Thursday, February 11, 2010

My tank runneth over

Next time I will know better than to feed my movie popcorn craving under the guise of treating my children to a movie at the nearby cheap theater. 

Can you blame me though?  Three movie tickets, extra large popcorn, and 2 drinks for under $11.50!!

Too bad I didn't figure in the $62 worth of gasoline!

See the action going on outside that window?

I was minding my own business, just putting gas in my car.  Innocently enough, I hopped back in the car to wait for the pump to finish because it was {brrrrr} outside!  Like, I might add, I have done many, many times before.

As I waited, L said something along the lines of how much longer so I peeked through my window to check the numbers.

Some number in the 60's blurred past me and I told L it would be just a minute.

Then I had one of those moments when the next series of events happens in warp speed.

$62?!?!  I opened my door to witness gasoline gushing out of my gas tank.  I screamed at calmly told the kids to get out of the car NOW and we run into the store, telling the cashier to shut off the tank NOW.

He casually looked up from his transaction and looked out the window.

I tried again.


I think he shut off the tank.

I then proceeded to strongly suggest that he call the fire department because there was gasoline all over the place.

I am not sure how to even describe this man.  Basically, he had a very casual attitude and was more interested in doing business than paying attention to the crisis that could end the business.

He waved his hand and said something about me moving my car out of the way and he had some stuff to put on the gasoline in a minute.

UM, NO!  I firmly let him know that I would not be moving my car because THERE.WAS.A.LOT.OF.GASOLINE.EVERY.WHERE.AND.HE.NEEDED.TO.CALL.THE.FIRE.DEPARTMENT!

While waiting for him to do the right thing, I noticed a car had pulled up next to mine and she was getting her kids out.  I ran out and told her and her husband what was going on, to leave the kids in the car, and to pull out of the way.  After going back in, another guy looked out the window and told the man "dude, there is a lot of gasoline out there.".

At some point, I called my husband and said we would be a bit later than planned.  I started to tell him what was going on.  Here is where I would love to tell you that he inquired about our safety, asked if there was anything he could do, and told me to call him as soon as everything is ok.  Instead, I received an inquiry as to how in the world this could happen and how I should never leave the pump/get in the car.

Moving on.

Finally, a policeman came and began directing cars and people to leave the station.  At first, he told us to stand outside behind the building then he let us stand inside at the back of the building because it was so cold.  A fire truck and hazmat (?) guy showed up next.  They resolved the situation and were very kind to me and the kids.  They could probably see the look of a woman that could have an emotional breakdown at any moment!  :)

Right before they moved my car around to me, a couple of guys were making a transaction and one guy asked the squirrely worker guy if there had been a gas spill.  He proceeded to say that "some woman was talking on her cell phone and let the pump overflow.

*#&*$@^%&!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (in my head, of course!)

Oh, you know it!  I marched right over to that counter and made sure he knew that I was NOT talking on my cell phone when his pump failed to click off!  He hemmed, hawed, and stammered that he must have been mistaken!

Finally, a nice gentleman pulled my van around and assured me that it would be ok to drive home.  He told me to head over to the carwash first and get as much cleaned off before heading home.  It was a pretty stinky ride home.  It was a pretty stinky ride for a few days.

Of course, I kept tense 10 and 2 hands on the wheel all the way home.  And someone had the nerve to flick a cigarette butt out of their car right in front of me on the drive home.  As if I wasn't a nervous wreck already!!

So, here is what I want to know....

Do you always stand outside by the pump when getting gas?  Has this ever happened to you?  In all my years of pumping gasoline, this has never happened to me.  I do stand by the pump sometimes, but a lot of times I get back in my car if it is cold.  I always make sure to touch something before touching the pump again.  And I never leave my car unattended when getting gasoline.  The fire guy told me that they will probably have to change the law soon because this has been happening a lot more.  Some guy in California went into the station and while talking on his cell phone, managed to let 100 gallons of gasoline spill out!  Yikes!  I remember when I lived in Oregon, that they pumped the gasoline for you. 

Never boring around here!


p.s. The fire chief checked on me before I left and asked if the guy had refunded my money for the spilled gasoline.  He did and when I told him that, he said "good".  Although I didn't ask him to, I did expect him to since it was the faulty pump and not the faulty mommy.  Or at least that is my opinion!


Someone Being Me said...

I always stand by and watch because I am paranoid about static electricity igniting the fumes. I have had a little gas leak out when I pumped a little past the click but nothing like your situation. I can't believe the attendant was such a jerk.

Jennifer said...

Holy Cow Stacey! I can't believe that happened to sorry. I can't imagine what I would have done. I almost always get back in my car...and definitely when it is cold! I might stop doing that! Or at least keep my eyes on it the whole time. Scary! So glad everything turned out alright, and you got the extra money back. And wow - what a great movie/popcorn deal you got!

Mommy Cracked said...

Oh wow!! How scary! I'm glad y'all are ok. It scares me that some people (like that jerk attendent) have no clue in the world.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! It would have never occurred to me to go in & have the FD called if it did happen to me. I probably would just pull off. My ignorance is scaring me now.

You are now my public safety guru!

Kimmy said...

I'm so glad you're okay, Stacey. That must have been scary. I usually get my gas pumped at a full-serve station, so I rarely face the dilemma of whether or not I should return to the vehicle but my husband returns to the inside of the vehicle 90% of the time while his truck's tank is filling up.

jennjo3 said...

How scary!! I almost always get back in the car. But, like you, I always touch something metal first because I have some serious static electricity living in me!

Cara said...

That's awful!

I almost always am cleaning out my truck and purse as the gas pumps- isn't that why they put those nice little trash cans near the pumps? I only paid attention with one truck that we had because that one usually wouldn't make the pump click off. Not that this makes any sense.

Martie said...

Good grief! What an unbelievable situation! I am so glad you are all OK!

All the way through the story I though they made you pay for the gas. I'm so glad you got refunded!