Convenience store staff helped me pay my petrol bill

8:30 on a Wednesday morning - I was held up at a petrol station in 311 Road southbound near Umm Suqeim exit for about 45 minutes. I refilled my tank and when I was about to pay, none of my debit cards were on my wallet. I only have 70 cash, 25 dirhams short of my total bill.

It was my fault to not carry my cards, nor have extra cash - no excuses. But when you're already in the situation, the focus shifts to exploring all feasible solutions. And I was expecting a good customer service on support.

I talked to the manager and offered to leave my Emirates ID with him as assurance that I will return to pay the 25 dirhams balance. He did not accept the offer. 

He insisted on their 'strict company policy' that such is not allowed. 

The only way, according to him, is to send somebody to bring cash. No one is available to drive by. It's 45 kilometers from where I live. My wife is unwell. I posted the situation on Facebook thinking somebody could pass by - and I got a lot of sincere responses willing to drive out of their way to lend money. A good friend, ate Adlene, who's in Deira offered to drive to me right away.

I plead again, that maybe just "out of goodwill" he can lend me 25 dirhams with a promise to return it within the day. He firmly rejects me. I even asked for his bank account or company account so I can do an online transfer right there, and he just keeps rejecting every solution I suggest. 

I asked for a company number to call that could possible enlighten me on 'such' policy, and if I could push my suggestions. No one's answering the phone.

The manager probably never about thinking out of the box; or about taking extra steps to ensure a good customer experience is in place. He even have the guts to raise his voice to me, rubbing it in that it was my fault.

I remain composed while lobbying my case as he keeps a snub face towards me.

I approached the service crews in the nearby bakery. Without hesitation they offered to pay the 25 using their staff allowance card because they don't have cash on hand. We went to the manager and he questioned the staff's gesture, iterating that "it is not allowed in the company policy." I was appalled by his so-called policy.

The staff told me not to worry, there is another solution - collect cash from her colleagues and the other service crews. She managed to collect 25 dirhams from 4 people. They did not even ask me for any assurance that I will pay them back. NO, not a single word to pay them back actually.

I told them I'll be back the next day to give them back what I borrowed. They told me not to worry. Wow! Thank you Diana from the coffee shop, Diana and Jeannine from the bakery and Jeremy from tyre store for contributing your available cash, and for the willingness and heart to help. God bless you.

God really provides when you are dependent on Him. I am in awe that lower income employees would come to the aid of a random stranger like me without hesitation.
When "company policies" prevail over good will, good hearts won't be defeated.

So I handed the payment to the gasoline boy as the manager looks from afar with an eye of verification.

I left calmly.


Gulf News picked up the story, and contacted the petrol station, but the manager refused to talk, insisting another "policy" that he's not authorized to speak to media.

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