I have to tell you, sometimes I really wish New Jersey had the option to serve yourself at the gas pump. I mean, what is the big deal about grabbing the nozzle, and filling your own vehicle?

Apparently, a lot is wrong with it. And apparently, I just don't get it. I just think for those of us who want to serve ourselves, we should have the option to do so.

But alas, far too many New Jerseyans don't want to pump their own gas because, well, they don't. Yes, there are numerous reasons why, but the vast majority of them are just plain ridiculous.

So to save time from writing out all the excuses here, we'll just sum it up to the fact that they don't. Speaking of saving time, let's talk about the very thing that, in my opinion, is your fault to a certain extent.

Gas Station
Jean-christophe Gougeon via Unsplash

What's the issue?

Now to be clear, I'm not blaming everyone in New Jersey. I know there are some out there that agree with me on this issue.

As for what it is? Whelp, let's go back to one Thursday morning during the spring of 2024. One where a certain situation arose at one particular gas station in Central New Jersey.

I don't want to mention the location because I don't want to target them. Especially since this long delay wasn't fully on them.

Unhappy at the gas pump

Staffing issues

This particular gas station has around 18 gas pumps, but only four were open. And this was off of one of New Jersey's busier highways during the morning rush.

I unfortunately had to stop for gas or I wouldn't have made it to work. So I decided I'd deal with the wait, like so many others did.

I noticed there was just one woman running the pumps, which, obviously, explained why only four out of the 18 were open. Eventually, I was able to pull up to one.

The three different gas prices at the gas station

Not their job

Once I got to the pump, I was getting out to start it myself. Yes, I'm a rebel, but I know how to do it.

It was busy as hell here, and I needed to get going. Fortunately, the worker was able to come over to me right after I took my gas cap off.

I mentioned I was only trying to help her out since it was so busy, which she appreciated. She also told me she doesn't work the pumps but was told to do it that morning because there wasn't anybody else.

Yes, an employee who doesn't work the pumps was working the pumps because the employees who work the pumps weren't in during the morning commute.

CA Gov. Jerry Brown Raises Gas Tax Ahead Of Revised State Budget Proposal
Getty Images

Why NJ is to blame

Now, I could blame the gas station for not having the proper staff, but I don't think that's fair. The woman was doing her best and was very polite.

I also don't know the reason for their staff shortage that caused long lines at the very few pumps that were open, and I don't really care. Instead, I blame every single person in New Jersey who's so hell-bent on only allowing full-serve at the pump and no self-serve option.

If self-serve were allowed, up to 14 of those other pumps would be open for those of us who know how to and just want to pump it ourselves and be on our way.

But no, we can't even have that because a majority of New Jerseyans refuse to allow the option. And we'll never get self-serve if that doesn't change.

no self-serve gas pumps

Get with the times

If you're one of those people who insist on this, then you have no right to complain about the long waits at the pump. It's as simple as that.

But to have a law that doesn't allow self-serve in 2024 is simply ridiculous. The only state in the nation where it's unlawful to serve yourself at the pump.

And it's not just at this particular location I've seen this problem. All too often I'll see a majority of gas pumps closed over staffing issues.

This also squashes the argument it would take jobs away if we allowed self-serve pumps. If we're so short-staffed now, how in the world would it hurt? If anything, workers would welcome it.

No complaining at the gas pump

One more to blame

So I don't blame these gas stations for being forced to shut down islands over this law most in The Garden State want. We need to change that to make it optional if we want to move forward at the pump.

As for who else there is to blame for the long waits in that situation? It's the wonderful person who runs into the store and leaves their car abandoned for 10 minutes.

You see how long the lines are, but quite clearly, your coffee and breakfast are much more important. So for you, there's no complaining either.

Hot coffee in a coffee cup with lid

Don't do it! Harmful move some NJ gas attendants do with your car

An idea New Jersey should consider when it comes to full-service gas pumps.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant


The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.