Story & Video – Joseph Boyle
Yesterday I pulled into the Chevron gas station at 108th St SW and Bridgeport Way SW for the mundane, but necessary purpose of filling my gas tank. We used to call them Chevron Service Stations, because they actually provided service.
Back in 1959 I started buying gas when we had full service stations on every corner and actual gas wars that pulled the price down to around .14 cents a gallon.
The stations would compete to see who could sell their gas for the cheapest price. If you filled up, they would give you a set of glassware or placemats. I saved up all that gas station stuff for the day I became a newlywed.
It took me awhile to get the idea that it would not cost me any more in the long run if I filled the tank for $2.10 instead of just buying 1 gallon for .14 cents.
Now the cost of gas is pushing $4.00 – $5.00 a gallon. When I fill my tank these days for around $58.00, I have to borrow against my home loan line of credit. Today’s price for a tank of gas is higher than my $35.00 car payment back in the “good ol’ days”.
Well, I guess that is the way it is. You might say they have us over the barrel, the oil barrel.
We have all learned to live with it, but now I discover the oil companies have developed a new way to torture the ordinary consumer. I call it “News Assault”. They want to take all our money and to soften us up; they are killing off our brain cells by attacking us with a visual and auditory assault of news and commercials.
They have a TV machine built right into the pump used to force feed negative unwanted news at a screaming decibel rate. There is no escape. It reminds me of the Communist propaganda trucks with giant speakers on top that were used in North Korea and other places in history where Communism was entrenched.
Check out my video. The actual volume was about 10 times higher than what I am presenting to you.
When I asked the inside pump jockey if there might be a customer mute button, he told me, “No”. He told me all stations have to install new pumps by 2014 and when they got theirs the video was a bonus.
I told the pump jockey, “Tell your oil people it is not a bonus, it is a customer killer. My solution for their news assault will be to never spend another dime at this particular Chevron Station. I wish to maintain my power of choice and I choose to avoid their blaring video news assault.”
I realize I am probably standing alone on this. The rest of you may well love having free news to fill your boredom while filling your tank. If you do, at least try to pay attention to what you are doing so you don’t spill gas all over yourself and set yourself on fire.
Tom Shaudis says
Joe, You are not alone! This used to be one of my two regular stations, but with the situation as you describe, I will fill up elsewhere. Nice report, Joe.
Darlene Anselmo says
You are not alone. My niece went there and also felt assaulted. She will never return.
As much as we don’t like 4.00 gas, keep in mind that over the long haul, that cost is roughly in line with overall increases in the cost of living. And no matter what you are driving, it probably gets better mileage than cars of 30-40 years ago when there was little incentive for good gas mileage, so our gasoline bills are typically a lower percentage expenditure of our income than they used to be (assuming we drive the same distances, which we probably don’t).
As for the video (or in some cases just a speaker playing news/music), I agree that’s a customer killer. Fortunately, the ones I’ve run into do indeed have a mute button, albeit some little thing you have to look hard for. Wonder if the gas companies would forgo this little extra and put the extra savings into reducing cost of gas? Yeah, right….