You know those guys who pump gas for you at gas stations? I don’t like them. Where I come from, we pump our own gas. It isn’t difficult, you put your card in, lift the nozzle, put in it you car, push 87, and begin pumping. It bothers me that enough people managed to mess this up that gas stations had to hire people to do it for them. The gas pumpers never seem like they’re very well educated and they never manage to screw up the process. Now, what does that say about the average people who drive away covered in gas? Did NJ make it law that you can’t pump your own gas because the people of that state couldn’t be trusted with a gas pump? Just another reason to not like New Jersey.
I also don’t like the fact that I have to tip them. While driving back from Long Island I was cutting across NJ, where all gas stations are full service, and had to fill up. I had one dollar in my wallet so I reluctantly gave the guy my card to pay. He asks me something in half English half Spanish/Portuguese or something and I just say “87″ because there is nothing more than what type of gas someone needs to complete his job. After he finishes pumping he gives me that look that says “wheres my tip you rich whitey?” So I give him the only dollar in my wallet and he looks and me with an annoyed look and walks away. WFT?
Here is my stance on tipping and who deserves it:
First, a look at jobs we do tip and why. Waiters and waitresses get paid my their employer to serve our food. They will always get paid as long as our food ends up on the table, but if he is an asshole, he will never get tipped. We give them tips when they offer polite conversation, comments and suggestions about what to order, and hopefully they stop back to fill our drinks and ask how our food is. It isn’t the fact that they gave us food that warrants a tip, its all that extra stuff they do.
Cab drivers are the same. Their job is to get me from point A to point B. I could do that, however it would probably take 3 times as long. We tip them because they have superiour knowledges of the streets and the shortcuts, they drive like maniacs to get us to our destination, and they usually offer us polite conversation along the way. Their tip amount depends on how fast I got there and how polite and accommodating their cab and their demeanor is. I’ll still give a decent tip to an complete asshole driver if he gets me to my destination relatively fast. And I will give a tip to a driver who takes his sweet time driving but is a real conversationalist.
Now, the gas pumper. They get paid to pump gas. I can pump gas just as fast as anyone else can. Seriously, I’m not saying I’m better than you, its just that the pace of the gas pumping is entirely dependent on how fast the gas comes out of the nozzle that day. It has nothing to do with experience. The few times I traveled through full service gas station communities, I have never fallen into polite conversation with an attendant nor has he pumped gas faster than average. The only occasions where I believe it is fair to tip an attendant is if it is 112° or 12°. But only because I feel bad, not because I think you’re doing an above average job.
I’m not saying that I will no longer tip these people. I will continue tipping, but I will do it begrudgingly from this point onward, and you should too.