|Gas station serviceman wearing a necktie|
It wasn't just cheap gasoline back in the day that made the gas station easier to deal with, it was more than that. When you pulled into a gas station there was something very different to what you experience today. They were real gas stations, not just a place to get fuel either - they were called service stations. The "service" as in serving was the only way to go. It was not considered socially correct to have to pump your own gas, getting your hands dirty and afterwards smelling like gasoline.
Sometime in the late 70s after that orchestrated fuel crisis that saw long lines at the pumps the corporate wisdom decided to cut labor costs and introduced the self service "pump your own" system. Those "company owned" stations also operated convenient stores along with the gas pumps instead of the usual repair facility. Their modern gas station now had one employee at a cash register instead of several employees. The square footage incorporated shelf space for potato chips, candy, and pet food, and coolers for beer and soft drinks. Gone was the automobile service station. There was no need to sell tires, fan belts and no need for a soda machine either.
The "company owned" self serve stations squeezed out the independents, openning up across the street which saw an end to the auto service part of the gas station in the U.S.A.as well as the anything else that resembled "service."
|Gas station service man wearing a bow tie|
I now live south of the border near Rosarito Beach, Baja California Mexico and there are real gas stations here. They often have the convenient store like gas stations north of the border but they have real service. There is usually at least one person on each side of the gas pump island, so you never feel neglected. The men and even women that are the gas station attendants take care of the task of refueling your car, they will gladly check the oil, the water and check the tires for air. They carefully clean the windshields, both front and back and the side view mirrors and they smile despite the salary of less then $2.00 per hour. They take great poride in their jobs and the gas station service men wear ties too, imagine that..