Rules for Everyone: Be Polite (and a bit crazy)

Why is it there seems to be different rules for different people? Every toddler is taught from the time he or she can talk to say “please” and “thank you.” We’re taught as we grow up to respect our elders; do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and so on.

Today it seems that there are days when the rules apply to everyone else except for the person blocking the line. We were on our way to the Upper Chesapeake for a day of boating and needed to get gas in the boat. That involves choosing a gas station where you can easily maneuver the SUV and trailer. It’s really no big deal until you get behind someone who clearly is paying no attention to everyone else in a busy place. It’s not easy to back up a vehicle and boat on a trailer in a crowded parking area.

We arrived at the Wawa Food Market and gas station just off I-295 in Swedesboro, NJ. We chose a pump on the right to easily put fuel in the boat. There was one car in front of us. I jumped out to go inside the store for a moment. When I returned, Our vehicle hadn’t been moved and the car in front was still there – without a driver. My husband said he noticed the driver was missing as I went into the store. The gas station attendant told me the driver had been gone even before we pulled up and that this happens all the time: people pull their cars to the pump; ask for gas and run into the store. The attendant said people usually get back just as their gas purchase is finished.

We waited for another minute or two. Then I decided, “Why am I sitting here waiting for this inconsiderate person? I’m going to do something.” I went into the store and in the booming voice I know I have politely exclaimed: “Whoever has the blue Ford Escape at the gas pump; will you PLEASE move your car?” At a glance, it seemed there were at least 40 pairs of eyes on me thinking: “WHO is this CRAZY lady?” (I yelled “thank you” as I bolted out the door.)

I got  back into our vehicle and about 30 seconds behind me, Ford Escape man approached with his coffee and bag of whatever. He acknowledged us with a “gees, I’m sorry” look and a wave and was gone in a few seconds.

So the next time you are pulling into a line of cars at the pump, remember: you WILL take longer than you think; you WILL inconvenience other people and YES, they do mind. Thank you – have a nice day.

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