Grocery Cart Etiquitte

@Michele21 (3095)
United States
February 22, 2007 8:02am CST
Okay this story happened to me last Summer and I just wanted to see what others had to say about it. I was grocery shopping with my two kids and it was late in the afternoon and really hot outside!! After we got what we needed we were at the car and I always put the kids in the car first then put the food in, anyways this lady was standing back waiting for me, and I assumed she parked next to me, which she had. I didn't want to walk across the parking lot to put my cart up (lugging two kids in the heat) so I put it in front of my car and made sure it didn't roll away and hit a car, which I usually do if I am not parked close to the cart-thing wherever you put your carts (whatever they are called). But the lady that was waiting said to me "You just put that cart by my car!" it was a crappy car anyways so it wouldn't have mattered if I had rammed the cart into her car!! Anyways I didn't say anything to her and just got in my car, and she knocked on my car window and said it again, like what did she want me to do?? leave my kids in the car? or walk with them in the heat to put it up correctly? I just said sorry and started to back up, than she filpped me off and stood there looking at me like I was the worst person ever. I don't have a bad temper but some part of me wished I had said something rude to her, or asked what she expected me to do with my kids or something. I felt like a bad person because I didn't put my cart away...I just want to see what others would have done.
14 people like this
35 responses
@anij34 (317)
• United States
22 Feb 07
You did the right thing. I purposefully park right next to a cart corral so I don't have to walk away to put the cart away. Sometimes I have to park a little farther out but its worth the extra few steps. I guess she will get over it!!
8 people like this
• Grand Junction, Colorado
23 Feb 07
I do the exact same thing I drive around until I find one and then park by it. I know that I'm going to go in and buy a bunch of stuff and I feel to guilty not returning the shopping cart to it's proper place. That way I can put the kids in the car and I'm not leaving them unattended.
@GardenGerty (95683)
• Marion, Kansas
24 Feb 07
We do this, especially at the warehouse club. After the work of buying, purchasing, and loading the purchases, it is noce just to park the cart in the corral right next to us.
• United States
22 Feb 07
So what if it is by her car. If it wasn't going to roll into it or block her then she shouldn't have been such a pain. It is slightly your fault though for not returning it. Just a little bit, not much. It wouldn't have taken you more then a few seconds to start your car, turn the AC on for the kids. Then walked it to the nearest cart corall. On the other hand if it was that big of a deal to this woman you should have waited and seen if she moved the cart or just left it there. My bet is she just left it there.
4 people like this
@soldenski (2504)
• United States
23 Feb 07
You would leave you children in a car that was turned on? What if someone was watching and ran and took off in your car that is "turned on" along with your children. When my children were small and I went to the store with them, I first put the groceries in my car, walked back to the corral, leave the cart, then walk back with my children. I heard a report about theives walking up to people while they are putting groceries away, and making them give them the key's to their car and steal the car. So they recommended that for the sake of the children, and just in case something like this happened to you, the thief would take your car but not your children. I know it is easier to put the kid's in first, then the groceries, but after that report, I changed my habit's.
2 people like this
@Michele21 (3095)
• United States
23 Feb 07
I wouldn't leave my kids in the car ans walk away..this is the reason I put them in the car first. A few years ago in my town a mother was at Wal-Mart with her kids and she left her newborn in the basket while she put the groceries in the car and a lady came and kidnapped her daughter!! She grabbed her from the basket and took off in her car with the baby and her infant carrier, so I think it is safer to have them in the car with me right there. The lady got her daughter back a few weeks later but to me that was really scary! So I don't want them in the basket when a stranger can grab them and run away. The things people do these days with kids are so scary!!
1 person likes this
@mixey62 (305)
• United States
23 Feb 07
Don't leave your kids unattended, but children are not an excuse to be lazy and not take the cart back. If you really can't handle putting it back, you shouldn't take one to begin with. Either that or hire a nanny if you can't handle your kids and the trivial task of putting a cart back at the same time. That's really sad when you think about it. I can't believe people think it's okay to leave things in improper places! That lady was wrong to flip you off, but she was right to be peeved at your disregard to the grocery store's property and her property.
2 people like this
@tammyr (5958)
• Etowah, Tennessee
22 Feb 07
I would not have left them i the car either. And she was probably just having a bad day! As you said you did not hit her car. I personally always but the groceries in then took the buggy back and then we all got ing the car. But you said kids as in two, so I do not blame you. I would have done the same. I know how you feel though about wanting badly to be rude, but usually it makes them feel like an idiot if you do NOT get mad and just smile at them. I do hope that if you did not have your kids with you, you would have put the cart back to the front of the store. I hate to see people leave them in the lot if there is not a good reason. It can only help your health to walk the few steps to do it correctly, or at least put it in the cart corral! (that is what it is called here!)
4 people like this
@Michele21 (3095)
• United States
22 Feb 07
I do put it up now since my son is older it is a little bit easier =) It was just a hot miserable day and I didn't want to walk all that way again!
