Monday, March 7, 2011

You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet....

When I left work early Monday morning our price for a gallon of regular gas was $3.69. Our price has gone up 30 cents in a little over a week.
It's out of control. And it's not gonna get any better as long as the unrest in the Middle East continues.
All those "oil industry analysts and experts" who've been predicting $4 to $5 for a gallon of gas nationwide by Memorial Day are gonna be a little bit behind the curve.
Shit, we're gonna have $4 for a gallon of gas by the end of March.
This is shaping up to be a repeat of the Summer of 2008, when the price of regular gas at our station peaked at $4.59 per gallon. At least I think it did. I've blocked-out most of that summer. With all the bitching & complaining & screaming about gas prices that were out of my control, it was pure Hell coming to work every day.
Can't wait for a re-run of it.
Now for the good news:
I'm in Washington, where we have at least a 42-cent-per-gallon state gasoline tax. (It was 42 cents per gallon last time I heard; it's probably gone up, though.)
So your price may be lower. But it won't be for long. I've already heard about stations posting $4 for a gallon. In Seattle, naturally. And in California.
But it's gonna happen everywhere. And sooner than you think. Get used to it.
Now, you may ask, as a gas station employee: How do I feel about this?
Well, I can't wait for the non-stop screaming, the endless circling of cars around the gas pumps, homing-in like vultures, the massive panic before the price gets raised AGAIN, EVEN HIGHER ... as if there's no tomorrow.
Just can't wait.
But don't I have any sympathy for the poor consumer, for the people who have to commute miles to work & for whom every gas-price increase is just more money out of their pocket that they can't afford?
Sure I do. But I'm paying the same outrageously high prices you are. I don't have a choice either.
I'm just glad I only live a mile down the road from my work. I can always walk if I have to, if the price gets REALLY outrageous. I hope that doesn't happen. But I don't really drive that much, so it's not going to affect me that much even if gas hits $5 per gallon. God forbid....
Besides, I'm not sure folks learned much last time. Though rather than filling-up, lots of people just tossed in $5 or $10 or $20, there were still tons of people driving Hummers or big trucks -- or Corvettes, BMW's, Mercedes's, etc.
Some of these folks even complained to me about the prices. Actually, a LOT of them did. Some of them were yelling.
And all I could think was: You're driving THAT, and you're complaining to ME about high gas prices?
I still remember one guy in a truck who pulled into the station with a screech of tires, slammed his truck door shut, began screaming when he saw our posted price, screamed all the way from the gas pumps across the parking lot and through our front door, screamed gibberish at me for a full minute while I was in the middle of ringing-up another customer, then screamed all the way back to his truck and left the station with another screech.
I never understood a word he said. I think maybe he was under a little too much stress.
All the other incidents I remember from the ugly Summer of 2008 are nowhere near as funny.
If you're on a limited budget, I sympathize. I am, too. And I'm glad I live close to my work.
But there's millions of people out there who could maybe learn some valuable lessons from outrageous, criminally high gas prices.
Like: How to live within your means.
How not to whine about how good you've got it.
Maybe drive less, walk more.
Maybe schedule your work days or free time so you don't have to drive so much.
Remember that most of the rest of the world pays a LOT more than we do for gas. We've been spoiled for a LONG time....
Because there's no way around this one, folks. It's coming. Soon. We're gonna have to deal with it.
Should be a real boost for the economy. Or at least for the oil companies. I'm not gonna get a raise out of this -- well, maybe, after it's all over -- if I survive. And my experience & knowledge after 7+ years of doing this tells me that my boss the owner only makes about a penny or two per gallon of profit on the gas he sells. All that money's going right back to the oil company.
Should have a great trickle-down effect, too. Should drive food and utilities prices even higher. And they're WAY too high already.
I have no solutions, I'm just ranting.
Anybody wanna talk about this? Or argue about it?
More soon....