Heeeeellllllllooooooooo RHU! Long time, no post! Photoslave, here, with a name change, some custy advice, and a question. From henceforth, I shall be known as Shutterbug (because, duh, I still love photography.) After 6 six months in gas station hell, I have compounded a list of custy dos and don’ts at Fred’s Gas Station.
1. Please know how pre-pay works before coming inside. Most stations nowadays are pre-pay to prevent drive offs. Don’t toss your card at me and say a pump number. I will hand it back and ask you how much gas you want before I can swipe your card. Don’t get pissed at me for not “authorizing your pump.” It won’t do you one bit of good. I don’t have any control over the fact that we are pre-pay only. If you can’t figure how much gas you need, it’s your own damn fault. A responsible vehicle owner knows the size of their gas tank and how many gallons it will take to fill it up. If you are renting/borrowing the car, ask the size of the tank or look in the manual.
2. Know your pump number. I can’t stress this one enough. Please look up at the pump and get the number before you come in. I can’t just stand and stare at the pumps all day looking at who comes from which one. If you tell me the wrong number, and someone pumps your gas, it’s your own damn fault. Our store is not responsible. It will be treated the same as if you dropped money on the ground, and someone else picked it up. Would you go into a store and expect them to replace $20 that you lost in their lot? No? Then don’t expect us to replace the money you “dropped” on a pump.
3. Be respectful. Don’t come in acting like you are better/smarter than me. You don’t know my story, or how I came to work at a gas station. I went to college but had to quit when I lost my dependent student scholarship due to my dad getting canned from HIS job. Also, don’t come in cursing up a storm. Children come into the station all the time.
4. Have patience. There are only two of us poor slaves. We are working as fast as we can. The registers are a little slow, so transactions can sometimes take a little while. Also, since there are only two of us, that only leaves one person to run everything when the other has to go on break. I’m sorry that my coworker is taking his federally mandated lunch break, let me just go ask him to risk his job by working off the clock. Because, you know, you’re too damn important to have to wait a few minutes for your stupid weed cigars.
1. Don’t hand me money without counting it or telling me what it’s for. At least once an hour, I will get someone who hands me a wad of crumpled bills, says “Pump #” and just walks out the door. You can’t pump your gas until I count the money and get it in the drawer, so you will wait the same amount of time outside as would have inside. As for handing me cash and not saying what it’s for, well that’s only happened once. Asshole came in one day, tossed $40 at me, and started out the door. So of course, I pipe up with “Sir, which pump did you want this on?” He gives me a nasty look, so I simply raise my eyebrows and adopt a “displeased mom” type look. He cracked and told me his pump number before slouching away. Last time I helped him, he made it a point to be very polite to me. I don’t take shit from anybody.
2. Don’t get mad when I inform you that I don’t have enough in my drawer to break your $100 bill. We aren’t allowed to keep much in our drawers thanks to a new cash drop system. If you were able to do it before, it was only because you cashed out right before the system told us to do a drop. The register will beep and give us a warning after every $100 in cash sales. We then have 15 minutes to do the drop before the register locks up on us and forces us to do it.
3. In connection with 2, don’t get pissed because we can only do $5 cash back. We will get yelled at.
4. Don’t get mad because we can’t take debit for gas. Our pumps are old, but our system is fairly new. They don’t communicate well, and the pumps just don’t except debit. Stupid, but there is nothing I can do about, so don’t bitch at me.
5. Also, don’t get all hissy because there are no signs proclaiming this. Corporate won’t send us any, and we aren’t allowed to post any without corporate permission.
6. Don’t get pissed off when I tell you that we don’t take EBT. Our registers don’t like it, and corporate doesn’t want people coming in to buy marked up pop and junk food on EBT. They want you to go up to the big store 100 feet behind us so that you can get more food for a better price. Despite the fact that we are a corporation, we actually CARE about our customers. Our company spends a lot of time helping the community and families in need.
7. In connection with 6, don’t leave all your crap on my counter because you didn’t bring another form of payment other than your EBT card. Same for if forgot your wallet/didn’t bring enough money. Our counters are already crowded, and I really don’t want to spend ten minutes putting up all the crap you decided you didn’t want.
8. Don’t be a piggy. If you don’t want something, put it back in the right spot. The time it takes for you to find a hiding place for it could have been spent putting it in the correct spot. Once, I found a sandwich hidden behind the boxes of single granola bars. The sandwich case is literally 4 feet from the granola bars. Another time, I found one on TOP of the sandwich case. And at the end of every shift, I find at least a few items just inches from where they actually belong.
In short, be polite, know what you want, know if you have the money, and be neat.
And now the question. We just got a notice about an update to the meal break policy gas station third shift. We still clock out for our break like usual. But now, if a customer comes to the night window while we are out, we have to punch back in to help them and clock back out when we are done. Now, according to the union rules, our meal breaks are to be thirty consecutive minutes with no exceptions.
I thought that this was federal law as well, but now I’m not sure. So my question is: Are companies allowed to require that you do this? Personally, I’d prefer to have an uninterrupted meal.