Do you pump your own gas? Well, of course you do if you live in 48 of the 50 states who think people are capable of figuring out how to fill up their tank without blowing themselves up. The legislatures in New Jersey, Oregon and the town of Huntington on Long Island, New York feel that pumping gas should be left to “the professionals.”
I lived in New Jersey for many years and liked the idea of pulling into a gas station and having someone “fill it up,” and wash my windshield without ever having to get out of my car. Many times I would ask directions from the attendant who always knew his way around the area. Asking directions from the cashier at gas stations today is a useless waste of time. They barely know their way out of the front door, but don’t get me started on that. It seems they are more interested in selling drinks and cigarettes.
Moving to Arizona was a big change from what I was used to, as many people experience this since less than ½ the population are native to Arizona. In addition to learning my way around the Valley and remembering not to leave meltable things in the car from May to October, I had to become familiar with the gas pump. I don’t change tires or fill radiators (I have a husband for that) so filling my own tank is the only thing I do for my car besides driving it. I thought it was cool at first. It goes under that list – “Women can do anything men can do.” Note: Yes, there were choices many years ago – full service or self-service — haven’t seen that lately.
I have definitely changed my mind on this topic. I hate stopping for gas. I wish I had my own pump so I wouldn’t have to touch those disgusting, smelly, germ covered pump handles. Did you ever think about who touched them before you? Someone should suggest that those wipes provided at the grocery stores be available at every pump. (oh, I think I just did!!) There’s nothing like getting to work or to a meeting and having hands that smell like gas. UGH!
Occasionally I have been “lucky” enough to get a pump that didn’t know when to shut off. The gasoline overflowed out of the tank and, of course, on me. I then get paranoid about someone lighting a cigarette near me!
Big deal! So now I have lots of experience pumping gas, but I’m done. I liked pulling into my favorite gas station and saying, “fill it up, please!”
Agree on the germ-laden pump handles. It means I have to have antibacterial wipes in the vehicles at all times.
I do like the time savings of pumping my own, but happily leave that task to my hubby if we’re in the car together. On a trip up the left coast, we didn’t realize we’d even crossed from California into Oregon until we stopped to refuel. Reed got out and started to pump, and an attendant (OMG, an attendant?!) ran out to take the nozzle from him. Not realizing a couple of states had this law, we ALSO were thinking it was an extreme display of customer service…until he pointed out a small sign that stated we could receive a $500.00 fine for pumping our own gas. Seriously?! Apparently, these two states can’t trust their customers to not top off the tank and spill fuel on the ground…but at least it provides at least one extra job at each gas station, plus someone there will KNOW when the receipt tape is out and maybe even notice a skimmer that’s been attached to the pay slot. On the other hand, that extra employee adds three to five cents PER GALLON to Oregonians’ fuel costs.
It seemed nice to have someone pump our fuel again, probably the first time since I left Germany. But after a few more times filling up, especially at busy times, the irritation of having to wait up to ten minutes for the attendant to get to us wasn’t worth it.
Can you imagine sweltering in your car in Phoenix in July, waiting for an attendant to get freed up? And here we have the difference between liberal and conservative state governments. I’d much rather have fewer regulations passed to save me from myself, with consumers simply being educated (and “guilted” by others) on why they shouldn’t top off the tank.