Do We Really Need Talking Gas Pumps?
Yesterday I had my first experience using a talking gas pump, it was a little unsettling. If you haven’t come across gas pumps that spew forth continuous advertisements and suggestive “come ons” for you to “come inside and swipe your card” or buy to their products, then get ready, you will soon.
To me, pumping one’s gas is a time for reflection and thought, it’s kind of like a peaceful walk down that neighborhood path, or sitting on “the throne” after dinner. It’s a time to wind down and to get your game plan together for the rest of the day.
Now, as the petro pours, there’s a variety of monotonous voices telling me to buy sunglasses, milk, charcoal and coffee. Ain’t nobody inviting me in to use the restroom though.
These automated talking gas pumps are eerily comparable to those robotic video presentations at the end of the aisles inside Wal-Mart. When I stroll by those, usually on my way to the 30 pound bag of cat litter that’s on special, I can’t help but think of a fictional situation where the human race is now extinct and these videos have continued operating on some perpetual power source, the announcer long gone but still inviting me to take advantage of 10% off a Glade “Vibrant Bloom” scent that will make my cat’s litter box area smell like lilacs.
What’s actually kind of humorous while pumping one’s gas is to watch when other folks pull in and start the process. The initial sign of reaction to a talking gas pump, and the camaraderie that it builds when that new arrival looks over at you in a state of irritation or surprise. What’s really funniy though is when all the pumps are going at the same time, 8 voices all at once! My hair blows in the breeze from all the passing verbage.
I used to take comfort in reading the signs attached to the pump as my dollars and the gallons flew by. Too bad, another moment of peace is gone, and yes I’ve already come inside, because I always pay with cash, and I know that’s odd too.