April 10, 2012 The Asset Queen

Awesome people (who put away our freakin’ shopping carts!)

You already know I have a ginormous pet peeve about not returning your shopping cart (“wagon” to my fellow New Yawkas) to the store, let alone to the convenient cart rack that’s just 2 spaces down from your parked car. Don’t even get me started!

My pet peeve has led me to make 2 amazing discoveries:

1. A $3,000 electric shopping cart returner (I kid you not)
2. Thomas Garces

I discovered them both at the even-more-amazing Super Walmart! (Don’t knock it till you try it; in a future blog post I’ll reveal some awesome healthy and even organic products that you can purchase at Walmart for dollars less than everywhere else!)

So there I am stocking my trunk with groceries and toiletries, and ready to return my shopping “wagon” to the convenient rack — when I get this strange feeling that I’m being stalked by “Wall-E,” that infamous robot that I love so much. Only this one wasn’t as cute and made a lot more noise.

Shopping cart retriever
The “operator” of this noisy robot was a man named Thomas Garces and you know I had to interview him.

Thomas Garces
Thomas explained to me that this machine costs $3,000 -– and its sole purpose is to retrieve carts that lazy shoppers don’t return to the convenient racks but instead leave all over the parking lot. (I added in the “lazy,” mind you; Thomas is much nicer than I am.)

Pause and think about this for a moment and reflect on what this says about us! Someone actually had to come up with this invention to support this “lazy” habit of ours: a very pricey machine to assist the employee whose primary purpose is to round up all the stray carts scattered throughout parking lots!

These carts are scattered because Americans just don’t feel like walking a few extra yards to be considerate and get a little bit of movement that their bodies crave:

Shopping cart

I mean, can you believe this:

Shopping carts
As a result, Thomas and his robot are employed full time to clean up our messes. And yes, we are paying higher prices for groceries to cover the cost of both of these men (actually, I can't confirm robotron's gender, but I will refer to "it" as a male.)

I want Thomas to have a full-time job. He’s an awesome guy and really appreciates his job. I know most of you have certain image of a Walmart employee; Thomas is nothing like that!! He has a huge smile on his face and he takes pride in the fact that he has “racked” up 300-500 carts per day for more than 30 years! He had no problem letting me interview him and his robotic assistant. 

It should come as no surprise to you that Thomas is in awesome shape. He literally moves his assets (even with his remote control robot) at least 8 hours per day! He is close to 50 years old and has not an ounce of body fat on him. (OK, it doesn’t hurt that he's a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu!)

So, here are the 2 lessons I want you to take away from this: 

1. If you don’t put your cart away, someone will do it for you and be in a lot better shape than you are.

2. Don’t knock Walmart and some of its fabulous employees till you really try it!

More about point #2 in an upcoming blog post!

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