Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

March 15, 2013

Dishonesty at the pump

By Samantha Stroube-Daviss
Corsicana Daily Sun

— Well this week isn’t a funny antic that happened in my house, or another exciting airport adventure. Nope, this week I have to step up on my soapbox about something that has been irritating me for a really long time now, and what happened to my husband and I recently just sent me over the edge of composure.

My husband and I were at the gas station together the other day, I had just finished filling up my vehicle and before we put the gas pump away he went ahead and filled up one of our small plastic gas cans for our lawn mower. Just your normal everyday activity, nothing unusual.

As we were finishing this mundane task, a nice looking older gentleman approached us and asked for some money. Now bear in mind I have a huge and generous heart, as does my husband; and when anyone is in need of help we try to do our part in giving back, but sometimes we have our guard up and feel like we are about to get ripped off.

He told us his vehicle wasn’t parked far away, but he had run out of gas. So my husband quickly thinking, offered some of the gas from our gas can rather than money; which was smart. The man apologized profusely and said he was on a fixed income, and he was truly sorry and really embarrassed.

So as I watched my husband doing his good deed, I thought, well this man seems nice enough, and we are giving him gas and not money. I thought maybe, nay hopefully, this time the request for help was legitimate. They finished up with the gas, my husband came back to the car; and we weren’t even out of the parking lot of the gas station when I noticed this man had driven up to the drive-thru window only to purchase cigarettes.

My emotional top blew off of my head. He gave us an entire story of how he is on a fixed income and can’t afford gas, but yet he has enough money for cigarettes. Well guess what people, we are all on a fixed income if you think about it.

My husband and I both work to provide for our kids, to give them the best life we can give them; and this guy is taking our hard earned money and gasoline away from us and our family, when clearly he had enough for other priorities in your life.

And I am not just picking on this man. We had a woman approach us in another parking lot looking for gas money, not too long ago. She said her car was stalled out, and pointed to it. So my husband being a good Samaritan gave her a few bucks; and after she had hit up all the folks she could in the parking lot, walked to her car and they (she and her accomplice) sped off together. So apparently they didn’t need gas that badly either, if their car was able to drive away from the scene.

So here is my beef. I am not going to get all political here; I am not going to pound judgment on the government. That topic is for each of us to decide on our own. But what angers me, saddens me, and just down right irks me is the fact that we (my husband and I) are essentially getting robbed in broad daylight.

It saddens me because I have to teach my kids to be thick skinned and not generous people, and not willing to put their neck out there for folks who may really need assistance. I hate the fact that our society has come to this — petty thievery.

I work extremely hard everyday, with multiple jobs mind you, to help contribute to our family’s household income, and then to go and fill my car up with gasoline, and get lied to and robbed; man, I really just can’t believe that my kids are having to grow up in such a world as it is today.

What happened to the good ol’ days of riding our bikes on the street and not worrying about abduction, or getting hit by a car for fear they might not be paying attention due to texting while driving? What happened to actually filling someone’s tank up with gas, and them really not having money?

What happened to just plain old honesty and setting good examples for our children? Think about it folks — we all work hard (or should work hard) for what we have. Handouts are no way to set examples for this next generation. All it’s teaching them is laziness. If you really are in need of aid, then I completely understand. But to lie, then turn and get cigarettes or drive away, when clearly you weren’t in need of assistance, then you really need to re-evaluate your lifestyle.

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Samantha Stroube-Daviss is a Daily Sun columnist. Her column appears on Saturdays. She may be reached by e-mail at columnwriter98@hotmail.com. Read her blog at samantha-daviss.blogspot.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? E-mail: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com