Archived Cart Attendant

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lifewithtarget

Guest Service TM
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A few weeks ago I had some interest in working in some different areas since I am constantly moving around between a few. I now have my first cart attendant shift. I've only done it one other time in 2012.

So I was reading some forums on here about getting certified and it makes sense now. On that one shift I had, I told the GSTL it's my first cart attendant shift, so he quickly went over the remote, how to turn it on and put carts on it. Needless to say, it went terrible. I didn't know how to back it out of the exit where it's stored when it's not being used. I took the machine and pushed it into the cart corral thinking that the carts would lock onto the machine, then you back it up and go back into the store. That is obviously wrong as one of the poles of the corral almost hit the car next to it. Then, I got stuck in the middle of the parking lot and was having a lot of anxiety. Obviously I want to do my job well, I don't want to do anything to harm the equipment or anything like that.

So, is it okay for me to feel this way. I figured that for a cart machine, someone would come out with me and do a run with me to show me, but he just spit out all this information all at once.

I already spoke with the LOD about doing it by hand and he said it was okay before talking to HR about getting me shifts, so I assumed I am okay.

I will have all 12-4 shifts for the next few weeks, so do you think the GSTL will be irritated if I just push them by hand. I realize it will take longer, but I'd rather be safe, and know I have control, versus hitting a car and having another anxiety attack in the parking lot.
 

paidtosmile

Former Team Leader
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about half of our cart attendants push them by hand, and nobody really cares. You will probably have to hustle a little bit more though. As long as they get replenished in a timely manner you'll be fine.

And yes, you're supposed to go out with a trainer and get some hands on experience with the cart pusher. With a trainer. You don't need to worry about not being able to use it yet, that wasn't your fault. You just didn't get the training you needed right away :)
 

mrknownothing

purveyor of things
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I recently had to cover a closing carts shift, and I got a quick verbal training on the cart pusher. I took it out once and managed not to hit any cars, but I decided I'd rather not do it again anytime soon. Since it was a fairly quiet night, I was able to get by bringing in the carts by hand.
 

buliSBI

Former Team Member
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First off, cart attendant duties varies from store to store. The cart mobiles and pushers operate a little different. The pushers have quite a bit more power.

Training used to be real basic. Usually shadowing another cart attendant until one got comfortable. Then it turned into having to be 18+ yrs old, having so many shifts shadowing another CA, and then the SFTs would be the ones to deem you certified on the pusher.

Your pusher training should cover the manual pusher functions, remote functions, cart capacity, proper clearance for cars, charging, turning radius, reserve cart locations, pusher location when not in use....as well as inside duties.

If you don't sign a document on your cart pusher training, you are not certified and not eligible to use the pusher.

At one of my stores, we never had a pusher capacity rule. Only not to allow the pusher to come to a crawl. We just went down one aisle and came back
another picking up whatever carts, and came right in.

At another store, we used the cart mobiles. I HATED THEM!!! They were extremely underpowered. We could only push up to 25 carts (30 if it was busy). With it being a high volume Super, it was tough to keep up. Once the leading cart gets on the sidewalk then the mobile has to switch to slow. Then the mobile was never to enter the cart door. If the mobile was to enter the building during operating hours, the driving cart had to be disconnected before entering.
And had to be parked next to the roof access tower.
 
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At our store, we have one cart attendant who uses the cart pusher, and the others don't. Honestly, they have threatened to take he cart pusher away from the one who uses it because he is slower than the others. And he doesn't get that when we are down to a couple of carts and need them NOW that he needs to just get a row or two if carts by hand instead of grabbing half the lot and letting us run out inside.
 

paidtosmile

Former Team Leader
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At our store, we have one cart attendant who uses the cart pusher, and the others don't. Honestly, they have threatened to take he cart pusher away from the one who uses it because he is slower than the others. And he doesn't get that when we are down to a couple of carts and need them NOW that he needs to just get a row or two if carts by hand instead of grabbing half the lot and letting us run out inside.

THIS. I have never related to a post so much in my entire life.
 

lifewithtarget

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Thanks guys for the responses! I knew that I didn't receive any type of training. Being told what the buttons are, but not actually going out with me so I could actually see how to use it was bogus, I mean like how am I suppose to drive a car without learning, it's the same concept.

I got carts fine, there was only the first aisle in the store that I kept refilling cause the others were fine and honestly half the time people drop off their carts right before they exit, so I used those most of the time.

The cart attendant that came in 3:30 kept giving me slack about not all the rows being filled and I really wanted to flip him off. I busted my butt and didn't stand around the entire time so sorry that I would like to be safe and actually TRAINED AND CERTIFIED to use the machine rather than take it out with no idea how to use it and possibly hit a car or damage the machine.

Rant over haha.
 
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I tried the cart pusher once. I couldn't figure out a good speed between way too fast and getting too far ahead of the pusher when steering the front. Then I rammed my line of carts into a curb. Then I got it back in and gave it up for pushing by hand.

And now GSAs/GSTLs basically cannot get carts at my store (and I have health issues that prevent it now) so it's no longer an issue for me, thankfully.
 

lifewithtarget

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I don't mind that people like to use it because it is a lot faster, but it's the fact that it's not a necessity. Unless you're moving at a snail pace, it's not hard to keep up and still relax every once in a while afterwards. I mean like I said, it was just keeping that first row, closet to the entrance where it's impossible to keep it full cause people always take from it.

