George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

Unwanted visitors at a Texas Walmart

| May 29, 2013

This has been one helluva trip. They’re all different and exciting in their own way, but this time out changed me. Up until this point, I had never experienced the discrimination against truck drivers face-to-face, I’d heard about it and read about it and been told some pretty incredible stories by my readers about it, but I had never had it in my own face. I had never felt judged, just for showing up in a truck, until we went to the Walmart in Lancaster, Texas.

George is very familiar with the Lancaster area, he delivers there often. Like any other trucker, he knows where his “sleep spots” are, and where he can go to get groceries and supplies for the truck without being hassled. The Walmart at North I-35E was one of these places. Or at least it used to be.

We have a standing rule in our house. If you can buy it anywhere other than Walmart, buy it there. We don’t shop at Walmart when we’re home. Ever. The only reason we frequent Walmart on the road is because it’s one of the few places we can get a truck in and out of without taking landscaping with us. Up until a few weeks ago, most Walmarts we’d tried were truck friendly, and we could get in and out easily.

When we pulled into the Lancaster store, George noticed signs everywhere:

NO TRUCK PARKING
VIOLATORS WILL BE TOWED AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE.

“That’s weird. I was just here three weeks ago and stayed the night in the lot. I’ll go in and talk to the manager, so we don’t get towed while we’re shopping.”

Walmart boycott stickerHe parked (we only had the tractor – no trailer) and went inside to find a manager. We went directly to the front desk, and asked for one. George told the lady we were truckers (immediate eye-roll from her), and we needed to get some supplies. He wanted to make sure his rig didn’t get towed, while we were spending money in their store. She flipped out a walkie talkie.

“We’ve got trucking customers at the front. What do I tell them?”

“They have one hour, write the time down.”

She put the walkie talkie back on the clip.

“You’ve got one hour.”

As you can imagine, I was completely furious. I was hopping on one foot and smoke was trailing out of both ears. I wanted to drag her smug, eye-rolling ass across the counter and stomp some sense into her. George realized this and led me away from the counter before I went to DEFCON 5.

“I will be naked, starving and cold before I spend one thin dime in this craphole.”

“Babe, I’ve got to have a couple of things. We won’t buy anything that’s not completely necessary to get us to the next place we can shop, OK? Just be cool.”

I agreed to be cool, but I was so insanely angry it was completely futile. I just kept going back to the “one hour to spend your money” thing. We are not criminals. As a matter of fact, without our services, Walmart wouldn’t function at all. Sam Walton credited his success to his truck drivers. Sam would have pooped his pants to see the way we were treated here. I wandered around and thought about all the things on the shelves that my own husband had probably delivered to this very store. I decided I needed answers. I wanted to give Walmart a chance to defend themselves, because in my mind there were already horrific stories forming about a plague of biblical proportions coming upon this Walmart. I gleefully imagined the eye-rolling manager dragging her half-dead corpse to the door and begging the truckers to come bring the cure to the Walmart plague. It made me feel better. I calmed down enough to be reasonable and went looking for a manager to explain the sudden change of heart about truckers.

I found Ms. Eye-Roller, and very politely asked her if I could speak to someone who knew why the truckers were suddenly not welcomed. She told me the City of Lancaster was the reason they couldn’t let trucks park there anymore. When I questioned how the City of Lancaster could make rules about private property, she changed her story and said it was the new security service they hired. The new security service wouldn’t let trucks park. When I questioned why they let RVs park and not trucks, she gave me another big ol’ eye-roll and flipped out her walkie talkie again.

“Do we have a manager who can talk to a trucking customer available?”

Someone crackled back they’d “be right there,” and she left me to wait.

