When I was a kid, there was this thing at gas stations called “service.” In fact, they weren’t called gas stations so much as “service stations.”
“Say, what is this service station of which you speak, Ed?” I hear some of you say.
Well, I’m glad you asked. Really. Because if you hadn’t, I wouldn’t have a blog topic.
A service station was a place where you could go to get a fill-up of gas, and here’s the interesting part, a man, called a service attendant, would come out to the car and ask you if you wanted it filled up. Seriously.
You’d pull in to the “service station,” your wheels would go over this little black hose, and inside the service station a bell would go “Ding! Ding!” Then this man in a uniform, with a nametag that read, “Bill” on the pocket came out and asked, “Fill it up, sir?” (or ma’am, depending). You’d nod and he’d go and fill up your car.
But wait, there’s more. While the car filled up, he’d wash your windows, check the pressure in your tires, and check your oil level. If you needed air or oil, he’d add that.
Then he’d wave and smile as you left, saying something pithy, like “Have a nice day” or “Happy motoring!”
And here’s the kicker. Gas cost twenty-five cents. Yes! Gas was cheap and the gas stations offered what might be considered concierge service all for twenty-five cents a gallon. A fill-up probably cost $4 at the most.
Now gas is at $4. Do you see anyone coming out to offer to fill your gas? To check your oil? Hell no! Cheap bastards. We’re paying through the nose, they are making record profits every day, and yet they can’t be fucking bothered to check our goddammed tire pressure.
Then, even commercial jingles spoke of customer service. “You can trust your car to the man who wears the star, the Big Red Texaco Star!”
Maybe once upon a time. Now? No, the fat ass attendants sit behind bullet proof glass and don’t know shit from Shinola when it comes to service and Big Oil is taking that dipstick and sticking it where the sun don’t shine. We’re bending over and taking it and saying, “Thank you sir! May I have another!”
Dammit people, at least ask them to check your tires.