For years, the guys at my local service station have pumped my petrol for me, and all they have gotten out of it from me has been a smile and intense words of gratitude. It started about 30 years ago when a woman in front of me at the pumps drenched herself, by accident, in petrol. An ambulance was called because the petrol had got into her eyes, ears, and mouth. Then a year later, the same thing happened with a guy a couple of petrol pumps away.
I decided never to pump my own petrol again. Okay, I guess, petrol pumps have changed somewhat over the years and they're probably as safe as houses now, but somehow it's all turned into a phobia and I couldn't change my ways, even if I was offered a thousand dollars (maybe a million??),
It was okay being petrol-pumped at my Miramar Shell Service Station where they knew me, but when I went on holiday, it was torture. I came up with all sorts of stories for a petrol shop assistant as to why they should pump my petrol: "I'm just getting over a broken arm..." ending up as the favourite. Gosh, I am so ashamed...
But a few years back Shell was commandeered by "Z" (pronounced Zed, not Zee - for the benefit of my one American reader), a New Zealand company, and suddenly "service" was in. There is now a concierge in the forecourt literally running to pump my petrol, and wash my windscreen, and check the height of my car's water and oil. 10 am to 5 pm daily. And no tipping involved. I love it. Thanks, Z.
I stopped at Turangi "Z" station recently. And wonders of wonders, there were four (count 'em, four) cars spaced out across four petrol pumps all with the car owners laughing away to each other and happily awaiting their turn with the forecourt concierge
Oh, and Z, I do like your new Coca-Cola-and-McDonald's-like television commercial. All those gorgeous energetic youthful colourful types give me happy-want-to-visit-Z-just-for-the-fun-of-it feelings.
Here's the commercial:
And here's my local "Z" station in Miramar, Wellington, New Zealand.