Tiger Town Gas Station in Ballantine
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Posted by Traveling Mom (+11) 7 years ago
I stopped in Ballantine to use the restroom with my kids, ages 5 and 11 months. I noticed a sign posted on the door indicating a minimum purchase was required for the use of the facilities. I figured we could grab drinks and snacks, had some cash, and didn't really mind. When I walked in the door a group of women blocked the aisle leading to the bathroom. As I approached one said, "There's no place in the bathroom to change a baby." Having been in many places not equipped with changing stations, I was armed with a changing pad, large blanket and supplies. I assured them I could figure something out and offered a friendly smile.

After we were finished, we exited the bathroom, and were on our way to find some bottled water when the older woman calls out, "Did you put a diaper in there?" I had changed my child, so I confirmed that I had indeed placed a WET diaper in there. She then says, "No one wants that, you need to take it out." WTF? In disbelief, I ask if she's serious and if so, where she expects me to put it. No signs were posted indicating that diapers were prohibited in this particular public restroom. She says she wants it in the garbage by the front door. Like that is somehow better than in a bathroom garbage? So in a state of shock, I go to grab the garbage bag. I look at her and state that I'm taking the whole garbage, and she says, "No, just the diaper."

At this point, I am furious. I then tell her that if she expects me to take the diaper out of the garbage, she had better have some gloves. She assures me she does, steps in the hall, comes back and states, "Well we used to but I don't know what happened to them." At that point, I tell her that I am NOT digging through a public garbage where someone could have taken a crap. She is f*ing crazy. I do tell her I will wash my hands again because I did touch the garbage again. I then gave her a dollar for each of us that used her facilities. Had my children not been present I would have told her where she could stuff her newly acquired three dollars then tossed them in the trash with my dirty diaper.

I found another review for the same gas station...
http://www.yelp.com/filte...1tdxj_aJvA

My family and I were traveling home from Helena, MT. We were running low on gasoline and just happened to spot this little station off the road. We spent $63.26 on gasoline. While my husband was paying, the clerk jumped him about our dog pottying on a little strip of grass outside the station--that it coul kill the grass!! Honestly the place is an absolute DUMP and she was worrying about the 8X10 clump of grass. A real bunch of hillbillies I don't care to visit again! I am reviewing the credit card statement for that month (November, 2012)and I get mad all over again.
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Posted by Jeff Denton (+759) 7 years ago
It's too bad you and the other customer were treated so rudely by the hillbillies. That's uncalled for and not on the list of "how to run a successful business". They need to find a kinder way to ask not to be used as a dump. I know how frustrating it is to try to run a classy roadside joint and then have the Browning basketball team bus pull in for a pit stop. They laughingly trash it and don't buy a damn thing. This gets you in the mood to be a tad snippy at the next carload that needs to take a crap but not something to refill the now empty space.
Trust me, when you're in that biz you learn to see it coming. My F-I-L came up with some warm greetings containing tasteful and funny warnings and, if they didn't get it, some pretty hilarious "thank you" lines for people on the way out after stinking up the place. It was better than being a dick about it but he still felt very used and had to clean up afterwards. No ka-ching there. How to remain cheerful for the next carload is a challenge. Shoveling dog poop is only fun when you have a dog, not so much when you don't, huh? Our lawn sprinklers out front came on with a flick of the switch from the bar, you see the need for it as soon as the kids and dog jump out of the car.
Buying gas isn't really making a purchase, either. The pumps are mostly to get you to stop, then hopefully you'll buy something in the store or eat a meal in our fine restaurant. That's the proprietor's profit center.
So that's the other side of the story, which you have to try to understand when this happens. I agree the bitty went a little too far when she asked you to fish the diaper out, she's losing, and to publicly complain and share this experience was proper.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9071) 7 years ago
the Browning basketball team

Because the nice white boys from Cutbank would never destroy a pubic restroom.
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Posted by tjh (+136) 7 years ago
Sorry to say it Bridger, but I've seen them s*** in a urinal in Wolf Point. I've yet to see that happen here.
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Posted by Jeff Denton (+759) 7 years ago
Oh no, tj, that was probably the Glendive Girls Wrestling team. LOL.
Did you have a point, B? I didn't get it, but then I only go with my own personal experiences, I don't have any with Cut Bank. And our restrooms were not exactly pubic, nor public. The sign at the front door nicely stated they were for our paying customers. Reading and comprehension aren't a popular skill some places, much less respect for policy and property.

[This message has been edited by Jeff Denton (9/8/2013)]
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Posted by sdrew (+236) 7 years ago
I stopped there once, got gas and went in to use the restroom. I noticed the sign on the door that said "A $1 minimum purchase is required for use of our bathroom facilities." I asked if this was in addition to gas, and was told "Yes."
I said "OK" and paid for the gas. After I had completed my purchase I asked the woman if there was a charge for simply viewing the restrooms and she said "No..."
I said,"Well, I would expect the toilet seats are covered with mink and the fixtures are solid gold."
I don't think I'll be stopping there again.

