The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Random Acts of (Un)kindness

Posted by The Futility Monster on August 4, 2009 @ 17:03

Just another day at the office...

Just another day at the office...

This morning I reached the end of the road for my short lived stint working in a petrol station. It caused me to reflect gravely on the state of the benefits system and society in general on my previous musings…

But now it has made me wonder just what has happened to the honest, decent people in life. Or maybe they never really existed?

In my time, I don’t think I met a single taxi driver who wasn’t on the fiddle. If it wasn’t not bothering with receipts, it was asking for receipts so they could write their own. Or, a classic trick, filling up one little amount, getting the receipt for that, and then filling up again with a much larger volume and pretending it had been “a quiet night”.

Too many taxi drivers on the road, they moan. But they still carry on doing it. I wonder why.

Meanwhile, the average Joe and Joette frequently went over on their fuel purchases. Not by much. 1p here, 2p there. It made me wonder how much of it was accident and how much was deliberate. But, in almost every case, they refused to pay the odd, or claimed they didn’t have it. And what could I do about it? These things added up, and would invariably cause a till to be £1 or £2 down by the end of the shift. That came out of my back pocket.

Then there was the unbelievable amount of theft, not just of fuel, but within the shop. People would rob you blind in front of your very eyes and then deny it. Once I had someone swipe a Magic Tree from a stand right in front of me. He did it as quick as a flash in the time it took for me to look down at the till to put the money away and get the change. And then had the brass neck to deny it.

Meanwhile, there was a boss who constantly stole wages from his employees, alleging they were “cash losses”. More likely it’s gone into his back pocket, as, apart from once, I never had an unexplained cash imbalance at the end of a shift. But he takes the illegal deductions anyway. We’ll see what an employment solicitor has to say about that.

In addition to that, the number of VAT fiddles and dodges was obscene. So was selling out of date stock. Not to mention the astronomical prices of everything anyway. And as for any extra pay on bank holidays? Forget it.

But on top of the lot was the behaviour of the customers. I always tried to be polite and say please and thank you but never got much in return. If ever there was even the slightest of delay it would cause immense aggression and made the customer think you owe them a favour because they’re the one sitting with your petrol in their tank, and I should be eternally grateful that they were actually prepared to pay for it.

Occasionally I’d get the odd customer who was very kind-hearted. And, for some odd reason, it would restore my faith in humanity.

Yet, it’s only with hindsight that I realise that that is completely wrong. Because, on the whole, these random acts of kindness were the only glimmers of what nice people were like. They were not reflective of humanity. The true representation of it can be summed up as impatient, narky, sarcastic, cynical and uptight.

Perhaps it was ever thus.

But in any case, it’s all a reflection of the sad world we live in now.

Small wonder it’s possible to die and no one notices for five years


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