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Author Topic: Pumping Gas in Oregon
Neesie
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I've lived in Oregon most of my life and have always defended our no self-serve law. The big argument is always "the price will go down". NFBSK! Won't happen. We have some of the highest prices in the entire country and I guarantee they wouldn't drop a penny. It would put thousands out of work too. We have an unemployment rate higher than the national rate. 8% at the moment. It just wouldn't make any sense to put all those people out of work just for "self-serve". We still have to get out of the car to pay if you have cash. I've been to other states where I had to pump it myself and liked coming home to no-pump Oregon.

Nee "keep Oregon no self-serve" sie [Wink]

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Warlok
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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No proof to offer besides what a gas-pumper told me there one time when I asked... He said one of the biggest reasons for no self-serve(alluded to above) was environmental. To pump gas in OR, supposedly you have to actually be "trained." I suspect it's very little, but the rationale is that you are less likely to spill that evil petrochemical and contaminate the pristine OR environment. They also do not have the little thingees to keep the pump going... the guy has to stand there and hold it the whole time, again, the rational is to prevent accidental spillage. Apparently they have some matching laws about how a spill is supposed to be cleaned up, and I guess it involves more than a little kitty litter and abroom. I did notive that the concrete at gas stations in OR was a lot cleaner than many other I had seen...

War 'wonder if its all true' lok

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Inconceivable

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unsocialannie
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I have a dumb question so trout me... [fish]

What if you want gas for your lawn mower? Do the attendants pump the gas into your portable container? I also want to know what is going to keep me from pouring/spilling it all over the ground[environment] when I get it home? [Roll Eyes]

unsocial"I bet OR's idea of a B-rated horror flick is some freak running around spraying gasoline out of spray bottles!"annie

God, I'm terrible!

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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I forgot to mention; the guy in NJ who pumped my gas said it was a safety thing.

That makes perfect sense. Gasoline is very dangerous stuff and readily available. A simple law to restrict who can pump it makes perfect sense.

--------------------
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Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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BoKu
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
...That makes perfect sense. Gasoline is very dangerous stuff and readily available. A simple law to restrict who can pump it makes perfect sense.

Plastics can also be very dangerous. We should also have certification and licensing for anyone who handles plastic objects.

Bob "fell of bicycle, but didn't drown" K.

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by BoKu, thymed out:
quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
...That makes perfect sense. Gasoline is very dangerous stuff and readily available. A simple law to restrict who can pump it makes perfect sense.

Plastics can also be very dangerous. We should also have certification and licensing for anyone who handles plastic objects.

Bob "fell of bicycle, but didn't drown" K.

Okay then, I'll smoke around my tupperware, you do it next time you pump gas. We'll meet back here to discuss your injuries in 24 hours.

--------------------
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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Ursa Major
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
Okay then, I'll smoke around my tupperware, you do it next time you pump gas. We'll meet back here to discuss your injuries in 24 hours.

As a former (full service) pump jocky I can assure you that gasoline isn't nearly as dangerous as you're implying.

One of our favorite tricks was to put out a cigarette in a cup of gasoline (that's the sort of thing high school boys think will impress the girls.) I've also seen gas spills (when the tanker driver tries to put 1500 gallons of gas into a 1000 gallon holding tank.) flowing down a busy street durng rush hour. When it's cold there are no fumes to ignite. When it's hot, the gas quickly evaporates and disipates. That's why we have to build expensive machines (engines) that create just the right conditions for ignition.

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DaHoop
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Being born and raised in Central Oregon, I always found it odd that all the other states would "force" you to pump your own gas. Being able to roll down your window, tell the high school drop-out to "fill it up" and then roll it back up and enjoy the warmth inside your car is a small pleasure I still remember every time I fill up in my new (and rather wet) home of the Olympic Penninsula.

One point I'd like to make though, is that's it's not completely illegal to pump your own gas there. Pacific Pride has a number of stations in the NW and if you have a card of theirs, you can pump your own. It's primarily for business owners and such, but there are ways anybody can get one. The upside was, they billed you monthly so if you were short of cash, you didn't have to put it on your interest bearing credit card and the price was about the same. The down side was, of course, you had to GET OUT YOUR CAR! Oh, the horrors!!

Anyway, I don't know if I made a point there or not, just wanted to throw my 2cents in as an Oregonian.

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Warlok
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Ursa Major:

One of our favorite tricks was to put out a cigarette in a cup of gasoline (that's the sort of thing high school boys think will impress the girls[/QB]

Let's not go out for a beer and see what else you may have thought was fun [Razz]

Just kidding, I understand your point, but it's a pretty dangerous one for nyone that does not know the ignition temperature or the evaporation conditions. I'll stick to smoking around tupperware myself - and I don't smoke. Thsi is like saying that since you can lick a battery and live, someone may get lucky and touch the 10,000v line and live...

