One more update on shopping carts and the people who use them.
Scientific American conducted a survey and some of the comments regarding returning shopping carts are cringe-worthy.
- I always return my shopping cart because I don’t want to think of myself as lazy or inconsiderate.
- As the mom of four sons, I used to purposely leave my cart out of the place intended….so the store would need to hire young kids.
- I don’t return my carts on principle. Although I also don’t block parking spaces – i put them on islands and curbs. My assumption is that if the cart wrangler could get a better job, he would. So I’m doing my part to keep him gainfully employed.
- I return carts and usually take a few up with me that I find stray in parking spaces. First job was at a grocery store and getting carts isn’t an easy job.
- There is not a specific job to go get carts. The people who went out to get carts were usually the baggers, stockers, or cashiers so they had plenty to do besides go out in the heat/rain/snow to get carts strewn all over the parking lot. At the very least people could put them in the cart return instead of leaving them in parking spaces or in the grass.
- At least at the grocery store I worked at, no one was designated “cart getter.” Typically it was a cashier who wasn’t needed because the store preferred to have too many cashiers available as opposed to too few. And if the cashiers were too busy and the carts needed to get brought in immediately, then one of the floor people got the carts. But that typically only happened on big grocery shopping days, like before Thanksgiving or Christmas. Unfortunately, you aren’t providing anyone with job security.’
- Always return the cart! I spent many years in my youth working at grocery stores, so I know what a hard job doing a “cart run” can be! My routine now: park near a receptacle, especially in bad weather. Take a cart or two inside with me. Use one. When done, it goes back into the receptacle, or if I’m parked close to the door, I put it inside (or if my teens are with me. They can handle a walk!) Not hard, and can make a staff member’s day a *little* easier. And not ding cars!
I think the article on returning grocery store carts neglected to mention an important trend worth mentioning: the fact is that many businesses expect customers to do more and more of the work without a corresponding drop in prices that would reflect the money businesses are saving by having customers do that work. For example, when I was young, a grocery store employee would take your cart to your car, load your groceries in the car, and take the cart back into the store. Now we not only are expected to return our carts, but also to bag our own groceries, and with increasing frequency, even perform self checkout. In fast food restaurants we are expected to prepare our own drinks. But are prices lower reflecting the extra work the customer does? Absolutely not. And in fact the self-service trend does cut jobs.
What’s your opinion?