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Is there ever an okay excuse to abandon a shopping cart in the parking lot?


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I will admit to having done so once, many years ago.  A recently potty trained toddler with diarrhea and myself also suddenly feeling rather ill was involved.  Am I going to hell?  

Edited by Terabith
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1 minute ago, *Jessica* said:

Man, you are on a roll!  😆

I'm trying to distract myself from ALWAYS thinking about high consequential things like covid or the election and what not.  

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Just now, Catwoman said:

Don’t forget to start a cupcake thread! The last one was EPIC!

No, the last one was Peter Pan's, and I need to seriously make those pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting.  They look seriously amazing.  So I feel like we've been there recently.  

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Do you mean in the store? or an empty one in the parking lot?

I think many toddler reasons make it ok.  Toddler diarrhea yep!  Abandoning empty cart in parking lot if you have 2 kids under 5, have just buckled them in while 8 months pregnant and the return place is far from your car--absolutely justified.

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6 minutes ago, Terabith said:

I will admit to having done so once, many years ago.  A recently potty trained toddler with diarrhea and myself also suddenly feeling rather ill was involved.  Am I going to hell?  

only if you're wearing a bikini while doing so.

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1 minute ago, freesia said:

Do you mean in the store? or an empty one in the parking lot?

I think many toddler reasons make it ok.  Toddler diarrhea yep!  Abandoning empty cart in parking lot if you have 2 kids under 5, have just buckled them in while 8 months pregnant and the return place is far from your car--absolutely justified.

Oh, I was not at all clear!  I meant in the parking lot.  

Thanks for the reassurance.  

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  • Terabith changed the title to Is there ever an okay excuse to abandon a shopping cart in the parking lot?

Yes!

I missed the original shopping cart kerfuffle, I've always wanted to respond to this 🤣

Shopping with a passel of young kids in tow is a particular kind of misery, I grant a special exemption to mothers of small children should they find themselves in a situation where returning the shopping cart is overly stressful or dangerous (escape artist toddlers running wild in parking lots anyone?!)

There are usually young, healthy store employees who are entirely capable of snagging a stray cart or two from the parking lot.

My favored strategy has always been to park next to a cart corral, but that isn't always possible and sometimes wrangling the last crying toddler into the carseat is truly the limit of a mom's endurance. Park the cart where it won't roll away; that's enough to ask of an overburdened mom.

Fortunately it has been years since I have had to manage grocery shopping with multiple small children. I think I'm still traumatized...

 

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1 minute ago, Terabith said:

Oh, I was not at all clear!  I meant in the parking lot.  

Thanks for the reassurance.  

Am I the only one who wonders how to combine the no leaving kids alone in the car thing with returning the carts to the right place with the near impossible task of wrangling many small kids through a parking lot from the cart place if they come with you?????

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1 minute ago, maize said:

Yes!

I missed the original shopping cart kerfuffle, I've always wanted to respond to this 🤣

Shopping with a passel of young kids in tow is a particular kind of misery, I grant a special exemption to mothers of small children should they find themselves in a situation where returning the shopping cart is overly stressful or dangerous (escape artist toddlers running wild in parking lots anyone?!)

There are usually young, healthy store employees who are entirely capable of snagging a stray cart or two from the parking lot.

My favored strategy has always been to park next to a cart corral, but that isn't always possible and sometimes wrangling the last crying toddler into the carseat is truly the limit of a mom's endurance. Park the cart where it won't roll away; that's enough to ask of an overburdened mom.

Fortunately it has been years since I have had to manage grocery shopping with multiple small children. I think I'm still traumatized...

 

Truth!

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Just now, freesia said:

Am I the only one who wonders how to combine the no leaving kids alone in the car thing with returning the carts to the right place with the near impossible task of wrangling many small kids through a parking lot from the cart place if they come with you?????

Nope!  I always assumed that there was an exception for short jaunts to the cart corral, but we lived in San Antonio when my kids were tiny, which is so child friendly and anti-alarmist.  I think my fears would have been way worse if we'd lived somewhere like California when they were little.  

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I definitely think there are occasions where it’s necessary to abandon a cart, such as your example and freesia’s, but I do often see people who appear to have no good reason to abandon their cart doing so.  I try very hard not to judge people and give them the benefit of the doubt, so I usually just grab the cart with a smile and put it away myself.  I’ve had a few people see me do it and give me sheepish looks, which makes me hope that they will think again before abandoning their cart unnecessarily.  

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Just now, *Jessica* said:

I definitely think there are occasions where it’s necessary to abandon a cart, such as your example and freesia’s, but I do often see people who appear to have no good reason to abandon their cart doing so.  I try very hard not to judge people and give them the benefit of the doubt, so I usually just grab the cart with a smile and put it away myself.  I’ve had a few people see me do it and give me sheepish looks, which makes me hope that they will think again before abandoning their cart unnecessarily.  

