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Grocery store pet peeve. Is it just me?

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  • UTgal Dec 1, 2011 08:02 AM
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This is my first post on Chowhound! Hello.

This happens to me all the time and I can't decide if I'm making a mountain out of a molehill in my brain or if this is legitimately annoying.

When I'm done shopping and I'm wheeling my cart toward the checkout lines I inevitably am led by an employee toward a "15 items or fewer/less" line if the other lines are occupied with customers. I always have a full cart (40+ items easily). Someone will then come up behind me with say, 1 gallon of milk & some apples and glare at me like I'm a selfish idiot for going to that line.

It drives me batty. If I have more than 15 items I want to wait in the regular line and I don't mind. Maybe I should just decline their offer to move over to the fewer items line?

Both scenarios/options make me feel like I'm a paranoid weirdo, but I'm the first to admit I have weird grocery store "preferences". For example, the self checkout can be wide open, and an employee will tell me so, but I don't want to scan my own groceries. I don't want to look up the vegetable codes, and I always seem to do something to set off the "an employee has been notified to help you!" alert. :-/

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  1. When I'm done shopping and I'm wheeling my cart toward the checkout lines I inevitably am led by an employee toward a "15 items or fewer/less" line if the other lines are occupied with customers
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    You can simply decline.....problem solved

    1. Be bold: Just say no!

      1. Here's a crazy idea: you could let that poor person stuck behind your massive shopping palooza holding only two items get in front of you!!! Revolutionary, I know '-)

        4 Replies
        1. re: linguafood

          I took it to mean that the customer with only 2 items would walk up behind her while she's already in the middle of checking out. So, 25 of her items are already rung up, but there's still plenty to go, and now she's being glared at by someone who thinks she was being rude for using the express lane.

          And UTGal, I feel the same way! You're not crazy. I've had the same thing happen, and I feel awkward as well. So now I do the "polite decline" route. I'd rather say no and wait a while longer than have another shopper think I'm being rude to them. It's goofy, but it makes me feel better!

          1. re: Ditdah

            Ah. I guess I just read it w/out interpreting it. Yeah, if she's already checking out, it's too late, obvy.

            1. re: linguafood

              Linguafood, being the nice guy I am I once let someone with fewer items in front of me. Turns out he was the one who came face to face with two gentlemen waving pistols and shouthing as they proceeded to rob the in store bank. Robbing banks in grocery stores is a big thing here in Houston!

              1. re: James Cristinian

                so there IS such a thing as Karma!

        2. I think your pet peeve is justified. But like a few others have suggested, I just say "no thank you" and stay in the line I am in.

          1. Pretty much everything about the grocery store experience annoys me. I have issues.

            I adored the self-check out. Sadly, my local store removed all three lanes of self-check out.

            My top pet peeve is the checkout clerk that comments on how expensive my produce is.

            12 Replies
            1. re: cleobeach

              At the market I shop at, the clerks are well trained. Really. They are friendly, service-oriented, and they limit their comments to mostly non-food topics. In the past, at other stores I've had judgmental comments on a number of my purchases.This is really irritating.

              Last year I encountered a store clerk with serious boundary issues. I noticed that he did not stay long at that store. I almost complained. Another incident, and I would have. This is very unusual where I do most of my shopping.

              1. re: sueatmo

                I have no issues at all if someone asks what a particular ingredient is used for -- or how to use something - I might even accept a comment if I had ground beef, mozzarella, parmesan, and canned tomatoes about how lasagna sounds good.

                But comments passing any kind of judgment on my groceries? You might just need a proctologist before it's over.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  The judgmental comments came many years ago, and if memory serves were made by young men who knew nothing about anything, except how to use the cash register.I have had bad experiences in 2 local markets (we have a plethora of food stores in my area) and I quit going. My favorite is my favorite because they make shopping pleasant. I talk to the produce men, the deli counter people, the checkers, the manager. And I get no hassles when I check out, except for those few from the checker who is no longer there. My market schedules a bagger on rainy days to stand outside in rain gear, and help us get our groceries into the car. Astounding, but true. And there is never any trash in the parking lot. And the place is bright. If we have to spend time and money somewhere every week, it should be pleasant, I think.

                  1. re: sueatmo

                    Sounds like our local Wegmans branch. I love shopping there.

                    1. re: linguafood

                      Its great to have a good market.

                2. re: sueatmo

                  I had a similar clerk issue this last year at one of our favorite neighborhood import grocery stores. I don't mind some chatting about my purchases if the clerk has used deductive reasoning to judge by my purchases what I'm cooking, like they conversationally ask if the canned tomatoes and fresh basil I'm buying are for a pasta sauce, etc. But this obnoxious clerk commented on almost every purchase that he rang up and I found his running commentary loud, judgmental and intrusive. I was just waiting for the day I would buy some personal hygiene item at the store and hear his comments/input on that, too (lucky for him, this scenario never happened or I would have gone batty on him, I'm sure). After every encounter with Crazy Clerk, SO and I wondered if we should find a manager at this Mom and Pop place and mention the issue to them, but we felt a little like it was making a tempest in a teapot and held our tongues. It seems Crazy Clerk isn't at the store any more, at least when we've been by recently.

                  ETA to add side topic on clerks and chatting: I live in the Pacific Northwest, USA. When I was dating a Southerner and spent a lot of time in Atlanta and around Georgia/Kentucky, I was a bit floored at the friendly chitchat every clerk would initiate with each and every customer. I understood the cultural difference, but it still annoyed me when I felt EACH and EVERY chat between customer and clerk in line went on and on about the weather and life minutiae when all I wanted was for the damn line to move forward. Now THAT was my pet peeve. I think if I'd re-located to the South, that would have driven me a bit nutso after awhile. I mean, on one level I appreciated the effort and it seemed like very polite and sweet exchanges between clerk/customer. On the other hand...People, ok enough talk more walk, let's move this line along so my life can continue.... ;)

                  1. re: team_cake

                    Things move a bit more slowly here in the south. We are known for being friendly, chatty even, hence "southern hospitality." It may be aggravating to some but it is a way of life for us and though it can be annoying when you are pressed for time or otherwise in a hurry, I find it comforting. In this world, some days, the idle chatter you get from a store clerk may be the only kind words you hear, lol ;)

                3. re: cleobeach

                  Normally I hate small chit-chat...I always can't help but feel like the cashiers at Trader Joe's must be judging all of the frozen/junk food we get there (we go there for treats mostly and do our legitimate shopping elsewhere), but I actually don't mind the comments I get at the produce store we go to (Russo's for Bostonians). We have pet bunnies and thus buy enormous quantities of greens...like a full grocery cart full at a time. I've gotten many the incredulous comments from cashiers about how many veggies we eat, but when I point out that they're for our buns, they always get really interested and ask questions. I get to tell them that yes, rabbits are great pets and they can live inside like a cat or dog and they eat just about any veggie you can imagine. I always feel good when I can educate people.

                  1. re: tazia

                    Hi Tazia, I used to have a wonderful pet bunny and she was housebroken too. She would snuffle up on the couch with me. I love all animals and yours must be lots of fun. Bev

                    1. re: tazia

                      <Normally I hate small chit-chat...I always can't help but feel like the cashiers at Trader Joe's must be judging all of the frozen/junk food we get there?>

                      I use to be the same way until my last time at TJ's (Memorial Drive in Cambridge). The cashier got really happy that I asked him how his day was going. He said bad because no one was making eye contact or talking to him so it was making him feel like a robot and "not there". I cheered him up. So as annoying as they can be, I try to now deal with the chit chat for the couple minutes it takes for me to check out. One thing I like about Russo's is that they don't do chit-chat and I can get out quick.

                      1. re: viperlush

                        Good anecdote. Grocery checkers are people too. I find the Whole Foods checkers very talkative, and they always talk about the food, and they are always enthusiastic about whatever I buy. Has to be training.

                        1. re: sueatmo

                          I recently had an experience at my usually great WF that left me shaking my head. I was purchasing a vegan sandwich and a vegan cookie, and the cashier went on an unprompted diatribe about how he didn't like vegan baked goods because he had a Mighty-O (local, nationally recognized vegan donut) and it just tasted like crisco and how "real stuff" is better. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, and if I had asked for his opinion that would have been one thing, but it felt weirdly judgy to me.

                          Oftentimes WF cashiers will see I'm buying vegan stuff and will ask me if I like the product or if I've tried another vegan product that they enjoy. That's a great, value-added experience that I appreciate as a customer and makes me want to return to the store. I totally am not looking for validation from a cashier but sheesh, if you don't have something nice to say, then maybe keep it to yerself. I get enough static from others about eating vegan food in my day-to-day life and WF is the last place I would expect any.

                  2. See, I have no issues with this. Good customer service to guide a person in line to an empty line but express, The cashier is getting paid, no matter what. And the store I mainly shop does this. If I am in the middle of being rung up, with a "glarer" behind me, I just look at them glaring and state, the Cashier or (front End supervisor, who most often does this) told me to get in this line. Simple, truth and valid. If the order is not yet started but my items are being placed on the belt, I tell the cashier to left the other person go first while I finish placing my items.

                    But, since you apparently would rather wait than confront a person being rude (by glaring at you), by all means, decline the offer to go to that line.

                    1. I have a lot of grocery store pet peeves, but that isn't one of them. If that were to happen, I'd empty my cart as quickly as I could and be on my way.

                      Now about taking up both sides of the aisle while your looking for your ketchup......

