I live Downtown and work in Midtown. I started my current job in April, and for the first four or five months, I drove down Union Avenue to work. Every day I’d stop at the Exxon Tiger Mart at Union and Cleveland to buy my morning wake-up Mountain Dew.
And I’d say that roughly 75% of the time, between the time I got out of my car and the time I got to the front door of the Tiger Mart, a bum would approach me and say something like, “Hey mayne, hey bro, lemme get a dolla, fitty cent, some change or somethin’.” And it wasn’t always the same bum. They all seemed to know it was a prime begging location.
Complaining to the Exxon cashiers did absolutely no good. “We’re busy in here working the registers,” they’d say. “We don’t have the time to go chasing people off the lot.” So it was our (the customers’) problem and we were stuck with it. By the way, it’s not just that one store. I’m approached by bums most of the times I stop at the Exxon at Union and Pauline. I’m approached by bums most of the times I stop at the Exxon at Danny Thomas and Poplar. I guess Exxon Mobil has a company-wide policy of not caring whether bums and beggars bother their customers.
Back around August-September I discovered that Madison Avenue is a faster route to work than Union. So then I began stopping at the Circle K at Madison and Cleveland for my Mountain Dew.
Circle K has signs up that say “NO LOITERING, NO SOLICITING” in big, bold letters. And up until today, I never, EVER saw a bum anywhere on their premises. Today for the first time I saw one, and in the minute and a half I was there the cashier notified him twice that the police had been called and he’d better go, literally chasing him off the lot the second time.
Thumbs up to Circle K for handling that problem. Nice to see a store that respects its customers enough to ensure that they won’t be harrassed by panhandlers, beggars and bums as they go about their business on store property. I’ve been buying my Mountain Dews at Circle K, but I’m going to start buying my gas there too from now on. Thanks Circle K for helping to clean up this city.