This is David:
David works at Sam’s Club’s gas station in Cinnaminson, NJ. He filled my tank today with a smile. But it is like 000 degrees outside and I couldn’t help but wonder how he was doing.
“OMG you must be freezing!” I say from the semi-warmth of my car.
“If I’d known I was coming, I would’ve brought you coffee! Do you guys have hot drinks in that little building over there?”
“Haha, no, not really,” he answers through his scarf. “I think there’s some hot chocolate mix–if there’s any left.”
I thought about him as he moved from car to car. Did he get paid more when he had to spend his work day outside in this kind of weather?
“A lot of people have been asking me that today,” he says, again sounding like a happy guy, not complaining.
Gas station attendants here make $9.80 an hour. The tanks are all under cover, no less, so they were not in the warming sun. My nose got cold running from my car to the grocery store. I can’t imagine how I would be able to bear being outside all day.
“It’s my job,” David said, and we agreed that yes, with so many people out of work, you do what you have to do. And yet…
Shouldn’t the people who own these businesses–the ones who are, most likely, sitting in warm offices while their workers fight frostbite–pay them a little more when the temperature dips below freezing? Or when it goes above, let’s say 100? Call it Battle Pay. Call it a bonus for showing up at all, when David and his fellow workers could easily call out sick on days like this. Call it basic human decency.
You know who can work outside on a day like today? This girl:
Know who else likes it this cold? This guy:
The next time I need gas on a cold day, I’m gonna stop at WaWa first and get a coffee to give to the attendant. And I’m gonna hope he’s as nice a guy as David is. Here’s to you, and all the folks working outside in the cold to keep us all going. Get your bosses to pay you more~~or call out sick and let them fill in. We’ll understand.