So what you’re telling me is to pay at the pump?

November 7th, 2012 · 59 comments

Writes Tim in Jacksonville, Florida: “Apparently people on the Westside don’t process instructions very well.”

An alternative explanation: People at the Westside Winn-Dixie don’t utilize bold type very well.

Pay at the pump is down. If you remove this sign pay at the pump is still down. If you pull to a different pump. Pay at the pump is still down. Bring your card to the attendant Thank you

related: Pain at the pump

FILED UNDER: "customer service" · gas station · Jacksonville

59 responses so far ↓

  • #1   shwo! bang

    Ironically, the attendant’s nickname is “The Pump.”

    Nov 7, 2012 at 1:09 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   TKD

      “The Pump” must be pretty depressed.

      Nov 8, 2012 at 9:09 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   Techie

    Maybe its people like here and completely ignore signs. I had to put a bathroom out of order due to someone shitting all over the floor-and someone ripped the sign down (I witnessed this) and walked right in. His excuse-He had to go (and could not use the OTHER bathroom that was open)

    Nov 7, 2012 at 1:32 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   BuckyTooth

      In general, people are INSANE, FILTHY and STUPID. I’m sure you know this if you’ve dealt with someone defecating on the floor (who does that?!?).

      Having worked in a customer service field, I can tell you that this is a person who had put up friendly signs, which were ignored, had non-stop complaints, and this is what they had to resort to.

      I was called the C-word and yelled at for not accepting an expired foreign coupon one time. My manager asked the customer to leave, so the customer then called the police. They told him to STFU and go home.

      I feel this note writer’s pain. They deal with the public. Therefore, they’re shat on daily.

      Nov 8, 2012 at 6:57 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   Who passed out the Haterade?

    Team Sign Writer all the way, even with the sentence fragments.

    (But I’d bet anything they still get people trying to use their cards outside and throwing a fit when they don’t work.)

    Nov 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Michelle

    There’s pretty much no way I would read this sign as anything other than “Pay at the Pump.”

    Oh, I think to myself. It says Pay at the Pump in bold three times. This is clearly what I am intended to do.

    It’s like tags on clothing that say “Do not tumble dry.” I’m looking for one of two things when I’m scanning those tags. “Tumble dry” or “Lay flat to dry.” If I see that it says “tumble dry” I’m not going to back up to see if it also says “do not.”

    Nov 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Kimberley

      You are my directionless soul mate.

      Nov 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   The Elf

      Yes! The bold, the repetition…..

      Clearly I need to pay at the pump, attendant.

      Nov 7, 2012 at 3:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   Ashes

      I agree. Team customers for sure. Notewriter put “PAY AT THE PUMP” in bold three freakin’ times. They didn’t even hyphenate. It’s not denoting an object, it’s giving a direction. Clearly, I need to pay at the pump.

      Nov 8, 2012 at 7:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.4   Gwan

      Kind of with you on the “pay at the pump”, but really, you wouldn’t double-check with “tumble dry”? That seems foolhardy.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 3:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.5   raichu

      It takes about two seconds to read the whole sign. Sorry, but I think that’s lazy and if you complained it would be on you.

      I agree that the sign wasn’t formatted very well, but nobody can say they didn’t communicate it clearly to anyone who bothered to read.

      Nov 13, 2012 at 10:24 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.6   Ashes

      I’m allowed be be a lazy sign reader. I don’t go to the gas station to read. I shouldn’t have to expel more than minimal effort to understand the damn sign.

      Nov 17, 2012 at 12:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.7   Bug

      Serious accidents have been caused by people too lazy to read at the gas station, you may want to rethink your awareness policy.

      Nov 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   another gas station attendee

    I swear, it’s like gas fumes automatically knock 50 points off a person’s IQ. When getting gas, smart people become average and average people become complete and total idiots.

    Then again, I’ve had customers attempt to put credit cards into the slot where their receipts (clearly marked RECEIPTS) come out, others overflow their gas tanks and blame me (“well, yes, it kept clicking off but I wanted to get to $50 and now I have gas all over my hands!”) and one especially clever man threaten to sue me after snapping his own credit card in half in one of the pumps.

    So this note does not surprise me in the least.

