You obviously know that we’re in one of the only states that can’t pump our own gas, but that’s not the only thing that makes New Jersey gas stations unique. We have our own set of rules.

Some of them unspoken and some of them posted. But New Jerseyans always decide which rules they want to follow and which they do not, which can make for a very chaotic time any time you go to fill up your gas tank.

Michele Pilenza was filling in for Dennis this week and we decided there needed to be one uniform set of rules for all gas stations in New Jersey to combat the frustration that can sometimes be inherent in your gas filling up experience. And you know what happens when we ask our listeners for answers.

These commandments apply to both gas station customers and employees. Behold the new 10 Commandments of the New Jersey gas station, never to be transgressed again.

Wawa iced coffee
Wawa iced coffee (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)

1. Thou shalt not get coffee whilst thou filleth up

I know you think it’s going to take you just a second to run in and get a coffee or a sandwich, but your time management skills are poor. Before you come out with your food or drink, your gas tank is filled and other people are waiting for you to move out of the way. Get your food before or after. Anything else is rude.

Traffic Cones Lined Up On The Side Of The Road
Cathy Yeulet, ThinkStock

2. Thou shalt use taller cones

I understand that some gas pumps are unavailable for use at certain times. The problem is that no matter how bright an orange traffic cone may be, it’s impossible to see it over a car in front of you. So you may see what you think is an empty pump, turn in to take your spot there, and then realize that it’s being blocked by a cone. Then, not only do you look like an idiot, but you have to drive around and wait in line all over again.

For God’s sweet sake, stack the cones up taller or put a tall flag there or something!

Customer at Petrol Station

3. Thou shalt not lick a credit card

Stop scratching your head in confusion. It’s happened more than once, according to our listeners. The gas station attendant can’t get your card to swipe in the credit card machine so he will lick the magnetic strip. Yes—I said LICK it.

Alternatively, he may touch his tongue and rub his saliva on the magnetic strip. If you need to ask why this is a transgression, I don’t think you should be working in the gas station to begin with.

4. Thou shalt not talk on thy phone with a Bluetooth headset in thy ear (In English or a foreign tongue)

Not to mention the fact that it’s rude, I think you’re talking to me, and you’re actually talking to your aunt or your friend. I honestly don’t mind the rudeness factor so much, but I mind because if there is a language barrier, it's already more difficult to communicate—even if you think you’re the ultimate multitasker.

Pumping gasoline fuel in car.
Natnan Srisuwan

5. Thou shalt not change the direction of traffic

If someone is pulled up to the pump with the gas tank on the passenger side, it’s your duty to pull up facing the same direction. Yeah, don’t mess it up for everyone else by facing the other way. That’s it. It just causes a weird entanglement of cars where people don’t know which way to drive to get in and or out.

6. Thou shalt not use gas pumping time to cleaneth out thy car

You’ve got nothing to do but look around at the garbage that has accumulated in your car while you’re waiting for your tank to be filled. But people always overestimate the amount of time it takes to fill the tank and underestimate the amount of garbage they have. So, your tank is done and I can’t pull into your spot because you’re busy throwing out the last of the Big Gulp cups into the gas station garbage can.

Man filling gasoline fuel in car

7. Thou shalt not pump thy own gas

I get it. It’s tempting. Especially when you’re in a hurry. But if you do it and someone else is doing it then the gas attendant might not come over to me because he figures I’m going to do it to.

8. Thou shall not strike up a conversation with a gas attendant

First of all, he doesn’t want to talk to you. He doesn’t know the directions to get anywhere. He barely knew how to get to work this morning. Don’t ask him about which type of gas he should put in the car because while you’re asking him all these questions he can’t answer you’re wasting the valuable time during which I could be getting my own tank filled.

Gas station attendant at work
Minerva Studio

9. Thou shalt not serve people out of order

I’m not sure why this is not very obvious to the people who work at gas stations, but there’s a concept called first come first served. If I get there first do not fill somebody else’s tank before me. You go in order of the customers arrival time. The end.

10. They’ll shalt not tip thy gas attendant

I’m not saying it’s not a lovely and generous gesture to give a couple bucks to the guy who fills your tank. But the fact that it is not an excepted custom here in the state makes anyone who doesn’t tip look like a cheapskate. Restaurant servers yes, gas attendants no. Gas is expensive enough. Don’t make it worse for everyone else in the state.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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