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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.

                                                  2. Probably not, since it's so minor it's not worth getting in a confrontation over... chances are a person like that is also the type that would get upset at you if you said something.

                                                    It's annoying for sure, but really isn't causing any issues. The only time I really hate it is when they take something that's cold and leave it somewhere on a shelf.

                                                    1. I never return my cart, the store pays someone to go around and collect them anyway- same as they pay someone to make sure the shelves are organized.

                                                      10 Replies
                                                      1. re: olyolyy

                                                        You don't even bother to put it in the cart corrals they have throughout the parking lot?

                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                          Not every market has corrals in their parking lots, at least mine doesn't.
                                                          There's usually a car waiting for me to leave my space and the person moving into it will gladly take my cart.
                                                          All works out great....
                                                          For those carts left in the parking lot the market I go to employs a special person to gather them up and take them to their proper place.

                                                        2. re: olyolyy

                                                          Yes, but in the meantime: (a) if the lot is crowded, your abandoned cart is taking up a parking space; and (b) especially if there is any wind, it can move, bumping into & denting a car, roll out into the driving lane, or even injure a pedestrian. Just common sense and courtesy to put it in a place where the cart will not do any of those things.

                                                          1. re: olyolyy

                                                            I'm with you, here in Florida the Publix chain hires a lot of people with educational disabilities to round up the carts, I don't want to take a job away from a person with an educational disability.

                                                            1. re: redfish62

                                                              That's funny, kind of like if you went into an office and dumped someone's papers all over the floor, you know, just to make sure they have something to do...

                                                            2. re: olyolyy

                                                              There's enough work what with removing the carts from the corrals and putting them back in place by the doors. Leaving them randomly in the parking lot isn't cool unless you have a good reason (a la grannies and new moms and whatnot)

                                                              1. re: olyolyy

                                                                Really what if your cart bumped into someone else`s car or scratched it would that be the store`s problem to fix too? How would you feel if this happened to your car?

                                                                1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                  Generally I anchor it to whatever's nearby, I don't leave it stray.

                                                                  1. re: olyolyy

                                                                    If you can take the time to anchor it why not just take the time to put it in the designated area, there are usually a number of them in the parking lot. Those anchored carts usually end up roaming, what if everyone did this think about it. I take the perspective that I was not put on earth for for people to serve me but for me to serve people. Small acts of kindness and consideration can make this place a better world.

                                                              2. This is irritating behavior but nothiing that I'd make an issue out of. Lazy people exist among us.

                                                                1. To me it depends if it is perishable or non-perishable, if I change my mind about a non-perishable I will stick it wherever.

                                                                  It's like picking your nose, you don't want to admit to doing it but people do it.

                                                                  As far as the carts go, they pay people to round up the carts so I'm not going to take someone's job away from them by pushing the cart over to the corral.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: redfish62

                                                                    It is helpful to the cart person for you to place the cart is said corral and then they can gather them all at once. Also, your rogue cart is a liability and can damage other people's cars.

                                                                    And if you pick something up, then decide you don't want it, put it back where it belongs *or* give it to the cashier upon checking out. Ditching stuff randomly throughout the store is not okay.

                                                                    Former retail employee!

                                                                  2. I guess I don't understand why anyone would care?? A lone breadcrumb amongst the noodles, or whatever does not impact me at all.

                                                                    What will shaming the person really do? If it is an impulsive/OCD/insert other medical/chemical issue here I doubt a randoms a strangers comment will change the behavior. If it is pure laziness I doubt being shamed will really change the behavior either.

                                                                    It does seem like a HUGE leap to assume that this one person is the reason for all misplaced items you routinely see in your shopping.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                                                      If it were one person who was responsible for misplacing all the items, I'd make a point of avoiding that person and definitely NOT confront her! There would be more going on than just being lazy.

                                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                                        Agree with foodiex2 on the breadcrumb inserter. However the Costco bag unwinder I would have to rat out, just too much of a blatant and excessive disregard for civil behavior.

                                                                      2. I return unwanted items to their proper shelf. I return my cart to the corral. I suppose I am just one of those people who seeks out more, not less, pnysical activity. I am almost 50, looolve to eat, and still wear a 0/2. FWIW.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                          I like your thought process. People are beyond lazy these days.

