Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Rant

Ok, something's been bothering me and I feel like I need to get it off my chest. I'm kind of afraid to be honest about this because I think I might seem snobby and rude.

Have you ever been at the grocery store, only buying one or two items, and gotten in line behind someone with a SUPER full cart? Don't you appreciate it when that person lets you go in front of them because you'll probably be in your car pulling out of the parking lot by the time they get their cart unloaded? It's kind of a common courtesy, right? But is it the law? I mean, is it an unbreakable social rule?

I am usually the one with the full cart. I often let someone go ahead of me if they only have a couple things. But sometimes when I'm standing in line the person behind me hovers. Has this ever happened to you? You're standing in line, when suddenly the line is going sideways? The person behind you is now next to you? I mean, REALLY next to you. Like, popping your bubble, next-to-you. Like they're trying to "subtly" give you the hint that you should let them go ahead, but they're too "polite" to ask? Sorry folks, but this annoys me. It has happened to me a surprising number of times. Usually it's at Aldi. The lines are sometimes long there, but they go fast. I can have $100 worth of food in my cart, and it only takes a minute or two for me to check out, since I have to do my own bagging. Also, now that I'm on the other side of the fence (the one with the full cart), I have a defense. I am shopping for 7 people. I am a busy woman and my time is valuable. Probably everyone would say that they're busy and their time is valuable, so why should I have to let someone go ahead of me just because they have less items in their cart than I do? Sometimes I have to hurry up and get home before my kids get home from school. Sometimes I have to wait behind others with full carts. Do I HAVE to let someone go ahead of me? Am I a big jerk if I don't? Because the "hover-ers" make me feel like a jerk, giving me dirty looks like I did something rude to them. I got in line first. It's my turn. Is that rude of me? And what is the rule on how many items the person behind me should have in order for me to let them go ahead? Less than me? I hope not because then I'd never get a turn. I'd be letting everyone ahead of me! Is it less than 10? Less than 5?

Here's my other situation. This happened the last time I was at Aldi. I had already started unloading my cart before I looked behind me and realized that the person behind me had a significantly smaller cart-load than I did. I think she had more than 10 items, though (I didn't count them), it's not like she had only 1 thing. I noticed her noticing me looking at her cart. She gave me "the look." The look that says "Let me go first, you selfish bitch!" I didn't let her go first. My reasoning? I'd already started unloading. They're really fast at Aldi. She was giving me a dirty look. Anyway, I got about half way done unloading my cart, and she put the divider up - you know, the little plastic bar you use to mark the end of one person's load and the beginning of the next. She gave me 2-3 feet of space on the counter, but it wasn't enough. And by the time I filled up the space she left me, she had totally filled up the rest of the counter with her stuff. I was SO ANNOYED. I started stacking bags of chips on top of my other groceries that were already on the counter, and still I had things on the bottom of my cart. I just wheeled them around to the checker so she could scan them straight from the cart. I thought that lady was really rude, and that's what prompted me to write this.

I don't want to mis-represent myself. As I said already, I do sometimes offer to let someone go ahead of me. If I have a very full cart, and the person behind me has only a few things. I believe it is a "common courtesy." But I also think it's rude to hover, and it should be viewed as a courtesy, not an expectation. I've noticed two particular demographics of people who are usually the culprits (the above mentioned lady didn't fit either of them, ironically).  Am I wrong? I'd like to know what you all think. Be honest, it won't hurt my feelings.


  1. To tell you the truth.... I don't even see how many items one has. I look at how many children they have. I always have at least 2 children with me - under the age of 4 and there is a VERY small chance I will let someone go in front of me. Now if I get the rare opportunity to shop alone, I always let families with children go ahead of me, regardless of the number of items I have in my cart. I've done this at other stores, too. There's nothing worse than standing in line at a store with small children! That's just the phase I'm in right now and it's all I see. :)

  2. OOOOO!! Totally with you, Girl. I occasionally let someone with fewer items go first, but not as often as I probably could or should. And I think, honestly, the thing that helps me decide who should go ahead of me comes down to attitude (theirs and mine :). It's when people try to manipulate their way into the number 1 spot, or cast an attitude that I owe them the curtesy that I get annoyed. By and large if they just directly and politely ask I'll say yes. I've only said no a couple of times when my things were already unloaded and I was in a hurry. But people who "hover?" And that woman who put the bar up before you were done unloading????? No way. Totally rude. You were there first. Fair and square. - Gillian

  3. Oh good grief you are too nice! LOL! I would have either said" lady, I still have half a cart here!" Or smooshed all HER stuff to fit mine.

    People like that hoverer feel entitled to whatever THEY want. They have Princess Syndrome" AKA Toddler Syndrome. I WANT IT MY WAY RIGHT NOW!
    I feel it is my personal destiny to find those people& pop their bubble.

    Be annoyed, but next time say something! TO HER. =)

  4. ok, glad to know you're all in agreement with me. "hovering" happens almost every time I go to Aldi. I was starting to think I'd missed something.

  5. I don't usually even look at the people behind me in line. I don't recall ever getting nasty looks either. Maybe it's because I'm a man and I'm bigger than them. :-)

  6. I would have probably said something like "ummm,I have A LOT of stuff and I don't think that is enought room... can you give me more space?" just to rub it in... but I am confrontational like that. :)

    Although if I had my kids I might not have... don't want to get in a yelling match with the kids watching!

    I don't think you HAVE to let anyone go ahead of you. I only do it they have like 1 or 2 items and i have like 100 items...other wise they can wait like the rest of us.

    To be honest this does not happen to me at my Aldi... but I live in the friendly MN... we are too nice to glare at someone. And when someone offers we are most likely to say "no that is OK I can wait... are you sure?"

    Sometimes I forget how friendly MN is! : )