A Bad Moment at the Gas Station

With my vacation report finished, I need to write about something rather serious. The events which I am going to describe happened on Monday evening.  Normally I am not too fussed about exact dates because I am reporting about something positive and exactly when it happened is not too important.  The positive event and the hopeful inspiration it provides are not connected to any specific point.  This is different.

On Monday, after going for an ice-cream with my girlfriend I noticed that the price of gas had dropped considerably since before my vacation. The price of a litre of gas was below a dollar and I cannot remember a time like that.  My girlfriend explained that this was part of the phenomenon of the Covid 19 virus and some moves being made by Saudi Arabia to gain market share.

I passed a likely gas station that had gas on for 99 cents a litre. I figured that the hysteria would likely continue and figured the price would be lower the next day.  My girlfriend remained sceptical.  I came to another gas station and the price was 94 cents a litre.  On impulse, and despite my (incorrect) belief that it would go even lower, I decided to visit that one.  That’s when things got serious.

After pumping my gas, I entered the station building to pay for it and collect my loyalty points. What I stumbled into was something bizarre.  The previous customer was shouting at the clerk.  Though it is terrible, I have seen it before.  People often complain about prices to the people who have no responsibility for setting them.  Sadly this was something completely different.

He was shouting about not wanting to take something from her hand–I assumed it was the receipt. He started shouting that he didn’t want the Corona from her.  The clerk was shaken.  It shouldn’t matter but the woman was from Iran.  The customer was from India.  Do I suspect that some of what is being spread in the media is responsible?  Sure, but it just seemed so bizarre to me.

I approached the counter and asked if she was okay. I don’t like prejudice and racism to begin with, but this goes beyond what I normally see.  This made me feel like people were not really getting the main message.

I thought back to my visit to the Chinese food place a few weeks back and how empty the normally full place was. I understand people being wary of travellers from cities and countries with outbreaks, but this woman had obviously been working at this job for some time.  Her English was good and I am pretty confident that she had been in the country for a year or more.  This is also how I felt about the people at the restaurant.

So, I approached her and gave her time to relax and didn’t rush her on the payments. She still had a little venting to do, so I let her do it.  I agreed that this virus and the news about it were upsetting to lots of people and there were going to be some overreactions.  Sadly, I doubted it would be the last time somebody would react badly to her.

Of course, if this guy was so worried, why didn’t he just use the pay at the pump technology? Maybe he bought a scratch ticket and objected to her touching it rather than get a receipt.  Of course, someone had to stack them in the display file, so his argument was a little stupid.

As a thank you to me, she gave me a free car wash. Not just any car wash, but the deluxe one with multi-coloured foam.  It was nice to get the car washed for free.  Sadly, it rained the next day.

When exiting the station, we drove by the booth and waved at the lady. She seemed genuinely happy that we took the time to stop by.  Now, I just wondered how bad it would get.

As I write this, the NBA has suspended their season and other sports leagues are talking about doing the same. I understand the desire, but I wonder if this is as bad as the flue–which we take no precautions for except the flu shot.

I also noticed a shortage of TP at the stores. Did I miss something? Does Covid 19 make you go to the bathroom more?

Have you witnessed any strange behaviour due to the virus or the news about the virus? How concerned are you?

About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
This entry was posted in anger, confrontation, danger, ettiquette, free stuff, news, perfect moment, racism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A Bad Moment at the Gas Station

  1. retrodee says:

    That was so nice of you to be there for that clerk. 🙂 It sounds like she appreciated it too. That guy was probably taking out his stress and fears on her, which is a terrible thing to do and he should be ashamed. I haven’t seen anything strange other than the fact that everything has totally shut down, closed and been postponed. I think it’s a bit of an overreaction to cancel every single social thing on Earth, but if that’s really what works to stop the virus, then maybe it’s not.

    • Anthony says:

      I really don’t know what to think. I mean, the flu kills more people, but maybe the mortality rate of this is higher.
      My boss asked me to stay home and self-isolate for another week….but students from abroad will be allowed to come to class.
      I came from a country with only one case, but somehow I have to stay home. It just doesn’t seem right.

  2. bgddyjim says:

    Concerned? For my in-laws, not even a little for us.

  3. Peggy says:

    I go to a very old fashioned pub with older clientele. I constantly have to hear racist, homophobic, misogynistic comments….this is their dream come true and the rise in the former type of comments has increase no end. Also, the toilet paper is an issue here too. I think because people are talking so much crap.

  4. The fear of COVID 19 saw my daughter working from home, then she was told the whole company will shut down – no clients. My work has gone to early closing hours – no work for me. Another daughter will be finishing her classes from home but is still working. She has seen first hand how much people are flipping out with worry. Gloved and masked shoppers with overloaded grocery carts; complaints that everything is sold out – despite overnight and continuous restocking. My D says it is harder at night when there are fewer cashiers – that is when the doomsayers come out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s