                                                                        2. The two main grocery stores I shop at have one of their grocery baggers sweeping through the store constantly with a cart picking up misplaced items. As for the cart parking issue these stores bag your groceries and load your car for you also.As far as confronting the lady who misplaced the breadcrumbs? Why would anyone do that? Just grab the can and take it to check-out and ask for it to be placed in the "go-back"basket.Problem resolved.

                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Lillipop

                                                                            The shopping cart. I was in Germany a while back. When you needed a cart for shopping.You would insert a coin into the corral,releasing a cart for you.When you returned the cart to the corral it would give you your coin back. No carts were strewn around the parking lot.

                                                                            1. re: emglow101

                                                                              Aldi (which is German owned) and other discount stores in the US have this system too.

                                                                              1. re: masha

                                                                                We had that at the supermarket down the street from my house back in high school (in Fresno CA). Whenever I needed cigarette money I would hang around the parking lot until I rounded up four carts (a quarter a piece) and I had my dollar for a pack of Dorals. Smokes were much cheaper back then!

                                                                                1. re: masha

                                                                                  When Aldi openned in my town, the coin op grocery cart system blew everyone's mind. It was not well received but eventually people got used to it.

                                                                                  1. re: cleobeach


                                                                                    But then everyone got use to the prices too! I've overheard customers saying they can keep the quarter for the bargains I get here and numerous carts have been left in the lot with the quarter sticking out!

                                                                                    If I see someone coming in as I go out, I give them my cart.

                                                                                2. no. if it's something that's shelf-stable then no harm, no foul. more work for the store clerks, maybe, but not worth the confrontation.

                                                                                  1. I do feel a little guilty for something I did at Trader Joes the other day...I picked up a bag of the gala apples but when I walked past the washington state organic apples they smelled so good I decided to get those instead. I put the bag of gala apples in the pile of organic bags of apples and even though they were labeled as such I felt a twinge of guilt that someone might not catch it. I almost thought for a second this post might be about me when I first saw the thread title.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: olyolyy

                                                                                      This is the kind of thing grocery store employees loathe. This is different than the OP's situation because nobody is going to mistake bread crumbs for pasta. Your act of laziness, and others like it, create confusion for the customers, stocking/inventory issues, and more work for the employees. It's even worse if the mistake is realized at the register and the bag must be exchanged -- total pain in the butt if the store is busy. Also, if non-organic produce ends up among organic produce, employees are supposed to spoil all the organic produce that was touched, bagged or not.

                                                                                      Next time, if you can't manage to return it to its proper place, just bring your unwanted item to the register and tell the cashier you don't want it.

                                                                                    2. Growing up where I did, there were bars to prevent shopping carts from going into the parking lot. Inevitably, you would have to leave your full cart to tote your bags to your car, or drive your car up to the store.
                                                                                      It was an awful system, but hey weren't trying to prevent stray cars in the lot, they were preventing stealing the carts!

                                                                                      24 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: monavano

                                                                                        Some of the downtown Toronto grocery stores have limiters on them. If you take the cart beyond a certain point the wheels lock. Not usually a problem, because I'm not trying to steal a cart, but one store didn't even allow the distance to the curb to load up a taxi.

                                                                                        1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                          Never heard of limiters, so that's interesting.
                                                                                          I think the worst parking lots I've seen are Costco's. Our Costco has several grass islands and there are carts perched all over them.
                                                                                          Right alongside the cars parked in front of the NO PARKING signs.

                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                            Oh, that's common. I've (politely, even) asked people to stop smoking at bus stops - they would literally be leaning against the "No Smoking" sign. For my trouble? Get screamed at. Yay. :-/

                                                                                            I imagine the same would apply for the parkers.

                                                                                            1. re: Violatp

                                                                                              Where do you live that your bus stops have "No Smoking" signs?

                                                                                              1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                Chicago. Not all the bus stops, just at the transit center ones where a bunch of different lines begin and end. Usually grouped around el stations.

                                                                                                1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                  Here, in Pittsburgh, the bus stops are the last bastion of "Smoking Isn't *That* Bad for You."

                                                                                                2. re: Jay F

                                                                                                  Or WA State bus stops have those signs. Nobody abides by them. A pack of cigs is like 8 bucks which could add up to a car payment and healthy lungs.

