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Jan 28, 2013 10:58 AM

Should I have said something? (grocery store product movers)

I was doing my weekly shopping on Saturday morning. When I came around the end of an aisle, I saw a woman (a regular who I see every week) trying to stick a canister of dry bread crumbs onto a shelf piled with bags of egg noodles. It took her a few tries to get it to stay there without falling off. Then she turned and walked away. She had to have seen me standing there looking at her. I've noticed that every week at this store I find lots of items in weird places. I don't know if she has some weird fetish and is personally responsible for all or most of them, or if she genuinely decided she didn't want those breadcrumbs any more and was too lazy to walk them back to where she had gotten them.

I didn't say anything, mainly because I don't like being confrontational, and also because it wouldn't affect the selling of the item (unlike refrigerated or frozen items that are left on shelves or items that shouldn't be frozen that I've seen in the freezer). Would you have said something to her?

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  1. I was in Costco a few months back and a woman stood at one of the new rolls of plastic bags provided for meat and produce. She wound hundreds of bags around her hand taking several minutes to do this, and then stuffed the roll of purloined bags into her handbag..... I was so amazed I just stared, I have thought later that should have said something to a store employee......

    6 Replies
    1. re: chasamark

      It's unlikely I'd have paid enough attention to, or had enough interest in what she was doing in the OP's post.

      In this case, I'd have certainly said something both to her and an employee. Most likely something snide like "Why not just take the whole roll" to the woman.


      1. re: Davwud

        I was thinking, "Why not just fill that up with whatever produce you want to steal, while you're at it."

      2. re: chasamark

        Somehow people do not see this as stealing I guess. I see strangos at Costco. They don't all hang out at Walmart. I saw an elderly woman in fringed chaps and vest with nothing but silicone underneath and a platinum wig like a cherry on top of a kook sundae. Her man waltzed her around the store like she was a prized pony. Made shopping a pleasure.

        1. re: Sal Vanilla

          they don't have a website dedicated to the People of Walmart for nothing....

          1. re: Sal Vanilla

            SalVan, I've just read your post 5 times for the sheer pleasure of it. Lol. You've got quite a way with words. :)

            1. re: Sal Vanilla

              Hilarious description...all the way up to the "cherry on top."

          2. Would I have said something to her? No. No reason to as far as I can see.

            1. Nope. I'm certain the answer was lazy. It's the equivalent of vacuuming over the same piece of whatever over and over and over hoping that eventually the vacuum will pick up, when you could just lean over and pick it up yourself.

              6 Replies
              1. re: rockandroller1

                OK, I just snort-laughed at this rockandroller! And yes....I do that. Even when I *know* better! LOL

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    I do that too. I am tall and the distance to the floor is far. : ) I have yet to suck up the feather (presumably from a pillow) stuck on the carpet/nightstand vortex. One day I will whip out the sucking wand thingy.

                    And OP - The grocery person was lazy. An aside: cold and frozen things should be brought up to the front - and not deposited back to the cold. Lordy knows how long some stuff has been out on the shelf. I know it is hard not to be snarky.

                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                      Picking things up is just like reading, the older I get the shorter my arms become.

                      And what do you tell the woman in the store? "Put that back young lady, you know better than that!" Nah, confrontation doesn't do any good. Good way to end up with your car getting keyed.

                  2. re: rockandroller1

                    It has been my experience that the vacuum will eventually pick up that piece of whatever (or maybe someone else will if you pretend it's not there.)

                    1. "Here, I'm heading towards the bread crumbs aisle. I can just drop that off on the way," if it really bothers you.

                      1 Reply
                      1. I'd deal with this the same way as the slobs who cannot be bothered to return their carts to the corals in the parking lot, instead just abandoning them in the space next to their car.

                        I wouldn't say anything because these people just don't get it. Assuming that I was headed in the direction of the bread crumb aisle, I'd just take it along and put it back, just as I usually take the cart back to the nearest coral or into the store if that's where I'm headed.

