Author Topic: Very odd shopping cart mis-hap . . .  (Read 4700 times)

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jpcher

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Very odd shopping cart mis-hap . . .
« on: July 17, 2013, 07:44:08 PM »
A strange chain of events took place today and in the end, I'm not sure what I could have done differently.

I pulled into an empty parking spot at the grocery store and at the last minute saw that there was a mini-shopping cart at the front end of the spot. There was somebody behind me so I didn't stop mid-way to move the cart . . . I figured I could get reeeeally close without hanging out the back end of the spot.

I stopped and thought "A liiiiitle bit closer 8)" and pulled forward maybe another inch. Sure enough I lightly tapped the shopping cart. ::) Just enough to set it in motion.

I watched the cart turn. I thought "Okay, it's just going to touch the car that's parked in front of me and stop. No biggie."

But nooooo. Little Shopping Cart had a mind of it's own. LSC somehow magically navigated it's way between my car and the car in front of me and kept rolling, of course picking up momentum, and sure enough smacked into the car that was next to the car in front of me. LSC hit the other car right in front of the passenger's side front tire.

Sigh. While I was searching for a pen and paper to leave a note in case there was any damage, I looked up and saw the car that was hit by LSC pulling out of the spot! Yes, the driver was in the car when it was hit by the errant LSC and simply pulled out.

I started to get out of my car so that I could maybe flag them down and apologize, but before I was able to do so, they pulled away . . . Meanwhile, I watched in horror as LSC merrily made it's way down hill through the now vacant parking spot (picking up more momentum) and sure enough, really smacked the car that was next in line.

Sigh.

Pen and paper in hand, I went to inspect the damage and leave my note of apology.



This is where the very odd part comes in:

I was about 2 feet away from the cart when a woman darts around the back end of the first parked car and says:

Woman: Did you see that? I hate it when people don't put their carts away! Now look at my car! (She grabbed the LSC and angrily stomped it to the cart return area . . . I looked and there was a bit of a ding.)

Me (when she returned): I'm sorry, but you're mistaken. That cart hitting your car was my fault . . . I'd like to (was going to say offer restitution, but was interrupted)

Woman: Your fault? How could it be your fault? I saw what they did! They drove out of here so fast! and I know they knew what they did! (She continued to rant while she put her groceries in her car . . . I tried to gently get a word in edge-wise to no avail)

Me: Excuse me . . . Ma'am . . . I'm sorry to interrupt . . . Ma'am . . . (After a few attempts, I just let her rant.)

Woman (after she put her car away): I wish I got their license plate number. If I ever see that car again I'll ram a cart into their car so hard . . .

Me (last ditch effort, firmly said): The cart that hit your car was my fault. Let me explain . . .

Woman: YOU DO-GOODERS! Trying to save the world. You're really not helping them!

She got in her car and slammed the door.


I walked away shaking my head wondering what on earth just happened.


Should I have done anything differently?

(other than not pulling up closer for that last inch ::)) Yeah. I won't try that again.


How would you have handled this situation?




(edited to add a word)
« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 07:48:49 PM by jpcher »

WillyNilly

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Re: Very odd shopping cart mis-hap . . .
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2013, 08:15:06 PM »
Huh.

I would not have even planned on leaving a note to begin with for starters. Its not your fault the cart hit her car. Nor is it the other car's fault. It was the fault of the store for allowing carts to be left around the lot haphazardly. If it weren't your tap, it could have been a gust of wind, or someone inadvertently brushing against it, or a squirrel or pigeon setting it off on its wild ride.

If I had somehow ended up listening to the woman ranting, I would have just shrugged and walked away, not tried repeatedly to engage the crazy.

violetminnow

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Re: Very odd shopping cart mis-hap . . .
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2013, 08:36:50 PM »
I would have considered the first car hit my responsibility, not the second. If the cart stopped when it hit the first car and only started to move again because that car pulled out then the second accident is not your fault.

TootsNYC

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Re: Very odd shopping cart mis-hap . . .
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2013, 08:40:40 PM »
Well, in a way, "the people who leave their shopping carts in the parking lot" *are* at fault here. It may not have been the individuals that she thinks it was, but it *was* "the people who leave their shopping carts."

