An Open Letter To People Who Don’t Return Their Carts In New York
Most of society will tell you that if you don't return your grocery cart after using it, you're a monster. But as a former cart kid...I disagree.
How many times have you seen someone get shamed at a grocery store parking lot when they don't return their cart to the cart corral or all the way back to the store? It happens all the time.
On Tik Tok, there's even a guy that calls himself the Cart Narc. He literally follows people into the parking lot then if they don't return their cart he threatens to put their face on the internet. He'll give them a chance to "do the right thing" but if they refuse, he sticks a magnet on their car that says they refuse to return their cart.
I know most people will disagree with me, but I've almost always had an opposite opinion about this. When I was in high school, I worked at a grocery store as a cart kid. Don't think I'm crazy but I LOVED when people didn't return their carts. This being said, I was in much better shape back when I had that job and I didn't mind the extra steps. Gathering carts was my job. It was what they paid me for. When the lot had carts in it, I HAD to be outside which is where I preferred to be. It was literally the easiest job I ever had. I was outside...I got exercise...it was perfect. I never thought any of those people were monsters. They were essentially justifying the store paying me. I was a kid and I took pride in keeping my lot empty.
And the corral wasn't too much better. To be honest, it was harder to back the carts out of the corral than it was to just gather up the loose ones in the parking lot.
But when the lot was empty, I had to do stuff like sweep the floors, fix product on the shelves, and bag groceries which stunk. It was boring and it was inside.
I know there are a lot of people who are going to be annoyed at me for saying this. I understand that carts being left all the time can cause damage to other cars. They block spots from people who want to park and they can be an eyesore. But that's why I was there. I used to see old people who had a hard enough time walking from their car to the store and back without being exhausted. I never got angry because they didn't return their cart. I was there to help them with that.
Now, you shouldn't leave them out when it's windy because they can really gain some speed and cause some damage. Do I return the carts to the store or corral? Sure I do. But do I care if someone else doesn't? Nope.
I think people put way too much stock in whether or not someone returns their cart. If there is a team there that's meant to clean up that lot, then no harm/no foul. If there isn't, then yeah....return it to the store you bum! There are bigger problems in this world than if someone returns a cart or not.