Why the fuel station is my biggest trigger

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We’ve all picked the wrong queue at the fuel station and cursed ourselves for not being psychic. It’s a gamble, and like any form of gambling, some you win, some you lose. Occasionally though, you lose so spectacularly that your head almost explodes. Or is that just me?

Some of you will know exactly what I mean. For those that don’t, let me explain what happened this morning. The sun was shining and I was in a fine mood when I left the supermarket carpark and decided to fill the van up with fuel. As I pulled onto a reasonably busy forecourt, my mind went into overdrive. Eyes focussing on every customer, one at a time; 100% of my cognitive capacity dedicated to figuring out what stage of the game everyone is at. Are they opening that flap, about to full up, or closing it after filling the tank? Have they paid at the pump or are they about to saunter into the shop to pay the old fashioned way?

Typically, you’ve got between 2 and 4 seconds to make a decision. Today, I made the wrong decision. I should have known. I should have read the warning signs. But I didn’t. The car that I pulled up behind didn’t have a fuel nozzle sticking out of it and the little old lady was fingering the buttons on the ‘pay at the pump’ machine. I took that to mean its fuel tank had already been replenished. Oh, how wrong was I? What she was actually doing was pressing the ‘pay at kiosk’ button. She hadn’t even started filling up.

Blame game

At this point, I only had myself to blame. I was annoyed, but I was only annoyed at myself. As usual, I’d gone steaming in without taking the time to really think things through, now I was going to have to pay the price. I’d made my bed, so I’d have to jolly well lie in it.

But it turned out to be a bed of nails. Because after spending far too long half-filling her roller-skate sized car up with unleaded, obviously trying to stop on a round number, two other vehicles that entered the fuel station at the same time as me had already left. As you can imagine, by this point I was absolutely livid. And watching her trot nonchalantly into the shop for a browse at the magazines didn’t do anything to calm me down. In fact it did the opposite.

Every minute she spent in there felt like a lifetime, and when she finally reappeared, I was literally vibrating with anger. Why must she take so long? Does she not know there are other people in the world that want to buy fuel? Is she completely oblivious to the world around her or just really, really inconsiderate. Perhaps she assumes that just because she hasn’t got anything else to be getting on with, nobody else does either. Perhaps she assumes that just because she doesn’t have a life, neither do I. Well I do, and I’m a busy man, so get a move on.

Bad manners

By the time she’d returned to her car, I knew exactly the type of four letter word I was dealing with. I’d seen them before. So for my own amusement, and to give me something to do whilst I waited and waited and waited, I decided to time how long it took for her to get in her car, and get out of the way. By the time she’d got in her car, faffed around with her keys, had three goes at trying to reach her seatbelt, plugged it in, tried to remember how to put her car into first gear and set off, it had been 47 seconds. 47 seconds to get in your car and drive off. That’s unacceptable in normal circumstances, never mind when there’s someone waiting to use the fuel pump behind you.

This kind of behaviour is the height of bad manners, if you ask me. The little old lady that ruined my day is probably oblivious to the heartache she caused but I like to think that when she got home her cat had laid a cable on her best bedspread, and with a bit of luck, trod in it, and wandered all round the house, smearing it far and wide. Hopefully that’d teach her a lesson, but it’s doubtful it would, as she’d have little reason to link the cat mess with her fuel station performance. But it would still serve her right.

But the true tragedy of the fact is that she isn’t alone. There are far too many people that display this kind of selfish, inconsiderate conduct when refuelling their vehicles. And it needs to stop before someone’s head actually explodes. So if there’s someone waiting behind you at the petrol station, why not move your car out the way so they can get to the pump. If you need to do some shopping in the fuel station shop, fine, they all have somewhere to park that doesn’t block the pumps up; use one of them spaces. Come on, is it really too much to ask?


14 Responses

  1. I couldn’t agree more. A lot of people would say we’re impatient, when actually others are being selfish.

  2. If I understood correctly…what you want is people thinking about something or someone that is not themselves, for themselves or that they won’t be able to brag about like the “massive” (5 quid really) donation to the charity they made last nite after watching “that” ad on telly?!?! You must be completely delusional, mate. Just the fact that you want people to actually THINK is a bit “out”; wanting ’em to think about others is just…madness, pure and utter madness.
    I hope that after writing this rant you felt a bit better and that it helped (and will help) you to cope with reality before your head explodes (or you lose it and do/say something that you’ll regret almost immediately after)
    All the best.
    P.S. I feel you though; every time I interact with most people outside my close and tiny circle of mates my head is “this” close to explode.

  3. You’re not alone dude. I totally understand and can relate completely. The fuel station can completely ruin the finest of days. Even first thing in the morning when you have the entire day left to play for. Nope, the t*** who decided to get their weekly shop at the kiosk has written-off the day before its started.

  4. As a rule of thumb, if it’s a reasonably new 1 litre s*#~t box, a Peugeot, fiat 500, or an old jag I won’t even consider pulling behind it, not worth the stress!

  5. In the neighborhood I grew up in they had a name for someone like you, it began with a C it had four letters. At the gas station I go to the friendly lady fills my gas, tank takes my cc and gives my dog a biscuit

  6. The worst one is where they effectively add a supermarket to the petrol station, and you have to wait while someone does their weekly f@cking shop.

  7. argh it’s the bottom holes that get fuel, leave their car at the pump and then seem to do a full food shop in the petrol station that get me

  8. Ha ha, great rant …and so true! But how many times have you prolonged your time at the pumps to ogle a girl like the one in your accompanying photo at an adjacent pump!!!

  9. Every time at morrisons pal, every time, typically it’s in a morning when I’m too lazy to stop on the way home the night prior, thus making me panicking that I’ll be late for work, perhaps they should have a time limit at the pumps, 3 minutes Max then a £5 fine for every minute after

  10. What was it that you had to do that would take 47 seconds? Where did you have to be that being 47 seconds later would have caused problems? Chill-out man! You’ll be old one day, or you will if you can just survive the overstressed life style that gets you riled up over 47 seconds.

  11. Like Steve said Boothy, imagine if some bunch of dickheads decided to replace engines with electric motors and petrol stations with charging points.

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