Normally when I experience bad service it makes me laugh because of the irony of it all. Companies spend millions of dollars promoting and advertising as to why customers should do business with them, only to have some half-wit undo their investment by making clients angry.
Case in point today. I stopped at the Lower Mission Shell station, to fill up my truck. Just as I started my phone rang and I answered it. An old lady came out of the building and across the parking lot waging her thumb and finger around her ear signaling phone and yelling I can’t use a cell phone at the pumps. I looked at the pump and saw no sign but decided to comply and quit pumping. I walked over to the sidewalk to finish the call but she was not satisfied.
The old lady walked over to the next pump and pushed the intercom and asked the attendant inside to cut my pump off. I started laughing and the fellow in the other end of the call asked what was so funny and I told him this snarky old lady was giving me a rude and bad time about the use of my iPhone. She obviously overheard my comment and spun around then grabbing her jacket she tore it open like she was the queen of Bourbon street during the New Orleans Mardi Gras. Unfortunately, it only exposed a Shell shirt as old and worn as herself so I smiled and waved as she pointed to her shirt and hollered she was the manager.
I ended the call and got back in my truck with only $30 worth of gas but decided I would buy it somewhere else, after all gas at all the stations is the same price and comes from the same refineries, so why put up with this Gas Nazi.
As I drove away I thought, I buy more fuel per month that this person makes but she has just drove a customer away from her place of employment. Maybe she was not the manager, maybe she was even a special needs person just working there, but if so why would the man inside follow her direction?
I couldn’t let it go so. I thought customer service like this hurts us all as we all profit from the tourist industry so when someone acts like this it leaves all visitors with the wrong impression of our city. So, I decided I should investigate it further as I was sure she was wrong. A quick google turned up numerous sites claiming cellphones igniting gas stations to be nothing more than a myth or urban legend.
On the CANADA SAFETY COUNCIL web site, I found the following:
“Dr. A. Burgess studied all formal reports on gas station fires in great detail. He established the fact that there has not been a single confirmed incident where a cell phone has ignited gasoline vapors. There is now official acknowledgement of a lack of any evidence that a spark caused by a cell phone would ignite gasoline vapours.
Use of cellular phones at gas stations will not ignite a fire or cause an explosion.”
I don’t plan to go back to this station but if you do perhaps you should share this blog and tell the manager that this employee is not only losing him business she is giving all Kelowna a bad name when it comes to customer service.