Dear RV Shrink:
I have a problem with trust. I trust my wife, I trust my dog, but I can’t bring myself to trust gas station attendants that don’t trust me first. I know I should be setting an example for them, but it makes me nervous. Let me explain.
I pull the motorhome up to a gas pump in small town America. I get out and the first thing I am greeted with is a sign that says, “Prepay before you pump.” I don’t use credit cards, so I have to go into the cashier and hand him or her a hundred dollar bill (or more). Nine times out of ten I don’t get a receipt unless I ask. When I ask they look at me like I’m a pain in the keister or that I don’t trust them, which I don’t. But remember, first they think I am going to fill my motorhome with gas and make a run for it.
Am I being unreasonable? Should I chill out, or at least act cool about the whole thing? Should I be optimistic that I won’t get ripped off? Should I have more faith in my fellow human beings even if they have pierced lips and a tattoo that says “KILL” on the fingers of the hand that takes my money? —Kill Bill in Cody
If you have a motorhome, you are surely going to kill most or all of those bills if you fill up today. I know it doesn’t seem right or good business to not get a receipt when you hand the clerk a C note. Most large chains automatically give you a receipt to bring back for change, if there is any. You have every right to ask for and receive a receipt if you want to hassle with that. Most people would gamble on the fact that they are going to use most of it in the form of gas. That way if you ever do have a problem with retrieving your change, most of the bill went for the fill.
I understand you do not use credit, but you might want to consider a debit card. It works the same way, saves you a trip in to meet the clerk, and leaves you a track record of where you’ve been and what you spent. If you continue with the cash dash, do whatever makes you happy. You should not take a guilt trip every time you ask for a receipt before you pump. It is, in fact, the right way to do business and maybe you are teaching management a valuable lesson in customer relations. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink
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