Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Smack Down in the Walmart Parking Lot

Let's have a little Talk Back Tuesday...

I've yakked before how I feel about these spaces.



I personally don't think they're necessary, but I respect a store's right to erect them. Regardless of the Buddah belly I seem to be fighting these days,  I still wouldn't sneak Ebenezer into that parking spot. For one thing, I don't want to get the local tongues wagging. For another, well... I just think people ought to follow directions.

I've been thinking a lot about following directions lately. I don't claim to be perfect by any means, but I at least  try to respect and follow directions, even those for which there's no consequence.

Take those courtesy signs for example. They aren't the equivalent of handicapped parking spaces. You're not going to be ticketed or towed if you use one when you shouldn't. They are on the parking lot honor system.

Sort of like the grocery cart returns.



Does this look like a little yellow cart corral to you? Why no. It doesn't.


I just don't understand why it's so difficult to return your grocery cart.
Really, I don't.



And these festive yellow stripes are not pavement decoration. They are for pedestrians. Tooting your horn at the elderly couple moving as fast as they can across them is just plain rude.


Of course, so is strolling aimlessly across with a cell phone super glued to your head as four hundred cars wait to proceed... 


Is it just me, or does it seem that shopper's courtesy is getting worse by the day?

The express lane means just that. It's for folks who want or need to get in and out with their few items. Just a hint here, but if you have to count  the items in your cart,  it's probably not intended for you anyway. That's not to say that you shouldn't count them. I personally think you should.

Of course, I also think a big old alarm should go off at the 21st item... 

Yeah, I know. I need to work on that grace thing in the express lane. I'm trying. I'm also working on the fine balance between respecting the rules of courtesy without falling into the Pharisee Trap. You know the one, it's where you get all puffed up about following the letter of the law without considering the intent of it.

That's the reason for this ramble today.

I got a little smack down about this yesterday.  You see, I had the chance to "legally" use one of the little courtesy signs.  I was so excited.

It was late in the afternoon, and I was tooling about trying to wrap up one of those annoying errand runs. You know the type... the kind which resembles more of a scavenger hunt.  I had one thing and one thing only left on the list, and it happened to be located at my least favorite place. That's the bad news. The good news is that it happened to be a prescription pick up.

So I was going to get to use one of these things.



Or not. 

As bad luck would have it, they were all taken. I know this because rather than just park the car, I felt the need to circle the parking lot...three times.. in search of a courtesy parking.  By round two, I was feeling just a little bit cranky. By round three, I was talking to myself about all the big fat fakers who were probably parking in those courtesy spaces and not following the rules... like I was. 

And then, the annoying voice that lives inside my head cleared his throat.

Ahem... 

Seriously, Debbie... Can we please get a grip here? Do you need that space anyway?

Sure, you have the right to it, but do you actually need it?  Is that the intent of the thing?  Is it really designed so the scavenger chick can have her privileged parking, or maybe... just maybe is it intended for the sick person or care giver who could use the shortest distance between two points and the courtesy of a well placed parking spot?

Well, oops. I think it's the latter.

So I parked Ebenezer about four spots down from paradise. And then, just to show Him that I got that clue, I pulled out and parked even farther for good measure. I'm kind of an over achiever like that.

Then Debbie and her baby steps headed in to Walmart to pick up her prescription, just a little bit wiser on the topic of parking lot courtesy.


So what about you? How do you feel about shopper's courtesy? Have you ever gotten the smack down about an area of your own courtesy that needed fixing?

41 comments:

Linda W said...

Debbie, this blog couldn't have come at a better time for me due to what I saw yesterday at my local grocery store. This store has probably 6 or 7 expectant mom spots which I, personally, think is a good thing since it seems some moms-to-be have difficulty moving from point A to B as they near the long awaited Big Day.

As I was leaving the store, I noticed a man in his 60's pull into the 'expectant' spot and, being mildly curious, I wanted to get a look at him. Could he be an entry for Ripley's Believe it or Not? As he breezed from his car and headed to the store's entry, I noticed an elderly woman also checking him out. While we didn't speak, we both laughed....loudly.

Debbie said...

Linda, admit it. You secretly hoped that he would have a kidney stone, didn't you? Grin...

Angel said...

Great post and so true! I think most of us secretly stew (and some of us out loud) over this sort of stuff. I, like you, am a firm believer in following the rules. But I also have to admit to a little Pharisee rising up in me from time to time. This is a great reminder to pause and ask myself if my "rights" excuse me from showing courtesy to the uncourteous. We all need grace...especially in the Walmart parking lot! :)

Kathryn Ross said...

