Any Others Start Off At A Gas Station?

Messages
928
Location
Florida
I remember in the mid to late '70s, when Self-Service started gaining traction, one of the local stations had a cardboard sign on the pumps that said: If you pump $5, you pay $5. If you pump $5.01, YOU PAY $5.01 !
 
Messages
12,980
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Yup!
My Dad had an ESSO/EXXON station from '55-'79(retired) and I started working for him ~69-'70 pumping gas and changing, repairing tires and doing oil & filter changes. Later on Dad let me do more.
 
Messages
15,375
Location
N.H, U.S.A.
Now I just remembered about Lead Free American ( AMOCO) Premium gas that was special. I think we used that once every couple months to "clean out" the engine. :) It was pricey.
 
Now I just remembered about Lead Free American ( AMOCO) Premium gas that was special.

Ha! My dad would buy a gallon of AMOCO white gas to use in the Coleman stove and lantern when we went camping because he was too "frugal" to buy a gallon of Coleman fuel. It would clog the generator and he'd have to tear them apart and clean them but it was cheaper! Thanks for the memory.
 
Messages
1,300
Location
USA
I owned my own mowing business for a couple of years as my first job. I don't think many places now could or would hire a 14 to 15 year old.
 

Red Crow

Thread starter
Messages
111
Yup!
My Dad had an ESSO/EXXON station from '55-'79(retired) and I started working for him ~69-'70 pumping gas and changing, repairing tires and doing oil & filter changes. Later on Dad let me do more.
I did lubes and would do the occasional tire repair. I never got the hang of the tire machine enough to be "good" at it.
 
Messages
5,530
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
No. By the time I was old enough to work all the gas stations had turned into quickie marts.
I distinctly remember real service stations with full serve where the employee who pumped the gas might also work in the garage. But I do remember the transition where there were more convenience stores and self-service became the norm. There was something bridging the gap though, as many pumps were still older mechanical ones that had to be reset with a key. Some were set up where the customer just pumped and the employee would collect the payment when done. That was mostly on the honor system too without any kind of prepayment or credit card authorization. During the early 80s they might have even trusted that a credit card payment would go through, but might go through a book of cancelled card numbers. And the days of carbon forms and the imprint slide machine. I'd get the receipt and the originals would go into a lockbox to be retrieved later.
 
Messages
50
My friends place still has the old mechanical pumps. Every now and then I go help him out when he needs me if I’m not busy, I enjoy pumping gas and talking to the people (If 100 stop in a day, I know all 100 of them) close knit community.
 

4WD

Messages
14,314
Location
Texas
Come to think of it … that’s where I met my BiL and we were just talking about the grumpy old men we worked with back then. Glad I will never be one 😜
 
Messages
55
Location
VA
My dad owned an auto parts store in the town I grew up in, so I helped out in there. When I was old enough to drive, I delivered parts to different service stations, dealerships, body shops, and garages. During the early 80's there were not any chain store auto parts stores anywhere near us. I remember dad getting calls in the middle of the night from people needing a part. Dad would always go to town and get them what they needed. The week they broke ground on an Advance Auto Parts in town, dad sold his business and never looked back. Mom said he had a lot of sleepless nights as he knew he could not compete with the chain stores.
 
Messages
4,700
Location
Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
When I was a kid there were two different men in the neighborhood who worked on there cars in there garages with the door up if the weather was warm, and I would stand around and look into the engine bay of there cars and see what they were doing. I still remember the first time one of them adjusted all the valve clearances.

My grandfather had a 4 car garage with an apartment over it that a family of one of my cousins lived in when I was in high-school. The cousins would buy very cheap cars or sometimes cars that people were ready to junk and get them for free, and we would work on them in that 4 car garage to get them running and fixed up enough to pass inspection. One of the cousins got a part time job at a mechanics garage and after a while he knew more than anyone else. And when I learned to drive we sometimes would fix my dads car. My cousin would say " I will not do the job for you, but I will stay around and tell you how to do it if you need any help." And if something took two people to do it he would pitch in and help then. My cousins and friends worked on our cars in that garage many nights. There was an unwritten rule, that who ever owned the car would pitch in the most for the pizza and pop that we usually got after the work was finished. But if you did not have enough money left over after buying the parts then everyone would pitch fairly equal for the food. Sometimes we would work almost until the sun came up, and sometimes when we were done early in the mornings we would all go to a Perkins restaurant and get breakfast. We did everything and anything that the cars needed. Engines, transmissions, rear-ends, frame welding, brakes, tune-ups, what ever was needed. The cars were much simpler then. Some of them still had points, but most of them had a small solid electronic module for the ignition.

As for first jobs, I returned carts at a grocery store from the parking lot, and set up pins in a bowling alley. I do remember two of those cousins working at gas stations at different times.
 
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Messages
4,700
Location
Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
I remember one time someone told one of my cousins about an old stationwagon that had been sitting in someones back yard for several years that they wanted to get rid of. They offered him $50 if he would take it away. We went out there with a spare charged up car battery. The stationwagon had all the glass busted out of it. No windshield, or any other windows. We put the charged battery in it and got it to crank but could not get it to start before that battery lost most of its power. So we took the battery out of the car we came in and put that in it, and my cousin cleaned the points with the striker from a pack of matches, and set the gap of the points with the cover of the pack of matches. It fired up and he drove it home a couple of miles away with me driving his vehicle behind him, using all back roads because he did not want to be seen by any police because it had no glass, and no plate, and no inspection, and no insurance on it. He parked it on the back street by his house, and knew someone who liked to drive cars in demolition derbies, and sold it to that person who was happy to get a stationwagon. Not a bad deal, to get paid for taking it, and then sell it to someone who wanted it for a demolition derby.
 
Messages
4,570
Location
Parts Unknown
Just curious.
My first job was was working at a Texaco station as a lube tech in 1976. I remember those old cardboard cans of Havoline very well. I'd leave school with the owners son in a 1968 Pontiac Firebird, stop by the house to change clothes, then work at the station until 7 PM. Just reminiscing.
Those were good days. I can't say I started work at a service station, it would have been pretty cool at the time but doing landscaping work and working at the local grocery store.Those first jobs built character. It is hard to see many kids today get motivated, put their phone down and go to work somewhere.
 
Messages
12,474
Location
Indiana
That would be a fun first job.

None of that around here when I started working. We had 1 station that pumped your gas and was only a few cents more than everyone else. No service bays though. They went out of business after bad gas tanks ruined a few cars apparently? Apparently had metal tanks that were deteriorating and letting water in.
 
Messages
1,227
Location
south dakota
I worked at a Union 76 station after my high school job at McDonalds. I remember a highway patrolman would come in with a 440 Plymouth or Dodge. It was one of those two tone baby blue and white ones. I would always have to put two quart of oil in that thing every time he had me fill it up with gas. That 440 sucked more oil than any other car I have every seen at the gas station. BTW the patrolman that drove it was a super nice fellow too and was always in a joking type of mood and smiling.
 
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