One Reason Why America Switched To Self-Serve

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I stopped to have gas put in my car last night. I pulled up to the pump and told the attendant that I wanted 10JD worth of gas (which was all I happened to have in my pocket at the time).

The next thing I know, the guy was putting the hose back into the pump and standing at my window waiting to be paid. As I handed him the 10JD, I glanced back at the pump and noticed that he had only put in 9JD. I waited for my change and he stood there with a blank look on his face, expecting to be "tipped" an entire JD.

After 10 long seconds, I asked him, "How much did you put in?" He responded, "Nine." So I said, "Well give me back a dinar, then," which he begrudgingly did.

Gas station attendants in Amman are beginning to get out of hand. Either they put in just under what you ask them to in hopes that the extra spare piasters will go into their pockets as tips, or "accidently" put in just a bit over for the same reason. If you tell them to fill up the tank, they'll put in 20.350JD rather than an even 20.

But my idiot put in 9 when I asked for 10. I figured that if you can't count, you sure don't deserve a tip, much less an entire JD.


Blogger manal yusuf said...

this is the first time i hear such thing happens at a gas station,"waiting for a tip"

but i've been robbed so many times there, once one tried to rob me 5 Jds by acting stupid

10/25/2007 8:43 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Manal, he was just waiting to see if I demanded my dinar back.

10/25/2007 8:53 AM  
Anonymous kinzi said...

The gas station at Finney's Car Wash on upper Wadi Saqra did this to me, too. I asked for 20, he put in 18. I asked for change, he acted dumb. I asked for the manager while cars are piled up behind me, honking, and the manager refused to give me change! I did not do a very good job turning the other cheek. I only go to stations that have proven to be honest now.

There is a phone number you can report such antics, it was posted at the station in UmUthaina/Rabia. I tried to report Finney's, but no one picked up. :(

10/25/2007 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

This has happened to me CONSTANTLY over the past few months. Usually it's about half a JD, and they claim they don't have the change on them. I need to start being patient and demanding they go find the change while other cars wait, or they'll keep this up. My problem is, I'm usually buying gas when I'm in a rush to get somewhere...

10/25/2007 12:29 PM  
Blogger joladies said...

I go to the gas station at the bottom of Mecca St junction with Wadi Saqra as at the unleaded pump they have to punch in the amount asked for, so it is automatic. Had a huge fight once on the airport rd coming into Amman (the blue one) where they tried to fool me into accepting JD 20 worth of fuel when it was only 18. I always park so I can see the figures on the pump. Then the men peel off the change one note at a time hoping you will say thanks and drive off before you have got the right amount back. T

10/25/2007 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Imad said...

LOL..This is funny :) This is something I noticed last time I was in Amman. Everybody expects a friggin tip. I went to eat at I think it was reem El Bawadi and right off the bat some dude grabbed my car and offered to park it for me (10 feet away). Inside the resturant, I was told I had to tip the "Bread lady" then when I went to the bathroom and washed my hands I coudln't find the paper toowels and the dispenser was empty but as soon as I turned around there was some guy holding a stack of towels and of course I had to tip him in order to dry my hands. During dinner, we had to tip the Argyleh guy (more than once) in order to have fresh coals and finally the waiters ( on top of the 10% mandatory sevice fee). finally when we left and was about to ride in my car (after tipping the parking guy) some dude started wiping my car windows with his towels, which pissed me off, since he smudged my clean windows and expected a tip...I told him to get lost.

10/25/2007 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Kal said...

as more and more people fall into poverty, expect such behavior to increase. crimes too.

10/25/2007 5:15 PM  
Anonymous Bilal - Black Jack said...

I agree with kal. what do u expect from people when inflation in Jordan far more exceeds that of 'average' living standards.

prices are going up and living standards are still somehow the same. expect more in the future.

dave, by the way, not all of america switched to self serve. some counties in Washington state and Oregon for example -by law- do not allow self serve for safety reasons. but ofcourse no tipping is involved.

I think gas stations in jordan should be monitored and organized. A relative of mine tried once to launch a self serve (modern) gas pump in abdoun, with a huge initial investment, but the city council refused and rejected the business plan. sigh.

commenting on the 'tipping': while I understand tipping a gas pump attendant is a foolish thing, still Jordanians are not accustomed to tipping as a culture, especially at restaurants and hotels. gratuity is always appreciated especially if someone else is doing your job for you.

10/25/2007 7:13 PM  
Anonymous Shaden said...

lol he figured an American wouldn't notice, and if he did, wouldn't know how much is a 1JD worth.

Not that they wouldn't do that to Jordanians, because they do.

10/25/2007 9:54 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Kinzi, that reporting phone number is just a ploy by companies to create the illusion of caring. It's kind of like the "How's my driving?" bumper stickers. I don't think anyone follows up on it.

Imad, whenever I go to someplace with valet parking, I generally try to park the car myself, even if I have to walk a bit of a distance. I don't need to pay some fool a JD to park my car when I can do the job myself. Besides, I drive a Mitsubishi, not a Rolls Royce.

Bilal, don't forget New Jersey. You're right, some states are switching back to full service for a number of reasons, but the conditions of the employees are highly regulated. If some guy cheats you, he would be out on his can the next day.

10/26/2007 7:14 AM  

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