As I mentioned in my last post, illegal dumping happens all the time. People leave bags full of trash, empty liquor bottles and appliances all over our side of the parking lot because they are convinced that gnomes must take care of them in the middle of the night. Not so. We also share our side of the mall with Best Buy, so it’s a guarantee that depending on whose shopping cart we found the crap in, one of our stores will have to take care of the trash or it will just be, there. We might also get complaints from mall security, but either way, we just can’t leave a cart full of trash in the parking lot for long.
In the past, whenever I find stuff like this in one of our shopping carts, I will bring it to the back room where we a special closet for holding appliances that need to be sent back to the warehouse or recycled.
This is one of those rare instances where I will actually admit to wrong doing. Because I was the opening cart jockey and one of our shopping carts just happened to have three television sets from various eras of the home entertainment system industry. One large one was in the carriage portion of the cart and a smaller set balanced on top of it. The third one is irrelevant, because it was on the ground beside the cart so forget I said anything.
I had a good reason for not taking care of this at first. That’s because the action itself is time consuming. There wasn’t enough wind to cause it to move with so much weight in side of it and as this was early in the morning on a universally recognized payday, the store was quite busy. Going to the backroom when the receiving department was essentially Grand Central would have taken more time and energy than I had at the moment, and since all the cart was doing was blocking the use of one non-handicapped parking space and not in danger of preventing emergency services from getting access to the store, my primary focus had to be on the shopping carts and the other front end tasks.
As the day wore on and the customer traffic maintained a steady flow, thanks in part to the beach weather, I had a few opportunities to get the cart and take care of it, but I didn’t for an entirely different reason; I felt like being a dick. Sometimes when I’m closing, the opening cart jockey will leave so much crap for me to do that I literally spend about an hour of the evening figuring out what they didn’t get done. So now and again I will deliberately find stuff that I can get away with ignoring, knowing full well that they’ll have to take care of it and that they won’t be able to say anything because our shitty management will unwittingly support my decision with a their patented approach of ignorance and hand waving.
This logic could have backfired tremendously, however, as I came back from my half hour and stepped outside to see a seven year-old going to push the cart with the televisions. The one on top wasn’t exactly secure and it would have been Russian roulette trying to decide how it would have fallen. So I called out to the boy and asked him not to touch it, rushing to his side the cart out of harm’s way and take care of it the way I should have done sooner.
The kid’s mom had just parked her car and was getting out, so this wasn’t a case of what the hell is a kid doing in the parking lot by himself. He was just grabbing one of the other stray carts that had been left in the parking space and he thought it would be a good idea to push a cart full of TV’s that were older than he was. So no, this was definitely my fault and it could have ended so much worst because I just had to the take the piss out of another coworker.
Maybe this post will server as a cautionary tale to other would be “pranksters”, if that term applies. Nothing you do in a public place is a free action. Be prepared for consequences and decide ahead of time if they will be worth the merest possibility of getting minute satisfaction.