I got a $20 gift card to Exxon/Mobil recently for signing up with their Speedpass program. And it came in the mail last week. So during my lunch break yesterday, I went to pick up a few snacks. And I stood in the gas station for at least 15 minutes due to my indecision (I'm always torn between fresh fruit and vitamin water). So I finally made my decision and plopped the energy drink and Snickers ice cream bar on the counter. And as the attendant asked me if that was everything, I noticed the emblem on her shirt. It was an orange and yellow seashell with the word "Shell" written over it. It struck me how strange it was that a former Shell employee not only switched jobs within the gas station industry, but also was still allowed to wear her former employer's vest. I couldn't believe that Exxon would allow a competitor's logo to appear so blatantly in their store.
So I handed over my Exxon gift card while I pleasantly pondered this strange scenario. And I was very confused when the Exxon employee wearing the Shell uniform handed the card back and said, "We don't accept Exxon gift cards at Shell." I stood there with my mouth open, wanting desperately to understand. I was trying to form an argument for her obviously ridiculous statement. I must have looked like a complete idiot. Then I compounded my idiocy. Instead of taking her word for it, I leaned over her counter to look outside the window at the awning above the gas pumps. And as I saw the Shell logo again, plastered right above my car on a 30-foot sign, the full realization of my stupidity hit me.
I mumbled something about being in the wrong place and apologized as I walked towards the door. It was only when my hand was pushing it open that I realized I was still holding the ice cream Snickers and an energy drink. So I glanced back at the glaring attendant and tried my best to look insane and lost as I walked back to the cooler. I figured if she pitied me she might not judge me for my idiotic behavior. Then I drove across the street and checked four times to make sure it was an Exxon before handing over the card.