Quadra Island residents and visitors looking to fill up their gas tanks this week have had to take a ferry in order to do so.
The island’s only gas station, a Gas N Go on Heriot Bay Road, has shut its doors and turned off its pumps after the only employee called it quits on Wednesday morning.
The island is home to about 2,700, and it welcomes many tourists during the summer months, so quite a few people were taken aback by the closure.
Max Marsh has been working at the station for slightly more than two months. During that time, he has seen three co-workers leave for other jobs.
After the latest exit, Marsh was left to handle the till by himself the last two weeks, and didn’t think he had received adequate support to keep the vital service open.
“It’s the busiest time of the year, and normally there are supposed to be at least two-to-three employees there,” he said.
If it had been any other time of year, Marsh claimed he could quite easily run the store by himself.
“But since it’s the middle of summer, it was bad,” he said. “Constantly busy, people having to wait, lots of complaints, and lots of angry people.”
Marsh said he sent ‘countless’ emails to management asking for support, but never got a reply.
Hours at the gas station were shifted from 7 a.m to 8 p.m to 7 a.m. to 2 p.m, but the daily grind caught up to Marsh.
After coming down with a ‘nasty’ cold on Wednesday morning, he said he tried to get in touch with management once again, and when they did not get back to him, he decided to quit.
“I locked up the store, threw my key through the mail slot, and I was done,” he said.
Members of the Facebook group, Quadra Island Corkboard, were calling for the return of 20-year manager, Keri Smith, who left the position with Gas N Go in May.
She said there are a number of reasons for employees leaving.
“It could be a lack of assistance, a lack of leadership, and poor working conditions,” she said. “For me, it just got to a point, where for myself and my family that I had to make a decision to put me first, and not the needs of the business.”
The gas station and general store is owned by Wayne Procter, who owns 24 gas stations on Vancouver Island.
A spokesperson for Omni Foods, which manages the stations, said the Quadra Island Gas N Go would be open on Friday morning.
No further comment has been provided as of publication.