2 people like this
@tammyr (5958)
• Etowah, Tennessee
22 Feb 07
Good to hear that. Happy posting! =o}
4 people like this
@Thoroughrob (11756)
• United States
22 Feb 07
Some people have alot of guts. I can't imagine doing that to people. I would have told her that the cartha not touched her car and she had no business bothering me. Some people ge bothered by such silly things.
4 people like this
• Canada
22 Feb 07
i think your kids come first. i'd never leave my daughter alone in a car to go put a cart back. as long as you made sure it wasn't in anyone's way i think you did the right things. kids safety comes first and that woman should learn to mind her business. some poeple are just like that. they think they own the world and need to tell everyone what they think you should do. just ignore those people.
4 people like this
@DRoddy77 (1780)
• United States
22 Feb 07
When she said something the first time I would have said right back to her, "so what? it's not bothering your car"! As long as you made sure it wasnt going to hit anyone else's car then she shouldnt have cared!
4 people like this
@rhinoboy (2129)
22 Feb 07
Unless you had left the cart in her way, stopping her from moving her car or forcing her to move it herself, you should have just flipped her right back! I hate these supermarket Nazi's. My baby is 4 months old, so we're still learning to cope with the who "supermarket + child = trouble" thing. I just pity those who have nothing better to concern themselves with than these trivialities.
4 people like this
• United States
22 Feb 07
Oh boy, pet peeve time. And judging by the majority of the responses here, I wouldn't be surprised if got seriously neg'd for the response I'm about to give :). To me, grocery cart etiquitte is to return the cart to a proper location, usually a cart corral. There are as many things that can go screwy with a cart left in the middle of a parking lot as can go screwy with kids left in the car for less than a minute. I would've put the cart away properly in the first place and avoided the whole confrontation. I can see where you are coming from though, even if I don't agree with it and wouldn't have done it myself. Your comment about her car, however, even though it wasn't made to her, shows a distinct lack of respect. Whether that's a core aspect of your personality or not, I don't know because I don't know you personally. But between leaving the cart and your percieved attitude about the other lady's car, you strike me, at the moment, as a somewhat inconsiderate lady. However, that's not to say that I approve of the other lady's actions, either. She most definitely could have figured out a different way to deal with your actions. Although, maybe her perception is that leaving a cart in the middle of the parking lot is as confrontational and offensive as flipping you off. My $0.02 at the moment.
@mixey62 (305)
• United States
23 Feb 07
I totally agree- I can't believe people are suggesting otherwise! Don't people feel the slightest bit bad for the poor store employee that has to go and chase carts since they can't spend two seconds to put it back? I wonder if these people's parents taught them any sort of MANNERS?! Kids or no kids, heat or no heat, there is no excuse good enough to make being rude acceptable.
1 person likes this
@weemam (13389)
23 Feb 07
I honestly wouldn't worry about it , your children come first and as long as you didn't touch her car with the trolley I would forget it , some people just like to be unpleasant , I worried all day about someone who was a it nasty to me here on my discussion about Pay Pal ( said I was just doing it for 2cents as everyone knew what I was saying ) I worried for a time until my hubby told me not to worry , Look after your kids , you seem a good mum xx
3 people like this
@sharon613 (2324)
• United States
23 Feb 07
I probably would of done the same. There is usually a place for carts to be stored in the parking lot. However it was none of that womans business where you left your cart. There is always someone who works at these stores who are suppose to be taking the carts back into the stores after the customers are done using them. This woman most likely had nothing better to do then to try and start up trouble with you. Don't take it to heart. There are much worse things in life to deal with then some stupid woman.
• United States
23 Feb 07
Well, the first thing I've just got to say is, "OH MY GOSH!!". Are you kidding me? The woman actually did that? How uterly rediculous!! First of all, let's put the fact that she had a crappy vehicle aside for a moment and focus on the real matter at hand. The children!! I think you did the right thing!! I have a two year old and would have done just as you did. This woman obviously doesn't have any children,(or any parenting skills), or common sense rather if she made a big fuss over your cart being near her car! What did she expect you to do? Just leave your children unattended in a blazing hot vehicle while you made sure you made her happy and put the cart away right where it's soppost to go,(making sure not to crash it into other shopping carts, because that would probably anger her more,lol), like what this perfect stranger thinks of you is of any importance at all! Hhmmpp!! I've had a couple encounters with similar people in parking lots and what I do is just pretend they're not there.....as if they're of no importance to you. Because frankly they're not if you're choosing the safety of your children over their I guess you could call it "freak out-i-ness". Any way, you go girl! You did good. Just next time, if ever a next time don't apologize! You did nothing wrong! :)
• United States
23 Feb 07
Don't let people like that get to you. They know the whole deal so forget her. Who cares what she thought of you, you probably will never see her ever again. That's what those grocery guys are for right, to put carts where they belong. I understand why you don't want to leave your kids. I would do the same thing.
