Cars, Give Us a Brake

We find ourselves in parking lots a lot. We need to remember that caution is the key to not hitting a pedestrian.

There are so many things I love about working at a grocery store. I get to meet tons of nice people every day, I earn a good bit of money, and I’m friends with plenty of my coworkers. Oh, and I almost get hit by a car every few minutes. That’s gotta be the best part.

A big portion of my job involves helping customers take their groceries out to their cars. That, along with retrieving used carts, leads to me spending a lot of time in the parking lot. You know who else spends a lot of time in the parking lot? People who don’t look when they’re driving, that’s who.

It’s not as if I don’t look before I’m crossing the road, because I do. I don’t try to walk out in front of cars, but when I’m pushing a cart full of groceries or moving a line of five carts, I don’t move very fast, and I don’t stop quickly either.

Don’t get me wrong, 99% of our customers are good, courteous drivers. I have seen plenty of people who were more than willing to stop and wait while I crossed the road, and a good number of those people gave me a smile or a wave to assure me that they weren’t mad. Those are the people I like.

The people I don’t like are the ones that almost hit me. Whether it’s the mom and her three kids in her gigantic SUV or the older man in his that’s-obviously-a-mid-life-crisis-car convertible, some people just can’t be bothered to press the brakes. During my shift today, a woman in a minivan made eye contact with me while I began to cross the street, and then she continued to drive towards me. She would have hit me and a man on the other side of the street if both of us hadn’t stopped short. The man and I had a laugh about it afterwards, but it was alarming for both of us. She looked right at us, she knew we were there, but she still didn’t care.

This sort of thing happens a lot, and it baffles me. I really don’t think that it’s too much to ask the people who are sitting in their nice, air-conditioned cars to stop and wait a few seconds until any pedestrians are done crossing the street. The sun is beating down like a hammer outside, and it’s rude to make other people wait in the burning heat while you cruise by because you couldn’t be bothered to stop.

It’s not a huge inconvenience; it’s just a courtesy thing. It’s the difference between making someone else’s life easier and brightening their day, and making someone else’s life that much harder. In my video games I drive however I want, but that’s because I’m busy saving the world from criminals or zombies or something. That gives me priority. I’m pretty confident that lady in the minivan was not on her way to stop a zombie invasion, so she just needs to chill while I cross the street. I won’t take long, I promise.

So, my dear readers, here is our mission for the week: next time we find ourselves in a parking lot, let’s all do our very best not to hit any of the pedestrians. It is a difficult task, I know; we may even have to use the brake pedal, but something tells me we’ll all manage to succeed.

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