Wednesday, October 29, 2008

So Long My Gas Station Attendant

Just a few decades ago, I remember places that simply sold gasoline. They had a few snack items inside, but for the most part, they were established to sell petrol, and provide service for the machines we drive (wash the windows, provide oil changes, tire repair, etc.). When a vehicle was driven over the rubber chord, a bell rang, signifying someone needed the gas station attendant to "fill 'er up."

Sometime during my teenage years, the "filling stations" changed somewhat. There were islands closest to the store that were full-service. Customers could expect the same service as always. There were also outside islands marked as "self-service". Those choosing to "fill 'er up" themselves, could save a few pennies. The incentive for the customer was obvious, eventually leading to less employees for the business and the elimination of the full-service islands.

We've since moved to automated machines at the pump and the elimination of filling stations for the most part. Businesses have diversified offering staple items inside, while also offering self-service for gasoline. Many people pull to the pump, process a credit/debit card, fill their tank, and are on their way (all without fear of the interaction with other people). It's much like a NASCAR pitstop. If someone were hired by the store now to provide service to the customer (other than running a cash register) people would surely be skeptical of the motivation of that person or the business.

Society has now moved to self-service in general. "No one can put gas in my vehicle like I can. No one washes my car like I do. I can do this project , without any help, thank you very much!" This kind of "progress" is much to our society's detriment. Many find it difficult to accept anything from anyone else without strings attached.

The proverbial pendulum has definitely swung from one side (living within community) to the other side (the idea of self-sufficiency). We attempt to teach personal responsibility, while also teaching teamwork and counting on our neighbors. It's no wonder that those we lead are confused.

Anything to add/subtract? BTW, post #100 is now in the "books". Thanks to those of you who read and respond, despite the author!


Anonymous said...

don't forget the blog world, where we do not actually have to talk to people face to face.

we could probably do most everything from in our house as long as we had a computer up and running and never have to go out and talk to anyone.

you count your posts? i have no idea how many posts i have spewed out!

preacherman said...

The memories of thos gas station attendants. I also in the 70's and 80's going with my mom and them checking the fluids and filling up. It was great! Always fun to go to those stations. Now those who still do that are more expensive than regular station. They are also small in number. Thanks for this great post. Keep up the great work!

Crowm said...

Good point Nancy! The great blogosphere is another great example of self-service.

Thankfully, Blogger keeps track of how many posts.

Crowm said...

Good to see ya Kinney! PTL for great results on the biopsy!

Anonymous said...

oh! now i see it!
i have 491 posts.

that's a lot of spewing!

Mike said...


You have a very good point. We have allow technology to seperate ourselves.

To be honest I talk to blog friends more than those that live next door.

Time to talk to those folks I think.