                                                                                                  My husband annoyingly runs the numbers with them as we walk by the bus enclosure by our house. I walk on. I doubt he has many converts, but he is eternally optimistic.

                                                                                              2. re: monavano

                                                                                                A Safeway near me has the cart locks but at the perimeter of the parking lot to prevent carts from walking home with shoppers. Consequently, exiting the parking lot by car is sometimes a slalom event.

                                                                                                1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                  Ha, speed dating hook up for carts.

                                                                                              3. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                                One of the local Target stores here has the limiters. The mall has a Best Buy and a Whole Foods -- so three large stores. If you take a wagon from Target all the way down to Whole Food that's a long way for an employee to have to go to retrieve it. The limiters stop that.

                                                                                                1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                                  Aye, "Trawna" - when I lived there the cart corral WAS the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).

                                                                                                2. re: monavano

                                                                                                  Growing up, I also remember grocery stores with those bars to keep the carts at the store entrance. The same stores also had bag boys (or whatever they were called) that helped load groceries and take your returnable bottles (this was back in the day of returnable soda bottles.)

                                                                                                  My local store keeps only a limited number of the small, double decker shopping carts because people steal them. I heard this directly from the manager. What does someone do with a shopping cart at home? I live in a small town and it isn't like there are abandoned shopping carts all over the place.

                                                                                                  1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                    I love those little double deckers! But I've never been tempted to take one home.

                                                                                                    1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                      The problem of people taking shopping carts is probably more of an urban phenomenon, especially in neighborhoods that are not affluent. There are customers who do not have cars and may walk home, so they take the cart. And there are homeless individuals who may take carts as receptacles for their belongings. I don't doubt that in Chicago, where I am, that urban stores that don't have systems to prevent taking the carts lose a considerable amount. (Cannot speculate as to the demographics of your town that account for cart theft.)

                                                                                                      As to the issue of stores having employees who assist customers with their bags, my suburban full service grocer does that -- indeed they routinely ask at the check out counter if you need assistance taking your bags to the car.

                                                                                                      1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                        I love the double deckers but they do disappear quickly.

                                                                                                        1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                          Where I live, Cleo, the first set of double-deckers was quickly decimated by, the management of the store said, customers putting items in that were too heavy, and the carts broke.

                                                                                                          They've brought back a better, sturdier (I hope) double-decker. I really like these, because I almost never buy more than an express line's worth of stuff (10 or 20 items, depending where I shop).

                                                                                                          I always hated the big carts as I didn't want to put my food where a baby had been sitting, and it was a (small) PITA to walk around to the front of the cart to put in items I couldn't give the Mary Richards "toss." I think I shopped at Whole Foods exclusively for a while because they were the only grocer to have double-deckers for a long time.

                                                                                                          1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                            I like the double-deckers for the same reason, I do small shopping trips several times a week and I don't like using the big carts.

                                                                                                            The manager told me the older population are big fans of the double-decker style because they are easier to handle.

                                                                                                            I live in a small town. My local store is bordered by schools (two sides) open field (one side) and a single family home area on the fourth side.

                                                                                                            No doubt there are residents within walking distance live without cars but my gut tells me that the cart theft has very little to do with people taking them out of true necessity to transport groceries. If that was the case, I would see abandoned carts scattered about the neighborhood. (I drive through there 4x a day and shop at the store almost daily) Maybe people are keeping them in their garage? Who knows....it remains a mystery.

                                                                                                            I did see one inside a convenience store up the road. When I commented on it, the employee told me they liked using it to restock the shelves. I know the owner of the convenience store and was tempted to ask him if he knew that a possibly stolen cart was in his store but thought maybe I should keep my mouth shut.

                                                                                                            1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                              I like the double deckers when my sister and I are shopping together (usually a small-ish list). Easier to keep our stuff separate without forming a convoy of carts.

                                                                                                              The store where I do most of my shopping has them, but their carts don't get stolen, because they don't fit down the checkout aisle. Urban store, no parking lot.

                                                                                                              1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                                                If the carts are too big for the checkout aisle, how do you check out?

                                                                                                                1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                  You can get the cart to the unloading end of the belt, but can't take it past the cashier to the bagging end of the checkout and out of the store.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                                                    that would be enough to convince me that they don't want or need my business.