And I think the first person who drove off without waiting for your apology showed exactly whose fault they think it was--nobody's, or not really yours, or something.

So, yeah, don't bump the shopping cart next time. But you didn't leave it there.

Luci

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Re: Very odd shopping cart mis-hap . . .
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2013, 08:43:56 PM »
Happily, I am laughing so much at the chain reaction, that I don't really care about the all-knowing lady and her car!

If you are dismissed like that, all you can do it laugh, know you tried to do the right thing, and slough it off.

I do admire your persistance!

nyoprinces

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Re: Very odd shopping cart mis-hap . . .
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2013, 09:28:14 PM »
Actually, I'm guessing she was probably right.

It sounds like the person you pulled in in front of likely DID leave the mini-cart there (seeing as how they were the closest car to the cart until you got there and were in the car, rather than in the store, ready to pull out), and were embarrassed that you'd hit the cart when they were probably counting on nobody noticing they'd left it there until they were gone.

Since the second lady was also already in her car when it happened, she likely did see them leave it there and pull away rather than getting out to deal with it after you'd hit it, leaving it to ricochet into her car.

Phoebe

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Re: Very odd shopping cart mis-hap . . .
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2013, 09:51:42 PM »
Huh.

I would not have even planned on leaving a note to begin with for starters. Its not your fault the cart hit her car. Nor is it the other car's fault. It was the fault of the store for allowing carts to be left around the lot haphazardly. If it weren't your tap, it could have been a gust of wind, or someone inadvertently brushing against it, or a squirrel or pigeon setting it off on its wild ride.

If I had somehow ended up listening to the woman ranting, I would have just shrugged and walked away, not tried repeatedly to engage the crazy.

Absolutely, unequivocally NOT. Stores with carts almost always have cart returns all over the lot, as well as employees on regular lot duty bringing them back to the store.  Even if they didn't, personal responsibility comes into play.  If a customer takes a cart to the lot, for goodness sakes, it's the CUSTOMER'S responsibility to secure it. 

violetminnow

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Re: Very odd shopping cart mis-hap . . .
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2013, 09:56:01 PM »
Huh.

I would not have even planned on leaving a note to begin with for starters. Its not your fault the cart hit her car. Nor is it the other car's fault. It was the fault of the store for allowing carts to be left around the lot haphazardly. If it weren't your tap, it could have been a gust of wind, or someone inadvertently brushing against it, or a squirrel or pigeon setting it off on its wild ride.

If I had somehow ended up listening to the woman ranting, I would have just shrugged and walked away, not tried repeatedly to engage the crazy.

Absolutely, unequivocally NOT. Stores with carts almost always have cart returns all over the lot, as well as employees on regular lot duty bringing them back to the store.  Even if they didn't, personal responsibility comes into play.  If a customer takes a cart to the lot, for goodness sakes, it's the CUSTOMER'S responsibility to secure it.

I agree. Even the most vigilant of stores can have this situation. It's completely the fault of the lazy shopper who left the cart that there was a cart in the parking lot.

AnnaJ

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Re: Very odd shopping cart mis-hap . . .
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2013, 10:01:58 PM »
Huh.

I would not have even planned on leaving a note to begin with for starters. Its not your fault the cart hit her car. Nor is it the other car's fault. It was the fault of the store for allowing carts to be left around the lot haphazardly. If it weren't your tap, it could have been a gust of wind, or someone inadvertently brushing against it, or a squirrel or pigeon setting it off on its wild ride.

If I had somehow ended up listening to the woman ranting, I would have just shrugged and walked away, not tried repeatedly to engage the crazy.

Absolutely, unequivocally NOT. Stores with carts almost always have cart returns all over the lot, as well as employees on regular lot duty bringing them back to the store.  Even if they didn't, personal responsibility comes into play.  If a customer takes a cart to the lot, for goodness sakes, it's the CUSTOMER'S responsibility to secure it.

I agree. Even the most vigilant of stores can have this situation. It's completely the fault of the lazy shopper who left the cart that there was a cart in the parking lot.