    Nov 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   anotherfool

      I must confess, there was a store I went to weekly that had a sign on the right hand side (going in) of a double door that said “<— USE OTHER DOOR." And it took me six months to train myself to use the other door. My handedness made me stupid. About the time I learned, they finally fixed the right-side door, so now I yank on the left side when someone is coming out and get glared at now and again for using the illogical door. Once you train me, I'm apparently impossible to retrain.

      Nov 7, 2012 at 6:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   havingfitz

    Signs are magical, you see. If you remove the sign, the item in question immediately starts working again. We have a broken toilet at work and that’s the only explanation I can think of for the sign being torn down every day.

    Nov 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   betty lou

    The government agency I work for is next door to a separate agency from an entirely different branch of government. We got tired of people coming into our office, looking for the other agency, so we put a sign on the door, directing them to the other location. People would still come in and think we were the other agency. Better yet, some people would read the sign, but they’d still come in and say, “So, the sign says XYZ is next door. Do we just go over to their office then?”

    I’ve come to the conclusion that signs don’t help. They never help. People are just too stupid.

    Nov 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Jami

      You’re right. Working in the library I see this all the time. Hours are right on the door, do they read them? No. Just yank and then stare at me blankly when the door doesn’t open. The computers that are catalog only say it all over them, including the words “NO INTERNET CATALOG ONLY” – and without fail someone will come up to me whining about not being able to get on the internet. And I show them where it says “CATALOG ONLY” and they start getting very embarrassed.

      Only sign they ever pay attention to is when the computers are out of order.

      Nov 7, 2012 at 6:47 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   BuckyTooth

      Jami, I have a friend who works at a library, and she has the best work horror stories ever. For some reason, people at libraries act the most inappropriately of any other group on the planet. Public “self-pleasure” while surfing internet porn, defecating in a corner, old men flashing unsuspecting women, people yelling profanities at her on the phone… the things she puts up with! She had no idea what she was in for when she decided to be a librarian.

      Nov 8, 2012 at 7:04 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   Jami

      Yep. We’re on the small side so we don’t get the defecating in the corner stuff, but we’ve had plenty of people who have purposely plugged up our toilets. There was a guy for awhile who every single day would leave his feces filled underwear in either the urinal or the toilet.

      I’ve been screamed at over 25 cents. One of the librarians was followed to the staff’s bathroom by a patron who was mad he wouldn’t kick someone off the computers for her. (She’s a constant trouble maker. We’ve had to call the police on her before.) A mentally handicapped patron who used to come in every day to look at porn, proudly announcing he was “learning how to spank” and one day got so excited he started masturbating at the circulation desk. And his mom was not happy that he was banned from the library for this. A pedophile who tried to get a little girl to give him her home address in front of a clerk. (Guy was going around with these photo albums filled with pictures of him raping little girls. He cornered young girls in stores like Barnes & Noble, stores that sell ballet gear, and libraries, and would show them these pictures. He was eventually caught.)

      I’ve taken a lot of verbal abuse from patrons over things that are their fault or I have no control over. Like how far down on the holds list they are for a popular book. Not getting notifications on overdue notices due to them either having the wrong phone number in their records or using a Yahoo e-mail address. (Yahoo, no matter how many times you set the library’s e-mails as safe, consistently sends messages from us to SPAM.) And of course their fines. Look, I’m sorry you have to pay $20, but you should’ve returned your books on time or renewed them. Not return them nearly a month past their due date.

      And then there’s the whole not reading any sign unless it has to do with the computers being down thing. Oh, and they also refuse to see what’s right in front of them. It’s just like that scene in Clerks where people ask what an item is priced and it’s on huge signs right behind them. They can be standing there, staring directly at the DVDs, and they ask me where the DVDs are. Standing right next to the copier and “Where’s your copier?” Looking right at the children’s side, which is decorated with many huge stuffed animals, and asking me where the children’s books are.

      We put up signs announcing when we’ll be closed for holidays. We put them up all over. The doors, each desk, even the outside bookdrop. I’ve driven by while running errands on those days and what do I see?

      Many of our regulars sitting outside waiting for us to open.

