Imagine you pull up to a local King Soopers: it's packed, the middle of the day, but you have to get some shopping done. The parking lot is pretty full, but you spot an open parking space and go for it. But - as you pull into the spot you notice something.
It's already taken - by a shopping cart.
What's your knee-jerk reaction there? Irritation, right? A few choice words for whoever left it. You either get out and move the cart so you can park, or you just move on.
Denverites have responded in kind to the post by saying that ALWAYS return the carts. Rain or shine, child or no - those carts are getting returned.
A few pointed out on the post how they make sure to park close to the cart return.
Despite cart receptacles and even grocery clerks coming out to get them, the fact remains: there are always carts in the parking lot. Some just left in spots, others sitting on the curbs, their wheels up in the grass.
I'm sure, if you're reading this and we were to ask you - do you return your carts, you'd say you always do. Well, before we go any further, why not be completely honest with us and let us know if and when you return carts by answering our poll at the bottom of this article.
The answers in the poll come from a blog post by Scientific American looking at this exact question - why do we leave carts behind?
There are, according to Scientific American looking at some studies, about six reasons why people leave carts behind:
1. Receptacle too far when where their car is parked
2. They've a child with them and don't want to leave them unattended
3. Bad weather
4. Disability makes it hard to return carts
5. Perception that it's someone else's job
6. Leaving the cart for someone else to use
The article goes on to argue that while supermarkets would love it if we took the time to return the carts, they're fighting our on self-serving interests - as in, we aren't going to return the cart in a torrential downpour because we're already soaked.
The five types of returners, as defined by the article, coincide with the poll options below:
Always return - no matter the weather, they view it as an obligation and maybe feel back for the other cart collectors.
Never return - they believe it's either someone else's job or the supermarket's responsibility (these people will usually leave a cart anywhere)
Convenience return - they return carts if the weather is good or if the receptacle is near their car.
Pressure return - they return carts only if a clerk is nearby or there are other people close who can see them, making it hard to abandon a cart without being spotted.
Child-driven return - they have children who view it as a game to return carts, using their kids to help get them to where they need to be.
The blog did a follow-up post where they learned supermarket employees would really - overwhelmingly so - love it if you returned your carts.
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