time with our old pumps, nothing major. The guy might have to start from scratch, hang up and slide his card again, but no big deal. Happens almost every day.
I have another customer in the store, looking for drinks. Normally I wouldn't leave the cash register but.... I take another look.
The guy on #1 STILL hasn't started pumping his gas. About 30 seconds have passed, maybe a minute, and he's just staring at the pump.
So I go out there.
"Looks like you're having a little trouble with #1...." I start.
"Yeah," the old guy says, "when the hell am I gonna get some gas here? I keep pressing START and it won't start."
Sure as hell, he's got the nozzle in his gas tank, but the pump's still beeping at him -- something hasn't kicked in.
He's got the PLUS nozzle in his tank.
"Are you trying to get PLUS?" I ask.
"No, I want Regular, and I keep pressing Regular, but nothing happens!"
"That's because you picked up the PLUS," I say gently. I pick up the Regular nozzle, hang up the Plus, and put the Regular in his gas tank.
"Now how do I get the damn thing started?" he asks.
"Just press start," I say, pressing gently on the button that says PRESS HERE.
"It doesn't say START," he says. "I've been pressing everything, but nothing says START. You've got REALLY BAD, UNCLEAR DIRECTIONS here. And I pressed the Intercom button SEVERAL TIMES, but it doesn't seem to work either."
We've never had an intercom, but I don't tell him this. At this point I'm already backing away with my hands up, because this guy is ABSOLUTELY SEETHING. I thought at first that maybe he couldn't see too well and I'd unintentionally embarrassed him by hanging up the Plus and setting him up with the Regular he wanted. But it was becoming clear that he was going to complain about everything. He was already angry -- or at least distracted -- before I ever spoke to him.
And if he couldn't see that well, why was he DRIVING?
I kept backing away as the guy kept talking to himself. I went back in the store and the guy quickly finished pumping his gas. He hung up and drove away with a screech, and I looked at the computer to see how much gas he'd bought.
He did all that complaining for $10.19 in gas. Still not sure precisely what he was on about. He didn't seem to be drunk. Just VERY angry. Over Ghod knows what. But do people really need an excuse anymore?
I was still shaking because of how angry he got about not being able to see -- or apparently hear. Nothing could be simpler than our gas pumps: You slide your card, you pump your gas, you go away happy. But people have GOT to make it complicated.
After that, the folks who were rude and the folks who complained about the price didn't bother me too much. And the one guy who suggested that with gas prices like ours, we should toss in sodas for free -- I suggested he take that up with my boss. Does everybody say whatever pops into their head all the time?
I also reminded him we haven't yet come near the record high price from 2008 -- $4.59 for a gallon of Regular.
But there's plenty of time....
Can't wait for Summer! Can't wait for Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


The price for a barrel of oil must have gone up. On Wednesday, my boss raised our price for a gallon of Regular gas to $3.99 in the morning, and then to $4.03 in the afternoon.
Strange, I thought oil-barrel prices had been going DOWN.... There might still be time to hit $5 per gallon by summer....
It's been a pretty smooth and quiet last couple of weeks, though. Our customers have at least mellowed out a bit as the weather has improved. Thank Ghod.
More soon....

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Our gas price continues to drop, rather quickly. We came down another 4 cents per gallon as of Wednesday morning. By not buying gas for a couple of days I actually saved ... about 50 cents, total. But what the hey....
Wednesday night at work wasn't bad, pretty smooth and quiet, but the weather here has taken a turn for the worse -- "monsoon season" has followed up the three or four days' worth of sun and temps in the 60s and 70s that we had last week. We've been cool and rainy since Monday. In fact, almost the entire country is warmer than we are, right now.
Just another glorious Spring in western Washington. More soon....

