The holiday season is fast approaching, and it seems that the stores are thus becoming more and more crowded with shoppers. I was taking my elderly mother to shop at the supermarket as I often do on the weekends, and after being lucky enough to get a parking space, saw that the shopping carts were all taken. Now, we weren’t going to get too much stuff from that particular store, so my mother went ahead and picked up a shopping basket, although I figured she would have preferred to have had a cart. I figured that it would not be long before someone would be returning an empty cart to the cart storage racks, so I stood in front of the racks and waited.
I soon saw a young boy pushing an empty cart toward the racks, and he may have realized that I intended to take it, and thus I waited as he came towards me. Before he reached the racks, however, another fellow came up and called out to the boy, “I’ll take it”, and the boy then swerved the cart towards the fellow, who took the cart.
Now, I suspect that the fellow must have known that I was actually waiting for the cart, as the boy was initially pushing it towards me, and was thus faced with a quick little decision to make. Do I say something to the fellow in the presence of the boy along the lines of having the next rights to the use of the cart, or do I keep silent about it? After all, I did not know how the fellow would react if I said anything, and I did not want to get into any kind of potentially uncomfortable interaction in front of the young boy (we would have been setting a bad example, you know), or in front of any of the other shoppers who were gong in and out of the crowed store. And there was the possibility that there may have been a simple misunderstanding in this case.
I ended up figuring that it would not be worth it to make a fuss over a silly shopping cart, and thus held my silence. The decision to speak or not to speak was made in about the time it takes for a yellow light to be displayed on a stoplight.
Now, I feel that I did the right thing , for I’m sure that it would have been silly to possibly end up fighting over the use of a shopping cart, but then again, I will admit that I did not feel good about it at that moment, and that my egotism was hurt a bit… (Was this a case of Cognitive Dissonance ?) After all, people have sometimes gotten into serious fights, even to the death, over silly things such as a parking space! Don’t believe me? Do a Google search on it-
And so I went back into the store, and instead of pushing the shopping cart around for my elderly mother as I usually would, I ended up carrying the shopping basket for her as she shopped. It was big enough for the amount of stuff she bought, and I did not have to push an empty shopping cart back to the storage racks afterwards 🙂