Sunday, June 6, 2010


The gas station where I work has 14 pumps. Of those 14 pumps (which are on both sides of the building), we are required to 'keep an eye' on the customers because they have the option of pumping first and then coming inside to pay. You'll have the occasional customer who will 'forget' to pay, but most of them are pretty good. Thursday night however, we had three drive offs on our shift. One was actually not my fault, because my register had quit working and the manager was on it. However, by the time that I got back on my register and discovered the driveoff, the other register was preparing to break, and I was told the ring the sale up. Later I figured it out: this meant that I was 'claiming' it. I was the one who had to call it in to security. I felt badly about it. I haven't had a driveoff before. But to have two more on top of that? God. I went in yesterday, and I worked the whole day. As I was coming close to ending my shift, we discovered that we'd again, had two driveoffs. The assistant manager was quite upset. The store was busy. We had lines. There's no way to keep track of all those pumps and wait on customers one right after another. To compound things, I made a mistake on the register and couldn't figure out how to fix it. I had to ask her help. She was very upset and let me have it, complaining about mistakes that I'd made before ('But you told me about them, and I've corrected them.' 'But only after I told you about them.' 'Well, isn't that what training is?' Next thing you know, I was as upset as she was. Doing a good job is important to me, and I felt awful. Number 1: She shouldn't have upbraided me in front of everyone. Number 2: She shouldn't have blamed me for the driveoffs. Number 3: We were both upset.

The thing is, I don't have a clue how to prevent this: the store is just too busy. The assistant manager told me that everyone else manages to do it. I personally think that we are lucky to live in an area where most people are honest, and then driveoffs are not a big problem because of that. I cannot keep track of the pumps, the customers on them, the vehicles on them (some of the pumps cannot be seen from the store). I don't know what to do. I think that I am going to get fired, and I am sick about it, even though my little co-worker sent a comforting text message to Cara later on.

I actually have a stomach ache about this. I've also skipped church to study for two huge exams (Cara is teaching Sunday School for me). I am so stressed that I feel like I will burst. I don't even know what to do. I finally decided to simply pray about it, and put it in Someone else's hands.
(He hasn't made my stomach feel any better)

I do find myself wondering this actually too much stress or am I simply less able to deal with it?

Back to the books. I'm half way done with the study guide, I've taken five pages of notes. Thanks for taking a break with me.

Tornado watches here until 3 PM. It is dark and blustery. My insides feel very like that.


Mary Paddock said...

All the gas stations in our small town have gone to pay first. They used to cut the familiar locals a break, but now they don't even do that and I can't say I blame them. Drive offs come out of the employee's pocket. Frankly, it sounds to me like your gas station manager needs to consider making this change. The lines won't be any longer and for the customer there's the added convenience of designating ahead of time what they want put into the pumps.

How is it you wound up claiming a drive off that was on the manager's "watch"?

Hang in there, Deb. I'm praying for you.

Brianna said...

I'm with Mary on this one, Mom. At the very least, make the pumps that you can't see "Prepay Only" pumps, that's what they did at the BP in Michigan, and at Bilo. It'll be okay, you won't get fired for this, especially if you point out that you were too busy to watch the pumps and wait on customers. I'll be praying for you, though!

Twain12 said...

sending you hugs...i been there working at a gas station before. You can't be everywhere at once and i have a feeling your manager made herself look worse than you. People can see when somebody is busy, at least i can. Hang in there ♥

steviewren said...

Sorry about the stress. Hope the tornadoes past you by.

WhiteStone said...

I've always wondered why all gas pumps aren't on either a pre-pay or a card pay. Hoping by now the bad weather has passed...and that your tummy is feeling better. Say your prayers and rest easy, my friend.

BUSH BABE said...

That sounds awful Debby - I have never worked a service station (as they are called here) and it sounds like an enormous responsibility. I'll try and put in a good word for you up above (the Good Lord might fall over in shock to hear from me, but whatever helps!)

A Novel Woman said...

It is NOT YOUR FAULT when drivers do the "dine and dash" at the pump. They are criminals. No one can be expected to keep track of 14 pumps! Even in my nice little community with a little old four pump station, the owners had to switch to pay first, pump later because of all the drive offs.

As for the asst manager telling you off, that is not how you manage people. You make them feel that they are part of a team; you train them, guide them, praise them and help them improve. The fault lies with HER. (Many of these so-called "managers" besides being inexperienced also have low self-esteem and berate other people because it makes them feel important.) You did what every employee is expected to do - ask for help when you need it. I hope you don't get fired but if you do, shake it off and remind yourself that there are better things waiting for you.

Geez Louise. Look at what you've accomplished already?! Stand up. Be proud. Don't let the stress get to you. Keep that brass ring in full view all the time.

Kelly said...

I'm really surprised that the pumps aren't "pre-pay". I think that's all we have around here.

Saying prayers for you!


Anonymous said...

I really feel for you with the pump situation. Even with cameras no-one could possibly watch anywhere near that many. Can you suggest pre-pay to management? Surely the time records in the register would show when you were on and when the ass-mger was? She was not doing good management in my opinion. Don't let them grind you down Deb. you are way better than that, and you would never ever do that to anyone else. You are doing a wonderful job in every way, and the pressure will ease shortly - and be worth it! Love and hugs Barb