I thought I’d seen it all when I watched an older man on the roof of his van stretch a fuel hose up to a generator he had attached to the top of his vehicle. Of course, I was wrong.
I’d been working at a supermarket fuel center for about two months. I’d seen money pulled out of a bra, bills come through the drawer to the outside world covered in blood, a customer who didn’t know how to remove a locking gas cap, and an elderly lady who couldn’t remember what kind of fuel to put into her car. I’d seen a lot in my two months on the job, but my biggest Wow! I can’t believe I’m seeing this moment came, appropriately, on my last day as a fuel center clerk.
The white RAV4 pulled next to pump 3. I saw a woman with short white hair get out of the driver’s side of the car and walk over to the pump. I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to this specific customer. The fuel center was busy, and I had two repairmen from the alarm company in the kiosk with me. The customer on pump 3 was but a minor concern.
The woman in the white RAV4 must have realized that she’d parked with the wrong side of her car next to the pump. Her fuel tank–and the hole for the nozzle– was on the side of the car farthest from the fuel source.
This situation happened occasionally at the fuel center. I’m not sure how people forget what side of their vehicle the fuel tank is on. Perhaps the confusion comes from driving more than one vehicle regularly and forgetting that the fuel tanks are on different sides. Maybe the confusion occurs when a vacationer is driving a rental car and forgets the tank on the rental is in a different place than on the family vehicle. In any case, I’d seen it happen before. Usually the driver remedied the situation by getting behind the wheel and driving the car into a better position. The driver of the RAV4 had a different idea.
When I glanced over at pump 3 a couple of minutes after I saw the woman walking around the car, I saw she had taken the hose that deliver the fuel and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d it over the roof of the RAV4. She’d then somehow managed to get the upside down nozzle into the opening to the gas tank so she could pump the fuel without moving the car. It was the damnedest thing.
Would you look at that! I said to the two guys form the alarm company. That lady’s got the hose stretched over the top of her car.
The two alarm company guys came over to the front of the kiosk and had a look. They agreed they’d never before seen anybody contort a gas hose the way the woman driving the RAV4 had done.
I was glad it was my last day on the job for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I was scared to see what would come next after believing that this time I had in fact seen it all.