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Things Petrol Station Staff Can’t Do:

November 2nd, 2008 by skippy

Submitted by someone who wishes to remain both nameless and employed)

1. Not allowed to swear at customers

2. Not allowed to swear in front of customers

3. If a customer is walking away, viagra 40mg it still counts

4. Not allowed to eat in front of customers

5. Not allowed to go on cigarette breaks too often

6. Non-smokers are not allowed frequent breaks to do any of the following: drink alcohol, eat candy, drink coffee, read pornography, kill time, or take any kind of drugs

7. When greeting customers, “How may I help?” is preferred to “Oh gods, another one! Why can’t you people just leave me alone?”

8. Especially when the manager is in the queue

9. Not allowed to switch the broadcast system to a station belonging to a rival company

10. Even if they have better music and it’s funny to watch the confused look on customers faces when adverts for someone else’s products come on

11. The broadcast system can’t be used to play CDs, and if it could, we wouldn’t play pirate metal, rock-grass, Pink Floyd or anything that might cause local Christians to boycott the store

12. Saying “Arrrr!” in every conversation is not a good enough justification for pirate metal

13. If it was written by Steven Lynch, I should assume it will never ever be played in store

14. Can’t refuse to authorise the pumps just because a customer has a crappy car

15. Can’t refuse to authorise the pumps for religious reasons

16. Can’t refuse to authorise the pumps because a coworker is on their cigarette break (even though you shouldn’t mix fire and petroleum)

17. Selling fuel which damages the environment does not necessarily make us the “bad guys”

18. Being the “bad guys” doesn’t mean I need a black moustache and an evil laugh

19. Saying the service charge on plastic bags goes towards the staff booze fund doesn’t make it true

20. You can’t commune with any god by resting your head against the microwave

21. The Jack Daniels bottle behind the counter is not “my baby”

22. Nobody I work with has any mafia ties

23. Nobody I work with is protected by the Dark Throne

24. The night shift are not goblins

25. Not allowed to suggest any form of punishment after the night shift’s latest blunder

26. Not allowed to suggest any form of medication to my superiors

27. Not allowed to flirt with customers I find attractive

28. Not allowed to flirt with customers I find moderately attractive

29. Not allowed to flirt with customers, full stop

30. The hot daughter/sister/friend of the person I’m serving still counts as a customer

31. Not allowed to flirt with staff either

32. Not allowed to use innuendos and double meanings on anyone over fifty. (I was bored, and they don’t really listen anyway.)

33. I can’t spend my time on the cash register looking for a specific toy in the Kinder Surprise

34. Secret shoppers are not “the Spanish Inquisition” even if we don’t expect them

35. Staff discount has a maximum limit

36. Staff discount does not apply to fuel, alcohol, or to people who aren’t actually staff

37. Any movie with a title along the lines of “Killer …… From ……” does not need to be discussed, quoted or re-enacted while working

38. Employees should not quote from any of the following: Frankenstein, The Shining, Any of the Hannibal Lecter films, Any of the Alien films, Star Wars, Star Trek, or Starcraft

39. The drop chute that leads to the safe is not the magic Wizards’ cave

40. Calling in sick after the manager saw you at a bar dancing on a table with a tequila bottle in each hand will earn you a disciplinary hearing

41. “I like chilli” Is not an appropriate response to a customer complaint (even if it was about chilli)

42. Wearing someone else’s nametag doesn’t mean it wasn’t my fault

43. “I’m incompetent” is not and never will be an appropriate response to a customer complaint

44. “Everybody does it” is not a valid excuse

45. “Playing the race card” is not something we do when dealing with an irate customer

46. “Customer service” means being polite and helpful to customers and not mentioning any of their (many) failings

47. If I get put on the early shift, I’m not allowed to scream as I walk past the manager’s house at five in the morning on my way to work

48. Especially if it turns out they don’t live there

49. The automatic lock-in system is not to be used on shoplifters

50. Staff are not allowed to show up to work drunk

51. Even if that member of staff is the youngest one there and the others have all set a bad example

52. Singing off-colour songs while stacking shelves is frowned upon

53. Even if key words are replaced with the names of our products

54. If songs are out, it should be assumed that interpretive dance is too

55. When stacking shelves, I should not say “who buys this shit anyway?”

56. I can’t change company policy

57. Obscene nicknames do not need to be used at work

58. The bell used to call for assistance does not invoke a “Pavlovian response” and nobody should drool when they hear it

