This is not a part of the "anger" discussion - although it almost went there.
I am merely going to tell you what happened to me as I was filling up my truck last Friday.
It was a hectic morning at work, so I searched for, and found, an excuse to leave for a few minutes. On my way back to work, I pulled into a gas station/convenience store to get some gas. I went inside to pre-pay for my gas, because that's where they keep the beverages. I gave the cashier some real-cash-money and asked for $40 on pump #5.
"Do you want a receipt?"
"No thanks," I said, as he wadded it up and tossed it at the wastebasket.
As I was walking to my truck, my cellphone rang. I answered it, and it was important. So, as I am engaged in this serious conversation, I got in my truck and drove off. As soon as I was back on the main road, I realized what I had done, and extricated myself from the phone call.
I never pumped the $40 on pump #5.
So, I zipped back into the gas station, only to find that a lady had already pulled into my spot and had the nozzle in her car, and was pumping gas. MY gas.
I explained to her what happened, and she merely said, "Hmm. I was wondering why it didn't make me pre-pay. Let me finish, and we'll go inside and get it straightened out - I'm sure it won't be a problem."
So that's what we did. Luckily it didn't take too long, because she only pumped $20. We went inside, and walked up to the counter. The young man who had helped me before was gone, having been replaced by a young lady with a listless manner, and some very creative piercings.
"Where is the guy that was just working a minute ago?"
"A guy?" (I must admit, I was fearing for a Twilight Zone experience right about now.)
Yeah - he was just here a few minutes ago."
"He's on break."
"Can I talk to him?"
"No, he's clocked out."
"Maybe you can help us."
"I can try..."
So, the Gas Thief and I did our best to explain what had happened at the pump. The Bedazzled cashier looked rather confused, then you could see the lightbulb flicker for an instant.
"Do you have your receipt?"
"No, he threw it away." I pointed to the overflowing bin.
"Bummer." Followed by silence.
A line was forming behind us as the Gas Thief had an idea.
"Let me pay $40 for him, and you can refund me the rest of what I didn't pump."
"But there's no receipt." Followed again by silence.
So I chimed in, "How much does it show still available on the pump?"
"So just cancel that, and refund the $20."
"I can't refund without a receipt."
"Where's the guy that helped me? Maybe he can find the receipt."
"He's on break."
The Gas Thief had another idea. "How about I move my car, and you pull in and pump the $20 that's left, and then I'll buy you $20 more?"
Genius. We went out and moved our cars, and I pumped my $20. I waited a couple of minutes, but the pump wouldn't clear for me. Then I saw the Gas Thief waving at me to come back in.
"My card was declined. I'm so embarrassed."
"Do you have any cash?"
"No." Followed by a really uncomfortable silence.
Just then I saw some movement in the room behind the counter. It was the original cashier.
"Hey!" I half-shouted. "Can I talk to you?"
"He's on break." The Bedazzled-face girl said.
I talked past her. "I know you're on break, but can I talk to you for just a second."
He ambled out with with a half-eaten burrito in hand.
"Do you remember me buying $40 of gas on pump #5 a few minutes ago?"
"Yeah. You used cash."
"Exactly!" I then went on to tell the story as concisely as I could.
The Bedazzled Girl? Nary a flicker. The Burrito Guy? He got it.
"Move for a sec." He said to the cashier. With his free hand, he struck a couple of keys on the register. The drawer opened, he reached inside, grabbed a twenty, slapped it on the counter.
"Sorry about that. man." He then retreated back into the break room.
I picked up the twenty. Put it back down on the counter, and told Bedazzled Girl. "$20 on pump #5, please."
The Gas Thief walked out with me, I told her goodbye, and she waved and said, "I told you it wouldn't be a problem."
Epilogue: I was driving past the gas station yesterday, thinking about this experience, at it dawned on me - 5 days later - that the Gas Thief never did pay for her gas! I paid $40, Burrito Guy paid $20, and she walked away scott-free. She was, indeed, "The Gas Thief."