Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Gas Station Blues: Word Counters



Italian Chicken Stuffed Shells, jumbo pasta shells stuffed, baked in marinara sauce, and topped with crushed garlic baguettes. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Counting my words again. 

Today my fellow Word Counters and I are sharing our monthly group post. Each month one group member picks  a number between 12 and 50. All participating bloggers are then challenged to write something (or a few somethings, as the case may be) using that exact number of words. Today we all share what we came up with. 

This month's number is 28. 
It was chosen by Me.

As I've been doing in these Word Counters posts, I've chosen a theme and am using my word count multiple times in keeping with the theme. This month I'm talking about a short term, part time job my son's taken. I call this post Gas Station Blues.

~ College Boy stopped working during covid. He worked retail and the store closed due to safety. When called back, covid was still on the upswing, so he declined.
~He also totalled his car. Finding a new (used) car is an almost impossible task. While looking for a car and permanent job, he took a temporary job. 

~There's a grocery store a half mile from us, walking distance. They have a gas station in their parking lot with a small convenience store. They pay well.

~Working in the little gas station convenience store is an income for now. The stories he comes home with are eye opening, and not in a good way.
~Someone bought chicken in the grocery store. Leaving the parking lot, she suddenly didn't want it, and argued with my son about returning it to the gas station.
Italian Chicken Stuffed Shells, jumbo pasta shells stuffed, baked in marinara sauce, and topped with crushed garlic baguettes. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner
Italian Chicken Stuffed Shells

~A guy insisted he chose medium grade gasoline but the pump changed him to premium. He insisted that the premium be removed so he could re-pump cheaper gas.
~One guy was furious my son couldn't tell him how much it would cost to fill his car. Not the amount per gallon, but exactly what he'd owe.

~Someone came in just to impart wisdom: the current administration is turning us into a communist, socialist nation, and we'll never have free elections, because of gas prices.
~Another customer couldn't charge at the pump. He argued his options, chose to prepay $30, walked out without paying, walked back in furious that the pump didn't work.
~Not prepaying, a guy pumped $25.38 worth of gas, then went inside to argue that he only wanted $25 worth of gas, claiming he was owed 38 cents.
~Another guy insisted the pump card reader didn't work and wouldn't prepay. My son went with him to check it out, re-inserted the guy's card correctly. It worked.
~How are these people able to drive a car, yet be completely incapable of navigating a gas pump? Wonder what they do at the grocery self check out.

Word Counters, a monthly multiblogger writing challenge | run by and graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #bloggingchallenge #MyGraphics

Here are links to the other Word Counters posts:

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Italian Chicken Stuffed Shells        

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (makes about 18 - 20):
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
salt, pepper, garlic powder
1 small (8 oz) baguette
3 TBSP olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp Italian seasoning, divided
6 oz jumbo pasta shells
15 small pepperoni slices
6 oz frozen spinach, defrosted
8 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1 tsp sugar
1 TBSP dried parsley flakes 
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 cups my HOMEMADE MARINARA, or marinara of your choice 

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two baking sheets.
*Sprinkle the chicken breast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on both sides. Place the chicken on a small baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
*Cut the baguette into about 3/4 inch thick slices. Mix the olive oil, minced garlic, and 1 tsp Italian seasoning and, using a pastry brush, lightly spread onto the bread slices. Place onto a second baking sheet.
*Once the chicken has been in the oven for 30 minutes, add the bread to the oven and bake for about another 15 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked through and the bread starts to brown. Leave the oven on. Set the chicken and bread aside to cool.
*Boil the pasta shells to al dente (about 10 minutes). Drain and rinse a few times with cold water to stop the cooking process.
*Shred or chop the chicken. Chop the pepperoni. Drain the spinach well, pressing to get out as much of the moisture as you can. Mix the spinach, chicken, and pepperoni with the ricotta, egg, mozzarella, parmesan, sugar, parsley, remaining Italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.
*Carefully stuff the shells with the chicken mixture.
*Grease a baking dish (I use a quiche dish). Spread the marinara into the baking dish. Place the shells, open side up, down into the sauce. Cover with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes.
*Crush 6 of the baguette slices. After 35 minutes, carefully remove the tin foil from the shells, sprinkle with the crushed baguettes, and return to the oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
*Serve with the remaining baguette slices.


  1. Don't know what I like better, the recipe or the peek into interesting stuff--Carol C aka Julie

  2. Holy smoke. You're poor son! Customer service has really taken on a whole new meaning since I was in the trenches! I do hope he can keep his sense of humour and see the customers for what they are--doofusses. (Or is the plural of doofus Doofi?)

    1. LOL, I can think of another word for them, but I guess it's best if I keep it to myself.

  3. There's a lot of good stories when you deal with the public.

  4. I was in customer service years ago, and by the time I got out (about 25 years ago) I was already seeing the beginning of the absolute nastiness that now dominates the world of those unfortunates that have to work in the service field. The pandemic, of course, has made such jobs even more stressful and dangerous. I hope your son can find something better (and safer). And people wonder why so many service jobs are going begging! Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    1. The only good thing is that they have been forced to pay well. The biggest issue for my son right now is the lack of used cars on the market, he really needs to find good transportation.

  5. At the grocery self-checkout, they are in front of me with about a hundred items, and they need help with every other item. It's a mess.

    1. I am furious with the stores that have gone to self checkout only. I don't mind if I don't have many things, but when I do my weekly large shop, no way I'm putting that much effort into giving them my money.

  6. You know, I was going to make a big, astonished comment on the chicken thing. By the third item, I was down to just shaking my head.

    1. Yeah, and he comes home with more stories every day. The brainless truly do walk among us.

  7. Working in a supermarked - or obviously a gas filling station - makes one wonder whether some people should be allowed to elections at all.

    1. It's mostly those people who gave us trump, so I agree with you.


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