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Opening Arguments

They just can't help themselves

What is it about New Jersey and Oregon that makes their drivers lazy wimps?

New Jersey residents aren't primed about pumping their own gasoline.

A new poll shows nearly two-thirds support the state rule requiring that only station attendants can pump gas in the Garden State.

Forty-eight states allow self-serve gas pumps. Only New Jersey and Oregon do not.

[. . .]
The poll finds Democrats and women are more strongly in favor of having their gas pumped by someone else than are Republicans and men.
Only manly men dare to get out of the safe car and brave the elements while pumping their own gas, which leaves out the gals and the Dems, natch.
I remember when self-serve began, sort of trickling into one station at a time. A lot of people, men and women of all political persuasions, were intimidated by the idea and would drive out of their way to find stations that still pumped it for you. But self-serve has become such a taken-for-granted part of the public landscape that one of the biggest laughs in "Back to the Future" was the scene where a car pulled into a gas station and was swarmed by attendants in uniform.


Mon, 01/23/2012 - 7:11pm

The interesting thing about NJ is that its residents do not perceive that they have to pay more at the pump than at self-serve stations  - simply because the surounding states charge more taxes , New York (33.3 cents) Pennsylvania (27 cents and Delaware (23 cents) all exceed NJ's 14 cents per gallon tax.

Harl Delos
Tue, 01/24/2012 - 2:18pm

Given a choice, I usually prefer self-service to terrible service. Yes, I end up with gas on my hands, no, I don't end up with gas all over my fender and the ground.

Works the same way with self-service checkouts. There are four of them sharing a common line, and you don't walk up to the checkout until it's available. If the checkout rings up the wrong price, if it thinks the package I am scanning weighs the wrong amount, or it otherwise requires human assistance. If they are johnny on the spot, fine, but if three people need help and that one perseon supervising the self-serve registers seems incapable of handling a rotary-dial phone, much less a sophisticated computer, I let them reshelve my cart contents, and I head for a different store.

Amazon's success, in part, has to do with their customer service policy. If someone is happy with their customer service, they consider it a failure on their part; what they want is to eliminate your need to contact customer service.

I used to have a subscriber who circled every typo in red and sent the paper back to me. I was shocked at first, but after a while, we managed to catch most typos before the ink hit the blanket. I should have mailed her a gift to say "Thank you" for making us better, but I was young, arrogant and impatient. (I'm no longer young....)