10 May, 2007

Eleven Things I Learned...

... while working at a gas station on Colfax Avenue, hereby distilled for your educational purposes.
  1. There is no such thing as "common" courtesy anymore. When you are just running into the store to pick up a pack of cigarettes, it is apparently perfectly acceptable to park a) across an entire driveway or b) directly behind someone who is trying to pull away from the gas pump or c) at the red light across the street, followed by d) loudly demanding police presence when someone complains about you doing any of the above while refusing to move an inch until the police arrive due to unnamed "threats" made against you. This does not make for a pleasant discussion with the nice officers when they arrive. You have been warned.
  2. People will consume their illicit pharmaceuticals of choice in the oddest places. Inside dumpsters. Inside bathrooms. Directly in front of the store. Waiting in line at the store. There is truly little shame to be found in an addict.
  3. Those strange people that walk blithely up to you and ask "What kind of cologne do you wear?" are pure evil and should be taken immediately away from the human species before they cause irreparable harm to society. Never mind. It's too late.
  4. Yelling at the clerk about the high price of gasoline is a guaranteed way to be short-changed and/or double-charged. Clerks don't make enough money to deal with that and will take their vengeance upon you in any way possible, with the standard caveat that you will cause the next ten to fifteen customers to also be short-changed and/or double-charged to help them learn not to be near a clerk that is within 10 seconds of biting someone's head off. You have been warned.
  5. When you use foul language at a clerk for enforcing the pay-before-pumping policy, especially one which is clearly displayed on two signs for each pump, expect the clerk to enforce the other sign with reads "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." If so, don't worry. There is another station down the street. You have been warned.
  6. Some people will steal anything that is not nailed down. And if they can pry it up, it's not nailed down. Have you ever seen someone try to run out of a convenience store while carrying the microwave? Enough said.
  7. When some local politician says the words "economic redevelopment" in relation to your specific vicinity of employment, it is to be considered a code-phrase for "Polish your resume, button-pusher, 'cause it ain't your development." (The land where my store was located will be part of a brand-new Hilton hotel to be opened within a year. Not a joke.)
  8. "Think about how stupid the average person is. And then realize that half of them are stupider than that." George Carlin is 100% accurate with this statement. Displays of actual intelligence among the general public are, regretfully, less common than displays of "common" courtesy.
  9. There is no success to be found while arguing with a sign that reads "CLOSED". Yet people will attempt it anyways, sometimes for ten minutes at a stretch. Then, when you point out to them that they could have walked across the street and already purchased their beer and/or cigarettes from the liquor store in the time they took to yell at both you and your unyielding door, be prepared for you to be called the stupid one. Schadenfreude at its absolute purest.
  10. Should you interrupt a... um... "young-at-heart person of negotiable affection" in the middle of... um... "assisting a gentleman with his weekly high colonic" in your public restroom and then proceed to eject both individuals from the property, followed immediately by said prostitute standing in the middle of the intersection to scream out a long series of vulgarities in 4 different languages while waving around an enema bag, and all you do is turn around to a complete stranger, shrug your shoulders, and say "Another day in the life on Colfax," you are officially too jaded to live and should be removed from the gene pool before you cause irreparable damage to society. (Or get a blog and cause still more damage.)
  11. When you threaten a clerk with the words "I will have your job for this!" after allegedly poor customer service solely due to restrictions of company policy, do not be surprised to find the clerk taking off their work shirt and handing it to you saying "Then take it." No clerk makes enough to deal with that, and it really is funny to see the look on someone's face go from furious to petrified in two seconds flat. In fact, it can make a clerk's entire week.
I constantly tell people that my job was almost exactly like the one in the movie Clerks and the only differences were that a) no one gave me back massages, b) there was no place to play hockey, and c) Jay and Silent Bob were two ugly transvestite prostitutes. But in reality, it was a LOT worse.


gijyun said...

a hilton?

...on colfax?

that just - wow. i honestly don't know what to say.

Sean said...

yeah, i'm having trouble with that too gijyun.

i worked at a gas station for a year and was never as memorable as any of that.

Off Colfax said...

gijyun: Yep. Just let me find some batteries for the camera and I'll upload some photographic proof. But a bit of a hint: the new Hilton is going to be within easy walking distance of the new Children's Hospital. That should explain their business plan right there.

sean: Was the station in one of the dirtiest parts of one of the most down-in-the-heel streets in the country?