Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

The rudeness of strangers

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Saturday, January 5, 2008

Just got back from a trip to the grocery store. I hate shopping on the weekends, but sometimes my schedule doesn't permit me to go stock up when the store is less crowded. It wasn't so bad today, but for some reason, Saturday brings out the rude shoppers.

First, it was some jerk blocking the fire lane with his car, bottlenecking traffic at the busiest point of the shopping center. Didn't even have his hazard lights on, but he was obviously Important, or couldn't be bothered, or too busy texting. One of the above, I'm sure.

When they remodeled this store a year ago they changed the flow of the checkout lanes. It used to be that the checker pulled everything out of the cart and scanned it; now the customer has to put everything on a conveyer belt. I should point out that the staff at this store is very service-oriented and it wasn't their decision. They'll also jump through hoops to help people with heavy items, especially the elderly and disabled.

This has led to another problem: The customer who pulls everything out of their cart, moves forward to pay, grabs their bag, and leaves the cart blocking the egress to the checkout lane. Today I noticed a woman in scooter trying to maneuver into the lane, a task that isn't easy even though the did widen the path considerably during the remodel. There was some guy paying, and a cart behind him. She moved forward, he ignored her. (He did see her.) She bumped the cart, and he gave her a look as if to say, "bitch." The woman had cut a corner to get into the lane, and was sort of stuck. I pushed my cart aside and moved the empty cart for her. I couldn't pull it out through the back because of the position she was in, so I had to move it forward. The man gave me the same look he given the woman, as though I was personally responsible for ruining his entire day.

What's so difficult about moving a shopping cart? It must be a terrible burden, for I have the dings in my car to prove, it caused by runaway carts. Folks, if you're going to push your cart all the way though the store, at least push it back to the cart rack. And if you push it all the way out to your car, it's not gonna kill you to make a few extra steps to park the cart.

As long as I'm at it, one more gripe. Lent is February 6 this year, so the King Cakes are already out on the shelves. Is the store just cheap, or is it now a liability to put a plastic baby in with the cake? They used to pack a baby and some cheap beads. Then they packed a baby that was mounted on a plastic crown. Harder to swallow, I guess.

If you're unfamiliar with the King Cake, here's the story.

That means if I really want to do up a King Cake this year I'll have to temporarily sacrifice the baby from the toy collection atop my monitor. Wow, that sounds evil, doesn't it? ;-)


Filed under: Life            


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