59. Malfunctioning equipment is not an incitement to panic

60. Falling asleep in cupboards is bad – doubly so if waiting customers can see you

61. A lunch break is the amount of time we are allowed by the company for lunch, not the amount of time it actually takes to eat it

62. “He’s locked in the freezer” is not to be used to explain why staff are not at the cash register

63. Not allowed to lock staff in the freezer

64. Not allowed to give customers large amounts of change in pennies

65. Not allowed to make customers wait while refilling the register with larger denominations of change

66. (related to the above) Not allowed to point out that the last two things I was told contradict each other

67. A police helicopter hovering over the station is not an incitement to panic

68. A police officer requesting to see the station CCTV tapes is not an incitement to panic

69. Nobody wants to hear what medication the doctor put me on this week

70. Puppies are not allowed inside the station

71. We are not allowed to hold a competition to see who can serve the ugliest customer

72. We are not allowed to win said competition by serving the manager

73. We are not allowed to discuss how stupid/ugly/drunk/incompetent our coworkers are in front of customers

74. We are not allowed to voice opinions which conflict with company views or belittle the company while serving customers

75. Cool people, bikers and family members do not have right of way at the pumps

76. If a customer stands at a register that isn’t mine, I should still serve them

77. The Tannoy system is not a toy

78. I don’t have seniority over anyone

79. Meeting a famous person doesn’t automatically grant seniority

80. Growing a beard doesn’t automatically grant seniority

81. No one working at our station has a title, and if they did, it wouldn’t automatically grant seniority

82. Co workers who come from another station are not “temps” and I don’t have seniority over them, either

83. None of the coffee machines are trying to kill me

84. Mixing coffee with disinfectant – even accidentally – is wrong

85. Getting cocktail recommendations from customers is not an efficient use of company time

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29 Responses to “Things Petrol Station Staff Can’t Do:”

  1. Andrew Says:

    Yay! Me first!

    Add another: We do not pump gas for the attractive women and tell the unatractive women they aren’t pretty enough to get a full service when asked.


  2. Christian Lafay Says:

    I loved ALL of those. Reminds me of alot of times at my gas station. And rather than send Skippy another gas station list I will instead just post it in the comments to join yours, my fellow clerk.

    01.Do not tell Vietnam Vets that the Asian manager’s name is Charlie when it’s Charles.

    02.Leave all sports equipment at home.

    03.There is no such thing as a Feed A Clerk Foundation.

    04.The same goes for the Adopt A Clerk Foundation.

    05.Do not attempt to bring back the barter system.

    06.Do not use company property to watch/burn movies.

    07.Do not use the company e-mail server to educate the masses on the wonders of communism.

    08.Solipsism isn’t real so I shouldn’t refer to customers as self destructive figments of my imagination.

    09.Stop ringing up non-existent customers in an attempt to prove solipsism.

    10.Do not sing negro spirituals while preforming such task as mopping the floor.

    11.Stop laughing at when the manager says “I have an idea”.

    12.I am not “pimped” out to other stores when they need help so my area manager is not a “Madame”.

    13.A uniform shirt with no sleeves and bullet holes no longer counts as a company approved shirt

    14.For the love of God please stop staring into the scanner.

    15.When you need more dimes do not yell across the store “My boss, gonna need that dime bag ya brought!”

    16.Do not put Charles Manson’s picture on the Employee of the Month board.

    17.The award stating how many days since a fatality needs to be removed.

    18.Convincing customers that they should get bottles of beer in case a fight breaks out instead of cans is not good salesmanship.

    19.I am not Captain Ahab and the rat at the store is not Mousey Dick.

    20.I am to stop making weird sounds and growling noises while in the cooler.

    21.Do not pretend to scan a banana in front of a customer to have them question what makes it scan that they could be eating and not know it. (Why does a scanable banana scare people?)

    22.Quit paying customers to eat things.

    23.Gas and other items left by customers who forgot they paid for them are not spoils of war.

    24.Just because I can throw things where the belong from behind the counter doesn’t mean I should.

    25.Stop telling customers I admire the shape of their head.

    26.It’s much easier, and much less odd, to write signs and notices then to cut out letters and words form the newspaper.
    27.Do not use animal training meathods when training clerks. This includes hitting with paper, spraying with water, and giving treats.


