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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Maverick

(The gas station, not Sarah Palin. )

I've pulled my 1991 Buick Park Ave. into the Maverick driveway behind a large construction-type truck that is blocking the way to the only open pump. The way the pumps are oriented, the truck driver can't get into the parking lot until the car at the pump in front of the only open pump moves. I wait patiently. I know the drill at gas stations. The car finally pulls out, opening up the way for the large truck to move. The large truck pulls into the parking lot where the driver maneuvers around and reverses into a parking spot. A pedestrian dodges out of the way. I pull into the originally only open spot and park. I turn off the engine, flip the gas compartment, and get out of my car. Just then, the driver of the large truck opens his door and jumps down.

"Hey, I need to get into that spot right there," he yells at me angrily.

I look at the driver who is climbing back into his truck, look at the empty spot in front of me which is just as good as my spot, and say, "No." Then I go about removing the gas cap on my tank.

The man, who is even angrier now than he was before, jumps out of his truck and approaches me quickly, "I'm not fucking around here," he says, "I'm going to use this pump," and he removes his credit card from his wallet and shoves it into the machine.

For a split second I contemplate saying, "Thanks for buying me a tank," but then I realize that this angry Mr. Clean look-a-like is nearly a foot taller than me, and much broader, and instead I say, "Just wait a minute for me to finish."

"I've been waiting 10 minutes to turn this truck around," he says, getting up in my face. I can feel that he wants to hit me. I don't even think my being a girl is what's stopping him. I can understand, though, because I'd really like to kick him in the balls right now too. Thank god for public places.

"You know, that's the way it fucking goes at gas stations, dude," I say to him angrily as I twist the cap back on my tank. "Grow up!"

Then I climb back into the Ave., turn the engine, and pull 10 feet forward to the next pump. Mr. Clean has already raced back to his vehicle and maneuvered it around to my old spot. I get out of the car and attempt to insert my credit card with angry adrenaline flowing into shaky fingers. Somehow I manage to get the pump started. My tank only costs $30, which is half of what I was paying only a month ago, so I should be pleased, but I can't get over the way that sorry excuse for a man talked to me.

Let's back up the scenario and impose a re-write, shall we?:

I pull into the spot and get out of my car.

Man gets out of truck and yells to me, "Excuse me, Miss, I'm sorry, but I've been waiting to get into that spot. You see my tank is on the other side of my vehicle and I've been waiting for this other car to move so I could turn around. Would you mind pulling forward to this other vacant spot so I can get in there?"

"Oh yeah, sure, that's no problem. Have a nice day, sir."

That would have worked out much better for both of us, now wouldn't it?

How hard is it to be nice to people?



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13 comments:

tauns said...

I don't know why people automatically have to assume the worse, like you PURPOSELY stole that spot from him!

I think you were nicer than I...okay I KNOW you were nicer than I would have been. I get flustered in situations like that and most the time end up being mean when I don't really intend to. I would have said, "Either you talk to me nice or you wait. It is your choice." If he choice to ask nicely, I would have moved. If not, I would have then proceeded to fill the gas tank. If he hit me...I would cry, take down his information and call the police.

I have actually had a woman hit me once over a picture CD. What an crazy situation it was. If I had chose to press charges she would have lost her business (a child dance studio) because my children were in the car when she hit me and witnessed it all so it was considered child endangerment.

I am sorry you had to deal with that mean person!

B.R. said...

I understand that some have issues with the term 'boundary' but it's the duty of polite people to abide by their principles and not be intimidated by the loud impolite.
Diseased instances like that are a downer! I would have had the same instinct.

Trovan said...

I am a very non-confrontational person. I even feel that I am too accommodating to asshats like that in order to avoid a fight.

That type of confrontation really sucks. I am glad you made out okay.

jess said...

what kind of man gets into something like that with a woman? a woman driving a 1991 park avenue no less? i am so mad for you! idk what i would have done!!

why couldn't he have just been nice???? no one stuck up for you?

what a d bag.

