If you’ve ever been to the local Stop and Shop, you’ve probably met Marty, and you certainly remember him. Marty has large, wide eyes and a tall, slim body. He has formed many personal connections over the years, and many have always thought fondly of him. But with a closer look, it appears that there are claims of Marty being a useless, irritating worker who only gets in the way.
Marty is a robot at Stop and Shop who roams the aisles reporting any spills or dropped items to workers. His goal is to help keep the store clean, and conveniently locate messes so that others do not have to waste their time. From this point of view, Marty is an innocent being who only means well. However, his fellow employees accuse him of being terrible at his job.
Marty is overdedicated, and unable to differentiate a dropped box from a small grape. Because of this, Marty is known to alert employees over the smallest of spills. Employees have reported arriving at the scene to find him circling around the mess, in an apparent state of distress and panic. Marty’s preferred method of alerting is also screaming about the mess until a worker arrives, which has shown to be disruptive to customers and even terrifying to small children who find Marty intimidating.
On top of this, Marty’s construction costs a whopping sum of $35,000 per model. This fans the flames for Marty’s haters, who call him a waste of money and materials used to create a robot with no value.
One Masuk sophomore, Rebecca Frate, seems to agree with these people, saying Marty is “weird and pointless to the store”.
On the other hand, Shivani Anand, also a Masuk sophomore, seems to have formed a close relationship with him, even referring to Marty as “my best friend”.
At the very least, it can be said that through all his excessiveness, Marty helps prevent customer injury. However, it appears even this may not be true. A customer once had to alert staff about a bag of spilt sugar, because Marty had rolled right through it without noticing anything. A Stop and Shop staff member said Marty tends to miss large hazards often, but is also seen calling workers to pick up small items like twist ties. Thankfully, Stop and Shop decided to use a sum of this money to make Marty bilingual. Now, he can alert workers about a rogue penny in two languages!
Marty was also the face behind a TikTok scandal that occurred earlier this year, when a previous Stop and Shop worker claimed Marty had cameras embedded in him, and security guards could watch live feed from their phones. The TikTok gathered over 600,000 views, opening a discussion about Marty never truly being a force of good. Commenters began to argue, with self-proclaimed Stop and Shop workers calling out the video’s lies, while others fed into the surveillance theory. All the commotion led Stop and Shop to make an official statement, in which they said that Marty is incapable of acting as a surveillance device. However, theories still circulate about whether or not the robot truly is just a cleanup tool.
Marty’s cameras were also brought up during a murder investigation, in which Stop and Shop insisted that Marty did not record videos, even though he had cameras to sense messes on the floors. Unfortunately for Marty, he was under suspicion of being involved in this crime while he was attempting to celebrate his first birthday. A woman charged with conspiracy to commit murder, Michelle Tronis, claimed to have taken a picture with Marty earlier in the day, and tried to use this as her alibi. Stop and Shop did not comment about whether or not Marty could help prove this.
Thankfully, Marty did not seem particularly affected. He was coping through these tough times with a smile on his face, accompanied by a shiny birthday hat and badge. Employees were also seen giving out cake to customers, and balloons filled the store. We can only hope that this helped ease the emotional trauma that Marty had undergone.
The free cake raises questions about if this was Stop and Shop’s attempt at bribing their customers into thinking more positively about Marty, and from social media posts, it appears it generally may have worked. It remains apparent though, that his fellow employees do not enjoy working with the robot. Whether Marty is genuinely a force of mischief, or his employees are just jealous of him, we will never know.