i should have found a better way to convey how i felt in each of these situations (it's amazing how sensibility can fly so quickly out of one's head).
Yeah, right? Hard to think on your feet. And hard to think when your head is buzzing w/ all that blood that just rushed there.
I will say, I don't think you needed to worry a whole lot about finding such a terribly polite way to say it. As long as you don't yell, swear, or hit someone, I think you could completely say, "Leave us alone!"
Or interrupt the cashier even as he's saying something to the woman, and say, "No, wait, I'm not happy with her going ahead of me, let me go first now, is there a manager?"
It's OK to sound angry when you are, irritated when you are. (Of course, it's also easy to not realize exactly how angry you -do- sound; I have the instinct to not say anything bcs I don't really trust myself not to be over the top, bcs my filters are flooded with all the blood in my head.)
I just want to say, both of those people were out of line.
Sometimes maybe buy time? Hold out your hand and say, "Wait--give me a minute," and then a deep breath.
Also, I think that you could have said to the cashier, while he was checking you out, "I think you should know--I'm not happy. You made me wait 10 minutes while you checked her out, my ice cream is melting, my kids are fidgeting and *I* was in line first. That was really inappropriate; I'm spending more money, for one, and there are other lines for people with just one item. Is your manager around?"
It's OK to tell someone in a business setting that you are unhappy with the service they are providing. It's feedback. It's useful to them. Again, don't yell, swear or hit anybody. But it's ok to sound upset.