Nilsa said...

I hate that. Because then it sets the tone for the rest of your day. And sometimes it's hard to let assholes like that not get the best of you. Grrrr...

Anais said...

Seriously. I was in a similar situation not too long ago. And afterwards I just thought to myself... if only that man had asked politely if I would not mind moving my car, I would have done it gladly. But nooooo..... he HAD to rude. What's wrong with society!??!!?

sovknight said...

I'm sorry you had to go through that. Some people just weren't raised properly to have a sense of decency. You probably did the right thing by avoiding the confrontation though. I like to think I could be as big as you were in that situation, but I don't know.

You could have at least keyed his truck or something.

Sra said...

Thanks everyone. It was a harrowing experience for sure. I'm pleased that I stuck up for myself, and I think I handled it the best I could given the emotion of the situation. I wish I was the type of person who could just rattle out the perfect words for people who behave like asshats.

You know what I think bothered me the most about it? I'm positive that if I had been a tall blonde with big boobs, a skinny waist, and a pretty face, this guy would have been nice to me. Not that I wish I were that, I like myself very much, but girls like that always get treated nicely, by everyone. (Except maybe other girls ;)

Dena said...

A guy with a diesel truck did that to me once. He kept honking his horn and dropping the F bomb in front of my 1st grade daughter because I happened to be using the same gas pump that had the only diesel pump.

So I told my daughter to cover her ears and I took my sweet ass time filling up my tank. And when I'm driving 80 mph in a 70 mph zone with a tailgater up my ass, I slow down to 65 mph just to piss them off. I enjoy doing things like that. And if I get punched in the face for it one day, it'll be worth it.

Sra said...

What jerks. I hate people who think their needs are the only needs that matter. I especially loathe tailgaters when I'm driving a more than reasonable speed.

But that reminds me of one time when I was driving in the right lane on I-215, and a car was entering the freeway in the merge lane that I was approaching. Now, since I was already on the freeway, and the freeway was not crowded, it was not my responsibility to adjust my speed to let this person on. Rather he needed to either speed up or slow down so he could merge. But apparently he felt like I was in his way, so he angrily hit the gas and sped around me, cut in front of me in my lane, and then slammed on his brake. I had to slam my own brake and only nearly missed hitting the bastard. At the speed I was going, I could have been killed if we collided. I was furious.

People, when you are getting on the freeway, it is not up to other drivers to let you on. You need to be assertive and adjust your speed so you can achieve a safe merge. Leave the passive-aggression and just plain aggression at home.

End public service announcement.

Sra said...

What jerks. I hate people who think their needs are the only needs that matter. I especially loathe tailgaters when I'm driving a more than reasonable speed.

But that reminds me of one time when I was driving in the right lane on I-215, and a car was entering the freeway in the merge lane that I was approaching. Now, since I was already on the freeway, and the freeway was not crowded, it was not my responsibility to adjust my speed to let this person on. Rather he needed to either speed up or slow down so he could merge. But apparently he felt like I was in his way, so he angrily hit the gas and sped around me, cut in front of me in my lane, and then slammed on his brake. I had to slam my own brake and only nearly missed hitting the bastard. At the speed I was going, I could have been killed if we collided. I was furious.

People, when you are getting on the freeway, it is not up to other drivers to let you on. You need to be assertive and adjust your speed so you can achieve a safe merge. Leave the passive-aggression and just plain aggression at home.

End public service announcement.

sovknight said...

I'm sorry you had to go through that. Some people just weren't raised properly to have a sense of decency. You probably did the right thing by avoiding the confrontation though. I like to think I could be as big as you were in that situation, but I don't know.

You could have at least keyed his truck or something.

B.R. said...

I understand that some have issues with the term 'boundary' but it's the duty of polite people to abide by their principles and not be intimidated by the loud impolite.
Diseased instances like that are a downer! I would have had the same instinct.

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