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06/16/2022

Thousands of Dollars Pour In for Service Station Manager Fired for Mistakenly Selling 69-Cent Gas

A GoFundMe account was set up to help John Szczecina repay $20,000 in lost revenue.
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A motorist filling up

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. — Thousands of dollars are pouring in for former Shell gas station manager John Szczecina after he mistakenly sold gas for 69 cents.

Szczecina accidentally put a decimal in the wrong spot and began selling the $6.99 gas for just 69 cents. It cost the gas station thousands of dollars and it cost Szczecina his job, reported CBS13 Sacramento.

"And I thought, 'this is a nightmare,'" Szczecina told the news outlet. "I put all three prices on there except the diesel, but the last one kind of didn't go, you know, right."

People started posting the low price on social media and calling friends and family. Lines formed fast to guzzle up the cheap gas.

After Szczecina's termination, his sister, Paula Jackson, organized a GoFundMe account to raise money to repay the station what in lost revenue. Initially, Jackson posted that the gas station lost $16,000, but the day Szczecina was fired, his termination letter read that $20,000 was lost.

Donations started pouring in once Szczecina's story had gone viral. Nearly $10,000 was collected and the amount continued to grow.

Szczecina's family is concerned that in addition to being terminated, he could be sued. Business attorney Craig Simmermon said employees are protected from liability in cases like this where they make mistakes performing normal job duties.

"The only way he would be responsible outside of a written agreement is if he was acting outside the scope of his employment," Simmermon told the news outlet. "For instance, if his boss said 'whatever you do, don't ever set the price on that gas pump,' and then he did."

Szczecina told CBS13 Sacramentohe would take back his job at the Shell station if the company offers it to him; however, he is continuing to apply for jobs.

As Convenience Store News previously reported, today's national gas price of $5.01 is 15 cents more than one week ago, 58 cents more than a month ago, and $1.94 more than one year ago. It is the highest recorded national average price of gas since AAA began collecting pricing data in 2000.

At $6.43 per gallon, California is the most expensive market for gasoline. Rounding out the top 10 most expansive markets are Nevada ($5.65), Alaska ($5.56), Illinois ($5.56), Washington ($5.54), Oregon ($5.53), Hawaii ($5.53), Arizona ($5.31), Washington, D.C. ($5.26), and Indiana ($5.05).

It is the second consecutive week California makes the list.

The national average for a gallon of gas has not fallen for more than a month. Gasoline prices have risen significantly since April 24 and have set many records since May 10. That was the day gas eclipsed the previous record high of $4.33, set earlier this year on March 11.

The dynamic between decreased supply and increased demand is contributing to rising prices at the pump. Coupled with increasing crude oil prices, this means that the price of gas will likely remain elevated for the near future, AAA reported.