The Certificate of the Esteemed Award for Excellence in Innovation in… Cart Pushing?
June 16, 2012
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Last Thursday, I was drafted to cart pusher from my usual position of cashier. I’ve done this a handful of times. They’d ask me “Hey, for the last hour of your shift, can you help them push carts?” This time, though, I was to be doing it for the entire shift. I was scheduled for four and a half hours ending at eleven at night. This was due to there being only one cart pusher there at the time, possibly due to a call-in or something. An entire Walmart Supercenter parking lot during the evening is WAY too much for one guy, no matter how awesome his beard is. And thus, I was pushing carts that night.
The tools of the job are a high visibility vest and a rope with a hook on one end and a loop on the other. He recommended I take ten carts at a time. So, the normal way to push carts is to get ten of them in a line, hook the back one, stand by the front one and pull while steering the first cart with your other hand. Quite serviceable. But after awhile, the rope is none too comfortable in my hands. At some point, my method evolves into threading the rope through every other cart. This allowed better stability and made it so the carts didn’t bend so much. Once or twice, when there were less than ten carts to be had in a certain area, I would thread the rope all the way through the front of the cart. This made it so I could steer and pull with just the rope. Much later, I eventually tied it to the tenth cart. This made it so I could just pull the sucker along by either the metal “basket” or even the rubber bumpers on the corners. Much more comfortable. Eventually, I took my break.
There was free food, including tiny bags of chips, for whatever reason. I slipped a bag of chips into my pocket before going back to work. I ate the chips as I was walking each time to another cart corral. When it was empty, I stuck the bag back into my pocket. Before I decided to stick the bag into a nearby trashcan I was trying to tie the rope onto a set of carts, when I realized I could just barely make it to the eleventh cart. I could wrap the loop around just barely and stick it back through itself to make a little hole. Now I just needed to stick something in there, like a peg, to secure it. I first thought of the keys in my pocket, but I didn’t want to risk losing them. Eventually, I thought of the wrapper in my pocket. Disposable, flexible, but not too soft. I rolled it up and squeezed it through the hole. It excelled at securing the rope. So, for the rest of that shift, I continued to use my improved cart pulling method.
Maybe I aught to patent it and troll minimum wage workers if they use it? Just like patent trolls are trolling the software industry today.