The glass is half fuel with petrol attendants fast becoming some of South Africa’s favourite people
Petrol attendants have quickly become a favourite among South Africans‚ with many taking to social media to praise their exceptional service.
A simple tweet from @Mzz_Kocky on Tuesday kicked off widespread praise for the men and women at our petrol stations.
Petrol attendants are the nicest service providers in South Africa.— Koketso (@Mzz_Kocky) July 3, 2018
“Petrol attendants are the nicest service providers in South Africa‚” she tweeted.
By 4.45pm on Wednesday‚ the tweet had received over 5‚000 “likes” and been re-tweeted more than 1‚800 times.
In response‚ one Twitter user recalled how she couldn’t manage to get the fog off her windscreen – and then an attendant came to her aid. She was hysterical and crying‚ she said‚ but the attendant showed her how to clear it up quickly.
Yes true, I witnessed their kindness yesterday morning when I couldn’t remove the fog from my windscreen. I opened the door in tears and the guy came running to me asked what’s wrong, immediately saw my windows and quickly went to get paper towels and showed me how to fix it 😔— Fundi On A Mission (@fundi_Ma) July 4, 2018
A 24-year-old student from the University of Pretoria‚ Bakithi Mngomezulu‚ recalled how a fuel attendant did him a huge favour at a Sasol garage in Hatfield.
“I went to our petrol garage and I only had R100. They usually check my tyres‚ water and oil but the petrol attendant that day noticed something off with my tyres‚” he said. “It turned out that all four of my tyres didn’t have valve caps.”
He said that he expected to get charged extra for the valve caps‚ “but he did it for free because I am a student”.
“We really don’t appreciate the work they do‚” said Mngomezulu.
25-year-old Thabiso Lukhele told TimesLIVE that petrol attendants had also come to his aid when he tried to draw cash from an ATM at a petrol station in Marlands‚ which was dangerous “because thugs are always stealing money from people after they withdraw”.
“So what they would do is that every time I parked at the garage and wanted to withdraw some cash‚ the fuel attendants would give me a signal to indicate whether it was safe to go or not‚” he said.
But these unsung heroes aren’t always treated equally – a fact that is often seen in their earnings.
While petrol stations can differ on how much they pay based on individual ownership‚ currently‚ the prescribed minimum wage - as set out on December 6 2016 - is R1‚126.35 per week‚ according to the South African Petroleum Industry Association.
Depending on which outlet they work for‚ some can even earn up to R9‚000 a month.
The majority of fuel attendants are young men with an average age of about 27‚ according to a report from BusinessTech.
28-year-old Sandile Zwane is a fuel attendant at an Engen garage in Parktown‚ Johannesburg.
He said he loves his job‚ which is why he treats his customers well - even though some aren’t as friendly as he is.
“Sometimes customers come here and don’t even tell us how much petrol they want‚ but the customer is always right so you just need to relax and handle it‚” said Zwane. “Some come to the garage complaining about the fuel hikes and sometimes they treat us as if the increase in the price of fuel is our fault.”
Zwane said that it is sometimes hard to be positive because of negative customers‚ but nonetheless he generally remains cheerful.
“Especially taxi drivers‚” he said jokingly. “They are extremely impatient.”
He said that his colleagues show the same enthusiasm and attitude‚ and they keep a smile on their faces when serving customers.
“We all make mistakes‚ but it is important that we don’t dwell on them but rather grow from them‚” said Zwane.