      Nov 8, 2012 at 9:48 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.4   Kimberly

      I used to work at the front desk of a hotel where they would hold those horribly scammy “model searches”. Talk about the biggest gathering of idiots to ever be assembled. I would get tired of pointing the way to all of the gullible morons that would show up so I would put up signs. They would look at just the name and say “Yeah, that. Where is that?” They’d never make it to the directional part of the sign. EVER. This is why the following commercial is my favorite, ever:

      Nov 8, 2012 at 11:30 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.5   redheadwglasses

      As a kid/teenager, I spent many, many weekend days at the Iowa City Public Library. I loved my librarians — that’s the first place I saw a woman with armpit hair! I didn’t even know that not shaving was an option until then! (She was the best librarian there!)

      Thanks for putting up with all the poopheads. I don’t know what I would have done without the library (which is where I turned when my school eliminated sex ed–I spent a whole day looking up everything sex-related and learned way more than I should have at age 13, 14!).

      Nov 8, 2012 at 11:57 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Smokey

    More importantly…Can I still light a cigarette while pumping?

    Nov 7, 2012 at 4:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Mel K bang

      only if you are coordinated enough to simultaneously send a text message.

      Nov 8, 2012 at 4:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   Samantha

    I live here and the poster is right. People on the Westside are not exactly the smartest bunch.

    Nov 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   joshua

    Remember, this is a state that thought butterfly ballots were a good idea.

    Nov 7, 2012 at 4:45 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   MarkinNJ

    I live in NJ where every gas station is full service – not allowed to pump your own gas anywhere in the state. It works pretty well for me – except for when I travel out if state and then realize I all but need a tutorial on pumping gas.

    Nov 7, 2012 at 5:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Will

      You’d like Oregon, though. They only have full service there, too.

      Nov 7, 2012 at 5:53 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.2   Amy

      Except now, in New Jersey, when the lines are 30 cars deep, there is only one poor guy in a vest running from pump to pump, trying to fill all the cars and keep the line moving. Suddenly self-serve is appealing.

      Nov 7, 2012 at 6:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.3   Jami

      Gee, I haven’t seen full service offered since pay at the pump was invented.

      Nov 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.4   SeeYouInTea

      I’ve only been to one full service station in my life. It was in some super tiny town in northwest Alabama. It was odd because I had no idea if I was supposed to stand out and watch him, or get back in the car. I also didn’t know if I was supposed to tip him. I felt like I should have.

      Nov 7, 2012 at 7:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.5   Merrid

      In Australia, full service stations usually charge more for the fuel, so the extra service is built in to the price. We’re not big on tipping here – we don’t believe you should have to beg for a standard of living.

      Nov 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   Eileen

    I think “down” is the word that should have been emphasized rather than “pay at the pump”. But they still wouldn’t get it.

    Nov 7, 2012 at 7:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   Dane Zeller

    Oh wise sign writer, do you suppose if I go across the street to your competitor, the pay at the pump will still be down?

    I didn’t think so.

    Nov 7, 2012 at 7:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   C-Monsta

      Turns out, the guy working in that store? He doesn’t care if you go to a competitor. He’ll be paid the exact same piss-poor wage no matter where you go. You complete your transaction without incident? Same wage. You act like an entitled dipshit? Same wage. You don’t come in at all and he stands around staring blankly into space wondering what happened to all his childhood dreams? Same wage.

      In fact, he’s happy to see you leave, and his competitor is less than thrilled to pick up your business for the exact same reason.

      Nov 7, 2012 at 8:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   timmysho

      C-Monsta hit the nail on the head. I work in a coffee shop, and I will never understand why customers think using the “I’ll never come back here again!” threat on regular employees will get them anywhere. Usually we either don’t care or would prefer it if we never saw you again.

      Nov 7, 2012 at 9:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.3   kathlynn

      as a resident of BC canada (mandatory prepay), even though it’s been prepay for at least 4 year the location I work at gets at least 20 customers a day pissed off that we don’t hold 99% of cards (debt or credit. it’s only actually legal to hold a credit card, and that’s supposedly only if the station doesn’t have pay at the pump).
      when you act like I’m stupid, I hope you don’t come back,
      when you argue with me, I hope you don’t come back,
      when you make a large mess in the store, I hope you don’t come back.
      when you act like I make the rules, or should risk my own job by breaking policy or law, I want to tell you to go to hell, and get out of the store. ’cause your $10 (or less) of profit for the store isn’t worth my job.

      Nov 7, 2012 at 9:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.4   deprogrammed

      Because if enough people refuse to return, soon you don’t have the dipshit job either.

