Stop me if you've heard this one: you pull up to the pump to get some gas. You exit your vehicle, put your debit card into the card slot, grab the gas nozzle, and... stand around playing 20 questions with the gas pump before finally, your car gets its sweet, sweet life-giving gasoline. Sometimes I feel like I'm being interrogated by the gas tank. It's one question after another.

A couple of the questions seem like they could come during the pumping process to save time. For example, don't ask me about a receipt before you give me gas... I am here for GAS. Gimme the product, then ask me if I want proof I got it. But the one that really gets under my skin is one I didn't often see until recently: what is your zip code.


Getting gas? Plan to give your zip code

It used to be something you'd occasionally be asked at a store. "What's your zip code?". Stores like Fleet Farm ask because they want to know roughly where you live, and where you've traveled from to get to the store. It's actually a question I'll fudge. After all, they have my name (if I've used credit or debit), and my zip... sounds like a recipe to sell my data.

But gas stations? They claim it's for security. But two things about this bother me: number one, the amount of time it takes. Right now when it's 75-90 degrees... okay, whatever. But how about when it's 5 degrees with a windchill of -17? I want to not stand outside for an extra however long pushing buttons in the cold. Reason number two, I don't know that I buy the "it's for security" statement. If you must ask a question, how about asking for the pin number on a debit card purchase?

Zipcodes don't seem like an added layer of security to me. But alas, I mostly don't want to stand outside for an extra 30+ seconds in the winter playing 20-questions with a machine. Oh, and no I don't have your loyalty card... I'd have swiped it by now if I did. Want my zip for that, too?

Fun fact: In New Jersey, it's illegal to pump your own gas. An attendant has to do it. I suppose it's more fun playing 20 questions with an actual human. Plus, let them be cold in the winter.

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