[This message has been edited by sdrew (9/8/2013)]
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Posted by M T Zook (+511) 7 years ago
Same experience with four little kids. We won't be back. In a SERVICE business, you have to treat people better. The one or two screwballs you save yourself from, you drive away a lot of other business.

We bought a ton of goodies too, but the whole attitude was rotten.
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Posted by David Schott (+16723) 7 years ago
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Posted by Hannah Nash (+2503) 7 years ago
Tangentially related: if possible, can travelers as well as Miles City dog owners please clean up after their dogs? Every strip of grass, lawn, boulevard or other greenery in town is not your pet's personal potty station. If you don't want to pick up poop, keep it limited to your own property.

(I realize the OP above didn't mention "#" when referring to her dog pottying; but my comment just refers to travelers in general and local population, not her specifically. A special shout out to whoever is allowing their large dog to defecate in my driveway-- Classy!!)
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Posted by Jeff Denton (+759) 7 years ago
I've never been there. But I've ridden road bikes all over Montana and Wyoming. You know, you stop for gas EVERY chance you get sometimes...I've walked into more than one eerie little roadside Mom and Pop stores that were the town hangout, the locals' only alternative to home and the bar next door. You walk in and everybody shuts up and just stares like they've never seen a blonde man in a Cat hat before. The cashier acts like you're the rudest interruption to her gossiping all day and can't be friendly enough to make you want to stay there a minute longer than necessary. Which you don't because you just know there's some inbred creep in the basement sharpening his chainsaw...
The mainstay of their business is catering to their local friends who need them for the basics they might need between trips to town. They really don't need the tourist to stop in and boy don't they act like it. Come to think of it the weirdest one ever was in South Carolina. My brother and I got back in the truck and he actually pulled out his notebook and wrote a short story about what all we had just seen!
Could the Ballantine Tiger Town be one of these? Now I'd actually want to stop there just for the experience. I like the bizarre.
-edit- yikes, good thing, nice story, David. There you go, you never know what the poor innkeeper has been through that day and has possibly just had enough of tourists for one week.
-edit again- then comes Hannah to remind me of people's dogcrap in the early, learning days of the Inn. Before my brilliant lawn sprinkler switch idea a carload of freeloaders without a dog took turns in the restroom and then the kids proceeded to romp and wrestle on the lawn. They thought they would work off some stink but guess what, they picked some up and then were angry with me. Acted like I owed them all a nice bath and laundry service. I offered them a motel room at going rate of course and they got mad and stormed out the door. I followed and offered them the garden hose at least but they fired up the car and burned rubber by-bye.
But I can top that. A man with a little kid stopped in to use the pay phone, I saw the whole thing out the window. He was on the phone while junior crawled in the gravel. I won't describe what happened next but I'll quote the angry man bursting through the door a minute later. "Why don't you clean up you damn dog poop once in a while, my kid just picked some up and ate it!" I was torn between horror and humor and all that I could come up was something like "Well why don't you keep an eye on your little Chebornik there". He didn't get it, do you?

[This message has been edited by Jeff Denton (9/8/2013)]

[This message has been edited by Jeff Denton (9/8/2013)]
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Posted by Patti Anderson (+17) 7 years ago
In reply to the "lady"(ladies do not use that kind of language) that stopped to change her infant in our store at Ballantine, Montana, this is the beginning of the story. Upon entering the store, she was asked not to use the restroom for changing the infant. The restroom is small and does not allow room for a proper changing table off the floor. We are a ranch community with ranchers coming in to use the restroom all day that have just come from caring for their cattle or fields. Who knows what was on their feet from cattle feces to clods of mud. This "lady" changed her infant on the VERY unsanitary floor of which the infant had no choice and then was only concerned about herself. She did not want to take the diaper to the OUTSIDE garbage as asked to do so that no other customers had to put up with it, instead she threw a fit that only showed her unconcern for others including her own infant. We do not have time to clean the restroom after each use and ask the consideration of the customers to help.

We try our best, but sometimes customers can be very trying to ones' nerves when they completely ignore our suggestions. She never asked why we said "no" to changing her infant on the bathroom floor.
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Posted by Patti Anderson (+17) 7 years ago
In regards to the dog, we take pride in our station and surroundings. We are a VERY pet friendly station, pick after our own pets and therefore we ask the customers to do the same.
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Posted by cubby (+2618) 7 years ago
Pattie, did you miss the part where she said she was armed with a cleaning pad and blanket, don't think the kid ever touched the floor. It sure doesn't sound like you care for the traveling people that stop by to help support your small business, you might want to be carful you might have to relie only on your local farmers to support you if your not kinder to your customers.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9071) 7 years ago
Who knows what was on their feet from cattle feces to clods of mud.