War 'sorry, no roulette for me' lok

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Inconceivable

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Robigus, Frozen Mushroom
The First USA Noel


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I was wondering about this, as I understand that the profit margins for most station owners is pretty small, and the cost of keeping pump monkeys on duty would eat into profits. I wonder if perhaps station owners don't fight this because, by have someone else pump the gas for the driver, the driver is then free to enter the station and shop for stuff that he or she might otherwise not have if they pumped their own and just ran in to pay. Since there is a higher profit margin on snacks and other items sold by the station, it might actually be better for the owner to stay with the arrangement.
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Atlanta Jake
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by Ursa Major:

One of our favorite tricks was to put out a cigarette in a cup of gasoline (that's the sort of thing high school boys think will impress the girls.)

This is not because Gasoline is "Not that flamable", this is because of something called a Flamable Range... basically it did not ignite because there was not enough air (oxygen) NOT because of a lack of vapors!

quote:
I've also seen gas spills (when the tanker driver tries to put 1500 gallons of gas into a 1000 gallon holding tank.) flowing down a busy street durng rush hour. When it's cold there are no fumes to ignite.

Your joking, right? according to this Material Safety Data sheet the flash point (the temperature at which it gives off sufficient vapor to form an ignitable mixture with air) is -40 F!! Exactly how cold does it get where you live anyway?

quote:
When it's hot, the gas quickly evaporates and disipates.
And exactly what is created while the Gasoline is evaporating? (all together now!...) Vapors!

quote:
That's why we have to build expensive machines (engines) that create just the right conditions for ignition.
Engines are not built to create ideal conditions for igniting gasoline! what an odd concept. They are built to turn the enrgy of burning gasoline into mechanical energy. That would be like saying that radios were created to use electricity!

As for your trick with the cigatretts and the gasoline... Where I live there are churches in which the attendees handle rattle snakes and drink strychnine with no appearent ill effects... but that does not mean that rattle snakes and strychnine are not poisonous, does it?

Did you say you had the safety class?... Did you stay awake?

Atlanta "... 5 out of 6 people survive a game of Russian roulette too! "Jake

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Remember Kids, Don't try this at home!

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Muck
The First USA Noel


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My word! So, here's the deal. The post above that mentioned that this topic has been on the ballot regularly is quite accurate. When I moved here in the '70s the argument was from the station owners who were against customers pumping their own gas. They spent a lot of money lobbbying against self serve, using the safety argument to scare us poor booger eating morons to allow the gas jockeys to pump for us.

As time passed, the oil companies switched sides, and now they want to get the voters to allow self-serve. Of course, this will increase oil company profits, but nobody here can be convinced that gas will be cheaper with self serve. It's not the case in Washington or California, so why would it be the case here? Silly oil companies.

One of the reasons we get gas reasonably priced is the terminals at the Port of Portland. This allows foreign and domestic (Alaska) gas to come into the state. Another good driving deal is our inexpensive registrations running around $20 a year. Our roads are turning to crap, but driving is a pretty inexpensive proposition compared to our neighbors north and south (whose roads are also turning to crap).

Muck

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Sparverius, the feathered serpent
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Ursa Major:
As a former (full service) pump jocky I can assure you that gasoline isn't nearly as dangerous as you're implying.

One of our favorite tricks was to put out a cigarette in a cup of gasoline (that's the sort of thing high school boys think will impress the girls.) I've also seen gas spills (when the tanker driver tries to put 1500 gallons of gas into a 1000 gallon holding tank.) flowing down a busy street durng rush hour. When it's cold there are no fumes to ignite. When it's hot, the gas quickly evaporates and disipates. That's why we have to build expensive machines (engines) that create just the right conditions for ignition.

That sound you hear is a safety trainer dying a little....

As mentioned above, gasoline fumes can ignite at any temperature about -40 Celsius. Quick evaporation makes it even worse, since you now have a large, invisible cloud of vapours. Now, gas stations don't blow up on a regular basis (although they do blow up OCCASIONALLY) because the vapours are not in a confined area. The wind blows in fresh air, and blows away the vapours before they reach a flammable level.

The trick with the cigarette in the gasoline will work, if you know what you're doing. It's not relevant to a gas station on a hot, windless day.

What the relevance of the 1000 gallons of gasoline flowing down the street is, is anyone's guess. Provide an ignition source, it will ignite. Period.

