A California gas station manager was fired after accidentally putting the wrong price up for a gallon of premium fuel – just 69 cents, rather than the $6.99 it was supposed to cost.
John Szczecina, the manager of a Shell station in Rancho Cordova, admitted later that he simply misplaced the decimal point.
‘Well, it was a mistake that I did, you know,’ said Szczecina. ‘And I thought, ‘this is a nightmare. I put all three prices on there except the diesel, but the last one kind of didn’t go right.’
Soon after it went up, people started spreading word about the low prices on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – and people started lining up to take advantage of the rare respite from skyrocketing fuel costs.
‘So I just took responsibility for it and I said ‘yeah it’s my fault, and I’m to blame,’ Szczecina said.
The mistake ended up costing the Shell station nearly $20,000 – and cost Szczecina his job as well.
John Szczecina, the manager of a Shell station in Rancho Cordova, put the price – which should have been $6.99 for a gallon of premium – at just 69 cents
He admitted later that he simply misplaced the decimal point – causing the price to be lowered tenfold
Szczecina’s sister, Paula Jackson, has started a Gofundme to help her brother pay back the money the Shell station lost and avoid her brother being sued.
As of Wednesday morning, the efforts had raised just under $3,500 of their initial goal of $16,000.
Business attorney Craig Zimmerman told KOVR that people like Szczecina are usually protected from these types of errors in legal matters.
‘The only way he would be responsible, absent a written agreement, is if he was acting outside the scope of his employment,’ Zimmerman said. ‘For instance, if his boss said, ‘Whatever you do, don’t ever set the price on that gas pump.’ And then he did.’
As of Tuesday morning, the average price per gallon of gas in the U.S. is $5.02, according to AAA. In some areas of the country, there are reports that the price is nearing or surpassing $7.00 per gallon.
The mistake ended up costing the Shell station nearly $20,000 and cost Szczecina his job
Biden has already tapped into the Strategic Petroleum Reserves, which has so far had a negligible effect on gas prices.
While the White House has repeatedly said it is open to ideas on how to relieve rising costs on a number of consumer goods, Biden’s Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo admitted last week that the administration can’t do anything to help alleviate the effects of higher fuel costs.
She also blamed the war in Ukraine for spiking prices – a familiar refrain from administration officials.
‘Unfortunately, that is the brutal reality,’ Raimondo told CNN when asked what Biden can do.
‘This is, in large part, caused by Putin’s aggression,’ Raimondo added. ‘You know, since Putin moved troops to the border of Ukraine, gas prices have gone up over $1.40 a gallon, and the President is asking for Congress and others for potential ideas.’
‘But as you say, the reality is that there isn’t very much more to be done,’ she said.
Szczecina’s sister, Paula Jackson, has started a Gofundme not to help her brother but to help pay back the money the Shell station lost and to avoid her brother being sued
As of Tuesday morning, the average price per gallon of gas in the U.S. is $5.02, according to AAA . In some areas of the country, there are reports that the price is nearing or surpassing $7.00 per gallon
The default of the Biden administration has been to blame the prices on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, dubbing the resulting domestic crisis the ‘Putin price hike’ and claiming prices will continue to soar and remain high as long as the assault in Eastern Europe continues.
The blame has also been placed on oil companies, which the administration say are making a killing with keeping prices high.
Following a speech at the Port of Los Angeles on Friday, Biden said: ‘Exxon made more money than God this year.’
He accused oil companies of purposefully not increasing production to meet the demand so they can charge more per gallon.
Biden is preparing to visit Saudi Arabia during a trip to the Middle East in the coming weeks, which many believe will include pleas for the country to ramp up production of oil to increase the global supply.