Gas station rant or "am I out of touch with reality ?"

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Gas station rant or "am I out of touch with reality ?"
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bud Holzschuh - Panama City, FL on Sunday, February 01, 2015 - 08:08 pm:

Visiting my daughter in Golden, CO and ready to drive back home tomorrow morning. Wanted to start out with a full tank of gas and also break a $100 bill for travel money. So here's what happened at the local 7-11.

Me: Can I pay for a fill up with this $100 bill?

Attendant: Sure, we can do that. How much do you want ?

Me: I want to fill the tank. You keep the hundred and I'll come in and get the change when I'm done.

A: OK, but how much do you want?

Me: I want to fill the tank.

A: Yes, but how many gallons or dollars of gas will that be?

Me (getting pissed off): Enough to fill the tank !

A: But you must give me an amount.

Me: But I won't know that till the tank is filled!

A: Well then I can't help you.

Me: You mean even if I leave the hundred there's no way I can fill the tank?

A: Not unless you give me an exact amount.

Am I out of touch with the modern world or is there something seriously wrong here ?

(Sorry, should have labeled this OT)

(Message edited by schuh on February 01, 2015)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Wolf on Sunday, February 01, 2015 - 08:15 pm:

Go some place else.Did the same thing at Racetrack the other day. I don't like drama.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Sunday, February 01, 2015 - 08:31 pm:

Yea, if they are to da-- dumb to hold a 100 dollar bill for you,go else where.
But at the same time I watched this play out myself with my own eyes.
My job had me working the roads in the county,so we took our breaks at stores and what not.While stopped to get a cold drink and cracker I watched a older woman give the cashier a 100 to hold so she could fill up her car. I was headed to the drink cooler along with my helper and 2 burly men that were on a pipeline crew.
While we were all in line to pay,the lady came back in and said "ok I got 41 bucks worth". The cashier gave her 9 dollars back. "Mam,I gave you a 100". "No,you only gave me a 50". Well,as the lady started to obviously get fussy, we were all standing there either looking at the potential thief or the camera right above her head. Her face turned red and she reached and got a 50 and handed to the lady and was very huffy while taking our money. The cashier was going to make her self a nice fat bonus had we not watched the whole thing play out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Sunday, February 01, 2015 - 08:46 pm:

A lot of times you see a sign that says they won't accept 50's or 100's. I've never done it, but I often wondered what they would do if you were about to put $85-$90 worth of gas in a truck and wanted to pay with a $100? I could buy $5 worth and give them a 20 and get $15 back, but I can buy $90 worth and they can't find $10 to give me back? Come on.

Nowadays, most places make you pay before you pump, but years ago, that was not the case and I used to see the "No 50's or 100's" signs even then. You owe them $30 for gas and all you have is a $50. Wonder how many stations refused that $50? Not many I bet. I'm no lawyer, but I've heard that if someone refuses legal tender for payment of a debt, the debt is legally considered paid in full. May just be an old wives tale.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells on Sunday, February 01, 2015 - 09:06 pm:

Here in Canada, you generally pump first and pay later. There is one station near me that requires payment first. They have a lot of pumps and are located mere feet from a major highway ramp so, drive offs are likely a big problem there. Many including myself won't go there because we hate paying first. When I visit America, I reluctantly accept it as normal. I've never had a problem with a $50 or $100 either. Just once I'd love to give them a $1000 bill and see what happens.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve McClelland on Sunday, February 01, 2015 - 09:28 pm:

Bud
Same thing here at a new Speedway station...! I don't think they know what to do with currency in our new plastic money world we live in.
I was going to fill my truck, plus 3 gas cans, like you I had no idea what everything was going to hold..... The kid behind the counter wouldn't hold my money either with out an exact amount I needed, I simply said not a problem and I won't be back.... I left went up one block to a Hi-Tech station, took my cash in and asked clerk if she would hold it until I filled up she politely said no need for that sir, which pump are you at I stated #3 she pushed the power button for #3, I filled everything up went back in, paid the bill and left.
Wann'a guess where I buy fuel now.....?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, February 01, 2015 - 09:38 pm:

I ran into that "tell me how much" crap at a station in California. Took my money and went elsewhere. It used to be customary here in Kansas to pump and then pay, but drive-offs by lowlife scum put a stop to that. Sorry, Dave, but $1000 bills were discontinued in 1969. The ones that remain are in collections and worth considerably more than the face value.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Men Falls, WI on Sunday, February 01, 2015 - 09:46 pm:

I work in retail. We do not take $100 for the idiot that purchases $3 worth of items. I do not have the change for that, especially since the idiot with the 100 always comes in before 10.

