Archive for Sunday, February 27, 2011

Culture shift

February 27, 2011


To the editor:

Recently I went to a large East 23rd Street gas station with a large drive-through car wash which shall remain nameless. Bought gas, got the car wash code and, as I got in line, an attendant came over and shut it down, telling me “wait a minute.” About 15 minutes later, I was still sitting there, but the row of cars behind me had me locked in. But he smiled, turned it on and gave me a free car wash.

I went back a few days later with another vehicle. The code didn’t work. I went into the store. They were swapping out some electronics, said “wait a bit.” Having learned something, I asked “how long?” I was told “20 minutes or so.” I left.

At another car wash, it wouldn’t read my credit card. The attendant eventually got it to read. Then it wouldn’t give me a receipt, so he wrote one out. (“The printer’s down.”) He was friendly too.

When politicians talk about “the downfall of America” from whatever, think about how much real money that car wash cost the economy (time, gas…). Things have changed in my lifetime. People didn’t used to put up with that or with impossible customer service at an American telephone company or huge cracks in our street that was paved last summer — all summer long. The change in our culture — this sort of thing is now normal — is going to get us.


melott 3 years, 1 month ago

Yes, some had the filler cap behind the license plate. But I don't remember which cars.


sissezz 3 years, 1 month ago

didnt there used be a car that you could fill from the back , by the trunk?


melott 3 years, 1 month ago

As far as defending it against criticism, I doubt if those are serious comments. There are some people who entertain themselves by disagreeing with everything. There are others who would disagree with anything posted by someone they perceive as being on the opposite side of the political spectrum. I think that one or the other of these is things is probably going on here.

I think the process probably started in the early 70's, when long lines at the gas station took away the attendant service, and long lines appeared in the post offices. People noticed that they got away with it, and we were off to the races.


jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

I agree that there has been a collective lowering of standards, which is not something that works to our advantage in a variety of ways.

As it happens slowly, people don't notice and protest it, and get used to it as the norm.

And then defend it against criticism, as some have done here.


yourworstnightmare 3 years, 1 month ago

In Japan, they drive on the left side of the road, yet my Japanese car has its tank filler on the right side.


Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

Complicated like going uptown wearing a black hat?


SouthWestKs 3 years, 1 month ago


You are wrong!! They should have filler tubes on both sides of the cars so the driver has a choice.. No more waiting for the correct line to the pump..


Joe Hyde 3 years, 1 month ago

My biggest gripe about gas stations isn't caused by something the stations do; instead, it's caused by automakers. So many cars have the gas filler tube located on the right-hand side. This forces the driver to park on the left side of the pump.

The problem is that in almost every other aspect of driving in the United States, all traffic must stay to the right. And all cars used to be made with the filler tube on the vehicle's left side, which conformed to the "stay right" rule.

But beginning in the late 60s or early 70s more and more vehicles were manufactured with their gas filler tube on the right side. This suddenly forced people to drive toward one another at gas pumps, resulting in untold aggravation and uncountable numbers of bumps and fender benders as drivers heading opposite directions were forced to jockey into position to fill their tanks -- whereas before they could simply stay to the right and drive in-line.

It's ridiculous. And whether by a standardization agreement arrived at between automakers, or a law imposed on them at federal level, every vehicle sold in this country should be required to have its gas filler tube located only on the vehicle's left side as a simple means to improve the speed and efficiency of the "pit stops" we drivers have to make. Everyone would benefit, everyone would experience less stress at gas stations if this were done.


kenos 3 years, 1 month ago

Could this be coming from a famed KU scientist that's pushing global warming, carbon taxes, austerity and population reduction to save the planet? How much CO2 did you generate just waiting to use the warm water to wash your gas-guzzling automobile? A bicycle wouldn't even need washing.


ophiuchus 3 years, 1 month ago

As much as the infrastructure, it's the intrastructure. We have been fractured.

/ it's broke; fix it.


Tom Shewmon 3 years, 1 month ago

Why even bother to wash your car with this ongoing grab-bag of crappy weather. You may as well hand that 4-5-6-7-8 bucks or whatever you're paying to the first homeless person you see. Other than that, it is a changing world and I have mentally detached myself from the hellish chore of dealing with idiot customer service and even monthly bills; everything is set up for auto-rebill. I love calling and getting the auto-voice saying, "your wait time is approximately 60 minutes".....and that is a true story from about a week ago.

May God Bless.


BigPrune 3 years, 1 month ago

...and so it all the carwash.

One pet peeve I can't seem to overcome is people who don't have any patience.


Abdu Omar 3 years, 1 month ago

What about gas prices. Are they real? I doubt it! We have seen oil companies with record profits and we are paying for those profits. It seems we are always padding someone's pocket and getting less value each time. Our country is the greatest on earth, but, our politics is a problem. All the choices made by our congress is filtered throuigh special interests. We need to stop allowing them to dictate our policies. They should not be allowed near our representatives who have lost the reason they were sent to Washington.


labmonkey 3 years, 1 month ago

People used to also buy American, even though foreign goods might have been cheaper. We are all to blame.


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