Agreed - if people would return carts to the cart corrals this wouldn't happen.  I do think that some stores need to add more cart corrals in their parking lots to make it easier to return carts.

Not to get into the legal issue, but most parking lots I've seen have signs specifying that the store is not responsible for damage done by unruly carts.

*inviteseller

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Re: Very odd shopping cart mis-hap . . .
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2013, 10:08:35 PM »
OK, now that I am done giggling at the shopping cart's madcap adventure..I hate when lazy shoppers can't be bothered to take a cart back to the cart corral.  All the stores in my neck of the woods have them in every aisle, at our Super WalMart, 2 per aisle.  While you weren't per say at fault, your tapping it did send it on it's first journey and the first car it hit sent it on it's second journey, but if it was a mini cart (I'm guessing a kids cart?) they may have never seen it.  You were extremely gracious to take responsibility for it, I would have done the same thing because I would have felt bad for setting it in motion, but the woman wasn't going to listen so you tried, were rebuffed, time to forget about it.  In Baltimore, the grocery stores had cement 'tubes' all along the front so you couldn't get the carts off the grounds.  They had a special handicap gate, but an employee had to open it and assist. 

WillyNilly

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Re: Very odd shopping cart mis-hap . . .
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2013, 10:28:24 PM »
Huh.

I would not have even planned on leaving a note to begin with for starters. Its not your fault the cart hit her car. Nor is it the other car's fault. It was the fault of the store for allowing carts to be left around the lot haphazardly. If it weren't your tap, it could have been a gust of wind, or someone inadvertently brushing against it, or a squirrel or pigeon setting it off on its wild ride.

If I had somehow ended up listening to the woman ranting, I would have just shrugged and walked away, not tried repeatedly to engage the crazy.

Absolutely, unequivocally NOT. Stores with carts almost always have cart returns all over the lot, as well as employees on regular lot duty bringing them back to the store.  Even if they didn't, personal responsibility comes into play.  If a customer takes a cart to the lot, for goodness sakes, it's the CUSTOMER'S responsibility to secure it.

I agree. Even the most vigilant of stores can have this situation. It's completely the fault of the lazy shopper who left the cart that there was a cart in the parking lot.

Agreed - if people would return carts to the cart corrals this wouldn't happen.  I do think that some stores need to add more cart corrals in their parking lots to make it easier to return carts.

Not to get into the legal issue, but most parking lots I've seen have signs specifying that the store is not responsible for damage done by unruly carts.

Most stores in my area have employees making constant rounds collecting carts - there is never a time when there is not an employee out there rounding them up - or the carts that take a 25 cent deposit to unhook and return the 25 cents upon returning the cart (thus enticing people to return them or collect them them-self). other stores do not allow the carts into the lot at all, only as far as the pavement between the store and the lot. Between these options, carts in the lot are generally not an issue. If the stores supply the carts, IMO, the stores, ultimately are responsible for the carts.

violetminnow

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Re: Very odd shopping cart mis-hap . . .
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2013, 10:42:50 PM »
Huh.

I would not have even planned on leaving a note to begin with for starters. Its not your fault the cart hit her car. Nor is it the other car's fault. It was the fault of the store for allowing carts to be left around the lot haphazardly. If it weren't your tap, it could have been a gust of wind, or someone inadvertently brushing against it, or a squirrel or pigeon setting it off on its wild ride.

If I had somehow ended up listening to the woman ranting, I would have just shrugged and walked away, not tried repeatedly to engage the crazy.

Absolutely, unequivocally NOT. Stores with carts almost always have cart returns all over the lot, as well as employees on regular lot duty bringing them back to the store.  Even if they didn't, personal responsibility comes into play.  If a customer takes a cart to the lot, for goodness sakes, it's the CUSTOMER'S responsibility to secure it.

I agree. Even the most vigilant of stores can have this situation. It's completely the fault of the lazy shopper who left the cart that there was a cart in the parking lot.

Agreed - if people would return carts to the cart corrals this wouldn't happen.  I do think that some stores need to add more cart corrals in their parking lots to make it easier to return carts.

Not to get into the legal issue, but most parking lots I've seen have signs specifying that the store is not responsible for damage done by unruly carts.