The cart pusher at my store has a vendetta against me. It literally wouldn't move in the parking lot for me and I was stranded there until my GSTL came outside. So, I'd rather know the control is in my hands haha
 

mrknownothing

purveyor of things
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The cart pusher at my store has a vendetta against me. It literally wouldn't move in the parking lot for me and I was stranded there until my GSTL came outside. So, I'd rather know the control is in my hands haha

Watch your battery and make sure you don't hit the emergency stop button. One time when I was helping a seasonal cart attendant, the pusher stopped working. He was getting stressed out, I didn't know what to do - ETL-GE came outside and pulled out the emergency stop and it worked again.
 

Cel

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Not sure what the difference is between a cart mobile and a cart pusher but we have one of these at my store:



Training usually consists of about 20-30 minutes of instructions out in the lot with myself or another team member who's as experienced with it as I am. We have 1 cart attendant but ~5 sales floor/cashiers who are certified beyond the 3 of us who are trainers. Never had our SFT involved in certifying anyone.
 
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I tried the cart pusher once. I couldn't figure out a good speed between way too fast and getting too far ahead of the pusher when steering the front. Then I rammed my line of carts into a curb. Then I got it back in and gave it up for pushing by hand.

And now GSAs/GSTLs basically cannot get carts at my store (and I have health issues that prevent it now) so it's no longer an issue for me, thankfully.

What did your GSAs/GSTLs do to get out of grabbing carts? I really need that to happen for me. I'm spending over half my shift in the parking lot and then frantically rushing back in for calls, backups, supervisor overrides etc. By the end of my shifts I am completely exhausted.
 
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Well, mostly we got a new ETL who wants us available and was horrified we were spending half our shift (sometimes more) in the lot, requiring the front end run itself. When we got my time, we actually ended up with cart attendants on on 95% of the days...and more hours than we ever had for them before outside of fourth quarter.

Then, this be bold initiative and helping the lanes run smoothly and quickly really started to solidify it. Then our guest survey scores tanked in a big way. Mostly at guest services (we all know it's because of a particular GSA) and also fast check out and being bold began to waiver.

So now, we are not allowed to leave the front end without a TL or higher covering for us, and we are not allowed on back up unless it's all hands on deck (which is pretty rare). The salesfloor team hates it because we are no longer the first responder for back up/carts and the LOD isn't thrilled they have to spend time up front covering our breaks and lunches (and cover for us if we have to cover guest services because no one else is trained there).
 
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Getting carts is easy. If you need help, call me! I would do it for you. My new stl is a great cart chaser too.
 
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I trained myself on the cart pusher today since the PDAs were down. The frame is bent though so the first cart kept coming off.
 
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mrknownothing

purveyor of things
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Maybe I shouldn't be posting this here, but I have always been irritated about the cart systems. I think it's ridiculous that people can't just return their carts into a corral or back into the store. Especially when you see someone just push their cart off into the parking lot. I've given a lot of glares over that.

I found this article earlier. Pretty much sums it up.

http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/11/12/attention-shopping-cart-ditchers-look-at-what-youve-done/

YES.
 

commiecorvus

Former Signing Ninja
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Best comment made to this and a great way get people to think beyond their selfish little world.

The next time you are in a hurry at the store and are wishing they would open another line, I hope you will look out the window and see the employees who could be working another register out in the parking lot collecting the shopping carts scattered everywhere.
 

redeye58

Hasta Ba Rista, Baby!
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Best comment made to this and a great way get people to think beyond their selfish little world.

The next time you are in a hurry at the store and are wishing they would open another line, I hope you will look out the window and see the employees who could be working another register out in the parking lot collecting the shopping carts scattered everywhere.
I regret that I can give but ONE "like" to this.....
 

buliSBI

Former Team Member
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Jun 17, 2011
Messages
3,499
Not sure what the difference is between a cart mobile and a cart pusher but we have one of these at my store:



Training usually consists of about 20-30 minutes of instructions out in the lot with myself or another team member who's as experienced with it as I am. We have 1 cart attendant but ~5 sales floor/cashiers who are certified beyond the 3 of us who are trainers. Never had our SFT involved in certifying anyone.
It was a screwed up store. But all TMs had to get a quick overview training on any power equipment (cart machine, baler, Wave, powered pallet jacks, and Crown) from the SFT (or at the time Building Services Specialists).


My first store had traditional but more boxy cart pusher. But the Super (upper MidWest) I worked had the mobile cart machine version.

The cart mobiles were like a single seated golf kart version of the cart pusher. Instead of walking behind the pusher out into the parking lot, you jump into the seat and steer the cart mobile (machine). Just imagine having a seat with a steering wheel and gas pedal in between the attached cart and the battery/drive compartment Apparently they didn't last long, only a handful still use them. They were significantly underpowered, higher in maintenance, and constantly loses remote signal or go with no buttons pressed.
 
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I wish we had the corrals that Wal-Mart has where it's 2 long one ways instead of 4 short dead ends. Wal-Mart always has the most efficient way of doing things.
 
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