“See Clerk for Receipt” Rage

26 01 2008

I’m not prone to road rage. I have to be the calming one when my wife and I are getting bad service at a restaurant. I can even handle it most of the time if someone in line in front of me at the grocery store is having trouble with their credit card. However, I am having great difficulty staying in a good mood when paying for gas.

Gas Station Companies: Please FIX your broken pumps that will not print out receipts.

Is this happening more frequently everywhere, or just in my area? I am aware that they want us to come inside, praying that we will have an unstoppable urge to also purchase a package of multi-colored drinking straws, but still… There has been an unusually high percentage of gas-tank filling episodes in which I find out at the end that I have to go inside to get the receipt. (My wife is maniacal about keeping track of budgets, receipts, etc. so leaving without it is not a good option). My job involves traveling around seeing kids so I’m usually in between appointments when I stop to get gas. Much of the time, I have just enough time to get there am running a bit late. It is very frustrating to see that message come up on the screen and to have to go inside. The situation gets more horrific when I find out that I have to get in line behind: 1. A guy wearing a wife-beater shirt who is buying cigarettes and 2. A grotesquely overweight person who is buying powdered donuts (and already eating them, thereby leaving a trail of white for me to avoid).

It is important to note that I do not take out my anger on the clerks since I know it’s not their fault. However, I thought this was going to change two days ago when I reached the boiling point. The scene: I am not in a huge hurry this time as my day is coming to an end. However, it is something like 2 degrees outside with a wind chill of 4 billion below 0. I fill my tank while waiting in my car (people from Wisconsin who wear shorts when it’s 2 can make fun of me now). I finish and wait for my receipt. (Picture my wife at home with an abacus and mechanical pencil just waiting for the day’s financial comings and goings in paper form). I am shivering. I can feel my lips freezing, cracking, and falling off. I can no longer feel my arms. Then it happens on the crappy little gas pump display screen: “See clerk for receipt.” (It doesn’t even say “Please” on the read out. Nor does it say, “I’m so sorry that our sign says pay-at-the-pump even though you really can’t.” Nor does it say, “We suck. Come inside.” It’s more of a mocking tone, letting me know that something precious that is rightfully mine is in the hands of the worker inside.)

Well, in this particular instance, I am ready to let the clerk have it. No more mister patient customer.

In retrospect, I’m thinking she (the clerk) saw my facial expression while I was standing at the pump (or possibly when I threw myself to the ground kicking and screaming…or when I stood back up and repeatedly gave the finger in the direction of the pump while yelling @($*W@. An older woman at an adjacent pump quickly began to pray aloud.) Anyway, the clerk was prepared, and I have to give her credit. She acted as follows: The second I walk in the door (even though another weirdo is in the process of buying cigarettes, batteries, tampons, and tuna fish), she immediately apologizes that the receipt did not print. She quickly gives me the dreaded “duplicate outdoor receipt” and with a bright smile proclaims, “I just wanted you to have to come in so I could see you.”

She was lucky I am male. Poof, my anger was magically gone. Duplicate receipt in hand, I headed home happy. I am thinking she would have had much more difficulty appeasing my wife (especially if she had been with me).

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17 responses

26 01 2008
blssd

As someone who used to work in a gas station I should state that its amazing how quickly the gas pumps run out of paper. We don’t get a message on the register that the paper is out until it runs out, then oftentimes have to wait for the next shift to come in before we get a chance to go outside and replace the roll on three or four different pumps.

We also had a problem when it got this cold outside. Being that they’re thermal printers sometimes it won’t print and just spit out a blank piece of paper.

26 01 2008
Alyson

It’s not just you, it’s a rampant problem in my area too. I, however, just write the thing down in the checkbook and go in without going in. I’m not messing with 2 carseats and two overactive preschoolers just to get the stupid thing.

26 01 2008
Allison

Mmmmm…I likes me some mechanical pencils 🙂

BTW- Tag, you’re it.

27 01 2008
Paperspoons

OMG! That was you standing behind me in line the other day when I went in for donuts? ;p

27 01 2008
Teresa@PlumWater Cottage

Matt,

The game was great, even for a non-sports fan. Love your rant on no receipts @ pay at the pump. At least they don’t smoke inside anymore…you don’t end up smelling like greasy smoky donuts when you exit the building.

