Update on the Gas Station Job

Gas Station

Hello, friends.  It’s been a little while since I posted.   Things have been pretty busy.  The gas station job in Cedar Rapids is going GREAT (if you don’t mind sore feet and a painful lower back).  I’m getting plenty of hours and have been helping at the company’s two local gas stations.  The co-workers are like family and we’re bonding well.  They know I sleep in a van and it doesn’t seem to matter to them one bit.  Things couldn’t be going any better!

There was one unexpected development and it’s not all bad.  Once the company saw a person with 6+ years gas station experience, it was suggested that I consider a “Shift Lead” position – the first step of the management career path.  While most would be excited, this required a lot of soul searching.  The sacrifice (in terms of availability and the number of potential hours) was just too great.

I love “van trekking” too much to have to stop doing it.  Going into management would almost certainly mean working more hours and having to give up the fishing, biking, camping trips, and other things that make life much more happy and stable.  Those activities would be replaced by having to cover for employees who could not or would not work.  As one manager put it, “You basically have to marry the store.” This crabby old bachelor isn’t about to marry anything!  🙂

Escalator2Some people say if you don’t move forward, you’re moving backwards…. That seems to be true in terms of money but I don’t look at it that way.  We’re all on an escalator ride of sorts.  The end of that ride is death and we’re going to reach that conclusion sooner or later.

Oh, we can try to climb the stairs a little faster or change the pitch to go a little higher or lower (socioeconomically) but some day none of that will matter.  Money isn’t everything!  It’s more about being able to enjoy the journey whether it is with family, friends, or even alone – living in a van and fishing.  For now the plan is to keep on doing what is working and what is still fun.  Thanks be to God for giving me enough health and insight to be able to stay happy and working.


With that being said, it’s about time to hit the road again!  The next trip will involve traveling to Wisconsin and gathering some cheese and apples  (and maybe a few fish).  Of course, there will be new recipes for the cookbook and one will likely get posted.  If she is up to it, Serena will ride along again.  She’s such a fun travel companion!  Stay tuned for a post later next week!


Down by the river

A long lost relative?


Thanks for stopping by!   Life’s too short not to relish every day!

Kind regards,

Brad and Serena – Van Trekking in Iowa


 520 total views,  1 views today

Bookmark the permalink.

About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

5 Responses to Update on the Gas Station Job

  1. Jerry says:

    Yea Brad

    I remember the good old days working at a gas station, I made $26.75 cents for my shift. Gas and smokes were only .45 cents each. We had 18 self service pumps and made change by hand on busy Blackstone Ave in Fresno. Jeanne always had a big row or rows of 55 cents, 2 quarters & a nickel stacked on top of the machines. I asked her why she did that and she told me it was to make fast change for guys buying the .45 cent smokes. I started doing it too, seamed like a good system. One day my coworker Mike asked me what the hell I was doing? I told him about Jeanne’s system , he laughed and told me I was a dumb ass. It turned out those 100 stacks of 55 cents were Jeanne’s tips, she would smile and ask all the guys who paid with a Dollar bill if the change was for her as a tip, she also handed out her wrong phone number 1,000 of times, the guys fell for the same trick over & over again. I made $26.75 a shift, Jeanne made about $75 every shift, had I been smart I woulda married that girl. Those were the good old days where my nice 2 bedroom & 2 bath apt was only $125 per month.



  2. Brad says:

    That’s hilarious! The only tip someone would give me is to find a better job! 🙂

  3. Pleinguy says:

    Sounds like you have your head on straight. Don’t get pulled back into the work-a-day life. You’re enjoying the van life, so you should continue as long as it works for you. Love the cartoon at the end.

  4. Meg says:

    It sounds like you turned down the offer, which is exactly what I would have done (I haven’t worked at a gas station but I’ve done a lot of retail; it works the same way). I just hope this hasn’t changed their “attitude” toward you so that they’d think of you first if they have to cut hours (or worse, staff). I don’t know if that makes sense, it’s late and I’m tired 🙂 ; it’s just that I’ve worked for places where, if you didn’t want to advance they didn’t want you.

    • VanTrekker says:

      I agree with you! I am sure they are disappointed. The one thing that is making points is flexibility… I’m floating between two stores (the only employee who wwants to) and willing to work varying hours (the only employee who can). What makes me feel good is that they do make a person feel valued for experience and hard work. I’ve been upfront with them about the need to balance the work and rest due to medical / mental reasons. They’re pretty accommodating.

      But you are so right… Many jobs treat you like doggy dirt if you just want to do what you are currently doing to the best of your ability and don’t want to advance! Let the 20 year olds climb the trellis only to find themeselves falling back into the rose bushes… Been there, done that in a manner of speaking!