We have four food stores in town: A&P, Shop Rite, Kings and Whole Foods (otherwise known as Whole Paycheck). I pretty much shop at Shop Rite because the vegetables and meat are usually good, it’s economical, clean, closest to our home, and the parking lot is large. Oh yeah. And it’s on the way to the bank so I get a twofer every Monday when I set out on my errand run.
Recently I pulled into the Shop Rite parking lot and two senior citizen transportation busses were already idling at the curb near the exit door. I carefully edged around the illegally parked vans, their drivers out and talking with each other, and managed not to hit Cart Man. He’s the guy whose job it is to travel the parking lot and gather up the abandoned shopping carts, hook them to the motorized trolley and drive them, using a remote control device, back to the front of the store where he lines them up to be used again and again. Cart Man takes his job very seriously.
Driving past Cart Man, I arrived at my favorite row to park (I think fewer people park there since it’s farther from the entrance, and let’s face it, most of us are really lazy.). Signaling left, I started to turn, then hit my brakes. Hard. An elderly woman was pulling into an open parking space between two cars.
Creeping ahead she had slowly turned into the space, then crunched into the side door panel of the car parked on her far side. She must have felt the impact because she slowly back up, cut her wheel hard and took a second go at getting into the space. She hit the front fender of the same car. She reversed again then successfully managed to get into the space without hitting the car a third time. She got out of her car and walked into the store without even a backward glance at the car she had just hit twice.
I parked my car and hustled into Shop Rite. I saw the elderly woman ahead of me in the produce aisle, squeezing melons and looking like she didn’t have a care in the world. I followed her for a few aisles and realized (1) she couldn’t see worth a darn since she kept running her cart into both people and other carts as she made her way up and down aisle after aisle, and (2) she had no intention of seeking the owner of the car she hit. I tucked my cart into a corner and headed back out to the parking lot. I left a note on the car the elderly woman hit. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep if I hadn’t.
Have you had a similar experience? And what did you do? Talk to the person? Leave a note like me?