Monday, April 23, 2012


Hey, first time we've been under $4 for a gallon of Regular gas since the end of February. I thought gas was going to be $5 per gallon by Summer? There's still time....
Besides, we're sort of involved in a small-scale Gas War right now. We have a newly-opened Chevron station directly across the street from us -- first time that station's been open in 4 years. And we have a Fred Meyer gas station kitty-corner across the street from us. On Monday afternoon, when our Regular price was posted at $3.99, Fred Meyer's was at $3.98 and the Chevron's was at $3.97. I was working at our station 4 years ago, the last time we had competition directly across the street, and I'm not worried. But it should make for an interesting Summer....

It's already been an interesting Spring. Though every day hasn't been an award-winner, the weather here has been MUCH better over the past couple weeks, with most days sunny and temperatures in the low-to-mid-60s. On Sunday it finally got above 70.
There were A LOT of people out over the weekend to enjoy the FINALLY warmer weather -- this past Friday night was my busiest work night since last Thanksgiving. Everybody wants it to be Spring, and I don't blame them. Western Washington could use about 18 months of uninterrupted sun and mild temperatures after the past couple Winters we've had.
But the nicer weather is also an invitation for the assholes to come out. That's the reality.
All weekend I had people screaming at work -- people arguing in the parking lot during their supposed Friday night partying, people yelling at me when I couldn't give them what they wanted and the store was jammed, people yelling at my co-worker on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, customers yelling at each other and cutting each other off in the parking lot on Sunday night.
It wasn't just at my store, either. When I was outside emptying garbage cans on Sunday night, I heard -- and THEN saw -- horns blaring and backed-up traffic at the stoplight just down the hill from our gas pumps. A blonde climbed out of the passenger's side of her SUV -- which was second in the line of traffic waiting at the turn signal -- and POUNDED on the passenger's-side window of the minivan in front of her: "What in the hell's WRONG with you, you stupid fucking bitch?!" the blonde screamed. "The fucking light's GREEN!"
Drivers waiting to turn left went around the stalled minivan ON THE LEFT, driving INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC, to make their turn. A few seconds later a tow-truck showed up with its lights going, so obviously the minivan had broken down -- but the driver got no breaks from the traffic.
One of our Regulars got cut-off in our parking lot after paying for his gas and WALKING BACK TO HIS TRUCK -- the driver missed him by about a foot. The Regular told me afterward that they'd had a previous altercation across the street at Fred Meyer's -- and the idiot had followed our Regular across the street to have A Few More Words....
And all this yelling happened on an absolutely GORGEOUS Sunday evening....
All this beautiful Spring weather -- people just can't take it.
And what's all this about being so grumpy on the weekend? Doesn't anybody know how to have a good time anymore?
All night Friday there were drunks yelling and arguing in the parking lot. Several times I heard guys yelling about how fed up they were about "all this fuckin' shit!" Is this how we're spending our weekends now -- getting drunk and angry when we're supposed to be having a good time?
I had more than 225 paying customers this past Friday night, and only 2 of them yelled at me, so I guess that's a pretty good success rate. Everything else went pretty smoothly, like most Friday nights do. But those 2....
One guy got pissed when his credit card got declined at the gas pump and I wouldn't let him fill-up. He sent his girlfriend in first to work it out. I offered to set her up for a dollar amount, but she didn't want to do that -- she said she'd try it again. I gave her clear directions on how to make the system work, and I was very nice to her -- I'm ALWAYS nice to nice women. The second time they got declined, HE came in.
"I don't want to talk!" he shouted, "I just want to pay for $20 of gas, and I don't want you to say A WORD!"
I closed my mouth and my eyes and held up my hands. I thought I'd better risk it:
"Do you want to go debit or credit on this?" I asked.
Once I got him set up I figured I was going to get off easy, but when he was halfway out the door, he came back for more:
"You ought to stop ordering people around!" he said. "We had an EMERGENCY! We were in a HURRY! And all you did was slow us down! You should stop bossing people around and listen to what THEY want sometimes...."
Yeah, that's always worked before. Just let you fill-up with gas you can't pay for. Yeah, I should try that.
The other yeller came in when the store was jammed. Somehow she managed to lock-up a gas pump. It said it was ready to go, but she couldn't get it to pump any gas. I couldn't help her -- there were half a dozen people in the store and all the gas pumps were working -- except hers -- and I was locked into staying inside until the store cleared out. She left in a huff, and when she drove by the front door she yelled out "Thanks for nothing!" Another satisfied customer.
When the smoke cleared, I went out to the pump, flipped a switch, and the blockage went away.
When I went into work Sunday afternoon, a customer was yelling at one of my co-workers, lecturing her about how no other gas station in the area has the problems that ours does. (He may be right, but ... DEAL WITH IT.) He wanted to fill-up on a pump we couldn't set him up on, and my co-worker was trying to explain this, but he was too busy lecturing to hear her. He was running her over. He was already angry before he ever came into the store.
So I jumped in, and told him if he moved to another pump we could set him up and let him fill up. He didn't want to move, it was too much trouble, and he started lecturing again. He just wanted to have an argument with somebody.
So I told him to take his credit card and go somewhere else.
And he did.
And I felt good about it.
Because I'm tired of all of us at the store getting abused 24/7 about things we can't control and can't fix. (A new set of gas pumps with new electronics and new credit-card-readers costs about $250,000 -- so if you've got a spare $250K....)
The only downside was, I wasn't punched-in on the time-clock, so I didn't get paid for having the argument!
I don't get it. What could be easier than buying gas at a gas station? You pay for your gas, you pump your gas, you go on your merry way. Why do people have to make it so hard?
What is with people? Why do they think that when the weather gets nice, civility goes right out the window?

