Mar 1, 2019

Robbed at the petrol station...

...or at least I thought I was. I have a Eneos Filling station Business Credit Card, so I always fill my tank in Eneos. Until today that is. I got caught out. With my music blaring a little too loud, I didn't hear the warning lamp click on to indicate I was low on petrol. I knew I wouldn't make it to my destination and back with the amount of petrol in the car. So I had to do something I'd never done before: use cash at the petrol station.

Robbed at the petrol station... photo

I remember the glorious days of the not so distant past when you could rock up to the petrol station, roll down the window to indicate your preference to the filling station attendee then just sit back and relax. Until about seven years ago the vast majority of the petrol stations were still serviced. One attendant would fill your tank while another washed your windscreen. Those days are long gone. In this part of Saitama anyway.

Today, I used an Idemitsu filling station for the first time ever. I was very impressed when the staff on the forecourt brought me a hot towel to wipe my hands. I was not so impressed when the automated machine was not giving me my change of a 10,000 yen note. Typically, there was no attendant on the forecourt just when I needed them. I couldn't figure out where on earth my money would be, had the machine not in fact ripped me off.  Eventually someone came along and I accosted them. Much to my embarrassment they pointed, wordless, half amused, half irritated by the agitated foreigner on the forecourt, to a clearly marked "change machine"! 

Each individual machine can take money, but only one can give out change. And that is where everyone's change comes out. It's a bit stupid really and entirely bothersome. I happened to be parked at the furthest possible filling area from the machine. So I had to walk across the courtyard, an added danger in itself if I want to nitpick, and scan my receipt to get my change. I wonder if anyone has ever driven off without picking up their change. I imagine it is much more likely to happen than at the pump.

I embrace a lot of technological advancements, but some of them irritate the bejaysus out of me. It may very well be that the person came up with a central change machine might just have a warped sense of humour. Maybe the creator thought it would fun to embarrass users into thinking they were robbed at the petrol station!!



Level 8 LocalGuide with Google. Blogging about life in Japan as an Irish WAHM to 4 kids on insaitama.com.