Gas at 17 Cents a Gallon?

I always find it interesting to drive by my nearest gas station to see if the prices have dropped by 2 cents since yesterday or jumped by 30 cents as it so often does in my state of Michigan. Do you ever wonder how they figure out the cost of gasoline at your neighborhood pump? It’s always so easy to place the blame of high prices on some OPEC country in a faraway desert, but you might be surprised to learn who gets what when it comes to the bottom line.

Due to the fact that I find myself on opposite ends of the country each month, I’m continually surprised at how gas prices differ from one part of the nation to the next. However, when I recently got a look at gas prices around the world, I was astonished at the tremendous contrasts … prices ranging from 17 cents a gallon to $6.65 a gallon. Take a look:

Global Gas Prices Per Gallon

Most Expensive Per Gallon:
London, UK: $6.65
Paris, France: $6.62
Copenhagen, Denmark: $6.51
Oslo, Norway: $6.48
Berlin, Germany: $6.42

Least Expensive Per Gallon:
Caracas, Venezuela: $0.17
Tehran, Iran: $0.33
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: $0.45
Kuwait City: $0.79
Cairo, Egypt: $0.86

I guess I should be past the point of sticker shock and constant change by this stage of my life. I remember working in a service station in high school. For those of you who may wonder what a service station is, allow me to explain. That was a gas station where you actually got service. Hard to believe, isn’t it? While your tank was being filled with gas, an attendant would actually wash your windows, check your oil, wipe off your lights and license plate, and add air to your tires if they needed it. You got that kind of service regardless of the weather conditions, day and night. You sat comfortably in your car as all of these services were being rendered. Of course, you had to expect all of that. After all, you were paying 28 cents a gallon!

I can remember wondering if gas would ever reach the price of a dollar a gallon in my lifetime! Wow, how things have changed. Today, gas station employees are forced to sit on a comfortable leather stool directly behind the register and everything is calculated by a computer … right down to the correct change. If they ever get hungry, they’re surrounded by enough food and drink, in the guise of a convenience store, to last at least a year. We, as customers, have to pump our own gas, clean our own windows, check our own oil and fill it ourselves if needed, and, should you need air in your tires, today’s stations are more than happy to sell it to you! Air! Then YOU have to march inside to stand in line to pay. If prices keep rising, it won’t be long before you have to pause at the desk of the in-house loan officer in order to pay for a fill-up.

Looking back at my part-time job at the service station, I realize what terrific training that really was. We learned the importance of good customer service, speed, efficiency, product knowledge, use of various tools, and making change. It was a great learning experience and the only leather we ever saw covered the seats of some of the more expensive cars we serviced. Ah, those were the days!

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

2 thoughts on “Gas at 17 Cents a Gallon?

  1. Hey Harry! I thought this was a great article. Back in the early 70’s, my husband and I owned a “service station”. I was the one who was putting the gas in cars, checking the oil, and washing windows. He did all the maintenance on the cars in the service bay. As you said…those were the days! Hope you are well.

    Patti Vesey
    Allegis Credit Union
    Kalamazoo, MI

  2. Hi name is Rickiedean Dubenion and back in Buffalo,NY in the late 1960`s and 1970`s and 1980`s i worked at a full service parking garage in downtown Buffalo,NY called The New Swan Ramp Inc.which was owned and operated by Leo,Frank and Ralph Franchini. We pumped gas,checked oil and tires and parked and washed cars and changed tires and oil and other services for our customers. We were the last of this kind of service there in downtown Buffalo! What a great learning experience it was for me about practicing customer service! Thank you for letting me share this..cheers!

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