                        29 Replies
                        1. re: masha

                          Oh those "middle of the parking lot cart people"- I have never seen a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

                          1. re: hyacinthgirl

                            Just to be clear, I'm only criticizing the able-bodied. I understand perfectly that someone who is disabled or elderly might find it too much of a burden to return the cart. Indeed, whenever I am in the lot and see anyone who appears infirm or elderly in the process of unloading a cart into a car, I always offer to return the cart for them.

                            1. re: masha

                              If you can push a cart around a grocery store you can return it to the corral.

                              This type of behaviour drives me nuts.

                              As well, those who take up the entire aisle when they stop. Like they're the only ones in the store.

                              Not the mention the ones who stop in the doorway to do up their jackets, put on sunglasses or do whatever thing it is. Get the #$#@$ out of the way.


                              1. re: Davwud

                                Actually for my elderly mother (who qualifies for a disabled parking space), she can push the cart around the store because the cart essentially acts like a walker -- as something she can lean on. Once she returns a cart to the corral, she doesn't have anything to hang onto; she can walk short distances but if the corral is a distance from the space, it's a real effort to make the walk back.

                                But, I am with you on your other comments. (That and the people who wait to find their wallets until the order is completely rung up, thereby delaying everyone behind them. What - they didn't realize they would have to pay?)

                                1. re: Davwud

                                  I'm sorry I drove you nuts. When I was able to get to the store, I was always self conscious ab leaving my cart at the front of the parking stall. Sometimes the corral was more than I could handle. I didn't leave my cart in the middle, but I knew it wasn't in its proper stall. I didn't want to be an annoyance, but I did want to stay ambulatory and able to shop as long as possible. Dvwud, you sound healthy and I truly hope you stay that way, bc as Betty Davis (1940's) actress said, "Getting old ain't for sissies". We don't mean to be irritating, we're just trying to hang in there. Stay healthy Dvwud as long as you can

                                  1. re: basildip

                                    Thank you and I'm sorry that you get caught up with the lazy so and so's out there.
                                    The rule is you put your cart in the cart corral but there are always exceptions to rules. Sounds like you are an exception and aren't doing it to be some some sort of rebel or prove that you're a "Bad ass."


                                2. re: masha

                                  At least, there's space for abandoned carts in a handicapped parking area.

                                3. re: hyacinthgirl

                                  The middle of the parking lot cart people are easily startled but they'll soon be back, and in greater numbers.

                                  1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                    While you're excusing the disabled from your complaint, could you please also excuse mothers and other persons shopping with babies? I don't qualify anymore, but when my DD was a baby, unless I was right next to the corral, it was difficult and awkward to carry the baby-in-car-seat back to the car. This problem resolved when she was old enough to sit in the baby seat of the cart, and I didn't need to transport her in the car seat, but until then I'm afraid I left the cart in the parking space. Also, new mothers often feel rotten physically and psychologically, so please have some mercy.

                                    1. re: MrsBridges

                                      Yes, and I always ask a mother with an infant or toddler if I can take their cart for them if they are finishing up the unloading as I am going by. (Just like I hold open doors for strollers, etc.)

                                      1. re: masha

                                        That's very sweet and I'll try to do that for the elderly and parents of young children too. That said, as a newer mother of a baby, it's not always the easiest thing, but I have never had to abandon my cart, even with the baby in the carseat carry.

                                        1. re: masha

                                          I do that too. Shopping with kids can be stressful.

                                          When my own kids were little, I put them in the car, along with the groceries, then walked the cart back to the corral. The short break did me well after shopping with the little darlings.

                                        2. re: MrsBridges

                                          I hear you its not easy shopping with little ones.

                                          1. re: MrsBridges

                                            Absolutely agree.

                                            I commend you for leaving the cart where you did instead of leaving your children in the car, by themselves, like I see so many do...
                                            Just to get that stupid cart back to the other side of the parking lot to the corral.
                                            I guess I've always been lucky...I shop at a market where they're falling over themselves to help me to my car. For a mother with small children it's the solution.

