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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Good news from the gas station

No really. I meant it. "Good news" and "gas station" in the same sentence. What good news can be coming from a gas station today? Prices are flirting with $4/gallon. Facebook is abuzz with warnings that thieves may steal your purse from the front seat while you are at the pump. And despite what my husband says, gas station food -- GROSS. But I'm here to deliver a bit of good gas news.

Tonight after Charlie's soccer practice, I had to get gas in the car; the handy dashboard computer was reading FUEL RANGE: 0 miles. So I pulled in to a Circle K station, swiped my debit card and selected the "Regular" gas, selling for $3.48/gallon. The pump screen instructed me to lift the nozzle and begin pumping the gas. So that's what I did. Only nothing happened. As I waited, another driver came out of the gas station and told me that the station was out of regular gas.

I hit "cancel" on the pump and contemplated paying the higher price for the "Plus" gas. But then I noticed another gas station across the street and decided to go there to get the cheaper fuel. It took me just a minute to drive across the street and pull up to the pump of the Whitestown Marathon.

 photo MarathonLogo_zpsff44b30a.pngI got out of the car, swiped my card, and got ready to pump the gas. I looked up to see "Please See Cashier" flash at me on the screen. Frustrated, I went into the station where they told me my card had been declined.

"Ugh...I know what it is, I just tried to get gas across the street and they must have placed a big hold on my account."

The clerk very nicely suggested that I call the 1-800 number on the back of my card to ask my back to release the hold. So I headed back to the car to make the call...which would have been simple, if Robbie hadn't killed the battery on my phone playing "Wipeout."  I should be given a gold medal for not flipping out at this point. Instead, I just took the phone back and plugged it in, pulled into a parking spot, and waited for the phone to charge. About 6 minutes later (it was REALLY dead), I was on the line with my bank and feeling cranky.

After answering 72 security questions, the guy from the bank confirmed that I did indeed have sufficient funds and that there were now no holds on my card. Awesome.

So I pulled back up to the pump, swiped my card, and "Please See Cashier" appeared in front of me again.

Seriously? So, I went back inside the gas station, presented my card again and waited while the cashier swiped it again, using it as a debit card. Declined. So he ran it as credit. Declined.

At this point, I was frustrated and embarrassed and just ready to go home. "I just got off the phone with the bank," I told him in what I'm sure sounded like a big fat lie (but it wasn't). "He said there were no holds on the account and there are funds in the account."

"I have zero gas and no cash," I continued, already thinking about the earful I was going to give the bank when I got back in the car.

Here's the good part. A lady came up behind the counter and asked how far I needed to go. I told her just about 5 miles. She said to the cashier, "Give her $10; that should get her home." Then she turned to me and said, "I'm the manager here. We'll take care of you." She took $10 out of her own purse, handed it to the cashier and said "Pay it back when you can or pay it forward."

I know it sounds completely cheesy to say this, but I left the Whitestown Marathon feeling happy to know that there are good, kind people in this world. So, if you find yourself in need of gas near Exit 130 on I-65 North, please think about stopping at the Whitestown Marathon. Tell Tammy that the 4th Frog sent you.


kimybeee said...

have heard two stories like this in two days!

sounds like maybe you need to stuff ten bucks in the car somewhere in case of an emergency like this!!!

Unknown said...

Random acts of kindness like these keep the world spinning! It's nice to hear that there are sensible and compassionate people out there who are still willing to lend a hand in times of an emergency. And that's coming from a gas station. I hope this year, they continue the good practice and that may we ever pay-it-forward.

Kenny @