To pump or not to pump your own gas? That is the question in Oregon

Oregonians apparently (and the internet) are in a bantering mood regarding one of the fundamental services. Having a Gas Station Attendant pump gas. Apparently, for many of the Oregonians, the world as they know it is coming to an end!

Here are some of the headlines related to this:

Oregonians can now pump their own gas, and the internet is going crazy

Internet Trolls Oregonians After Self-Serve Gas Laws Take Effect

Oregon Freaks Out Over After Oregon Strikes Law Banning Self-Service Gas Stations

The first time I had driven down to Oregon, being a Washingtonian, I was not aware that Oregon required a service station attendant to pump the gas. I was used to stepping out of the vehicle, approach the petroleum dispensary, slide my card in, punch in my credentials, and then pull the fuel injecting trigger so that my vehicle will fill up with the much needed energy drink.

So, what is wrong with having to pump your own gas? Nothing is wrong with having to pump your own gas.

Well……..except for one fundamental thing.

You see, back in the day (when our parents were young, rambunctious, and experiencing young adult hood), each service station had an attendant. This attendant did not only pump your gas, they checked:

  • Your oil level and recommended a top off if needed
  • Your windshield wiper fluid and recommended a top off if needed
  • Brake fluid, and, you guessed it, recommendation of topping it off.

In fact, the service attendant was also an entry level mechanic that performed some of the preventive maintenance a vehicle needed. Now a-days, a vehicle owner will go, pump gas into their mechanical beasts, and then take their vehicle to a local Jiffy lube or other side street drive through to check all the other stuff.


In fact, these were called, Full Service Gas Stations. According to Go Retro, we read the following:

For me, one of the most memorable scenes from Back to the Future is when Marty McFly, upon landing in his hometown during the 1950s, witnesses a full service gas station. A car pulls up and out of the station spring four uniformed attendants who not only fill the tank, but check the tire pressure and oil and wash the car’s windows. These perks were free and it was the norm up until the 1970s.

As the Go Retro website remarks, this changed in the 1970’s when the Oil Crisis occurred:

The oil crisis of the 1970s marked the beginning of the end for the full service station. Oil companies figured that customers wanted to pump their own gas in exchange for saving a few pennies. Pretty soon, the attendants were no longer needed. Also, the process of getting gas at a full service station took about 10-15 minutes, which sadly is considered too long in today’s high paced, impatient world.

It seems that the Oregonians, and the trolls having a fishing expedition, are in a tizzy as to whether they should retain the right to not pump their own gas into their vehicles; or, join the rest of our fast paced modern society and start pumping their own gas.

Me personally, I say bring back the old full service gas station attendants and not make any laws as to whether or not consumers should pump their own gas. I’d rather spend the 10-15 minutes making sure my vehicle is running at it’s best optimal performance. And, it’s another way to create entry level employment for our younger generation.