A gas station manager fired for selling gas for 69 cents a gallon

Placeholder whereas loading article actions

A frenzy erupted final week at a California fuel station as baffled clients discovered they might fill their tanks Value was final seen within the seventies.

With costs on the pump hovering to file ranges, vehicles poured in. Clients referred to as their family and friends, urging them to hit up a Shell fuel station that was charging solely 69 cents a gallon.

However their luck ended with John Schecicina taking his job after the Rancho Cordova, California fuel station he ran misplaced about $20,000 in gross sales.

All of it got here all the way down to “an outright mistake,” Shcicina advised The Washington Put up. Solely the circus that was fashioned knew when he arrived the morning after his shift. By that point it was too late. After being positioned on administrative depart, Szczecinna mentioned he was expelled on Monday for making an enormous mistake.

Inflation hits new peak in Might amid rising fuel costs

Now, Szczecina makes it his mission to repay his former employer’s cash, and strangers step in to assist. Donations to a GoFundMe created by his household since his story went viral. As of early Thursday, the marketing campaign had raised greater than $13,000.

“Despite the fact that it value me my job, that’s superb. As a result of the reality, you recognize, it’s my fault,” Szczycinna mentioned. “I do know nobody needs to say that anymore, however I felt it was vital to confess my mistake and do no matter it takes. I can repair it.”

Shell didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark from the Washington Put up. A consultant of its division in america He advised the New York Put up The station operated by Szczecina is independently owned.

Szczecina mentioned he acquired an e mail on June 9 ordering him to alter the value of premium fuel to $6.99 a gallon — the third notification of a worth hike he acquired that week.

In California, drivers are going through the nation’s highest gas costs — a file common value of $6.43 per gallon, in response to AAA knowledge. On Saturday, the nationwide common for normal fuel rose for the primary time by greater than $5. He mentioned that the fuel station the place Szczyna labored was already starting to see the consequences of the continued improve in gas costs.

“We’re not making a revenue,” mentioned the previous supervisor. “I used to be doing every part I might, from slicing again on the issues we weren’t promoting fairly often to creating positive we acquired soda, espresso, regardless of the regulars like. It was actually exhausting…so Once I noticed that I ought to increase [gas prices] Once more, it appeared like a nightmare.”

On the morning of June 9, Szczecinna wrote the quantity “699” 3 times into his laptop to set the brand new worth. The final step was to substantiate the change, which was mirrored within the pumps. However earlier than he might do the examine, a truck outdoors crashed right into a curb, sending her water bottles flying throughout the parking zone.

Pump shock: why fuel costs are so excessive

For the subsequent 20 minutes, Szczecin mentioned he helped the truck drivers decide up their cargo. A number of work assignments occupied his curiosity, and the necessity to examine the value of fuel on the pumps light from Shchina’s thoughts.

He left the station by 2:30 p.m. and went to mattress early, prepared to start out at 4:30 a.m. the subsequent day. That was when he arrived to search out the fuel station space supervisor ready for him.

“I instantly thought that we had been robbed and was afraid that one thing horrible had occurred to the cashiers,” Szczycinna mentioned.

As a substitute, he realized about it The insanity brought on by a typo When he mistakenly set the value of latest premium fuel at 69 cents a gallon. The final time a gallon was low cost was in 1978, in response to US Division of Vitality.

“I freaked out and knew I used to be about to lose my job,” Schisina mentioned. “So I gave [the district manager] my keys… [and] I got here residence and began updating my resume.”

Now he spends his days making use of for jobs and going to interviews. And in between, he was taking his canine to the river amid the scorching California temperatures.

“I actually, actually simply wish to get again to work,” he added.

Though he did not wish to lose his job, he mentioned he would admit his mistake once more as a result of “it was the proper and sincere factor to do”. He and his household additionally discovered a optimistic facet: an inflow of help they acquired from strangers hoping to assist repay their former employer’s cash.

His sister, Paula Jackson, who organized the marketing campaign, mentioned Szczecin’s stance confirmed “the kindness of his coronary heart”.

“He does not must pay it again,” Jackson mentioned. “However simply the truth that he is doing it and needs to do it exhibits lots of character, honesty and duty, and I am actually pleased with him for that.”

“It takes braveness to say ‘I made a mistake,'” she added.