pursue stuff that matters

pursue stuff that matters

Monday, October 31, 2011

I just want a drive-through and sweet Jian Ghomeshi’s voice…

It saddens me to report that a 25-year long protest has come to a sorrowful ending.

This is not courageous activism like raw milk crusader, Michael Schmidt’s hunger strike; a protest for freedom of choice and recognition of the importance of farmers and food production in Canada. Mine is a prideful protest.

You see, for over two decades, I have strategically planned fuel fill-ups. When necessary, I’d drive on fumes to the other end of the city or an adjacent town to avoid being a ‘create your own reality’ victim of Self-Serve gas stations. But, on October 29, 2011 at 3:00, I pumped gas into a vehicle for the first time in my life.

The protest started back in the mid-eighties. It was during a gawd-awful “Why-do-I-live-in-Canada snow storm,” where snowplows can’t keep up, the wind is howling 40 miles… and I noticed that the number of full-service pumps at gas stations were dwindling. I’d watch the grimaces of people being pelted with snow while they pumped gas and stumble through the blizzard to the pay station and wonder…. WHY?

When I told others about this little boycott, the response has usually been a dim smile and disbelief. “Really! In your whole adult life, you’ve never put gas in your own car?”

But now, has it come to this? The city of Waterloo doesn’t have one full service gas station? I called Suncor Energy, they say no full service. Husky says no. Esso says no. Shell says no. Our progressive, beautiful city, that represents visitors in the hundreds of thousands, does not serve my needs (and yes, I understand this added service will cost more), or that of seniors or the disabled community.

How does a vulnerable senior or a paraplegic in a wheelchair pump her own gas and then maneuver through snow to pay?

So for the fist time I pumped gas and have one question: “If I can spend $1.40 at a Tim Horton’s in mid-February at a drive-through in my cozy Mustang listening to sweet Jian Ghomeshi’s voice, then why the hell can I not get someone to fill up my tank for $60.00?


Kathy said...

Let's see if this works. My response to this was something like changes happen and we don't always like them.

Deb Cripps said...

Well, yes, change happens but often it is us who created it. And since we’re on the subject… I also refuse to pack my own groceries… even in the line-up eight people long and the semi-retired Zehrs employee beckoned with a seductive smile and said, “Come over here dear, it’s easy. I’ll show you how.” Deb

Anonymous said...

I seek out full-service stations for various reasons: the convenience of not having to leave the vehicle, the knowledge that I will not come away from the experience with the smell of gas on my hands and possibly shoes, and the knowledge that the few cents I paid the the "full service" represents good employment for someone who needs it. However, if I was not able-bodied, I know that the need for full service stations would be a whole lot more important. In fact, I believe that it's a community's responsibility to ensure at least one exists in each town.

Andréa said...

Deb, you are a girl after my own heart! I, too, have and will, go out of my way for a full serve station and have no problem paying a cent or two more for the convenience. I cannot believe that Waterloo no longer has ONE full-service station??? This needs to hit the Chronicle, The Record. For the reasons you cite it is practically a necessity. I do know of one full -serve station on Victoria (I actually thanked the owner the other day for maintaining the service and told him many people I know are most appreciative) and another on Blockline, both in Kitchener.

My full-serve in Morriston/Aberfoyle closed down 2 years ago (it is important to mention here that I would pass 4 different self-serve stations to get to it). Its closing was such a shock to my system as I often had my infant daughter strapped into her car seat in the back seat of my car. When I lost that service what was I to do, unstrap her in the middle of winter to bring her into the booth/store with me? Or just lock her in the car while I ran inside, keeping my eye on the vehicle for as long as I could. Pay at the pump services have helped a bit but man, you present quite a case!

It also doesn't help that the lastest scientific survey showed that 71% of gas pump handles were highly contaminated with the germs most associated with a high risk of illness!

Carl HIebert said...

Right on!
For years we used to call these SERVICE stations. Where has the service gone? Given our winter conditions, this is a service that the majority of motorists would gladly pay for. Bring back the full serve!