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Hey Ursa, I can look deep into your future and tell you what you're last words will most likely be:

"Watch this." [Wink]

--------------------
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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Ursa Major
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Sparverius, the feathered serpent:
What the relevance of the 1000 gallons of gasoline flowing down the street is, is anyone's guess. Provide an ignition source, it will ignite. Period.

Both times (yes, it happened twice) the gas was flowing under moving cars.

I'm not saying the potential for disaster doesn't exist with gasoline, but that such disasters are extremely rare considering how omnipresent the stuff is and no matter what kind of fools are allowed to handle it.

quote:
Did you say you had the safety class?...
No. Why would you assume I did? (Not to mention, you're confusing me with the dumb 17 year old who occupied this body 23 years ago.)

Safety class?
Who's joking now?
Obviously, you have no experience working in a typical American service station. More time is devoted to making sure you know how to maintain a sqeegy and make change for a twenty then is spent telling what that liquid stuff is that comes out of the pump.

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Neesie
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I have a dumb question so trout me... [fish]

What if you want gas for your lawn mower? Do the attendants pump the gas into your portable container? I also want to know what is going to keep me from pouring/spilling it all over the ground[environment] when I get it home? [Roll Eyes]

unsocial"I bet OR's idea of a B-rated horror flick is some freak running around spraying gasoline out of spray bottles!"annie


Yes, if you want to fill up a container, they have to do it for you. Pretty silly, but oh well. I used to get my gas from our fire station and really liked the convienience of not having to wait in a line at the gas station.


They also do not have the little thingees to keep the pump going... the guy has to stand there and hold it the whole time, again, the rational is to prevent accidental spillage.

Not true. The nozzles have the lock that keeps it going. That way the attendant can start several at one time. Most stations only have 1 or 2 people running 4 islands and they bust their butts. My hubby did it for a living as a young man and hated when they were short handed.

I ride a motorcycle and they just hand you the nozzle and you do it yourself. I wish I had a center-stand so I could get off of the bike while pumping the gas. The nozzles have a boot that slides back when you put it in the gas tank. When filling a cycle tank, you have to use your hand to hold it back. Arrgh! It's not easy holding that thing back. Only once have I tried self-immolation. I was letting it fill too fast and it really splashed back. It went all over the engine which was nice and hot from my 10 mile ride. I got really lucky. Scared the crap out of me.
I have been reading quite a bit on how easy it is to start a fire at the pump. I guess you can actually get enough of a spark from a cell phone or from touching your car and getting a shock. The cell phone thing came out on a bulletin here at work warning our drivers to be careful when they are filling up. The finger shock is actually pretty scary. I watched a video of some poor lady who went up in flames. Good Lord. [Eek!] I never knew it was that easy to start the fumes from such a small spark.

Nee "fill-er-up with unleaded please" sie

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Ursa Major
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Tsk Tsk
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abby 68
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Sounds like a great way to put people to work, under cetain circumstances.
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BoKu
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
Okay then, I'll smoke around my tupperware, you do it next time you pump gas. We'll meet back here to discuss your injuries in 24 hours.

Let me try again.

The idea that "there oughta be a law" to protect everyone from everything that is remotely dangerous presumes some sort of moral authority over, or perhaps even ownership of, the governed by those governing. I find it repugnant in the extreme. I happen th beileve in evolution in action.

Further, I take issue with your implied sentiment that since I disagree with legislated safety, that I am driven by strange compulsions to do foolhardy things like mixing gasoline and open flame. Assertions like that have no place in reasonable discourse.

Bob K.

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Neesie
The Red and the Green Stamps


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It's funny that snopes has debunked the cell phone thing, yet our safety department has sent out a bulletin on it. They actually have an official word on this from the Dallas Field Division of the ATF(Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives). I've got the bulletin right here in front of me and they say they got the warning from Shell Oil Company. They said they have 3 official incidents. In all 3, the phones rang while the person was pumping the gas. One in a pocket, one on the trunk of the car and one as they answered it. They also mention the danger of static electricity. That one came from Pat Cabiling from Chevron Texaco's Richmond Refinery.
If the ATF has been fooled, than shame, shame.

Nee "wonders who to believe" sie

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The One True Marc
The Red and the Green Stamps


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One more point to add fuel to the flame: In New York (as the story goes), full-serve was done away with because people were sick of having to pay tips on top of paying for the gas. Unlike waiters in a restaurant, a gas attendant is doing a job that most people are perfectly capable of doing themselves. Why then, should they have to pay extra if they don't want to?

