Have you ever walked into a 7-11 to grab a cup of coffee and while exiting you get harassed by pan handler for spare change or have to carefully walk around bums that are loitering or sleeping? I have and it’s a pain in the ass frankly.
Well, a Modesto, California 7-Eleven owner said he found a way to keep panhandlers and loiterers from hanging out inside the store- by blasting classical and opera music!
Sukhi Sandhu, who owns the franchise in Modesto, told The Modesto Bee his customers tell him they feel safer since he started blasting symphonies and occasional operas over outdoor speakers.
“Once the music started, the riffraff left,” Manuel Souza, who’s homeless and jokingly referred to himself as part of the riffraff, said. The loud music makes it hard “to hang out and gossip and joke around” near the store, Souza told the paper last week from under a tree down the block.
Since last summer, the convenience store has been playing the music 24-7 from the two speakers mounted outside the front of the store. Details on the music were not available, but the sound blaring from the speakers Thursday afternoon was opera.
The newspaper said Monday that such measures aren’t new. Convenience stores and other businesses as well as public facilities have used classical music and the mosquito device over the years to repel panhandlers, homeless people and loitering teenagers, Fox News reported.
The classical music is part of a 7-Eleven program that encourages non-confrontational methods to reduce loitering, Sandhu said. It eliminates any risks faced by clerks when asking panhandlers to leave, he said.
Another method employed at some stores is a device that emits a high-pitched screech similar to a mosquito buzzing in your ear. Clerks turn the device on and off as needed. Classical music is more effective, Sandhu said, and he plans to introduce it at other stores he owns in central California.
YouTube video courtesy of The Modesto Bee
“We have received very positive feedback from our customers about the atmosphere created by the music devices piloted in several 7-Eleven stores across the US,” the convenience store chain’s corporate office said in a statement.
Pretty damned brilliant.