Not-So-Welcome On Pump Six

October 15, 2005

Though I hear other customers being greeted, I myself am never welcomed when I stop for gas at the local QuikTrip convenience store. I’m sure you know why. Everyone does. When you first approach the gas pump you have to press a button indicating whether you intend to pay at the pump with plastic or pay the cashier inside afterwards. People who elect to pay inside are immediately greeted over the loudspeaker: “welcome on pump six.” It’s not a particularly warm welcome, I admit, but it bugs me that we pay-at-the-pumpers are completely ignored. No greeting for us. It’s bad enough that we are getting gouged by the prices these days, now we must endure being slighted by convenience store cashiers, too.

But I’m not sure that the pay-insiders should feel too good about having had their existence acknowledged by a real live person. After all, they are simply being singled out as potential thieves. Everyone knows that this is the reason why they are greeted. Pay-insiders could in theory just drive away after filling their tanks. But if you greet them personally… ah, in that case they know they have been seen by the cashier and thus they will be less likely to carry out their nefarious plans for gasoline theft.

So the greeting is merely a theft-deterrence strategy, plain and simple. And they don’t even have the decency to give us the illusion that they are simply being friendly by greeting all customers, as we who represent no theft risk don’t get greeted. They have abandoned all pretense that they are engaging in good customer service. They may as well instruct cashiers to say “we see you so don’t try to steal our gas.”

I think this selective-greeting thing is tacky. Even for a gas station.


No comments yet

  1. So, you’d prefer that they warmly greet you with:


    Honestly, I’d prefer putting up with the greeting to having full-service stations or pre-paying (the stupidest plot of all time).

    Although the ninjas would be fun.

  2. You been peekin’ at my halloween costume, Chris??

    Anyway, I’d prefer it if they just greeted everybody. That way we could all just pretend they were being courteous.

  3. At SuperAmerica, they say: “Pump six is ready,” or some such, which I guess is a little better.

  4. Though it may prove difficult, I shall refrain from grabbing my crotch and shouting “pump this, bitch!” when the people next to me are greeted and I am not.

  5. In Southern California you HAVE to pay first. I’ve never known any other way. Where I live now in Canada, you can pump first, but I can’t bring myself to do it. There are no options to pay at the pump, so I always go in and pay first. Often it trips up the clerks because they aren’t sure how to do it that way.

  6. I prefer they don’t talk to me. I just hate it when you go to Speedway on 92 and Oklahoma and start to pump and they announce “PUMP 6, YOU ARE PREPAY ONLY.”

    I just pull out my card and flip em the bird.

  7. Oh, god that reminds me. One time I was at Super America, I think, and I was using my debit card as credit and yesterday’s paycheck hadn’t quite filtered down to it’s special Visa powers. The pump went “beep” and rejected it. No problem, I said to myself, I’ll just pay ATM or cash. But literally on the instant of it being rejected the voice came: “PUMP SIX YOUR CARD HAS BEEN REJECTED.” So like the entire place got to turn and see who was a big broke loser. What was that necessary? Grr.

  8. I use the same Quik Trip you do, and I pay inside 95% of the time.. and Every time they say welcome I want to say ‘yeah right’.. For a while, they had a rule inside that they had to write down my license plate number before they could ‘welcome me’…
    welcome my ass.. A few well placed video cameras with a 30 minute loop that can get license plate numbers… pull the film when you get a drive off..
    Or the ninja’s on gaurd at the entrance/exit.. that would work too..

  9. I’d like to be greeted. But at the Tetco stations they have this loud speaker that plays an advertisement for you as soon as you start filling. There is one at each pump so you hear why you should “Become a Tetco Tag Member Today!” about 7 times before you leave. It’s really annoying.

  10. I think “selective greeting” happens in tons of places. I went shopping in a pretty high end office furniture store tonight… I was not well dressed, having changed to my more casual bum-like clothes for the evening… (they didn’t know I was an under cover lawyer!) and two sales people who had no other customers chose not to greet me. I was trying to pick out a chair for my office and was obviously sitting in tons of them checking them out. I might have actually bought one of the more expensive ones there, but no one offered to help me. So I left, after I mentioned to them that they had just lost a sale.

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