                      81 Replies
                      1. re: chileheadmike

                        now THAT drives me batty, and the couples that are strolling right down the center of the aisles trying to decide what they should pick up while you're timing yourself to be in and out. I know I lack patience but it drives me nuts, I'm really bad at hiding it too ;)

                        1. re: lilgi

                          In FL that's the norm!! Retirees shopping together...what fun!! Told DH many years ago, no way!! Stopping in the middle of the aisle is also the norm, 90% a male thing...has not a clue!! I stand behind them and steam,no patience at this end either...I want to be in and out as quickly as possible! Not good at hiding it either, I just glare at them!

                          1. re: Mother of four

                            and when you say 'excuse me' you get a death stare like you've just asked them to slaughter one another in the aisle...

                            ...and if you should DARE to touch their cart? Yeegawd.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              Years ago when I lived in Fl. I started shopping at night to avoid the retiree traffic jams.
                              Plus there were so many lonely people who wanted to chat with someone who looked just like their grandchild - not to be harsh, but when you are trying to get in and out quickly and this happens with three different people it just eats up your limited free time.

                              1. re: meatn3

                                LOL! So true. Grocery shopping in FL is not for the weak at heart! I'm sure that we all have a book of stories to tell. The parking lots alone could kill you and I mean literally! People just back out without looking and others don't look when they are walking, I can't begin to tell you the amount of times I have screamed at drivers to stop before they backed into another car,,,almost feel like the Super Market Policewoman ...actually that might be a new job opening for Publix. ;)

                                1. re: Mother of four

                                  ROFL - I had a guy cut across a parking lot at an angle to all the parking spaces, and nearly hit me as I was going down the aisle.

                                  He chased me down in the store and began to berate me, starting out with "Young lady (I was over 30 at the time...) I never."

                                  I just replied, "Well, that much is obvious" and walked away.

                                2. re: meatn3

                                  I was at the bent can store the other afternoon (Grocery Outlet) and kept crossing paths and nearly running into or getting run over by an elderly gentleman. And I ended up right behind him at the checkout counter. I thought by then that I'd be irritated by the whole thing, but I really wasn't. In the parking lot he wished me a Merry Christmas.

                                  1. re: tracylee

                                    Every time I start to get irritated at a "seemingly clueless" elderly person, I stop myself and think, that if I'm patient with this person, perhaps some nice middle-aged lady in NC will be patient with my dad in return :)

                                    1. re: DGresh

                                      And,maybe some nice young thing will be patient with you one day!!! We all turn into
                                      "seemingly clueless" elderly people eventually!!!

                                      1. re: Mother of four

                                        We all get old.

                                        If we're lucky.

                                        1. re: Mother of four

                                          I live with my 85-year-old mother. I have learned to be much more patient, although I am still tested occasionally, not wanting to inconvenience other shoppers, particularly in the checkout line. My mother uses a cane, has a purse with numerous compartments, and has problems sometimes using her debit card. It is an independence issue --- it's good for her to feel that she is still able to function and take care of necessities. She is also one of those people who stops in the aisle doing her comparison shopping. Please be patient, people. You will indeed be there some day, and heaven help you if and when you need to be taken places or must negotiate the aisles in a wheelchair. I sometimes went shopping with my Dad (at the time I lived in another town). He once had a TIA (small stroke) in a store. He did not know where he was, and could not stand or walk. I managed to get the attention of a clerk as I literally held him up to keep him from collapsing. The clerk got a chair, and 15 minutes later he was able to function enough to leave the store. Meanwhile, my mother and sister-in-law were waiting in the car in the parking lot, wondering what had happened to us. I am eternally grateful for thoughtful, helpful clerks and customers who don't try to hurry my mother. She gets flustered if she feels rushed, which makes matters worse. Meanwhile, she is not living in a nursing home, and she enjoys our outings and other symbols of her remaining autonomy. I see signs that this won't be possible forever.

                                          1. re: skamama

                                            as asshat-ish as I sometimes am, those with physical restrictions do get a hall pass. I feel I gotta pay it forward and make a small deposit in the Karma account for when I'm that age and can't figure out the retina scan purchase point or the hover lift for those higher shelves.

                                            1. re: skamama

                                              So I'm not the only one who is irritated by the elderly stopping in the middle of aisle or blocking the front of an open aisle! But you are totally correct. Like you I've taken my very elderly mother shopping, and it is a strange experience. I was horrified when my mother opened her wallet and showed her numerous credit cards to a store checker for her to choose one to use. We need to figure out how to lovingly protect our elders, although they don't always want this. And you are right that we need to be patient with the slowness.

                                              I think the reason so many elders block aisles is because they don't sense others approaching. At least in part because of hearing deficits, I think.

                                              1. re: sueatmo

                                                Yes I think many of us have parked our cart in perhaps not the best place, intending to grab something quickly, then become distracted with something and it taking longer than we thought. But if you hear someone coming up, you can make it right; if you don't hear them, you're still in your own little world, trying to decide if you need the big one or the small one!

                                              2. re: skamama

                                                Amen to that skamama. My 83-year-old mother moved in with me when I bought my house 2 years ago. She insists on buying the groceries, since I have the mortgage, utilities, etc. Very nice of her really. But it has turned my former one hour on Sunday morning chore to a 2+ hour leisurely stroll through the aisles as she peruses labels of items she hasn't the slightest interest in purchasing, but great interest in wondering over. She also pays cash and in exact change when possible . . . I compensate by bagging while she counts out the pennies ;)

                                                1. re: gaffk

                                                  You are a good D, hopefully your children will prepay in kind! Hard to get old and harder to be by yourself.

                                                  1. re: Mother of four

                                                    Yep, no hearing and no peripheral vision makes grocery shopping tough. But I wouldn't trade her for anything . . . I am one of the few who look back on childhood with a big grin :)

                                                    1. re: gaffk

                                                      Well, you are just a sweetheart! I hear you about the slowness. She probably enjoys getting out in the market as a part of her routine.

                                                      1. re: gaffk

                                                        Lucky you and lucky her!!!

                                                  2. re: skamama

                                                    Bless you. That is wonderful exhortation. All of us probably annoy someone, even
                                                    before we get old.

                                                    1. re: skamama

                                                      ska, I am truly blessed by this post of yours and love you and your mother.
                                                      sorry I'm just getting to this now. I'd give the world to have my mother walking by my side anywhere.

                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                        +++1. Lovely - it takes patience, but you will be able to look back some day and and cherish the memories.
                                                        What I would not give to have my parents and Aunt back again, clogging up the aisles and turning a 15 minute visit to the store into a 1 – 2 hour trip. My Dad had Alzheimer’s and his sole mission, when we shopped, was to find the Entenmann’s display, which he would forget the location of it from visit to visit:) When he did eventually find it, we would be there for ages while he picked out all his goodies. I don’t remember anyone ever getting annoyed with his loitering ways, but that was 15+ years ago and people seem to be a little less forgiving now than in times past. My Mom and Aunt, in their 80’s, each wanted to have their own wagon. My Mom’s vision was quite poor, yet her gait was strong, so after a couple of rear-enders, I learned to hold on to her wagon at all times to stop her from barreling in to anyone. My Aunt, on the other hand, had problems steering straight as she was busy looking at the shelves while moving very slowly. When people would look annoyed, I would say, “Sorry. New driver here” and most people would smile. If you can’t cut the elderly, or someone with a disability, a break, you’re mean and you suck.

                                                        1. re: EM23

                                                          I think many who get annoyed at older folks have not yet reached that point in life where their own loved ones are "that person".

                                                          1. re: DGresh

                                                            +1. I have not had much experience with my own elderly relatives, but my mother has very severe multiple sclerosis and as such is veerrrryyy slow. It baffles me when people get annoyed in the store. And, when I start to get annoyed by older people I always remind myself that we can't all be so spry and think of my mother. Also, perhaps they may be blocking my way and it will take me a bit longer to do what I need to do but so what and I think it's great when older people are still able to get out of the house.

                                                            1. re: DGresh

                                                              I think there should be a course one could take to show the eventual caregiver a leg up on patience, what to expect, love-kindness and grace.

                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                If only compassion could be taught in a course, ID:)

                                                                1. re: EM23

                                                                  ;-)

                                                                  1. re: EM23

                                                                    sadly EM, that course is only learned the hard way.

                                                              2. re: EM23

                                                                I agree 150%:)

                                                                1. re: EM23

                                                                  I have a great deal of patience for the elderly due to my wonderful bonds and memories of my dear relatives. And yes, EM23, I wish I could take one more shopping trip with them.

                                                                  1. re: cleobeach

                                                                    Sweet Cleo- the memories are the best.
                                                                    I just took my 80+ y.o. neighbors (a couple, who are as good as family to me) shopping on Monday, and they have an answer for everyone who tries to hurry them along.. One of them told a grumpy shopper that she was making her nervous (a lie) and rushing her was going to make her "have a litter of kittens". The grouch looked scared as she rolled away.lol

                                                              3. re: skamama

                                                                It's wonderful that you take your mother shopping with you. When I take my toddler shopping she's always waving and talking to elderly people at the supermarket. I usually stop and chat for a moment. I've heard from several seniors how much it means to have a little face giggle and stop to say hi.

                                                          2. re: tracylee

                                                            tracy, love that story and also love GO

                                                        2. re: sunshine842

                                                          I hear you....that is my pet peeve. But I try to control myself and if I could whistle, I'd whistle a tune while they chatted. That might get their attention. :-) Bev

                                                        3. re: Mother of four

                                                          I live in a college town, and 18 year olds are just as bad! It seems there is always someone who is on their very first shopping trip, and they don't know basics like how to pick out apples or where to park the cart while picking out the perfect box of cereal. I also get to watch them stocking up for parties - clearing the shelves of plastic cups, pretzels, and drink mixers. Our grocery store even sells kegs!

