You read the headline right. After what I experienced yesterday, Pepeyes Chicken and Biscuits in Albany’s Hannaford Plaza is on a personal three-month boycott from me.
Because it’s one thing to have to deal with panhandlers.
It’s another thing to not give a crap about panhandlers.
Let me explain.
Yesterday, I was busy running errands around the Capital District – and after pickup my laundry at the laundromat, I wanted to snag some dinner. There was a Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits in the Hannaford Plaza on Central Avenue, so I figured I’d get some spicy chicken and whatever imitation Louisiana cooking I could acquire.
Parked the car. As I walked toward the entrance of the store, there was a young man standing outside the entrance. “Excuse me, sir, sir could I please have a dollar…”
Ugh. Panhandler. I don’t need a panhandler who probably makes more money than I do – tax free, mind you – begging for change and pleading poverty to unsuspecting patrons. And I remembered … there were sign-carrying panhandlers begging for change off the I-90 Exit 5 offramp, just as cars turn onto Everett Road toward Central Avenue.
I walked into the store. I do not need to deal with panhandlers today.
Waited in line.
“Welcome to Popeyes, what can I get for you?” the less-than-enthusiastic cashier said to me.
I placed my order and paid for it. “And by the way,” I said, “you might want to chase away the panhandler in front of your door. I don’t need to be begged for money on my way in to buy your food.”
The cashier never looked up from her register. “Oh, we can’t do that.”
“We can’t do that, as long as he’s not in front of our store directly we can’t ask him to leave.”
“But he’s right at the entrance of your store. He’s bugging your customers for money.”
The cashier placed my chicken in a box, then put the box in a bag.
“So you’re not even going to tell your manager about the panhandler?”
“Nope,” she replied. “Nothing we can do about it.”
“But this guy is pestering your customers as they enter your establishment for money – ”
“Thank you for ordering at Popeyes,” she said, handing me my bag of food. I swear she never looked up from her register screen.
Ugh. I’m out of here.
And as I leave the restaurant…
“Excuse me, sir, but can you spare a dollar …”
The panhandler is now bugging me for change as I’m heading back to my car. Same panhandler.
So as far as I’m concerned … starting today, and continuing until at least April 30, 2018…
I am personally boycotting Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits in the Hannaford Plaza. There is absolutely NO REASON why that cashier didn’t at least address my concerns about a beggar bugging this store’s patrons for money while they’re entering and leaving the store.
Last time I checked, Hannaford Plaza is considered private property that is open to the public for shopping. It’s not open for vagrants and beggars and swindlers. And if Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits wasn’t going to do anything about vagrants bugging their customers for handouts, then why should I do any business with any merchants in the Hannaford Plaza at all?
So yeah, I’m not happy with the situation last night. I’ve worked too hard for my money to hand it over to a street beggar. Especially when I know that street beggars and vagrants and panhandlers make a TON of money from these handouts.
Besides, if I’m that desperate for Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits in the future, I’ll drive to the one on Hoosick Street in Troy. At least the only issues with that one is trying to find parking on Hoosick Street in Troy.
But at least at that location, I won’t have to worry about panhandlers.
At least I hope not.