                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                      In an urban setting what can you do with a shopping cart anyway? If there is not a parking lot who cares?

                                                                                                                      1. re: olyolyy

                                                                                                                        Exactly. There isn't even parking in front on the street due to a dedicated bike lane. The only reason to take a cart out would be to take it home.

                                                                                                      2. I see "stuff left all over the supermarkets here. The worst offenders are the people who leave cold items wherever they feel like. At least take the time to put it in a refrigerator case. But no, they just leave it on a regular shelf so it will go bad unless it is found soon. They even do it up near the registers. They will leave stuff sitting rather than give it to the cashier. That ticks me off.

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Disneyfreak

                                                                                                          I admit, shamefully, that I will leave stuff on a shelf where I did not get it. I'll put cold or frozen stuff back into a freezer or fridge bin, but not necessarily the same spot I got it.

                                                                                                          In my defense, my sister is a supermarket manager and she told me it's not that big a deal! Well, my way. She does get ticked at,say, raw meat left tucked among the canned vegetables.

                                                                                                          1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                            It's the cold stuff that bothers me. It's one thing to leave breadcrumbs on a shelf it is another to leave a package of cheese or a container of milk.

                                                                                                            Then you also have to worry about whether the stuff being put back after it is collected is still safe to eat.

                                                                                                            1. re: Disneyfreak

                                                                                                              Yes, I swear I absolutely don't do that!

                                                                                                              1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                LOL! I'm sure you don't. Sometimes they move whole sections of items in supermarkets so often that I can't even remember where I found the stupid breadcrumbs in the first place.

                                                                                                        2. The world needs more Good Samaritans.

                                                                                                          1. In the OP's case I probably wouldn't bother saying anything to the offender or to a store employee, since it's a non-perishable item. Maybe the person was in a hurry, or couldn't remember what aisle they got it from. If it was something that needing refrigeration/freezing, I'd find an employee to give it to, or put it back myself if I was close.

                                                                                                            The people who irk me the most are the ones who load up the candy/magazine racks right next to the cashiers with stuff they don't want. What's so hard about just handing it to the cashier? Are you ashamed/embarrassed that you don't want it or can't afford it? The cashiers don't care what you buy or don't buy, they will be way more annoyed to find a cucumber in their magazine rack than if you'd just handed it to them.

                                                                                                            One time my husband and I were in the checkout line behind a group that had a huge overflowing cart of items. They had to go through each item, as they were unloading it, and decide if they wanted it or not. They ended up leaving like 20 items behind, strewn all over the counters and racks next to the checkout belt. My husband and I went through and picked everything up and handed it to the cashier while saying loudly, "The people in front of us couldn't be bothered to give you these things directly and just left them with the magazines." The offenders were loading up their cart so were standing right next to us and probably heard us, but didn't even bat an eye at us.

                                                                                                            1. I do not usually return the cart, as I love finding one right at the front of my car. I am careful to put it where it does not impede the next shoppers parking, kind of at the crossed lines between the parking spaces. I have a bad back and knee and the cart does the work of a walker. Has nothing to do with lazy or inconsiderate.

                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Nanzi

                                                                                                                If you are impaired then no, it's not laziness that drives you leaving the cart in the parking lot, but seriously, it's is very inconsiderate.
                                                                                                                Do you think your cart is not in anyone's way or will never roll away?
                                                                                                                Please, ask for help inside if at all possible.

                                                                                                                1. re: Nanzi

                                                                                                                  What if that roaming cart crashed into your bad back and knee?

                                                                                                                  1. re: Nanzi

                                                                                                                    Ahh, you ARE lazy and inconsiderate - provocative, perhaps?

                                                                                                                    1. re: DockPotato

                                                                                                                      apparently you missed the part about "bad back and knee and the cart does the work of a walker"

                                                                                                                  2. Just face it folks, half the people are just a bunch of entitled swine. They leave the carts in the lot, put stuff where it doesn't belong, shoplift, lie, drive without insurance etc. Just goes on and on. You know it's true!

                                                                                                                    1. I have been guilty of abandoning an unwanted item in a place other than its original home (non perishables only). I've worked retail and can't remember any employees being disturbed by this (well, except the time I reached onto a shelf to pick up what I thought was an abandoned toy but turned out to be a live baby bat - not the abandoner's fault though :).

