Originally Posted by hambo_12
Ok, so I was driving to work today (sat), had to get some petrol, so I pulled up at Shell to get some Optimax. I started and the bowser stopped pumping at about 30cents. I moved to the other optimax bowser as the bloke said it was probably faulty, and then only got around $15 out of that one before the same thing happened.
The bloke then came out and said "just checked and the tank is empty". Ive heard a lot of stuff about the crap that is in the bottom of the tanks at servos, and I am a bit worried that some of it might have gotten in my tank. Anyone know about this??
As a former employee of Shell, this doesn't suprise me in the slightest. What I don't understand is why it is that the computer system doesn't notify the console operator and automatically shut down the particular pumps as stocks of a particular fuel type run critically low. It could be done, of that I have no doubt, being both a former employee and a person who knows and understands computer systems and the computer system used in Shell (Coles Express in some states).
Every time the dips are done (done on a daily basis), a large metal pole which has markings on it to show how many litres is 'dipped' into the underground storage tanks where the fuels are stored (obviously, this does not apply to LPG), and the amount of fuel left in those tanks is determined by seeing where on the metal pole it is damp from contact with the fuel up to. This is repeated for all the different underground tanks (for most fuel types, there is more then one underground tank, tank 2 for example might provide ULP to pumps 1 to 8 and tank 5 might provide fuel to pumps 9 to 16), the results are written down, then entered into the computer.
The computer also knows how many litres of each fuel, from which storage tank, has been sold. So there might have been 5,000 litres of Optimax left in tank 1 at 5pm when the last dip was done, and then 6 hours later, the system notices that 4,800 litres of Optimax has now been sold, and that there was only 5,000 in there 6 hours earlier. So it would be relatively simple to impliment a way for the system to notify the console operator that stocks of a particular fuel in a particular tank are getting critically low, and automatically shut down the affected pumps for just that particular fuel type, then all the console operator would have to do is run out and place those 'sorry, pump out of order' signs on the affected pump nozzles.
But they won't do that, it would cost them money, and I think a lot of the public would be very suprised how reluctant Shell are to spend money on things, even things that are determined to be both necessary and vital to the continued operation of the site...
One of the reasons I no longer work at Shell is I got sick and tired of how disorganised they are - I would get a phone call asking me if I could do a particular shift at a particular store in 1/2 an hour and I'd say yeah, no problem, rush to get there in time, only to find another person, sometimes even two other people, had been asked to cover that shift and we'd all arrive there at about the same time, and only one of us could actually do that shift. Or the number of times I had to do shifts where we ONLY had one particular fuel - usually LPG - because ALL the other fuels had run out and they were waiting for more fuel to be delivered. Running out of one fuel, yes, I can understand it could happen from time to time, but running out of ALL of the commonly used fuels is just unacceptable and incredibly disorganised, in my opinion. It's not exactly an enjoyable experience to be the only staff member in a petrol station and have to explain to every single customer that we don't have any fuel to sell to them - particularly so if they don't have enough fuel to get to another petrol station or have run out themselves.
Oops, I seem to have got on my soapbox, I'll just get down now...