This morning after I dropped my son off at school I, along with about 100 other people, stopped to get gas. Seems that here in The South we are still suffering the after effects from recent hurricanes and other excuses and fuel is hard to come by these days. On Saturday I had to go to three different places before I found pumps that were not covered by plastic bags. Today I got in line with everyone else.
So I sat. Tried to make sure the ass-end of my car didn't sit too far out of the gas station parking lot and tried to make room for the people trying to exit. We are all in this together, right? When I was third in line I watched a man trying to pump gas into his truck and hoped upon hope when he started shaking his head that maybe his credit card had been declined or that he was just thinking something to himself. No such luck. He pulled away, and the woman in front of me got out to pay and tried to begin fueling. She mashed buttons and squeezed the nozzle and mashed more buttons. She walked away again and came back and told me that the pump I was waiting for was no longer working. Shit. A few moments later, the woman working in the booth the size of a small closet emerged with an orange cone and told me she'd wait for me to pull away but that the pump was out of order. I glanced behind me when I heard someone yell something. It was the man in the car behind me, demanding to know what was going on. I told him the pump was out of order. Somehow, in his mind, this was the fault of the woman with the cone in her hand. Ugh. Why do people do that?
So I moved on to another pump and waited again. Finally it was my turn (again). By this time, the man that had been behind me was just sure that this was all some kind of conspiracy against him personally because he kept demanding to know what was going on, honked at someone and waved his arms around (like somehow that would make more gas appear or make the line move faster). Another woman in her vehicle was likewise flailing her arms and mouthing something to the gas pumps. More honking... I put my debit card in the slot, pushed the fourteen buttons you have to push to say that yes I want a receipt and no I don't want the extra additive stuff and no I would not like to get my horoscope today. Finally, I thought, I'll be out of here in a few minutes. Ha! Nothing... I walked back up to the booth to tell the woman inside that number seven wasn't working. She looked like she wanted to cry and apologized. She told me she would reset the pump and I could try again and come back to pay when I was done.
So I go back to number seven, pushed the fourteen buttons again and still nothing. Then, miraculously, the pump beeped at me and a string of zeroes appeared on the display. Whoopie! When I was done I went back to the booth and paid for my gas. As I left I thanked the woman inside for her help and she again apologized to me. I told her it wasn't her fault and to have a good day. I felt like hugging her, really, because I can't imagine having to sit in there and get bitched at all day long by people for something over which I have no control. Patience, people! Sometimes it's hard, I know, but in the long run it helps all of us.