July 23, 2018 — Leave a comment

My daughter came into the house complaining about spending $1.25 to air up her tires. We talked for a while about the ways service has declined in most businesses. So many things that were called service were just expected. Elevator operators, Doormen, when you bought a new tire it was mounted, balanced and put on the car at no extra cost; that was service!

You needed gas you went to a “service station” and the attendant pumped the gas, cleaned the windshield and back glass, checked the oil, and checked the tire pressure: all that for the $.30 price of the gas. That was service! But, because we were all in a hurry we, instead of waiting our turn got out of the car and pumped our own gas. And, like so many things self-service started slowly but eventually became the norm.

About 10 years ago we took a 3 week dog show and sightseeing trip to the west coast. We showed a couple of our girls at the Great Western Terrier Show at Long Beach California. After three days dog showing; we went north to visit some relatives of Linda and then on to Oregon. I was born in Oregon but, you have to think about this, I had never seen it. So we went to Salem, Or. We spent 3 days there sightseeing and luckily saw the Salem General Hospital where I was born about a month before it was demolished. Also saw what was left of the Oregon Mental Hospital where I was almost born. That’s a story I think I’ve already told.

Part of the sightseeing was driving in the country and finding wineries. A great day and we brought back several bottles of fine wine. When we returned to the motor home I luckily noticed the car was running on fumes. I let Linda out to potty the dogs and I headed to a gas station. Found one just a few blocks away. Pulled up to pumps and got out and proceeded to put gas in the car.

WOW! A young man came running out of the little store yelling and waving his arms! “You can’t do that! Stop!” “What I asked?”  The lad replied, “you can’t pump gas. It’s against the law. ”What I ask?” The lad took the gas nozzle from me and asked, how much and I said fill it up. While he was filling the tank he explained the Oregon gas pumping law and also said that New Jersey has a similar law. Seems these laws were passed to protect jobs. But the young man did not clean my windshield.I read a few years ago that Oregon repealed the gas pump law which leaves New Jersey to stand alone to protect the jobs of the gas pump jockeys.

So today when you go shopping and you are dissatisfied with the service if you go to the front of the store and look around you will find the culprit; Self Service!

Thanks for listening,

Richard Isley

The Crotchety Old Man                                  Edited and approved by Linda

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