      Nov 7, 2012 at 11:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.5   kathlynn

      90% of the time I’m nice and cheerful towards my customers, or at the very least I’m respectful. But if you had dealt with some of the customers I’ve dealt with in the last 3.5 years I’ve had my current job, you’d understand why I might think “please don’t come back”.
      and you really must understand why I would refuse to loose my job, or ability to get a job in the same sector by selling smokes to someone with out ID, or selling hunting licenses to some one without their hunters number, etc. same with propane, I’ve had many people get pissed at me for refusing to fill their cylinders or vehicles because they are outdated or not correctly certified. these would all cost me my job, could cause my employer to close the store, or loose the ability to sell certain products (then close the store), and for both them and myself to be given large fines.

      Nov 8, 2012 at 1:07 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.6   The Elf

      There’s a balance point with the “I’ll never come back” thing. If your disgruntled customers are few and far between and your business is otherwise successful, “I’ll never come back” is an empty threat. If your business is struggling and every third customer is saying that, then you need to figure out what you are doing wrong and fast. That threat becomes very, very real.

      Nov 8, 2012 at 7:28 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.7   Tom

      The thing is, these threats are often made at large retailers and franchises, where they are one customer out of hundreds, maybe thousands, that come in during the day. I would be very surprised if there were ever enough “threatening to leave” people that actually impacted business. If service was really an issue, average people simply never come back. What’s funnier though is usually the person threatening to “never come back” is there two days later, acting like nothing ever happened. The people who threaten are usually full of hot air, thinking that they’re more important than they are and making a big deal out of nothing. Average people just leave after a legitimate issue, and maybe write a review online.

      Basically, I’m saying the people who threaten to go elsewhere are a nonissue to all but the tiniest business.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 11:52 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.8   nikki

      Most of the people who get in your face with the “I’ll never come back to this store!” are the people who are so difficult you don’t want them to come back anyway. I mean seriously. You’re mad at a gas station because their pay at the pump is down? Because they put up a (slightly sassy) sign about it after people had trouble understanding? Is it so hard to walk your ass inside and hand a real person your card? This happened to me at my usual gas station the other day and I had a brief flash of annoyance that my card wouldn’t work at the pump (there was no sign) but it only took me an extra 30 sec to a minute to walk inside and pay. It would probably take longer than that to drive to another gas station just to make some kind of asshole point.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.9   Tom

      Yes, I did forget to add that I imagine a business loses money catering to ridiculous customer demands/rants than simply telling them that “your ridiculous behavior will not be tolerated, please leave.” The time spent catering to the crazy customers that rant and yell could be better spent checking other actually paying customers out, helping customers find what they’re looking for (and maybe making extra sales in the process), and making the store spic and span. Plus, there’s the added bonus of reasonable customers not getting pissed off at the ridiculous ones in your store. For instance, I don’t go to Walmart simply because the customers I see there are awful. There are many other reasons to not like the chain, but my primary reason is the customers. Catering to bad customers (thereby letting them hang around in the store longer, being disruptive) can be just as much of a turn-away for good customers as poor customer service.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   SeeYouInTea

    They have a gas station at a Winn-Dixie? Never seen one like that here.

    Nov 7, 2012 at 7:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   redheadwglasses

    I think you folks need to check out

    Tales from the front of the customer service/retail wars. Usually pretty funny, too.

    Nov 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   raichu

      I love that blog! :)

      Nov 13, 2012 at 10:40 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   redheadwglasses

    WOops, looks like my first post may not show due to a URL i shared. GO to notalwaysright dot com. As entertaining as this site. Sadly, no comments.

    Nov 8, 2012 at 12:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   Quizitiveone

    I worked at a museum many years ago. The offices were open on Mondays, but the museum was closed to the public. The metal grating was pulled down over the huge openings from the sidewalk, so it was clear the place was closed. There was a large sign next to the large opening – at least two foot by three foot – with the hours, clearly stating the museum was closed on Mondays. While working as the receptionist, I got a call one Monday from someone standing outside. “The sign out here says you’re closed on Mondays. Does that mean you’re closed today?” About 50 answers went through my mind. I settled on “Yes.”

