It all started when I was a lowly courtesy clerk at a local grocery store. Even then, my keen powers of observation were so finely tuned as to allow me to discern an essential truth about the nature of humankind. Human beings are lazy, inconsiderate creatures.
Now, this was the mid-90s. Those can counting machines you see these days were nothing but a fantasy to those of us slaving away our summer days in the dreaded “bottle room.” More akin to a sweat box in a POW camp than a place of employment, the bottle room was a semi trailer attached to the store’s back room by a tiny door. The trailer itself was completely airtight. Ventilation during the 100-degree summer days was something for which its undoubtedly brilliant structural engineer had failed to account.
The bottle room is important to my conclusion not only because it was the primary location of most of my consideration of the subject, but also because it was this hellish sauna to which I willingly retreated to escape interaction with the slothful malady that is the general public.
The catalyst for my intellectual voyage was an ordinary shopping cart. Hard to believe that such an innocuous object could mark the point of departure for an intellectual voyage of such epic dimension, but a genius never questions his inspirations.
I have never understood how a grown man who had proven himself perfectly capable of carrying his trash bag full of beer cans and cigarette ashes all the way to the front door somehow finds it impossible to simply carry the same bag to the back. Apparently, crossing the entrance threshold renders a disgusting bag filled with disturbingly-warm remnants of around the campfire debauchery impossible to bear the extra fifty feet.
Luckily for our intrepid consumer, the answer to his prayers lay mere feet from the point where he left oppressive summer heat for semi-comfortable pseudo air conditioning.
The shopping cart.
Lay down your burden, you hung-over paragon of redneck culture. No longer will your exertions stain the less-than-pristine fabric of your wifebeater. Pay no mind to the fact that at some point someone will be placing food in the vessel of your salvation. No, brave customer, go ahead and dump the noxious concoction within your black bag directly into the cart.
The inability to simply carry the bag to the back is bad, but even worse was most customers’ refusal to return their carts to the front of the store. What’s so hard about that? They managed to push it to the back and now it’s actually easier to move and still they would simply leave it sitting where I returned it to them. Like I don’t have enough to do, now I have to push their abandoned carts back to the front of the store, despite the fact that they are headed there anyway?
I see this laziness everywhere now. Like yesterday at McDonalds, I left my tray on the table rather than returning it to the stack above the trash can and I caught the employee in charge of cleaning the lobby glaring at me.
Lazy bastard, doesn’t he know that’s his job?