Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Strange behaviour at gas stations

Hey, guys!

A few days ago, I stopped by a Costco early in the morning, to fill up. It was 5:45AM, so that MAY have played a role in what I observed.

I pulled up, and there were a few people already there, filling up. It opens up at 5:30AM, by the way. I pulled up behind a full size van. I immediately noticed that the driver was NOT getting fuel. The filling nozzle was still in place, on the pump. In fact, both of his dutch doors were open, and he was actually in the back of the van, rearranging cargo and cleaning up. After about 1 minute of observing this, I quickly switched “lanes” and pulled up behind somebody who was actually getting fuel, not cleaning the inside of his vehicle.

When I finally got done filling up, I saw that the guy in the van was still in the back, rearranging cargo. I had a good view, and the whole time I was filling up, that guy at no point in time made a move to fill up. :confused:

Obviously, his behaviour was inconsiderate, probably even rude. I’m wondering if he figured it would somehow be okay, owing to the early time of day. Maybe he thought he would be the only one, and therefore not inconvenience anybody?

Had a station attendant been there, I would have seriously considered mentioning the whole incident to him. If nothing else, that guy in the van was literally “disrupting the flow of traffic” at the filling station, and possibly causing a minor danger. I bet I wasn’t the only one who pulled up behind him, only to have to change lanes. Just as I changed lanes, somebody pulled up from the street, and they almost ran into me, so there is a slight danger, as I said

Another time, at a 76 gas station in a questionable neighborhood, I saw something equally unacceptable, but of an entirely different nature. Inside the “mini store” where you buy soda, coffee, snacks, etc. and pay for the gas, there were ladies setting up “appointments” if you know what I mean. Not only that, but they and their “clients” were blocking access to the cashier’s booth. Rude AND illegal, as far as I know. What if a father and his young son were in line, waiting to pay, and the son asked the father what those two people were talking about . . . ? :fearful:

By the way, that silly window to the right of my new topic says “Your topic is similar to . . . Service Engine Soon and odd gas gauge behavior”

Those automatic suggestions and/or guidelines are pretty funny . . . just like the ones that say I’ve responded too many times, and I should give others a chance to chime in. My making numerous comments doesn’t prevent anybody else from also making comments :laughing:

I’ve encountered less than sterling behavior in gas stations, too. I was filling up in Santa Barbara down by the beach. A homeless man was panhandling and getting verbally abusive if you didn’t pay up. I told the clerk inside about it, but was on my way to catch a plane in LA, and didn’t have time to contact the police.

Perhaps the guy was looking for jumper cables or a starting battery. Poor guy probably would have appreciated some help.

1 Like

I find them aggravating.

Were I there, I might have said something… but I DO NOT recommend doing so for others. One never knows exactly how dangerous another individual actually is. I’m just a cranky old man with a low tolerance for inconsiderate people. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Trust me . . . he was cleaning up

Nothing more

Nothing less

He wasn’t looking for jumper cables

Totally inconsiderate

As a matter of fact, the van was IDLING

You were smart to say nothing… he might have been reloading!!!


you are right, in the sense that one NEVER knows what another driver is carrying in their vehicle, and you also don’t know if the other person is having a really terrible day

I just came back from the gym. I was riding the exercise bicycle and watching the news on the built-in screen.

A case of deadly road rage was mentioned. Apparently, a man shot a fellow motorist in the head, killing her instantly

Something like that could also happen at a filling station, I suppose

Got ripped off for gas in a similar situation, It was like my car cannot hold that many gallons, the guy was waiting for some idiot, like me to go into the store, while filling the tank, he pulled to the other side, took the hose, filled his tank, than politely put the nozzle back in my tank, Video was not clear enough to pursue legal action, so I was like fine you win, but the guy at the station said people park on the nearby street looking for just such an opportunity.
Do not leave pump unattened has multiple meanings,


Sadly, road rage violence is becoming more common every year.
There seem to be a myriad of reasons, including more traffic and long-term economic problems stressing people out, but whatever the reasons it’s getting more and more dangerous to confront anybody on the roads… including at the gas stations.

Last night I watched a 1-hour PBS special on the subject, and some of the video on the special was truly scary.

There was just an incident where some crook on foot grabbed a lady’s purse and she chased him down and ran over him with her SUV. He’s been charged with some serious charges, but so has she, including assault with a deadly weapon (her SUV). Fortunately, nobody other than the dirtbag crook was injured. It was in a parking lot, and thank God that nobody’s child was walking across the lot.