                                                          Yesterday I found myself waiting not so patiently to back out of my parking spot while a pair of students took pictures of each other in their oh-so-cute footie pajamas while standing behind my car (w/ engine running and car already in reverse). Avoiding college students requires the opposite strategy from retirees - I try to shop early on Sunday mornings.

                                                        4. re: lilgi

                                                          when I'm with a friend we start loudly sniping like an old married couple ("no I'm #5, Dave was #3" or "yeah you can't find it, just like our wedding night") I tell ya it clears entire aisles. and fast.

                                                          sunshine: those errant carts? I just play bumper cars and shove them out of the way - ya left in the path so whaddaya expect? you're the only shopper? (ok I won't do that if there's a child in the cart)

                                                        5. re: chileheadmike

                                                          that and leaving your cart "parked" somewhere - usually in the middle of an aisle - while you stroll about and gather items to put in it. grrr.

                                                          1. re: jujuthomas

                                                            or as I saw yesterday -- parking your car PERPENDICULAR (seriously, wth?) in the aisle, then dashing off to god-knows-where, leaving your 4-year-old rolling the thing back and forth while the baby squalls in the car seat in the cart, because the 4-year-old thinks crashing into other people's carts is FUN!

                                                            (I love kids, but that one was about to get lynched by everyone in the store -- right after the gang got their hands on the mother)

                                                            1. re: jujuthomas

                                                              Do what I do: add stuff to the cart.

                                                              1. re: ricepad

                                                                ricepad - I like how you think. especially if it's a 'treat' the 4 YO will really really want.

                                                                1. re: ricepad

                                                                  Seems awfully passive aggressive. Why not just turn/move that perpendicular cart out of the way ?

                                                                  I am a cart parker, but I try to be smart about it. I park my cart when I enter an aisle that is already crammed full of other carts. I find an out of the way place (not in that aisle) to leave my cart, and then walk through the aisle to collect items. I don't see how it helps to add my cart to the existing traffic jam, especially since a fair number of those in the traffic jam aren't paying attention to other carts already.

                                                                  I also sometimes park my cart when I am the only person in the aisle, again somewhere where it's unlikely to reduce traffic flow (not at an intersection) and can be easily moved by someone who wants to get around it . And I don't mind if you move it 4 feet forward to get something off the shelf.

                                                                  On rare occasion, I park my cart in the middle of the aisle, but only in line (and behind) a display that others are already forced to divert around.

                                                                  And I do not park perpendicular, ever.

                                                                  1. re: DagingKuda

                                                                    DK - I hear you, but if a kid is in the cart there is no way I'm touching it. even gently. period. I'm harmless, but it wouldn't look that way.

                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                      I get your point, hill food. In that case though, the leaving the child unattended is a much much bigger offense than the cart parking. In fact, if I tried to move that cart and the parent suddenly reappeared to complain, I'd probably call them out for abandoning the child in the first place. After all, I didn't touch their child, whereas they definitely abandoned them. Maybe they'd learn a lesson about leaving their kid alone like that in the future.

                                                                      1. re: DagingKuda

                                                                        oh I agree, if I were in a cranky mood (something I really try to avoid) I'd be tempted to call a manager over about an apparently dumped child. but as a middle-aged guy comparing obscure mustards I sadly sort of fit the stereotype of weirdo predator and have to be uber-careful.

                                                                        it's hard to believe in this day parents DO leave unattended children scattered around. scary.

                                                                        but any fuss might scare the kiddo and that's rule #1 in my little philosophy.

                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                          hill food, I work retail and a few years ago a couple of ladies were being pigs, destroying every display they touched, leaving product on the floor, etc. I took their cart and parked it in an obscure part of the store and took my break, which I was scheduled for. Never felt better, a token bit of revenge , go ahead, slam me the uncaring masses.

                                                                          1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                            a bit passive-aggressive, but I like it.

                                                                    2. re: DagingKuda

                                                                      I don't have a problem with the folks who don't take their cart down a crowded aisle. that's pretty sensible. I shop on weekday evenings - usually the store is not that busy, so working your way down a packed aisle is not an issue. I'm talking about the goofballs who abandon their cart randomly in the way, perpendicular or just like they stopped pushing the carts and walked off.

                                                                      I also have another teeny peeve - that I'm really working to get over - the "hey tall girl" syndrome... Can't count the number of times I've been asked to reach something down for someone!

                                                                      1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                        Hmm, I always just offer.

                                                                        1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                          Yeah, I'm not even tall (5'2"), and I offer to reach things if I see someone struggling for an item within my wingspan.

                                                                        2. re: jujuthomas

                                                                          Oh my,i'm one of those "could you please reach that"! I'm only 5'1",and when those items are not on the front of the top shelf it's hopeless for me to reach them. I've honestly never had anyone seem to be annoyed,and I do thank them so much telling them that in my next life I'm going to be 6 ft tall!

                                                                          1. re: Mother of four

                                                                            I never *act* annoyed to the person asking... I try to be really polite about it. I dislike being in the grocery store and get in a "grab my stuff and get outta here" zone. So someone asking me for help interrupts my "flow".

                                                                            1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                              just be glad that you can grab the item, hand it to them, and be on your way in a matter of seconds. i don't know what it is about me, but i can't recall the last time i got through a grocery shopping excursion without being stopped by at least one person who wanted my opinion about an item, or asked me to help them pick out some type of produce, or asked me where in the store to find something....apparently i have "Supermarket Guru" stamped on my forehead :) i honestly don't mind - i like helping people, and i love it when i can teach someone something, but too often i get a really long, detailed explanation about the reason they're looking for the item, or the health condition for which they need it, or what happened when their sister's boyfriend's third cousin once removed told them would happen if they don't cook it properly.

                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                And I'm the one with the big mouth who brings up ingredients if someone else is beside me browsing, say, the cheese section.

                                                                                The other day someone was asking an employee at the health food store where their fresh lemongrass was. The clerk insisted that the dried was just as good, but the lady needed fresh lemon grass for a recipe. I mentioned that the Asian markets across town always have fresh.

                                                                                And clerks usually ask about an item I'm buying, as in "What do you do with that?". Being mindful of anyone behind me, I usually keep that one short while they continue to ring me up, so no one has to wait.

                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                  ghg - we on CH have come to expect you to refine our keyword site searches, I guess it translates to 3-D life as well.

                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                    apparently so! :) as i said, i'm happy to help, but it's amazing to me that so many people voluntarily lay their personal history on a complete stranger in the middle of the supermarket.

                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                      Many people will tell a perfect stranger so many intimate details of their life, not because the stranger is listening, but actually because they are certain the stranger is NOT listening.

                                                                                      1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                        then they picked the wrong person to tell - i always listen :)

                                                                              2. re: Mother of four

                                                                                I'm quite tall and get asked to reach things all the time. I'm not bothered at all.

                                                                                1. re: Mother of four

                                                                                  My mom is even shorter than you, so I'm so used to reaching things for her that I don't even think about it.

                                                                                2. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                  I'm the resident Tall Girl who shops in my market, but I kinda like the tiny little old ladies who ask me to get the xyz from the top shelf. Guess it reminds me of my munchkin Mom, back in her day...

                                                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                                                    yeah I like them too.

                                                                                    now me, I hate stooping to fish out the last ____ at the back on the bottom shelf (whoa head-spin).

                                                                                  2. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                    I've offered many times to reach something high up for someone less able or not able. it's my pleasure to do so. I'd hope someone would help me out if I needed it-seems a no brainer.

                                                                                    I'm short - 5'2 1/2"
                                                                                    while working at Gemco Woodland Hills, Ca, we had regular celebrities frequent the store. I was on a break and sauntered into the supermarket part of the store to buy a couple pieces of fruit. while going down the canned fruit/vegetable aisle I saw a familiar face not tall enough to reach anything higher than about 3'. he was trying (to no avail) to get the cans off a higher shelf, I've been in the same predicament . I walked up to him and said "what can get for you sir?" he pointed up and said, "those 3 cans." I was able and put them in his mobilized cart...that's when Billy Barty said "thank you very much."

                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                      that's great, I usually doubt the veracity of 'my brush with celebrity' stories, but Billy Barty? that's gotta be true.

                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                        hill food~understood.

                                                                                        as stated that was in Gemco, Woodland Hills, Ca. anyone on here even know what a Gemco was? anyone on here ever go to the Woodland Hills Gemco on Ventura Blvd @ De Soto? It's now a Target.
                                                                                        if you did go into that store, you already know the sort of people that frequented that one particular store. my sister and I both worked there. I walked up to the membership/enterence counter and saw that my sister signing up Lana Turner for a membership card. now Lana Turner did come with her assistant and Ms. Turner didn't do the talking but imagine that moment as one of my favorite movies of all time was Madam X. James Darren, Bobby Darin and Charlton Heston were frequent shoppers.
                                                                                        One of my favorites [because he was seriously more handsome than his studded horse Silver] that came in once then kept coming in was Clayton Moore.

                                                                                        I have nothing to gain by fabricating any celeb story being born and raised where I was. I'm not star struck ... just blessed and to not acknowledge fun times and memories is not giving credit where it's due and it is due.
                                                                                        also blessed to have a memory longer than my hair. my hair is very long but that Billy Barty story happened at 21 years old.

