Potty People and Petrol
There was no other title for this blog, it just had to be about potty people and petrol. As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Filling Station. I’ve decided that it’s the centre of the business. You see everything. No-one can sneak in and not get noticed.
I have to say, I’ve been enjoying my massive learning curve. I had to learn everything from scratch, and that’s been a good thing. I can now comfortably say I can work anywhere in the business; I couldn’t say that 3 weeks ago. All credit to Susan and Christine who have given me the bulk of my training, and the staff, who are pretty cool too.
There’s also been the occasional regular customer who have commented about me being there at all. Hello. Yes, I can do this. Do remember though, if you have a local discount card, use it. Don’t ask me to remember it. My brain is officially buggered.
Today, I had a headache. As well as the usual ‘stuff’ that goes on behind the scenes, that I have to deal with, there’s the things that you’ve got to do on a day to day basis. Counting the stock is one. Today I was counting cigarettes and booze. Great. Nom, nom, nom. I was tempted to dip in; I resisted. Instead to sort out the headache, I swallowed caffeine; lots of it.
In between there’s the phone calls, the customers, deliveries and well, idiots. There’s one or two of those.
There are those who don’t know what side their petrol caps are on. It can be a comedy show. It’s too tempting to get on the tannoy (yes, beware, there is a tannoy) and advise them (politely) that they are are on the wrong side. When they try to stretch the non-stretchy hose over their vehicle, that’s when the microphone comes in handy. I have to warn you right now, especially my motorcycling friends, I may be tempted to have a bit of fun with this….. What I actually WANT to say in this situation is this, “Did you know that there’s an ARROW (loud voice) on your car display that shows you what side your cap is on?!” Not many grasp that.
The other day, there were two crackers (*read, idiots); one who spoke on his phone whilst pumping fuel. “Pump number 3, please switch off your phone!” I bellowed over the microphone. I hope it bellowed; it probably did. It had the desired effect. Guiltily, he stopped the call and came in, head hanging to pay. He had the guts to apologise.
I chose not to chastise him. Lucky bloke. He got the hint. Handy, that tannoy.
The next customer didn’t escape so lightly. She fuelled, stepped to the bonnet of the rather cute red VW beetle and her daughter started to fumble with the bonnet to add water into the reservoir. Whilst the daughter was doing that, Mum started to use her phone. Given the lack of pumping fuel, the risk was low-ish. The fact she was texting on a forecourt was bad enough. It was her daughter that stopped her, she couldn’t get the bonnet open.
When Mum came in, this happened:
“Good morning, can I please ask that you don’t use your mobile next to the pumps?”
“I wasn’t using my mobile.”
“Sorry, from here it looked like you were using your phone.”
“Well, I wasn’t.”
Off to the toilet. Whilst she was there, she must have had quality thinking time. Time to contemplate the clean toilets, the full toilet rolls, nappy changing facilities, and what she had just said. Toilets are great for thinking and reflecting, it seems.
She came back:
“Yes, and I’m sorry, I did use my mobile phone, I thought about it whilst I was in the loo.”
Toilets; great for reflecting.
“Thank you for that.”
Hand over your money and PAY ATTENTION. And, by the way, just in case there was an argument, there’s CCTV.
There was a cracker. There was a bloke walking about the Filling Station, wandering around like he couldn’t find his way out of a rice pudding with the help of a map, compass, spoon, and the smell of raspberry jam.
“Can I help you, sir?”
“Oh, I’m spaced out.”
“Fantastic, can I have some?!”
I should have taken that opportunity to sell a few munchies:
Some cupcakes? Danish Pastry? Macaroni Pie? Dime Bar? Creme egg? Bar code for that, #50201600.Sad, I know, however after NUMEROUS attempts to scan the feckers, I gave up. I memorised the bar code, and then, realised that Susie had learned enough to add a button for creme eggs. GET IN! (Lots of ‘high fives’). On that note, I’m stunned the number of customers that take ‘egg’ products. What’s the Smartie one all about? Must buy one before they sell out. Curious.
As an after thought, here’s a tip. When you’re filling up, don’t watch the pump, the money obviously doesn’t matter. Getting the fuel to £45.00 on-the-dot isn’t sport. There might not be enough bloody space for the fuel. Spilling diesel is especially not very humorous, even though the results may be marginally entertaining for the on-looker, as a biker’s foot slips on your spill, dropping their pride and joy on their legs. It’s not big and not clever. Save a litre, save a life. Stop diesel spills, it’s not a round-it-to-the-pound competition.
Oh, then there’s screen wash. Look, just buy the big bottle….. No, the bigger bottle. Just get on with it, you’ll thank me for it later, really, you will. Customers who don’t live in the country don’t get it. As for the customer that paid for a small (really small) bottle of screen wash and a 5lt bottle of water, I didn’t tell her there was a tap for water. If she’s really that bloody daft, to buy a big bottle of water to fill your water reservoir, you’ve got too much money.
Then there’s merchandising. Just because you can use your imagination, and because I am boss, I did this: