From Brad, January 2010 :
Having discovered your site for the first time today and reading through a couple pages, I felt I just had to share my own experience.
I was lucky enough to have moved employment from one gas station (where the boss was a "customer is always right" man) to another where the boss was quite happily, and very readily, prepared to support his staff. In fact, his very own words in the interview where "if the customers is giving you a hard time, tell them to fuck off and show them the door. I don't want their money if they are giving my staff problems." And yes... this was the first and only time I ever heard him swear.
This site was quite large, having 18 pumps, a shop floor that was just as large as the forecourt, a 4 bay mechanic and an autowash/jetwash complete with vacuum cleaners.
Each section of the site was a separate business in and of itself, tho almost all of them where paid for services at the cashier (my position). When there was a problem with any part of the site not handled directly by the gas station, there were procedures we had to follow, IE if the autowash broke down, we would take down the customers name and number and the boss would contact them the next day after the problem was fixed and arrange a replacement wash or a refund (which was noted in the same book that we took the names down in).
This guy had to be one of my favorites. The blower at the end of the wash had stopped working about 3am. Us console operators weren't allowed to leave the store unattended unless it was to change the price board (in which case we would lock the front doors) and we certainly weren't allowed to go try finding reset switches in the wash, in the near dark. Keep in mind that everything else in the autowash worked fine, just not the blower, so his car was clean, just not dry.
The guy comes in to tell me the blower didn't do its job, and the following is a rough remembrance of that conversation.
Me: Ok. All I can do to help you right now is take down your name and phone number, and once the boss has fixed the problem, he will contact you.
Him: (after he started giving me his name, stops and): No fuck that, I want a refund. Show some initiative! (gotta love it when customers pull that little gem out).
Me: I cannot do that at this time. That wash isn't run thy this gas station per se and refunds are handled separately. Normally all I can do is either give you a free wash or take your name and number. Since the blower isn't working, there isn't any point in giving you a free wash since you will still end up with the same problem.
Him: Will the docket be good for any number of days or does it expire?
As luck would have it, I had a customer come through just the day before, a regular, who asked me the exact same thing. He had bought the wash, but had left without going through, and hadn't come back to town till 3 weeks later. Since the docket stated "Good for one time today" I wasn't sure of the answer and the customer bought another wash. He came back in after the wash to tell me he tried his older docket and it had worked.
Me: I know for a fact that the docket will last at least a week. (I proceeded to tell him about the other customer and the older docket, but told him there was only a week between times, rather than three. I was just covering my own ass in case it was a fluke)
Him: Ok. I want that in writing.
Him: I want you to sign this docket stating it will work up to a week later. It's the law.
Me: No. I am not required by any law to do that, certainly not against my will and not certainly without my permission.
Him: Whats your name? Hey why aren't you wearing a name badge!?
Me: Its not required.
Him: THAT'S ILLEGAL!
Me: Excuse me?
Him: I run a (franchised grocery store) and I know all about how its supposed to work! you are supposed to be wearing a name badge! I WANT TO KNOW YOUR NAME!
Me: Privacy laws here in Australia make that request illegal. I do not have to give you my name if I do not wish you to know it. The only time it is illegal to not give your name is when a police officer identifies himself as a police officer and asks for it. (I later found out that this was untrue. A police officer does not have a right to ask for your name unless he has reasonable grounds, IE you have broken the law. It is however advisable that you do give your name to the police, since they are more than likely to find a reason :) )
Me: Are you a police officer?
Me: Then show me your badge, and I will gladly give you my name.
Him: Well.. I used to be a police officer. How the hell am I supposed to identify you to your boss when I speak to him?
Me: He is the boss. He knows who he rostered on. Just tell him what time and day it was.
Him: Your boss will be hearing from me!
He then left, with his free docket, and the three customers, who witnessed the whole exchange, laughing at him. It turns out, one of the three was in the store for the exact same reason, and quite happily took a docket for later use, and didn't mind driving down the road for the time being to dry his car.
The boss, who heard the story from me later that morning, told me that the guy had rung up to complain and when asked what my name was, the boss told him my name was Joe Bloggs, a name used here in Australia much the same way John Doe is used in America.
Hope you enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed living it.