Last lady that did this got about $60 in fives and the rest singles. Maybe they will learn that not everybody has cash like Walfart.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary H. White - Sheridan, MI on Sunday, February 01, 2015 - 09:56 pm:

Some stations are a high candidate for drive offs and have had to resort to pay first, debit or charge cards. I live near a small town and even though it's on a state highway I can still fill first then pay. All that aside I use a credit card for gas purchases that I pay off each month. Debit cards used to be a problem as your debit account could be charged a higher amount than you purchased till the transaction was processed. Don't recall the logic or know if that is still the case but some people were burned by excess charges when they thought they still had a balance in their debit account but didn't due to the temporary over charge to their debit account.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Coco on Sunday, February 01, 2015 - 10:15 pm:

Blame computers, not the attendants. If you pay cash they have to punch in a certain "cut off" dollar figure, they can't just turn the pump on from the register....the computers are too "smart" for that...so it's fine if you hand them a 20 and say 20 in gas, but you can't leave it open ended...computers were and are a big help, until they start controlling us instead of the other way around..


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Timothy Kelly on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 12:57 am:

Hal:

You stated in your post: "A lot of times you see a sign that says they won't accept 50's or 100's. I've never done it, but I often wondered what they would do if you were about to put $85-$90 worth of gas in a truck and wanted to pay with a $100? I could buy $5 worth and give them a 20 and get $15 back, but I can buy $90 worth and they can't find $10 to give me back? Come on."

I think you may be missing the point......

If the $20 you give the clerk is phony the merchant is out only $20.

If the $100 you give the clerk is phony the merchant is out $100.

Moreover, crooks don't spend as much time making counterfeit $20's as they do making $100's as it's less profitable. Therefore the $20's the merchant accepts are less likely to be counterfeit than the $100's.

Timothy


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 12:59 am:

Good coms would put an end to this "problem". The clerk could have easily let the buyer
know that the control system requires a set amount to be typed in in order to activate the
pump. Done it many times. Just punch in way too much and come back to get your change.

Too dammed easy.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Barker, Somerset, England on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 03:46 am:

So, Burger, surely the clerk could easily have typed in 100 gallons and not upset the customer.....

In the UK we always pump and pay, though some places have a credit card machine at the pump, and you have to log in the card first.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eubanks, Powell, TN on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 06:46 am:

Some years ago when I was on a service call with my F350 and nearly out of gas in a small town in East TN, I filled up and all I had was a $1oo bill. The clerk threatened my every way you can imagine and I told him to either call the law or go pump the gas out. Needless to say he made change. Last I have heard US paper money is legal tender, not sure what some CS homade sign would be a legal basis for prosecution.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 07:25 am:

What the clerk probably meant was the station would break your $100 bill if you pumped a certain dollar amount of fuel ...

As noted above - some folks try to buy a couple bucks of stuff to get change which can wipe out a cash drawer ...


Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 07:39 am:

I have always heard 20s were the most often counterfeited.

It is my understanding that making change was the reason for the signs.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Coco on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 08:04 am:

A few months ago, a friend showed me a bill he'd received in change, a counterfeit $5 bill.

By itself, if was very convincing. Side by side with a "real" bill, one could see the issues.

Don't know who's going to the trouble for fives, but it's not something that one looks for, so I'd bet there are a LOT in circulation.

Just can't make big money being a counterfeiter, particularly if it's too big in both directions....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 08:45 am:

Since I started using credit cards for gas purchases about 20 years ago, I can count the times I've paid cash for gas on the fingers of one hand. Paying with the card at the pump or sometimes at the attendants desk if other purchases are made works smooth and no problems to fill up every time without knowing how many gallons or liters I need.

This guy in my home town who kept on giving 1950's style service filling up and checking oil at his Gulf station was an anachronism already in the 80's, so I had to take a photo one of the last times I filled up there before he retired in the mid 90's:

gulf station


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 08:49 am:

Sure Chris, ... why not type in 10,000 gallons to make it even more absurd ?
Afterall, with a 16 gallon tank and a gauge reading a little over empty, it would
require a team of scholars to figure out how much to ask for that would get the
job done, but not be excessive.