                                                                                        OT: had to do (ride on) the Van Nuys flyaway one day around 2001. I sat 1st row 1st seat passengers' side of bus.
                                                                                        only a couple of others got on, a bare few. we all sat front of bus-why go to back, it was empty.
                                                                                        a very tiny elderly gentleman climbed stairs on to the bus, spry as can be. I scooted to the window in case he wanted to walk no further back. he took the aisle seat next to me and said 'thank you'. we talked the entire bus ride. he commented on my shoes, I commented on his familiarity.
                                                                                        he was starting a touring engagement that he was excited about. because he was one of the few original characters left.
                                                                                        Jerry Maren was a Munchkin in the Wizard of Oz.

                                                                                        http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&am...

                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                          Oh how stinkin cool.

                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                            I remember Gemco, we lived in Lancaster in the early 70's.

                                                                                            and I understand the protocol of keeping one's cool. I've given bad directions to Beck, snubbed Peter Bonerz, helped Tony Perkins find his cigarettes under a picnic table (he was getting really sick at that point), served Kate Capshaw a margarita with a dead cockroach (hey it was a catering gig and the host decided we had to use her old filthy champagne flutes with no time to prep).

                                                                                            of course if I was trying to brag they would have been quite different names.

                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                              I called the GEMCO Lanc several times while working in WH. needed them to transfer products to our store.
                                                                                              I never thought I'd say "oh the memories"...

                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                I still have and use an early NIKE leather gym bag from there. needs a bit of touch-up stitching, but dang almost 40 years of use? nothing lasts that long anymore.

                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                  yep, made me kinda sick when all Gemco's went out of business. I'd worked at 7 Gemco's and the merchandise was really great stuff, high quality big name brands. funny, I oought my first Cuisinart there as a gift to myself, it was about a zillion dollars, I was so thrilled to finally own what I'd sold and envied so many times.

                                                                                              2. re: hill food

                                                                                                Reminds me of an old friend. He was apparently a distant cousin of Tony Joe White ("Polk Salad Annnie"). Whenever someone was dubious, he'd respond, "If I was going to make up a famous relative, don't you think I'd pick someone bigger than Tony Joe White?"

                                                                                                1. re: brandywiner

                                                                                                  brandy - I knew a guy in the 80's who claimed his BF/SO in Baltimore played tennis every week with Jimmy "dyno-MITE!" Walker. I figured that was too obscure to lie about. it would be like claiming my uncle was Ed Wynn.

                                                                                3. re: chileheadmike

                                                                                  I have to admit that when I have run across someone who leaves their cart blocking an aisle and than wanders off, out of sight, to find something else, I have moved their carts. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help myself.

                                                                                  1. re: stecworld

                                                                                    I think that if the cart is properly placed along the side of the aisle, out of the way to other shoppers that it's OK. Or is it just me? Should I push my cart everywhere with me? It drives me bonkers when people just leave it anywhere in the aisle, but I'll often remember something across the store and will line my cart up parallel to the shelves and go grab it.

                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                      IMO, if you've parked the cart without blocking the aisle, there's no problem with leaving it to go get something. However, I also feel you have to be okay with someone moving your cart a metre or so to get something. If you're one of those people that freak if anyone touches your cart, it needs to be in your hand at all times.

                                                                                      1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                        sounds reasonable to me. it's like a shared laundry in an apartment bldg. leave your things in the dryer for 2 days and damn right I'm going to dump them on the folding table (and yes unfolded).

                                                                                        1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                          Oh absolutely not. I don't have such a strong personal connection to my cart that if it needs to be moved for someone else to get to something, that I feel personally insulted. I leave it out of the way, but if it so happens to be in your way, by all means move it such that you can get what you need. But if I leave it nestled against the aisle and out of the direct path of the aisle, please do not move it to the other end or even worse to another aisle altogether.

                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                            Yeah, the end of your scenario is needlessly rude and aggressive. No need for people to be so snarky :)

                                                                                      2. re: stecworld

                                                                                        As a considerate cart parker, I think you should feel comfortable moving those carts out of the way (as long as you only move them a reasonable distance). People who block aisles and wander off have no right to expect their carts will be in the same obstructive position they were before.

                                                                                        1. re: stecworld

                                                                                          if you need to move my cart a foot or two to get at something, help yourself.

                                                                                          If I return and you've moved my cart to the other end of the aisle or to another aisle? I'm going to consider making a scene, especially if I figure out who moved it.

                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                            oooh sunshine I'll make sure to stay away from you ;)))

                                                                                          2. re: stecworld

                                                                                            I make a joke of taking up the whole aisle.
                                                                                            I'm not taking up the whole aisle or even a small part but its my way of saying hello to the person looking on the aisle at the same place I am. or if someone thinks they're in my way with their cart l'll say, "oh you're fine, I have no idea what I'm looking for anyway" (which is often true ;:-/ )usually resulting in us borh giggling.

                                                                                        2. If an employee asked you to go to an empty cashiers, then just go or decline.

                                                                                          no issue at all.

                                                                                          1. Don't let anyone else ruin your good luck. Just let them know the woman asked you into her line as she had no customers at the time. and smile. Some clerks do like to work it makes their day go a lost faster.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: BeverlyJane

                                                                                              I agree with this strategy.

                                                                                              1. re: MiriamWoodstock

                                                                                                +1

                                                                                            2. Welcome to Chowhound. You will find that many people have grocery store pet peeves. The is no shame in wanted to get out of the store quickly. If an employee directed me to an express lane but I was over I would gladly follow. My two suggestions are 1) don't worry about it. You know that you aren't doing wrong and that a store employee directed you to the express lane. So who really cares what the person behind you thinks. Ignore them. 2) If you can't ignore their glares, do what Quine suggests and (with a smile) say that an employee directed you to that line and then thank the cashier for it. And of course if the cashier hasn't started ringing up my items I would let the person go in front of me.

                                                                                              Unless I have less than 5 items and I see that they lines are long, I too avoid the self checkout. Just say thank you for the suggestion, but that you would rather wait.

                                                                                              16 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                Oh yes! I forgot to welcome you to ChowHound! Welcome and good starting post, btw.

                                                                                                I have no issues responding to glares and snide remarks. I hate some kinds of shopping, so sometimes I buy a lot of an item, I use daily, to save time and trips. One day, I had just placed a Whole Bunch of canned cat food on the belt and was waiting my turn (regular lines, not express) and the person behind me snarked, "Someone must have a lot of cats.." I just turned to her and said "nope, school starts next week, so had to buy school lunches." You should have seen the look on her face! Bet she thinks twice about saying stuff like that again. :-)

                                                                                                1. re: Quine

                                                                                                  That is the best response to a rude remark I've heard in a long time. Thanks for the laugh!

                                                                                                  1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                    That reminds me of the guy who got in my face for having 12 items in the 10 express and 3 were apples not in a bag and if I had bagged them it would have been 10 items and he continued to protest so I reached across the red plastic bar to my left on the conveyor and grabbed his bag of frozen peas and tore it open and spilled the peas and told him he was in the wrong line and I paid for his friggin peas. I shared this event previously on CH and got trashed for it, but I would do it the same way again, hostile as he was.

                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                      Classic. Sometimes people just need a "hands on" explanation.

                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                        OKay, that is absolutely hysterical. Wonder if he ever opened his mouth again about someone having too many items?!?

                                                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                          Can't
                                                                                                          Stop
                                                                                                          Laughing!
                                                                                                          OMG I would have paid money to see that!

                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                            ROFL!!! Yep some people just need a dose of the crap they are handing out to others, given back to them. Love this, Bet those were the best peas ya ever bought too!

                                                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                              Well, as long as you paid for his peas . . . ;)

                                                                                                              1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                As a small child I was often told to watch my peas in queues or something like that.

                                                                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                  all right, fess up: did the pea incident *really* happen or were you just looking for an excuse to use this line? :-)

                                                                                                                  1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                    Gotta' admit, it is a great line.

                                                                                                              2. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                Whirled peas started World War 3.

                                                                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                  I imagine only the cleaner would be pissed off at that! Otherwise if I were there I'd laugh my ass off!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                    Veggo

                                                                                                                    hahahahhahahhah, that 'is' soooooooo funny.
                                                                                                                    love it although I know probably not proper.
                                                                                                                    I too have been ragged on by people behind me at a checkout line because I had 1900 coupons and their wait was crazy long but I did always warn, "this is gonna take a while, I have a truckload of coupons, just to let you know"

                                                                                                                    also recently my credit card got eaten up by the conveyor belt and disappeared.
                                                                                                                    that took a while for them to undo the moving sliding thingie to retrieve my cc but all of us in line giggled, how dumb was that bonehead move on my part...

                                                                                                                  2. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                    I guess it is all perception, but I really don't think this person who made the cat comment did so with the intention of being rude... she may have just been a sweet person making small talk. I don't understand why people take such benign comments and interpret them as rude or snarky. It is just bizarre to me that people jump straight to, "that rude b*$tch will know better next time!", when she was probably just being chatty. Sad commentary on the state of things. However, Quine, your response made me laugh. :)

                                                                                                                  3. re: Quine

                                                                                                                    LOL!

                                                                                                                2. I work in a grocery store and I could rant all day about customers who do selfish things like that, but on purpose and don't even feel bad about it. People will go to the deli with a basket full of things and think that I am a cashier and I'm supposed to drop everything to ring through their items because they are too lazy to wait in line where they are supposed to go.

