Monday, January 3, 2011

Shopping carts as a matter of personal responsibility

I've decided there is no greater sign of laziness amongst our society than failing to return a shopping cart at a store to the "cart corral." 

I was at the 1300 South Target tonight (a beautiful new store that opened in October) and on my way out of the store, I noticed there were stray shopping carts all over the parking lot.

This cart someone took the effort to mount up on the curb, you'd think they'd be able to move it 20 feet to a corral?
I snagged one cart as I was going to my car (because I figured if I'm going to walk by a stray cart, AND a cart corral on my way to my car, shouldn't I put it in the corral?) Then after unloading my groceries, I grabbed two other nearby carts and took them both to corrals. 

Here you can actually see a cart corral in the background.
 I took these pictures as I was driving away. I considered for a moment getting all the carts in the parking lot and moving them to corrals, mostly because I've had a car hit by a stray cart before and I figure it is my duty to my fellow man to do a little tidying up of the lot. But I put three stray carts in corrals and it was cold, plus, I can't do Target's job for them...
Even more carts. This was just the north side of the parking lot, too.
The whole experience got me thinking: Is there anything that more defines the laziness of some people than failing to put a shopping cart in a safe place? How careless and thoughtless do you have to be to just leave a cart stray in a parking lot once you're done using it? Yes, there is an employee whose job it is to retrieve carts from the parking lot (I retrieved plenty of carts when I was 16 years old working at K-Mart in North Logan.) But it's a lot easier job for the cart jockeys when the carts are properly placed in their corrals. Stores put several cart corrals in their parking lots for the convenience of customers. Usually they are no more than a 20 second walk, literally, from anywhere in the parking lot.

I'm going to argue that the failure of people to do something as simple as returning a cart to its corral is a microcosm of a larger issue, being the decreasing value some in society put on personal responsibility. Some people just don't care about anyone but themselves, even at a base level of returning a shopping cart.
When I linked to this on my Facebook page, an excellent comment was posted. I am calling on all retail stores with shopping carts to adopt this process in their operations:


ignitionnight said...

Nothing angers me more than when I see somebody just leave a cart in the middle of the lot. I instantly have violent urges. - Derrick Trujillo

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