She did not want to take the diaper to the OUTSIDE garbage as asked to do so that no other customers had to put up with it,


Interesting.
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Posted by David Schott (+16723) 7 years ago


One problem solved.

As for taking your customers to task over where they put their garbage, perhaps you should take the philosophy of "Trash can liners cost pennies whereas customers are priceless." and dump the trash in your restroom more often/as needed.
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Posted by Patti Anderson (+17) 7 years ago
She never said she had a changing pad and blanket only "equiped" and she never asked why we said no. My babies were NEVER changed on a public restroom floor, home floors yes, but NEVER public as it was never a known fact what had been there previously or last cleaned. I guess I had more concern for my babies.
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Posted by Patti Anderson (+17) 7 years ago
Changing table was really nice, but will not fit in this particular restroom. Problem still exists! Restroom made well before changing tables even existed. People who step over pennies are left behind.
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Posted by Patti Anderson (+17) 7 years ago
Dumping trash more often would be great if one had the time and also knew when the diapers were put in there and then why can't the people just put them in the proper disposal as asked. Legally we do not have to have a public restroom at all, it is there as a courtesy for the ones that respect it and know how it use it.
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Posted by David Schott (+16723) 7 years ago
Patti Anderson wrote:
"Dumping trash more often would be great if one had the time and also knew when the diapers were put in there and then why can't the people just put them in the proper disposal as asked."

Considering your time crunch I recommend that you ask your customers to polish the commode, mop the floors, stock the coolers, and face the shelves as well. If they can't do that then they can just move on down the road. Afterall, you have a business to run.
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Posted by Patti Anderson (+17) 7 years ago
Good ideas, think they will work. Legally we do not even have to have a restroom for public. It is only a courtesy that we do and think that perhaps the customers would try to help. How soon will you be coming through, we need stocking done. Thanks in advance.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4456) 7 years ago
In summation, Tiger Town in Ballantine is exactly as the original poster describes.

And sweet baby Jesus, Denton is a d-bag.

[This message has been edited by Buck Showalter (10/14/2013)]
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Posted by cubby (+2618) 7 years ago
Did you tell her what to do with the diaper before she entered the restroom? If not why wouldn't you, after all you told her there wasn't a changing table in there, why not tell the CUSTOMER what you expect before assuming they all know your protocol for dirty diapers.
It's plain to see that you people just don't care for any customers but the local ones that support you. No worries I won't be stopping by any time soon for treatment like you hand out.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9071) 7 years ago
Let's be honest here - if I find myself in Ballantine for ANY reason, it's because I've procreated up somewhere along the line.
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Posted by Patti Anderson (+17) 7 years ago
Enough is enough. We are going to put a lock on our private restroom door which was never public. Everyone should be happy now with a decision that we were forced into. The public restrooms are on the highway.
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1913) 7 years ago
That'll show'em!

I can practically hear it now...."Shucks, Patty. I gotta pee!"

"I am sorry but the people on milescity.com were rude so the only logical solution is to close the rest room and make people who weren't even in on the discussion suffer".
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Posted by Patti Anderson (+17) 7 years ago
I am going to keep the private restroom very accessible for my paying and pleasant customers, as always. There will always be rude customers, with is so very sad.....

[This message has been edited by Patti Anderson (10/14/2013)]
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Posted by 2ndComing (+203) 7 years ago
Patti I don't know if you have read anything else on MC.com but most of the regular contributors don't have anything positive or enlightening to say. If they have ever dealt with the public and restrooms used by the same, they probably won't be so negative. I agree you could have suggested that the floor wasn't suitable and would they please take the diaper with them. I personally don't understand why anyone can't observe "pack it in, pack it out". Unfortunately that would require personal responsibility, be it smelly diapers, dog feces or cigarette butts. I hope the child doesn't always have to wait for a restroom to get it's diapers changed, we used to just change them in the car and bag the diaper for the garbage can where we gassed up.
P.S. Thanks for the past use of your facilities.
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Posted by MRH (+1486) 7 years ago
The public restrooms are on the highway.

I hate to admit that my first thought was: Along the highway or at the rest areas? This brings up a question as to the closures of the rest areas along the west bound lane between Miles City and Billings. Sometimes they are all open and sometimes one is open, but there is no prior notice to closure on the signage along the interstate. What is up with Mont. DOT? I cannot remember if there was a time when all three were closed.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4456) 7 years ago
2ndcomingofpatti, we'll have a spaghetti dinner to pay your mortgage when Town Pump and their restrooms puts you out of business.
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