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Full service… Not so much

April 16, 2008

There are only 2 states in the Union that make it unlawful to pump your own gas. While the reasoning behind this law was passed is no longer relevant, it does still stand. My question is , what constitutes full service? When I think of full service I picture the guy that pumps my gas asking me if I would like for him to check the oil. All of this is going on as the gas is being dispensed and he is cleaning my front windshield. If he is any good he also checks the air pressure of my tires. I don’t think that what I am talking about here is unreasonable. Of course I wouldn’t be bringing this up if there wasn’t a reason.

Earlier today friend of mine pulls into a gas station and had what seemed to me one of the oddest arguments with the attendant. We pull in and ask the attendant to fill the tank with regular and we are paying cash, please check the oil as we think its low. The guy pumps the gas, demands the cash and states that he is not a mechanic and will not check the oil. Now I realize that many people would hand over the cash and just leave, perhaps never returning to that station. Others would swallow that and still return. Us not so much. You see I and for that matter most of the people I associate with take issue with those that try to shaft us. See the way I see it if I am paying you, you need to do your job. You can at least pull some excuse out of your ass, like “sorry sir we the company has a policy against that”, I don’t know something. But to flat out refuse in a rude manner and bang on the window… Well that just does not sit right with me. Well my friend tells the guy that this being the state of New Jersey makes this a full service gas station and as such there are certain services that are part of that full service. The attendants response? Go somewhere else!

I wrote this several weeks ago and let it sit while I calmed down. I haven’t changed anything in the above text, but I have been paying more attention and doing some digging. It seems that in NJ there are two types of service stations. Full service and mini service. Problem is I have only been able to find one station that references mini service and the sign is actually laying on the ground behind the building. Oh yeah, that and they clean your windshield and ask if you want them to check your oil and tires. Uh, ok. I have tried to go to different gas stations in different areas to see if there was any difference. For the most part the only difference I observed wasn’t between “good” and “bad” neighborhoods, but rather if the attendant was happy at his job or not. I guess some people just come to accept what is going on in their lives, others not so much. Both groups have their way of letting you know.

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