Put your shopping carts back where they belong, please!

Very true. I was speaking in a general sense.

My point though, and I’ve heard this from others who worked in grocery stores, is that cart hour can be a time where you’re not dealing with guests, not dealing with a manager, and you can have like an active, walking break. Where you zone out a bit and catch your breath.

That said I love The Shopping Cart Problem as like internet over analysis and the rare times I use a shopping cart I return it to the corral.

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It’s polite to leave your cart anyplace where it won’t inconvenience other shoppers. Reflecting that, my usual Trader Joe’s, which is the nicest place I shop that has shopping carts, has only one corral in the back part of their parking lot and there’s no sign on it. Similar story for Berkeley Bowl, a family-owned business that’s much nicer than the average corporation.

It’s rude to leave a cart where it might damage another shopper’s car or where it would stop them from getting into or out of a space. People who do that probably run stop signs and red lights on the way home to beat their children and kick their pets.

It’s rude for a corporation to put up signs asking me to do volunteer work for them. It’s rude for them to replace a service I’ve enjoyed my whole life with self-service. A corporation that does that kind of thing is an asshole and I won’t shop there (looking at you, Safeway).

An interesting offshoot…how we evaluate businesses. I don’t equate Berkeley Bowl or TJ with a particularly nice shopping experience. There is, to me, a certain sense of privilege or superiority among the shoppers. Give me ordinary folk at Lucky or rich people at Bryan’s. Both take themselves for granted.

My mother, a true Southern “lady,” wasn’t “of the manor born,” but I can hear her voice here. Thanks.

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As I’ve been saying in political circles for five or so years

“Please cite reputable and verifiable citations to support your claim.”

Oh, and there’s a asshole in the room but I don’t think it’s Safeway or TJs (ours have those corrals)

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What sources are there for etiquette? This is one of those issues where there’s no consensus. Some people think it’s rude not to push carts to a corral, others think it’s fine not to, still others think it’s considerate of employees not to push carts to a corral, and all those groups think it’s rude to leave your cart where it can cause a problem for other shoppers. Seems like which group is in the majority varies regionally.

If you don’t think Safeway is an asshole company, how long has it been since you shopped at one? The ones around here switched almost entirely to self-checkout scanners, which don’t work right, so it can take 20 minutes or more to check out. Seems like a horrible place to work. I go there once in a while for Thanksgiving or Christmas past-last-minute shopping, when, since it’s an asshole company that’s not good to its employees, they’re open.

Some of the customers at Berkeley Bowl can be pretty awful, I’m talking about the staff and owners. I’ve known people who work at Trader Joe’s and it seems like a better company than most.

“I want to say it is almost kind of selfish,” he said. “It is kind of a test of character. It is our job to pick up after people, but if it is the smallest thing you can do to help out, I feel like it is not a lot to help out a little bit.”

“The theory posits that the decision to return a cart is the ultimate test of moral character and a person’s capacity to be self-governing.”

Claiming that “the decision to return a cart is the ultimate test of moral character and a person’s capacity to be self-governing” would be a pretty definite sign of a serious lack of perspective in the unlikely event it wasn’t hyperbolic pontificating.

“Return” is usually the wrong verb unless you’re at a fucking Aldi’s.

Maybe I’ll change my policy. Instead of leaving the cart in the closest spot where it won’t cause any trouble, I’ll put it in the way of a >$100,000 Tesla.

Maybe try to put it back next time . That’s all .


I’ve been on crutches and a boot and a scooter for 2-1/2 months and allow me to tell you it’s a royal pain in the ass to have to navigate around them. Since Bob is my driver, at least I have him to move them to where they belong so I can get into or out of the fucking car.

I google “etiquette returning shopping carts” with the intention of posting a single link. But browse to your heart’s delight and YOU decide who’s the asshole.

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Leaving carts anywhere they won’t be in anyone’s way is not like throwing your trash on the floor.

It is like ignoring signs that ask you to bus your own dishes.

“Back”? I got it from by the entrance. I’ll put a cart in the nearest corral if it’s the closest place where it’s not in anyone’s way. I’m not giving up the customer service I’m accustomed to in favor of volunteering to do work that they hire people to do.

Indeed, which is why I leave carts in places where they won’t be anyone’s way.

And, of course, where you leave it is the perfect place because, well,…because… Wind never blows it, if pulled up over a curb no one let’s say on crutches might want to cross there.

And if there’s a place that asks us to bus our own dishes, then by gawd, I do. The pandemic in particular has continued to leave restaurants (and grocery stores!) short staffed so I do what I can to help out.

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If it’s a mom and pop place, sure, I’ll bus my own dishes. I’m taking about corporations who are just trying to cut expenses by cutting customer service.

Don’t blame me for assholes who leave carts in places where they cause trouble. I sometimes move them when I see potential problems. Or just grab a problem cart on my way into the store.

Lol .


I have and employ a stupid easy solution to this. Don’t patronize asshole businesses. I don’t shop Safeway, Lucky or “name your favorite” conglomerate. We use a neighborhood Grocery Outlet which is a franchise operated by a lovely couple (they only lease to mom and pops with prior grocery management experience) and staffed by the most genial people. Plus upscale Cal Mart and Bryan’s, both home family owned small supermarkets. As Mr. Rogers taught us, “these are the people in our neighborhood, in our neighborhood, in our neigh-bor-hoooood”. It’s not rocket science, and I feel good about where I leave my money, and schlep my carts.


Just delete

OTOH, when our local Albertson’s took out the 4 self-checkout lanes they’d had for years I seriously thought about not shopping there at all. I won’t go there if I only need a small number of things as I’d rather not wait in a long line with two items

At the time their ‘reason’ was that customers preferred the personal contact with a checker. Didn’t buy that for a second.

On the cart thing, I try to use the cart corral whenever I can but I do expect the store to have corrals conveniently located. One of our Costcos has no corrals at all beyond the half of their lot closes to the store. If I have to park 1,000 feet away to shop, I’m not likely to bring the cart back 500 feet to a corral. I’ll find a safe substitute somewhere.

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Self-checkout lanes aren’t always faster. At some stores I’ve been to, notably Safeways, almost every customer needs assistance from an employee. I have no idea why they don’t work as well as at other places.

Not very nice.


Probably the ultimate in not nice. Generally I’m opposed to the death penalty but…

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