                                        3. re: masha

                                          I do that, most times because someone was waiting for me to vacate my parking spot. So if I spend another 5 min taking the cart to it's rightful resting place, I can feel the hot stare of the evil eyes from that waiting vehicle.

                                          1. re: PeterL

                                            I don't think I've ever been more than a 10 second walk from a cart corral, nor been In a parking lot with literally every space taken. Plus leaving the cart in the parking space pretty much makes it impossible to park in.

                                            1. re: carolinadawg

                                              Exactly!!! What I hate is I finally find a place to park, pull in and there's a cart there. No off to the side, in the middle of the space.


                                              1. re: carolinadawg

                                                I have noticed that in Minnesota (where I live) there are plenty cart corrals in the grocery store parking lots. I have noticed in Arizona (where I am currently) the grocery store parking lots have far fewer cart corrals. I have not been able to figure this thing out.

                                                1. re: carolinadawg

                                                  The store nearest me often has every stall taken at peak times, and there are only two 'corrals' each of which takes up a much begrudged parking space. The parking lot was laid out in the 1950s but there just isn't any additional land around to expand the lot, road widening projects in the early 70's clipped some of it off already. The next closest store isn't much better.

                                                2. re: PeterL

                                                  What about the employees who are responsible for getting the carts out of the lot and back into the store? There is at least one person for each lot at one of the grocery stores I shop at. There are no cart nesting spots outside and to keep room for parking the employees are moving carts all day long.

                                                  So for a small purchase I leave the cart inside and just walk 3-4 bags to my car.

                                                  As for the OP's question, I'll alert the customer service desk, "misplaced food in Aisle X" and leave the rest to them. I would not approach a stranger over it or do the job myself unless asked (?).

                                                  Saying something imho has some boundaries.

                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                    I was really frustrated when we first moved to Europe and I had to use a coin or a plastic token to free a shopping cart from the chain that connects it to the (covered! -no wet carts) storage corral.

                                                    Now? It's awesome -- you almost never find a shopping cart running around free (especially on the days you don't happen to have a coin or plastic token, which isn't so great)

                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                      Aldi South has brought that experience to the U.S. The Aldi parking lots are usually much smaller than the average grocery store parking lot, but yes, I have never seen a stray shopping cart. I make a game out of it and see if I can time my return of the cart to the store with someone else arriving to get a cart. If the timing is right, I give them my cart without taking the offered quarter and just tell them to give the cart to someone else when they are finished shopping. It is worth the .25 cents to me to give the cart away and see if I can start a sequence of 'cart gifts'.

                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                        here those carts usually only take a €1 coin-- about $1.35, so it adds up quickly!

                                                        There are plastic tokens given out by a number of places, but like shopping lists, somehow they manage to only occasionally make it to the store with me...

                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                          I have heard of people complaining about needing a quarter to use an Aldi shopping cart. I can only imagine what would happen if it took a temporary dollar to use one of those carts. (Of course we would have to get rid of the dollar bill so the dollar coin would be in circulation enough for this to be practical. Personally, I think the U.S. should go with the $1 and $2 coins in the same manner as has Canada.)

                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                            in Europe, it's the industry standard regardless of the type of store (even the equivalent of Home Depot and Walmart have coin-to-use carts) -- so nobody crabs, because there is no alternative...

                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                              Frankly, I would not be opposed to it here. Although Aldi is the only store where it is practiced as far as I know.

                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                and even that is probably because of their European roots. They're a quirky company -- they do things THEIR way.

                                                3. re: masha

                                                  Civility is losing in society, I commend you for being a good citizen.

                                                  1. re: masha

                                                    LOL The other day I saw someone park their empty cart BEHIND a car. Not in an empty space, but behind someone's trunk, with their child watching! Seriously?!?! I should've said something, but I was shocked and chicken, I guess.