The other day I had to make a quick run out to the grocery store since I told my mom I would bring her something that was on sale. Since it was a weekend and I had decided to stay comfy in my pajamas, my husband made the run inside for me. While I was waiting in the car, I noticed there was a stray shopping cart that had been abandoned a space over. It’s always a little disappointing to me when I see this, because really, it isn’t that hard to put the cart away. They’re provided to you free of charge to make your shopping experience easier, and all you have to do is put it back where you found it.
It’s not really a big deal to leave the cart behind; most likely all it will mean is that people will need to park in the surrounding spots until an employee makes the rounds to collect it. But that shouldn’t matter. If you have this habit of leaving behind your cart and your response to this call out is to say, “Well, that’s a job for the store employees”, I would suggest you consider changing your attitude to consider something more like, “Well, that’s a job I can do”. Sometimes it really does get in the way when you’re trying to park in a full lot, or it blocks the way of people with mobility issues. Sometimes they roll away and ding a car. Our local stores cannot afford to have an employee on constant vigil in the parking lot seeking out loose carts, and they shouldn’t have to.
So when I parked next to this abandoned cart, I was preparing to get out of the car anyways to put it back, especially since the collection area was only about 15 feet away. Before I could however, some other citizen returning their own cart grabbed the loose one along their way and put them both away. A few minutes later I saw a second person bringing back two carts from another area of the parking lot. I don’t know who either of these people were, but it made me happy to see that for every person leaving a cart behind because they couldn’t be bothered, there was another who was willing to take that little, extra step.
There will always be two kinds of people in the world – the kind who gather all their trash in the garbage can when at a hotel, and the kind who leave their trash all over the room because the maid will get it; the kind who tell staff when they find a store bathroom is a mess, and the kind who leave it for the next person; the kind who put their shopping carts back, and the kind that don’t. Hopefully the first kind outnumbers the second.