Being the rogue that I am, I'd take a wild ass shot in the dark and say "20" !

.... but then again, most guys aren't so brash. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Colin Knowles - Moncton, New Brunswick on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 09:08 am:

What ticks me when I go into the US is trying to pay at the pump with a credit card. It asks for a zip code? Canadians don't have zip codes, we have postal codes, so the card won't work. Next step is walk inside,stand in line to leave your credit card with the clerk,(after trying to explain why it won't work), go back out and pump your gas, then back in line to finally get paid. What is the purpose of the zip code? Credit cards now have PIN numbers. In the northeast states like Maine and New Hampshire, it is less of a problem as Canadian owned Irving stations don't ask for the zip code and our cards work fine. Just makes a five minute stop easily become 15 minutes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 09:16 am:

Why not just buy your gas in Canada and pay your high Canadian taxes?? Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Vitko on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 09:22 am:

Coming from Red Bluff California yesterday my Toyota was about nine gallons down. The pump information was confusing so checked with the inside attendant as in Oregon its against the law to pump your own gas! Funny how California gas is usually more money then Oregon when it does not cost the seller an attendant to pump it! He just sells drinks and snacks in side.
Came from Nevada visiting relations. Was surprised to see my grand daughter with a 380 on her hip, its open carry there. The laws are sure different state to state.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Wightman on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 09:23 am:

yes you are out of touch with reality. Just say $100, and when it doesn't take the whole amount come back and get your change. If you can't handle big problems like this, please stay off the road. Use of a blinker must be baffling.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Colin Knowles - Moncton, New Brunswick on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 09:39 am:

Guess some people didn't want to hear about my gas purchasing. Thought it was useful information that may get passed on to fuel companies some day, so they can update their pumps to handle international travelers conveniently while they are spending their hard earned dollars elsewhere.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Lodge - St Louis MO on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 09:59 am:

Actually, Colin, I hadn't thought about that before, but it isn't just Canadians. We encourage international tourism because tourists spend money, but anyone - Canadian, Australian, European - renting a car and wanting to buy gas would face the same problem (and in the case of many Europeans, would be dealing with the problem in a foreign language). I always get the zip code request when I pay with a credit card, and sometimes when paying with a debit card as well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 10:26 am:

That's odd, why the zip? I have pin codes for my credit cards. I'm planning to visit Florida with my family in April, guess I'll have to deposit the card at the attendant while filling up the rental car, then. No problem spending some extra minutes while touristing :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 10:32 am:

Steve Jelf, here in Canada, they made $1000 bills up the the year 2000 and they are still legal to use. They can be had at face value too although there are a few people looking to turn a profit on them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 10:48 am:

Didn't know that. Thousands are still legal here too, but nobody spends them because they're worth more as collector items. The same goes for silver dollars and other old money. You could spend it, but it's worth more than face value.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 10:49 am:

Around here, debit at the pump requires a pin, but credit at the pump requires a zip. Wonder if you just told it debit, I'd it would allow the Canadian or other foreign cards to be used at the pump with a pin?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Colin Knowles - Moncton, New Brunswick on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 11:01 am:

Good thought Hal. No one ever offered up that info at any station. Might be worth asking next time we are over. I just hate leaving my credit card with someone I don't know.
At most non-gas retailers in the Bangor area that I have been at, they require you to use your PIN number on credit cards, so that's why I don't understand the zip code at a gas pump. What is the critical info they are gathering with the zip? This way, it is possible for a stolen card to be used, if the thief knows the person's zip.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 11:17 am:

Jjust speculation, but I wonder if it's a security thing in that you might have the card, but not know the person's zip and cannot do the transaction. Guess it depends on how the card was stolen . If you have the dl too, then you have the zip,, but if it is a card made up with a stolen number, then they may not have the zip.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Todd, ............Red Deer, Alberta on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 11:38 am:

Don't know if it still works but using a Canadian CC, in the US, at the gas pump when asked for the zip code you could punch in 99999 and it would work.
Another trick was to use the 3 numbers from our postal code.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 11:38 am:

I think it is very unkind to use a gas station or other small retail establishment as a change making machine. The person should have visited a bank first and got the 100 changed into smaller bills before going to the gas station. Does he realize that if everyone who went to buy gas gave a 100 dollar bill, the station would need many small bills and coins to make change? That would be an invitation for robbery.

