carts in parking lot spaces (l&r) young man (c) caption 'POV: you work at a grocery store in SOCAL and you're getting arts on one of the hottest days of the year and no one wants to put them back where they belong'


‘On one of the hottest days of the year’: Grocery store worker slams customers for leaving carts in the parking lot

'I don't understand the laziness.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Jul 17, 2023

California is currently experiencing an extreme heat wave. One outdoor worker has taken to TikTok to call out grocery store customers’ lack of consideration amid the weather.

“Temperatures reached 109 degrees in Palmdale and Lancaster on Sunday, 102 in Santa Clarita, 100 in Northridge, 97 in Van Nuys, 91 in Pasadena and 87 in downtown Los Angeles,” reported CBS Los Angeles on July 16.

This heat has had many consequences. The same CBS news report states that “the hot, dry weather was creating wildfire danger across Southern California,” and “firefighters from Utah and Colorado have been called upon to help LA County officials with any potential brush fire response.”

Despite the incredible heat, many workers are still being tasked with working outside. TikTok user Jake (@jacks_andblack) recently sparked discussion after posting a video detailing his southern California working conditions.

“POV: you work at a grocery store in SOCAL and you’re getting carts on one of the hottest days of the year and no one wants to put them back where they belong,” he wrote in the text overlaying the video. The video shows Jake collecting misplaced shopping carts and returning them to their rightful spot.

@jacks_andblack #fyp #jobsbelike #grocerystores #grocerystoreworkers #people #fypシ #worklife #work #working #customersbelike #carts ♬ original sound – Jake

Jake is one of many TikTokers who have documented the experience of working in extreme conditions. 

Last month, a Raising Cane’s worker slammed the chain for requiring him to work outside in the heat. In August 2022, a UPS worker measured the temperature in their truck, which was over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. An Amazon worker also shared their experience dealing with the heat, claiming that they messaged dispatch with concerns about sun poisoning and heat stroke. They were told to “pick up the pace.”

Jake’s case is particular because his actions would be unnecessary if people actually returned their carts. For context, in the United States, shoppers are allowed and encouraged to bring their shopping carts to their cars after they’ve checked out. Once they’ve unloaded the groceries into their cars, they’re supposed to return the carts to designated areas.

However, that’s not always what happens. Numerous publications such as Scientific American have explored the social science behind why people do not always return their carts, and vigilante groups like the YouTube channel Cart Narcs have sprung up to confront those who leave carts stranded in parking lots.

In the comments section of Jake’s video, users questioned why customers found it so difficult to return their carts while sympathizing with people like Jake who are tasked with picking up after them.

“I don’t understand the laziness,” wrote a user. “I’ve never been ‘unable’ to return my cart even after shopping after a 12 hr shift.”

“Working at a store with carts has made me return every single cart I use,” added another.

“I have dealt with this at two of the jobs I’ve had,” recalled a third. “It’s f*cking hell, especially if it’s big parking lot, it’s absolutely miserable. Please stay safe out there and make sure your job is complying with osha.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Jake via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Jul 17, 2023, 8:29 am CDT