A few days ago I had an interesting reminder of how economically privileged I am. See, I couldn’t quite figure out the gas pump.
I drive lots of miles and buy gas at least twice a week. What I usually do is simply swipe my credit or debit card, pump my gas and leave. Well, on this particular Saturday, I wanted to buy a couple extra items inside the store connected to the gas station. So, I thought to myself, how about I pay for my gas along with the other purchases?
That was my trouble; I couldn’t figure out how to do it. I pressed the button to pay inside but the machine wanted me to pay inside then come back out and pump the gas. But how would I know how much the gas would cost?
I wasn’t interested enough to see if there were some other option so I just paid at the pump then went inside and bought the other items separately.
It was only then that I realized how long it’s been since I’ve had to decide to buy gas based on how much it was going to cost instead of how much I needed for my car. There’s a big difference between those two thought processes.
I look for the lowest priced gas and when I find it, I simply fill up the tank. Until I finished grad school I always bought gas based on how much I was able to spend. Often that $5 or $10 but sometimes it was $3.50 or even $2 on a couple occasions. Now that’s never the way I make decisions about gas. Really, I don’t even think about what I’m doing enough to describe it as decision making.
Many of the folks I saw in line Saturday had a very specific amount of money to spend on gas and make decisions based on that reality. I had to have a reminder that there are even those decisions to be made.
How fortunate am I?