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Slowly slipping downward. Drop the price for a gallon of Regular another dollar or two and it will almost be reasonable.
Coming soon: More ranting about how people are acting now that Spring has finally kicked into gear here....

Thursday, April 19, 2012


...Hey, it's not MUCH of a drop, but it's SOMETHING....

Friday, April 13, 2012

What's the $4.11?

Hey, gas prices at our little store CAME DOWN slightly on Thursday night, down 4 cents per gallon to $4.11 for Regular.
And I keep hearing from customers that prices are supposed to be dropping FURTHER. Supposedly the oil-barrel price has been dropping for awhile.... Haven't heard anything about this from my boss, who doesn't talk about it. Or about much of anything else. A really nice guy, but a little quiet....
Have heard rumors about gas prices in our area as high as $4.29 for a gallon of Regular ... which is fairly outrageous. Have also heard of gas prices already topping $5 per gallon in California and Florida.
We are still nowhere near our record price of $4.59 for a gallon of Regular, which was the peak price during that wretched Summer of 2008.
And how outrageous are gas prices in your neck of the woods...?

Sunday, March 25, 2012


My roommate came home with some great news on Friday.
"Gas prices are gonna go down!" he said.
Oh really? Why's that?
"Obama just signed that Keystone Pipeline thing."
"That means gas prices are gonna start goin' down! Just watch!"
All the oil that runs through that pipeline -- if it gets built in three to five years -- is heading for China. We'll benefit from the 180,000 jobs to build it, and the oil's supposed to be refined in Texas, but it's all meant for China. That's why the Canadians were talking about routing the pipeline over the Rockies to Vancouver, B.C., if Obama decided to veto the pipeline -- it's all meant to be exported to China.
"Oh. OK. But gas prices are gonna go down, just watch!"
How are gas prices gonna go down?
"Obama's gonna take care of it!"
How? Oil's an internationally traded commodity. You can't control the price. It's all based on supply and demand and speculation. Obama can't control it, nobody can. And how's Obama gonna control it when Exxon/Mobil's making $10 billion every three months? You have CNN on the TV 24/7, don't you remember ANYTHING they say?
"Obama's gonna take care of it, you'll see."
Uh huh.
Saturday morning our price for a gallon of Regular went up another 6 cents, to $4.15. I hope my roommate sees that price sign and chokes.
Our price is now 16 cents higher per gallon than our competition across the street. And people are getting cranky. I've been yelled at twice in the last week just because folks had to come inside the station to get a receipt for their gas. Such inconvenience! How dare we!
And how are things in your little world? Not as expensive, I hope....

