March 08, 2005
Gas Jockey Hell
An absolutely awful thing happened in the suburbs last night when a gas jockey was dragged to his death while trying to stop a gas-n-dash. He went above and beyond the call of his minimum wage job and was killed. Not just killed, mind you, but dragged 7 KILOMETERS before being found discarded at the side of a road. They found the vehicle some time later and his t-shirt was still imbedded in the undercarriage.

The suspects? 15 year old children who stole a car and were attempting to joy ride. Given their age, they will likely see very little jail time. I only hope they charge them with murder, or at least raise them to adult court. But likely not.

I know this story only too well. My nephew was one of those kids a decade ago. When he did his little car-stealing prank, he was lucky. He 'borrowed' the neighbour's car and drove it into a brick wall. Nobody was hurt, with the exception of my nephew and his buddy and even that was not very serious. It was a big wakeup call for our family, and caused more than a little strife. My brother chose to disown his son over the incident and now, 9 years later, has only brief contact with him. My sister-in-law stood up in court on his sentencing day and begged the judge to lock him up because we were out of options. It was the end of a very long line of teenage rebellion, drugs, dealing, stealing and that's what we knew about. The judge agreed and he was sentenced to 6 weeks. 6 weeks in which he ran away twice, which increased the sentence eventually to 3 months. He was, however, banned from having a driver's licence for 15 years. For him, it was a good turn. When his family practically shunned him, he chose to get himself clean and like I blogged last week is doing quite well.

But for these kids arrested today, can we hope for the same? I can only hope, but chances aren't great.

Gas jockeys are not the easy jobs they used to be. Another story earlier this year was that of Kevin Venn. In the summer, he was working at a local gas station when he witnessed a girl being beaten by her boyfriend. He ran to intervene and was beaten within an inch of his life. To add insult to injury, he lost his job and was denied Worker's Compensation benefits because he had left the jobsite on his own accord. He lives near my parents place, so I've seen him around for many years. Ironically, his family left South Africa to escape the violence.

So next time you're getting your gas, be a bit friendlier. These guys/gals don't get much in the way of respect, but they should.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer, who looks forward to a better Canada. I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.
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