1 A common phenomena when visiting gas stations or grocery stores in the United States is noticing ‘regulars’ that loiter around the store. They are often not panhandlers, but they are begging for something much more precious: human contact and attention! They get it by interacting/pestering the employees and customers. Often these characters have some form of mental illness and sometimes come into ER's with phantom symptoms for interaction there.
2 In the past months I've popped into gas stations while out driving to buy a coke or a some snacks just for the small interactions with the clerk at the counter. I guess this is an improvement from when I would try to actively avoid interacting with people in the past.