the green cat’s meow

Asheville Gas Crisis Update: A day in the life

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Here at SensibleKitty we have a unique perspective on this situation. My roommate, Sam, actually works at a gas station. She has been passing along tidbits of information for a couple days. Today, she was lucky enough to be in the middle of the craziness for 11 hours. Her hour-by-hour recap is listed below. We’re working on a video of her experience, too. You can expect that sometime on Thursday. For now, here’s the play by play of a gas station worker during the Asheville Gas Crisis. (Thanks Sam!)

She adds that she doesn’t get more than an hours warning that gas is on the way, so when you ask her if she knows when there will be gas and she says she doesn’t know. She really doesn’t know. Also – Sam’s a real person, who wants you to get the gas you need and has nothing to do with the shortage, so lets remember to play nice.


So, I had some big plans today. Namely 1) Driving around to look for gas because my tank is empty (gas light on and all!), 2) Working on my thesis and Ed Psych homework and stuff. All before I was supposed to work tonight at Gas Station X from 5-10 pm. WELL. How did this turn out? Let’s look at the time schedule for my day:
8:30 am: Wake to the theme from Mission Impossible. Roll over, and answer phone. It’s Gas Station X. My boss wants to know how quickly I can get there because we are expecting a gas truck.
9:00 am: Arrive at Gas Station X. Meet the morning attendant for the first time. Him: “You’re Sam? I was expecting a tall skinny girl.”
9:40 am: People being arriving. I am just about to go out to tell them we have no idea when the truck is getting here, when
9:45 am: Gas truck arrives with 9,000 gallons of gas. I begin directing traffic.
10:15 am: We are clear to begin pumping. Parking lot is FULL.
12 noon: I get a free soda!
12:01 pm: We have roughly 150 cars in the parking lot (with about 12 people in line per pump). By the time people get to me at the entrance to the parking lot, they have roughly a 40 minute wait (but there was a line to get into the parking lot that stretched who knows how far)
1:30 pm: People begin commenting on how red my face is
1:32 pm: I face the fact that I am incredibly, incredibly sunburned.
2:15 pm: We have less than 1,000 gallons of gas left to sell. We tell the people in line that they are the last people to pump and do not allow anyone else to get in line. This goes rooooooughly as smoothly as you might expect. Which is to day, I get cursed out A LOT.
2:30 pm: The last people finish pumping. We hang up lots of signs and ropes and put bags on all of the pumps
2:31 pm: Btw, I still haven’t filled my tank (because LOL, like I could take a 90-minute break to wait in line. LOLOLOL). Corporate people who have been here all day to help up get the call that there is a gas truck going to Gas Station Z , so they all leave for there.
3:00 pm: Finish closing down parking lot. Boss says: “All of the attendants here [three of us] need to stay to deal with any problems.” Me: o_O
3:01 pm: I give the sob story to my boss that I have been directing traffic ALL morning despite the fact that I desperately need it myself. And I can’t get gas later because I’m scheduled to begin my shift at 5!!! Boss sighs, but says okay.
3:15 pm: Leave Gas Station X
3:30 pm: Arrive Gas Station Z. Get in line for gas
4:45 pm: Get to the front of the line at Gas Station Z and I fill up 12-gallon tank for $50
5:00 pm: Arrive back at Gas Station X to begin my regular shift. The other person on the evening shift arrives for the day. He complains about how <i>tired</i> he is. He calls the only other Gas station X employee who didn’t work today and asks if she’d be willing to give up her day off to take his shift. She mopes, but says yes.
5:15 pm: Hang out with girl whose day off it is. We do a number of odd jobs around the station (changing receipt tape, clearing trash cans, etc) and hang out and chat. LOTS of people come to ask us when we’re going to get gas. WE DON’T KNOW!!!!!!!!!!
8:00 pm: Girl whose day off it is decides to go home. LEAVING ME ALONE IN THE STATION FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. My sunburn hurts. I eat an apple.
9:45 pm: It is time for me to close the station for the night. I try to call fellow employees to make sure I’m doing it right (because I’ve never done it without help!), but no one picks up their phone.
10:00 pm: I close the station for the night. I desperately hope I did it right.
10:15 pm: I arrive home. Long, deep sigh.
I worked today for ELEVEN HOURS. Most of them on my feet in the parking lot directing traffic and getting sunburned. Granted, it was actually kind of fun directing traffic. Until I had to cut people off, most everyone I talked to was really nice. But still. PHEW.
Gaaaaaaas crisis!!

One Response

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  1. Great Blog post. I am going to bookmark and read more often. I love the Blog template if you need any assistance customizing it let me know!

    Josh Maxwell

    September 25, 2008 at 4:00 am

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