I Reject Your Assistance and Substitute My Own

There are many kinds of help, but the one I’m fondest of is the kind I’ve asked for. 90% of the time, when a customer or coworker thinks they are helping me, they’re really just making things ten times more complicated. This is one small example.

SaberSave’s parking lot is on a bit of an inclined plane. So when a gust of wind gently brushes the lightweight shopping carts, they typically go flying downhill. Coupled with the fact that the parking lot here is ten times more condensed than the one at Generimart and I’m basically working in a giant pinball machine.

I managed to get four shopping carts to sit still long enough for me to retrieve one more. If I haven’t mentioned this in previous entries, I should point out that SaberSave does not use the electronic cart pusher, so we are forced to hand push carts five at a time. Other cart jockeys push the envelope, but that’s their problem if they get hurt. I only wanted one more.

A customer finished loading her groceries. The corral was literally right across from her and it’s not like she had to cross a four lane highway. But like so many short sighted people, she saw my row of carts and thought, “I be that poor young man would appreciate my meddling.”

She brings the cart just close enough to the row of carts without touching them and leaves it there. Would anyone like to guess what happened? That’s right. The very phenomenon I eluded to gently pushed the cart into the established row of carts, forcing me to scramble and get control of them before they slammed into someone’s car. The remaining shopping cart broke away from the row and veered into the traffic, forcing me to have to try to grab that one and keep my row from going any further. It was not as simple as I made it sound. And all because a customer thought she was helping.

We all want to believe that our assistance is appreciated wherever we go. But if you saw a firefighter trying to put out a burning building, you wouldn’t run up to the flames with a bottle of water and try to douse the raging inferno, would you? No, because it’s dangerous and you would likely cause more damage and liability issues than you intended. Similarly, if someone is being paid to do something than you’re helping them in anyway is not only extremely presumptuous, but also entirely unwanted.


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