About five minutes later, another manager appeared. He was absolutely not happy to be where he was. His body language spoke volumes: Arms crossed, chest puffed out, jaw set. He was ready for a fight, and I was not going to give him one. I politely explained my husband had frequented this Walmart, and we were wondering why there were suddenly no trucks allowed. I mentioned that without these trucks, he wouldn’t have a job, nor would anyone else in the store. I mentioned I wrote for a trucking magazine, and would like to quote him on the new rules, to give Walmart a chance to defend themselves. When I offered to show him an article on my phone, he pushed the phone out of the way and said (and I’m completely ad-libbing here, this is in no way a direct quote):

“This is private property. You have two hours to get off the lot or be towed. And you’re not quoting me in anything. Rabbits eat lettuce and monkeys eat bananas.” (I’m going to let you deduce what he actually said, and what was ad-libbed there, so as not to ruffle any feathers about a direct quote.)

Wow.

He then stormed off to the “little man” section of clothing to pick himself out a pair of pants. Kidding! He did storm off, and he was a little guy, but I’m not sure if he buys pants in the infant section of his own store. Anyway, he really upset me, and I forced George to wait until there was one minute left on our “leave or get towed” clock, just to be an ass.

  • mousekiller

    It was said and other reasons for not dropping trailer. Many companies do not allow trailers to be dropped .Read it again.

  • Leeming

    It is unfortunate that drivers have to go through the abuse and and have been stereotyped. My husband is also a truck driver, and a descent person trying to make a living as a owner operator. I get quite annoyed with the things I hear about how badly he, and other drivers have been treated, this has been going on for as long as I can remember, and I can assure you until truckers take a stand, and show the system they will not take the bullying, this will never stop. Maybe what truckers need to do is shut down the system, it will take that to get the respect you deserve, but not just from walmarts or truck stops, it’s also carriers that charge very little for loads, that could careless if you make any money, or get home to see your families, the goverment who could careless about how you are treated, and constantly look for ways to nickel and dime truck drivers until they go under. And also the general public that don’t want trucks on the road at all. But this is not all of them, again this is the arrogance of humanity, the people who think there time and there position makes them more important than everything and everyone else. But remember this I am one of those waitresses you speak about, and was for almost 20 years, I worked in a truck stop and got to know drivers, and yes I met a lot of nice truck drivers, but I also met a few that had no respect for waitresses, if you don’t want to be stereotyped, then don’t stereotype others, we are not all the same. I happen to know all to well what truck drivers have to endure on a daily bases, but I also know what waitresses endure, and believe me it is not always pleasant. I knew of one that had her nose broken by a truck driver, because he didn’t get cheese on his burger. I will bet she no longer has respect for drivers, but you can’t blame them all for the ignorance of a few, can you.

  • Time Will Tell

    Hooty,

    As we can tell you definitely do not want to be considered as a professional. You may not be. That is what you said.

    While you are saying for me to “get off this “professional” stuff until you hear a driver say this with his own lips.”

    I am a driver. I have over 35 years experience, and my wife has over 15 years experience. Both of us drive this truck with 50 years of experience.

    We have hauled logs, chips, refer, flatbed (including OD), dry bulk tank, and HazMat. If we were not to consider ourselves as professionals, then we must be in the wrong business.

    We do consider our selves as professionals. So now you have it. And you got that straight from us.

    Now if you do not want to consider yourself as a professional, maybe you need to leave this profession. Then you can get desk jockey job.

  • Time Will Tell

    No I am not employed by Wal Mart!

    I own and operate a trucking company, and have driven many years.

    And it is things like the above commenter posted about they will do this or that, that helps to bring our profession to the lowlife level that is perceived by the public.

    We do our best to let the people see there are some within industry that do things in a professional manner.

    So while you call me an IDIOT, you must be the driver that I have heard so much of, whom is called STUPID.

    Hello!

  • Frank Dee Dee Carr

    I have found that more and more WalMart’s have been going to this trend of no trucks. I have to say the one in Midlothian is the exact same way! The more I have seen this town, which has been founded on trucks bringing goods, go truck unfriendly, the more I think the trucks should stop outside the city limits and let the businesses come to them to get their goods. If they cities don’t want trucks, then let the trucks stay out and let the city come to the trucks! The only time it’s ok for the trucks to come in is when it’s convienent to the cities.

  • jjMclure

    no way Jose

  • jjMclure

    they why shop there

  • jjMclure

    a Walmart employee speaking Spanish….now how low class it that.

