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November 3 2008

Grocery Shopping Etiquette

Been grocery shopping lately? Anyone annoyed you? I can almost assure you you have run into one of these people.

In general I try to do my grocery shopping at 12 or 1 AM just so I can avoid the vast majority of people you run into in the store.  Sometimes I have no choice but to go in the middle of the day, and every time I do it only serves to remind me why I don’t.

The Cell Phone User – “Oh, my phone is ringing and I am in the middle of the aisle, let me stop and answer it.”  This was my favorite for my last trip to Walmart in the middle of the day: a woman was walking down the middle of a narrow aisle in produce with two women walking side-by-side behind her.  She stops to answer her phone, and the two women stop behind her and… stand.  The woman on the phone never turns to look behind her, the two women never say excuse me, and as they stand in their little huddle, they effectively choke off three aisles.  Gee… thanks… really, I had no desire to get to the lettuce, really.

Middle of the Aisle Walker – “You know, I’m in no rush today, and I’m not sure what is in this aisle, so I shall walk down the middle of the row at a leisurely pace, taking my time looking from side-to-side.”  Sure we’ve all had those days where we want to look around, but stay to one side of the blasted aisle!  And here in the USA at least, that means stick to the right side, just like you would in traffic.

End of the Aisle List Checker – “Lets see, did I get everything?  I’ll just stand across the end of this aisle and check it… oh, I did forget something… let me continue to stand here and look up at the hanging aisle directories.”  Do I really need to say any more about this one?  Just move to the end cap for crying out loud!

The Friends – “Oh hi!  How funny we ran into each other passing in the aisle of the grocery store!  Shall we just pull up next to each other and chit chat, blocking the entire aisle?”  Once again, more aisle blocking… this seems to be a common theme.

Think of this as a sequel to Salad Bar Etiquette from earlier this year, but I think it shows a general death of common courtesy.  Pay attention to your surroundings folks, take into consideration what others around you are doing and realize they may not have any interest in watching you chit chatting, shopping or talking on your phone.  I’m not saying you have to rush through the store at super speed, but you could at least let those of us who are in a rush get around you!



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  • Yeah, I'm just now noticing this since I finally do my own shopping now. luckily around here all i have to do is say excuse me and they relies they are taking up the whole isle. But back home that never works, so I just squeeze by and make them feel like a dick.

  • That is too funny – I am big on grocery shopping either mid-morning during the week (if schedule allows) so I can avoid the crowd, or having my spouse go with me so he can run interference and keep me calm and chipper :-)

  • Jes

    hey bud- I could publish a plethora of poor customer behavior blogs…especially now, in 4th quarter!