Karma Does Its Job Again

This is from a guy on Reddit.  I edited it down a bit and there have been similar stories before but it’s always fun to read about Karma having a good day, especially when it’s the stupidity of people that earn it.


     My favorite tale of customer service Karma involves me working as a Gas station attendant. And no, it’s not the two drunk guys that tried to steal a 24 pack of Budweiser with the cops arresting someone in the parking lot, or the kid that thought dropping his pants in the beer cave where I couldn’t see him and duck taping cans to his legs was a fool proof way to get away with stealing. (I wish I was joking on both of those.)

No, it actually involves a sober customer who sent her daughter in to get snacks and pay for gas around 10:30pm on July 4th.  The customer paid for the snacks, and then wanted $80 dollars in gas- $30 was paid in cash and the remaining $50 was paid in credit. Not a problem. I ring it up, I put in the cash amount, have her swipe the credit card and give her her receipt and send her on her merry way. (oh how I wish this was the case.)

Ten minutes later the daughter comes back in.  She doesn’t go to the back of the line which is all the way to the back of the store, instead she shoves her way in front of the customer I’m currently ringing up and tells me that they didn’t pump all the gas and they want a refund for the gas they didn’t pump. I ask her politely to go to the back of the line and wait and I’ll help her when it’s her turn. Please understand under normal circumstance I would have called someone in to help or someone would have been scheduled to work with me- but we were short handed, both salary workers had already worked sixty hours for the week and still had two more double shifts scheduled, and the other three hourly workers like me were already pushing 40 hours for the pay period with another two days to go. My boss in his sleep deprived scheduling haze had assumed the beer rush would die off around 9 when the second shifter went home and one 3rd shifter would be enough. So I was a bit overwhelmed particularly given that I’d only been on the job less than two months and I’d already helped train two other 3rd shifters only to have them quit after a week.

 The girl finally gets back to the counter and asks for a refund, I look at the system and it shows that there’s nothing on the pump to refund so I print up a receipt and tell her it looks like the money has already been refunded back to the card she paid with and she takes the receipt and leaves.

I go through a few more customers and turn back from throwing out a customers old lottery ticket to see she’s back and mother has joined her. This woman has the characteristic “problem look”- yes that one that says that if things don’t go their way they will tear walls down and do their best banshee impersonation while trying to rip open a portal to hell at your feet. I love customers like this, I really do there is nothing they can throw at me that I haven’t been exposed to before- if I didn’t get immunized by two years of tech support, then the year doing before and after school child care certainly made me immune. She starts laying into me about how irresponsible it is to make her wait for half an hour. I smiled and let her wear her self out while I calmly thought about all the objects on the counter that could be used to make her shut up  ( never realized just how many sharp objects are back here, should probably get rid of some of them.) She finally winds down, I nod, stop smiling and print out a copy of her receipt and point out how I can’t give her back any money.

You see the system was designed so that when both cash and credit/debit were used it would use the cash portion of the payment first and then start using the credit portion. It even showed on the receipt that the cash had been used and how much her credit card had been charged in the final amount. This did not make her happy. She only pumped $40, she wanted her $30 back right then. I explained repeatedly, in several ways while keeping as polite a voice as possible. During this time several customers helped me stay calm by yelling at her in my place- If I’d been able to get her out of the way without touching her I would have but any time I moved to the other of our two registers she followed. 

The only time I refused anything beyond giving her money was calling my manager- as I mentioned we were short handed and he’d been pulling 80-85 hour weeks for two months. I wasn’t going to call him in the middle of the night over something he couldn’t fix. The two dozen other people in the store were all pissed at her for charging in and cutting in front of them and because if you’re in Ohio screaming about having to get home to Michigan people will alienate you quickly.

When she threatened to call the cops and report me for stealing, I tried really hard not to laugh. I knew all the local cops that would respond to such a call, for our area we’re the only gas station open after 1am which means that the cops keep an eye on us. Not only that but every cop, firefighter, and EMT in the area knows they can stop in at our stores and get free coffee.  They would come in for coffee and I’d pay out of my pocket for a bag of chips or candy, I would drop a dollar for some of them to get their daily newspaper and after a week of that they would stop for a few minutes to chat if I wasn’t busy and it eventually got to a point where some of them would help me with stocking if I had a lot of customers. This means that I recognized when one of my favorite regulars came in, so when she made the threat I was very helpful while trying not to laugh as I asked the plain clothes detective if he was willing to take a statement from her. He grinned, walked her outside and got out his notepad and started getting her information.

I had the other customers wait while I rang up his coffee and bought his preferred bag of chips while he was arresting her- Apparently she had an outstanding warrant. It’s a shame, I don’t think it could have happened to a nicer person 🙂