March 21, 2013
To Whom It May Concern
Posted by Steph
Dear Tricksy Gas Stations:
Listen. I know you need to make a buck. We all do. But being shady and less-than-direct is not the way to do it.
ESPECIALLY TO A MOM WHO HAS TWO VERY GRUMPY AND TIRED KIDS IN THE CAR AND SAID MOM HAS JUST REALIZED SHE IS COMPLETELY OUT OF GAS BUT STILL HAS QUITE A FEW MILES TO HOME.
Because when this Mom comes across your station, the first in about 15 minutes after her realization, and sees that your sign has a nice and reasonable price for unleaded gas, she will pull in. She'll sidle right up to an open pump, even though her kids are whining and fighting and possibly poking each other to insanity in the car (because that's what sisters do: they poke. Poke. Poke. Poke each other. Little fingers jabbed into someone else's pudgy arms. Until one of them breaks down and totally loses it. I should know. I am, in fact, a big sister myself).
This mom will get out of the car in a hurry, because the clock is ticking toward bedtime and she doesn't want to miss her window of getting these kids to sleep. So she'll throw open the door, whip out her credit card and slide it through the card reader. Secretly she'll be glad that for these few moments there is respite from the screaming and crying, although she can still view the poking war happening inside the car. She can't hear it though. And this is bliss.
The screen will prompt her to choose a gasoline grade. And this is where things get sticky. Because the price listed on the screen is at least 10 cents more than that advertised on the street sign. This confuses her. She makes sure she is looking at the unleaded pump. She is. And it's still expensive. More expensive than other gas stations. This cannot be right. As she tries to discern the disconnect, she'll look up to the street sign. And there, she'll see the answer.
Because there, in the teeniest tiniest barely readable script are the fated words, "Cash only." Words that only a microscope would be able to decipher. Certainly not readable to your regular consumer passing by in a moment of gasoline need.
And an anger will begin to boil, deep down inside of her being.
An anger that started first thing in the morning, when her youngest wakes at an ungodly hour. An anger that continues with every resistance by her offspring to get out the door on time. An anger at realizing she has left her phone at home. An anger at the traffic. The rain. The injustice of the world.
But most of all, the anger at tricksy hobbit gas stations who fool innocent prey into buying overly-expensive gas.
Never underestimate a mom on the edge. A mom who now has to enter her Poking War Zone of a car. Who has to hope and pray there is a gas station somewhere between here and home. A mom who has had enough of this day.
Because she may come in and yell and throw things and gnash her teeth and bite her thumb at you.
Or, at least, she will in her head.
Which will only make her more angry.
So shame on you, Tricksy Hobbit Gas Stations.
Your time will come. And angry moms all over the world will revel in your misleading misery.
Filed Under: To Whom It May Concern