    Nov 8, 2012 at 3:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   SilentPsycho

      It’s the same at the museum where I work. We close on Fridays, but occasionally there is a private event or a school visit on those days which requires a member of staff to be sitting at the front desk. We place a huge sign up, almost blocking the front door, which says that the museum is shut on a Friday. The number of people we have that try to come in is amazing. Normally, they just wander back out if you tell them, but some will scream that our website says we’re open on Fridays (it doesn’t), some will try to force their way in, and I remember one poor guy walked straight into the glass doors after I had put them on exit-only.

      Then again, we have the same problems with the ‘No Photography’, and the ‘No Food or Drink’ signs.

      Nov 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   Bluecanary

    I’ve worked in retail and I live in a place where I believe that 85% of the population has some kind of developmental disability…I get this sign, completely and totally. And I bet that people were STILL trying to pay at the pump and cussing at the clerk because it wouldn’t work and they had to walk 10 feet to the station.

    Nov 9, 2012 at 9:33 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   deprogrammed

      The thing is that people go to the highlighted or bold lettering first as the main point (isn’t that why it’s set apart from the rest?) so the main message should be in large bold print. In this case, the main point is pay at the pump.

      Instead of a lame attempt at snark, a simple sign that says:

      Pay at the Pump is down

      would have done the job.

      Don’t blame the public for ineffective communication by the notewriter.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.2   Macca

      I’m pretty sure a sign like that was probably put up about 6 times, and ripped down every time, to an irate customer rushing into the store yelling about how “those pumps won’t take my cards! I took down that stupid piece of paper in the way and they don’t work!”

      I mean, have you ever worked in customer service? Customers ignore signs and then get angry about it like it’s their job. I’m saying your short and sweet note would NOT have been enough.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.3   Bluecanary

      It does not matter how you communicate. The sign could have said “Pay at the pump is down, please come inside to pay and receive free beer and a blowjob” and there are still idiots who would somehow manage not to follow directions. And I have never understood the mentality that some people have that if they tear the sign down, somehow magically whatever the sign says ceases to be true, but I see it all the time. My husband works at a public park with a fishing pier. In our town, it is illegal to fish for fresh water fish with nets, but the same idiots are out there every day net fishing, so the city put a huge sign on the end of the dock. They tore it down. The city put it up again, this time with a welded frame. They tore it down. They’ve replaced the sign 5 times now, each time making it harder and harder to remove, and yet the same people repeatedly tear it down, and then act surprised when they get ticketed by Fish and Game. But, there was no SIGN. Same thing happens to picnic shelters when they are rented. A sign gets posted, and all the grills get covered up with trash bags, and the entire shelter gets lined with yellow tape and people STILL tear all that stuff down and squat and when the family who paid for the shelter shows up they’re always like “Oh, I didn’t know..” People are stupid. Bottom line. And when you work a job that exposes you to that fact day after day after day, sometimes you need a little snark to keep you from killing yourself. Or them.

      Nov 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.4   The Elf

      While there are always customers who are either too stupid to understand any sign, or who purposefully misunderstand to their advantage, it absolutely matters how you communicate.

      The point of a sign is to communicate a direction, right? So the more clearly you phrase your direction, the more effective it will be. Pretty simple, really.

      Nov 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.5   Dave

      What could also work is

      Thanks, Homeland Security ops team

      Nov 15, 2012 at 12:06 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.6   Bluecanary

      No, really, I would imagine that the point was, some fucktard tore every single sign down over and over again until the minimum wage slave inside the gas station wanted to disembowel himself with a Twix bar. Hence the “if you remove the sign, pay at the pump is still down.” So he decided to be an ass with his wording. Screw him, he should be strung up by his thumbs for his desperation induced bad communication.

      Nov 16, 2012 at 2:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   Wait..what?

    I live in Oregon so any issue with the pumps is the problem of the store. We don’t pump our own gas which is stupid in and of itself.

    Nov 9, 2012 at 11:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   Gwlana

    If this were at my job, we’d have a line of people who had read the sign and were in line to ask if they could pay at the pump.

    Nov 10, 2012 at 1:05 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #21   Dr.Chalkwitheringlicktacklefeff

    Personally I just drive on to the next place. Failure to keep equipment properly maintained to the extent that I’m needlessly inconvenienced shouldn’t be rewarded with my business.

    Nov 14, 2012 at 7:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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