  3. Billy Says:

    Since we are able to leave lists here as well, I have one too

    1. Not allowed to burn the truck
    2. Or the back room
    3. Or the truck
    4. Not allowed to burn anything
    5. The camping section is not for plotting explosions
    6. Not allowed to play music on speakers with swearing
    7. Not allowed to play mario music on speakers
    8. Not allowed to play music on speakers
    9. Not allowed to sing songs with swearing
    10. Probably shouldn’t sing songs like “Slaughter your world” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcbazH6aE2g
    11. Or the song “Ex lover’s lover,”
    12. Or the song “re: your brains”
    13. Not allowed to plan for when monsters attack us
    14. Or when zombies attack
    15. Nobody has seen any zombies, so the world hasn’t ended yet
    16. For the last time, stop threatening to burn the store down
    17. The store isn’t haunted yet and nobody has died here yet
    18. Not allowed to use my box cutter to imitate Sweeney Todd


  4. CCO Says:

    1. No selling cigarettes out the back door to your friends; it’s stealing; and it makes the rest of us have to count cigarettes every shift. (Not me!)

    2. Read the list of the people who we don’t take checks from; it makes you look dumb if you don’t and they’re on it; it makes you stupid if you do it twice. (My bad!)

    3. Customers will be irate if you add an extra digit to their credit card purchase when you double strike a number. Come on — who can put $77 dollars worth of gas in their car!

    4. Photograph flashers with the supplied camera.

    { I always thought that it was cool when people asked if it’s bullet proof glass, to point to the small chip made when someone tried and failed to shoot his wife.}


  5. SpaZzy Says:

    Here’s a psuedolist of things CUSTOMERS shouldn’t do in the store.

    1) Do not go into the hunting rifle section and ask the worker there if he knows where they put the anti-depressants.
    2) Even if you’re going to pay for it, you’re not allowed to eat the Family Sized bag of Doritos
    3) Don’t attempt to leave your grandmother in the child daycare centre.
    4) The office chairs are NOT the same as wheel-chairs.
    5) Not allowed to put condoms in the meat aisle with a post it note saying ‘Just in case.’
    6) Never try to reenact Paul Revere by screaming down the main aisle, “THE FOREIGNERS ARE COMING!” After you’ve spotted a group of mexicans (I didn’t do that one, but I saw it).
    7) Think before you speak.
    8) When asking “Does this make my ass look big?” to a large clerk is NOT a good idea.
    9) The electronics department doesn’t appreciate it when I know more about their stock than they do.
    10) Especially when I’m filling out an application.
    11) I’m not allowed to bribe workers to help me with my secret plot.
    12) Not allowed to switch price tags if I don’t work there.
    13) (Four months later) Not allowed to switch price tags even if I DO work there.

    That’s all, folks!



  6. Speed Says:

    I too have a collection of cheap name tags and clip-on ties from some major corporations.

    #24, #34 – having been both, I’d be honored to be a goblin or a member of the Spanish Inquisition. Perhaps both at the same time… Yeah…


  7. Anonymous and STILL Employed Says:

    I think it’s funny that everybody who commented on this worked in a similar job (SpaZzy excluded – or did you? I don’t know) Good to know there are others out there with boring jobs and a twisted sense of humour. Some of your suggestions are definitely getting used on my next shift. Oh, and Solipsism IS real, that’s why all of the customers who give you abuse or complain always look strangely familiar….


    Christian Lafay reply on November 3rd, 2008 8:51 pm:

    Rock on.


    SpaZzy reply on November 3rd, 2008 9:34 pm:

    I used to work at a Chevron until number 63 happened. I didn’t mean too! I’M SORRY JILL (Even though you deserved it you cheating.. bad word for a lady!!)


  8. dainis Says:

    What pirate metal did you play, exactly? That sounds like a pretty awesome genre :D


    Anonymous and STILL Employed reply on November 4th, 2008 10:50 am:

    Captain Morgan’s Revenge, the new album by Alestorm. It’s pretty badass and we only got to “Wenches and Mead” when they said no.


  9. Sweet Sister Morphine Says:

    OMG, Pirate Metal? :-o



  10. Stickfodder Says:

    If we ever get together as a group we should take the ideas from this list and some from the comments section and make a Clerks rip-off.


  11. Billy Says:

    I’m up for that, i’ll bring the matches


  12. munkee Says:

    i to do a similar job:(

    1. will not freak out when customers ask me where something is and its right in front of them

    2. will not black out all the stores windows so we can play hide and seek in the dark

    3.will not hide in the cardboard bailer while playing hide and seek in the dark

    4. the work experience staff are not there for my amusement

    5. even if they think counting the traffic is an actual job

    6. especailly if the assistant manager suggested it

    7. hiding the staffs bikes isnt funny

    8. putting staff members bikes in full view but in hard to reach places is also not funny [on top of a walk in fridge freezer]

    9. even when im right im not allowed to be smug about it

    10. i will stop venting my anger on the fridge door the blood is getting creepy [my blood i punch it when angry]

    11. creeping up on the staff is not a way of ensuring the keep working

    12. unless i do it in front of their friends then its funny

    13. staff are not my “minions, puppets or happy lil elves”

    14. will not have a pre prepared sign saying “I CANT LIP READ” when people try to talk through the sound proof glass from to far away [theirs a speaking tube ffs]

    15.i must stay in the shop til closing time even when we havent had a customer in the last hour.

    all for now.