I must be paranoid as heck, because when I insert the filling nozzle, I never leave it out of my sight. I stay right there until it clicks off, then I hang it up

And even before I started filling up at Costco, when I filled up at 76, Shell, or whatever, I would actually LOCK my vehicle when walking into the mini-store for whatever reason.

All sorts of shady characters hanging around certain filling stations, especially if they’re in less than stellar neighborhoods.

At a few stations, there are people begging for money. I’ve observed a few of them getting picked up, enter a car, and a few days later I’d see them at a different station. And they’d get picked up by the same car, a NICE car at that. So they were in fact working for somebody else. Probably being ripped off by somebody else. Somebody had some kind of hold over them, apparently. I don’t even want to know the details

1 Like

These behaviors are not paranoia, they’re good sense. There are a whole lot of nefarious individuals out there. Better to be safe than sorry.

My neck of the woods is pretty safe, so I don’t bother to lock the car when I go into the station to get a paper or whatever, but when I’m in more populated areas I lock the doors. As a matter of fact, when I’m in urban areas like Boston, NJ, NYC, or other big cities, I keep the doors locked even while driving. Especially with the carjacking that goes on these days. There are people out there that will kill just to get your car.

If you wore a tin hat to prevent being kidnapped by space aliens you’d be paranoid. You’re being smart. The danger you fear is real.

1 Like

That has not been possible for many years, at least where I live. The “lock” (or latch) on the nozzle has been removed so you have to keep your hand on it to keep it flowing.

I never get anything like that, and I think that I probably respond as often as you do, so I’m guessing that my pop-up blocker is preventing me from getting those messages. Does anyone else have a different explanation?

But, to return to the original theme of this thread, what you observed is just one more manifestation of what my late father termed “our F-you society”. (That is the type of comment that you can get away with when you are in your 90s, as he was.) Or, as someone with whom I used to work termed selfish behaviors, “Hooray for me, and to hell with everyone else”.

The level of hostility–or just plain lack of consideration for others–nowadays is really distressing to me. Whether it is the marauding cyclists who refuse to yield to pedestrians on the walking paths in the state park, or the people who try to get in front of you in line for a cashier, the lack of courtesy nowadays is just appalling.

A few days ago, I made a purchase for $10 in a local convenience store, and I handed the clerk a $20 bill. He gave me $15 in change, and when I handed $5 back to him, I thought that he was going to faint from the shock.

Karma…it’s going to get everyone in the end, so I think it would be far better for Good Karma to follow you, rather than Bad Karma.

1 Like

My wife locks her car WHILE she’s filling up. Too many incidents of people opening the passenger door for a purse grab and dash at gas stations. That’s what the thief did when the lady ran him over.

I was witness to a car theft because the owner left the keys in and the engine running when he went into the store. Dumb, dumb, dumb. He just allowed a crime of convenience to occur.

I go to a convenience store each morning to purchase a newspaper. I always lock my truck when I get out to go inside the store. I do this to keep the horn from sounding :slight_smile:
Similar to the OP is the action of boaters at boat ramps. I could write a book about the inconsiderate slobs who tie up a boat ramp. The last time I said something to several people was because they were standing on the boat ramp fishing. Then there was the slob fishing from the boat ramp dock. I cut his line with my prop :slight_smile:

1 Like

One of my favorite bumper stickers. “Keep Honking. I’m Reloading”!

The road rage victim was an 18 year old girl who had just graduated High School and was enrolled in College. Very sad.

This one sickened me.
Now that they’ve caught this guy, if he’s convicted they should show a video of what he did on the prison monitors. I’m sure there are a few lifers there with teenage daughters. Perhaps one of them will serve the cause of justice.

1 Like

I’m always amazed (disturbed) at the people that leave their cars running while pumping gas. My probably not entirely wrong assumption is the person remaining in the car doesn’t want to be momentarily hot or cold while the engine is off. In addition to being dangerous overall, it seems like having the fuel door open while the engine is running would put some unnecessary strain on the fuel pump.

People have been doing it more and more often in recent years, seems like. Or maybe I’ve just started noticing it.

Not to be contrary but just to add some positives, I got gas at least 15 times in the last week in South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and who knows where else? I never ran into any errant behavior and even had a guy hold the door open for me and several saying excuse me.

1 Like