Along the same line but different, the gold hoarders expecting the economy to collapse some day. If it happened, would you be ready to buy your gas with thousands of dollars worth of gold? Hoarding gold sounds like a good idea, and perhaps a small amount to hedge against inflation, but would be impractical if the economy really did collapse.

Anyway, most ATM machines give out money in $20 bills. a 20 is a reasonable amount to use, or perhaps 2 or 3 20's if the tank is low and the price is high, but $100 unreasonable for small purchases such as a tank of gas.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 11:39 am:

Ok,People are learning even me as in some people.So our station owners need to up date so Canadians can miss their high taxes? Actually it's a good thing because you are helping pay for our roads with our high taxes.Having RV'ed all the way to Alaska and back taught me a lot about Canadian's,money,fuel,and tourist traps! Bud./AKA some people.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 12:09 pm:

Norman,

I have put $100 worth of gas in my truck when prices were in the $4.00 range. I was using a credit card, but I do wonder if they would have refused a $100 bill to buy $100 worth of gas? Like I say, most stations today require you to pay before you pump, so I guess the point would be moot, but it wasn't that long ago that you could pump before paying and the situation could easily have arisen.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brian Mettling on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 12:21 pm:

speaking of, I just had $400 charged to my CC in $99 increments from a gas station in Texas (I live in Ohio) over the course of one day. Figure someone made a card with my number and was trading free gas for some kickback with cash. Bank said they get at least one person per day with the problem.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Will Copeland - Trenton, New Jersey on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 12:44 pm:

The reason they ask for a zip is so the bank can identify the card to the zip code of the holder. If a person puts in the wrong zip its assumed that the card is stolen.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 01:32 pm:

Hal and Will are correct Re Zip, I just read the notice on the pump last week.
Just tell them fill or $100 which ever comes first.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 02:22 pm:

Bud,

Doesn't really answer your question, but it seems the older I get, the more reality has become surreal. The things that I was certain were right & wrong, no longer seem to be. The universal truths that we could all agree upon are no longer so true, or so it would seem. At least our Model T's remain trustworthy and constant, (when they feel like it).

So, how much gas did you get, or, since you've not replied back yet, are you still at the gas station trying to work this out?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 02:59 pm:

Jerry,I have been out getting [Scoop] started and plowing the driveway.I usually use a debt/credit card for gas or fuel and my pet peeve is some places make you stop,hang the nozzle,and re card to get over 35 gallon!! With 140 gallon cap in the pick up i shop for fuel usually by price and i try to avoid Canadian prices!! I also try to avoid places where you have to go inside and pay first! I hear you got more than your share of snow? I aint grumpy,it's winter! Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 04:17 pm:

I use a single cash back credit card to purchase gas on business trips around the country and for my self
When I am more than a few miles from home they ask for my zip code.

I don't mind doing it because it is a layer of protection for me and the credit card company.

We would not have these problems if people were honest -- a few jerks ruin it for the rest of us.
My concern is that the few jerks seem to be more than a few and expanding every day.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Willis Jenkins on Monday, February 02, 2015 - 05:43 pm:

Bud,

Sounds like the attendant does not know how to turn the pump on, only to set a predetermined dollar or gallon amount.
I do the same thing, but leave either the gas card or if cash I leave my license. I have never had a problem with either way, but you came across a true idiot!

Willis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bud Holzschuh - Panama City, FL on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 - 10:40 pm:

Sorry, I'm traveling so my reply is not timely.

Jerry: The answer is none. I got so disgusted I said "forget it" and went to the next gas station down the road. I explained the I wanted a fill up to the lady clerk there, she took the $100, I filled the tank, and she made the change. No problem what so ever.

I suspect your right about the T's being a consistent logical force in our lives.

I wasn't about to tell the first guy that I wanted $100 worth and trust him to make the change, I'm wasn't sure he could handle it.

Oh well at least the second attendant (lady) was helpful and could figure it out. There's a few left.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By n maver on Wednesday, February 04, 2015 - 02:18 am:

Bud if you read the letter below it will explain the troubles you were having at the petrol station


1899

A Message to Garcia

By Elbert Hubbard

In all this Cuban business there is one man stands out on the horizon of my memory like Mars at perihelion. When war broke out between Spain & the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents. Garcia was somewhere in the mountain vastness of Cuba- no one knew where. No mail nor telegraph message could reach him. The President must secure his cooperation, and quickly.