                                                                                                                  When it is busy and the lines are getting longer than the express lines, they usually do that anyways so if anything it was the employees fault not yours.

                                                                                                                  1. How about when you're checking out a large order at a regular line and someone comes up with a few items and asks to cut ahead because they only have a few things and express line is long. I often decline and say to use express line because technically they're cutting ahead of everyone else waiting there. The express line may be long, but the wait is short.

                                                                                                                    33 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Leslie

                                                                                                                      Can't say that has t happened to me often, where people ask to cut ahead. I'd probably not like it and feel scammed. I mean, Hey, I waited and am in the right line, what makes you special? But very often (I shop with my Mom most often, as we both are single dwellers, so easy to do it together) Mom and/or I will look at someone behind us and say, you only have a few items, go ahead of us. But asking to cut ahead, er no. That is just being a brat.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                        People do ask, or else stand there with their arms full and give me the look. I will occasionally offer for someone to go ahead, but more often I will inform them that the store has an express lane.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Leslie

                                                                                                                          This reminds of what happened to me the other day.... I was about 1/3 of the way putting my numerous groceries on the belt, this lady walked up with more than several things in her arms. She flopped them all on the belt. I had to wait for her to push her stuff back every time I put something of mine down. She was all up in my personal space the whole time doing it. It was so rude! I am usually a nice person, but I refused to say something to make her feel better.

                                                                                                                          I have been in that same situation before. I was the one who chose to forgo a buggy so I had to deal with holding an armful of stuff for 2-3 minutes at the register.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                                            then there's the person that deposits a few things on the counter and goes back to forage for more (wash, rinse, repeat) and the clerk doesn't 'get' it and waits. even worse when said shopper thinks this gives them priority in the checkout line.

                                                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                              I'll wait a minute or two -- then I'll just grab a basket and dump their stuff in it, if the cashier doesn't get there before me.

                                                                                                                              I'm all for giving someone a pass if they forgot one item (we've all done it) -- but more than one item? Take your stuff and get out of line - you're not done shopping.

                                                                                                                            2. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                                              I would not know what I would do. I guess I would be honestly stunned stupid.

                                                                                                                              I'm usually the one juggling 3+ items while waiting in line, but I have never placed them on the belt preventing someone from loading their stuff.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Crockett67

                                                                                                                                the last time it happened to me, I just took my forearm and swept everything about three feet back to allow me to put everything on the belt. She cleared her throat and started to glare, but she knew she was overstepping her boundary because I hadn't put The Divider down yet.

                                                                                                                                It's a really funny thing I've observed here in France -- The Dividers between customers are SACRED to most people -- you don't dare put your stuff on the belt until the person in front of you puts The Divider down, indicating that they're done offloading their stuff. THEN you say 'merci" and start unloading your stuff...and you have to remember to put The Divider down when you're done, because the poor person behind you will stand there holding their stuff until their arms fall off.

                                                                                                                                If there's no Divider, you leave a good width, then you build a wall with your groceries to signify the end of your merchandise.

                                                                                                                                It's a weird little quirk.

                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                  That is how it usually works here. Although finding The Divider is like finding gold where I shop.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                                                    then there's always the exception, who stands guard over her toilet paper like a mama bear protecting her cubs. I always want to turn to her and say "Lady, really -- I am buying toilet paper today, too -- see it up there? And I don't want your day-glo orange, mango-scented toilet paper anyway....I promise I'm not gonna take it."

                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                      really? TP comes in "day-glo orange, mango-scent" now? hmmm.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                    maintaing the respect for The Divider is not weird. unless I was raised to be weird, I always thought it was common courtesy no matter the country.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                      but it's a different level here -- it's a necessity and a requirement, and you are not to touch the belt until The Divider has been placed.

                                                                                                                                      and yeah -- some of the color/scent combinations on toilet paper are pretty bizarre -- France used to have only one kind of paper -- rough and strawberry-pink. Now there's a whole aisle, of white, the ever-present pink, and a weird rainbow of colors and scents, up to and including black toilet paper. The mind boggles.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                        I was just in France, staying in someone's home, and they had that rough, strawberry pink stuff. I thought it was just a personal preference of theirs. Had no idea it was the national brand!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                          It is a personal preference -- even the pink stuff is available in soft versions, and there's some that's softer than anything I've ever found in the US.

                                                                                                                                          Pink is definitely a standard color, but rough is optional.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                      "It's a weird little quirk."

                                                                                                                                      I think it's just good manners but it seems to be the norm where I shop in LA. I would be stunned if someone starting unloading their stuff before I put the divider down.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                        What about if the person in front is obviously finished loading the belt (empty cart) and a space exists behind their food but they haven't put down the divider? In that scenario, I will reach for the divider and start putting my things down. I just assume the person is distracted; I've never noticed any dirty looks and will often receive a "Sorry about that".

                                                                                                                                        1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                                          No, that is cool. We rarely have dividers, so in that case I just leave a foot or so of space and then put down something like toilet paper as a divider.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                                                            There is absolutely no end to my grocery store pet peeves but as it relates to the belt/divider issue, I could be driven to tears.

                                                                                                                                            At my local store, the person in front of me could have their groceries in a nice little clearly defined pile. I arrive on the scene and place my one item three feet back (leaving lots of empty, black real estate) but because that divider doesn't seperate the orders, the clerk always, always, always tries to ring it in as one order.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                                                              When the other person does not pass back the lane divider, I usually start to unload my items and leave them on the metal piece at the end of the belt as a *hint,hint* that it is time for someone else to join them on the belt. I will leave them there until the divider is put down so as to prevent the cashier from getting confused.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                A reasonable clerk would consider the stainless part of the belt stagin area to a different order but not at my store, I have tried that method too!

                                                                                                                                                It is a huge joke in my marriage that I should not be allowed in the store as the owners are a huge customer of my husband's business. I am under orders to keep my mouth shut and to be on my best behavior.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                                                                  Do they ask you to move the items down to be scanned with the prior order? How could they be confused?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                    Yes.

                                                                                                                                                    I don't know how they can be confused. It boggles the mind.

                                                                                                                                                    Another peeve - when they make remarks about the cost of our Sunday papers. "$5.50! and $2.50! I would never spend that on a newspaper!"

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                                                                      I'm totally cool with "what is that?" or "I've seen that on the shelf; is it good?", or "how do you use that?" or similar conversation about what's on the belt.

                                                                                                                                                      I'm totally not cool about the clerk opining on *anything* on the belt.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                        Agreed. If it was SO bizarre, it wouldn't be in the regular grocery store!!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                                                          There was an older clerk that would make the biggest fuss over "weird" produce like mangos, avocados, basil and such. I got many a lecture from her about the how "we didn't have such fancy and expensive food when I was your age."

                                                                                                                                                          The day she yelled "OH MY!" when my two pounds of gulf shrimp rang in at $37.00 nearly sent me to the manager to complain but then I felt bad because I didn't want her to get in trouble or fired.

                                                                                                                                                          She is no longer at the store, I hope she was able to retire.

                                                                                                                                                          I really dislike grocery shopping and I tend to go to the store at my most-stressed time of the day, which is probably why I am so easily annoyed. There are several clerks I actively avoid.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                                                                            Different strokes: I truly love grocery shopping! Recent incident: bought sake, and not only the clerk, but 2 bag boys had to ask what it was, how I would use it, and if it was worth the price. Just imagine if I'd bought the high-end boozes!

                                                                                                                            3. re: Leslie

                                                                                                                              Yeah, I have no sympathy for people trying to cut into the regular line because the express is too long. I'm fine with letting them go ahead if there *is* no express. My other gripe is the older guy at the grocery store who often shops the same time as me (I often go around 7:30 am on my way in to work, to get non-perishables, and veggies if the weather is accommodating). He gives my small-to-medium full shopping cart a look, jumps ahead to put one item on the conveyor belt, then mosies over to the newspaper rack to pick out a couple newspapers. Meanwhile, I wait, and the cashier waits. He looks at me with a stupid smile and says, "I didn't want to be behind you". And I know that while I'm trying to get into work, he's going home to watch TV and read his newspapers. Grrr.

                                                                                                                              1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                My mom swears that the worse shoppers are retired men (I should mention that they are in an affluent NoVa city w/ a lot of retired government and military workers). They mosy about without a care of what is going around them, block aisles and shelves, are unfamiliar with the store layout so not as careful with pushing carts, and are use to being in charge so they more aggressive (cutting people off @ lines, going down center of aisle, charging out of aisles, etc).

                                                                                                                                Personally I think that the little old woman/man combo is the worse. I swear they tag team. I do find it humorous when I find them "shopping" out of my cart.

                                                                                                                                1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                  I would have NO problem taking that *one* item of his off the belt, placing it on the side and giving him the most beautiful smile I could, while saying: "people hold place in line, not food, so since I am the only person here, I must be next!" Licking my finger and running it over his one item may also become part of the deal, if he was going to be a snit about it, too.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                                    love it! Unfortunately I don't have the b*lls to do it :)

                                                                                                                                  2. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                    Wow I have never had anyone rightfully think that they could go in front of me because they have fewer items...that's absurd. I have had several wonderful people offer to let me in front of them if I had less and I often will do the same but to think you are entitled to a better spot in line because you're buying less is crazy.

                                                                                                                                  3. re: Leslie

                                                                                                                                    LOL -- I saw that happen a couple of years ago -- on the day before Christmas Eve -- a very kindly looking couple (older, but not elderly by any stretch) had TWO baskets piled high with all kinds of goodies for Christmas.

