09
Oct
07

37.Dateline Birmingham

Pilot Employee Abuses Homeless Veteran and Calls PoliceWackenhut

Dear Wanderingvets and Friends:

This incident I am describing occurred the 7th of October 2007 at the Pilot Fuel Plaza on Highway 78 In Birmingham, Alabama.

I asked my ride to drop me off at this truckstop since being a larger stop at the junctions for US’s 59 and 65 it was most likely finding a trucker heading towards Nashville in this place. As I disembarked the SUV that had given me a ride from MS, a security guard came around the corner, and then went around the building without stopping. I was clean shaven, dressed casually, had showered that morning, had my pack in clean order and was well maintained.

When I went inside the Pilot, the guard asked if I was there to do laundry, I said no. I asked if he had a drivers lounge there and he said no. He asked what I was doing there and I stated that I was a veteran going to operation stand down and was seeking a ride to Nashville. He told me not to bother the drivers because he did not want the drivers to come in telling him that I was bothering them. I said ok and pointed to a place where I would be that was off his property. I bought a diet pepsi and went to where I pointed. I went there and was holding a sign that said “VET N-VILLE”

In the meanwhile I am standing there trying to get a ride a african american pimp and his very very skinny caucasian female working the truckers by knocking on every door of the trucks and she climbed in a few of the cabs. The security guard never made a round of the motor pool area.

Two hours had gone by since you do not snap your fingers and the magic truck appears, so I went into the Pilot to buy another diet pepsi. I stepped outside the store into the shade since it was over 90 degrees outside and did not say a word to anyone. Mr. R. Miller, the Wackenhut Security Guard comes outside the building after watching me purchase the diet pepsi, and says: “I thought I told you to stay off the property”. I remarked: “I have only been on your property to buy this drink, and you only asked that I not talk to your drivers”. Mr. R. Miller replied: “where you are standing is our property.” I realized at this time I was dealing with someone who has little or no training, and Wackenhut has given a gun to him. I am armed with a black ball point pen somewhere in my cargo pants pockets. Well I needed a ride out of there so I acquiesced and after saying he did not ban me from the property and wondering his mental state, I go back to my spot where I was standing. Mr. R. Miller is questioning drivers if I have bothered them in the meantime and peaking around a corner of a truck from near the fuel islands making sure I am not setting foot on their property. My big mistake in all of this is not knowing that Mr. R. Miller of Wackenhut Security did not KNOW WHERE HIS PROPERTY STARTED AND ENDED! Forty minutes later the Birmingham Police arrive Rent a Cop Mr. R. Miller in Hot Pursuit. Of course I am over twenty feet off the Pilots property line where I have been standing for three hours. Mr. Miller tells the officer to order me off the property. The officer looks at me, and I tell the officer I am off the Pilots property and that I am standing on the Right of Way and underneath a Utility Easement and so is Mr. R. Miller of Wackenhut Security. I then notified in front of the Birmingham Police to Mr. R. Miller of Wackenhut Security, that he was no longer on his property and that he was harassing a private citizen. Mr. Ralph Miller of Wackenhut also tried to entrap me with my purchase. At this Mr. R. Miller of Wackenhut Security called me a “Homeless Motherfucker” and started to yell incoherently. The Birmingham Policeman asked if I would move up the hill. Moving up the hill though was going to ruin any further chance of a ride though. Of course though, I learned an hour later, Mr. R. Miller of Wackenhut Security, went from Truck to Truck and told every driver parked there I was a fake vet that the police unmasked. I then had to hike 5 miles to the I-65 North connector but was saved by a good Samaritan later.

The Birmingham Police condones Homeless Veterans to be harassed illegally, and will do nothing about it, including not even getting out of their police cars. This must be upon orders or tacit agreement of the City of Birmingham, Alabama.

I later called the Pilot Travel Center in Birmingham (205) 324-4532 a Mr. Pancsoo was the Manager there “Why are you calling me? Call our corporate office” I figured it happened there call and ask why first.

Wackenhut Security (205) 988-9090 was called: They have no comment either except asking “when are you printing this? and This guy works for us? and Where at? and “No Comment” and “Is this being recorded?” Wackenhut’s Corporate Office also stated that “You have to contact Pilot’s Corporate Office since our guards work under their direction.”

Pilots Corporate Office has been emailed but no response has yet been received as of the time of this posting. I am interested in their reply.