Yeah, I read somewhere that returning the cart to the corral, in the absence of extenuating circumstances, was the mark of a society capable of self government, because it indicated people willing to do minor things for the benefit of the collective, in the absence of any reward for themselves.  

Which makes me think Aldi's knows that we are probably not capable of self government.  

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3 minutes ago, freesia said:

Am I the only one who wonders how to combine the no leaving kids alone in the car thing with returning the carts to the right place with the near impossible task of wrangling many small kids through a parking lot from the cart place if they come with you?????

Yes! And that unless you start your car in certain climates the kids will cook to death while you try to keep them safely locked in the car while returning the car OR you conversely leave them sitting in a running car, whether remote start or not- neither way feels amazing when they're all little. 

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I recall in the original kerfuffle, there were hardliners who maintained it wasn't even okay to leave them in a shopping cart coral. The only morally acceptable thing to do with a shopping cart when you were done with it was to return it to the main cart parking area at the front of the store. I always thought that was strange, but admit that I also now tend to do that when I don't have kids along, and then I feel like I've been a superior shopper 😂

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Now they have the cart robots too, which helps. The workers don't even have to push them anymore. The little robot thing does all the work and the person just sort of supervises. 

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14 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

Don’t forget to start a cupcake thread! The last one was EPIC!

Cupcakes, crock pots, taking off shoes in other people's houses. Bring them all back!!

I'm sure there are more that I've forgotten.

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1 minute ago, Æthelflæd said:

Yes! And that unless you start your car in certain climates the kids will cook to death while you try to keep them safely locked in the car while returning the car OR you conversely leave them sitting in a running car, whether remote start or not- neither way feels amazing when they're all little. 

I probably AM going to hell for this, but my solution was never to lock the doors.  I would turn the a/c on and leave the car running while I briefly returned the cart to the corral.  And....it was like a mini vacation, like 30-120 whole seconds of silence.  

I figure it would take a super stupid criminal to steal a not sexy car with two small children in the back seat in the incredibly short period of time it took me to get back.  

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These threads are like your favorite band’s greatest hits album.  Fun, but kinda make you feel a little bit old since you were around for all the songs the first time (when you were eating a cupcake, wearing your bikini, and abandoning your shopping cart to get a pic of the kilt-wearing stranger to post on the board ... and, of course, you might also have been considering carpet removal in the TeA room).

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This conversation is reminding me of why I cried when I found out curbside had existed for 9 months before I knew about it and all of those unneeded grocery trips with littles during that time. 😢 I haven't set foot in a grocery store in I don't know how long. 

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26 minutes ago, Terabith said:

No, the last one was Peter Pan's, and I need to seriously make those pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting.  They look seriously amazing.  So I feel like we've been there recently.  

You’re right — I forgot about that one! I think Paige started the original one.

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Am I the only one who wonders how to combine the no leaving kids alone in the car thing with returning the carts to the right place with the near impossible task of wrangling many small kids through a parking lot from the cart place if they come with you?????

I park as close to the corral as possible or have the kids "duckling walk" behind me from corral to car. Makes for a fun time especially when dc take it upon themselves to provide quacking noises.

Projectile vomiting (or the threat of it) or other explosive bodily functions would warrant ditching a cart for sure. Other than that...can't think of a good reason to not go the extra bit of distance to put a cart away. I felt that way with the original shopping cart thread and feel even more strongly now that two of my dc have worked at grocery stores. The stories they tell of people leaving carts or, even better, putting the cart right beside but not in the corral (and no, the corral was not full), damage to vehicles from carts not put away, etc. As my one dc put it, "People can walk all over the store buying crap but can't walk those last 10 steps to put the cart away...seriously??"

Edit to add: Disabled/handicapped I agree with an exception being made. Although my brother called our mom out once when she tried to just leave the cart in a parking space (corral was maybe 4 spots down) after she'd been shopping and doing just fine. She was being lazy...big surprise.

Edited by BakersDozen
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Is it stirring the pot to say that my dd who works at the grocery store says all of the the cashiers jump at the chance to get the carts (if its not raining of course) because they all use it like a mini break? I have even seen some of them trying to get in a quick smoke while rounding up all the loose carts and wrangling them to the corral to join their little cart friends before being returned to the store! Sooo, you might be giving a hardworking individual a little break from the monotony of the cashier stand with your loose carts! Unless it raining of course, then they are not nearly as happy with you 😉

 

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Maybe. If you are dead because of a heartattack or being hit by a car I will give you a pass. 😂 

Ok, there might be other emergencies I would be inclined to handle more graciously but they can do damage. At least some people hook the front wheels over a curb or something rather then cause someone $$$$ from their laziness.

 

The shopping cart corral is perfectly fine.

