The other night, I pulled up to a gas station, rolled down my window, turned off my car, and popped open my gas tank.
Nobody came to help me.
I leaned out the window and looked behind me to see a kid doing something on his cell phone with his back to me. He was within the warm confines of that little booth where the gas-pumpers sit when there are no cars to be fueled.
Notice that I said, when there are NO cars.
I had driven directly by him, so he undoubtedly knew that I was there.
I scowled at him through my side mirror. What the hell, kid? Do your fucking job!
As if he could feel my pointed rage, he ever-so-quickly peeked over his shoulder — to see if I was still there, I suppose. Then he put his hand to the door, as if to signal “Here I come. Just… gotta… finish… this… text… message…… hang ….. on…..”
One of the attendants from the other side of the gas station came over, and very politely asked what he could do for me.
“Fill with regular,” I said as I handed him my credit card.
“Fill with regular,” he repeated.
He inserted my card into the machine, put the nozzle into my car, and began pumping. All this while I glared at the other little shithead who was still playing with his phone.
I was livid.
While the gas was being pumped into my car, I had various thoughts of the many injustices of this world. This world, filled with lazy, egocentric know-nothings who get carried along by their hardworking and selfless rivals.
I thought about the jobs that I have had in the service industry, when I would lend a helping hand to busy coworkers during my downtime — a kindness which was rarely reciprocated when the tables were turned.
I thought back to group projects in middle and high school, when the workload would be delegated equally amongst the group. Yet, inevitably, all of it would somehow become appointed to me.
All of these thoughts raced through my head as my rage swelled.
And then I tweeted this:
I’m not sure why, but it typically makes me feel better to proclaim my rage at minor inconveniences on Facebook and Twitter, even though my typical response is “Nobody gives a shit,” when someone else does it.
“Here you go, sir.”
I was jolted out of my daydreams with the presentation of my receipt.
I took it. Then, “hold on, buddy.”
I wanted to reward this kid for having to do extra work. I leafed through my wallet to try to find a couple dollars, but could only find one single.
“Here you go,” I said, handing him the dollar, and feeling like a truly munificent humanitarian.
“Thanks, man! I appreciate it,” he said, sounding both surprised and grateful.
I started my car and started to drive, feeling good for spreading justice in the form of a crisp one-dollar bill.
However, as I made a U-turn through the parking lot, I saw my attendant go back into his warm box, illuminating it once again with the glow of his cell phone.
My mouth dropped as I realized my folly.
I had given the tip to the lazy kid!
In my daydreaming and Twitter-complaining, I hadn’t realized that the little shithead had finally manned his post, managing to trade places with the one who was picking up his slack. It was a world-class switcharoo that would impress even Penn & Teller.
I felt completely used.
Kevin Doeshisjob (as I like to call him) was simply doing what he gets paid to do, but Shane Lazypunk had neglected his responsibilities to such a high degree that Kevin Doeshisjob was elevated to an extraordinarily high level of workplace competency. Kevin Doeshisjob didn’t necessarily deserve a tip, but my hatred for Shane Lazypunk was so colossal that I made the effort to go for my wallet. And my immense madness made me blind to what I was doing.
It is like when Anakin goes to the Dark Side to save Natalie Portman, but doing so is what kills her.*
*Yea, that’s right. I hit you with a Star Wars reference. Sorry. It was Star Wars or Oedipus.
In all actuality, a self-fulfilling prophecy is not to blame for Shane Lazypunk’s undeserved one dollar haul. It is my own fault.
I deemed it necessary to burden all of my Twitter followers with the fact that I was annoyed by a thirty second delay. It is the kind of inconvenience that I am sure everyone goes through daily. Is it really important that I put it out there into the universe?
My followers were probably just as annoyed with me for my pointless update as I was with him for whatever the hell he was doing on his phone.