Self service gasoline

Unlike the thread on gasoline prices, here’s a link to an interesting article that I hope will not provoke controversy. Why New Jersey and Oregon still don't let you pump your own gas - CNN

With selling fuel with such low profit margins the reluctance for self serve is hard to understand . I doubt if being a pump jockey pays enough even for part time kids .

"Violators can be fined up to $500 for breaking these states’ laws"

Yes, in theory, but–in practice–I don’t believe that this has ever happened in NJ. I have no experience with Oregon, but NJ’s mythical gas pump police are not waiting behind a tree so that they can jump out and present violators with a summons.

Not only do I get no objections from gas jockeys when I pump my own gas, but most of them actually thank me for doing so.

Because there is so much misinformation on the topic of full-service gas stations in NJ, I thought I would provide a link to an article on the origin of the regulation banning self-service stations. The regulation was actually requested (and paid for :wink:) by the state association of gasoline retailers, who objected to the cut-rate tactics of one retailer. The only thing that the article’s writer got wrong was the name of the gas retailer who kicked-off the debacle. His last name was Reinauer, not Reingold.

My beer is Reingold the dry beer. ( When is the last time you heard that?).

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Do you remember their annual Miss Rheingold beauty contest? You could cast your vote in a liquor store or a tavern.

Here is the slate of candidates for 1953. If you look closely at their names, you will see that one of them did go on to stardom… briefly:


I do remember the Miss Rheingold promotion, and Miss Subways

As a kid in Brooklyn, I remember thinking…
Who would want to be named after the grimy, smelly, rat-infested NYC Subway?

Lol 10 character minimum

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I remember those pre-Self Service days when I worked evenings after HS to make some pocket money.
Winters freezing my fingers off making change, wiping windshields, checking oil and dreaming of the day that I’d make enough money to sit warm and clean in my car while someone else would be filling my car!

Come to think of it, I’m still dreaming of it : :frowning_face:


At Costco, I’ve noticed that most of the male employees, and a few of the female employees, started out pumping gas, and later migrated to inside jobs. I wonder if Costco has a policy of making newbies spend their time in hell–outside–before allowing them to get an inside job.

These laws were enacted at a time when most gas stations were working repair shops and depended on gas sales to build relationships with customers who would then get their repairs done where they got gas. I worked at a couple of them in the 50s. Naturally they had a vested interest in stopping self service stations.

Yeah, most jobs dealing with the public are tough, no appreciation, low wage jobs and we wonder why so few people are willing to do them?

On the plus side for myself this and other similar jobs were a very significant reason for this “Perfect C” HS student to graduate college. No matter how bad, how tough and/or how high the cost there was no f**** way I was going back to be doing this or my various other jobs!!! :slightly_smiling_face:

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One problem w/allowing self-serve I guess is that once one station in the area adopts the practice, and their gasoline price gets a corresponding drop, that forces the other stations to offer self serve. At first the pumps will be split, some self-serve, others full serve. But the loss of economy of scale for full-serve eventually forces all the pumps to be switched to self serve. The downside to all this, a subset of customers , elderly, disabled, those who just don’t want to be bothered, etc, would still prefer full-serve pumps available, but no longer have that option.

I wonder if there’s a better method than a complete gov’t ban on self-serve? For example, requiring every station to have at least one pump that offers full-serve. But the other pumps are allowed to be self serve. Or a certain % of the stations in a given area must be 100% full serve?

My recollection from traveling through other states is that the folks who can’t pump gas themselves can still avail themselves of “full service”. The problem is that obtaining that “full service” always comes with a much higher cost per gallon, and may entail waiting a very long time before someone comes to their aid.

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That might be a reason the best method is to require a % of the gas stations be 100% full serve. Those station’s owner’s would have an incentive to make sure there’s an attendant on hand, b/c otherwise they’d be selling no gasoline.

As per the ADA assistance will be provided to handicapped persons at self service gas stations at no additional cost. The only time they are allow not to assist is if there is only 1 person on duty and even then they are encouraged to help anyways.

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