 

Last time it was windy here, my ability to keep track of time flew the coop with covid but perhaps a week or two ago, I watched as multiple carts went rolling through the parking lot driven forth by the wind. One ran out in front of a car on the main road and almost caused an accident. 2 others rammed into 2 different cars. One was a pretty new car too. It wasn't long before that I was heading out of the store when I saw a run away cart and sent my son chasing it down before it hit something. That day wasn't particularly windy. The one with many carts was a windy day.

 

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23 minutes ago, stephanier.1765 said:

And the handicapped. I give a pass to the handicapped. 

I somewhat agree but many I know are actual more careful about cart returning because they know what it means that they can't use a side walk in a wheel chair because it is full of carts or a cart rolled into a handicapped space which may be the only one they can use with a wheel chair and it isn't like they can just hope out and move it real quick.

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I'm firmly in the return your cart camp, but I choose to assume the best of people and think stomach issues when I see carts stranded. That is an acceptable reason to abandon a cart. 

My house backs up to a store (used to be KMart), and when it was in store closing sale mode, people would just abandon their carts everywhere. We had one smack into the back of our house denting our siding, and several dumped in our yard as people either left them in the parking lot or used them until they had to walk through the grass. I will admit that irked me quite a bit. Now, it's a lumber store, and I don't think I've ever seen more than 2 people there in a day, so no rogue carts now.

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I think the board must be different now.

Or else, the OP needs to be OUTRAGED about something that happened and then post.  These polite posts by the OP are not having the outcomes we used to have.

Instead of asking us if it’s ok to abandon a cart, you need to *tell* us that it is never, ever, ever ok to abandon a cart and anyone who does so is going to hell!!! And talk about someone you saw doing this in a store parking lot with lots of plot holes in the telling, and a few fallacies thrown in to keep us on our toes.

If you do that, things might get exciting.  🙂

 

 

Edited by Garga
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1 minute ago, Garga said:

I think the board must be different now.

Or else, the OP needs to be OUTRAGED about something that happened and then post.  These polite posts by the OP are not having the outcomes we used to have.

Instead of asking us if it’s ok to abandon a cart, you need to *tell* us that it is never, ever, ever ok to abandon a cart and anyone who does so is going to hell!!! And talk about someone you saw doing this in a store parking lot with lots plot holes and fallacies thrown in to keep us on our toes.

If you do that, things might get exciting.  🙂

QFT and LOL! 

That's exactly how the cupcake thread went nuclear. The OP was incensed about having to make cupcakes for the whole class to share. 

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Re: cart abandonment.  Hardly ever acceptable. Maybe if you have sextuplets or something. But generally, no. 

That's what I like about Aldi quarter-locks (although I haven't been there since the pandemic). 

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I think their are forgivable circumstances.  On the rare occasion I have felt the need to leave it I do try and put it so it won't just roll free.

I'm already going to hell because as teenager I participated in shopping cart bowling.  I had no idea how expensive shopping carts were at the time and I don't recall actually breaking any.  

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4 minutes ago, Mbelle said:

Oh my, it is a buggy not a cart and a buggy bay not a cart corral.  I'm offended!!! LOL

Oh I use the word buggy for them too! My mom always did, and she was from Georgia, so that's why I say it that way. 

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8 minutes ago, Garga said:

I think the board must be different now.

Or else, the OP needs to be OUTRAGED about something that happened and then post.  These polite posts by the OP are not having the outcomes we used to have.

Instead of asking us if it’s ok to abandon a cart, you need to *tell* us that it is never, ever, ever ok to abandon a cart and anyone who does so is going to hell!!! And talk about someone you saw doing this in a store parking lot with lots of plot holes in the telling, and a few fallacies thrown in to keep us on our toes.

If you do that, things might get exciting.  🙂

 

 

I KNOW.  I just can't DO it.  

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I don't think cart abandonment is a good thing.  However there are exceptions.  Baby/toddler sickness is one that makes it understandable.  Or perhaps a wild bear is coming for you.  Or if you catch a glimpse of Sasquatch and want to take his pic before he disappears.

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2 minutes ago, Loowit said:

I don't think cart abandonment is a good thing.  However there are exceptions.  Baby/toddler sickness is one that makes it understandable.  Or perhaps a wild bear is coming for you.  Or if you catch a glimpse of Sasquatch and want to take his pic before he disappears.

Yeah, if Sasquatch shows up in my urban Kroger parking lot, that definitely seems like cause for breaking social norms!

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4 minutes ago, Loowit said:

I don't think cart abandonment is a good thing.  However there are exceptions.  Baby/toddler sickness is one that makes it understandable.  Or perhaps a wild bear is coming for you.  Or if you catch a glimpse of Sasquatch and want to take his pic before he disappears.

Now I will have to look for Sasquatch when I see an abandoned cart LOL. 