  • Eric

    Another I AM OWED SOMETHING BECAUSE I CHOSE TO DRIVE A TRUCK ATTITUDE..

  • Eric

    You WERE NOT Discriminated against!!!!! They simply DO NOT ALLOW trucks on their lot. It was posted and all. With your entitlement attitude, you have the right to tress pass on someones property even though it is posted. STUPID people anymore.

  • unwildbill

    I occasionally haul a Walmart load…..If they dispatch it, I tote it!
    Any business has the right to bar anyone except for reasons of race, creed, etc. under law…..If they don’t want trucks, I take my business elsewhere!

  • Daniel Kupke

    I don’t know if u r owed something or not ?? N I don’t give a shit ?? But myself and other drivers are owed the same respect and courtesy as any other person or shopper where-ever we r ?? Like I said eliminate us from your life n see how far u get not buying anything that one of us 2nd class citizens have provided for u ??

  • Eric

    You are not being dicriminated against..GET IT IN YOUR HEAD PEOPLE..You just can’t park your truck on their property because of problems in the past. You can still go in there, buy all you want , get your supplies etc… YOU just can’t park your truck there. They have every right to say who parks there and what vehicles they want on their property. Damned you fools do not think. If you need supply’s, grab a taxi, etc. And camping out in their parking lots…THAT is another story.

  • Leeming

    You’ve not only called them out, you have also stereotyped every last one of them, I also think it is disgusting, and there are proper places to dispose of waste, but what you don’t seem to get is because of attitudes like yours, you will start to see this more often then not. Due to that kind of ignorance, many truckers are not given access to a lot of places and drive for hours with no restroom in sight. And it is funny how this article has not one word about truckers urinating in bottles, but you choose to make that the issue. I would love nothing more because of hypocrits like you for truckers to say the heck with you all, and walk off the job, then you won’t have any toilet paper to wipe your rear end. Or maybe the government can hire more punjabi or Hindi and they can cut holes in the floors of their trucks and use that as a toilet, because there are some that do. Cause that seems to be the better choice. If you actually think that is the way all truckers are think again. I don’t have to guess why there is so much hate in this world. But you would be one of the first to whine when you couldn’t get the necessities of life, because truckers stopped hauling ( food, fuel, clothes, etc) but at the same time it is mouths like yours literally driving them to quit. So good luck on your mission to destroy truck drivers, I could only guess what you do for a living.

  • jjMclure

    it it a truck stop

  • jjMclure

    beaners

  • Wendy Parker

    What’s STUPID is having absolutely no problem with allowing trucks on the lot for deliveries, but when the very people who bring them goods to stock their shelves need to come in and SPEND MONEY in their store, they’re treated in a sub-par manner. What’s STUPID is the thought that I feel entitled because I want the same treatment everyone else gets. What’s STUPID is NO ONE IN THE STORE COULD ANSWER A SIMPLE QUESTION WITH THE SAME ANSWER. What’s REALLY STUPID is the fact they allow the same size vehicles with standard weights that are very close to a tractor, park and sully the parking lot for as long as they like, because they represent what’s considered to be a higher ‘ilk’ of human being. And the STUPIDEST thing about the situation is, if they can’t tell us what the problem really is, we can’t do anything to make it better. That’s STUPID. I’m attempting to find a solution here, not start a war. Walmart wrote this story, not me. I didn’t make it up or insert characters – THEY WROTE IT. I’ve given them ample opportunity – before and after the piece was written – to respond and they refuse to. That’s STUPID. They could have quickly and easily stepped in and said, “Hey, this is the reason we don’t want you here. Deal with it.” Instead, they treated us like criminals and wouldn’t give us a reason why. We didn’t ask to stay the night, we didn’t leave trash or pee bottles. We wanted to SPEND MONEY. Bottom line is, we were treated differently, solely because of our profession, and no matter how you slice it, if you’re a public business, offering business to the public, you can’t do that.

