Here are some basic, brutal truths that have been repeatedly hammered into me over 9-1/2 years as a gas station cashier. We'll keep them brief.
* Don't be a sucker. Anyone who wants to "borrow" enough money for gas to get home is never going to come back to repay you. ... OK, maybe 1 in 20 people will actually come back to repay you. MAYBE. Besides, nearly everyone has more money than you do. DON'T be a sucker.
* Customers will yell at you. Because they had a bad day. Because their job sucks. Because their marriage sucks. Because their life sucks. Because they don't feel good. Because they're angry or depressed. For no reason at all. Even if you're doing your Absolute Best. Get used to it.
* Anyone who's trying WAY TOO HARD to be friendly is Up To Something.
* Anybody trying to pay for their purchase with a Food Stamp card probably has a huge wad of cash in their wallet. And more money in their bank account than you.
* Anytime you "help" a drunk pay for their beer, you'll be "helping" pay for their beer forever....
* Damn few of your co-workers are going to do their share of the work. Most people only do as much as they need to in order to get paid -- and no more. Get used to it.
* There's no point arguing with customers about prices. If something's mis-priced, always go with the cheapest price. They'll be happier, and you'll avoid a punch in the mouth.
* People will mess with you all the time, every day. They'll push you, they'll test you. They'll question your honesty, your work ethic, your sexual orientation. It's what they do. Get used to it.
* No amount of money will be enough to put up with the BS that happens every day in this job. But it could be worse -- in Idaho and Wyoming, people get paid only $5.92 an hour to put up with this crap.
* The guy with $25 in pennies, nickels and dimes in his pocket will ALWAYS come in exactly 3 minutes before you're supposed to close. He'll want to count out all the change by himself, to make sure it's right. And he won't want to buy any gas.
* There's no way to win. If you're happy at work, people will tell you you're TOO damn happy. If something makes you angry, people will tell you you're too grumpy -- and they'll never forget.
* Are your employers paying you on time? Just Get On With It.