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It’s Monday, early afternoon. Just finished up an appointment right around the corner from the Chevron station right by the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Malcolm X Avenue SE, and need gas badly.

So I pull into the Chevron and insert a credit card into one of the pumps. It doesn’t work—-have to go inside and pay. I tell the clerk, hey, please put me down for $30.

Back to the pump. It barely works. Every time I squeeze the nozzle, it stops, as if I had a full-to-the-brim tank of gas, instead of a totally empty one. I switch the position of the nozzle in every possible way, but the glitch keeps recurring. If I find a real sweet spot, I get the thing pumping for, like, 15 seconds, max.

This goes on for about five minutes, by which time I’ve gotten just more than $20 worth of gas. That’s enough, I decide, and head into the station to get my refund. I say I’d like a receipt for the refunded amount. He says no receipt available—-trust me, he says, it’ll show up on your bank statement.

I tell him I’d like a receipt, please. He punches some numbers off the cash register and hands me a receipt. I tell him that’s the wrong instrument to issue the receipt—-I need a receipt from the same machine that my credit card had been run through—-the machine that’s tapped into my credit card company.

He says don’t worry about it. Meantime, other people are waiting and hovering and so on, so I bag out of there.

Days later, there’s no sign of my refund. So I now have a case number with Chevron’s customer service people. I want my $9.69 back.