Mother-of-three Kelly was at the shops on the weekend when she received a very distressing phone call.
It was her sister calling – their mum had been rushed to the hospital after a fall. She raced to her car, frantically strapped her kids in, stashed the trolley to the side and hurried out of her park.
In between, she was calling around to see if anyone could watch her children while she raced to the hospital.
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It was just as she was reversing that she noticed an older woman sitting in her car nearby, watching her. The lady realised she had Kelly’s attention and shouted out the window, “What about your trolley? Are you going to put it in the trolley bay?”
“The trolley is actually the least of my worries,” Kelly said.
The older woman rolled her eyes. “You are disgusting,” she spat out, before speeding off.
Now, I have a number of problems with this scenario.
First and foremost being: if leaving your trolley in a car park away from the trolley bay is the worst thing you do, then you’re a living freaking saint!
And secondly: provided you don’t thoughtlessly abandon your trolley in the middle of a car park where it’s likely to make it difficult for others to park, or in a dangerous spot where it could roll and scratch someone else’s car, then… What is the problem?!
Before the choruses begin of “my car got scratched by a trolley and I had to pay $600 to fix it!” – please re-read my previous sentence.
We can all agree that recklessly parking your trolley any old place is dangerous.
However, the way I see it, there are people paid full time to collect them, which minimises the risk of serious damage. Plus, sometimes it’s helpful to others to leave a trolley in a convenient location (it safely tucked between two parks), away from a trolley bay.
Clearly, I’m siding with the trolley abandoner rather than the older lady. And this is why: most importantly of all, I reckon the old lady missed a massive opportunity.
Because rather than spit out an insult, the nice thing to do would be to notice that a mum is looking really frantic and stressed, and say, “Would you like me to take your trolley back for you?” She had the opportunity to notice a member of the community’s distress, offer some kindness and compassion, and make someone’s day, sending out a little ripple of positivity that could have gone a long way.