                                                                                                                      However, I ALWAYS return my cart to the corral or, in the absence of one, to the lobby of the store itself.

                                                                                                                      So I guess this makes me kind of a halfassed desperado.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                          Count me I as a halfassed desperado. I have, in fits of rushed shopping, left non perishables, in the wrong place as I raced through the store, finding a better product.

                                                                                                                      1. No, I wouldn't have said anything, because it wasn't a perishable item.
                                                                                                                        Small aside: one of the jobs I had when I was 14 was as a fitting room attendant in a mall-based store. I had to rehang the items that folks didn't want, and periodically check for stuff left in the rooms that didn't belong there.

                                                                                                                        I wish I had found breadcrumbs.

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                          Same aside here and yeah, not breadcrumbs.

                                                                                                                          I'll tell you the worst is that there are a couple newer, nicer grocery stores near me that have no cart corals.
                                                                                                                          Hate that.

                                                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                            I hope they have folks retrieving those carts regularly. What frosts me is not the dings (I have a 92 Buick), but on the days when parking is really limited, it's sleeting, etc, and you have to schlep the cart back while leaving your car running in order to get the last space in the lot.

                                                                                                                            I don't know how to make people do the right thing unless you charge a fee for the carts, ala the airports, that's refundable upon return.

                                                                                                                          2. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                            Once, I was shopping for a swimsuit in Target and found blood in the bottom half of a swimsuit. I took it to the cashier...

                                                                                                                            1. re: juster

                                                                                                                              I think we've all been through that one....what in the world are people thinking?

                                                                                                                          3. I am in the grocery business. Happens all of the time as in multiple times per day everyday. Obviously, products needing refrigeration are bigger issues. Otherwise, its part of the business. It does cost the retailer labor and thus money but its part of the deal. Not cool but part of everyday business.

                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: HoosierFoodie

                                                                                                                              To put it in perspective, it might cost the retailer but ultimately it costs the consumer, too because it gets passed down. Lazy people, whether they refuse to put back their carts or put items back, cost us all money in the long run.

                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                Which is why discount stores like Aldi have systems in place to encourage consumers to put carts back away. It saves the store $$ and they can pass that along to the customer.

                                                                                                                                1. re: masha

                                                                                                                                  It's similar to airports, too. When I first moved to Northern Virginia, you couldn't bring the carts to your car. You had to leave your groceries in the carts near the door (metal gates prevented you from bringing them to the parking lot) and load. They had people who helped load. I knew people who'd forget to pick up their groceries. They don't do that any more.

                                                                                                                                  I like to push my cart as hard as I can to get it towards the corral. If it dings a car or two, I figure I'm helping employ car repair people. And, it takes extra people to find where it's gone if I miss. If the cart is dinged, then the cart repair people get more work, too. I figure I'm doing my share for the economy and I get to consider myself an exciting outlaw-desperado-martyr rather than someone who can't be bothered to do the right thing.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                    That's what DH likes to call "stimulating the economy".

                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser


                                                                                                                                      A word of caution for all of you cart desparados out there. I have a distant relative who came out of wal-mart one evening to find her brand new car with a giant scratch along the side and the offending cart tucked in next to it. She marched back into wal-mart and demanded that the manager sit with her and watch through the surveillance video. At first the manager would not comply, but after an hour of her sitting there he pulled up the video so they could see who the offending party was (they live in a small town so it was likely the person could be identified). It ended up being a young employee of the store, but I'm sure had it been a customer she would have tracked them down.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: pollymerase

                                                                                                                                        I saw someone pull into a space with a cart in it. She hit that cart with her car to move it and it dinged a couple of other cars. It's sad what people think is justifiable.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                          To the half-assed desparados - what is so difficult with handing the cashier the item and saying "I changed my mind, I don't want this"?

