Remember that blog post a few months ago? That one in April where I pulled into a neighborhood service station to fill up my gas tank, only to find my patience tested by an unexpectedly long wait? That one where I told myself to chill and found myself humbled by a young attendant hustling to do the best job she could?
I finally made it back to that location last weekend. And here’s what happened.
I eased into a spot next to a pump, turned off the ignition and hopped out of my ’67 Bug. Before I could even pop the hood, a young attendant greeted me and asked where to put the gas. (Back then, they put the tank under the hood, so it’s not obvious.)
She took my debit card and set the meter for $20.
“Want to add a car wash today?” she asked brightly.
“No, thanks,” I replied.
“Well, then, how about a free high-five?”
She grinned and raised her right hand. We smacked palms and I stepped back, my mind trying to process what to say next — and how.
“You worked here long?”
“For a little while. Started a couple months ago.”
“This may sound a little odd, but was your hair a different color?”
“Yeah, it was darker then. I like to change it up now and then.”
“I think you’ve waited on me before. You were helping some guy with a U-Haul rental and I was waiting for some gas. I was starting to get impatient and thinking about driving off, but I didn’t. I waited and it turned out just fine. I appreciated the great customer service.”
Now it was her turn to process.
“Oh, yeah, I remember. I was in training then.”
“You told me it was your first day.”
“Yeah, it was. I always try to leave my customers with a smile on their face.”
“Well, you’re very good at what you do.”
I told her I’d written about our encounter on my blog. We shook hands and I asked her name.
She declined to be photographed, but agreed a picture of her nametag would be fine.
We shook hands and I drove off, grateful for the chance to compliment a minimum-wage worker for her million-dollar service. And mindful, once again, to show kindness and respect for those in low-status jobs.
Read the original post: “Patience”