What to do!

Some one said to the President, "Thereís a fellow by the name of Rowan will find Garcia for you, if anybody can."

Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. How "the fellow by the name of Rowan" took the letter, sealed it up in an oil-skin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, & in three weeks came out on the other side of the Island, having traversed a hostile country on foot, and delivered his letter to Garcia, are things I have no special desire now to tell in detail.

The point I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, "Where is he at?" By the Eternal! there is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college of the land. It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies: do the thing- "Carry a message to Garcia!"

General Garcia is dead now, but there are other Garcias.

No man, who has endeavored to carry out an enterprise where many hands were needed, but has been well nigh appalled at times by the imbecility of the average man- the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it. Slip-shod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, & half-hearted work seem the rule; and no man succeeds, unless by hook or crook, or threat, he forces or bribes other men to assist him; or mayhap, God in His goodness performs a miracle, & sends him an Angel of Light for an assistant. You, reader, put this matter to a test: You are sitting now in your office- six clerks are within call.

Summon any one and make this request: "Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio".

Will the clerk quietly say, "Yes, sir," and go do the task?

On your life, he will not. He will look at you out of a fishy eye and ask one or more of the following questions:

Who was he?

Which encyclopedia?

Where is the encyclopedia?

Was I hired for that?

Donít you mean Bismarck?

Whatís the matter with Charlie doing it?

Is he dead?

Is there any hurry?

Shanít I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?

What do you want to know for?

And I will lay you ten to one that after you have answered the questions, and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him try to find Garcia- and then come back and tell you there is no such man. Of course I may lose my bet, but according to the Law of Average, I will not.

Now if you are wise you will not bother to explain to your "assistant" that Correggio is indexed under the Cís, not in the Kís, but you will smile sweetly and say, "Never mind," and go look it up yourself.

And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift, are the things that put pure Socialism so far into the future. If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all? A first-mate with knotted club seems necessary; and the dread of getting "the bounce" Saturday night, holds many a worker to his place.

Advertise for a stenographer, and nine out of ten who apply, can neither spell nor punctuate- and do not think it necessary to.

Can such a one write a letter to Garcia?

"You see that bookkeeper," said the foreman to me in a large factory.

"Yes, what about him?"

"Well heís a fine accountant, but if Iíd send him up town on an errand, he might accomplish the errand all right, and on the other hand, might stop at four saloons on the way, and when he got to Main Street, would forget what he had been sent for."

Can such a man be entrusted to carry a message to Garcia?

We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy expressed for the "downtrodden denizen of the sweat-shop" and the "homeless wanderer searching for honest employment," & with it all often go many hard words for the men in power.

Nothing is said about the employer who grows old before his time in a vain attempt to get frowsy neíer-do-wells to do intelligent work; and his long patient striving with "help" that does nothing but loaf when his back is turned. In every store and factory there is a constant weeding-out process going on. The employer is constantly sending away "help" that have shown their incapacity to further the interests of the business, and others are being taken on. No matter how good times are, this sorting continues, only if times are hard and work is scarce, the sorting is done finer- but out and forever out, the incompetent and unworthy go.

It is the survival of the fittest. Self-interest prompts every employer to keep the best- those who can carry a message to Garcia.

I know one man of really brilliant parts who has not the ability to manage a business of his own, and yet who is absolutely worthless to any one else, because he carries with him constantly the insane suspicion that his employer is oppressing, or intending to oppress him. He cannot give orders; and he will not receive them. Should a message be given him to take to Garcia, his answer would probably be, "Take it yourself."

Tonight this man walks the streets looking for work, the wind whistling through his threadbare coat. No one who knows him dare employ him, for he is a regular fire-brand of discontent. He is impervious to reason, and the only thing that can impress him is the toe of a thick-soled No. 9 boot.

Of course I know that one so morally deformed is no less to be pitied than a physical cripple; but in our pitying, let us drop a tear, too, for the men who are striving to carry on a great enterprise, whose working hours are not limited by the whistle, and whose hair is fast turning white through the struggle to hold in line dowdy indifference, slip-shod imbecility, and the heartless ingratitude, which, but for their enterprise, would be both hungry & homeless.

