New Jersey and Oregon are the only U.S. states that currently ban self-service gas stations. The purpose of these laws was to protect consumers and gas station owners from costly, and possibly deadly, accidents.
I decided to make this work to my advantage while I was at a gas station near the NJ Turnpike and pay for gas of random travelers until I was out of funds. My plan was altered after the first family appeared. As they were counting out change to pay for a couple dollars worth of gas, I couldn’t help but notice the exasperated look on the cashier’s face and the apologetic look on the husband’s face as they both looked at a small pile of loose change. I moved forward speaking rather quickly; giving them an explanation of ARG’s RAK story, paying for their gas and handing the wife the remaining cash. They all stood frozen for a bit during a very awkward moment of silence but as I turned to leave, I was stopped with hugs, tears, and gratitude. The father explained he was laid off during a massive downsizing at his company and they were on their way to live with family until they got back on their feet. He knew they would run out of gas before they got to their destination and was trying to calculate how far they could get. Now they would make it.
– Monalisa Ocasio