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THE PANDEMIC DIARIES: Your Friendly Neighborhood Oil Company is Here for You

Updated: Apr 8

I got an email today with the subject line, “Fuel Rewards Program” and a first line that read, “Karen, Shell is here for you.” Wow. Personalized. Like they’re speaking directly to me. And because it was 2pm on a rainy Sunday afternoon, heading into the fourth week of quarantine and I didn’t have a whole lot else going on, I decided to check out what manner of heartwarming comfort Shell had in mind for me. This is the first paragraph of the message:


“We are experiencing unprecedented times in our history, as the global impact of the COVID-19 virus spreads. This is having an impact on our daily lives, our families, communities and businesses, with unique and evolving challenges. As we all continue to navigate through these times, we want you to know that Shell is here for you.”

Aw. So if I call you in the middle of the night, you’ll come over and give me a big ol’ hug and tell me everything’s going to be okay?

Like getting a Christmas card from the autobody shop where you had your bumper replaced three years ago, I am strangely not feeling the warm fuzzies by hearing that a multi-national oil conglomerate is here to support me during these difficult times by offering me membership in their fuel rewards program. Gee, Shell, are you feeling a little pain because we’re not filling up enough lately? Why don’t you just lower your effing gas prices? (Sorry for the rant. I’m in a bad mood today.)

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