Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Would That Be Herman ...

We saw it at exactly the right time. I had to pee like a um guy who is over 50 and has finished two cups of tea. OK sometimes similies fail me. We'd pulled off to get breakfast, to fill the car's tank and drain our own. The rain was pelting down so hard that we were sure animials were pairing up two by two and checking their tickets for the boat.

It was a Hess gas station. I don't know this company at all, it must be one that serves a particular geographic region of the States. We choose to go to the bathroom first, well we didn't really choose - some needs just take themselves to the head of the line. The gas station looked brand new. We pulled up into the disabled space and remarked at how well placed the parking spot was. (There are gas stations and rest stops on the I-90 that has disabled parking much further away than typical parking. There are stores that cut curbs with bitterness and have them almost impassibly steep or with odd twists in them. Over time you remark at things like well planned disabled parking and nicely designed curbs. Trust me.)

So we go into Hess and they manage it to look jam packed with cool stuff. But, and it's a big but, the aisle are wide enough for a wheelchair and the bathroom is designed with wheelchairs in mind. I could get in and park, transfer easily to the tall toilet, just the grab bars to get up, roll over to the sink, wash. It wasn't wildly larger than other bathrooms, just really well designed. Kind of like they'd asked someone in a wheelchair to describe the perfect gas station bathroom.

I came out of the bathroom and said, 'Let's buy some of this stuff. We shopped a bit then filled up, then left.' I wanted to spend a bit of money there, I wanted them to see a disabled guy in their store SPENDING MONEY. Just in case someone thought it was a waste to create a space for us, let them think again as my money crosses their hands.

There are those who yammer on and on about diversity and welcome. Well give me the quiet commitment of a gas station with great blue badge parking, a well cut curb and a bathroom that has it all.

Mr or Ms Hess, if you are out there anywhere, props from me.


Tamara said...

I've never heard of them either, but they have a nice set of value statements.

Tell them about your experience - Here is their contact information -


Retail Customer Relations
Hess Corporation
1 Hess Plaza
Woodbridge NJ 07095
1-800-HESS OIL (1-800-437-7645)
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM, Mon-Fri

Dave Hingsburger said...

Tamara, you are right, I should contact them and just did. Thanks for the prompt.

FridaWrites said...

I've been in places so remote that there's only one gas station every hour--and absolutely no other public place during that hour. And I've really needed to pee then. If things weren't accessible, I'd be off roadside and not very far off since that's pretty rugged. It really does make a difference.

Realized yesterday that I can't get into our veterinarian's office at all, husband confirmed. I hadn't been able to take the recent dog since he got big since he pulls the leash like he's training for the Iditarod, though in other respects is very well behaved, but I could certainly pick up the heartworm pills or take the wee pets otherwise. The thing is that they could easily make it accessible. Curb cut, small ramp and beveling. Grrr. They don't even have a disability parking space.

CJ said...

Awesome! I agree that feedback is a good idea!

We don't have any of these gas stations around where I live.

It's a shame. I'd buy gas there.

Jeannette said...

I usually buy gas at Hess stations (I live in east-central PA) because their gas is usually significantly cheaper than the competition up the street.

You've just given me another good reason to go there with my money.

Dave Hingsburger said...

I got a lovely letter back from the Hess Company and they are circulating this blog post to their stations to demonstrate the importance of accessibility. Cool.

CJ said...

This was wonderful! I need some good news right now.

TheDeviantE said...

I just also wrote them (as someone who does not need accomodations) to thank them as well for their commitment to accessibility.

Clyde B said...

Great blog, and wonderful insight. We are the parents of a young man with special needs who, unfortunately is non-verbal. While he has mobility, I wonder sometimes what he must think of his environment and our attempts at making accommodations for him.
I appreciate your work, and will be sharing it with my family.
Clyde, Bernie's Dad

Anonymous said...

Hess is a favorite here in NY/NJ area. They have been around at least 30 years, and are well-known for their collectible holiday edition toy 'Hess Trucks.'

The stations are always clean and well lit. Glad to have another reason to bring my business to there.