While we’re all agonizing about whether or not we should be able to pump our own gas, there's actually another gas-related debate brewing. And it’s time to pick a side. I’ve picked mine.

Living in a state where we are forbidden from pumping our own gas, do you tip the guy who does it for you?

A quick Google search reflects the fact that there is NO CORRECT ANSWER. My answer is an unequivocal no. And many people agree with me. But just as many disagree. In fact, if I had to guess, I’d say it’s 50/50 across the board.

I’m a good tipper. I really am, when tipping is appropriate. But I literally never heard of tipping a gas attendant until like, last year. That’s what a lot of New Jerseyans say. Yet others say they tip on a routine basis. And people are as divided about this as they are about any other Jersey debate.

According to this 2017 Reddit thread (granted it's 2017 but from what I’ve heard during numerous discussions about this on the air, most of these opinions still hold true). There is no definitive answer. It’s literally a dead heat pro vs. against.


Many people had comments like this:

“I tip them on holidays and days that are brutally cold. I know it isn't required, but I feel like buying them a cup of coffee is the least I can do on those days.” Ok. Very nice. Coffee. Not money.

I read this comment, from a former gas attendant and was shocked. “I pumped gas on the turnpike through college (05-08) and during the summer would routinely come home with $75+ a day in tips alone, on top of what at the time was a pretty decent hourly wage + commission. Then again we also washed windshields, offered to check oil, etc.”

Another Redditor answered the above with: “Damn, not bad. All those out of staters I bet.” Yes. That’s it. I’d you’re from out of state, I get why you would.

From a gas attendant: “I would never expect anything from customers, I mean at the bare minimum l'd expect a thank you, and for when I tell you to have a nice day to at least reciprocate, but I never felt entitled to the point I expected a tip” Good man.

Another said, “Literally have never seen this.” I agree

One of my favorite comments and one I wholeheartedly agree with is this: “So where does the tipping end then? Do I tip a fast food restaurant employee? Do I tip everybody who makes minimum wage?”

Gas station attendant at work
Minerva Studio

A kind soul wrote, “I tip them on holidays and days that are brutally cold. I know it isn't required, but I feel like buying them a cup of coffee is the least I can do on those days.”
Have I mentioned that Coffee ain’t cash?

This really surprised me: “I worked as a gas station attendant for a busy Wawa over the summer and never expected it from anybody. That being said, on average I walked away with about $15 in tips (half from out-of-state cars, half from NJ cars) on average each shift.”

Here’s another: “On occasion, since my family frequented the gas station near our house, my dad would hook up the attendant with a coffee or a coffee roll on a really cold day. But I've never seen anyone cash tip an attendant.” I sort of get this. But the aforementioned coffee is one thing. Cash is another.

I got a kick out of this: “No, only time I tried was when I first started driving and he looked at me like I was stupid.” Well, he kinda was.

In conclusion, this Redditor is a man (or woman) after my own heart: “Abso-f*#%ing-lutely not. I'm not willing to find new and exciting ways to tax myself for living in The Already Overtaxed State. Do I get a choice to pump my own gas? No. Do they receive at least minimum wage? Yes. Sorry, not sorry.” Indeed.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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