Put your shopping carts back where they belong, please!

Always annoys me when I return to my car after market shopping only to see a rogue shopping cart perilously close to my vehicle. Dear shoppers, please bring your shopping carts back to their stall after you finish unloading. Is that too much to ask?


This thought is not original to me:

The shopping cart tells you all you need to know about human nature in general, and to a degree, about the nature of particular people.

The shopping cart is a test to see if you are, generally, a good or bad person, a selfish or generous one. To put your shopping cart back in the corrale after you load your groceries into your car is not a RULE or a LAW. No one will yell at you, fine you, or put a black mark next to your name in some official ledger if you fail to do so. You are free to just shove your cart into the middle of the lot and take off, care free, and no one do anything about it.

MOSTLY, we don’t. We make the minor effort to push our carts into the corrale. Sometimes we’re neat about it. Sometimes, we’re in a rush and just sort of push the cart vaguely toward it. Still other times, maybe we had a bad day and are running late, maybe the corale is full, we try and shove the cart up out of the way, hooking it on a curb or something to at least make sure it isn’t going to bang into anyone’s vehicle.

Not TOO many of us are so sociopathic as to just let the carts run loose in the lot. Maybe those that are that twisted are so successful as corporate CEO’s that they don’t shop themselves, they have people for that.

In any case, the fact that the system works at all gives me the tiniest sliver of hope for humanity.


Yes. The store hires people to do that. I don’t need to help the store take their jobs away.

I don’t leave carts where they’re blocking someone else’s car or will roll away.

What?? They still need workers to go to the cart corrals to get the carts and bring them inside, etc. All you’re doing is making their jobs harder by making them have to walk all over the fucking parking lot trying to gather carts. What a shit attitude.


The stores hire people to collect the carts as a service to customers like me. There’s nothing wrong with my taking advantage of that. I don’t do volunteer work for for-profit enterprises.

If they don’t want to hire those people, they can do like the Aldi stores, where you have to deposit a quarter to get a cart and return it to get the quarter back. Which is only one of a number of reasons I’ll never shop at one of those dumps again.

Good fucking Christ.


If the store really wanted to save on the labor costs of cart wrangling, they’d implement the Aldi-style cart deposit. It costs a quarter (or a euro or a loony) to get a cart out of the corrale and you get it back if and ONLY if you return the cart to said corralle. Of course, stores cutting back in that sort of way are also usually the ones (like Aldi) where you bag your own groceries, etc.

I bet you leave your empty popcorn and soda cup in your theater chair, too…


I don’t litter. Shopping carts aren’t trash.

How’s it your business?

To me you’re a sucker for helping a corporation cut back on customer service to save money. I don’t get it at all.

Re: popcorn and soda cup

re: shopping carts

You don’t see the parallels at all here?

The theaters have been cutting back on staffing for years. COVID has exacerbated that trend. When we were kids, we thought nothing of leaving our bags/boxes/cups stuffed into seats or rolling around on the floor. But cleaning all that shit takes time and people and money. So they started building in big garbage cans right at the theater entrance and putting in little PSA’s reminding you to take your trash with you. Thus, they only have to hire 4 stoned teenagers to staff the multiplex instead of 7.

You steadfastly refusing to step 50 ft out of your way to shove a cart into one of several available designated spots in a parking lot isn’t going to save the cart wrangler’s job. Stores will still cut hours, and cut staffing to keep prices low. You’re just making life a little more difficult for some service worker to, what, get one over on ‘big grocery’? Yeah, you sure showed 'em.

If putting your cart back is SUCH an inconvenience, you can almost always ask the bagger to help you out to your car. They will push your cart out for you, load your stuff into your vehicle, and take care of the cart. You don’t even have to tip them (though it wouldn’t be unwelcome).

Do you also refuse to use the self checkout lanes?


The shopping corrals were made for a reason, it’s for the shopper to put your shopping cart in them.
If the shopping carts were meant to be left all around the parking lot, they wouldn’t have made the shopping cart corrals.
When people started leaving their shopping carts everywhere, the employees ended up having to pick them up. They weren’t hired to go around a parking lot picking up carts. That is what happened due to people not using the corrals.
The employees job includes getting the carts, they weren’t hired just to get the carts. At grocery stores, most employees have times when they have cart duty.
So what you’re doing is basically making all the baggers and cashiers waste time by picking up your cart (that should be in the corral) when they could have another checkout line open and a bagger helping you bag your groceries.


I’m sure this differs store to store but when I worked at a grocery store 12 years ago all the baggers had “cart hours” where their job was to go around the parking lot retrieving carts.

Most if us wanted carts all over the place so we had an excuse to be outside. That said don’t be a dick and leave them in the way of other cars. But putting then off to the side somewhere random and out of the way was cool.

Things my be different now of course.


I suspect this attitude varies in direct accordance with the weather. Might be fine most of the year in L.A. Decidedly less so in Chicago in the middle of August or February.


You’re putting the cart before the horse there. Corrals are a relatively modern invention. Shopping carts were universal when I was a kid in the 50s but I don’t think I saw a cart return until the 70s.


Substitute “a-hole” in place of bad and generous.


Since most or all have signs asking you to return them what makes you think they don’t really mean it? I’d like to suggest you go to one of the store managers and ask what they’d like for you to do. Sheesh.

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Holy shit! Back in the '50s my roller skates were strapped on my feet with a key.

Christ, I’m weeks away from turning 75 but I hope I never turn into a rude person.


I am reminded of an older friend who was “of the manor born”. She had in her employ a woman from South America who had grown up in service to a very wealthy family, and therefore taught many fine points of politesse. When my friend abandoned a cart in a parking lot, her employee corrected her, telling her that “A lady returns the cart. It is just done.”


Another point is that a cart returned to its original location is less likely to go rogue and run into the side of a, possibly your, car.