Friday, March 5, 2010

Gas Pump Wars

The above image obtained from Google Images

Has anyone else noticed how long it takes to pump gas these days?

It's not the gas itself but rather the hoops you have to jump through in order to just get your gas.

For example, this past evening I was running on fumes and headed into my nearest Gas Mart. I pull up and hop out, credit card in hand. The following ensued:

The seemingly polite Gas Pump welcomed me nicely and asked how I would like to handle this evening's transaction. I dutifully selected the "Pay at the Pump" option.

Next, it wanted to know "Debit or Credit". Oh that's easy. I select Credit.

What? You now want my Zip Code? Since when has that been a requirement? Oh well, okay. I guess you, Mr. Gas Pump, are just protecting my credit, making sure I am who I say I am. I'll accept that.

So I attempt to punch in (that's what they do to buttons in the South...punch or mash, never press) my Zip Code but my gloved hands (it was COLD out) couldn't stay on the tiny push buttons so the wrong Zip Code was accidentally punched in.

Oh no...Mr. GP says I'm a no good credit card pilferer! I mash CANCEL trying to get out of this mess. Well let me tell you, it took a good 5 minutes to get back to the opening greeting and I go through all of the above all over again, only this time, removing my gloves to mash in my Zip Code. Accepted. Score!

Now the ads begin....I am being told of the fresh pizza and hot dogs they have to offer and the sodas that are on sale. I impatiently wait for the gas screen to come back up.

After what seems like eons, a new screen eventually pops up, only this time asking me if I would like a car wash...very... slowly... by... using... a... new... screen... for... each... of... the... following... words: YES?... OR...........NO? I mashed the "NO" a little harder than I probably should have because the screen then taunts me: "Are you sure?" Then it tries to bribe me telling me about the amazing discounted car wash I could have if I just fill up my tank. I only need to succumb to it's wily ways and say "YES".  I'm now yelling at the pump "NO" like it could hear me or something. Other patrons of Gas Mart are beginning to stare. Deep cleansing breath...okay, better. I politely told the Pump,"No, thank you, not tonight, I have a headache."

Now I feel as if I hit pay dirt because Mr. Gas Pump tells me that I have finally earned the right to lift the nozzle and select the grade of gas I would like pump into my RAV4. This part was fun because I always choose the "CHEAPEST" of the bunch. I felt just a wee tinge of sorrow for PREMIUM, which is most certainly not receiving as much attention in these crazy economic times.

Did I mention that it was cold outside? It was. My gloveless fingers were numb and my Raynaud's was beginning to flare. I wait out the pumping within the toasty confines of the car. Yes, I am one of those. I refused to turn off the ignition. I'm sure I angered the "Green Police" out there but when the cold affects me such as it does I will not apologize. But I digress.

The familiar "thunk" of the nozzle shutting off brought me out my comfortable cocoon. I proceeded to place the nozzle back on the pump only to be bombarded with another question: Receipt....Yes?.....Or.....No?

Aaargghh!  A living nightmare I tell you!

What should have been a 5 minute quick stop felt like an eternity!

So tell me, am I overreacting?

17 comments:

Thom said...

Tsk Tsk Tsk running on fumes. Not a good idea my friend. First I never go to a station with a car wash. Second if it has ads new station for me get me once bit never again. Third if I have to tell it debit or credit. Bye bye. Stupid machine. I don't mind the entering of my zip code I must say. Station I use, Chevron, swipe card enter zip pump tell it if I want a receipt. Done. But here I've yet to find one station like in the mainland that doesn't make us hold the pump the entire time. Ahh the price of paradise.

thrasherswife said...

No, I totally agree, the pumps can keep you going in circles if you push an incorrect button. And I'm with you - cheap gas for me and my Mazda Minivan all the way....

Cynthia@RunningWithLetters said...

Oh, Polly! That's just terrible--I can't believe the hoops one must go through to get anything done these days. Just the other day, I got blackballed from Photobucket while trying to make one of those cool scrolling slideshows for the blog awards. They were asking me WAY too many questions, and I finally got exasperated and told them I was born in 2010, I guess I got a red flag. It wouldn't let me in no matter how many times I came back with a new user name--I guess my IP address was blocked.

Loved your story, though--well told :)

Jackie said...

Wouldn't it be nice if our cars ran on water?

http://www.markusrothkranz.com/Resources/water_engine.jpg

Holly said...

You are funny...I never thought about it before...but we do get asked a lot of questions juts to get gas...and not of the questions really pertinent to the situation.

Broad Spectrum said...

Hi...I'm over from J. Hawley's blog as I was curious to meet you. As a non-fan of cold climes and annoying electronic sales pitches, I feel your pain! However, I'm going to be a naggy granny. It's not about the green thing that you should turn off your car when you pump gas. It's about not blowing yourself to smithereens. Gas is very volatile. If a tiny bit of gas fumes meet with a tiny spark...from anywhere...it will explode in a fireball. Not a pretty thought but it is a possibility. So, please take much care!

Mary said...

Found your blog while "blog surfing"! Guess the gas "stores" think that they've got you: you have to get gas, so why not have you watch some ads to entice you into the store?

Suzann said...

I complain about pumping gas all the time!
Why can't a person just pump and go!?
I told my husband I wanted to open up a station called pump n go and he thought people might think it odd.
So, I just tolerate the circus that is our current gas station and smile.
Cute post!!

Popping in from SITS to say hello and to wish you a Wonderful Weekend.!!

Lissaloo said...

lol, great post. It really is a pain, I think that's why I wait till the last minute to fill up my van.

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

You know, since I've been a stay at home mom for the last two years I've probably pumped gas 5 times. I don't miss it! Felix fills up our Blazer twice a week for me when he uses it to go to his night job.

Jephy's Mom said...

Up-selling, annoying.

AJ said...

no, you are not over reacting, especially if it's freezing outside.

I'm from CA and I have never NEVER left my car running while pumping. I think I was taught that your car might blow up or something.

lol

shows what they know.

ever get the urge to say YES to everything? Just to see if they let you go faster?!

Sh@KiR@ CK said...

Me got tributes and awards for you!

Come over UNEXPECTED GIFTS FROM FRIENDS!

hugs
shakira

Julie Schuler said...

Whatever happened to full service gas stations!?

Joanna Jenkins said...

ADS at your gas pump!?!?!?! At $3.09/gal. in So. California, that would not make me a happy gas-pumper. so, no, I do not think you are overreacting.

Sorry about the Raynaud's :-( That is no picnic, especially in the winter.

Hang in there and stay WARM!
jj

Shrinky said...

My God, I've never encountered an automated key-in-your-details-before-you-pump petrol station before, and from your experience, I hope upon hope I never have to!

Sheesh!

Unknown Mami said...

Thankfully, I don't have any stations like that by me.

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