Me and parking lots. Not always a happy combination. My husband purposely parks the furthest away saying that it's best to give others the opportunity for a closer spot - they may need it more than we. He's funny like that. Walking is good for me - he says.

I, on the other hand - don't like to waste my time walking through parking lots - and especially if I have a number of parcels.

Through the years, though, I've mellowed. Sometimes, tooling around waiting for the choice nearest spot can turn an otherwise fun shopping trip into a crank-fest.

And - I feel guilty if I don't return the cart. Not that I do it all the time - but - when I don't - I do feel the twinge - of "should've done."

Joy!
Kathy

Kelley said...

We park as far away as we can, so we don't have a problem there. However, for 60 year old men who park in the Expectant Mother's spot, the whistle should be blown.

Today's American culture needs a discretion revival. And a good dose of anti-laziness. And respect for others. And... oh, never mind!

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm said...

Debbie -- I LOVE this post!! I think that Aldis store have the ticket -- charge a quarter for the use of the shopping cart and somehow they always get returned correctly so the quarter is retrieved, lol. I always park as far away as possible (much to my children's dismay, lol) to add steps to my pedimeter...and I work off some of my parking lot pet peeve aggravations :)

Blessings!
Gail

Shanee said...

Oh my Debbie...you have certainly stepped on my rule following, pontificating toes with this one! lol I will have to spend some quality time today in prayer since I have a tendency to rant, rave and stew for hours over the lack of common courtesy in our society. My children will thank you for putting me on notice :)

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Oh I am laughing tooooooooooooooooo hard...can't you tell that means I soooooooooooo understand this.

I heard Joyce Meyer's tell her story that God won't let her get by with anything. She has to always put the carts away. One time she decided to throw her can drink into a cart instead of the trash can....well you guessed it...she missed and had to get out of the car and chase the can across the parking lot to put it in the trash.

Some how I never get by with anything...my kids laugh because they know that, but I also can be the biggest Pharisee...maybe because I don't understand why my kids can cross the line and not get caught...but not me the "rule keeper".

Meet you at the parking lot....I will show you some courtesy.

Debbie said...

Oh I really enjoyed this...for some reason I just have always been a rule follower, haha, sometimes to the annoyance of my kids. But I just could never make myself park somewhere I am technically not suppose to. However, I have a handicapped sticker now (due to my arthritic knees) and I an amazed at how often there is NO handicapped spaces to be found. And while I have been sooo tempted not to walk my cart over to where it is suppose to be I just can't make myself do that either, haha. Have a wonderful day...

Anita said...

I think courtesy in general is just plain lacking. I think kids are not being taught basic manners. Then I see them with parents who are just as rude and ill mannered. I don't know. I think we are taking steps backward as a society. I still cannot imagine going into Walmart in my pjs, or worse yet, walking my kid into school in my pjs. What that has to do with parking, I'm not sure:-)

Babs said...

Debbie, Don't get me started! My main pet peeve is that people don't return the carts to the corral, or the store...which ever is closer. Usually, at the grocery store here, someone takes, or will offer to take, the cart to the car for you so it isn't much of a problem. WalMart is a whole other world..er story.. and heaven help you if you have to go there on Sunday.

Sonja said...

This is just great!! I agree!!
I read it earlier, and just now had to go to walmart. I was smiling inside thinking of you as I, with my halo sitting very intact, proudly walked my cart 2 rows over to the cart place. :)

Sharlotte said...

I am right there with you on these issues! The grocery cart is a pet peeve...but my worst is the misuse of handicapped hangers and parking places!

Chatty Crone said...

I agree with you - and I was just talking to a friend today - what about non smoking areas and designated smoking areas? I pass through a tons of smokers who are not in the designated area and get so much smoke in my lungs I cough!!!

People - do what you are supposed to do. I am a rule follower too.

Sandie

longtodolist said...

My fave is when people can't just listen for the click that their car has locked. They need to click again so their horn beeps - usually as I'm walking in front of their car and it scares the stuff out of me. Shopping is just an excersise in seeing the rudness, laziness and it's all about me attitude of the human race. Very discouraging and getting worse. Can't imagine the world my kids will have to manuever one day. I know in the future, I will be run over with my walker trying to cross from the parking lot to Walmart after not being able to park in the handicapped spot because there are 3 carts sitting there. Then the kids will just put me in the home...