Before people bring up handicapped and elderly, let me say I'm not suggesting that full-serve states go to the other extreme-i.e., it's illegal to have full-serve stations. Instead, I think it should be a choice left up to the customer. When you pull into a gas station, and you're approached by a gas station attendant, let them know whether you want/need them to pump for you.

This way, people accustomed to, or in need of someone to pump their gas for them can still have their gas jockeys, while those of us who believe that pumping gas does not require even a high school diploma can still show off our fueling prowess.

Any thoughts?

M"I'm gonna pump you up"arc

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by BoKu, thymed out:
quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
Okay then, I'll smoke around my tupperware, you do it next time you pump gas. We'll meet back here to discuss your injuries in 24 hours.

Let me try again.

The idea that "there oughta be a law" to protect everyone from everything that is remotely dangerous presumes some sort of moral authority over, or perhaps even ownership of, the governed by those governing. I find it repugnant in the extreme. I happen th beileve in evolution in action.

Further, I take issue with your implied sentiment that since I disagree with legislated safety, that I am driven by strange compulsions to do foolhardy things like mixing gasoline and open flame. Assertions like that have no place in reasonable discourse.

Bob K.

A simple law about who/how a dangerouse substance is dispensed isn't the same as:

"there oughta be a law" to protect everyone from everything that is remotely dangerous

So let's talk reasonable discourse, you go first.

--------------------
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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Tootsie Plunkette
Buy a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella


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^Mmm, gas fumes!

When we make a trip down to Portland, we fill up the tank in Vancouver, either just before we cross the border or on our way home, depending on how close to empty we are as we get there.

I don't know if we save or lose any money, it just really irritates my husband that he can't pump his own gas in Oregon.

--------------------
--Tootsie

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BoKu
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
A simple law...

I happen to believe that there are no simple laws, at least not of the legislative kind. Now, gravity, thermodynamics, and entropy, those are simple.

quote:
...about who/how...
Which is it? I decline to recognize "/" as a valid conjunction.

quote:
...a dangerouse substance...
The technology for dispensing gasoline is very mature and has a good safety record, even when used by the general public. That safety record refutes the assertion that gasoline is particularly dangerous.

Bob "" K.

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evilbeth
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by The One True Marc:
Before people bring up handicapped and elderly, let me say I'm not suggesting that full-serve states go to the other extreme-i.e., it's illegal to have full-serve stations. Instead, I think it should be a choice left up to the customer. When you pull into a gas station, and you're approached by a gas station attendant, let them know whether you want/need them to pump for you.

This way, people accustomed to, or in need of someone to pump their gas for them can still have their gas jockeys, while those of us who believe that pumping gas does not require even a high school diploma can still show off our fueling prowess.

Any thoughts?

That system seems to work pretty well around here. Those who have difficulty getting in and out of the vehicle can choose full serve and those who want can choose self-serve. Not complicated. I chose full serve for a few weeks after my C-section and it was nice to not have to get in and out.
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unsocialannie
The Red and the Green Stamps


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...along the lines of evilbeth's[love that name by the way] post: I am weird in that I like to pump my own gas[and I am female]. I don't mind if my husband pumps gas for me, but I just don't like the thought of a complete stranger pumping my gas. I have seen "pump jockeys", as someone called them earlier, lean on people's vehicles(rivets in blue jeans/pants can leave scratches on a vehicle) or spill gas down the side. My husband and I even witnessed a "pump jockey" pumping gas for a customer with a LIT [Eek!] cigarette hanging out of his mouth - no lie! My mother, on the other hand, can't stand to pump her own gas and always uses full-service. I don't have a problem with full-service pumps or stations, but that just isn't for me.
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Swingdance
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I discovered this as I was traveling thru Oregon en route to the Seattle area last year. I do understand that there is self serve gas on the Indian reservations in Oregon though.

Will be making this same trip in July.

Say, is anyone familar with White Bluffs and Hanford in Benton County, Wahsington? If so please send me a PM.

--------------------
"Here lies Lester Moore; four slugs from A-44. No Les no more."- Grave marker at Tombstone's Boothill Cemetary.

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Ophelia42
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by The One True Marc:
One more point to add fuel to the flame: In New York (as the story goes), full-serve was done away with because people were sick of having to pay tips on top of paying for the gas.

