A Clerk's Memories of a Gas Station from Hell

Dante Hicks knows what I mean.
Dante Hicks knows what I mean.


A few years ago, I worked at a gas station in a popular little southern college town. My gas station experiences were some of my darker ones while living there, because I had a constant stream of shady customers for the eight hours I was working. A manager would be available early in the day, but for most of my shift, I was on my own.

I counted out change for $100 to a woman one time, and she dropped her hands to her bag and continued to stand there as I checked out the next person. When I was finished, she began to have a tantrum and claimed I didn't give her all of her money. A line of irate morning customers, on their way to work, had to be halted so my manager could count the drawer and determine who was being truthful.

Beggar Drunk

A man spent a lot of time loitering in the parking lot. He would ride around the parking lot on his bicycle, and then beg for change when anyone walked by. He did this for entire shifts, and then he would come inside, with a huge handful of change, grab a multi-pack of alcohol from the freezer and plunk everything down on the counter.

As I watched change roll across the counter in different directions, he would ask, "Is this enough?" So, I would have to count mostly small change such as pennies and nickels and then tell him, "No, you'll have to put some of that back."

Angry Customers

Many customers attempted to scam me. Others yelled in my face because I did not have the ability to repair one of the gas pumps (even though there were several others to choose from). I thought one man was going to rob me because he waited beside the store in his car for fifteen minutes passed closing, and he was only sitting there.

Creeps and Thieves

I would receive creepy calls throughout my shift from guys who said they'd been inside and watching me. The calls would get me in trouble with my manager, because I wasn't supposed to be on the phone. Even when I wasn't working, the callers would call the store asking if I was in.

Then the final straw was when a couple of people drove away without paying for gas. I called 911, and I reported the theft. Despite a cop being in the parking lot next door, he waited a full 30 minutes and allowed the thieves to get away. So, the money came from my paycheck, and I promptly quit working at that vile place.

I'm not even supposed to be here today.
I'm not even supposed to be here today.

Your Work Experiences

I realize others have had far worse experiences, and I was lucky to leave unscathed. This was my first job experience, and as a young woman, it was not an appropriate choice.

What have your clerk experiences been like?

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Comments 7 comments

arthurchappell profile image

arthurchappell 6 years ago from Manchester, England

sounds like you are lucky to get out of there - seems dreadful

jwood00 profile image

jwood00 6 years ago from the other side of morning Author

Crazy that I really thought I needed money that badly back then. Unfortunately for me, the minimum wage here in the states was about $5.15, but I did get overtime pay. Thanks for reading and commenting. :-)

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Jalus 6 years ago

I like to walk a lot and frequent the convenience store by my house. I have talked with the young lady that works the night shift and she has had the same types of experiences. She is unable to change shifts due to a baby sitting situation. Very sad. I am happy you are no longer working there!

Wintermyst profile image

Wintermyst 6 years ago

I work at a front desk at a hotel, and some of the people that come in are just as bad. One time a mother of a basketball player wanted to cancel a room in case they lost the tournament, that way she could go home, however if they won she wanted to come back and get another room. We were totally full and told her we could't hold the room in case they won, she spit over the counter on the front desk clerk. I know how bad it can get.

jwood00 profile image

jwood00 6 years ago from the other side of morning Author

@Jalus Since I was the new girl, my schedule was set up in favor of those with seniority. So, of course I was usually working until closing and on holidays. The co-workers were pretty awful, too, but that is another story. Anyway, thank you for your comment. :-)

jwood00 profile image

jwood00 6 years ago from the other side of morning Author

@Wintermyst That's disgusting. I don't know why some of these customers automatically have the idea that they are superior to the person behind the counter and feel a mysterious sense of entitlement. I can't imagine how I would handle a situation where someone spit on me. I kept a calm and pleasant demeanor the whole time I worked at that gas station, even while people yelled in my face.

Wintermyst profile image

Wintermyst 6 years ago

That is why I work nights. I don't have to deal with alot of people, because I couldn't keep a pleasant demeanor if someone was yelling in my face. Hats off to you jwood for being able to maintian your professionalism while the customers are acting like ***holes.

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