@signups (30)
• Philippines
23 Feb 07
I like people like you who has a good temper. What you did is just right. Though, sometimes I am also temperamental, I could have reacted to that lady and get even.
• United States
23 Feb 07
Personally, I always put my cart back. I think it's just a common courtsey. However, I have twins. So when we go grocery shopping, it's usually my husband and I, so I put the kids in the car, he puts the groceries and the cart away. I don't know what I'd do if I was by myself. I'm sure I'll find out someday!
3 people like this
@haissam (93)
• Pakistan
22 Feb 07
Well as for as my openion is both of u were right and both of u were wrong we may think about each other try to understand each other. Well notin was don wrong by u and by her too
3 people like this
• Canada
22 Feb 07
If your cart wasn't obstructing her path in any way I would have flipped her right back and driven off. With our local supermarket we have no choice but to return our cart because we have to insert a dollar to use them and then we get the dollar back when we return them. It's supposed to discourage people from stealing them but it's annoying having to make sure you have a dollar before you go shopping, especially when you don't usually carry cash around with you. There are a lot of people who shop where we do though, and when it comes to putting their shopping in their cars, they ALWAYS leave their cart hanging partly over into our parking space so we can't get out. A number of times my partner has honked the horn, only to be ignored - at which point he leans on the horn leaving it blaring until they move the cart enough for us to get out. Leaving a cart by someone's car is one thing, and especially on Summer days I hate walking across the parking lot to return it. When you're actually obstructing someone, thats another thing. Maybe the lady who accosted you is one of those who needs at least a clear meter of space on either side of her car so she can get out.
@Joey322 (272)
• United States
22 Feb 07
i used to manage a retail store that has carts and "cart corrals" (that's what they are called) and i always wondered why people couldn't put the darn things into their corrals! HOWEVER! once i had my son, i realized that if i'm not very close to a corral, then i will leave the cart by my car. i won't leave my son in the car alone and he is heavy in his infant carrier to haul across a parking lot! anyway, i can understand why you didn't put the cart back. it sounds like that woman was complaining to just complain, unless you put the cart in a place where it would inhibit her from getting out of her spot. i often leave my car in front of my car, however, there is a grassy strip there that i always make sure it is in so it won't roll and it isn't interfering in anyone else's space. i probably would have just responded with "it's not hurting your car at all...get over it." confrontations are hard b/c they catch you off guard and you're left thinking...what should i have done?? then you wish you could go back in time! stop worrying about it...i would have done about the same thing. take care.
@sasklily (240)
• Canada
23 Feb 07
You did the right thing! The only time I take a cart back to the 'corral' is when I've deposited a $ for it. And I don't have children. That's what the cart retrievers are for... I wonder if she's in the habit of bullying everyone? (Her poor husband, lol)!
• United States
24 Feb 07
"That's what the cart retrievers are for." What an attitude. The It's Not My Job attitude. Bah! Do you know how much nicer things would be if people got rid of that attitude and took responsibility for ALL their actions, not just those that are convenient to take responsibility for? You probably don't care about this next part, seeing as It's Not Your Job, but I'm going to say it anyway. Your precious "cart retrievers" aren't there to solely scour the parking lot for shopping carts. Generally they have other duties at the store that they could be doing, and the longer they have to spend gathering carts, the less time they have to deal with their other duties. Yeah, they aren't the highest paid employees, but if they are taking responsibility for their actions, then you (as in every person who leaves their cart floating in the middle of the parking lot) are intentionally making it more difficult for them to do their job. I wonder if you are in the habit of bellittling everyone? Should we feel sorry for your poor husband, too? (lol) My $0.02 at the moment.
1 person likes this
@Carrie26 (1587)
• United States
12 Mar 07
But also how would you feel if you were the cart person and had the job of retreiving the cart?I know they should have more cart returnsbut wouldnt alot of people be pissed if a buggy was found beside their car or hit thier car and it wasnt the buggy the left but another person did it.
@calico79 (173)
• United States
22 Feb 07
That lady needs to get over it. I am sure she has failed to put a cart in the cart holder before, everyone has. If you didn't hit her car or put it in her path then she should not be complaining.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Feb 07
"Everyone has." What a great phrase. It allows one to justify anything they please because they aren't the only one doing it. It doesn't matter that something is rude and inconsiderate, everyone has done it so it's all right. And that is bs, pure and simple and stinky. My $0.02 at the moment.
1 person likes this
@lyzzard (16)
• United States
22 Feb 07
You should have told the woman that if everyone put their carts back then that would be putting someone out of a job. I would have added something nasty about her car, but thats just me. I can't stand rude people and it is kind of sad that the only way to get through to them is to be rude right back.
2 people like this
@mixey62 (305)
• United States
23 Feb 07
You're right that the person who flipped her off was rude, but she was rude as well for not putting her cart back. Cart boys are paid minimum wage- I'm sure they don't enjoy their thankless job and you shouldn't try to make it harder on them.
1 person likes this