During my trip home on Sunday, I had an experience at a gas station that has been rankling ever since, so naturally I am writing about it. When road tripping by myself, I often stop at Love’s Travel Stops because official “rest stops” often don’t come up when I need them, and at Love’s I can count on clean bathrooms, hot sausages, and petrol if I need it.
So on Sunday, while driving through Arkansas, my gas gauge was very low and I pulled into a Love’s which was very busy. All the pumps were occupied. I lined up behind a car which was empty, leading me to believe that the occupants had filled their tank and gone into the store to buy drinks and snacks.
Boy was I wrong. After I had waited for over fifteen minutes, a couple did return from the store with drinks and snacks. They knew I was waiting because they had to walk right past my car to get to their car. They spent several minutes talking and rearranging stuff in their car. Then the husband turned to the pump and started filling their tank.
I waited patiently, despite the fact that my quick stop for gas had already become much longer. Finally they finished fueling. Another conversation ensued, and then the husband strolled back (right past me) to get the window washer squeegee thing. He leisurely washed all the windows on their car. More talking before he finally got into the car. By the time they pulled away from the pump, I had been waiting for over half an hour (during which time the other pumps were always occupied and with lines behind them too).
Now here’s the thing: I would never make someone else wait like that. If the gas station is busy, I always pump first, then park my car somewhere else before going into the store because I hate to hold anyone up. And that is what I did on Sunday. As soon as I had filled my tank, I re-parked the car before going in to use the facilities and buy a drink. To me, that is only common courtesy. In fact I thought it was one of those unwritten rules of the road. What say you?