I have a love/hate relationship with anything mechanical or technical. Mechanical and technical things love me and I hate them, but we need each other. I'm a firm believer that machines operate with minds of their own. Whenever I'm near any piece of equipment that needs a human hand at the helm, it knows this and behaves accordingly; smug and temperamental, ready to do its quirky best to annoy me.
This explains why my computer is not full of bells and whistles. My cell-phone is just that, a cell-phone--no internet, no fancy camera, no videos and no texting--just a simple cell-phone to send and receive calls. Period. So far, barring fallen trees on wires, heavy rainfalls or snow storms or any other possible reasons for power outages, everythings has been working.
Until I went to top up the car's gas tank. Normally, I don't pump my own gas. This is not a real-women-don't-pump-gas thing. It's because I had a bad experience when the gas pump didn't shut-off due to a faulty mechanism that just happened to be defective when I used it. See? So I don't pump my own gas. Lately, more and more of the service stations have gone Self-Serve without the option of Full-Service. I had to drive clear across town to reach my one and only Full-Service gas station, but hey, I'm not complaining as long as there is someone there to do it. I like to think I'm keeping someone employed.
My car was in for some body work and I had a Loaner car. When I went to retrieve my car, I had to top-up the gas tank on the loaner. Luckily there was a fuel station around the corner. Unluckily, it was a Self-Serve. Darn--don't panic. I'll just go in and ask for some assistance or even better, have someone demonstrate what to do.
"Excuse me--could someone show me what to do?"
The owner looked incredulously at me. His eyebrows practically lifted off his hairpiece as he shifted his cigar around his mouth.
"Lady--just open your gas cap, stick in the hose and press the lever."
"Sorry--I had a bad experience and would really appreciate someone coming out to get me started."
Heaving a huge sigh, he yells, "Mikey! Lady needs some help." And a short, friendly 10-year old ambled out from the backroom, broom in hand, approached his Dad and listened to what was needed. Mikey blinked, looked at me with astonishment and said, "Lady, even I can do that! I'll show you."
First, he looked at where I had parked the car in front of an available pump.
"You have to move the car. It's on the wrong side of the pump." Crappo. I knew this was going to be one of those days. The gas pumps were getting busy so I moved the car by exiting the lot and coming back in. By the time I had lined up on the right side of a vacant pump, Mikey had gotten tired and went back inside. But he came back out when he saw I had finally returned.
"Open the gas cap for me please." Uh-oh. This was a loaner car and I had no idea where the gas cap release was.
"This isn't my car, Mikey--can you see where it is?" Rolling his eyes and heaving a huge sigh, he carefully looked the dashboard over and then pointed at a button on the floor. For crying out loud--who puts important stuff on the floor?
"Step on it," he ordered. The cap release to the tank popped open. Moving to the pumps, Mikey pulled out the hose, pushed it into the tank opening and said, "You press this lever for Regular and let go when you see how much you've got. That's it. Okay, Lady? I can't do it for you."
His Dad, realizing there was now a long line of waiting cars, rushed out and took over.
"We'll do this for you this time, Lady, but the next time you come, you'll have to pump your own gas. This isn't a Full-Service."
Huh--there won't be a next time! Thank goodness for my one-and-only Full-Service station on the other side of town. . .