  13. Billy Says:

    note, the song “ex lovers lover” involve planning the death of the singer’s ex lovers lover. Also note that a friend of mine in the AF was banned from singing said song in the classrooms.


  14. Adam Says:

    I ran a camp store over the summer. There were kids who bought single candy bars with $10 and $20 bills, and that drove nuts. My coping mechanisms were as follows:

    1) give change in the smallest available denominations (pennies, then nickels, the dimes, etc.)

    2) assign the kid a nickname related to currency. The more feminine sounding, the better (because it was a Boy Scout camp).

    3) if there was a long line and I was pressed for change, I’d make the kid get change from the other people in line.


    Stickfodder reply on November 3rd, 2008 9:26 pm:

    I would like to hear some of these nicknames related to currencies.


    Adam reply on November 17th, 2008 11:18 am:

    US Currency references: Penny, Pennies, Penny Bags (think Monopoly), Nickels, Dimes, Quarters, Kennedy, Abe, Benny, Grant, George.

    Foreign Currencies: DeutscheMark, Franc, Pound (reserved for the “larger than life” campers), Rial, Swiss, Lira, Shekel, Yen, and Euro.

    I “dubbed” the kids with their nicknames using the sandal-on-a-stick…flyswatter… thing my supervisor kept behind the counter, and some of them flipped out because they thought I was going to beat them with it.


  15. SpaZzy Says:

    Here’s another psuedolist of things I can’t do when I worked at the Chevron (For a total of 2 months).

    1) Not allowed to dress up on All Hallow’s Eve (yes, I call it that still).
    2) Even if my boss did it.
    3) And I have a cooler costume than him.
    4) Not allowed to dance on the counter unless I clean it up.
    5) Not allowed to dance on the counter even *IF* I clean it.
    6) Must not “accidentally” put alcohol in the candy section.
    7) Not allowed to get a very accurate list of alcohol we need to stock to get more customers.
    8) Not allowed to suggest that we lower our gas prices to get more income.
    9) When promoting our free dough nuts, not allowed to say that our dough nuts are so good they’re sexable.
    10) To avoid saying that they are, I’m not allowed to dryhump a box of dough nuts.
    11) If I get a small smirk on my face when comes in one of the following, an old lady, a young child, and a single looking lady, I am to let paul serve them.

    That’s all for now. It was just two months. Add Sucks.



  16. Sweet Sister Morphine Says:

    I downloaded a bunch of pirate metal and am currently transferring it to my MP3 player. Thank you, Skippy’s List, for improving my life. ^_^

    Also, while I was never expressly forbidden from doing it, when I worked as a dishie, it was brought to my attention that my habit of wandering around the kitchen, whistling I Don’t Like Mondays while polishing the chefs’ knives was freaking out the waitstaff.


    paula reply on November 4th, 2008 4:31 am:

    Once upon a time, in a movie theater I worked at, I talked the boss into letting us send the smallest girl working there screaming down one aisle and back up the other, followed the biggest guy we had brandishing a cardboard ‘knife’.

    This was, of course, in the middle of a movie. A nice, bloody, slasher movie. And the bloodiest SCENE in that movie. And the guy was in a hockey mask…..

    Fun times.


    Anonymous and STILL Employed reply on November 4th, 2008 10:55 am:

    Arr Matey, don’t mention it!
    I used to hum “Pop goes the weasel” whilst sitting near my friends sword, knife and crazy sharp things collection. He just thought it was funny.


  17. dainis Says:

    Pirate Metal FTW! As awesome as Finntroll and Korpiklaani!!


  18. Jim A Says:

    Not allowed to clean Carcano rifle at work.
    Not allowed to clean Any weapon at work.
    Not allowed to give free drinks to friends who are hanging out so that “they look like customers.
    There is no “Get a free burrito with every free drink,” special.

    n.b. I didn’t actually work there, but the special was nice.


