Do I expect too much? (Probably Lame)

One of my pet peeves is people who leave shopping carts sitting in the parking lot, so that parking spots are often unusable, and the staff of the store ends up spending a lot of time gathering them. I always return my cart either to the storefront or one of the racks provided in the parking lot for that purpose. Sometimes I’m able to get some others that have been left in the lot earlier and return them too. I’m sorry, I’m not trying to impress you with my nobility here - it’s not like it’s a big deal. I just want to establish my own starting point.

This morning, I happened to get up early and go to WalMart. (I rarely shop at all, so the fact that they opened at 7, the fact that I woke up early, and the fact that I needed some “general store” things all came together to dictate my choice of store.) When I left the store and unloaded my cart into my car, I turned to head toward the cart rack. There was a man parked immediately next to the rack. He unloaded his cart and pushed it to the front of his car. I’ve never done anything like this before, but I called out “Hey, you’re only six feet away - can’t you put it in the rack?” pointing at the cart rack so that he knew what I was talking about. He just looked at me, looked at the cart, and said “No” and got in his car and drove away.

I don’t understand him. I can see forgetting, or maybe having trouble with the extra distance - my own foot is in a CAM Walker (like a removable cast - inflamed tendon that seems to be hanging on forever!), so I can understand if someone just felt they couldn’t walk the extra distance. I can even understand someone running so late that they just can’t take the time. But this guy was walking fine, he seemed to be pretty leisurely (and it was about 8 in the morning on a Saturday - most people aren’t rushing at this point!), and if he forgot, well - I reminded him.

I know this is a tiny little thing, but it seems to me to be very symptomatic of a general attitude that is increasingly prevalent in our (American) society - “I’ve got mine, so screw anybody else.” We don’t all have to be Mother Theresa, but societies only survive by virtue of the cooperation of their members. THis sometimes means putting yourself out in a small way in order to save other people inconvenience or extra work. But, hey, I’ve got mine - why should I worry about anyone else?


  1. I’m also a cart returner, unless someone begs it off me as I traverse the parking lot.

  2. I’m also annoyed at people who leave the carts blocking parking spaces.

  3. I’ve given up expecting that any of those lazy, self-centered drones like the one you encountered will exert so much as a nanocalorie of effort to serve the needs of anyone but themselves.

  4. People like that also litter, and won’t pick up their garbage even if you confront them as they’re tossing it onto the sidewalk (personal experience).

  5. People like that don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves, and resent any reminder that they’re not the focus of the universe.

  6. People like that have always existed. Are there more now? I dunno. I’d like to stuff their trash down their throats, though, and wheel them off to Hades in their abandoned shopping carts.

I have often thought of the Shopping Cart Pitting. Thanks for doing it better than I could have.

I live miles from the nearest supermarket yet last week one of those damned trolleys appeared outside my back gate! I mean, who the fuck left it there?

Either one of my neighbours is a bigger wanker than I thought or I have inadvertantly become a shopping trolley God and the damn things are paying homage to me. :eek:

There’s always a silver lining though.

I usually try to park my car near or next to the cart return cage thingy out in the middle of the parking lot. For me, it’s simple to return my cart, plus usually the only carts that do come near my parked car are the ones being returned by responsible people. No dings so far.

But in fairness wal-mart should be considered another country and the entire parking lot should be caged like a prison yard (to contain all the trash people leave to blow around).

You Americans think you are so f****** unique!

Translation from Pitish to English: “I feel for you. It happens here too”.

Over here, they’ve been using a very efficient solution to solve the problem for many years. All carts have a block on the handle. From it extends a little chain with a metal thingie at the end, locked in the block on the handle of the next cart in the rack. So, they are all chained together. If you want to take a cart, you must introduce a coin in the block, which unlock it. If you want your coin back, you must bring the cart to the rack and introduce the metal thingie of the previous cart again in the block.

Extremely efficient. Everybody bring back his cart to the rack. Greed is a

Carrefour has that system. The rest of the supermarkets either have employees who walk you to your car and help you load your bags into your vehicle or have the situatin described in the OP. I’ve almost ran over carts, left by these morons, while backing up.

I am guilty of this. I haven’t done it lately but I’ve done it several times when shopping with my babies (ok, they aren’t babies anymore).

I put the kid in the car, strap them in and then unload the groceries into the car. Then I leave the cart there because I just don’t want to leave my child sitting in a car alone while I am all over the parking lot.

However, when the opportunity presents itself, I park next to the cart return area. If a parking space is not available next to the cart return, I find a cart in the parking lot and park next to it, so that I can take the cart inside with me and use it to shop with.

I always felt bad about it and always worried that someone would yell at me. But I just couldn’t leave my kid in the car and walk around the lot. The other option is to put the baby in the car after you unload the groceries and put the cart away, but a parking lot just isn’t the safest place, cars going every which way and so I always wanted to get my kid in the car right away, so that I can unload the bags.

I was always kind of happy to find a stray cart in the lot to park next to. When a baby is small enough that they can’t sit up in the seat area of the shopping cart, you have to bring the car seat so you can shop. So, carrying the car seat and the baby can get heavy if you have to park a good distance away. So, I found it easy to plop them into a cart and then push the cart into the store.

