Wednesday, February 03, 2010

On the Battlefront...

OK. I realize that I can be a bit volatile at times, but since when did the grocery store become a minefield? Since Sunday, I have visited the grocery store 3 times. In this case, it was because Market Basket was out of the milk we drink and 2 other items that we use. After being reassured that they would get a new milk shipment on Monday, (they did not) I came back on Tuesday (still no Over the Moon skim milk). This is not the norm for this grocery store, so I am cutting them some slack. Normally, I am the one who "forgets" things on my list.
My issues stem from other customers.

Now, I realize that like me, they are just trying to purchase their groceries and feed their families. But, every trip, I seem to run into at least one strange bird who makes my trip a little too memorable.

It started out a few years ago when I would see customers shopping in their pajamas. I think this is a carryover from their college days where some students would arrive to class a morning class as if it were an extension of their dorm room. So, now the fashion trend has carried over to the grocery store. And, I am not talking about adorable 19 year olds olds wearing pink flannel "pajama like" bottoms. I am talking about middle aged, overweight women AND men, wearing ratty old pajamas into the grocery store. I dare to guess that they may have slept in them a night or two as well. YUCK!

Now, while I do not feel that you have to be dressed to the nines when you go grocery shopping, how about a general level of cleanliness? How about some self respect and dignity? Enough said on this subject.

I realize that the aisles are not huge and shelf space is at a premium. But, to block the aisle or push your cart slowly down the center of the aisle when the store is crowded is rude. A simple, "excuse me" usually takes care of this, but not always. On Sunday, I ran into two women who were blocking the aisle, catching up on the last 2 years. There was a line of shopping carts down and around the aisle of people trying to purchase canned beans. If you see someone you wish to chat with, suggest getting a cup of coffee or meeting for lunch. Do not think that the aisle is your office.

Now, here is an interesting one. I have seen the gambit from people who let their kids run free up and down the aisles and shelves to kids who are more polite than other shoppers!
I give the benefit of the doubt to parents, until they disrupt my shopping experience.
Ideally, it is not the place to bring kids. Every parent knows this. It takes longer to shop with kids, there is more of a chance to forget something while tending to a child. And, it usually costs more as the child ages and have more vocal "needs". But, kids are brought to the grocery store with their parents, by necessity.
With all that said, it is the parents who are at fault, not the kids. Yes, kids will have to learn some lessons at the grocery store about not touching things, minding your parents and being polite to other shoppers. But, it is the PARENTS that have to teach them these things.

On the other end of the spectrum, I am always saddened when I see an adult child "shopping" with their elderly and decrepit parent.
The adult child brings their parent to the grocery store as a opportunity to "get out". The elderly parent grips the shopping cart for support (and dear life) and struggles just to push the cart down the aisle. Meanwhile, the adult child, runs here and there, checking in on the parent when they can. They also talk very loudly to the parent, the implication being that the parent is hard of hearing. But, I think it is more for show to the other shoppers as to "what a burden" this situation is on them.
The reason I am so adamant about this situation is that it is dangerous for the elderly patient. When I see them shuffling down the center of the aisle, ever so slowly, I see other shoppers desperately trying to pass them. I sympathize with both the elderly person as well as the shopper who is just trying to get their grocery shopping done.
It this is a true benevolent act on the part of the adult child, please accompany your parent around the store or better yet, find another place for them to get their exercise that is safer.


This one is a doozy. On both Sunday & Monday, I found shoppers looking through my grocery cart as I went to get some produce from my cart.
On Sunday, I set my cart on the side of an aisle out of the way, and was gone only and instant to bag some broccoli. When I came back, a woman was reaching into my cart! Now, I don't leave my purse in my cart EVER. So, I kindly said, "Oh, I think this is my cart". She just walked away. On Monday, I was in the checkout, standing in front of my cart unloading groceries onto the conveyor belt. A woman, the one in line behind me, reached into my cart and picked up some dinner rolls and started to read the list of ingredients, turn the bag of rolls over and examine them!
I was flabbergasted. I asked her "Do you like my buns?"
She looked at me in horror an set the rolls back in my cart.

So, this all gets back to respect for others. Or lack of it.
I try and keep a grocery list and stick to it. I make my list by writing the things I need in the order that they are found in the grocery store, so that I can somewhat efficiently get my shopping done.
Oh, and I think I might resort to telling people that they made my blog!

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