Posts Tagged ‘Full Service’


full service gas 2

I wonder how many people have heard of a full-service gas station.   

In the old days all stations were like that.

 Real people washed your windshield (front and back),

filled your gas tank, and you never had to leave your car.

Believe it or not, there is just such a station at my local Farmer’s Co-op.  The sign at the station says “Please Do Not Leave Your Car.  An Attendant Will Help You.”

There is a sense of relaxation there – no hurry.  Folks talk to each other.  It’s a  friendly comfortable place where everybody knows your name and includes true Customer Service in a Do-It-Yourself Age.   Why one winter I even gave homemade peanut brittle to the attendants to thank them for their dedication through a frigid weather.

“What a treat,” I thought as I enjoyed the whole luxurious full service experience for the first time and immediately decided never to buy gasoline anywhere else and became an exclusive, devoted, and happily dependent customer for 25 years!  And that momentous decision changed my life in a profound and unusual way with unexpected negative results.

Today I have only a vague idea how to gas up my own car, and I panic as I drive in unfamiliar territory.

A Relic at the Gas Pump

The result of decades of never pumping is I am probably extinct – a relic of another age after the horse and buggy but before cell phones and in the middle of Customer Service (the way “service station” service should have remained).  Do you know anyone who cannot pump their own gas?  Not likely.

True Confession

I now realize I am technologically challenged and nervously confused whenever I have to “fill ‘er up.”

fuel guage

Did you know that full-service gas stations are not available in every town in America?  Picture this:  A very nervous lady struggling to get her gas cap off, pushing all the buttons available, studying the prompts, and on the verge of tears.  Finally some extra expert gas pumper person (ranging from age 8 to 80) comes to the rescue.  People are nice.  They really are.  Most anyway, feel sympathy for pathetic mortification.

The thing is, this Last-of-the-Pampered-Few actually experiences stage fright with sweaty palms, nausea, and the urge to run, requiring deep gulping breaths to prepare for the ordeal at the pump.

Like fingerprints, every pump is different and of course

 each one presents a major problem for the inept.

As it is, when forced to face terror at the pump, I am keenly aware that everyone in the station knows! Are they all snickering as I struggle to understand what to do next?  Yes, I do understand “insert nozzle,” but that’s about all. Lift lever?  What lever? Where?  Begin pumping?  How?

I know this sounds ridiculous to you veteran gas pumpers.   I confess it was a huge mistake to enjoy the luxury of full service all these years and a serious error in judgment that spawned this embarrassing phobia.  On the “up side”, at least my struggles generate laughter among Those Who Know.  There is evidently humor in helplessness, and Now You Know Too!  Uh Oh!

But  there is a glimmer of hope since for the past five years Bill has been saying, “You can do this. Keep trying! There’s nothing to it.”


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