                                                                                                                                          {QUOTE} As far as the carts go, they pay people to round up the carts so I'm not going to take someone's job away from them by pushing the cart over to the corral.{QUOTE}

                                                                                                                                          Translation: I'm too lazy to be considerate of others.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Scoutmaster

                                                                                                                                            I never leave anything out of its place, but if I changed my mind about something (or maybe realize it's not on sale or I can't apply coupon) and I'm pretty much done shopping and don't want to walk to the other end of the store to put it back, I just hand it to the cashier and say I changed my mind.
                                                                                                                                            Not. Hard.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                              And much easier for all concerned. I don't even understand spending the effort, as in the OP situation, of trying to put a round container among square-ish packages, unless it's some odd obscure scavenger hunt.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Scoutmaster

                                                                                                                                              People do tell the cashiers "I don't want this all the time too. Its a lot better than tracking stuff all over the store.

                                                                                                                                2. Had a brainstorm today: was at the library, and noticed they have bins at the end of every-other aisle, saying "return unshelved books here," which encourages us to take books from the shelves, peruse, then bin them so they can be properly reshelved. Do any grocery stores have such systems? I get the "give it to the checkout clerk" idea (and I've done that), but there's really no place in that tiny check out area for the clerk to shelve it until he or the bag boy can grab a minute to return it. Bins placed around the store?

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                    Many checkout points have shelves behind them or bins underneath the register that the cashiers can place "re-shops" in. It is totally preferable for the employees and the store in general for you to hand the unwanted items to the cashier then to place them in the wrong location. By placing them in the wrong location you are encouraging certain unscrupulous customers to insist that the organic 5.99 bag of apples is actually 2.99 because they were in the bin with regular apples. Or the 59.99 King size comforter was in the spot for 29.99 Twin comforters, and so on and so forth.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                      Pine time, I think that is a great idea in theory and it usually works quite well in the library. Given that many grocery stores seem to put great time and care into building qinteresting and creative/artistic displays (trader joe's in particular comes to mine for their impressive end caps), I am guessing that many would consider it to be an eyesore. Additionally, it would just further the "this is someone else's responsibility" perception/world view , and perhaps even lead otherwise conscientious product returners to believe that it was ok or even the store's preferred practice.

                                                                                                                                    2. Today I was at my local Stop and Shop and they have removed all the cart corrals! I did self check out so couldn't ask anyone why. I would like to think that maybe they are getting ready to repave the lot or paint the lines. It was complete bedlam anyway with superbowl crazed shoppers but the parking lot was a disaster.

                                                                                                                                      1. Maybe I'm just lazy (I am), but I have no problem placing a non-perishable good on the improper shelf. However, I always return perishable goods to their original location and always place carts in the corrals.

                                                                                                                                        1. My supermarket has, for example, organic breakfast cereal in the health food section and in the regular cereal section. If I find a better deal on cereal in the second place I see it, I will leave my first selection on the shelf where I pick up the second product. I shouldn't be running around the store because they have stuff in all different places. Canned beans with the Goya products, health foods and with regular products. Chobani and Fage yogurt with the health food, other yogurt in the dairy aisle. Soy milk all over the place. I don't leave refrigerated items unrefrigerated, but it should be obvious to who ever puts things away, why it was left in the wrong place. I don't leave items jujst because I changed my mind.

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Leslie

                                                                                                                                            Sounds like a very poorly designed store.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Leslie

                                                                                                                                              It sounds like a bad decision by management. Have you considered talking to them about it? The problem is management makes a bad choice and the workers who are making minimum wage are the ones to suffer and nothing gets better. Take an active role, rather than a passive aggressive one and things might change.

                                                                                                                                            2. I admit it. I'm guilty of ditching a grocery item where it doesn't belong if I'm in a hurry, but never something that needs to be refrigerated or frozen. Those items I put back where I got them if I decide that I don't want them after all.

                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: MysticYoYo

                                                                                                                                                I had no idea there were so many judgmental eyes belonging to people who are apparently watching other people and what they do in grocery stores or in the parking lot.
                                                                                                                                                This thread is truly amazing and eye opening.
                                                                                                                                                I wouldn't feel too guilty if I were you unless, of course, one of the self righteous comes and confronts you and tells you you're lazy or inconsiderate and makes every effort to make you feel guilty.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                  I don't notice others doing it but when asked in this thread, my thoughts were someone who can't be bothered to put something away and lets someone else do it isn't thinking of others. If you make a mess, clean up--as they say, what we learn in kindergarten. I wonder if those who think it's fine to let others do their work have ever been in a job where they've had to clean up after others.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                    Well, let's see...

