Another Example Where I Should Have Chosen Time Over Money

Yesterday after returning a few unwanted Christmas gifts to the store I bundled the baby in the back seat and drove to the gas station for a quick fill. Once we’re dressed and loaded into the car I tend to get the most bang for my buck by completing as many errands as possible.

It was really cold outside, (I think the weather man said it felt like 9 degrees), and there was a sharp wind that cut right through my coat. I hopped out of the car, entered my Giant rewards number at the pump, clicked a bunch more buttons, entered my zip code, pulled the nozzle out, selected a grade and planned to jump into the car to warm back up.  As soon as I pressed the handle to pump gas the pump beeped and told me my transaction was cancelled. Argh!

I locked the baby in the car and walked up to the external cashier window. (My car was only two or three feet away from the pump.) He asked me to try my transaction again. Double argh! I entered my Giant card number, etc, etc, etc. I stepped all the way through the process again and just as I pressed the nozzle to dispense gas the transaction was cancelled again. Triple argh!

I walked back up to the cashier. This time he told me they were having problems with that particular pump and asked that I back up and try a different one. I put the car in reverse, moved to the new pump, ran through all the steps again and wouldn’t you know it my transaction was cancelled for the third time.

I was frustrated, annoyed and to be honest quite furious. I decided to drive to another Shell station because my Giant rewards were set to expire in another day or two. Five minutes later I arrived at the next closest station entered my Giant number, followed all of the same steps and pumped gas without a single problem.

I saved 90 cents a gallon or roughly $13.00, but I spent nearly 30 minutes doing so. I wasted time driving to a gas station where the pumps didn’t work. I wasted time attempting to pump gas three times. I wasted time asking the cashier to help me and I wasted even more time driving to another gas station when the first one didn’t work. I think this is one of those examples where I should have chosen time over money. $13.00 is a decent chunk of change, but the whole sequence of events was terribly aggravating.

What do you think? Would you have tried to pump gas three times in the freezing cold and then driven to another gas station to save $13.00?

7 thoughts on “Another Example Where I Should Have Chosen Time Over Money”

  1. I don’t think you could have avoided this. It just seems like a case of bad luck. Obviously if something doesn’t work the first time, you try again, so you probably would have tried it two times anyway. And then it makes sense that another pump wouldn’t do the same error, so of course I would have tried a different pump. And logically, I would have asked the cashier to help if I was having problems. My first thought would not have been to drive to another gas station simply because it cancelled my transaction once. Like i said, i don’t think you did anything wrong in this case…just an example of bad luck

  2. Would you have tried to pump gas three times in the freezing cold? Yes.

    And then driven to another gas station to save $13.00? If I didn’t need gas and was only there to use the rewards and it really was freezing cold, I would have left and went home then tried to again the next day.

  3. If someone paid me $13 to do what you did then no I wouldn’t lol. But these things are hard to predict, like you couldn’t have known which pumps were working or not.

  4. I agree with other commenters that you didn’t do anything wrong. You went to one gas station, probably the most convenient. It didn’t work which you couldn’t have known. So then you were forced to go to another gas station. Not a big deal at all. Just an annoyance.

  5. Thank you for all the comments. I definitely feel better about standing out in the cold wasting time. S.B. – you are correct I suppose I should think about things a little differently. It’s time to think more positively about situations like this one.

  6. I don’t know, 13 for 30 mins is $26/hr. That’s well above minimum wage and even the median GDP. I think you still made out okay.


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