What Gas Service Was

Remember the days when you didn’t even have to pump your own gasoline, wash your windows or check your oil?  Some places even checked the pressure in your tires. 

I think back to when I was 5-years old and my dad visited his friends to get his car serviced at our local gas station.  They let me get in the car and go up on the lift.  Everyone in the station cheered louder and louder as the gap-toothed, younger version of me went higher and higher.  I got such a thrill.  More than 4 decades later, it’s still a fond childhood memory. 

That seems SO long ago now--because it was.  How have things changed, you ask?

What Gas Service Has Become

...Pay at the Pump

…Small, Overpriced Convenience Stores

…Clueless, Underpaid Cashiers

Brother, Can You Buy Me Gas?

This past Saturday, I needed to get gas on my way to the grocery shopping.  I pay for most things with cash, and getting gas is no exception.  Unfortunately, this meant I had to enter the store to pay.  Since I paid with a $50, I also had change coming. 

At least, that was my take.  But you never know with some people’s kids…

After I walked in to get my change, the following conversation ensued:

“You have $15 coming. How about you give me the rest of your money to fill up my car?” 

Maybe it’s just me, but the words “your” and “my” in the last sentence just didn’t quite make sense to me.  My money in his car, is that what he said?  It couldn’t be.  

Feigning deafness and not believing what I had just heard, I said, “Excuse me, what did you say?”

“I need some money to fill up my car.”  I couldn’t fake this one out.  He actually said it. 

Normally, I don’t handle pressure situations very well.  However, in an unusually blunt way (for me), I responded, “I barely have enough on me to fill up the tank.  And after this, I’m going grocery shopping.  You’ll have to get your gas somewhere else.”

I Give, Just Not to Anyone

Please don’t insinuate that I’m against helping others in trouble.  I am not.  Charitable giving is the top line of my monthly budget.  It is my choice who I give to.  I will never be pressured into making a financial decision…and neither should you!  Who knows if he actually needed the money or what he would do with it?

Knowing I’d made the correct choice, I felt a total peace invade my soul.

Somewhere, my dad was smiling and the gas station service workers were applauding once again.