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2 hours ago, freesia said:

Am I the only one who wonders how to combine the no leaving kids alone in the car thing with returning the carts to the right place with the near impossible task of wrangling many small kids through a parking lot from the cart place if they come with you?????

OP...I can think of only once when I have abandoned a cart. As a general rule...it's never okay. Nobody wants to return to their car and find it damaged by a rogue shopping cart that someone couldn't be bothered to put away. And I say that as someone who had 3 kids in 3 years. So yes, even for someone with littles, I believe they need to return their cart.

As for freesia's question, you don't bring them with you to return the cart. You take them to the car, load merchandise and kids into car, and dash to return the cart by yourself. It's way, way safer (imo) to leave them in the car than to wrangle them through the parking lot. 

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I've had to do it because the shopping trip by itself left me physically exhausted and I had to sit down to catch my breath. Twenty minutes is about the longest shopping trip I can do by myself any more. I do have a handicapped parking permit but my disability is not always visible to the average person. And handicap spaces are not always available so I don't always have my tag showing. And it doesn't help that I look young for my age but my body feels twice my age due to my disability. When I can physically put the cart back without over exerting myself and possibly making it impossible or at the very least dangerous for me to drive home, I do it. When I can't, I put the cart as out of the way as I can, make sure it won't roll on its own and call it a day. I don't feel a twinge of guilt about it and those who would judge me for it haven't walked in my shoes and felt the body wide pain I feel every. single. day. So not worth my time to worry about them. (It's been a bad pain day today. And I'm dreading the two hour drive to a dr appointment tomorrow. And youngest ds somehow magically "forgot" all of his friends of 10 math facts today. And confusing capital B and capital D when his name starts with D! It's been a long Monday.....)

When I had lots of littles in tow, I always tried to park next to the cart corral. It was rare that those spots were all taken in my experience. Handicap spaces are all taken more often than the cart corral adjacent spaces ever were.

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My standard "new mom advice" is to always park near a cart return, even if it means one is in the furthest spot away from the store. No mental and physical gymnastics about how to get everything and everyone in the car AND put the cart away. 

Full disclosure: I have left a cart in the parking lot when I was in a bad mood. 

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1 hour ago, Terabith said:

I KNOW.  I just can't DO it.  

This whole thread has not given one good reason to not put the cart away. No excuses. I'm so disappointed by the uncaring and selfish attitude you guys have.

Tired after a long day? We all are, you'll survive. Put away the cart.

Not feeling well? I'm sorry to hear that. Thankfully you only have to put the cart in the corral, not walk it across Texas. Put away the cart.

If you are late for an event, maybe you shouldn't have spent an extra 3 minutes deciding what type of bread. Put away the cart.

Sextuplets? You probably even used more than 1 cart, so you definitely don't get a pass.

If it's in a suspicious place at night, just angrily push the cart as if you're looking for a fight and no one will bother you. 

You've got diarrehea? Doubtful, I can't even spell it so I doubt you have it. And your pants are washable anyway. 

If your kids are vomiting, take them home then return to the store and put the cart away. 

If Sasquatch comes to town, he can't move that fast. Put away the cart while you're taking out your phone. He'd probably eat you anyway if he saw how rude you were by leaving the cart out.

Heart attack? Ask the EMT to cart put away before you will get in the ambulance. Or leave a note on your car for your relative that later picks up your car. 

Like, seriously, how hard is this??

 

(too much??)

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2 minutes ago, Moonhawk said:

This whole thread has not given one good reason to not put the cart away. No excuses. I'm so disappointed by the uncaring and selfish attitude you guys have.

Tired after a long day? We all are, you'll survive. Put away the cart.

Not feeling well? I'm sorry to hear that. Thankfully you only have to put the cart in the corral, not walk it across Texas. Put away the cart.

If you are late for an event, maybe you shouldn't have spent an extra 3 minutes deciding what type of bread. Put away the cart.

Sextuplets? You probably even used more than 1 cart, so you definitely don't get a pass.

If it's in a suspicious place at night, just angrily push the cart as if you're looking for a fight and no one will bother you. 

You've got diarrehea? Doubtful, I can't even spell it so I doubt you have it. And your pants are washable anyway. 

If your kids are vomiting, take them home then return to the store and put the cart away. 

If Sasquatch comes to town, he can't move that fast. Put away the cart while you're taking out your phone. He'd probably eat you anyway if he saw how rude you were by leaving the cart out.

Heart attack? Ask the EMT to cart put away before you will get in the ambulance. Or leave a note on your car for your relative that later picks up your car. 

Like, seriously, how hard is this??

 

(too much??)

I'm out of likes, but this is amazing!!!

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Moonhawk has been the high point of this thread, but I did want to say from further upthread, that "buggy bay" is about the cutest term I've ever heard for a cart corral.  

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