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If You're Having a Bad Day, Please Don't Do It At The Grocery Store!

Updated on November 6, 2014

Look Familiar?

For those of us who haven’t figured out how to live an entirely self-sustainable life, trips to the grocery store are inevitable. Whether it is a quick stop; in and out or an all-out "Mama's gotta stock the cupboards" kind of trip, it can be a frustrating experience. It doesn't seem to matter how long I've been going to the grocery stores, the same behavior seems to exist. I have some ideas on what we could do or should do to make shopping a little more enjoyable.

If all else fails...

Parking Wars

Sure, most of us probably don’t want to walk a half a mile to get in and out of the grocery store, I mean after all, think about all the calories that we already have to burn while we’re shopping. However, I also think that it is a little unnecessary to circle the parking lot 15 times, thinking you might have just spotted a free space become available, only to rush to that row in time to find someone else beat you there. But no, you won’t give up you’re a persistent little parker, you’ll circle the parking lot for another few minutes determined to get that “I guess this’ll have to do” parking spot. In the meantime, children are being shielded by parents in the parking lot, old people with canes and walkers are stutter-stepping, unsure if it is safe to cross and you’ve wasted 15 minutes in the parking lot that could have been used in the store. My suggestion: Pick a row that is suitable to the side of the store you are looking to gain entrance, drive up the row from the face of the store and simply take the first space available. Who cares if it is 15 parking spaces away from the door, you’ll find your way in, I’m sure.

Shopping Carts

Choosing a shopping cart shouldn’t have to be a selection process. I’m sure we’ve all experienced the shopping cart with the wobbly wheel, or the poorly aligned cart that pulls on one side, or the cart that has a discrepancy on a wheel so it makes a cute little noise that notifies shoppers you are coming their way. If we even bother to take the time to find that “right cart” we usually get no further than 10 steps away to realize that we actually didn’t find the perfect cart, forget it! There really isn’t any point in trying to find a good cart because they rarely exist and it will more than likely waste time trying and you’ve already lost so much of it in the parking lot. Personally, I think shopping carts need to be redesigned. New carts should include bigger wheels like the kind on a baby stroller. The carts should also not be made of metal as they tend to get rusty after being confiscate from the homeless people. Rubber would be a good solution to combat this issue as it will also help address the damage done to vehicles in the grocery store parking lot due to runaway carts.

Can you hold it?

I don’t know that anyone plans on or looks forward to using public restrooms. Unfortunately, the longer we’re shopping or a long ride to the grocery store just may result in us needing the bathroom facilities. I would assume that at home, most people don’t pee on the seat or throw toilet paper all over the floor, so I don’t know why it’s so popular in public. For the people who decided to go grocery shopping on a day they have explosive diarrhea, I am sorry. I am sorry that you aren’t feeling well, but after using the restrooms after you, neither am I. I understand it could happen to any of us, but can you at least flush it? On the plus side; I have trained my children to hold their breath for up to 2 minutes.

Rude People, Dumb People and Bumper Carts

I am about the world’s most patient shopper; call me sick, but I generally enjoy shopping. For those people that don’t find the same pleasure in shopping, please don’t ruin it for me. When you run into me with your cart, I apologize and you look at me like “You better be sorry”. Did I miss something? Then some of you feel the need to just barge through and smash into my cart, sometimes resulting in having the wind knocked out of me and yet, you never say a word. You cut in lines and you step in front of me to get to the canned goods. If I can say excuse me, pardon me, thank you and I’m sorry; it shouldn’t be that hard for you. If you are pushing your cart up the middle of the aisle and decide that you’re going to window shop for Tuna Fish for a couple of minutes; can you pick a side and nicely move your cart there? These are simple rules; if we all follow them we should all have a more relaxing trip to the grocery store.

It says 20 items or less!

20 items or less, okay, I’m willing to forgive a few items above the threshold, but I shouldn’t have to stand in line with a bottle of cough syrup and hacking child, waiting to cash out for 15 minutes behind someone who clearly can’t count or add. There should be an alarm and a PA that beeps flashes and announces check outs above 30 items “BEEP BEEP BEEP! THIS CUSTOMER IS A LIAR OR STUPID!” That just might prevent them from creating this selfish faux pas on the next trip to the grocery store and it might just deter a potential check-out offender right there on the spot. Look around as the alarm is sounding and the customer’s face turns a lovely shade of red at the grocery carts that are doing U-turns with their heads down praying that no one is looking their direction.

Grocery shopping is just about unavoidable. If we all stick together and try to follow some of these simple rules we might just see a change in humanity; a chance for a better life. Don't we want a better life? It's up to you.