Have I put the matter too strongly? Possibly I have; but when all the world has gone a-slumming I wish to speak a word of sympathy for the man who succeeds- the man who, against great odds has directed the efforts of others, and having succeeded, finds thereís nothing in it: nothing but bare board and clothes.

I have carried a dinner pail & worked for dayís wages, and I have also been an employer of labor, and I know there is something to be said on both sides. There is no excellence, per se, in poverty; rags are no recommendation; & all employers are not rapacious and high-handed, any more than all poor men are virtuous.

My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the "boss" is away, as well as when he is at home. And the man who, when given a letter for Garcia, quietly take the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing aught else but deliver it, never gets "laid off," nor has to go on a strike for higher wages. Civilization is one long anxious search for just such individuals. Anything such a man asks shall be granted; his kind is so rare that no employer can afford to let him go. He is wanted in every city, town and village- in every office, shop, store and factory. The world cries out for such: he is needed, & needed badly- the man who can carry a message to Garcia.

THE END-


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Coco on Wednesday, February 04, 2015 - 06:35 am:

Really like the Garcia story....my father told me a story once, I'm sure it's a common one, he applied for a job with the Louisiana Department of Highways in the 1930's, when jobs were scarce. "Can you drive a bulldozer" he was asked, and immediately said yes, though he'd never done so. Hired, he learned quickly and had a job. Had he said no, he'd been passed over.

He taught me to be decisive, not back away from a challenge or task, but rather move forward and learn as you go if needed. I actually think this helped me in my car collecting activities. I'd find an interesting car and move forward with purchase, while others were hesitating. I've bought a lot of good cars that way, and on a couple of occasions been offered a good profit within a day or two by someone who'd wanted the car, but procrastinated. I bought cars I liked, so wouldn't sell at that point, I've never been in the antique car game for the money.

I'd never thought of the zip code issue affecting foreign travelers, it's for security of course, a thief of a card likely won't know owner's zip code. All part of the cost of being both highly dependent on computers and the rise of the scam/thief business...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bud Holzschuh - Panama City, FL on Wednesday, February 04, 2015 - 09:30 am:

Great letter and commentary by Dave.

I am constantly amazed by how people wait for things to come to them instead of going out and seeking them (this I think relates to the attendant who blindly follows the gas station "rules" without thinking of a solution.

My daughter in Golden is looking for property to build on and having trouble finding what she wants. My advice to her was not to wait until a realtor comes to her with a solution, but to go out every weekend and search the hills, knock on doors, attend tax sales, network with friends, etc., and eventually she'll find what she wants at a price she can pay.

Hope she take it (the advice that is).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Wednesday, February 04, 2015 - 10:21 am:

Oh, for the days! -When I was a kid pumping gas on weekends, I wore the stupid Texaco uniform, bowtie, visored cap and all, and every time a car drove across the "clang hose," I ran out, chanted, "Good morning sir! -Fill it up with Fire Chief?" -While the gas was pumping, I'd squeegie the windshield and ALL the windows, check the oil and tire inflation, hand out a free dish or drinking glass or whatever, along with Plaid or S&H Green stamps, smile, salute and wish 'em a good day.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Thursday, February 05, 2015 - 09:04 am:

I once told a good friend of mine that "common sense" was the rarest thing out there. Bruce replied "the average intelligence out there is way below average..." I miss you Bruce (R.I.P.) and we all owe you.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Thursday, February 05, 2015 - 02:04 pm:

Good discussion on this thread! Makes one wonder how things will be in the future when this present crop of school kids that spend every bit of free time they have,....."exercising their thumbs" playing mindless games on their hand-held electronic devices. I guess we're to believe that due to modern technology, it's becoming no longer necessary to THINK anymore. In my opinion, these kids are being misled by our so-called "educators" that feel that due to "technology", it is no longer necessary to teach the "three R's", and that cursive is no longer necessary, and in fact, there are many kids nowadays that don't even know how to hold a pen or pencil properly! And because of "texting", I guess we are to believe that proper spelling, punctuation and grammar are now a complete waste of time! In fact, many people do not even speak properly anymore, and don't even realize it. For example, it is so common to hear people say (and write),...."I seen this, and I seen that,....." and most people nowadays don't even know that the proper word is "saw"! Oops,.....didn't mean to rant,.....but it does make one wonder where we are headed,.........harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Lodge - St Louis MO on Thursday, February 05, 2015 - 02:16 pm:

Harold, a translator friend of mine once said, "I only ever made one grammatical error in my entire life, and I seen it just as soon as I done it." :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By kep on Thursday, February 05, 2015 - 02:36 pm:

Whoever wrote that 1899 letter is a bit nuts, if you do not ask questions related to carrying out a task how are you supposed to accurately carry out the task?