  • Shari Mende Daracunas

    I saw a prime example of why Wal-Mart dosent want trucks in the lot…in Sydney , Nebraska the entire parking lot was filled with nothing but trucks and trailers today….they were croweded all the way up to the front door…..infront of Wal-

    Mart is an Arbys with truck parking and there is atruckstop across the street, and what do you wanbt to bet abvout only 3 percent of all the trucks jammed in that lot were actually there spending mnoney

  • Matt

    I am a professional driver with about a year1/2 experience. I also haul freight for Wal-Mart and I go to multiple Wal-Marts every nite. I think instead of banning all trucks from any Wal-Mart, I think the rite thing to do is to keep an eye on ALL Vehicles (commercial and non commercial alike) that stay in they’re parking lots at nite and make a database of those that are leaving nice… “presents” on the ground for others to clean up, that way next time that person shows up in another store, the managers would automatically know to report that individual person to his or her own company or just simply kick that specific person off there property if they do it again. That way the only people that have to deal with not being able to park and shop at Wal-Mart is the people responsible for dirtying up there parking lot to begin with. I think this would solve allot of problems Wal-Mart and professional drivers are having with this situation. I also think more company’s other than Wal-Mart should do this. Bottom line, if your not respectful, you should be kicked out. if you are respectful, you should be allowed to stay without being disturbed. Simple as that.

  • john pike

    I boycott wal-mart anyway ! BUT dude you been around about 70% of them don’t want you there any way
    go to target or fine a food store and let them keep there cheep crap

  • Wendy Parker

    I ride in a truck and write for a trucking magazine. I’m actually experiencing the life, instead of just writing about it. I don’t make these stories up, I write what I see and experience. I’m not sure how I’m a hypocrite for doing this, and I really can’t see how I’m destroying truck drivers by reporting on the facts of life out here. I appreciate your opinion, you have an absolute right to it, without being called names and having inferences made about your general person. So do I.

  • Wendy Parker

    And a voice of reason appears. My thoughts exactly. Thank you for the comment.

  • Redtoytrucker

    Ken, Regardless of whether a ‘developer’ made the change, that does NOT excuse the outright RUDENESS of the two Walmart employees.

    Writing a letter of complaint to address counter-productive business policies and inappropriate employee conduct is not something I would look askance at.
    Your post says a lot about you. Referring to the actions taken by Niki in a stereotypical term kinda makes you look…………..well let me put it this way, “Better put some aloe vera on thst sunburned neck of yours. Oh, you say you haven’t been in the sun??? Well, guess that says it all.”

  • Ken Nilsen

    It is stereotypical of the lack of educational progress of some writers on this board and many others when the first action is “boycott”. I hope she does stay out of the stores, all of them. There would have been no poor conduct of the employee had the driver of the truck obeyed the signs and just moved on. If you can’t read signs, do you really need to be driving a truck?

  • Daryl Wirth

    I was at the wal mart in Mason city IA . with a poop bag on the ground by the trucks parked in the lot

  • James

    Tow trucks are also “Trucks”,sorry-can’t go there. Maybe the store “Manager” could delegate him/herself and some employees to push the truck out to where you could connect without trespassing….

  • James

    It couldn’t be that hard to use surveillance video to identify the offending driver’s Trucking Co. name and truck number and send a clean-up/maintenance bill with a copy of the video showing that trucker abusing the stores hospitality to the trucker’s main office. Once they start getting bills like that,maybe they’d have a SERIOUS talk with the drivers and bring about some changes. In the meantime,there’s no sense in punishing good truckers for the actions of a few idiots. THAT’S what GUN CONTROL is doing. Infringing on lawful gun owners’ rights because of a few Criminals’ behavior. It’s STUPID.

  • Daniel Kupke

    My we had a change of heart here didn’t we ELMER ??? First u tell me I can’t go in there because I am a truck driver ?? Then u tell me I don’t have the right to stop or and shop where 4 wheelers do ?? N now u tell me I am not being discriminated (u misspelled that ELMER) agienst ?? Ya know if it walks like a pig n sounds like a pig n especially smells like (u) er I mean a pig it’s probably a PIG there ELMER ??