Alycia Nichols said...

I am SO like you in this respect!!! The signs are there for a reason, people....figure it out and act accordingly!!! I see VERY able-bodied people pull into handicapped spaces on a regular basis. It makes me so mad!!! I have lower back problems that have me bent over like a $2 prost....well, you get the picture! Anyway, I have back problems that are VERY painful, but I don't have a handicapped sticker. So, no matter how bad my back is bothering me, I still park where I'm supposed to. Even in the cold and snow and rain. It may take me 1/2 an hour to get to the store's door, but I'm following the rules! I was at a mall this afternoon and this guy was - as you described - sauntering down the middle of the parking aisle mindlessly yakking on his cell phone instead of moving his behind over so that cars could get through. I ended up just parking further away - which is OK because I'm fat and need the exercise - but actually BEAT this guy into the store!!! He was walking THAT slow!!! I wanted to put a hurtin' on him SO bad, but I fear being killed so I let it go. What made it worse was that once we were all in the store, his 5,000 unruly children were running around like banshees and getting in all the shoppers' path - mine included! - and he never once said a thing! His wife was so off into her own world that she never made a peep either. Can ya tell I was a little bit ticked???? And don't get me started on the lazy people who don't return their carts. I either put it in the stall where it belongs or walk it back to the store. I don't want my car or anyone else's getting dinged because I'm too lazy and crazy to return my cart!!! America is the fattest nation on earth. We need to return our carts and then walk it back to our car and then walk it back to the store again just for the exercise!!!!!! I'm done now. Have a good night! :-)

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Oh Deb, I am a rule follower no matter where I am, it the stop light says don't walk and there is not a car for miles I wait until the little walk man comes one! Your last post was FABULOUS Chocolate...I mean this, write a book!

Carol

Mevely317 said...

Ooooh, Debbie... This has hit me like a laser. (Fist-pumping over here!)
Hubby says I should just relax and not let the "little things" get me, but, hey, they do.
It's so sad that common courtesies seems lacking; that it's some kind of twisted "cool" to ignore the rules.
WONDERFUL post!!!

Gaby said...

Well, I'll get you all riled up but I am one of those people who does not always put the cart back in the cart line! However, hear me out and have compassion next time you see a cart out of place:
When I go to WM I try to park as close to a cart return place as I can because I have two little kids. If I can't find a spot near one of those cart-holders, I have to either leave my kids in the car alone while I walk the cart back (bad news!) or walk with the two of them across the parking lot which always scares me. So, when I have to, I will place the cart in one of those grass islands (never just in the parking lot) near my car to avoid either scenario. If you have a better idea, please let me know. I am open!
Also, don't you hate it when God calls you on your Pharisee-like attitude? He does me all the time! :)

FrouFrouBritches said...

Oh, this is such a double whammy for me. If there is one thing, okay two things I can't stand, it's people who are RUDE and INCONSIDERATE! I AM guilty of counting my items and going through if I have 20, but only if they aren't busy. If I have 21, I'm going to another lane.

What ever happened to the Golden Rule? I have to consider that if I had a serious ailment and had a hard time walking, I would "appreciate", but not "expect" a handicapped spot. Ya know?

BUT, on the other hand, when I am in a hurry to get somewhere and Hubby is driving and letting 20 people go in front of us, it drives me CRAZY! Let one go, maybe two, then let someone else be nice. We've got places to go. I think it's God trying to teach me patience.

Sonja said...

P.S.... during that wal mart trip today, I bought Tres Semme... maximum hold. :)

Debbiedoo's blogging and blabbing said...

Don't even get me started! Why is it Walmart is always involved in our stories LOL! I am a stickler on the carts too, it certainly is NOT a big deal to put them back. I once had one rammed in my car and I was not a happy camper. You are funny...I needed a smile right now.

Debbiedoo's blogging and blabbing said...

I wanted to tell you as well, you last post was great,that story was very touching.

elizabeth said...

Over crowded stores and parking lots and rude shoppers equals crabby me. I share your pain. I need to be better at reminding myself to be conscious of who I come in contact with that Jesus might be wanting to touch through me.

Ms.Daisy said...

Debbie,
I laughed out loud (and I had been cranky all evening too) over your rant. I've had all those same thoughts as you and parking lots are not my favorite things. We had just had a sermon on Sunday about the two greatest commandments, one being to "love thy neighbor..." I was in Kmart's parking lot on Sunday afternoon when, as I was backing out of my spot, someone rudely zoomed past me to back into the perfect parking spot. I could feel the steam start to pour out of my ears when a thought popped into my little pinhead: "Love your neighbor." Message received as I left the parking lot a little calmer and wiser.

