Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When the Phrase 'Pain At the Pump' Has a Totally Different Meaning

On my final half day in San Diego, I decided I would gas up the rental car before we got near the airport because I know any gas station right by the airport will have their prices jacked up higher than all the others. So I pulled into a station just a few blocks from our hotel, inserted my credit card and began to pump gas. About ten seconds later the trigger lock that holds the trigger up so I don't have to clicked off. I figured I hadn't gotten it all the way engaged and tried again only to have it click off after ten seconds. So I held the trigger with my hand only to have the same thing happen yet again.

Somewhere around this time I started paying attention to the digital readout when I noticed something even more startling. Whenever I squeezed the trigger, the gallons display kicked over .001th of a gallon about every half second. This seems pretty fast in text but calculating that out, it would take me approximately 2.8 hours to put 10 gallons of gas in the rental car.

So leaving the nozzle in tank, I walked up to the cashier settled snuggly behind her iron bars and bullet proof glass and told her something was wrong with pump four. She looked puzzled so I went on to explain that it was only dispensing gas at a mere trickle. That registered with her because she then informed me that the power had went out the night before and the computers were down. I'm not sure how that affects how fast the fuel dispenses but I accepted it and started walking back to the car.

There was a full size cargo van that had been at the pumps when I arrived and as I walked past, the guy having overhead my conversation informed me that he had been here already for twenty minutes. I chuckled, paid for the 0.3 gallons of fuel I had managed to get into the car at this point and drove away. I wasn't being paid hourly as the cargo van guy obviously was and went down the street to the next station where things worked much better.

5 comments:

R. Sherman said...

I've had that happen to me. A mechanic I know told me it happens if there's an air leak somewhere in the line which cause the pumps not to work properly. I've no idea if that's true as hydraulics is not my forte.

BTW, how much was gas in San Diego?

Cheers.

Ed said...

R. Sherman - I think I paid around $4.15 or so a month ago when I was there.

sage said...

That's okay--when there is another gas station--I remember once on the back side of Death Valley there was a gas station out of gas, the next station had no electricity and I was praying hard that things were normal at the next town... But good move to go to the next station and shame on them (the station) for not alerting you to the problem

Eutychus2 said...

I'm surprised the station hadn't put some signs out alerting you to the computer complications; but then that might mean coming out from behind the bars?!

PhilippinesPhil said...

chuckle...