Monday, April 13, 2009

Pet Peeves

Many, if not all of us have pet peeves. (Why do we call them peeves and what qualifies them as pet peeves? Does a peeve have to domesticated to be a pet peeve? But I digress.) My pet peeve is people who abandon their shopping cart in the parking lot. How hard is it to put a shopping cart back where it belongs? Who raised these folks? How lazy can a person be? How busy or important do they think they are that they can't return a cart to the place that it belongs?

Whatever you do, please don't try to defend this behavior to me by saying that leaving the carts scattered in the parking lot provides job for the folks that are paid to round up the carts, that these shoppers have a physical limitation preventing them from returning the cart or that there are security issues that require that the shopper leave the cart beside their car. This problem is borne out of a "it's all about me" mentality that has invaded our culture. It smacks of self-centeredness and a lack of respect for others. I think Rick Warren had it right in The Purpose Driven Life with his opening line, "It's not about you."

When visiting friends in Ireland a few years ago, I discovered that Europeans have an effective method for dealing with this. They have a handy-dandy little device that requires you to insert a Euro (coin) to release a shopping cart for use and releases the coin back to the shopper when he returns the cart to it's proper place. Simple, yet effective. I wonder what Americans would think if we were to install those devices on shopping carts here requiring shoppers to insert a quarter to release the cart?

What are your pet peeves and how might we address them as this cart collection device does?

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