~Jean
Thanks for stopping by and leaving your lovely comment on my kniiting project.

Jennie said...

I have a confession to make. For some reason, this feels like the right place to do it. After picking up the kids the other day, a pickup with two teenagers flied up on my rear in a 30mph zone (I was probably going 33). I let them pass me, rolled down the window (after noticing their's were down too), and shouted "IT'S A SCHOOL ZONE!!!!!" Ben, dumbfounded from the backseat, piped up, "You just rolled down your window to shout THAT?" For some reason, I feel the need to turn into Gomer Pyle when I see these types of flagrant disregards for the rules. (Don't get me started on the pickup line at the school.) "Citizen's Arrest!!!"

Anyway... I think it's more important for me to realize that I am not without fault myself. To use the disregard as teaching tools for my kids. And to not replicate the mistakes myself at some other time. I try to give the benefit of the doubt (maybe while they were putting their cart up, they got an urgent phone call about a dying family member), but I'm jaded. I can't lie.

Long story short (or at least not any longer), I definitely think it's about *me* and not so much them. How I react to the ignorance is WAY more important so as not to contribute to the problem. ;) (Preach it, sister!)

Jennie said...

PS - Even though it seems that I'm perpetually "with child", I can't bring myself to park in those spots. I think it's a pride thing. (Did you read the bathroom stall thing on my post a while back?) Sam thinks I'm silly.

renee @ Singing With Birds said...

Since when does it only take 15 minutes to pick up a prescription at Wallys? I'm with you, although I am impressed, the folks in my new city are amazingly courteous and polite for the most part.

Hope you got your fix of chocolate while waiting...I got mine Sunday!

The Decorative Dreamer said...

The smack down for me came from my employer, we HAVE to park all the way at the back end of the lot so our customers get all the closest spots. Now I have to plan my time accordingly to walk ALL the way across the lot before clocking in. Shew! LOL! My Mr.always parks far away and makes me walk. He doesn't want his car getting dinged and he cringes when I'm driving and whip my car into the closest space. I don't even look at whose in those designated spaces anymore because surely I will see a rule breaker. I try to follow rules myself and generally expect the same of others. I get really irritated with those who can't even put the carts into the coral and leave them smack dab in the middle of the only space available in a crowded parking lot. Or worse when you go into a store and come out to find a buggy jammed right next to your car that wasn't there when you went in. Or worse people who park their car so close to yours you can't get in! Walmart is the worse for all of this, but let's not go there! Great post!

The Decorative Dreamer said...

Ooops! Sorry that was a whole lot of worse's in one comment there. haha!

I just went back to read your previous post that I missed. I love the connection you made for studying The Word! Tasty morsels indeed!

Denise said...

Serious rule follower here, too. Put your cart away people. It doesn't take that much effort. There are some places that don't have a cart return and that drives me crazy as well.

I don't think anything bothers me more than someone who is NOT handicapped parking in a handicapped spot. I guess they "borrow" the sign or something. Especially when the Duchess can barely walk into the store and she doesn't have one. (I think she needs one, BTW).

Nice gentle reminder that sometimes we need a little smack down. Not one of us is perfect. As always, I enjoyed your post.

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I wonder if anyone has parking lot courtesy anymore....of course, the young person running in from the Handicap parking does bother me.

Hi, I'm Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I really like the idea of an alarm going off on the 21st item as I am always the one holding A BOX of toothpaste behind someone with 46 items. The look at me and keep going instead of saying "Oh just one thing? Please go ahead.
I do have to say that I do like the expectant mom's sign. With Sweet Boy I was on bed rest for the majority of the pregnancy and to much walking brought on labor.

Marlis said...

