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Area Meijer staffer will soon return millionth shopping cart.
In reality, the number is much higher than a million.
Dave Esch, a longtime Lansing-area supermarket employee, started keeping track of how many shopping carts he returned from the parking lot when he began working at the Grand Ledge Meijer in 2008. Next week, he’ll return his millionth as a store employee.
“The way I look at it is: It’s a job. It’s not sitting at home. It’s a job where you make money,” Esch, 45, of Grand Ledge, said.
Before taking his job at Meijer, he worked at Target for 12 years, but didn’t keep track of all the carts he returned there.
Family, friends and colleagues from the Meijer, at 730 E. Saginaw Hwy., celebrated Esch and his forthcoming accomplishment with a surprise party and WILX-TV special Wednesday afternoon outside the store.
Esch keeps track of his cart count in a spreadsheet. Each day, after returning home from work, he logs onto his computer and enters the tally he racked up, he said.
“It varies. I could do 400 in a day, sometimes 500,” Esch said. “Only one time have I done 700. Now, that must’ve been a long day.”
At the celebration, Esch’s Meijer colleagues brought him a sheet cake with a fondant shopping cart on top and other snacks. Then, new Michigan State men’s hockey coach Adam Nightingale presented Esch, a lifelong Spartans fan, with a customizable jersey.
Outside of work and watching sports, Esch also enjoys singing with his church choir and taking piano lessons.