All gas stations are impossible to deal with by the way. Too many computers.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By William L Vanderburg on Friday, February 06, 2015 - 12:32 am:

I just tell the guy to turn it on, and What ever it is when I'm done is what I'll pay him. That pay first crap: when I see that, I drive away, and go somewhere else.

In my modern car, it's much easier, you don't get to pump it at all yourself here in Nazi Jersey, but in the T, the gladly hand the nozzle to you 1) because it's an antique and 2) they cannot take the time to stay with the car until it's done.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Lodge - St Louis MO on Friday, February 06, 2015 - 09:43 am:

William, since I always pay at the pump with a card, that's not a problem. My pet peeve is paying to use the air compressor. There is a gas station / convenience store about a mile from my house that I pass 2-8 times a day. Used to get almost all my gas plus whatever I needed from the store. The day that the compressor went from free to fifty cents was the last day I ever stopped there - not because I didn't have the fifty cents (I think it's a dollar now), but because of the attitude toward customers that it represented. I've never taken the time to calculate what they pay for the electricity to run the compressor for three or four minutes, but I assume it's less than a nickel. Pretty hefty markup... Air at gas pumps has traditionally been free, so I take my business to places where it still is.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Friday, February 06, 2015 - 10:29 am:

Dick, how often do you suppose somebody steals the fill valve and hose? That's a cost.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Woods, Richmond, Texas on Friday, February 06, 2015 - 11:21 am:

I can't remember and name the station, but I have encountered this same situation before at different stations, regardless of whether they were company owned or independent. It is a hassle but I know how much my truck holds when full, and can generally guess pretty close to what a partial tank contains, and how much the cost is, dependent on current gas prices. (Example, when gas was $3.00/gal. and my tank holds 20 gallons, I knew it would take $60.00) If they require an amount, I estimate on the side of caution and put as much in as I've paid for. If I paid by cash, and can't hold the paid amount, I can go back in and ask for a refund. (just keep your receipt showing how much you paid) I haven't had anyone refuse that. The other option is to carry an empty plastic gas can that will hold two to five gallons and put the overflow in that. I've done that on a couple of long out of state trips.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Lodge - St Louis MO on Friday, February 06, 2015 - 12:07 pm:

Ralph, with 24-hour lighting on a busy street, probably about as often as someone steals the hose and nozzle off the gas pump. Insurance and loss are overhead items. They should be pricing their products to cover overhead. A roughly 1900% markup is a little steep to cover possible theft. That would be like charging $16.95 for a Hershey bar because candy gets stolen occasionally.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Friday, February 06, 2015 - 05:18 pm:

If we remember people pumped our gas,cleaned the wind shield,checked the oil,and either gave us stamps or drinking glasses!! When the first gas shortage came everyone had to try to save money so the self serve station came along.We sure have came a long way,but was it forward or backwards?? Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Friday, February 06, 2015 - 06:35 pm:

Ken,
Yep, remember doing that kind of servicing--although I didn't have a uniform to wear (1977) and we were the first Chevron station in CA to offer self-service (the inside islands only) as a test--guess we must have passed!
N Maver, your post made me remember when I worked for Mr. Girdler restoring his cars (he had a railroad car rebuilding business, and quite a collection of RR & Bentleys). I went into the Railcar office to ask how he wanted me to do some job on his car and the secretary said, 'He's in France, won't be back for two weeks." "OK, guess I'll just do it the way I think it should be done." And did so, when he returned, he was happy with the work, neither of us gave it a second thought (working while he was gone--and the restoration shop was a mile from the Railcar shop, I was usually by myself). Funny thing is, he'd come in, say, "Nice work, now just throw this together." Well, I wouldn't "just throw this together" because I knew it wouldn't meet his standards, and he never complained that I didn't "just throw it together." Took a while to learn what he really meant, not what he said! Worked for him for 25 years, until he passed away from a brain tumor(none of us interpreted the signs, we just thought he was being a bit more eccentric than usual--afterwards we figured it out.).
I come from a long line of self-employed folks, and I guess that work ethic runs in the jeans. a


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