During my illustrious career I worked in retail for a short time. The first time was when I was newly married and found I needed to work three jobs to get where we wanted to financially. The second time was when I thought, as a semi-retirement gig, it would be fun to work at Home Depot. One of those bucket list things.
The first gig was in the menswear department at a national department chain store. With the exception of perverts spying on other men trying on clothes in the next cubicle and the odd couple thinking it would be fun to have sex in a change room people were pretty well behaved. You never found garbage stuffed into merchandising racks or left in the change rooms. People would actually come and ask you where the garbage can was.
Then jump forward 40 years to my gig at Home Depot. I was shocked to find that customers felt the displays were just very fancy garbage receptacles. We would find half eaten hamburgers, scrunched up snotty Kleenex’s and to top it off dirty diapers stuffed into merchandise. I even caught one father letting his kid urinate into a display toilet. As the kids say, WTF! Please note that there are garbage cans all over the store and a public washroom.
The biggest offenders are Tim Horton’s customers. By far! Unfortunately we had a Tim’s very close by. From what I heard it is one of the busiest Timmie’s in all of Canada. Good for them. I wish they would send their staff through the store several times a day to clean up all the coffee cups left all over the place. Well actually it’s not their fault, it’s their slovenly customers.
You might think that this problem might be typical in a hardware store. What with all these thwarthy constructions types and all. Not so.
It seems litter bugs have infested our usual grocery shopping destination, the The Great Canadian Superstore, owned by Loblaws. Country Hills location to be specific. I generally find at least six to ten Tim Horton’s cups every shopping trip.
Driving around Calgary you can see hundreds of Tim Horton’s cups littering the roads every day. What is it with Tim Horton’s customers? Why are they so disrespectful? I feel Tim Hortons should do more to educate these louts that it’s evil to litter. It’s an affront to all of us that have to endure their piggish behaviour. Just who do they think they are? Do they feel they are entitled to have some poor minimum wage person clean up after them?
At Home Depot our staff was trained to keep their areas clean. Generally our customers were not subjected to Tim Horton’s trash. Unfortunately The Great Canadian Superstore either does not have enough staff to keep the place clean or it’s not a priority for them. But then again why should we the consumer have to pay higher prices so retail establishments can keep their shelves clean of trash dropped by ignorant people?
Do you have the same problem in your area? While my American readers probably don’t have Tim Hortons in their area I am sure they have other popular coffee establishments. In Canada Tim Hortons is a religion. I’ve heard they have a 70% market share for coffee here. With success comes responsibility.
On the official Tim Horton’s website they express their desire to reduce litter. Here is what they say:
At Tim Horton’s, we are aware of the environmental impacts of our packaging and waste materials. We are attempting to deal with the litter issue in a variety of ways:
- We have anti-litter messages on all of our packaging items, including a “Do Not Litter” message on all of our take-out cups. Sadly, many people do not pay attention to these messages but we continue to work with other members of our industry to tackle the litter problem in a meaningful and effective way.
- To ensure a clean community many Tim Hortons restaurants sponsor local clean up events and activities in their communities.
- We have waste reduction strategies to try and combat litter from its source. Tim Hortons is one of the few quick service restaurants to offer china mugs, plates and bowls to guests eating in our restaurants. This helps to reduce paper waste being created in the first place.
- All Tim Hortons restaurants sell reusable Tim Mugs. And while a Tim Mug may not be a practical solution for all guests it does provide a good alternative. The incentive for purchasing a Tim Mug is that the first coffee is free (coupon included inside the Tim Travel Mug) and each refill gets a 10 cent discount (hot beverage discount applies to any travel mug fill).
Clearly these initiatives are not working. Looks good and sounds good, but the effectiveness is woefully lacking.
It’s time for Tim Hortons to step up and become part of the solution, not just enablers of the problem. Until I see Tim Hortons doing something substantial to re-educate their customers I will not be supporting the Tim Horton’s machine any longer. No more Timmie’s for me.