Sunday, March 18, 2012

She's real fine my $4.09!

Or, just when you thought it was safe to buy gas.....
After holding at $3.99 for two weeks, on Saturday morning our price for a gallon of Regular rose to $4.09. This after we thought maybe gas prices had stalled or maybe were even going to DROP. We're already higher than our peak price last year -- which was $4.05.
Which just goes to show that RUMORS about gas prices don't matter. The only sure thing is the price that gets posted out front for all our customers to see.
And although I applaud Management for holding at $3.99 since the end of February, I was surprised that the jump over $4 came in a 10-cent-per-gallon leap all at once.... Our price is also 16 cents per gallon higher than our competition across the street.
Other than that, Saturday was good -- lots of people out partying for the St. Patrick's Day holiday, but everybody seemed to be in a really good mood, no drunken craziness, and my choice of fairly-loud rock and roll on the store stereo possibly helped....
I have a feeling there will be more posts coming soon.....
Heard any good politicians' promises to cut gas prices lately? Pretty hilarious, huh?

Monday, February 27, 2012


I hear from my roommate -- who was at the station on Monday morning -- that our price for a gallon of Regular gas went up another 4 cents overnight, to $3.99. This means our price has gone up 44 cents per gallon in the last two weeks.
Now we're knocking on the door to $4 per gallon. Close enough that it doesn't matter, really. We are the odds-on favorite to be the first station in town (that I know of) with $4-per-gallon gas. Great times!
However, this is my weekend, so I don't have to worry about this crap right now.
More soon!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

$3.95! our store's price for a gallon of Regular gas as of Friday afternoon. Our price has gone up 40 CENTS IN 10 DAYS! Our high-octane Supreme gas is now at $4.19 per gallon.
The last time we went through this (2008), the employees took bets on which gas station in town would be the first to raise their price over $4 per gallon for Regular. This time around, I think it might be US....

This has not been a good week in my neck of the woods. In the local area over the last three days we've had one state trooper shot to death by a guy who later killed himself; in the same area as that incident but a day later, a car full of people was speeding down the highway too fast, left the road and ended up in the bay -- one of the passengers drowned; and in Bremerton, just 5 miles up the road from us, earlier this week a third-grader accidentally shot one of his classmates with a loaded gun he said he brought to school from his mother's house.
It's been nothing but fun here in Fun City, the Gun Capital of the Known World.
I blame some of this stuff on the pace of life here. I've never been ANYWHERE else where the pace seems SO FAST 24/7, where almost EVERYBODY ALWAYS seems to be in a hurry. And I've lived in California a couple of times.
If I could make people slow down a step or two, I would. But they won't.
It's like people want this to be Seattle -- it's not. We're not even a suburb. But people keep racing around like there's no tomorrow, EVERY DAY. Something about living here seems to MAKE PEOPLE CRAZY. People who aren't FROM HERE see it -- this stuff ain't normal. But folks who were born and raised here think this IS Reality. They're wrong.
Now more than ever I am hyper-sensitive about Not Pissing People Off. I don't want them coming back with a gun just because we had a little disagreement.
I've been telling customers on their way out of the store to "Be careful out there" for a long time now. Only now I mean it. For God's sake, take it easy and keep your head down.
Meanwhile, I'm hoping a happy worker, a kind word, a friendly voice, lots of bad jokes, or some good tunes on the store stereo will turn aside all wrath.
Because that's about all I've got to rely on.
That and The Panic Button. And a couple of baseball bats hidden behind the counter.
Check out my other blog, TAD's Back-Up Plan, to see how the right music keeps me happy and be-bopping through the evenings, and hopefully keeps the customers happy too.
More soon....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

$3.89! our new price for a gallon of Regular gas, as of 5 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. Our price has gone up 34 CENTS IN A WEEK! Our premium high-octane gas is now $4.09 per gallon!
A fire last week at a local refinery (I think it was in Tacoma, though I'm not positive) is expected to make things worse -- the local media has predicted gas prices may jump 20 to 30 cents per gallon ON TOP OF whatever other price-hike gets handed down to us.
And as long as the Middle East stays volatile, prices will continue to go up. Syria's looking real ugly -- that'll be worth a few more cents per gallon. We might have to bomb Iran to keep them from developing nukes? -- That should be worth at least a dime. Any excuse is good enough, really. You know Exxon/Mobil made another $10 billion last year, right...?

