More Adventures in Gasoline Pump Reader Alley

February 20, 2008

A while back I wrote a post about an adventure at a Shell gas station. I often stop at this station on my way home. The card readers asked me to remove my card quickly. However, I have learned from the store clerks at this station that this particular cluster of card readers prefer that I remove my card slowly.I suppose I could make comments of an improper nature on this topic, but I am refraining. If you imagination is not refraining, I suggest you have a serious conversation with your imagination and tell it to straighten up and fly right.Today, after the unsatisfactory green eggs and ham conversation, I stopped at a Shell station a few miles up the road on the opposite side of the highway. Up to now, the card readers at station #1 have been much more amiable and accommodating when I remove my card. I suspect these card readers smoke a cigarette after I drive away.Today, however, the card reader at station #1 displayed a message that said, panic mode 0012.(I am not making this up. The message is exactly what the display displayed to me.)
I thought about running into the street as fast as I could in a panic mode. However, there is a large (private) airport across the street and a large jet plane was at that moment taking off about a hundred yards away With so much going on,. I was entirely confused about what panic mode to enter.

Instead I entered the Shell station market and asked the clerk what to do. The clerk (whom I suspect is the owner) appears to me to be of Indian or Pakistani descent. He shrugged and asked in an unperturbed manner if I wanted a fill-up. I assented, and he directed me to fill my tank and then return to pay him. The pump cheerfully filled my gas tank with no card insertion at all.

When I returned to the clerk (possibly owner), I mentioned my experience at station #2. He laughed merrily about slow and rapid card withdrawals.. My impression is that he is well-acquainted with the variable moods and temperaments of gas tank readers, and it would take a great deal to shock him in that regard.

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3 Responses to “More Adventures in Gasoline Pump Reader Alley”


  1. I’m really missing out down here in Oregon, unable to pump my own fuel. This post has made me feel like a vaguely creepy voyeur of gasoline. It’s so much easier to watch than to participate. Safer, too.

  2. pandemonic Says:

    This is too funny. I had a vision of you running into the street in “panic mode.” Oh, and the pump that was smoking a cigarette as you drove away. That was especially funny.

  3. modestypress Says:

    I suspect the laissez-faire owner does not even chastise his pumps for smoking around gasoline pumps.


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