years ago when I worked in a grocery store, we would have cart abandonment often. And as one who closed most of the time, it was my job to put it all back. One night about 30 minutes before closing, we find a cart loaded to the top. So I start putting it all back. I’m about half way done when I hear a woman wailing behind me, “All that work for nothing!!”. Woman was standing there with yet another full cart. Gives this huge sad sob story about how her husband was sick for 6 months, he died 3 months ago and this was the first grocery store trip she has made since before he was sick. I end up having to not only help locate all the stuff that I put back but also had to stay an hour past closing to ring up all the order. The manager took it all in stride when she started to complain that I put all her stuff back. He told her that next time she had more than one cart to let someone know and we could stash it inside the walk in cooler in the back.
You’d think she would’ve asked for it to be stashed in a cooler, surely she had food that needed refrigeration or frozen products!
If you haven’t been to the grocery story in six months, why would you need to buy a bunch of stuff after the fact? Beforehand makes sense, but after you would only need as much as you would use before your next shopping trip, which in my family is one or two weeks. Every time I have gotten a sob story from a customer, there is a ridiculous hole in it. I think they make things up because they do not think the truth will appeal to our emotions. What they fail to realize is that we do not know them and therefore couldn’t care less why they want or need something. Just tell me what you need, I’ll take care of it because you are the customer, and we can be on our way without you spilling your guts to me like we’re best friends. Unless I find a customer crying (happened once when a woman got a phone call that her mom had passed away while she was standing in the checkout line) or injured or missing a child, I do not wish to get involved in their personal business, or even to hear about it.
Because you’ve used up all your staples/ cleaning products/ stash?
LOL, at least it’s already carted up and not strung around the store in random, odd places!
I moved from Rhode Island to Virginia. Even though I only lived in RI for a couple of years, I still have to stop myself from calling (what in Virginia is a) shopping cart a carriage.
When I lived in Florida they were Buggies.
They’re buggies in North Carolina, too.
Also in Pennsylvania.
Same for Alabama, but my husband calls the shopping carts.
I admittedly had never heard of a shopping cart being called a carriage until I read this comic…
I have, but only by the English. And they’re all weird anyway.
(Just teasing our cousins across the Atlantic!)
As an english person, I always called them things trolleys. Or just a nuisance with them damned caster wheels that have a mind of their own.
Well… I live in England and have moved around the country a fair bit but I’ve never heard them called anything “Trolley”… well, unless you count the various profanities people hurl at them when they don’t go in a straight line So I’m curious where “carriage” comes from… is it a North American term? (referring to the continent, not the country, before anyone has an aneurysm:P )
I think the idea is the same, regardless of the word used. Carriage, cart, and buggy are all things you pull behind a horse. It doesn’t really make since though, since you push them rather than pulling them. Trolley doesn’t make since, either, since that is a vehicle like a street car. The one that makes the least since to me is “basket.” The large compartment where most of the groceries go is like a large basket, but the contraption as a whole is not constructed like a basket, and this word causes a lot of confusion with the actually shopping baskets, which are the once you carry in your hands rather than pushing. I don’t have a better word to propose, and I use cart because that’s what my parents said as I was growing up. I’m just saying that none of the words we currently use provide an adequate description of what the thing does.
For the record, I really do know the difference between “sense” and “since.” Apparently, I don’t have my head screwed on this morning.
I grew up in Pittsburgh and we called them buggies. When I moved to Philadelphia people called them carts. I guess it all depends where in the world you are for what they are called. But yeah, this comic is the first place I heard them called carriages.
That’s not been my experience from working in customer service. Cart seems to be an urban thing in the west. Rural inhabitants, especially from the Southwest, tend to say “basket.” Having worked in Kansas within spitting distance of the Turnpike (i.e. lots of customers from Texas and Oklahoma), I got both with an even mix, and my older customers usually said “buggy.” Perhaps that was from all their time spent in Florida, but I don’t think so. The foreign military personnel from various other English speaking countries serving at nearby Ft. Leavenworth would just point at it or use hand gestures, apparently assuming they would get a blank stare no matter what word they chose. Some would give a definition. “Do you have something I can use to carry things?” I think it is less of a large region thing and more of a small region thing. The region of northeast Kansas/northwest Missouri seems to be very confused.
I’ve lived in half of the New England states at various points. It’s always a shopping cart. Never heard anyone up here call it a carriage.
At the Stop and Shops in Connecticut, the signs in the parking lot say “Return Carriage Here”.
Now…shall we talk about the soft drink aisle at the Cub and Rainbow supermarkets in Minneapolis having a sign saying “Pop”?
I have found “carriage” to be extremely regional, having heard it in only certain parts of New England.
And even then, only certain parts of certain parts of New England. In CT, for instance, it seems that some stores (Stop and Shop) use “carriage,” while others use “cart.”
I work at a grocery store. It never fails that these people always have a large amount of frozen or refrigerated food when they dematerialize. I’m sure they spontaneously combust. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway….
