The Collegian

Friday, July 21, 2017

When I was in school at Georgia Perimeter College, I worked on the college newspaper. It was called The Collegian. It’s where I was bitten by the journalism bug. It’s where I spent most of my time while I was at school. It’s where I met some of my best friends to this day.

One friend, we’ll call him Bob, moved from Georgia to New Hampshire a few months ago and today I was driving from Albany to go see him.

He also left the journalism industry for greener marketing pastures. When I decided to quit my wicked journalist ways, I wrote a piece explaining some of the nuances behind why journalists quit the profession. He and I are on the same page with a lot of what I wrote.

We think alike on a lot, but not everything. Neither of us is afraid to voice our difference in opinion either. In fact, that’s one of my favorite qualities about him. I appreciate the friends who call me out on the asinine activities I sometimes like to engage in. I do the same for them.

Bob wasn’t going to be done with work until 5 p.m., so I drove my five-hour drive from Albany slowly. I stopped at plenty of rest areas with scenic views along the way. I drove like a leaf on the wind.

Speaking of journalism and meeting up with old journalist friends, I had an idea for a good story that hasn’t been told. How many gas stations let you pump before paying?

The idea came to me as I’ve encountered many gas stations on my journey, mostly in rural areas, that are pump first. As business owner, I imagine it takes a fair amount of trust to let you customers help themselves to your product before paying. You have to have some faith in the honor system if you’re operating a pump first gas station.

And that, to me, is a puzzle piece to a larger story—What do our gas stations say about the level of trust in a geographic location? Are there other businesses that operate under an honor system? How does that level of trust play out on a local level and in a larger national sense?

In New Hampshire, there are jam stands and other food products that just let you pick up your product from an unmonitored remote location and leave the money.

Trust is awesome.

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