Grocery Shopping and You

Is Grocery Shopping Enjoyable?

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Kind of silly, but you get the point. Leave the hostility at home!

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Do you know how I survive shopping? I don't go! LOL Those people scare me. They look a bit crazed if you ask me, and the meanest of them all is the old women. They will take off a chunk of skin from my shin and not even blink.

      Great fun, Cat! Thanks for the laugh today.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Do I know how you survive shopping? Yes, you go to your Educational Eco Farm! I don't get easily stressed by strangers; the people in my house are better for that. But some of these people in the grocery stores seem like they decided to go shopping on the same day they decided they don't want to live anymore! Why are people so angry? Sure the price of milk upsets me too but there is no need to take it out on other shoppers. I'm pretty certain I've left the store with a bloody ankle before; but I always make sure to apologize for being in the way. :-)

      Thanks for the comments.

    • agapsikap profile image

      agapsikap 4 years ago from Philippines

      Hi, Cantuhearmescream! I really enjoy reading your hub.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Thank you agapsikap!

    • Junegirl58 profile image

      Lor B 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Great hub Cantyouhermescream! I actually commented on a similar hub about grocery store "etiquette" , it's quite funny and enlightening reading all of the comments that people encounter on their visits.

      Having worked at a grocery store before and presently still in retail I couldn't resist adding a couple comments :)

      If you want you can visit "Grocery Checkout Etiquette by hubber FreeCamping Aussie.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Junegirl58,

      Thank you, I'll be sure to check it out! I hope mine was quite different from that Hub; I wasn't aware of it. I had all small stint working for a grocery store; behind the counter survival tips could be a hub of it's own! Thanks.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Well Cat you are not only the funniest lady in hubtown you are also one of the most truthful as well with your uncanny and astute insight into what makes people tick and how we relate to each other.

      You have a well trained eye for the absurd and the ridiculous in life but also the heart and mind of an investigative journalist too.

      And you also have one of the greatest BS detectors in the hub business , lol.

      I have a good guide for anyone who wants to avoid long line-ups and miserable people in general. Go to an all night grocery store at 4 in the morning like I do - I own the store - no one is in there except discount ghosts and a stock clerk drinking out of a brown bag , lol, but of course I was just coming out of work so it's a good time for me to shop.

      I am sending to you a Canadian high five from two hands and four paws courtesy of Colin and his cats on this Friday evening at lake erie time ontario canada 10:10pm

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Oh Colin, you must say that to all the ladies... that's okay, I'll take it anyway ;-)

      You and I might just be able to carpool, for I too like the middle-of-the-night shopping.

      Hey, if all those miserable people shopping during the day have such a distaste for fellow shoppers then why aren't they frequenting the aisles at night? I think they secretly find some pleasure in it. But hey, all the more room for you and I! Thank you again my sweet Colin!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      I think Colin has the right idea here joining the post midnight grocery shoppers. It seems best to avoid the store during peak hours when all the after work shoppers, tired from the long work day, are taking their frustrations out on other people. My best tip is to try shopping at 8 am on a Tuesday. The store is practically deserted!

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      PegCole17,

      I'm a night owl anyway, so shopping in the middle of the night is a regular occurance for me, but I'm despite the fun I'm poking at grocery shoppers, I don't get easily frustrated. I actually watch people in amazement over how little patience they have. I do have to admit, it does make for a smoother shopping experience when nobody is in the store. Early Tuesday mornings? I'll have to test that theory. Thanks for the comments! :-)

    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Hi Cat, I had to read this since I have my own peeves from the store and they usually involve my young children. I was cracking up reading this because it is ALL so true! I lack patience BIG TIME in all aspects of life and find that my mood worsens after a store visit.....UNLESS I'm child free, and the store is deserted.

      How about the "child" buggies that have cute cars attached to them? My kids just LOVE these and get ticked off when they are occupied. I hate them with a passion since the darn things don't fit right when unloading the buggy at the register. I always get angry looks from people behind me!

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      vandynegl,

      Thanks! I have to admit, my shopping has become a little less stressful since my kids have gotten a little older (but I still try to plan my shopping visits so that I have to take them). Even at 12 and 8 they find a way to annoy the snot out of me. Then again, one kid is a breeze, it's when I have them together that I could pull my hair out! When I do have them with me, I usually start my shopping trip by letting them pick out a piece of fruit to eat in the store (I was told by an employee a WalMart years ago that they can have a free cookie or piece of fruit each visit, I don't know if that ever was true or is, but I push the fruit... and the longer it takes to eat it, the better)!

