My first “real” job was at a Sunoco gas station when gas was 35 cents a gallon. Button down shirt with blue jeans and work boots. Change in my front left pocket, bills in the right. Left back pocket held the rag to check the oil sticks and the right back pocket had green stamps. Commission on a quart of oil: 5 cents! I worked there 4 months through the summer and beginning of fall. Buddy Beach was my first boss. A friend of mine who was Buddy’s nephew told me there might be an opening. I walked in and announced to the guy who was standing there, “I’m gonna get a job here!” Imagine my embarassment when I found out he was the owner!!
That first job taught me a lot:
- Look the customer in the eye. The boss too.
- Politeness counts.
- Honesty counts.
- Neatness counts too.
- So does speed! Don’t make the customers wait or they’ll drive away without paying.
- Show up on time. Stay till the job is done.
- Added value makes for loyal customers. Wash the windshield. Check the oil. Don’t let the gas spill over on the paint job. Count back change. Say thank you.
- Always let the radiator cool down before you open it to add water.
- If you don’t know where some place is, say “I don’t know.” Don’t send give them directions that sends them on a wild goose chase.
- Green stamps add up. People would come to our station just for the stamps. Kinda reminds me of the frequent buyer cards we use now.