Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Guest Post: Cart-Carriers, Inc. HR Department

     Hello, and Welcome to Cart-Carriers Inc.™ (We like to joke it stands for In-cart-porated). If you’re reading this that means that you’ve been hired to join the fast-moving and exciting world of cart pushing! Many different stores employ our workers to clear their lots, and our records (re-carts) of success are higher than any of our cart-erparts©. Businesses like Lot-sa-Carts™ and Pushin’ Stuff Etc.™ may give us a push for our money but we stand alone, much like that one cart you will eventually be too lazy to go get.

We meet again, my mortal coil.
    Although the cart workers of the world have many names, like Lot Associate, Cart Jockey, Lot Jockey, and Cart Associate (or Cart-sociate©), they all have the same job: pushing in lots and lots (get it?) of shopping carts for the customer’s ease of use, until the customer puts them right back out there in the wrong place, and it starts all over again in a continual (cart-tinual) cycle of passive aggressive declarations of "Let me get that for you".

    Now, before we get started (s-cart-ed) with the rest of your orientation, like the sections on Sexual Abuse (Long story short: don’t do it. We mean that in every sense of the phrase.) and Customer Relations (Try not to yell at them), we thought we might test your mettle with a little thing we like to call…

The Hard Truths© of Carts

1. You will assume any and all b**ch work inside the store
  Being the cart person (let’s face it: cart guy) in any given store means that you will also assume the roles of janitor, tool picker-upper, gopher, message runner in times of walkie-talkie failure, general eye witness, and pop refill guy. You will never be recognized for performing all of this work that’s not in your actual job description.

2. You will not look cool
   If a cute girl watches you push your stack of carts by, she won’t see that you’re pushing 13 carts, which adds up to be actually quite a bit of weight, and that you’re steering them quite well, and she won't understand why that's cool if you begin to brag about it. She’ll see a sweaty dude with a really crappy to mildly crappy job. Just get through your head that sweating and panting are no way to go through life, son. There’s almost no way to look cool in a bright orange vest with reflectors when it’s broad daylight outside. In fact, instead of looking cool...

3. You will look a little crazy
   We here at Cart-Carriers, Inc. ™ don’t judge you. You’re part of our loving family, as soon as you sign a contract (cart-tract) to be paid by this hourly wage. But others may see you for what you’re actually doing, and choose to treat you differently because of it. We’ll just lay it out for you: You’re going to talk to inanimate objects. At some point or another, sooner or later, you’re going to get so frustrated with a broken or defective cart, that you will honestly believe berating it for being uncooperative is going to work or change anything at all. Some of you may even take to talking to the carts with sarcasm, because your straight-forward tough love approach wasn’t working. You will get frustrated because no matter which way you're pushing the stack, the front cart will go in the direct opposite direction, causing you to lean into the push like you're a sailor on rough seas. The only way you can look halfway impressive is if you get to drive some sort of power machine around, which is a problem because…
"Yeah, awesome. YEAH. DO EXACTLY THAT. NO,
4. You won’t get trained for anything
   Let’s face it, your orientation for cart-jockey-ing could be six words long. “See those carts? Push them here.” So it’s not too hard or expensive to train a new you. You’re going to be so replaceable that your employer won’t bother actually attaching any knowledge of worth upon you, lest they have to think twice about your disposability. You will learn things, of course (of carts), but they won’t take the actual time to train you. Employers can hire two of you for the time and effort it would take to train the one. Which is odd because…

5. The person that works before you each day is the laziest on Earth
   You’re going to get to work and breath in a fresh, full breath of asphalt, gasoline, and dead dreams, ready and rearin’ to get cartin’. But then you will find that each and every corral is dead chocked full of carts of every kind, and that inside the store are more ownerless shopping baskets, strewn about the aisles like so many ownerless crying children, also in the store. Then you will find your predecessor in the break room, watching until the seconds tick down to the point when they can get back home and leave you alone to deal with paying customers.

6. You will lose your faith in humanity
   Not all at once. Oh no, it’s much more subtle than that. Our researchers here at Cart-Carriers Inc. ™ have taken the average time until cart-plete soul crushing as about three weeks. Slowly but surely, questions creep up in your mind. “Honestly how can it be easier to push a cart onto the grass islands than into the actual corral?” is a common one. “Who thinks that that is okay?!” is our number one question asked whilst throwing hands up in exasperation. Pretty soon, you’ll believe every customer is out to get you and make your life slightly harder (slightly cart-er), and that adds up. Plus, there will be one time every two months when you have to pick up a dirty diaper someone left in the lot. Like that’s okay.

"This seems like a good place to put this," he thought,
before life (unfortunately didn't)  punched him in the throat.

     So there you have it. If you can get past all these Cart-Carriers, Inc.™ Hard Truths© without weeping, or perhaps are still willing to work through those tears because we’re the only place that bothered calling you back, then you’re ready for a glorious life of not being recognized for doing some of the most physical labor in the retail store of our choice.

Thanks for your time, and get Cartin’!©

Cart-Carriers, Inc. ™ HR De-cart-ment

Cart-Carriers, Inc.™ does not claim any responsibility for rises in depression, mood swings, odd tan lines, a new wardrobe made entirely of briefs and cargo shorts, or excess sweating.

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