Store No. 369
Address:
901 Bankhead Highway West Birmingham, AL US 35204 http://www.pilotcorp.com/About_Us/Contact_Customer_Service.aspx
I invite everyone to go to their customer service website and write them with their comments about this and remember to add the link for this article to it!

Until Next Time.
Wanderingvet

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11 Responses to “37.Dateline Birmingham”


  1. 1 Raja29
    October 9, 2007 at 8:14 pm

    I am sorry this happened to you. I wish we lived in a world where people treated every other human with the decency and respect that they themselves demand of others.

  2. 2 Oldtimer
    October 10, 2007 at 2:04 am

    I’ll post on this on my Oldtimer Speaks Out site.

    Things like this should not happen to our warrior Heroes… ever.

    http://oldtimer.wordpress.com

  3. 3 Oldtimer
    October 10, 2007 at 3:49 am

    You guys and gals that served our country deserve better treatment than this. I gave the company links to both our sites. We can’t let crap behavior like this go unanswered.

    http://oldtimer.wordpress.com/2007/10/09/homeless-veteran-hasseled-at-truck-stop/

    I wish you better luck in Nashville! There is a well known homeless blogger in Nashville. “The Homeless Guy”.

  4. 4 wanderingvet
    October 11, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    To JL

    Thank you for the information. I am not sure about publishing all of that information though at this time. Operation Stand Down is the first priority, and needs first publicity.

  5. 5 lori
    October 11, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    Makes me ashamed to live in the same state. I’m sorry this happened to you. I will certainly circulate this info among my friends here and make sure that there is no patronage at that store.

  6. 6 Oldtimer
    October 12, 2007 at 4:51 am

    I received a form letter from Pilot today thanking me for my comment, and adding: “We hope that you will stop at Pilot in the near future and give us the opportunity to continue serving you as a valued Pilot customer.”

    Nobody even read the thing as far as I can tell. Or else they would know I wasn’t the customer.

    Oldtimer

  7. 7 wanderingvet
    October 12, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Funny they sent me the same email about wanting me to continue being a valued customer and I am not allowed to be on the property.

  8. 8 JL
    October 12, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    Same Pilot response here. It is doubtful that Ken Parent, Senior VP, or anyone specifically read the letter I sent, or else they would know I was not the customer.

    “We hope that you will stop at Pilot in the near future and give us the opportunity to continue serving you as a valued Pilot customer. Sincerely, Ken Parent, Senior Vice President Operations/Marketing”
    188086

  9. January 4, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    James A. Haslam III
    Chief Executive Officer and President

    Ken Parent Chief Operations Officer

    CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS
    5508 Lonas Road
    Knoxville, Tennessee 37909

    United States

    Phone: 865-588-7488
    Fax: 865-450-2800

    Paper letters are harder to ignore. Emails are generally handled by simply replying with a standardized form letter. A few paper letters on someone’s desk, complete with links, would be much harder to ignore.
    I say, send it to both of the above gentlemen, including the cc: so that they know the other has them. MUCH harder to ignore if you know someone else now knows about it too, expecially if that someone else is your boss!

  10. 10 Brenda High
    January 22, 2008 at 8:58 am

    As the wife of a truck driver, I am appalled at the hooker issue. I’m so sorry about your homeless plight, but the former hits a little closer to home for me. The people you need to contact about this is TMC. They own the Pilot chains. Their offices are located in Des Moine, IA. Also, TMC is owned by Annette Holdings, Inc. I’m sorry that I don’t have their number, but it should be easy to find. On the behalf of all of the wifes of truck drivers that are employed by TMC, I wish you all the luck in the world in getting their attention in this matter. “Lot Lizzards”, as they are refered to, do not have any place in bothering our husbands!

  11. 11 Heliarc
    January 30, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I am an employee at a Pilot Travel Center in Georgia, to me it sounds like the guard was just trying to make himself feel like he was in control. In my experience (almost one year) I have only had to ask people begging for money or trying to harass customers into buying things from them. The Travel Center I work at doesn’t even have security guards, I don’t see why ANY Pilot would need them unless shoplifting is a big problem. Even if it was i doubt one power-hungry rent-a-cop would be able to bring the statistics down much. I truly am sorry to hear you had such an experience at a Pilot Travel Center. I know this is more than what you will ever get from Jimmy Haslam or Ken Parent or even the store’s GM i just hope it re-assures you that now all Travel Centers do not treat customers that way.


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