I'll admit this is a petty topic but it's still something I want to get off my chest. Why does filling-up at the gas station have to be such a challenge?
I'm not talking about the cost of gas. There are plenty of uniformed rants about gas prices around if that's what you're interested in. No, I'm talking about the poorly designed self-service pumps.
Back in the day you'd have actually pay an attendant after filling-up or even worse prepay with cash, a process that assumes the customer is a thief. The self-service station pumps with credit swipers were supposed to make your life easier and they did for a little while. Somehow they've managed to turn that simple system into a mess that makes paying the dude behind the register seem like a delight.
Here's how the average interaction with the pump goes today:
- Insert card to begin. OK easy enough
- [beep] Remove card. Duh.
- [beep] Credit or Debit? What? I have a debit card that works exactly like a credit card. WTF do you care?
- [beep] Enter Zip code? Zip code? Zip code!? I don't know the zip code out here. Oh, you mean my home one? Is this to protect me in case my wallet was stolen? I'm pretty sure the dude who steals my wallet will also have access to my drivers license which has my zip code on it. This is just dumb.
- [beep] Car wash? There's a freakin' blizzard out so 'no', just let me pump the f'n gas already. They can't just turn this nag screen off during inclement weather? What am I saying, they can't even turn this screen off when the car wash is out of order.
- [beep] Receipt? Who the hell ever says 'yes'? I hear they sell these appliances for your home where you can "go online" and see your credit card usage. What an age we live in.
- [beep] Select Grade. What idiot falls for this high-octane BS? Please let me pump the f'n gas already it's freezing out. Why not do what they do for diesel and setup separate high-octane pumps? You could put bad-ass decals on the pump to give it a high-octane theme that tools will be attracted to.
- [beep] Select Grade. [punch 87 button a second time]
- [beep] Being fueling.
- Since this system beeps loudly for everything else I'll just wait here for it to beep to tell me it's done....
- [time passes] Well look at that, the only thing it doesn't beep for is the one thing I wish it did.
You could easily consolidate this mess into a more simple system: