When I started driving, I had three guiding principles –
1. Top up my fuel at half tank
2. Always buy full tank when I drive into a fueling station
3. When broke, buy fuel - at least I can still move around.
Topping up my car at half tank made it easy to mentally calculate the true value of the fuel I bought😁 (Yeah, I sometimes use excel but I have to know at the pump)
One day on my way out, I decided to top up my fuel which was a little above half tank but something weird happened. The cost was over my usual spend and my tank was far from full. I told the station attendant to stop when it was a ₦1,000 above my average spend then challenged him. “Madam your gauge might be bad o, “he said. While driving out, I told him he just lost a customer.
I wasn’t paying any attention to the fuel meter because I was trying to get out the keg I use to fuel my generator. “Your money is ₦5,000 she said, this one is ₦1,500 and the one I sold into the car is 3500” The station attendant said. But why did you clear off the previous one before showing me?” I questioned. As we were going back and forth, my colleague emerged from the car and said, "no, I saw everything, you sold ₦2,650 into the car". Then the station attendant began to stammer. While giving her ₦5,000 I told her she just lost a customer. Trust my colleague to collect my change on my behalf.
I started defaulting on my first guiding principle because I had to buy fuel from a tested and trusted fueling station
Over the years, I have marked a couple of fueling stations never to return to because of dubious transactions. I also have my regular petrol stations.
One day, I went to one of my regular fueling stations but the bill for a full tank did not make any sense. At a similar fuel level with my previous purchases, it was about three thousand Naira above my usual spend. I kept going back to the station and switched attendants then realized it was a particular one. Without concrete evidence, I couldn’t report him, but I challenged him and told him I wasn’t going to buy from him again. It was at that point I said to myself “Maybe it is not the fueling station, maybe it is the attendant”
Last year, I decided to return to the ₦5,000 fueling station, it is one of my best budget decisions
Do you have an ‘Ile-Epo” story to share? We would love to hear from you.
Ile - means "house" in Yoruba
Epo - means "petrol" or "palm oil" in Yoruba
Ile-Epo is also the name of a market in Lagos state, Nigeria
This post was edited by Dolapo Ajayi