We all might remember, some years ago, when supermarket trolleys had locks with chains on them.
To obtain a trolley for your groceries, a coin would be inserted to release the chain.
After shopping, you took your trolley back into the store or into the trolley bay in the carpark, re-inserted the chain and got your money back.
Grumbling was done, but that was the system. Most people accepted it.
You got your trolley, shopped, stashed the groceries in your boot, returned the trolley, and got your $1 back.
It was easy enough, trolleys were always available, nobody seemed to mind that extra little walk to return a trolley.
Then some stores began to give tokens, small plastic discs, attached to a plastic "holder" which could be attached to your key ring.
These could be used in place of the $1 coin to get your trolley.
They were a great idea, as long as you didn't lose your token. Unfortunately, many people did.
Some left them in the trolley, others just lost them. Wasn't attached to your keyring was it? Hmmm? Tsk Tsk.
Anyway...eventually, the trolley locks were removed and the people rejoiced.
No longer would they have to ensure their purse, wallet or pocket had a coin or token to get a trolley with.
Just walk in, get a trolley, shop, return the trolley.
Easy? You'd think so.
Here is where I am (almost) ashamed and certainly annoyed, at my fellow shoppers.
(Not you, I know you always return your trolley. Of course you do. Right? Right?)
Because they no longer had to retrieve precious money from the trolleys, people stopped returning them.
And very bloody quickly too!
Trolleys were left just anywhere, in the carpark, out of the carpark, even taken home and left on a footpath, chucked into a vacant block, dropped off a bridge into a creek.
Empty or sometimes filled with rubbish.
How quickly a good habit is forgotten! Return the trolley? Pfft! What for?
I'll tell you what for.
Returning a trolley ensures a ready supply of trolleys, in the right place, for the next stream of customers.
Returning a trolley ensures that supermarket staff don't have to go out searching all over the carpark to bring back trolleys which should already be in the trolley bays or in the store.
Returning a trolley ensures that it isn't left somewhere unfound, rusting in the weather, maybe having the wheels stolen, or even being taken apart and used as backyard bbq racks.
Every trolley that is stolen and destroyed, costs money to replace.
From what I've heard these trolleys don't come cheap.
So it is with sadness that I relay this news to you.
At a local major supermarket, trolley locks are once again going to be on the trolleys.
For customers this will be an inconvenience. You'll have to make sure you have a coin or token available. Again.
Much protesting will be heard. All of us on the service side of the counter will probably get asked why we have done this, really, it isn't us! (Management's idea, truly!)
Some of you may even still have a token shuffling around somewhere in the bottom of your purse or handbag.
For others, tokens will be made available until supplies run out. Attach it to your keyring!!
Once again, that extra small walk to return the trolley to the proper place will be done.
And we'll all be better off for it. Exercise is good for you.