                                                                                                                                    Just as they started to unload the first basket, a young girl came up with a sandwich and a soda, and moved the 2nd basket, then squeezed past the first basket, MOVED THEIR STUFF, and plunked her lunch down on the belt.

                                                                                                                                    Mr. Kindly picked up her lunch and handed it to her, and said that his wife was unloading the cart and that she'd have to wait. She actually stamped her foot and jutted out her lower lip like a 3-year-old (she was 20-ish) and said that she had to get back to work.

                                                                                                                                    He told her loudly that she should have thought about lunch before texting her friends and hanging out with her boyfriend through her lunch hour, and sent her on her merry way, pouting all the way.

                                                                                                                                    If she'd asked, they probably would have let her go -- but since she was such a jerk about it, they send her packing.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                      new depth. I want to fill in that hole and never see or hear of it.

                                                                                                                                  4. If I have been directed to the express line by a store employee when I clearly have more items than allowed, I go happily and ignore anyone who wants to give me a look or make a comment.

                                                                                                                                    I have the same kind of luck with the self-serve line and will only use it if I literally have a handful items or less. It just isn't worth the frustration.

                                                                                                                                    1. Love these responses! :-) I really appreciate everyone's POV.

                                                                                                                                      1. It makes me nuts when I am behind a woman with a full shopping cart. (I have a full cart too) It takes a while for all of her items to get scanned, the cashier says: $127.92 and only then does she start looking through her "satchel" of a handbag for the purse that is hidden in there so she can look thru a half dozen credit/debit cards and finally decide on one card and say: "try this one and see if it works?" It doesn't so she picks another card or two that may or may not work. If none of the cards work then: "I'll write you a check!" YIKES!!!! Have your credit card or cash ready.

                                                                                                                                        15 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                          UGH! I hate this one. Around my area, it's the little old ladies that do this... wait until after the entire cart is scanned, then start digging for their checkbook. If you know you're going to write a check, get it out and get it ready while they are ringing up your items.

                                                                                                                                          And it's not a "woman" thing - I'm female, but you better believe I've got my debit card out of my purse and swiped through that machine before the first item has had time to get to leave the clerk's hands.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ditdah

                                                                                                                                            In my area, I avoid going to the grocery store at noon, because its the guys in the pickups either on their way too or from their construction jobs, stepping in to pick up lunch or a snack, that wind up digging around in their pockets for change, then saying "OOPS I'm 25 cents short, hang on I'm going to my truck", who then dash out, leaving the rest of the line waiting til they find that quarter lurking under the paseenger seat of their 4x4....and they'll wait in both the express lineup or the regular lineup, clogging up each one equally....

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ditdah

                                                                                                                                              "get it out and get it ready while they are ringing up your items."
                                                                                                                                              In my area, the checker starts scanning as soon as the previous customer has paid their bill; sometimes even before the customer has closed her purse and left the till. By the time my cart is unloaded, the order is scanned, it's waiting to be bagged and there I am, looking in my handbag for my wallet. I think that if the checkers would wait until each customer cleared the till area, people would be more ready.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: KarenDW

                                                                                                                                                If you only take in the method you are paying with, there's no hunting. I bring in a single credit or debit card and my ID in my back or coat pocket. I put the purse in the trunk before I come in. You don't need your purse in the store, do you?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                                                  You do if you don't have the luxury of having a car to leave it in ;-)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Manybears

                                                                                                                                                    I shop on foot and usually just grab the bits I need for grocery shopping. Debit card, health card (I case I get hit by a bus), list, phone, keys all in my pockets. I usually shop by myself and hate having to either keep my purse on my shoulder the whole time or worry about it (theft and grime-wise) in the cart.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                                                                                      I wish I was so organized! I am usually going on my way home from a million other things I needed to haul supplies around all day for :)

                                                                                                                                                      However, the shopping itself is generally an oasis of calm for me and I do my best to limit the rummaging after the purchase is already totalled.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                                                    In my case I do need my purse. I have breathing problems from allergies and have to carry a breathing thingamajig with me. Sometimes people use perfume as a deodorate I guess and I will start the non-breathing episode which can be very embarassing to me. Then there are tissues because the ladies room never has tissue. Also every store asks for ID with picture even tho' we have their store cards and have been shopping there for 30 plus years. But, I always have everything ready and waiting for the cashier to ring in the final amt. I'm with Karen on this one. They shouldn't start ringing up your items until the other party is gone!! JMHO

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                                                      in my purse I have: wallet (ie, payment method, affinity points card, and any coupons or gift cards), printed shopping list, smartphone with last minute items I have remembered during the course of the day, tissues (I have nasal issues sometimes), folded carrying bags. The purse is on a shoulder strap, and provides a way to carry the wallet. Purse also provides appropriate place for hat and gloves. Mostly, I think it's pretty rude that the checkers start to scan the next customer's order before the previous customer has a chance to get their stuff collected and out of the way.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: KarenDW

                                                                                                                                                      Honestly, this isn't going to change. People like fast service. You might try finding a favorite, patient checker, and always using his/her line. Or thinking how to streamline finding your wallet. But otherwise, I recommend going at your own pace so you don't feel rushed or rattled.

                                                                                                                                                  3. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                                    LOL! I thought you were going to say and pulls out her coupons! And you know I have seen those types too. They try to get away with using expired or "wrong" item coupons, just based on the fact they are aggravating the cashier and folks in line. Then, they rummage some more for those cards or checks!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                                                      We are starting to get a lot of the couponers here, I think they're being inspired by the TV shows. I have absolutely no issue with folks doing what they need to to save a buck, but wish they would at least warn the people in line behind them that they have 100 coupons and are going to take an hour to check out.

                                                                                                                                                      We also have a large number of people on government assistance for food -- again, no problem with that, until they start screaming at the poor cashier that yes, their 24 pack of beer is an EBT eligible item.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                                      Uh, the one that waits until the whole order is totaled up before they even start to write the check. For GS you know the date you know the name of the store and you know you have to sign the frigging check...all you need to know is the amount!! I could scream when I'm behind them!!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Mother of four

                                                                                                                                                        I agree with you on that one MOF. Not necessary to be such an inconsiderate shopper. People are busy these days and time is valuable to almost all of us. Sometimes I think I have a sign on my back that says, "ask me any questions about shopping you would like". It drives my husband nuts. I guess I just look like I won't chew anyone's head off if they need help.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BeverlyJane

                                                                                                                                                          LOL I am sorry, but, no matter what store I am in, people walk up to me and ask me questions! For some reason no matter what store, Loews. Walmart, Shop Rite, any store (unless obviously different ethnic type. Then only folks who think I am "no idea" why like them). I must have this invisible label on all parts of me that say,"Ask me!!!" I however have not tried this at say Tiffany's. But, I am amazed at how frequently people stop me, at no matter what store to ask me questions.

                                                                                                                                                    3. Definately, just say no. If I am not in a rush, I actually enjoy waiting in line at regular supermarkets so that I can catch up on the important news from Hollywood or peruse food mags. OTOH, if the cashier has invited you up, you shouldn't feel guilty about it.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Welcome to CH! A perfect first post. As others have noted, we have TONS of grocery store pet peeves. Taking advantage of good fortune that's offered would not bother me. I would likely turn to the person behind me and make a big joke out of it with a smile and point to the cashier/employee who directed me to the line and say loudly, "It's her fault! She made me get in this line!" And then they'd look at the employee and they would agree and everyone would laugh.

                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                                                          Yep R&R1, I also do that, everyone gets a laugh and a smile and then the "glarer" gets to feel rightly stupid for being whiny. :-)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                                                            My issue is when they open a new register and the last person in line runs over before the rest of us that have been waiting.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: otps

                                                                                                                                                              at the grocery in my neighborhood, the clerks invite the first person in the longest line to come over *before* they open the new register. If I shopped regularly at a store that didn't do that, I'd probably go to the manager and suggest they implement it as a new policy.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Do what makes you feel comfortable, really. And many clerks are trained to keep those lines from getting too long, so the person glaring at you should have a beef with the store and not with you.

                                                                                                                                                          It's funny, I shop at a store that tries to keep lines from getting long, and invariably a clerk wants to drag me to a checkout all the way at the end, so I'd have to double back nearly the length of the store to get back to the door my car is parked near. Makes it very easy to decline :)

                                                                                                                                                          Just this morning I let two people go ahead of me (one had milk, the other was a grandmother with two grandchildren and two avocados). Then a clerk grabbed hold of my cart and opened the next checkout, and me and my full cart were out the door before either of those two ladies. I felt very conflicted, lol!

                                                                                                                                                          I see people refuse the self check all the time, and I've seen clerks get nasty about it, but not once have I seen a customer buckle under the pressure. Nobody wants to get beeped at and made to feel incompetent!

                                                                                                                                                          1. If it bothers you this much to make a post about it, I'd say decline. Personally, I really wouldn't give a damn. I know I didn't do anything wrong, why bother about the person behind me?

                                                                                                                                                            (Of course if the person is making remarks, that's a different story.. I would really hope I could have Veggo's powers of wit.)

                                                                                                                                                            1. My biggest pet peeves go right back to store management.

                                                                                                                                                              One is express checkout lines and the lack of enforcement, a problem alluded to above. Stores, at least big ones who have enough lines to make it work, should have at least one real genuine express line where the number of items allowed is truly enforced with no exceptions (they could put up a big sign over it to avoid confusion). It would be a big bonus if such lines also allowed cash only, and even better if coupons were not accepted, so those who really want to get through quickly can, and others can simply choose another line, so it's no hardship for them.