  • Eric

    EXACTLY what I have been trying to say Ken. Thank you. But , there is an entitlement attitude out here anymore and SO many of these steering wheel holders have anymore, like they are owed the right to park 80,000 lbs anywhere they want….

  • Eric

    George quit being a professional at the exact moment when he disobeyed the NO TRUCKS sign. It ended right there. PERIOD.

  • Craig Munson

    I have enjoyed reading all of your comments. Been “kicked out” of a few walmart parking lots myself. Obviously the manager is a jerk. I especially like the comment heres your stuff come and get it. The arcadia fl used to let trucks park in the ajoining dirt field. The STUPID truckers trashed out the field SO BAD the owner said ENOUGH. now no parking. WE brought it upon ourselves. by the way the word professional means to be paid for the activity one is doing such as a professional pilot which i most humbly am.

  • Doug Spurger

    there are several walmarts that do have a part of their lot set aside for trucks it is up to the manager not the corp. as to who parks and who doesn’t. I know the Lancaster store in question withing 5 miles from it are no less than 5 trucking company terminals Swift, FFE and a few others many of which choose to park at walmart or other parking lots than in their yards and it does cause problems and it is a city thing as well. a few miles up the road Mesquite Texas. There policy is no sleeping in vehicles PERIOD. Even at a truck stop you are welcome to park but you can not sleep in your truck..just something to think about.

  • Doug Spurger

    nest time you pull into a walmart look at the curbs first and the tire tracks and what has been run over ..just saying

  • Life With No Fixed Address

    There’s another aspect to the Wal-Mart/parking debate. It’s sad, frightening and infuriating that in many places in the US and Canada, Wal-Mart is the defacto truck stop because it is open 24 hours with toilets and running water. A month ago, in Douglas AZ, it was Wal-Mart or nothing for me.

  • Life With No Fixed Address

    There’s another aspect to the Wal-Mart/parking debate. It’s sad,
    frightening and infuriating that in many places in the US and Canada,
    Wal-Mart is the defacto truck stop because it is open 24 hours with
    toilets and running water. A month ago, in Douglas AZ, it was Wal-Mart
    or nothing for me.

  • david

    this is the first time i have ever commented on anything on the computer, and this is in no way for or against walmart. my wife and i stopped driving, after close to 3 million miles. no tickets, no accidents. the main reason we needed to get off the road was because of the attitude of the drivers and the a/h companies putting untrained absolute idiots behind the wheel. if you’ve been out there for any length of time you can’t ignore the destruction these idiots cause driving in a straight line. truckstops and anyplace else accomedating big trucks should require a drivers license as collateral, use there surveillance equipment, and fine the shit out of the idiots responsible for the litter, pee bottles and destruction. have you ever opened you door in morning in a truck stop in the heat after a good rain. it smells like a zoo. that is not deisel you smell. this might make those responsible accountable and allow the few decent drivers left out there to regain some of respect we once had. that has been some time ago. good luck and be safe out there….what magazine do you write for…

  • Tahsunka Sk-ha

    thank you mother for relaiming your matronly place in the world.

  • Tashunka-Sk-ha

    You wrote a telling and apperently awakening article. I am a driver. I enjoyed the Wal-Mart experience approximatley 10 yrs ago. the are many places to buy the things you need, sometimes it is a little inconvienient but it can be done. For me Wal-Mart is a plauge infested boat load of rat droppings on a good day, so I avoid them like the vermin they are. This same thing happened to me in Houston, and Mesquite, TX. That was enough. I despise grocery warehouses and will never deliver to one for any reason. I would certainly never deliver directly to any store front location. I have delivered to some of the Hardware stores and have had no problem.

    Some truckers do leave the parking lots filthy and have brought the ire of the stores managment down on those that know a good place to park needs to be taken care of. some stores just treat everyone like lesser beings. So the store managers need to be aware that truckers are not stuck at buying from walfart but can go anywhere. My suggestion is ditch walmart and go to anywhere else.

    Have a great day WALFART.