                                                                                                                                                    I've changed hundreds of bedpans, changed the bed linens of people who were too 'tired' to get out of bed to get to the bathroom, (this might get a little disgusting so I won't go on) cleaned up after gardeners, housecleaners, cleaned the floor of the market after I'd made the mess of accidentally dropped a jar even though the manager insisted I not do it and did it because *I* was the one who made the mess and was totally concerned about taking accountability...the list is pretty endless for 'one of those who think it's fine to let others do their work'. As i said in my post...I'm lucky enough to have people *want* to help me out the door of the store. They get paid to do it and I pay them a hefty tip in return.
                                                                                                                                                    A box that's misplaced on a grocery shelf? Um...anyone who's just about to go to the manager and tell on that person, imo, needs to take a good look at why they're doing it.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                      "A box that's misplaced on a grocery shelf? Um...anyone who's just about to go to the manager and tell on that person, imo, needs to take a good look at why they're doing it."

                                                                                                                                                      I agree. I don't see anyone advocating it but I might have missed it. I just know what a pain it is, having worked at McDonald's in high school, to clean up after people who can't be bothered because there is someone who is paid to do it. Wiping the tables? No problem. Having to clean up a table full of food/trays/ketchup, food all over the floor? Not so much. You might be lucky to find people who WANT to do that, most would rather not, given a choice.

                                                                                                                                                      I just don't understand someone creating work for someone else because he/she won't do it him/herself. Don't want the item? Leave it with the cashier--they'll put it away w/ all the other items. For me, it's about making less work for those who are already busy.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: MysticYoYo

                                                                                                                                                  I'm with you. I try not to do it, but there are times when I'm in a hurry, the store is slammed with people, or when my bum knee is acting up that I don't walk across the store to return something.

                                                                                                                                                  Frozen or refrigerated always makes it back to a refrigerated/freezer case -- our local store has plastic bins mounted to the pillars under the price-check scanners, with a sign stating that you can put items you don't want in the basket, but to PLEASE return cold/frozen food to the coolers/freezers, as that product has to be thrown out (and people here are actually pretty good about it)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MysticYoYo

                                                                                                                                                    Wouldn't it be faster just to leave it at the checkout when you're leaving and tell the cashier you changed your mind? Unless it happened to be a 5 lb bag of sugar or something like that.

                                                                                                                                                    1. We're friends with a shelf stocker at a local grocery store and oh boy does he have stories to tell. We always try to put things back where they belong, or at least in a reasonable place - cold item, cold case etc, non-perishable item endcap, easy to see etc. But I can rarely get through a shopping trip without finding something like a packet of warm chicken sitting in the juice aisle (last trip). We always take those to customer service so nobody gets food poisoning.

                                                                                                                                                      According to our friend however there is at least one shopper at that store who goes around the store and not only grabs all the items that have expired - to turn in for the small cash bounty the store gives but also creates their own stash. If they find an item thats about to expire they will hide it elsewhere and return the next day to get it. Also if they find say 5 of something that has expired they'll turn one in, and hide the other 4 for later. They are currently managing to find anywhere from $50-$100 worth of items several times a week. Now Lord knows I like earning a buck for handing in an expired item but making my own? Um no...

                                                                                                                                                      Apparently the management considers it easier to let them do this then to either stop them, or pay enough stockers to cull the shelves completely. I guess they're cheaper then hiring another employee...

                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ariadanz

                                                                                                                                                        Grocery stores pay you for turning in expired items? Is that typical? I'd never heard of it!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                                                                                                                          One store chain here used to have a 'fresh or free' policy (they were bought out and don't do it anymore, I think). Find an expired item and get a 'fresh' one of that item for free. I once got two boxes of strawberries for free because the first two boxes I grabbed from the shelf were moldy.

                                                                                                                                                          I was reading somewhere that the stores near high schools would have kids trolling up and down the aisles at lunch looking for outdated stuff to get free lunch.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ariadanz

                                                                                                                                                            It sounds like a scavenger hunt for the shelf stocker. I am just OCB enough so that whenever I see items out of place in a store it drives me nuts. Not over the edge nuts, just mildly annoyed.

                                                                                                                                                            The store employees must know who the person is who is hiding the about to be expired merchandise. If I were an employee, I'd keep an eye on that customer to see where they are hiding the about-to-be-expired merchandise.