Last I checked, NY has full-serve gas stations. (in fact, when it's convenient in NY - I'll go to the stations that are all full serve rather than pumping my own gas - I don't mind pumping, but I hate standing there and holding the handle while I do it - I'm not sure if it's illegal or what, but I have never (other than the full-serve stations) seen a pump lock thing in NY (we have them in CT) ... If I do pump my own, I wanna at least wash my windows while I'm at it)
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TMcClure
The Red and the Green Stamps


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So its kept because it creates low paying jobs and keeps people off unemployment. I don't buy this argument. By this logic, valet parking should be a law because operating a motorized vehicle in a parking lot can be dangerous (in fact, this is probably much more dangerous than dispensing your own gas) and it can also keep people off unemployment. I don't think its commendable for politcians to keep people off unemployment with minimum wage jobs. The goal should be to create jobs for people that allows them to make enough money to support themselves. A minimum wage job won't do that. Any politician could go out and "create" a whole bunch of such minimum wage jobs and makes unemployment almost zero. That wouldn't mean that everyone was now without any needs.

Anyway, I don't care too much because I never plan on living in Oregon or New Jersey. I will add though that if you aren't bright enough to pump gas without causing an accident, you probably should not be operating a motorized vehicle. I was ten when I started doing it and to date, 20 years later, have never had a problem.

This all reminded me of a joke I heard. A comedian was talking about how he used to work at a gas station with a guy that was a former porno movie star. Unfortuneately sometimes the guy would get confused when pumping gas. He'd pull out half way through and spray gas all over the place.

Its funnier to hear it told than to read it.

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meanjelly
Happy Holly Days


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Minimum wage is 7.00 an hour in Oregon which is enough to live on in most places outside Portland. So it creates a lot more then jobs no one can live on.

--------------------
Education... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.
G. M. Trevelyan (1876 - 1962), English Social History (1942)

Posts: 1443 | From: Portland, OR | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Archie2K
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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7 bucks an hour??!! I was on £4.41 recently which wasn't too bad for me. I imagine the exchange rate between the two is pretty similar.

Anyway to the mobile phone thing - I have heard quite a few warnings that mobile phones should not be used whilst pumping petrol. Seems to be one of those rumours that has become "fact" like men thinking about sex every seven seconds [Razz]
Even snopes agrees that there is a remote chance that a mobile phone could set off a petrol fire, and a petrol station fire is certainly something to be avoided at all costs.

I'm crap at pumping petrol myself. But I'd still rather do it myself than pay a higher price to have someone do it for me. Petrol is expensive enough here already! Plus my tank is tiny. A full refill costs under £20 and gets used up in a few weeks, and I don't even drive that much!

bitch bitch whine whine [Wink]

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Vox populi vox canem

Posts: 1985 | From: Reading, England | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
meanjelly
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
7 bucks an hour??!! I was on £4.41 recently which wasn't too bad for me. I imagine the exchange rate between the two is pretty similar
Well it is 6.90 but the voters attached to to inflation last year so this year it will be over 7.00.

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Education... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.
G. M. Trevelyan (1876 - 1962), English Social History (1942)

Posts: 1443 | From: Portland, OR | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
TMcClure
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Like I said, I don't live in Oregon and don't ever plan on moving there, so its up to the citizens. If the citizens are happy keeping this somewhat archaic law just to keep some low skilled workers at jobs that pay about $15000 a year, great.
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STF
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I couldn't imagine not pumping my own gas. Here in Georgia I can't even find a full serve gas station anymore.

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Posts: 5186 | From: Coweta County, GA | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
variable
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Just to add some context here; I lived in Portland for four years, and then Eugene for six months before moving out of state in May.

Oregon has the highest rate of unemployment of any state in the United States. As a result of this, it also tops out on several other statistics (and pseudo-statistics) like poverty and hunger. The state itself charges no sales tax; all revenues come from income taxes (which are some of the highest in the nation). As I'm sure many of you are aware, this last year the state of Oregon was so short on funds that they cut ten days off the school year, as well as reducing medicare benefits to exclude psychotropic medications and drug rehabilitation programs (i.e., no thorazine or methadone for those who need them anymore). All this adds up to is that Oregon is short on cash and is characteristically unwilling to approve new taxes (because these are determined by popular votes).

There's no sales tax, so gasoline is much cheaper in Oregon than either Washington or California (ESPECIALLY the latter, though people would drive over from Vancouver, WA, to gas up often). This means that the state makes very little money off the sale of gasoline, it does, however, make money off of the paychecks of those who pump it. In addition, these sort of low-income jobs pay enough for the state to exhause it's 'obligation' for welfare on these individuals and not have to fund them (or at least most of them), thus reducing the expenditures.

This could all be merely coincidence. But, of course, in the almost five years I was there, the option of changing this particular piece of law was never discussed in the legislature and therefore never voted upon by Oregon residents. Clearly, the state government has reason to want it the way it is.

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