Pumping Gas

It’s summer, wow the open road, top down on the convertible, picnics, barbecues, the beach. As they say, “the living is easy”.

What could be better than a car filled with gas and our destination is ……..wherever.

Remember when the gas station was called a “filling station”? I’m old enough to remember that you pulled into the filling station and a man came out in a uniform and a hat. He began filling the car with gas and then, unbelievably, asked if he could check your oil, check your tires, and then began to wash your windows.

If there was a noise in the motor, you pulled your car into a bay and there was a real mechanic to look under the hood and see what the noise was. Today, I need a trained technician to tell me how to open the hood.

The gas stations of today are mini marts. You put gas in the car and go in and buy hotdogs. There are 25 pumps and some days it looks like a parking lot at a first run movie theatre. There is no man or woman in a well-worn hat that asks to check the water and oil…. the reality is that no one knows how to find the water and oil in the car anyway. Have you ever looked under the hood…it’s busy under there.

 There is something else that is new these days…. the skimmer and shimmer. Why is it, that great ingenuity is spent on scamming people out of money? We have become so used to putting credit cards into machines for convenience. The problem is that the “perp” knows that and has placed an electronic device in the machine to take down our personal information.

So as my client asked me the other day, how will I know if this device is in there? The answer is, you probably won’t, but here are some tips. First, when you pull into the station, try to fill your car up with the bay that’s closest to the mini mart entrance. At least from this position, most skimmers and shimmers are not placed in such proximity to where they could be seen.

Next, and this is most important, pay for your gas inside the store. You have a better chance of not losing your life’s savings by paying inside. And one last thing, if you can, pay in cash…. remember paper money is still legal tender although it seems to be worth less at every visit to buy gas.

Enjoy the open road, but by all means, be careful out there, as the great, late comedian Rodney Dangerfield once said, “it’s a jungle out there”.

Take my advice for what it is…It’s just AS I SEE IT.