Monday, October 19, 2015

They Pay People to Do That

I was out shopping somewhere once in my formative years when I spied a piece of merchandise lying on the floor and went to pick it up and return it to the shelf.  Whoever I was with said, "Don't do that.  They pay people to do that."  I thought it a rather snotty thing to say, seeming to suggest that I was too good to do something so menial.  As an adult, one of my relatives worked in a retail store where the owner, Willy, worked right along with his staff.  One day he was going to lug something to a woman's car when she exclaimed, "Oh, Willy, don't do that!  Have one of the girls (employees) do it."  Again it seemed a rather shitty thing to say, the connotation being that carrying whatever it was to the car was beneath the owner's dignity.

But, as always, there is often more than one way to look at things...

 Every supermarket seems to have a cart guy - someone whose job is to scour the parking lot for stray shopping carts and get them back into the store for another go round.  It's not a glamorous job, but it's honest work and what's being accomplished by it is rather important.  Rain or shine, hot or frigid, the cart guys are out there dutifully performing their jobs and often with friendly smiles as they go about their duties.

I often find myself out shopping with a dear friend who thinks she's somehow being the noblest of citizens when she insists on taking her shopping cart to the nearest cart corral or back to the front of the store itself.  I argue that she's threatening the job of the cart guy when she does that.  If everybody wrangled his cart after filling his car, the cart guy would lose some hours from his pay check.  I'll admit that I'm lazy and that that's the primary reason why I leave my cart next to where I'm parked, but without obstructing any parking spaces.  But, I'd like to think that I'm doing the cart guy a good turn by ensuring that his hours won't be cut because of me.  Yes, they pay somebody to do that, and I leave his work for him to do rather than mess with his job security.



kz1000st said...

Au Contraire. I work at KMart as part of my semi-retirement. In the Receiving Department we're usually in the process of doing some task or unloading a truck when the announcement comes over the PA. "An Associate from Receiving up front for carts." That "Noble Task" has left us a man shorter while unloading a thousand boxes of "Valuable Merchandise", stopped us in the process of putting store supplies away or returning shelving to storage as a new display arrangement takes place. I have also retrieved carts in the heat of July, the rains of April and the snows and Subzero of January and I can tell you that noble emotions are not at the top of my list. Watching people walk past carts littering the lot and then remove them from the rows of carts just inside the door that I dragged inside instills a certain other emotion in me and it's not gratitude for job security.

D.B. Echo said...

A while ago I pulled up at Weis in Nanticoke shortly after they opened for the day and spotted a shopping cart in between two handicapped spots, in the position in your photo. "Who would be such a jerk as to leave this here?" I wondered. What were the odds that a person would have used the handicapped spots in the first 45 minutes of the day, and left the cart behind? It had to be someone else being lazy. The next time I was there at the same time, there was a cart left near the handicapped spots. And the next time. And the time after that. Eventually I decided that someone was intentionally leaving the carts there, so anyone using a handicapped spot would be able to grab onto a cart as soon as they got out of their car and use it like a walker to help them into the store.