Miss Jeanne, Grocery Shopper Etiquette Expert To The World

by admin on April 8, 2013

I was shopping at Trader Joe’s happily awaiting my turn to browse the frozen foods section. I like to browse the whole frozen case because they often have unusual and interesting ethnic foods. I stopped my cart because a lady was in front of me and then waited for her to proceed.

She didn’t move, and I realized she was on her cell phone. She turned and looked right at me, so I smiled, and she turned away and continued talking. I waited a bit more, then said “Excuse me?” She continued talking. I wasn’t in a big hurry, so I decided to browse a different aisle and come back to this one.

I came back and she was gone by then, so I continued my browsing behind a different woman, accompanied by a teenager, who was moving along at about the same pace as I was. Another teenager approached, and the three of them stepped to the middle of the aisle to chat, leaving the cart blocking my path.

The adult turned toward me once, so I smiled encouragingly, thinking she’d get it, but she went back to chatting. When next she turned, she asked, “Am I in your way?”, and I smiled and said, “Well, yes!” But in a nice way, with a chuckle. She did grab her cart and move it away.

As she pulled her cart away, a woman who had been waiting behind me cut in front to get something out of the case. I sighed loudly.

And that was apparently an invitation for ANOTHER woman to cut in front of me.

I lost it then. I screamed, at the top of my lungs, “ALL I WANTED WAS TO LOOK AT THE TANDOORI CHICKEN! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?”

Just kidding–I laughed. And then I browsed the case and found some lovely spinach dumplings. 0404-13

I freely admit that the grocery store is *the* place I fantasize most about blog posts I’d write on Ehell.    As I push my cart up and down each aisle, I dream of educational videos I would film exposing the common faux pas made by my fellow shoppers. As I ponder my shopping list I am simultaneously composing the video script in my head.   The dos and don’ts of grocery shopping.   I would become the world’s leading authority on shopping etiquette.

My personal favorites are the people who stop dead in the middle of the aisle or to one side and then cross over to look over something on the other side leaving the aisle completely blocked.  I’ll stand there quietly just biding my time until they finally move out of the way.   Lately I’ve run into more people stopping at the end of the aisle or mid aisle to chat on their cell phone completely oblivious to anyone wanting to get past them.    Oh,and the people who meet a friend in the store and clog the entire aisle with busy “get reacquainted” chatter and utterly clueless how they are blocking everyone from going down that aisle.   To me it seems so obvious….wanna chat it up? Get out of the way where you inconvenience no one.

It’s rare but recently I encountered a woman who rushed ahead of me to get into the check out line, realized she had forgotten something and abandoned her half emptied cart to go get it.   The seconds and then the minutes ticked by and there was nothing to be done as half her groceries had already been rung up.   I do not have a temper but this was testing even my patience and I was slowly starting to percolate into  full blown anger at the raw, unadulterated, blatant entitlement this shopper exhibited at the expense of the cashier and every customer behind her.  The mental video scripting went into high gear with me wishing I could have filmed this secretly from a hidden camera in my jacket button.   You forget something once in the check out line?  Chalk it up to your own forgetfulness which the consequences of you WILL NOT inflict on others.   You either get it on another trip or you finish checking out and go back for it and wait in line again.

And my real favorite, the cart abandoners.   They are ahead of me in the check out line, they deposit their purchases on the belt, pay for their items only to leave the cart blocking the check out line requiring me to push it forward and out of the way.

Trader Joe’s is a challenge to shop at due to the small store size, the narrow aisles and the crowds.   I plan my trips right as the store opens at 8 am when the crowds are not as dense.   My lat time there, admittedly not early but later in the morning, there was a field trip in progress!   Yep, a whole gaggle of women on a tour of the store blocking the already narrow aisles while paying close attention to the “docent”.   Lovely.

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