Sometimes I feel like Im surrounded by idiots. Truly. Like everyone around me just came down in the last rainshower. From planet Stupid. We stopped at a gas station today. Unlike Samoa – EVERYWHERE here is self service. Back home I would just roll down my window, hand over the cash, smile and a nice man would fill up the car. End of story. Here, they dont even get out from behind the counter. So today, the Hot Man asks me to go and pay while he pumps the gas.
“Seventy dollars worth of gas please.” I smile sweetly at the man behind the counter. He’s working a kind of half-hearted Ryan Reynolds look. Only he’s much shorter. And I cant confirm if he’s got the RReynolds six pack because of his grey overalls. ( Why do they have to wear overalls when they dont pump any gas?Or check oil or even wipe my windscreen? They may as well wear a tux for all the amount of standing around they do. Better yet, they could go shirtless and at least make it halfway worth our while to get out of the car and walk AAAAALLLLL the way in here so we can pay and then pump our own gas….)
He asks me, “What kind of gas?”
I am momentarily confused.It may have been because i was still thinking about Reynolds. “Excuse me?” And then it clicks. “Ah yes, not diesel, I want petrol please.”
Is he mocking me? “the kind that makes cars go.” Duh.He is looking less and less like Reynolds by the minute.
“Yeah, like which kind?” and then he rattles off all these numbers. Like they’re supposed to MEAN something significant to me. ” We have 91 and 98 and super 101 and very-excellent-extreme 1001 and only-for-high-class-acts amazingly wonderful 100001and so on and so on…”
Im getting irritated. And I decide – Nope. He DEFINITELY looks NOTHING like Reynolds now. But he is either really thick. Or this is his very first day on the job. But Im a nice woman. I can be nice to derwits. I point to my van. And smile. “There.” I say “the kind that makes THAT car go. See? its that pretty shiny gold van. You see it?” In case he has bad eyesight. I take pity upon him. Poor fellow. Its not his fault that he doesnt have a glimmer of customer service intelligence.
He replies, “Thats not enough. You need to tell me what kind of petrol your car takes and what you want.”
What the….?! Shouldnt these people KNOW what kind of gas different cars take? I resist the urge to stamp my foot. So now I have to walk allllllll the way back to my van and ask the Hot Man what kind of gas the stupid thing takes. 91.
Fine. And now Im vaguely annoyed at the Hot Man. Why didnt he just say so in the beginning? We could have avoided all this shillyshallying about. Walking back and forth. Why do they call them SERVICE stations for when Im sure as heck not getting any?
I tell the nitwit behind the counter. “Can i have seventy dollars worth of 91 please.”
And he has the nerve to smile at me pityingly like I’M THE IDIOT. “Yeah, thats better.” he shakes his head and mocks me, “the kind that makes cars go…thats a good one!”
How dare! I smile again. With steel. “Look, I really dont care what kind it is – I just want my car to work.”
And then he takes outrage one step further and TRIES TO GET SMART WITH ME. “Isnt that the whole point? Like, isnt that what we ALL want? Like, I dont think there’s a gas that DOESNT make your car work…” And then he turns back to laugh with another overall-clad creature about the whole…’the kind of gas that makes my car work…’ And I realize that not only does this attendant not have a smidgeon of Reynolds-ness about him – hes possibly the ugliest service station man i have ever seen. Hateful hateful hateful.
Back in the car ( that is now filled with 70 dollars worth of 91 gas thank you very much) I rant to the Hot Man about the whole episode. And he tells me, “Youre an idiot Lani. Even your children know what kind of petrol we put in the car. Who says stuff like that? I want the kind of gas that makes my car work. The guy is probably laughing his head off at you right now!”
I dont say anything. What was there to say?
Idiots. We’re all surrounded by them.
Here’s so you can see what the service station guy WOULD have looked like. IF he grew 6 inches taller, sprouted a beard, had work done on his nose, took off his overalls and picked up an axe. Oh – AND didnt give me a hard time about what gas my car takes.