      How could I not have mentioned those stupid buggies? Both those and the carts with the huge blue extra seating attached to them are hazards. My kids used to always bug me about selecting those carts when we got to store... I tried that once! People have a hard enough time navigating a regular cart, let alone adding a Power Wheel to it. you must have some excellent biceps if you can handle one of those bad boys!

      Thanks for stopping and sharing!!

      Cat

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      First, let me just say that I hate shopping. Shopping for anything. There was a time when I actually liked shopping, but that was a long time ago. Before shopping carts were status symbols. Hey, a lot of homeless people don't even have shopping carts.

      Yes, I am old enough to remember when there wasn't a homeless person standing on every street corner and another dozen in between. I'm not reflecting on homeless people to whom my heart goes out, but to our economy and the people who run it -- in short, the greedy heartless people who have created the homeless problem.

      I usually get the cart that has one of more wheels that won't turn and it requires pushing it around, literally, so shiny floors are a necessity. I much prefer the one with the wobbly wheel, or the one that makes the loud clicking or squeaking sound warning other customers to stand aside.

      Generally I try to avoid public restrooms. Why have a home bathroom if one is always going to wait until they get to a public place to use the commode?

      Takes longer to get ready to go shopping, which I hate, when I must put on my hip-boots in case I have to go wading in a public restroom, and besides, this is Texas. Hip boots are hot, and not in a pleasing way.

      Don't you love those people who choose to catch up on everything that's happened in the last week and all the gossip in the neighborhood/family at the grocery store? They park their carts in the middle of the isle to do that so that no one gets through, even if they have the password or the fee to bribe them to move. It's like there is no one else in the world except them. Or maybe it's just that there is no one else in the world who matters?

      Always have your binoculars and compass with your when you go anywhere just in case the closest parking space is further away than your home.

      Don't forget the people who use the parking space next to them to park their shopping cart before they leave. They don't bother to put it in a corner of the parking space so there's still room for a vehicle to park, no, they just park the cart right in the middle of the space. Then other people follow suit and pretty soon there is a gaggle of shopping carts taking up a coveted parking space just fifty or so feet from the store entrance.

      I prefer the self-checkouts. When the line isn't too long and the self check registers are working, I can be out much quicker than when I must wait for a checker to do all that for me. Plus I can bag my groceries myself. You would think the way many checkers try to fit an entire cart full of groceries into one bag that they are being charged for them. Then there are the checkers who place one frozen item in each bag along with the non-frozen items instead of putting all the frozen/cold items together.

      A few years ago when my daughter was only 8 years old, we were shopping at J.C. Penny's. I forgot what we went there for, but it wasn't for the sale that was 10 & 20% off selected clothing items.

      There was a long line of women standing in line to the checkout, at least 20 of them, maybe even 30. It was a very long line and I was wondering why the line was so long since 10 & 20% isn't that good of a sale. It takes a minimum of 50% off to even get my attention.

      So my daughter and I were standing in this long line of women waiting our turn to check out and when I got close enough to the registers I heard what was going on. All these women were standing in that loooong line waiting to ask the cashiers how much was 10% off this, and 20% or that! I can't tell you how disgusted I was.

      I said to my daughter of 8 years, "Why don't you tell them." I thought they, who were all grown women mostly in their 30s and 40s from appearances, ought to be embarrassed that an 8 year old could figure the discount but they could not -- and in her head no less, no paper and pencil or calculator. What is easier than figuring 10 or 20% off any price??

      Then there was the little old lady in the express lane who was short just a single penny from having the exact amount for her purchase. She had a huge handbag and somewhere inside it was a penny. I and several other shoppers standing in line behind her offered the dear lady a penny, but no, she wouldn't think of accepting our money. She knew that penny was inside her purse and she was determined to find it if it took all night! I know, sounds incredible, but it really happened.

      Interesting and funny hub you have written. You are so good at seeing the humorous side of things which in turn makes for a longer, healthier life. Voting you up, interesting, funny, and will share!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Oh those shopping carts. The Safeway up here has an anti-theft device that locks one of the wheels (seemingly at random), usually when you're halfway out the door with a line of people behind you.

