I prefer to stay away from most people, strangers especially. So, when I go to a grocery store I expect that I’m going to have an awful experience because there are other people around. And people are terrible.
In another attempt at making the world a better place, I’m here to lay some grocery store etiquette on you. Here are some tips to make your next shopping trip a little bit easier.
Stop parking in the fire lane
This is extremely important. Do I have to explain why? I’m not going to.
No one likes a cart bump to the ankles. Protect a stranger and keep a safe distance in line. For me, I’d say 10 to 20 feet is perfect, but for your average grocery store shopper a cart’s length in space is good.
(Insert dreamy flashback music) I’m 17, working at a grocery store and a woman wheels her cart to my register. We are making polite conversation, things are normal. I scan a container of Maxwell House coffee. The price is off by a dollar and some change. She yells. I giggle because I can’t control myself. Why is she yelling? My laughter angers her and she yells more. My manager comes over. She’s still yelling. My manager overrides the price and walks away. The angry woman calls me a loser and says she will never return.
It was in that moment when I realized that sometimes people get angry over things that don’t matter. I quit later that week. I also don’t buy Maxwell House coffee anymore.
Moral of this flashback is don’t yell at your cashier because something didn’t ring up as the price you thought it was. Sometimes items are labeled incorrectly, sales end or you can’t read. At the end of the day they’re just doing their job.
At least once a year, most stores participate in accepting monetary donations for charity. Don’t want to donate? A simple “no thank you” works. You don’t need to be rude about it. Cocky remarks like “they should donate to me” or “they have enough money already” are ignorant and gross. Also, it’s not funny.
Put it back
Leaving your cart in the middle of the parking lot does not count as putting it back. Don’t want to walk back to the store? Put it in a cart corral. Don’t want to walk to the cart corral? Don’t get a cart. Problem solved.
I’d imagine a good reason for people leaving their carts all over the parking lot is because they have children with them. Except, you had a kid with you when you got the cart in the first place. So, why is this affecting your ability to return it?
Same goes for unwanted items. Do you have something in your cart that you don’t need? Put it back where it belongs. Don’t be lazy.
Pay mind to these five things while you’re at the store and you’re on the right track to being a decent human being. I know there are more, but these five (especially the Maxwell House flashback) are all I can handle.
Hartt Lang is a 20-something resident of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Her Rants and Raves column appears in The Weekender whever the spirit moves her to write something.