                                                                                                                                                              My second pet peeve is unit price tags that make it as difficult as possible to find the unit price, and worse that use different and screwy "units" to make it as difficult as possible to compare prices.

                                                                                                                                                              Of course I also understand why neither of these things will likely ever be implemented.

                                                                                                                                                              22 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                "...unit price tags that make it as difficult as possible to find the unit price, and worse that use different and screwy "units" to make it as difficult as possible to compare prices."

                                                                                                                                                                This is my pet peeve! I also hate it when the price on what I am considering buying isn't marked. Both of these happen all the time.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                  FYI: A common practice at grocery stores is to have the least experienced "in training" cashier work the express line. There is less chance of a major error.
                                                                                                                                                                  Being inexperienced means it takes them longer per item to check you out. So, express is not always the fastest line if there are several people in line.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                    I actually think my swipe of a credit card, a press of "accept" and then signing the pin pad (which I don't even have to do if it's under $50) is a lot faster than cash.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                                      I agree! Digging through one's wallet and/or pocket for bills and coins, then having the cashier try to figure out which denominations to give you back as change (and thank goodness the machine tells them how much change to give you!) is a heck of a lot slower than a swipe of the credit card!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                        Not just credit cards, but debit too. I can swipe (or insert card in chip reader) and do the whole debit procedure faster than the person digging out all their coins to give the exact change. It's become even faster now that most places don't need to you hand the card over.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                                                                                                          I understand the point, but I don't find that to uniformly be the case. One might be able to swipe fast, but that doesn't mean the computer will authorize you fast. But the difference, I agree, is small either way. My concern in the original post above related more to check writers, who often gum up the works as has been noted by several others.

                                                                                                                                                                          In the end, the most effective thing is to enforce the item limit, to keep the abusers out of the line in the first place.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                            I guess I just so rarely see check writers that I've forgotten about them. It's been many, many years since I've been behind one. I don't think they are that commonly used for groceries where I am.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                              I would *love* to hear your ideas or opinions on just how one can "enforce the item limit", Alarm bells, store jail, police, tickets? People who know they are abusing the system have a pretty tough skin, It's like trying to keeps squirrels out of your bird feeders, ain't gonna happen, so don't sweat the small stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                                                                                Very simple. Checker has strict instructions to only ring up the allowable number of items. It's not even necessary to enforce it to the exact number -- nobody really cares if someone with 12 items is allowed through a 10 item limit checkout. The real problem is the big offenders, where it's obvious before starting to do the checkout that the person is well over the limit. Such persons should politely be "asked" to go to another line. Once it is clear to all that the limit is meaningful, presto! the problem goes away.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                                  LOL!!! It's *that* easy? Clearly not, seem people just refuse to move pretend not to "understand" until the cashier either does it or they close the line. You must live in "really polite" land, cause that sure as heck ain't what folks are like in NJ or NY. Cashier says, you have more than 10 items, they say So what? Stall. War begins.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                                                                                    Ah, Jersey. Gotta love it. From afar...

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah linguafood, sometimes I wish I could say that. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Quine

                                                                                                                                                                                      I feel your pain. I used to live in NYC, and my experience in "jersey" suggests "me first ism" may be even more pronounced in places there. Fortunately the rest of the country is much better. You folks have made your bed and now, as they say, you have to sleep in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      That said, it could still be done even in NYNJ if the stores had the gumption to do it. For example, if I were a manager in a store where someone pulled a trick like that, I'd open a new line and invite everyone else to go there, check them out, and give them all a little something like a dollar off to show appreciation. Even an arrogant idiot of the type you describe would get the message from that. And I even think the store's business would be affected positively by an "idiots need not shop here" policy. JMHO

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                                                                                        I must live in really polite land too-everyone who is directly asked to switch to another register does so. As far as a solution-if they don't move, removing the items and setting them aside fore restocking would be fairly effective. It is actually *that* easy, which is not to say that every store or cashier does it. Short of aiming a gun at the cashier, the customer can't actually make her check out, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ErnieD

                                                                                                                                                                                          The cashier lines here in NJ, have no room, for the cashier to take off and set aside the items of someone over the "limit". Once they are on the belt, either the person has to put them back in the cart (which the abuser of the limit would refuse to do) or the cashier checks them out. And yeah, here in NJ, home of "housewives" and "Jersey Shore", many folks feel so entitled they are adult bullies.

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: Quine

                                                                                                                                                                                      in one French supermarket chain, the self-checkout is programmed to process 10 items. Period. If you try to scan an 11th item, it shuts down and you have to either give something up and pay for the first 10 items, or pick up your stuff and go to a regular checkout.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                                                                                        <<I would *love* to hear your ideas or opinions on just how one can "enforce the item limit">>

                                                                                                                                                                                        Simple. The store can set the computer to refuse to register anything after the prescribed number of items has been reached.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                          Anyone remember ADAM 12 the cop show? In one episode they are called to a shooting @ a supermarket. They walk in and there is a man on the floor with a leg wound. The supermarket rent a cop is standing there with a pistol in his hand.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Adam 12: "What happened here?"
                                                                                                                                                                                          Rent a cop: "He had 12 items in the 10 item line!"
                                                                                                                                                                                          Wounded guy: "I'm gonna own this store!"

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                                                                            I wonder how the shooter dealt with movie talkers.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                              Hah! My wife does that!! "Don't open that door!!"

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                                                                                I've stopped going to the movies because of people like her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                  We get Netflix and she does it at home too! Otherwise she is perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. I am a bit of a comedian and I will apologize in advance:
                                                                                                                                                                              Our local independent grocery store has 7 cash registers but usually no more than 3 cashiers. When I am waiting on a long line I try to spot the "manager du jour" and get their attention. I'll ask loudly enough so the other shoppers can hear. "Hey boss! Why do you have 7 registers?" It gets a laugh from the crowd and embarasses the manager enough to get on the horn and get some help at the registers!"
                                                                                                                                                                              In the market it works every time but at the bank I just get scowls from the employees and a few chuckles from the others in line.

                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                                                                LOLOLOL i've always wanted to use that at the airport checking counter too...why do you have 25 freaking checkin counters, and man only 2, when you have an aircraft seating 450 trying to check in their luggage???? Although if you yell out at the airport this day and age, you'll probably be taken down at gunpoint and dragged away so fast you won't know what hit you....
                                                                                                                                                                                :)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                                                                  Try that line at a German post office some time '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                    LOLOLOL or in an Italian bank...

                                                                                                                                                                                2. I'm with you on everything. I do decline when they lead me to the 10 and under line if I have a full cart as I know how I would feel if I was in back of a cart with 40 items in it, and how would I know that they told you to go there. Same with the scam my own, heck I'm very happy to have them scan and bag...for what I'm paying, do I need to do the work too! By the way, great first post...sure got us all going!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Mother of four

                                                                                                                                                                                    because yeah - I'm usually the one with 10 and under who had the luck of getting to the register right behind the person with the cart load of stuff....even when I know the cashier made the offer, it still always seems to be Just My Luck (along with the ability to choose with 100% accuracy, the one item out of an entire bin that has lost its barcode sticker, or the one that won't scan....)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                      Just had this happen: I had 1001 items and they led me to the express line. Sure enough, a very elderly man came up with 2 items, just as I was unloading mine. I told him to go ahead of me, but he didn't seem to "get it" and tried putting his 2 items behind mine. Once I got the clerk's eye (a feat unto itself), told her to ring him up first.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. if space wasn't such a premium it would be better to have one line and the next in line advances to the next open register. Lots of banks and post offices do this anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                      That's how the remodeled Whole Foods near me does it. They have about 6 cashiers that operate in the old-fashioned way for people with a lot of stuff. For people with 15 items and under (90% of the people who shop at the store), there is one constantly moving line with about 20 cash registers.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                        Whole (paycheck) Foods, Trader Joes and Eataly have a variation of this. It seems to work well.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                                                                          None of the TJ's in my area (SF Bay Area) have the one-line-for-all-registers system. Where are your TJ's ?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dump123456789

                                                                                                                                                                                            Nor the Whole Foods either, at least in MI and FL.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dump123456789

                                                                                                                                                                                              Washington, D.C. has it.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dump123456789

                                                                                                                                                                                                Brooklyn and Manhattan TJ's. Manhattan Whole Paycheck!

