Retail Balls Awards: Instead of Returning Shopping Cart to Storefront, walmart Customer Throws it In a Ditch and Gets Confronted By Another Customer




From December, 2010

This Newbie Slave and their mother get a Retail Ball Award for their amazing Random Act of Retail Kindness when they did something about a misbehaving parking lot crusty:

Haven't worked in retail for a VERY long time, but I'm a big fan of the site, so my sympathies stay fresh.

I live in Northern Canada, and right now, it's freezing outside. I feel sorry for a lot of people in this weather, but the poor minimum-wagers who have to run around collecting shopping carts from Walmart and the grocery stores... well, they're at the top of my list. People seem to get really entitled and jerky around the Christmas season, and yes, we're all stressed out, but those people behind the counters and cash registers are people too!

Last night, I was waiting for my father in the parking lot of Walmart, and this man and his girlfriend push their cart full of bags to their truck and load it up. Then, in front of my very eyes - I couldn't believe it - he THROWS THE CART INTO THE SNOW-FILLED DITCH NEXT TO THE PARKING LOT.

Yes. He actually threw it. Picked it up, turned it upside down and threw it into the ditch. The ditch that is 2-feet deep of snow, and it's -30 outside. To make matters worse, there was an employee walking around the parking lot collecting carts at that exact moment. I don't know if the employee saw it, but he sure couldn't have ignored it - he (or someone) would have had to wade into that snow in their cheap uniform and dig it out.

So, having nothing to do at the moment, and my mother with me, as pissed and indignant as myself, and egging me on, I decided that if that guy was going to be an asshole, I would make him (and his girlfriend) feel like crap about it.

So I walked over to the truck, where they were now comfortably sitting, and waved at them.  When they looked, I gave him the finger, and walked into the ditch and wrestled the cart out of the snow.

I called "What the fuck is wrong with you? Do you know that there are actual PEOPLE who have to deal with this crap?" and he stopped the truck as he was pulling out of the parking spot. 

For a second, I thought he was going to get out and come help me, yell at me, or something, but then he started reversing again, and clearly meant to high tail it out of there.

JcAt this point, I'd (somehow) managed to get the cart out of the ditch (and the bottom half of my pants were soaked and freezing quickly), so I pushed it towards the main entrance of the store, cutting in front of his truck on my way and giving him the finger again.

I have never seen a girlfriend look SO ashamed to be with someone.

I swear, she sunk so low in her seat I thought she was going to end up on the floor of the truck while they were driving away. Even my mother flipped them off.

I don't really mind if people don't put their carts in the exact right place every time - I'm totally guilty of shopping-cart-abandonment. But I always make sure that it's in no one's way, not blocking anyone's driving or parking, and won't cause any employees a major hassle to get to it. I can't even IMAGINE why someone would think that it was alright to do something like that.

Retail slaves, I don't tell you this to blow my own horn (even if making that entitled prick look like an asshole in front of his girlfriend felt AWESOME).

I tell you this so you know that even in the chaos and stress of the holiday season, there are still people out there that are really, really grateful for the work that you do to help make Christmas (or your gift-giving holiday of choice) happen for us all.

Happy Holidays!

--Newbie Slave



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Retail Hell Memories: Adventures in Parking


Jason 004

From The Key Oracle:

Many years ago when my host store was really busy and could mostly fill up its parking lot I asked them if I could have one parking spot (out of hundreds) reserved for the key shop and make it a “tow” zone.

This was because either my customers were in and out in less than 5 minutes for keys so the spot was turned over quickly, or because I would need the customer to park near the shop if I needed to do some work on their car locks or program their new car key.

The host said sure as long as I posted a highly visible sign telling the customers that the spot was a tow-away zone just for the key shop and where they could pick up their car if it was towed.

So I ordered up a professionally made sign that said “TOW ZONE” in 6 inch letters with the details in 3 inch letters below. It was a white sign with red letters. It was mounted on the wall centered about 4 feet from the ground at the front of the spot. If you pulled into the spot it is all you could see. The total sign was 3 feet wide by 2 feet tall.

Even so it was a constant struggle. I would often have people park there and turn and walk toward the main store. I would then yell at them to tell them that their car would be towed if they did not move it. After all I did not want to tow anyone, I just wanted one spot for my customer’s to park. Most of them were oblivious to their surroundings and would thank me for the warning and move the car.

However two people stood out.

One swore at me and said that he was only going to be there for 5 minutes and I could not get his car towed that quickly and scooted off. I figured that it was worth the try so I called the towing firm. It just so happened that one of their trucks was waiting for the light to change at the nearest stop light to my shop and he drove up in 15 seconds from my call and the customer’s car was gone in 2 minutes. The customer did not appreciate our efficiency in the slightest.

The other customer was doing a park and scoot and when I told her about the towing she looked at the wall and told me that she could not see the sign.

M: Well then how did you pass your driving test?

C: What?

M: Well if you cannot see a sign with 6 inch letters four feet directly in front of your face how could you see well enough to pass the vision test?

C: Well I can’t see it now.

M: So you are driving your car while blind? How do you not drive into other cars or people walking or trees or light poles?

C: Screw you. (Gets back in car and drives off and strangely enough did not hit anything.)

-- The Key Oracle




Parking Lot Hell: I said do not park here!!


Carolanne2 019

From Former McHell Manager:

I just read the story about people parking in the fire road and it reminded me of a recent-ish series of events that took place at my fast food joint. 

My store owns the parking lot it is attached to (or at the very least, it's in our lease, so it's ours to play around with). No other stores in the area control the parking lot. Now, there is a music store right next to us that throws some money at Home Office for the privilege to use our parking lot and we have absolutely zero issues with that. They pay to use the lot, so no big deal. Our issue is with the people on the other side of the Music Store--The Car Rental Company.

The Car Rental place has a TEEEEEENY TINY lot, and as such will often tell customers "Oh just park at *place*, they won't care". Except we do care. They alternate between us and another fast food place a few doors down from us, who also care that they use the parking lot. We HATE when Car Rental tells people that it's okay to park in our lot.

Now I can see the eye rolls from the people who are going "Who cares? It's just a parking lot". Well, see, if something were to happen to the car in our lot, who's liable for it? And also, especially during the winter time, some of these idiots park in stupid places. Our drive thru lane starts WAAAAY in the back corner of the lot, and someone, apparently one year, decided "Oh, I want to be out of the way, so I'm going to park in the farthest corner". And proceeded to place his car right in front of the drive thru entrance, ignoring all of the drive thru signage. 

We have told Car Rental Company over and over again to stop sending people over to park in our lot. We had our lawyers write up a "please do not use our parking lot" letter and send it to Car Rental. They ignored us. Eventually we got signs and put them up around our parking lot saying "Parking is for *fast food place and music place* only". This didn't stop them from still telling people to park in our lot. So we started ticketing/towing. 

Apparently the local towing company we use will not tow unless the car has a parking ticket on it. So we get it ticketed, and then towed. It's towed right  down the street, less than half a mile, if that, so it's easy for the customer to run down and grab their car. Until they see the price they have to pay to get said car. 

I think we had about five people attempt to yell at us for getting their cars ticketed and towed. "Well -I'M- not the one who's going to pay to get my car back!!!" every single person has essentially screamed. We just shrugged, and explained to them that we have told Rental Car Company time and time again to not direct people to park in our lot, and to take it up with them. Eventually a guy from over there came in and said "Hey, instead of calling *local towing company* when you need to get cars towed, just call me and I will get it towed" which we did not listen to. 

They quickly stopped parking in our lot. I'm just wondering how much they had to pay in towing fees on behalf of the customers.

--Former McHell Manager