28 01 2008
Nicki

Your posts are hilarious! Why did you need a receipt, anyway?

28 01 2008
jenefur

It’s even worse when the card swiper or the card itself doesn’t work from the get go and you have a child in the car. What am I supposed to do, unstrap the kid, take them in and pay? Not a chance. I’ll just drive to another gas station! GRRR

28 01 2008
betme

Matt ~ Your blog is a riot. I am bookmarking it and coming back to read more of your older stuff. For some reason the boss growls when I spend more than an hour at a time laughing hysterically.

28 01 2008
Sherri Cornelius

What a cute post. I think think that if the clerk is obviously concerned, like your little flirty-girl, it takes the sting out of it. You just want to matter when you’re coughing up a significant portion of your checking account, that’s all.

28 01 2008
indianamatt

Thank you for the kind comments. I feel much better now than when I couldn’t get the *%&$^&# receipt!

28 01 2008
romi41

Hahaha…what an ordeal to get a flippin receipt! I love how the clerk was armed with her diffusing-charm, that chick is experienced! 😉

Similarly (or not), I was a cashier at a Canadian equivalent of Target for 4 years, and people would get angry at me all the time when I (nay the store) pissed them off in some way; I would always diffuse the situation by flashing a ta-ta…
…needless to say, I wasn’t “Employee of the Century” for no frickin’ reason 😉

30 01 2008
Glassoatwork

“Reciept Rage”
Have to add to my list…I like it! Usually at the “convenience” store, i get line rage. This usually occurs when all I’m there for is coffee and the douchebag in the front of the line is cashing in 20 scratch tickets and purchasing a whole bunch more while ordering a deli sandwhich and since nobody else is working, the clerk has to stop and make that, oh and he’s buying cigarrettes and beer, but forgot his license back in the car but would the clerk mind if he came back later with his license, and blah blah blah…and in my head I”m saying “GO!!!!!!!!! Just go already!!! Listen Scratch-Master Chief! Lets pick it up!!!! Thanks to you I don’t need coffee in my hand to bring my blood pressure up! Some of us have lives!!! Lets go!!!!!”

31 01 2008
Pammy Girl

That was hilarious. I just about have a stroke when that happens to me. Not so much with the receipt part but when the machine refuses your debit or credit card and you know you’ve got ample funds to cover it.

21 04 2008
Nav

I agree with that it is not the fault of the clerk. There is no reason to blame Him or her unless they personally went out side with a screw driver and jammed it into the printer and break it.

Some printers don’t just work sometimes or the paper is stuck because there was an idiot(s) before who put their hand in front of the paper

PEOPLE WHO THINK THAT THERE IS NO PAPER TO DRAW PEOPLE INTO THE STORE TO BUY OTHER STUFF LIKE CANDY OR SOMETHING ELSE ARE WRONG. I THINK THE CLERK MIGHT NOT EVEN WANT TO YOU.

I have been waiting for the company to fix the printers at my location for over 5 months, but there is only one guy to fix it who is in a comma after a heart attack.

Here is a Suggestion. If you use one pump, try another one. PLEASE do NOT use the same pump where u didn’t get the receipt. This problem can be avoided with this simple solution. Some Stupid people cannot figure it out and keep Using the only pump that the receipt isn’t working on. USE DIFFERENT PUMP.

I think A simple Thank-You to the clerk might hav a more powerful effect on getting the receipt fixed than u yelling.

18 06 2012
Anonymous

you are so very wrong….get it right…no excuse!

22 04 2008
Matt

Nav…except that you’ve already used the pump when you find out there is no receipt. Customers expect that a sign will be put up (saying receipt will not print) if a pump’s printer is going to be malfunctioning for a while. As I already mentioned in the blog, it is not the clerk’s fault that it is not working, but it also certainly is not the customer’s fault. If no sign is put on the machine, then I don’t think they are “stupid” if they try the pump the next week when they need gas again.

15 07 2008
mah

Mad as %$&* and not taking it any more.

Start pressing the attendant button and holding it down and ask them to come out and give you the receipt.

Also, have a sticker that says this pump does not work and put it on the pump.

All you are doing is helping them so the next customer does not get mad.

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