One of my favourite games to play is ‘fuel light bingo’. The game that you play when your car is running low on petrol and you pass a service station, but through sheer hatred of the task ahead you drive on hoping that you will make it to the next one. If you lose though, you are forced to stop at the side of the road whilst other, more sensible, people drive past and laugh at you.
Putting petrol in the car
You pull up and drive to the back of the shortest line which is generally behind a car so covered in rust that you need a tetanus shot just from looking at it. The car will undoubtedly be driven by an elderly person who has forgotten how to do everything apart from breathe. Everybody else has noticed this beforehand so avoided driving into the line behind them.
Now it is too late for you to leave, so you have to wait.45 minutes later, once you finally get to the pump and have pulled the handle 78 times waiting for the attendant to turn the flow on, you can finally fill your car up with a tank of over-priced fuel. I seriously think it might be cheaper to go and dig for oil then refine it yourself these days.
At the petrol station
The process of putting the petrol into your car was already tedious enough, but now, after finishing at the pump and avoiding getting drops of petrol on your pants so that you smell like a petrol-sniffing bogan for the rest of the day. You then have the arduous task of actually paying for it which is equally as annoying and time-consuming. So, you lock your car and head inside the massive petrol/ food/ drink/ lotto/ coffee/ chemist/ deli/ supermarket building.
The geniuses that run these places have decided that a single cash register with one person serving is more than enough for us regular scum who wish to pay for our fuel, so you are forced to stand at the back of a long line of people behind a morbidly obese guy getting slightly too excited by the lukewarm pile of greasy food he is holding in his hand.
You are forced to stand at the back of a long line of people behind a morbidly obese guy getting slightly too excited by the lukewarm pile of greasy food he is holding in his hand.
I was born in England so naturally, lining up for things is in my blood. this means that standing in a line for a couple of minutes doesn’t bother me too much. All I want to do is fill up my car, then quickly go inside and pay so that I can arrive at work before lunchtime. If that is not possible, I at least want to get there before the boss realizes that I’m late. Is that such a big thing to ask for?
My problem is that everybody seems to be ordering a triple double mochachocoskimwankerchinos whilst all I want to do is pay for my fuel and leave with a smile on my face. When did people lose the ability to make a cup of coffee themselves before leaving the house in the morning?Police are complaining about the number of drive-offs increasing lately… Perhaps it isn’t because people don’t want to pay for their fuel. Maybe it is the simple fact that they don’t want to go inside and wait for a week to hand over their money.
I understand about the store layout and reason behind why it is preferable for them to make you stand in line for just long enough to be enticed by something on the shelf next to you. The trouble is that standing in line has had the opposite effect on me, because for these marketing ideas to work, you need to actually enter the shop first. Now I just avoid these giant petrol station supermarkets altogether instead preferring to spend my money at a smaller outlet. This is the reason that I have become so damn good at ‘fuel light bingo’.
Finally, a good idea
Call me crazy but here is an idea, how about having one counter to pay for fuel only and another one for all the other stuff people want to buy. Get Back to Basics and offer the good quick friendly customer service to make our journey first thing in the morning much less stressful.