16 June 2009

Gas Station Annoyance #1

I had an interesting morning stopping by the local gas station to run in and grab a quick drink on my way to work. I had it all planned out: pull into the parking lot, park near the door, jump out of the car, run into the store, grab my drink, go up to the register and pay, and then jump back in the car and pull out of the parking lot back onto the main road. It should have been simple enough, taking maybe three minutes.

Should have been.

Of course, somehow in the jumbled assortment of memories lodged in my brain, I forgot the countless other times I went to the gas station to grab a quick something, only to find myself forced to wait behind other people (usually very rude and inconsiderate people) in every step of (what should have been) the quick process.

Thanks to the general populace of people who patronize local gas stations, and lucky for you reader(s), I now present my:

Top Five (or Fewer) Gas Station Annoyances

1. Parking
    For some reason during all of the planning, blueprints, and construction of the actual physical location and layout of a gas station, the designers forget to include any parking at a gas station. With my limited understanding of the building construction process, it seems to me that somewhere along the line, within the flow of the many different hands and eyes through which the plans and building materials passed, someone would have stopped and said, "Hey: where are people going to park?" More likely, though, someone did stop and say, "Hey: we need to get this done by Tuesday."
    As a result, you are left with either parking next to a gas pump (whether or not you actually need any gas) or are forced to improvise a parking spot somewhere along the perimeter of the gas station. Even then you are very limited in where you can park within the concrete polygon filled with varying obstacles.
  • If you park between the gas pumps and the store, you stand the chance of blocking someone in or being blocked in yourself by someone else creating parking spots out of the ether.

  • If you try to park along the concrete barriers dividing the parking lot from the main road...well, you can't, because all along the perimeter are such things as a line of 30-foot towers made up of 150-lb bags of mulch or road salt (depending on the season); a beer/snack/cola/cigarette truck blocking both entrances as well as three gas pumps while the product delivery guy chats up the cute gas station clerk for an hour and a half; aluminum stands bearing signs proclaiming "Cigarettes at Rock-Bottom Prices!" and "Sign up for our Credit Card today and get 100 Points toward your next gas purchase!*" and "It's hot outside! Beat the heat with a treat from our Beverage Cavern!" (the last one still hanging around in the middle of the coldest blizzard). *Actual cash amount toward gas purchase is $0.000112 per point.

  • In the rare occasion that lines designated for parking actually exist somewhere on the gas station property, someone will have taken it upon themselves to make sure their vehicle is parked perpendicular to these lines or otherwise decides that, since they'll "only be in for a second," they can park angled across two or three lines with their engine running, music blaring, children honking the horn, and dog howling out the slightly open window--all of this while they are inside for half an hour trying to get the attention of the cute gas station clerk chatting it up with the cigarette delivery guy.

Tomorrow, look for "Gas Station Annoyance #2." Feel free to post some of your own annoyances apropos to this subject.

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