Tuesday, December 26, 2006

People's Republic of Oregon

I had been warned, prior to my arrival, that there were some socialized industries in Oregon. Specifically, the petroleum dispensation industry.

Well, not so much "socialized" as "contorted through regulation to defy logic and market mediated efficinency". Specifically: It is illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon.

That's right. A trained petroleum dispensation technician is required. Despite your years of experience swiping your own card and penetrating your own gas hole, in Oregon, you lack the skill, dexterity, and decades of specialized college learnin' to pump your own gas. So sayeth the law.

So your experince may be one of pulling up, handing your credit card to a greasy handed high school drop out, who slides your card in the pay at the pump, fills your tank, and hands you your card and receipt. And you're on your way. Plus $0.10/ gallon because the law requires him to have a job

Or it might be one of pulling into a station and waiting for the "Hey, I make $7.50 an hour no matter how little gas I pump or how many customers leave angry" service specialist to decide he gives a shit and actually pump your gas. This waiting for the trained monkey to do for you what you could easily do for yourself process can take anywhere from 5 to 5 hours. Your best bet is to leave the station and find another one in which you can pull up in front of the attendants who really can't pretend they don't see you.

I'm not gonna fill up till California.