  19. lessthanlucid Says:

    You know, some of these stories need to be told on the Not Always Right website:



  20. Dea Says:

    I was personally banned from these at different jobs of course one was a convience/gas station and the other was a “dollar’ type store, both were horrible places to work, with the monotony broke up by random crazies.
    Tricking the drunks on third shift was fun though.

    1a Not allowed to run out the front during a tornado warning to ‘video tape the awesomeness real TV style’
    1b No not even if the customers think that makes me cool.
    2 Not allowed to let the neighborhood boys teach me skateboarding tricks, not even in the name of customer service.
    3a Informing the district manager that you are intimately familiar with the faults of the security and surveillance systems are not a good career move.
    3b Proceeding to bring in better equipment and demonstrate how a “real” professional would set up a hidden camera is not much better.
    3c Having an Officer from the local police dept. ask you if this is a better system than your last one he had to deal with makes management turn funny colors, management doesn’t like funny colors.
    4a Not allowed to build a macgyvered recording system out of the novelties items.
    4b Not even if the officer from above asked you how.
    5 Selling Skittles to the drunks won’t sober them up and it isn’t nice to tell them it will.
    6 Not to clock into work wearing the competitions uniform.
    7 Not to wear my bosses name tag.
    8a A female Captain America costume is not in the dress code.
    8b Nor is Supergirl.
    9 Not allowed to Joust with the wrapping paper.
    10 Not allowed to play ring toss with the holiday wreaths and the yard decor.
    11 Not allowed to touch the holiday supplies.
    12 The rolling hot dog stand is not a nest of Satan’s spawn, asking any priest who comes in to exorcise it is not approved policy. (this one got a few laughs and the guy was a friend)
    13 Not allowed to dictate local codes and ordinances to fire inspectors, electricians, phone guys, cable guys, roofing guys, the gas truck guy, race car drivers, police officers, customers, associates, or management.
    14 Not allowed to fix the electricians work.
    15 Not allowed to fix the phone guys work.
    15b Not even if I’m better trained than he is.
    16 I am not qualified to give medical advice.
    17 Taking job applications from rival companies is not allowed while on duty.

    Wonderful lists everyone and thanks for letting me post mine here.


  21. I created fire Says:

    I hate you all. I’ve been in stitches since I started reading this page ten minutes ago. Now…my turn. I work at a dine-in movie theater.

    1. I am not allowed to refer to the freezer in which the ranch, sour cream, and mayonnaise are stored as “The Sperm Bank.”

    2. Placing bets on which of the managers would win in a fight against particularly burly customers is not nice.

    3. Nor is slinging gobs of hand sanitizer at new employees so they look like they have semen stains on their uniforms.

    4. Asking to go on a smoke break immediately after refusing to bum the night manager a cigarette is not a good idea.

    5. Plotting to beat the hell out of the night manager in front of customers is a bad idea.

    6. As is adjusting his car’s mirrors, folding out his windshield wipers, and unscrewing his antenna after the fact.

    7. I am no longer allowed to smile at the customers while operating the drink station, as it apparently scares them off.

    8. The same goes for small children, attractive young women, and old people.

    9. Speculating on the sexuality of male customers as they leave Sex and the City is inadvisable.

    10. So is speculating whether or not your supervisor is really pornstar Violet Marcel.

    11. Must not be seen by night manager when wheeling out the Shok-Vac in view of customers to clean up the several gallons of drink leftovers, straws, lemons, and limes the new girl just let dump onto the floor in theater 6.

    12. Emerging from the scullery after my closing duties with a shit-eating grin on my face makes the girls working box office uncomfortable.

    13. May not discuss night manager’s “tramp stamp” within earshot of customers and/or the night manager.

    14. Not allowed to sing “I Hate All the Little Children” anymore (our workplace parody of “Jesus Loves the Little Children”).

    15. Any and all songs that express negative sentiments towards the following people are now banned: small children, over-permissive parents, drunks from the bar across the parking lot, ditzy middle-aged women, teenage groupies, sickeningly cheery old folks, the night manager.

    16. I may not inform the night manager that the other managers hate him and that he is a douchebag, even if both statements are true.

    17. Especially if both statements are true, and are a direct quotation of something the general manager said.

    18. “Uber-freaking-mega-hella-awesome” is not a word.

    19. I may not refer to my managers as the “the Nice One, the Stoic One, the Cynical One, and the Asinine One.”

    20. The customers do not like me or any of the other lower-tier employees, and so I should refrain from wishing them well as they leave.

    Also, thank you for the mention of pirate metal. I’ve found another genre I truly like, bringing the total to four.


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