      This hub reminded me of the time in my life when I had to take 3 kids with me every time I went shopping. Thank god that's over.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Au fait,

      My goodness woman! Ha ha ha! At first... with the talk of homeless people, I was feeling a bit sorrowful and even a tad frustrated, of course directed at the right people. The next thing I knew... I was trying to read your response from the floor; I laughed myself out of my chair! Boy oh boy, do you have a sense of humor or what? My cheeks hurt and I have a cramp :D

      It all started when I could totally relate to the cart without wheels that turn and I couldn't help but picture you "on a mission, pushing the sorry thing through the store... with a look out or you might get hurt look on your face" Ha ha... then, hip-boots for wading in restrooms? :D If ever you want to cut down on your grocery expenses... go to the store's bathroom before shopping... it'll ensure you only pick up the necessities as any previous appetite will be sure to be ruined :D Ah, the "aisle hoggers", yes, they can't think of a better place to hold a reunion then in the middle of an aisle at the grocery store... then as you do the terrifying death squeeze to get past them, and should slightly bump carts... they shoot the evil eye! Carts! We have a store around here that requires a quarter to unlock a cart and to get your quarter back after shopping, you must plug the chain back into the line of carts. That store doesn't have one stray cart... amazing what people will do for a quarter! I so know what you mean about packing the groceries... I have to load them on the conveyor according to category, because I know that's too complicated for those poor overworked cashiers to do. It doesn't seem like brain surgery; can goods with can goods, frozen with frozen, boxed with boxed? I don't get it! Those people that are too dumb to figure out how the sale affects their purchase, shouldn't be given the sale price! Stubborn old people?! I'll never understand that one. I have seen the flip side as well. I stood at walmart with exact change... minus a penny, a year or so ago... something like $27.92... I had $27.91 or else I had to break a hunred. I let that fact be known and the cashier looked at me like... "well, you gonna break your hundred or what?" Seriously!!?!! I know, I know, Walmart can't afford to do the "give a penny/take a penny" thing.

      Thanks so much Au fait... this is the last thing I'm reading before I go to bed... and I'll probably be laughing myself to sleep! Thanks for contributing so much funny here... I swear, you could do your own hub about this!

      Cat

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Sherry,

      I don't know if that's too funny or just plain dangerous... oh my goodness! I can just imagine... it must be like tripping up in public and then looking around to see how many people caught it?

      Hey... I remember a toddler and a baby in those stupid car carriers, balanced on a grocery cart with a death grip... mine are 12 and 8 now... I'm glad those days are over too! (Usually, I try to shop while they're at school, even smoother :-)

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your funny nightmare!

      Cat

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Awesome tips!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      I hate self-checkouts I think they put people out of work and I think they don't have enough people working the check outs to force us to use the self-checkouts. I have a list a mile long about things that have happened while shopping. My daughter recently saw a women throw herself on the floor and start screaming at her husband because she just found out he was running around on her. My daughter couldn't believe it but not only that no one in the store did anything about it like calling security.

      Voted up.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Thank you Alecia! I just want to make all shoppers' experiences better ones... it's my love of people; what can I say? Thanks again!

      Cat

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Moonlake,

      I hear you! I get so irritated when I’m in a hurry and I see workers aimlessly wandering the store and dozens of unmanned checkout lanes! That’s horrible about the lady throwing herself to the ground?!? I see parents just short of beating their children in the stores sometimes and watch in amazement as they don’t seem to care who’s watching… and, of course… nobody saying anything. Geesh! Thanks for stopping by!!!

      Cat

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I like shopping, for the most part. But I have noticed some of these same kind of behavior in the stores. I'm especially annoyed by the rude people, or those who look at you like you're stupid when you say "excuse me". Really, do they know what being polite is?!

      Another thing I have noticed around here is that most of the cashiers have a bad attitude. Both at the Stop and Shop and the Target in my area, I have only ever seen one good-natured cashier. I know they don't have the most glamorous job in the world, but how hard is it to acknowledge someone when they say something? Many of them nearly slam food into the bags, and have no idea that you're not supposed to pack the meat with other foods, or cleaning supplies with food.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Kathryn,

      I actually like shopping too :D ... but I can't help but make some observations about how silly some people can be, especially those who are in such bad moods and bring it shopping with them :D

      Ha ha... I know, it's kind of sad about the cashiers, especially if they truly dislike their jobs... but I know what you mean. I always start putting my stuff up on the belt and say "Hi, how are you" and some of them just look at me and just about growl :D

      Too funny! Thanks for stopping by Kathryn!

      Cat

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      great hub. I don't do grocery shopping on weekends as you know, lots of people are rushing for the parking lot, the cashiers and shoving passer by which can be annoying. Hence, I usually shop during early in the morning at 8am on weekdays, preferably Mondays as fresh food are coming in on Mondays. Nice hub and congrats for being nominated!

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      peachpurple,

      Whenever someone asks me to go grocery shopping on the weekend, I think "Why do you want to punish me?" :D This is all in good fun, I really don't mind shopping, but I also avoid the grocery store on the weekends and the idea of going with fully stocked shelves and fresh produce is great... I just wish I could figure out which day that is at my grocery store! :D

      Thanks for stopping... and I didn't know anything about being nomitated, so thanks for that too! :D

      Cat

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