(We also call it a cart in MN.)
I was at Walmart a few months back and I was about 5 foot from this woman in front of me. She turned a corner and I ran into her cart. She just dematerialized for the lack of a better word. It was spooky the way she was there and then way not. I even checked the isles on both sides of the one I was on and she was just gone.
I like the stores like Aldis which you pay a 25 cent fee, I never see carts in the parking lot.
Technically, it is a deposit, not a “fee.” It is only a fee if you do not bring your cart back, because your quarter stays in the slot.
Whatever, just semantics.
We have the Abandoner’s evil twin, the Carriage Emptier. Because there are never enough carriages in our store (even though, in theory, they should all be in the store because the wheels are supposed to lock at the door–but that’s another story), sometimes people will find a carriage with only a few items in it, look around to make sure no one’s looking, dump the items out onto the floor, and take the carriage.
Not that I’ve ever actually seen anyone do it. But we get reports all the time from customers who wandered a few aisles over to get something, only to come back to a sad pile of items on the floor where their carriages used to be.
In my now former store, customers abandoned carts so regularly (stuffing them under clothing racks, even, or just leaving them in the middle of any old aisle) that other customers felt justified in taking things out to use (even the cart I was using to collect things from under the racks) when they found themselves with too much in their arms. We made abandoned cart announcements, saying that we would be collecting carts that appeared to be abandoned, then detailed the contents loudly before emptying them for other customers. “I only left it for 5 minutes…” when we knew it had been sitting there 15 minutes or longer. There was NO WAY we could do it only at the end of the day.
I worked at Sears and we never had carts (or carriages). Several customers asked if we had them or suggested we get them but we never did in my time there. the best we had was the plastic tote baskets. In Minnesota we say cart as Regina noted. And here we don’t call “out” sick, we call “in” sick.
“Seeing as you’re inside the shop, you can always just leave your shopping and go, ‘Ah, I’m bored with that shopping. I’m gonna start again.’ Because you haven’t bought it, you’ve just *moved* it, haven’t you. Till you leave that shop, you’re not buying nothing, you’re just moving it around! You can fill six trolleys with stuff, pile it high, look all shifty, go up to where the doors are and just LEAVE IT AND RUN. That’s legal! You’re just moving it.” – Eddie Izzard
As a former WM employee who used to push carts for a living, I would find my share of abandoned carts, even on the inside of the store where customers would take a cart from our bays and have it for like a minute before becoming bored with it and walking away. Found 30-60 carts per shift that way, and if you work at a Walmart Supercenter where your bosses are too cheap to give you more than 700 carts altogether, you understand that every cart counts, even on the slow days!
And then one day, I found a cart at the far end of the parking lot crammed with at least $90 worth of groceries, mostly food. There was no car nearby–the closest one was 100 feet away and the driver had just parked–meaning that the cart was abandoned. I was stunned at what kind of moron would get like $90 worth of food and then just walk away from it after paying for it! I brought it to my boss, who rolled his eyes and said, “Damn, that’s the THIRD person today!”
No one ever ended up claiming their groceries, so the food was brought back to the shelves.
since it was already paid for, then you should finder keepers.
I have seen parents drop a cart when they have to deal with a child throwing a tantrum. I don’t mind putting the stuff back, they took the screaming child out. If I see the parent, I will ask if we can hold it, some will be grateful we can do that.
I’ve done that one time in my life. It was at a walmart. I made it up to the checkouts with a 1/2 full buggy (non perishables)…and realized that, at 5pm on a sunday, it had *one* non-self checkout line open and that said line was wrapped up the center isle. I’d heard them page for backup 10 minutes before or so, and I waited about 5 minutes…when no other line got open, I said screw it.
Well, aren’t you a peach
People did that all the time when I worked at a fabric store. We’d often only have enough payroll for one cashier, and people would abandon stuff just like that. Thing is, if five of us had to stay an hour late cleaning all that up, we wouldn’t have enough payroll for another cashier the next day either!
The Carriage Abandoner is the evolved form of the Red Rover.
The Red Rover is the customer who leaves their cart in the most obstructing spot on an aisle while shopping up and down the aisle. They will get bolder and bolder, going shopping farther and farther from their cart until finally they actually leave the store only to come back hours, days even weeks later only to complain that someone stole their stuff.
For some inexplicable reason the favorite spot for abandoning empty carts in our store is right outside the grooming salon… Which is on the main aisle from the door and already hard to navigate with our signage and the hordes of gawkers. Whenever I see one I try to put it away and it always baffles me how many times folks appear from two aisles away and get all huffy that I’m moving their cart. Now if there was anything in it I would leave it alone, but completely empty?
On Retailhellunderground.com (How I got here; a few days ago they had one of the comics up, and I’ve been reading the archives since) someone mentioned that they were an occasional cause of abandoned carts. As an insurance fraud investigator, they would have to follow someone around a store pretending to shop while observing them, and then head outside when they went to check out, but they were careful to always get non-perishables.
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