In the meantime, The Gas Nazi had one of his best Wednesday nights lately. The store wasn't a shambles when he got to work and it looked like maybe some of his co-workers might have actually done some work during his two days off. At no point on Wednesday night did he get all jumpy and panicky and overcome by stress and work.
There were a couple of minor incidents -- one guy rushed The Nazi for change from his $100 on a $5 purchase, and a Drunk Regular wanted an argument. Other than that, the best Wednesday night in weeks. Most recent Wednesday nights have pretty much been a Living Hell from start to finish. Things might be looking up. Maybe somebody at work heard about my bitching. Or maybe some of my co-workers are reading this blog...? Hmmm....

More coming soon, whenever gas prices go up again. At this pace, we'll hit $5 per gallon for Regular before the end of March....
Should be a Real Fun Summer....

Saturday, February 18, 2012

$3.75! our price for a gallon of Regular gas as of 11 p.m. Friday night. We've gone up 20 cents in three days. I don't get it. At this pace, we'll reach $5 per gallon before the end of March....
Our price was already 23 cents more per gallon than our competitors across the street as of Friday afternoon....
Hope prices are cheaper wherever YOU live. This is not going to do the economy any good.... It's not gonna do our store any good, either. At least there haven't been too many complaints yet. And nobody has started screaming, so far. But it's early yet....

Friday, February 17, 2012

Currently $3.69!

See the news media is already predicting $5 for a gallon of gas by summertime.
Yeah, probably. But they predicted $5-per-gallon gas last year at this time too, and we never even got close. Never topped $4.05.
But here's the thing: Our price for a gallon of Regular went up 14 CENTS on WEDNESDAY. So it's already starting. We were at $3.55 Wednesday morning, and the boss jumped it a dime. Then he hiked it another 4 cents at 9 p.m. that night. All that to cover the cost from his supplier.
So, it's gonna be another long hot summer, just like 2008. But I don't wanna hear any bitching and screaming until a gallon of Regular tops $4.59 -- the previous record. Then everything's fair game.
If we have another ugly screaming blur of a summer like 2008, I plan to slash my wrists.

In the meantime, I'm feeling overworked and underappreciated at my little station. I feel like hardly anyone else does SHIT during my 2 days off every week. They all leave it for me instead, because they know I'll make them look good when I come back.
Which means my Monday (Wednesday to you) is my worst work night of the week -- because I walk into work, see what a freaking shambles it is, see how much stuff needs to be done -- and then I run around like a maniac for the rest of the night.
And my co-workers wonder why I get angry and upset and freak out? Because there's no evidence anybody else does anything.
My co-workers don't notice what I do, but they sure as hell notice when I DON'T do it.
My boss says we all work hard and she will hear no complaints about overwork.
My feeling is the people who work the morning and afternoon shifts have a LOT of time to talk, even though it also sometimes gets screaming busy during those shifts.
All I know is my co-workers love me so much they save up all the stuff they don't want to do and leave it for me on my Monday. Isn't that special?
One asshole tonight lectured me on how I oughta feel lucky just to HAVE a job, and I agree with that. But how happy did he expect me to be? There's no way to win. If I'm too happy, people think there's something wrong with me. If I'm not happy enough, people bitch about THAT.
The only solution is to turn up the music and hold tight on the corners. And fuck everyone if they don't like it.
Hope this post has helped fill your world with sweetness and light. The same way my world is filled with it right now.
More soon. And I plan to post updates every time our gas price goes up. Should be a fun summer....