What’s with Pump Etiquette?

Gas stations are a thing that we all have been subjected to from birth. At least if you were born some time after Ford made the horseless carriage affordable. When I was old enough to be outside on my own–3 or 4, ok, reality, 8 or 9, I was walking down to the corner store for gum or candy. When I was riding in the car, truck, or jeep, after about the age of 10, my parents allowed me to pump gas. It was always simple enough, insert nozzle, pull lever, click, and hang up.

Fast forward from the late 80’s and early 90’s to the 2020’s..

Cars are automatics, electric, low emissions, etc, etc…

Buc-ees! OH MY GOD! Have you seen a its like the heaven of corner marts! Mega Gas Stations! Best thing they have going is the 50 gas pumps, with diesel and DEF.

But let us take it back to normal gas stations. We were traveling south on 95 from Virginia to Florida. As I watched the fuel gauge getting past a quarter of a tank, it was time to start looking at GasBuddy (not affiliated) and Google Maps (also not affiliated) for the next stop. We were 20 miles from the Florida line in Georgia. For whatever reason I missed the last large truck stop on the interstate.

I pull into the last gas/fuel station before Florida, it is divided, car side on the right, truck pumps on the left, and only 2 diesel pumps on the car side. At the last minute, I avoided the truck side because they were backed up and it usually takes them a bit of time to fill their tanks. I pulled into the car pumps area, pulled behind one of the cars at the combination gas/diesel pumps. Driver was nowhere to be seen, so I ASSUMED the driver was paying, or grabbing snacks, or…who knows? 5 minutes later, I am idling, taking up another pump, and in the way, not being able to do anything.

Few more minutes later, she walks out of the store, with a couple of kids, and then inserts a card in the pump. Annoying, yes, but at least she’ll get done and move…

Nope. The older boy pumps while the driver gets a change of clothes and goes back in the store. ?????

Sonya does some blocking at the next pump, I pull around that car (driver is MIA, we have burned 10 to 15 minutes.) I start pumping our diesel into the truck. I’m 23 gallons into pumping when the driver of the OTHER car finally gets back to her car. She pretty much tied up a pump for 20 minutes.

Moral of this story. If you have business to do inside the store, move your car away from the pumps and get in a parking spot. Our stop that should have taken 10 minutes max now cost us 20 to 30 because of someone that is inattentive, or just plain rude.

Truck side of the pumps, the drivers will pull forward after pumping so that the pump is open for the next driver to get in and get fuel pumped. If I took our F250 over to that side, it would have taken longer to walk in to pay than it would to pump. Truck drivers are much more efficient when fueling than car drivers. Lets take some lessons from them. Pull in, Pump and Pay, Move, Go In and get snacks.

Thanks for coming to my ranting. Check back later, I’ll be in a better mood for the next one.


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