Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Forgive Me, for I Have Sinned

So honestly my friends, I never set out to steal seven dollars today.

But I did.

Let me tell you what happened.

I needed gas, so I went to one of the gas stations around here that has the cheapest prices. There were quite a few people there, and I had to wait in line for a bit. Finally, I get a spot.

I immediately grab pump #15, hook it into my car, and go to the self-pay kiosk.

A guy who has just pulled up and jumped out of his car cut in front of me, so I had to go to a different terminal.

I enter the pump number like the screen tells me to, and it informs me that pump #15 is already in use. I don't believe it, as I know that it is currently hooked up to my car, and I haven't paid yet. And I know that I didn't take it from anyone.

I try again, and it gives me the same information. Then it hits me, the idiot who cut me off must have entered pump #15 without checking to see if it was available.

I look over and he has a confused look on his face. I, who am by no means a shy person asked, "Did you enter pump 15 into the computer?"

"Yes," he says.

I leap over to my car as fast as I can, unhook the pump and thrust it at him. "Here."

He takes it and mutters something about seven dollars.

I asked him, "Why did you enter pump #15 when I already had it hooked up to my car? Didn't you look to see if it was open? It was hooked into my car before you even pulled up to the pump."

He said, "Who in the world does something like that? That is just not normal."

"What do you mean, "not normal? It is actually quite normal and people do it all the time."

"I have been getting gas here for years, and I have never once seen anyone take a pump before they pay for it."

"Well, I don't know what you are talking about. How else would you know whose pump was whose? Then everyone would be entering the same pump numbers! I would love to sit here all day and argue about it, but I have a baby in the car and I am going to have to leave."

I wish I could say that I was speaking nicely, but I wasn't particularly.

He shakes his head, still mumbling that I'm not normal, and he has never seen anyone do something like that. He got into his truck and drove off.

As I was grousing about it to myself about his obviously wrong definition of "normal" it hit me that the pump had been pumping gas into my car. Which I had not paid for. Ack! That was the seven dollars he had mentioned! He had paid for about seven gallons before I had ripped the pump out of my gas tank and practically thrown it at him.

I briefly thought about running after him, but Mr. Personality was in the car, happily throwing his sandals at the steering wheel, as it turned out. I didn't want to leave him there. I truly did not even think about the gas that had already been pumped when we were debating the merits of claiming a pump before you paid.

So, I believe that my karma is messed up. I technically owe that man seven dollars, and if I had been thinking clearly, I would have offered to pay him. What does this leave me with? A seven dollar stain on my soul, my friends. I'm going to have to do something, I just don't know what.


Mel said...

Oh, that's easy. Send me seven bucks and your karma is washed clean.

WordsRock said...

"the self-pay kiosk"? What the heck is that?

Over here on the correct coast, one pulls up to the pump, pays at that pump, pumps the gas using that pump into their car parked right next to that pump. A mistake such as the one you describe could NEVER happen out here.

Gina, could you please post a picture of these self-pay kiosks and how far away from the pumps they are situated? Or just describe it for me? I'm having trouble getting my mind around it!

I'm also all for sending Mel the $7 to clear your conscience.


Anvilcloud said...

Tuck $7 into your wallet just in case you come across this guy in the next few months. It could happen. If it doesn't, give it to someone in a random act of kindness. (BTW: It's ready to go in the mail.)

Heather said...

I'm with Suzanne - I can't quite visualize it.

And I'd say - just think of the $7 as his payment for being RUDE!