I always understood that this was the safest way to do it, anyway. If a carjacker comes to take your car, would you rather have the baby still strapped in the cart next to you or strapped into the car, where you can’t get to him?
I usually take the cart to the car, unload my groceries (with my son still in the cart), take the cart and baby to the rack, then carry my son back to the car. Kind of a pain, but it takes care of the carjacking risk, gets the cart back to its spot, and prevents my son from sitting in the car by himself. I also try to get as close to the cart rack as possible when I park. I don’t know how this would work for someone who has a whole herd of kids, but I’m sure there are a lot of things that are difficult in that situation.

I’ve found, also, that a lot of times people notice the effort I’m making and offer to take my cart along with the one they’re returning. Very ncie people and much appreciated.

You say this may be a lame rant in the title, but it is all these little things that pile up and can make us miserable. I think you’re right about that prevalent attitude, and it’s pretty dismaying sometimes.

I saw something in a similar vein a few years ago and it has stuck with me since then. I was waiting in the drive through line at a burger place two cars back from the speaker stand. Right next to the car ahead of me was a trash can. While we sat there, the people ahead of me were gathering up the trash in their car. I noticed it because it seemed to be quite a flurry of activity as they dug around on the floor, and reached over into the backseat to get all of it. Then the driver opened his door and. . . tossed all the trash on the ground right at the base of the trashcan. I was a little shocked. The trash can was right there, all he had to do was reach a little bit farther. Right after that happened, they were able to pull forward to place their order. I ended up telling the workers what had happened over the speaker. By the time I got around to the windows, the other car was gone. I doubt the workers even said anything to them (I wish I had said something myself!), but they did send someone out to clean it up.

Thank you all for responding and making feel that I’m not a total lunatic for being pissed off about this.

Might Girl, I don’t know if I should be glad or sorry to know we Americans are not unique in our self-centeredness.

I’ve become enough of a Doper at this point that within two minutes of the occurence, I thought about writing a Pit thread. My first ever.

I’m enough of a Democrat that my first thought was “I’ll bet you’re a Republican, you asshole!” My apologies to the considerate Republicans out there; btw, how do you live with yourselves? :smiley:

I am blessed to live in a place with some extraordinarily nice people, seriously. We moved to Georgia from Miami, which is home to some of the most inconsiderate, selfish people I’ve had the misfortune to encounter. When we first moved here, I went to the Wal-Mart and was astonished to see all of two carts in the parking lot, and those were next to the handicapped spaces, so they were very easy for the employees to retrieve. I do see the occasional abandoned cart, but it’s nothing like what I’ve seen elsewhere. The folks here may be a little backwards in some ways, but they are, in general, the friendliest, politest people I have ever met. God bless North Georgia. :smiley:

Well woopee fucking doo! I’m so happy that, for the want of a Franc, you don’t get these things parked outside your back gate!

We have the same system here, but obviously the benifit system in the UK is a tad more generous that of France. It seems that our bludgers can absorb the loss!

Bring on the $5 coin, I say. I’d wheel the bastard back meself fer a fiver. :slight_smile:

Try that in the UK and your car will have more dents than…oh, I dunno, a thing with loads of dents!

I witnessed a neat trick the other day. I was in line at the bank behind two ladies. Lady one (first in line) was maybe 20yrs old. Lady 2 was maybe 40ish. Lady 2 struck up a conversation with lady 1.
Lady 2 then positions herself beside 1 and continues her animated conversation with 1, when the bank teller said “next” lady 2, without a moments pause, cuts in front lady 1. Lady 1 looked dumbstruck. I thought to myself: “Now that was slick


:eek: waitaminnit I posted to the wrong thread :confused:

One evening I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things before picking my husband up at work. I was having a bad day, and by the time I got back to the car, several more small and irrelevant things had gone catastrophically wrong, and, to top things off, I was wearing my prescription sunglasses, and it was getting dark, and I couldn’t find my regular glasses. I sat in the driver’s seat of my car, frantically rummaging around through a number of bags, growing more and more aggitated and upset, for a good five minutes.

I was late picking up my husband at this point, and I finally decided that, fuck it, I didn’t have that far to drive, and I’d find my glasses after I got there. I buckled up, started the car, put it in reverse, looked out the rear view mirror . . .

And saw that somebody had left an empty cart directly behind my car.


I can’t believe somebody would leave a cart behind a car that was occupied. I got out, tears actually running down my face at this point, and considered just pushing the cart aside and rushing off, but I decided that goddamnit, I wasn’t going to finish off a perfectly rotten day by being an asshole. So I walked the cart to the corral, which was a ways off because it was, as I mentioned, very busy, and I’d had to park in the next county over.

The sunglasses were under the passager’s seat. Og only knows how they got there.

The people with small children and babies have a good point. That’s a lot to go through just to do your job as a citizen.

What we need are our best minds working on this. It’s really a shortcoming on the stores end. If they can have a bowling ball come back to you and a machine reset the pins at a bowling alley then we’re just not getting our due respect. In the mean-time they should send out some of the kids who are hiding out in the back room to get the carts.

I say we totally revamp store parking lots in general. I think they stink all around. I hate how you have to cross in front of traffic to get to your car. We could use a bowling alley as a template for our new design. Parhaps they can even have a bar.

What’s even more annoying are the assholes who leave shopping carts in the handicapped spaces.

I also once saw a cart corral that had carts parked in front of it, partially blocking the driving lane. It appeared that people had taken the trouble to walk their carts to the corral, but couldn’t be bothered to push the carts into the corral. Admittedly, the corral was full because the carts weren’t “nested” but it took me all of thirty seconds to push them together, which not only left room for the strays surrounding the corral but left it only about two-thirds full.