  • Tashunka Sk-ha

    If I shoot myself in the foot at my own volition, do I blame the store that sold me the gun and bullets. Certainly how could I blame myself. I only fired that thing. Truckers don’t be guilty of shooting yourself in the foot.
    Remember just because your away from home does not allow you any special privelge. You however have an obligation to yourself and others to bahave like you have a modocum of common senses.
    Yes I said yoy have a OBLIGATION.

  • Eric

    Do you really think anyone with common sense believes this??? You may have done this once, but if you didn’t service the customer that called you, they won’t call you again…You must think people REALLY believe that…SMH.

  • Sean

    You want to know why more and more Walmarts don’t want trucks around? When I was still otr in 2001 I pulled into walmart in Cedar Rapids. while walking through the parking lot to the store I noticed a very strong urine odor. I smell it in lots of truckstops too. Pathetic loosers can’t wait to get inside to piss and create a God-awful stench they expect the rest of us to endure. Why welcome rv’s? They have holding tanks and don’t piss in the parking lot.

  • Rayzer

    I would agree with you on the fact that “some” truck drivers think that any where they are parked is their personal dumping ground. However, if Walmart, or any other business for that matter, were to use that as an excuse to not let truck drivers park for their shopping needs then they would have to stop the four-wheelers as well.

    Not too very long ago, my wife and I witnessed a couple of slobs dumping the entire contents of their fast food rampage from what looked like the past two months into the parking lot before they drove off. Afterwards, my wife returned the cart and went inside to give the manager a rundown on what had happened. She told the manager that she had the license plate number, but the manager said it wasn’t necessary. My wife said the manager acted pissed off that they were even having the conversation and was extremely rude, which my wife finally told the manager that she just didn’t want a truck driver being blamed, as usual, and then walked out.

    My wife sounds a lot like Wendy; if it crosses her mind, it will cross her lips…like it or not…and I LOVE it!!

  • Jimmy the Greek

    We are blue collar workers , Not professionals ! Soon we well be replaced by wet backs ,

  • long time trucker

    I can not blame them, some truckers are pigs and need to be called out. Soon we will not be able to ramp park anywhere due to the litter.

  • Dr Duke

    Fyi Walmart is still in real estate.
    http://www.walmartrealty.com/

  • Longrider Radio

    OK, I’ve waited long enough to have the last word with the first word on Walmart parking. Years ago an old trucker told me that when Walmart opened in his hometown in Mississippi it was one of the first Walmarts outside of Arkansas. It had huge parking lot so he parked his flatbed out in the front and went in to shop. There was a greeter at the front door thanking everyone for shopping at their store. The driver said, “I parked my big truck out in the front of your lot. I’m just going to get a couple of things and I’ll gone in a few minutes.” The greeter told him, “You are welcome to park your truck at any Walmart and stay as long as you like.” His name tag said Sam. That’s what Sam Walton had say on big truck parking.

  • Robert Ostreicher

    In other words he’s a dispatcher couldn’t make it as a truck driver, LMAO

  • Guest

    I say if they don’t like us or treat us well, them suck horse c@#k. That is about as “professional” as I am going to get. We risk our asses out here to bring this economy the goods it needs to function. If they can’t cut us some slack then as I said…

  • disqus_w9c6NF37lV

    But not us white people. Lol. There are pigs in every race. I parked on the front row of the Pilot in Avondale. AZ, and the smell of piss was so strong that I moved my truck. Disgusting! I shop at Walmart because most of them are more than willing to allow us to park there. In fact the one by my hometown of Ludington, MI even put out the expense to create an extra square of asphalt for us to park and drop our trailers when we want to go home. But we as a group need to start climbing all over the asses of these drivers that we see behaving like pigs. Get you lazy asses moving and throw your trash in the appropriate places. Don’t piss on your wheels in the parking lots. Quite throwing your coffee and sugary drinks out your window at the fuel island. You reading this who are guilty, know who you are. YOU’RE GROSS AND DISGUSTING AND YOU GIVE US ALL A BAD NAME!!! Have a little class. There, I said it. :)

  • disqus_w9c6NF37lV

    Well said regarding the four wheelers. Slobs are by no means limited to truck drivers.

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