Can I add to the list.. like driving your cart down the middle of the aisle and then being upset because I who is on the side is in your way? or driving the cart on the wrong side of the aisle.. and I have to choke back the words, I expect you drive that way too. Yes,, please count your items and please don't put 56 items through the 10 items or less line. Okay ranting aside.. I agree with everything you said. And I park out in the boondocks to prevent door dings, and buggy dings, and rude people. Oh have a great day! xo marlis

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Debbie, you are so right. Courtesy is a thing of the past. For years, I've been saying that our public schools need to require a class in courtesy. When you are like us -respecting the rules, these days, it becomes a disadvantage. The shopping carts left on the lot are so annoying. I'm as annoyed at the store as the person who is checking out if they are in a "maximum" check out line. If the store is going to put up a sign, then their employees should enforce it by not checking out someone who has more than the # of items allowed (love your idea of an alarm). I'm also amazed at the # of shoppers who park in the "fire lane" in front of a store. Of course, you see a lesson in everything (unlike me). You did deserve to park in one of those prescription pick up spots, and I'm sure you're right - some of those cars were NOT 15 min prescription pickups. I just can't figure out why there are some people who think they have the need and the right to break the rules just to save themselves a few steps. OK, I've obviously learned nothing from the learning experience you shared in this post. I'm still ranting. Good post. laurie P.S. Your chocolate chip lesson did not go over my head. Another great post.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I must be living in a different world, Debbie, but I've not seen that! What is that about??? What about OLD people. It's harder for us to hobble than some young pregnant thing.

And the thing that really sticks in my craw is the cart thing. Okay, I can understand if it's pouring rain or flaming hot, but right now, it's NICE. So put the cart where it belongs!

It's such fun to give our opinions.

XO,

Sheila

Sharon said...

You know, I could let my parking lot pet peeves and aggravations bubble to the surface and respond to this post a lot easier if I wasn't laughing so much. The parking space thing - yeah, totally get it. The cart - yup, that too!

I'll tell you one thing that really puts my bonnet in a dither, too - maybe it's more of a problem here in California. We have the RUDEST bicycle riders. They act like they own the road. They totally disregard stop signs or yield signs - they blithely cut in front of you with this little low-down "hand wave" thing they do that passes for a "signal." Case in point, some guy did the wavey thing AS he was turning in front of our car the other day - we were less than 3 feet away from him, and traveling about 45 miles an hour. Husband laid on his horn, and the guy moved over INTO our lane even more. Husband laid on the horn again, and slammed on the brakes. Bicycle guy then proceeds to move his bike IN FRONT of our car so we can't pass him, and starts yelling at us. Husband goes around him (in a "making a statement" kind of way), and the guy hits my passenger window with his fist as hard as he could as we passed by.

My goodness, did you touch a nerve or what?! I am not a fan of ROAD RUDE!

Sorry about the soapbox...

Lisa Maria said...

You have definitely hit on my pet peeves! I am a rule follower too and all the things you mention aggravate me no end. The driving in my country is disgusting.. no regard for rules or laws, no courtesy and absolutely no consideration. Its one of the banes in my life actually... I actually envision myself taking some form of action under the influence of 'road rage'... then I come to my senses! The other day after ranting, as usual, about the 'road rude' as Sharon above said.. the Lord smacked me too. He said if I could control my tongue while driving I'd conquer it for sure! Oh my! Really enjoyed this post.

Maryann said...

Can't tell you how many times I have been guilty of the "righteous indignation" behavior, especially in the checkout line behind someone who isn't following the rules.The Lord will use those opportunities to show me my own bad response...(that is when I not so wrapped up in being annoyed)

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

Yep -- another rule follower here. Seriously people ... put away your carts, drive in the RIGHT (slow) lane if people are passing you, pick up the pace at crosswalks when cars are waiting on you, speak quietly if you HAVE to talk on your phone while the plane is boarding or while you're in public, pay attention to your children when you're with them rather than yakking on the phone while they tag along, hold the door for people walking right behind you... OK, I'll stop -- because I've been smacked down more times than I care to share, and I'm better than I used to be. Really, I am. I've noticed that courtesy isn't "lost" on people when they experience it. In fact, they seem to appreciate it (even though it sometimes shocks them). But courtesy definitely seems to be a "lost art" for many people. Surely we can find a way to balance the expectation of courtesy with grace. To give up on expecting courtesy doesn't seem right. We've still got to teach it by example, don't you think?

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Debbie, I think we may have been twins separated at birth. Girl, you just wrote down the wokkkking that goes on in my head... and, yes, I do get the smackdowns on a regular basis. ;)

Love the Hooters!!

On the Exodus thing... I know there were no comments, but do you ever get to thinking on the heart hardening part??? Do you think Pharoah would have continued to be obstinate without the heart hardening??? How does that fit in? Does that happen to us sometimes? Can you help it if that happens? Why did God do that? To make a bigger point to his people? I can get my little mind circling around and around with questions... then I have to re-boot to 'trust not in your own understanding....'

blessings to you, Debbie. I do so love your writing. Tanna

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