Thursday, September 27, 2007

Shopping Cart Etiquette

Kelly of Big A, little a has been doing a series on Everyday Etiquette and I thought this kind of fit in with it.

How far out of your way will you go to return a shopping cart to one of those shopping cart corrals?

Now, I think those corrals are a great thing, it keeps shopping carts from flying all around the parking lot (in theory). I'm assuming they are a nationwide thing, and not just local. But, how far will you go? I've seen carts left in a parking spot that was next to one of the corrals. So basically, the person would not more the cart an extra two feet. That seems extreme to me.

At one of the supermarkets I go to, the corrals are all in the front of the very large parking lot. There are usually very few spaces to park in up front, and personally, if I'm parked at the back of the lot I don't particularly feel like walking all the way to the front of it again, and then back to my car. Unless I'm parked near the corral, I admit it, I leave the cart un-corralled.

Another supermarket has positioned their corrals so that you are never more than about 4 or 5 parking spaces from one. I always utilize these corrals because 4 or 5 parking spaces (at the most) is not going too far out of my way.

So - just a general shopping cart etiquette question: How far out of your way will you go to return a cart? (And if you're the type who won't go two extra feet - try to reconsider your position.)


Barb, sfo said...

I try to park near the corral. Both supermarkets I patronize have them "sprinkled" throughout the lots, so that "front of the lot" thing is not an issue here. If I were you, I'd contact that supermarket and raise this issue with the manager.
I don't ALWAYS return the cart but I have been better about it lately. And if I do for some reason leave a cart in the lot I try to put it up on one of those "islands" so it won't roll all over.

PJ Hoover said...

I also try to park right next to the corral. I consider it the best spot in the house. But with two kids, I fess up. I won't walk more than across the lane or a couple spaces. It's not the lazy thing. I'm just not leaving my kids in the car without me for any period of time. We got 100 degree heat. I've heard car jacker horror stories. And call me paranoid, but when I have to walk across the lane to return it, I lock my car doors (with my kids inside).
When I don't return it, I do try to stick it somewhere where it won't roll into a car (like up on a curb).

(Wow - I never realized I had so much to say on the issue.)

Kelly said...

When I'm shopping sans kids (which I try to do as often as possible), I'll return if at all possible.

However, no way am I leaving kids in the car to return a cart if it's cold or hot. Also, Tricia's on to something. A little girl was kidnapped in once such situation a few years back. Car was unlocked and mom was returning a cart.

I honestly think the stores don't mind all that much. It gives those teenagers a chance to get out of the store and wander around outside some :)

Ellen said...

As long as it isn't pouring, I return the cart. I get angered when people leave the cart in the middle of a parking space that is one or two spaces away from the cart corral.

Anonymous said...

I usually do put the cart in the corral. But now and then, depending on weather and circumstances I will park the cart in the island between the parking rows. Tonight was one of those times. I'd been teaching school all day in an overcrowded classroom, spent the evening at a church committee meeting I serve on, and had stopped off on my way home to pick up some things my 87 year old mother wanted me to get for her. Basically, it had been a long day and I was tired. After loading my things into the car I parked the cart in the island. As I was getting back in the car some guy in a pickup truck across the island opened his window and asked if I was "too good" to walk my cart over to the corral. I said no I can do that, which I did. He then snorted, "Rich people!" and rolled up his window. I didn't quite know what to make of that. Is there some kind of etiquette for people who make assumptions about those who for whatever reason don't put their cart in the corral?

(Thanks for letting me vent:)