The Convenience of Amenity
Mobile Gs Stations: To What Extremes Will We Go in the Upper Valley?
About a year ago I read a Wall Street Journal article about the new corporate perk of gassing up at work. It talked about companies out in Silicon Valley giving gasoline purveyors access to their corporate parking lots to fill up employee gas tanks. Car owners pinned their car's location via a smart phone app so gas delivery drivers knew which cars to fill up. It struck me as a truly embarrassing low point for our time. I mean, to what ends must we go to get the amenities we think we need? Or have amenities simply become sport? Convenience, it seemed to me, had become the latest amenity. Crazy but true. Yet I dismissed it as a California fad...until today.
Gas delivery, a perk trucked right on into the corporate parking lot. (Photo: Wall Street Journal online.)
Today's local newspaper carried a similar story plucked from a national media outlet. They're calling it the Uber of gas stations. It about a new Silicon Valley start-up that's a mobile gas station. Imagine that, a guy comes around in a pickup truck to fill up your car or pick-up's tank because it takes too much time to swing into a gas station and fill it yourself.
I get the fact that people's lives are harried, and busy, and chock full of things to do that are far more important than standing at a gas pump for 3-5 minutes, but, really, aren't we simply succumbing to the Amazon-esque lifestyle that delivers everything we want right at our doorstep? Will we soon be hiring people to unbox the stuff Amazon delivers so we don't have to deal with that chore and the trip to the recycling center to dispose of unwanted packaging? (Also note: I happen to have a brother who is wheel-chair bound, yet when he was still driving he found plenty of gas stations where attendants pumped gas for him. Many stations do.)
A pick-up truck delivers gas to a station wagon in a suburban neighborhood. I wonder which vehicle gets better, or worse, gas mileage? (Photo, WSJ online)
I've not seen a mobile gas station here in the Upper Valley—yet. Who knows, some intrepid entrepreneur might see today's newspaper story and decide it's high time to offer such a service. Let me be the first to suggest that if such an amenity rears its head locally, we just say "no." To me, there's something unsettling about burning fossil fuel to deliver fossil fuel to small, mobile gas tanks. It strikes me as patently environmentally unfair to our lovely little planet and our own good health. I know it's already done with fuel oil and propane to homes and businesses, however those are immobile and larger tanks that last quite a while before another delivery is needed. But delivering gas to our cars and pick-ups from a pick-up? What do you think?
(Oh, and I should note the mobile car repair business is different. If my car breaks down and some mobile service vehicle (think AAA, or a private emergency roadside service company) can make the trip to fix my car, I'm all for it. It's the new amenity of gas delivery service from a pick-up truck to a car or another pick-up truck that irks me.)
I'll leave this an open-ended question for you. How do you feel about this notion of mobile gas stations coming our way? Just another amenity for convenience sake? Are we sliding down a slippery slope where we'll want everything spoon fed to us all the time? Maybe we'll soon start hiring mobile help to feed wood into our wood stoves for us? Feel free to express your thoughts below...
Dave Celone writes for the dailyuv.com under the moniker Poetic Licence. Tune into his posts (for free!) by Clicking Here or by visiting this link: http://dailyuv.us11.listmanage.com/subscribeu=3b0a3ea19ca8d7b499b2203de&id=8d286dabb7.