Friday, January 24, 2020

A Lesson from the Parking Lot

Carts in parking lots have consistently perplexed me. Call me crazy, it seems simple: use a cart, empty a cart, return the cart to the store or cart corral.

Still, month by month (admittedly, Michael does the grocery shopping for us), I see people leave carts in the aisles of the parking lot, against cars, up on grassy areas, and many places other than in the store's designated areas.

I was frustrated. I moaned and groaned about it. It was exasperation at its finest (or at its worst, really)...

Even though it was my goal to take in many carts, I did it out of flabbergastedness (not that it is a word).

This month, the start of a new year and new decade, it dawned on me that this is my issue. This is my challenge (of many for growth), and it was decided that a new approach would be best.

I did just that.

Oh, I still take in the carts for others. Instead of being snitty or covert, I see that person, acknowledge them as a person who perhaps has a lot on his/her plate, smile and say something similar to "Hello. May I please take that in for you?". The responses have been interesting. Some people seem "caught" and they apologize, and now I sincerely let them know I am happy to do it. Others seem happy to be acknowledged at all. Still, many (I've been at the store more intentionally) give a genuine "Thank you", and, in turn, share a genuine "You're welcome!".

While I am still not "cured" of my near-obsession with people and carts, shifting approaches from one of irritability to service has made the difference in how my Emotional Intelligence, care, and empathy seem to be serving myself and others.

So, if you see me pushing one, two, or yes, even up to four carts in at Publix or Costco, know that this is a form of restitution and joy from a self-inflicted tortured soul to a self-aware serving soul!

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