Most stores in my area have employees making constant rounds collecting carts - there is never a time when there is not an employee out there rounding them up - or the carts that take a 25 cent deposit to unhook and return the 25 cents upon returning the cart (thus enticing people to return them or collect them them-self). other stores do not allow the carts into the lot at all, only as far as the pavement between the store and the lot. Between these options, carts in the lot are generally not an issue. If the stores supply the carts, IMO, the stores, ultimately are responsible for the carts.

I've never seen a store with such a bad rate of cart returns that they pay someone to constantly chase carts that have been abandoned by lazy shoppers. That's pretty extreme. Personally if I lived in that area I'd be annoyed that I was probably paying extra for my groceries because the store has to employ someone to do something that's the sole responsibility of the shopper.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Very odd shopping cart mis-hap . . .
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2013, 11:08:10 PM »
Huh.

I would not have even planned on leaving a note to begin with for starters. Its not your fault the cart hit her car. Nor is it the other car's fault. It was the fault of the store for allowing carts to be left around the lot haphazardly. If it weren't your tap, it could have been a gust of wind, or someone inadvertently brushing against it, or a squirrel or pigeon setting it off on its wild ride.

If I had somehow ended up listening to the woman ranting, I would have just shrugged and walked away, not tried repeatedly to engage the crazy.

Absolutely, unequivocally NOT. Stores with carts almost always have cart returns all over the lot, as well as employees on regular lot duty bringing them back to the store.  Even if they didn't, personal responsibility comes into play.  If a customer takes a cart to the lot, for goodness sakes, it's the CUSTOMER'S responsibility to secure it.

I agree. Even the most vigilant of stores can have this situation. It's completely the fault of the lazy shopper who left the cart that there was a cart in the parking lot.

Agreed - if people would return carts to the cart corrals this wouldn't happen.  I do think that some stores need to add more cart corrals in their parking lots to make it easier to return carts.

Not to get into the legal issue, but most parking lots I've seen have signs specifying that the store is not responsible for damage done by unruly carts.

Most stores in my area have employees making constant rounds collecting carts - there is never a time when there is not an employee out there rounding them up - or the carts that take a 25 cent deposit to unhook and return the 25 cents upon returning the cart (thus enticing people to return them or collect them them-self). other stores do not allow the carts into the lot at all, only as far as the pavement between the store and the lot. Between these options, carts in the lot are generally not an issue. If the stores supply the carts, IMO, the stores, ultimately are responsible for the carts.

I've never seen a store with such a bad rate of cart returns that they pay someone to constantly chase carts that have been abandoned by lazy shoppers. That's pretty extreme. Personally if I lived in that area I'd be annoyed that I was probably paying extra for my groceries because the store has to employ someone to do something that's the sole responsibility of the shopper.

That's a pretty extreme view.  I happen to agree with AnnaJ. Most of the places I go to have at least 2 people on duty to wrangle shopping carts, help with taking packages out to people's cars, clean up on aisle 4, and other things as needed.  While their main job title may not be "Master of the Shopping Carts", there is always someone available to be called if the carts get unruly.

Bluenomi

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Re: Very odd shopping cart mis-hap . . .
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2013, 11:29:17 PM »
I think the person who couldn't be bothered putting the cart away is at fault.

People do weird things with carts. On the weekend DH and I watched a guy take his cart to a gap between the parked cars, 5 cars away from his, push it up onto the raised part between the cars and dump it. 1 car space to the other side of his car was the trolley bay. It would have been easier to return it properly and he would have gotten his money back. DH and I were wondering why he went to all that effort to dump his trolly. He pushed his cart past the trolley bay on the way to his car so he knew it was there.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Very odd shopping cart mis-hap . . .
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2013, 11:33:24 PM »
Pretty much all supermarkets in Australia employ people to collect trolleys. And yes, we do have trolley bays also!

OP, I think you were extremely generous for preparing to take full responsibility for the damage. At the very most, I think you were only partly responsible for the trolley's escapades. The shopper who left the trolley there, the supermarket (for not collecting it) and the first driver who drove off, all contributed. I personally don't think you were obliged to pay for the damage to the second car.