Saturday, 28 April 2012

Fuel Blues

A sad sign of the times, I’m afraid. I came across this sign in a BP station this afternoon.

I used to work for ESSO about 20 years ago and this sort of thing used to crop up from time to time. Usually after someone on a motorcycle had filled up and then rode off without paying. 

Afterwards, a sign would go up. This particular one concerns folk who don't get off their bikes, usually riders of sports bikes which don't have a centre-stand but who still want to fill up to the top of their tank, which is easier done astride their bikes. Sometimes it asked all motorcyclists to pay before filling up. The message is the same: "We don't trust you not to steal our fuel".

I used to argue that such treatment was inherently unfair. No one would dare suggest doing anything similar to owners of white vans or Ford cars, both of whom could steal significantly more fuel under similar circumstances, but I was always told to shut up and do as head office ordered.

For anyone annoyed by this sort of heavy-handed treatment , I would point out that any shortages were always deducted from the wages of the poor sap sat behind the counter, someone who was usually on the minimum wage and could least afford to be so penalised.

If you have a problem, can I please ask that you don’t take it out on the staff. They are only doing as they’re told. If they give you the benefit of the doubt and some scumbag does a runner, they take home less money. Why would they risk it?

If you don’t like it, don't make a fuss just go elsewhere. That’s what I used to do, and I actually used to work for one of the companies concerned.

1 comment:

  1. I think the 'get off your bike' rule was brought in due to our old friends 'Health and Safety'. I read a story somewhere of a Harley rider who came into a petrol station and filled up whilst sitting astride his bike. He lost his balance, and fell over spilling petrol all over the forecourt. Whether the story's true or not isn't important, but the fuel companies and their insurers probably heard it and imposed the rule.
    When I was young, the only 24 hour petrol station near me wouldn't serve motorcyclists after 10 pm (no reason given), and I was once refused service in a Gulf petrol station because 'you motorcyclists don't buy enough'??? This was at the time Gulf sponsored Norton's race team, presumably to encourage riders to buy their products. Weird people!