About 3 years ago I was wandering into my local Target when I noticed the shopping cart collector working his way through the parking lot, gathering carts from random spots across a wide expanse. It was cold, rainy, and I felt for him, particularly because most of the carts were not at the central deposit points in the midst of the lot. They were everywhere, and watching this man try to wield the unwieldy carts was disturbing.
Just as I was noticing him, I passed a cart that had it’s front wheels up on the curb, digging into the mulch around the plants on a small island in the lot. I instinctively grabbed it and wheeled it into the store and dropped it off at the cart pickup point. Just as I let go of it, a shopper came in, grabbed it, and went about her shopping endeavor.
This started a trend for my wife and I. Whenever we park at a store with carts, we always grab one from the lot and walk it in, and then use it for our shopping or leave it in front if we don’t need a cart. After all, why not? It helps the cart collector, it helps the store, and sometimes it helps us, but regardless it is no imposition whatsoever.
However, if you decide to adopt a similar habit, be prepared for the one downside. When you do this you will notice all of the people who park and then walk past 10 carts in the parking lot and into the store, where they then take a cart from the front. It becomes a bit irritating to see because you start to think, “why didn’t that person just grab a cart as they walked past it in the lot and bring it in themselves?”.
I suggest you give it a try the next time you are at the store. It gives me a strangely positive feeling each time I bring a cart in from the cold.