Thursday, January 18, 2018

Pumping Gas

As you may know, it is illegal to pump your own gas at a gas station in Oregon. The penalty is a $500 fine. This year, a new law went into effect, which allows people in rural counties to pump their gas, after hours. In other words, this only affects places in Oregon where it's not economically viable to have attendants working, 24/7.

The Internet immediately started making fun of Oregonians about this. "Ha ha, those idiots can't pump their own gas!". Days of brutal insults and gas-shaming followed.

As someone who lives in Oregon, I was offended.

Yes, I know it's not hard to pump your own gas, and it's kind of silly to require people to have a license to pump gas, when 98% of states don't. But it's kind of nice to have mandatory gas attendants. You don't have to get out of your car when it's cold, the attendants give out free dog treats, and I assume it's good for the economy to have easily-available, low-skill jobs. The downside is that you sometimes have to wait longer to get your gas when the gas stations are busy, but that's okay. I normally read a book at those times.


Anonymous said...

do they do it to make jobs, or because it is dangerous to handle highly flammable gasoline?

Anonymous said...

I live in upstate New York, but I've traveled to New Jersey quite a few times where they also have someone pump your gas for you. I always feel like I'm being lazy because I'm so used to pumping it myself, but I can see how it creates more jobs and it provides a nice break for the people that are used to pumping their own gas all the time.

OneHundredPercentAus said...

I'm in Australia, where I've always pumped my own fuel and I've never had a problem doing so. I have a feeling it's more a job thing rather than a danger thing.

Elizabeth Riepenhoff said...

I'm interested to know how that affects prices, as presumably the owner of each gas station pays those employees who pump the gas. Are items in attached convenience stores slightly more expensive? Does gas cost slightly more? How is the cost of employees made up for?

Also, I remember driving home from college a few years ago and stopping at a gas station. I didn't know they had someone who pumped the gas for you, so I got very confused and a tad scared when a man came up and knocked on my window. It's fine now that I know that that gas station has those employees, but it was odd the first time. I've lived in southern Ohio my whole life and I had JUST found this place --I don't know of any other station around here that does this. It was nice!

Paul said...

Speaking as one of the gas-shamers, it's hard not to poke fun when this is how Oregon was reacting to the news:

Anonymous said...

there is an old-fashioned sort of gas station in my town that my dad goes to to support the local business, not only do they pump your gas, but also clean your windows for free each time you go! They will also check your tire pressure for free too if you ask.