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                              The Michael's craft stores here have started this. They have a single line with a TV/speaker at the end to announce the next available register. When a cashier is ready for the next customer, she hits a button to signal the TV, which announces the open register and displays the number. The light at the register flashes a few times as well. It actually works very well, and has made better use of space since the line runs perpendicular to the registers, and is doesn't back up into the aisles.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                                                                TJ Max too!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                                                                  And you will notice that the aisles along the waiting for "next cashier" line are just chock a block full of mega impulse items for sale! :-) Major win for store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ross and Marshalls and Harrods do that too. I no longer have to pay attention they just announce the available checker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I love it when stores do this. The Walmart nearest me does this for their speedy checkout.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                                      In queuing theory, this is known as the multiple server - single queue model. It works well in some settings, but breaks down when the number of servers (cash registers) gets too high and the next in line fails to keep track. It also requires space, and discipline, which tend to be lacking in the traditional grocery store environment (though maybe not in WF and TJ). It's not new -- grocery stores have thought about it, but its drawbacks are generally greater than its advantages. For grocery stores, one of the big problems would be customer difficulty maneuvering shopping carts in a long single line with sharp turns. With the line always moving, imagine the number of times people would run into the shopper ahead of them with their cart. That's probably why the WF mentioned above doesn't use it for the larger orders. And what about those impulse candy sales while everyone is waiting in line?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. I think the store clerk is trying to speed you along, and there are no other customers, so they encourage you to go through the unoccupied 15 items or less aisle. Since it bothers you, I'd just politely decline. But I promise you this--there will be an occasion when you really need to get out of the store fast, and no one will encourage you to move to an unoccupied checkout lane. Murphy's Law.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      If the store where you shop really is irritating, I'd vote with my feet, and go elsewhere. The store should be making your shopping easy, not hard. I have chosen where to shop. I don't choose to shop at the closest place; I choose the store that makes it the most pleasant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I actually enjoy not being the first in line. I like to have all my groceries on the line before the cashier rings me up so that I can see how much each item comes up as. On a regular basis an item that is weighed is rung up incorrectly or items on sale ring up at full price. It shocks me how many people don't even pay attention and just pay whatever they are told.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        As to your issue, I have experienced the same...a cashier will direct me to the express lane when I clearly have more than the amount, I just say "thanks, but I think I have over 12".
                                                                                                                                                                                                        My other pet peeve is when the bag boy insists he helps me carry my groceries although I can manage just fine, he'll grab the bags and start walking anyway and then I feel obligated to tip him even though I declined his help in the first place!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: WhatsEatingYou

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's just not really possible to watch the groceries being rung up where I shop (self bagging store). If I'm by myself, I have to unload, and then bag and load into my buggy. If I watched the cashier, my groceries would be blocking the end where you bag. I check my receipt on the walk home. If there's an issue (and that's rare), I get it fixed the next week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. My husband and I had a new and frustrating experience a few weeks ago. Went to Walmart to purchase 2 small items. Of the 20 lanes or so, there were only a few open and they all had long lines, so we went to the one express lane: one elderly lady was checking out with no one behind her. Good, we'll be out in no time, we thought. NOT. I had never in my life seen anyone do this, but apparently Walmart has a price-match guarantee and this lady had gone through every single grocery store circular to find the least expensive items and then came to Walmart to purchase these same items but in multiple amounts--WAY more than the 10 items or less the sign showed. My guess is that the clerk invited her to come to empty lane, but it would have been really helpful if the clerk or the woman herself had turned to tell us that it was going to be a while. What this woman had to do was pull out an item, say a pineapple (and she had 3), and then search through all her many circulars to find the one where pineapples were the cheapest, and then show it to the clerk who then checked to make sure it was legit before ringing it up at the lower price. We must have stood there 10 minutes wondering what was going on before we started to realize. In the meantime, we're watching people in the longer lines all getting taken care of before us and leaving. As I recall, a nice man in the next lane realized what was happening and let us go ahead of him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Never seen anyone take the price match deal to such extremes, but this certainly should have been handled somewhere other than the express lane!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Thanks4Food

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I had a price matching experience a couple of weeks ago at my grocery store, although not in the express lane. I didn't even realize the store had a price match guarantee (or if I had seen it, I promptly forgot or figured it was probably to complicated to worry about). Luckily, the shopper was very organized and had all her stack of flyers in the order that the items were on the conveyer, so by the time I had my stuff loaded on, she was almost done.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe I should be paying more attention to other store flyers!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            all this talk of express lanes, reminded me of when I was a cashier. I was working the express lane/cigarette counter and the manager sent someone over with a cart full cause I had no customers. It wasn't a regular type cash lane, just a counter, so it was really a pain to take big order. got everything rung up and the customer realized they had no wallet. So I had to reverse everything, item by item, with manager standing there for approval. What a pain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I don't remember where I read it, but someone did research and express lines don't actually save much time overall, even when you have few items. Apparently the vast majority of time for most transactions come from things like paying, the duration of which doesn't decrease in the express line. Obviously, if you get behind someone with 100 items vs. 2 there's going to be a significant difference, but apparently not as much as one would think. I always thought that was interesting and find myself less likely to go to express lines because of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tazia

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Glad to see that someone researched to confirm what I've always felt about it.....A longer express lane means more transactions, as opposed to one person with alot of stuff in a regular lane - one transaction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tracylee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Apu pointed this out to us years ago on the Simpsons :p

                                                                                                                                                                                                                As for the main post, I don't know how I feel about your pet peeve. I'm sure we all hate it when someone is in front of you in the express line with obvious more than 15 items (sometimes 40+) and you have a carton of milk and a carton of eggs in your hands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've never heard of this practice of an employee routing the traffic like that so, I haven't been in the situation, but I think you should decline and I probably wouldn't shop at a place that does that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's like when Blockbuster had that policiy of saying 'Hi,' to every single person that came in. It was such a fake 'hi,' and the anticipation of knowing it was coming everytime I walked through the door made me feel embarassed for the clerk and just made me uncomfortable in general.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't think it's an issue of common ettitquette with strangers but rather stupid store policies that may have had good intentions in their conception but really need to be addressed in how they actually function.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: tracylee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But you've got to judge the person in front of you. Are they uber-efficient (like me): have the bonus card on keychain ready to hand over, packs my own bags, has credit card in hand, or are they the one who has no clue how to pack their own bags, or just doesn't want to, will have to rummage for coupons and check book or, god forbid, look for that penny on the bottom of the purse to make exact change. I try to size 'em up before I get in line!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I try to size 'em up. But I have come to accept that I excel in picking really bad lines. I just work that downtime into the equation and read the magazine covers or people watch...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The only place I get it right is at Costco - there is one cashier who can really keep a line moving and I always get in his line if I see him working!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Funny, but it seems I'm the one never to get in back of as there is always the problem person in front of me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Mother of four

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I did pretty well all the way through the store and patiently waited while a man and woman had their yearly catchup conversation in front of the hamburger. I needed. So I waited. And Waited....you get the idea....15 minutes later they moved an inch so I could get in. Then when I got to the register with my $200 worth of food, the woman behind me with a bratty 10 year old started throwing her stuff on the belt before I was even done and still being run up....I almost threw the bar at her I was so spitting mad!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BeverlyJane

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As far as the hamburger people, I would just say excuse me and reach for what I need! Fifteen minutes...wow you sure have a lot more patience then me. Some people seem not to have a clue what they are doing, so a simple excuse me seems to wake them up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Mother of four

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I should think so. My time tolerance before the "excuse me" comes out of my mouth is closer to 10 seconds. Of course if they are actually puzzling over the choices, not doing something unrelated such as yaking about the grandkids, I will wait a bit longer -- maybe 20 seconds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I guess I'm the nice one. If I have a full cart or a bunch of coupons, I turn to the person behind me and let him or her know I'll be a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. To the people behind me, I'd say, "The manager told me to use this register. Take it up with him/her!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Another pet peeve of mine are people who eat the groceries while shopping...grapes, cookies out of a box...PAY FOR IT FIRST! You're NOT starving!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: njmarshall55

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    <<Another pet peeve of mine are people who eat the groceries while shopping...grapes, cookies out of a box...PAY FOR IT FIRST! You're NOT starving!>>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When it's something you have to weigh at the checkout, I agree. Anything else, who cares? Though I don't usually eat anything before I pay for it, I will sometimes drink a bottle of water while I shop and pay for it when I check out. I'm certainly not going to stand in line twice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Something else for the Nosy Parker set to consider: I frequently buy something to eat and drink at the cafe, and I nearly always finish the drink while I shop. So you really don't know whether I paid for it first (not that it's any of your business).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      agree, if I want to eat an apple because I 'am' hungry, I take another apple or apples so they can weigh it but the other apple or apples are going home with me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      often times I grab a Snickers bar or Heath or Skor and eat it while shopping but keep the wrapper for them to charge me for. as long as I do that, they have no problem. I'm also guilty of the soda pop thing. it's easy to grab one, pop it open and drink while shopping but again, they charge me during check out. ALSO I do this. always have a drink of some kind with me and if it's a can of soda, I get someone's attention when walking in to the market to let them know I'm bringing it in the store [it's mine from home in other words.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        when my pups were small, they'd sometimes have a banana in the store (after I picked them up from school) -- so I'd always hand over my keys or something else to weigh along with the rest of the bunch -- I figure I overpaid more often than not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        People DO have insulin or other medical events and need to eat or drink something right away to avoid a bigger problem later. But that's their issue, and payment issues are solely between them and the store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: njmarshall55

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Another pet peeve of mine are people who eat the groceries while shopping...grapes, cookies out of a box...PAY FOR IT FIRST! You're NOT starving!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This. I cannot stand people who do this. You are not starving to death and you haven't paid for it. I've had people throw empty granola bar wrappers and spray crumbs all over the counter or start drinking a can of something and then get mad that I have to take the item from them to scan it. I don't want your drink splashing on me, or your crumbs, or your spit on the edge of the wrapper. Wait. til. you've. paid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      /rant (and clearly from some of the other posters they don't agree, but nothing's going to change my view on that. I certainly understand medical instances, but otherwise- no).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tovflu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        as long as they DO eventually pay for it..............I've seen folks put back opened containers they had munched on on shelves....that is just plain theft

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. My pet peeve are large families at Costco who block the aisles while they eat their lunch from the free samples. Grrrr.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      38 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GreekChorus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How about the weavers who drift to the right while looking at the displays on the left ? The people behind them can't really pass them, and the people in front of them risk being run into by their carts because they don't see the oncoming traffic while looking left.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Also, the ones who stop their cart on the left, then walk directly in front of oncoming carts to the display on the right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DagingKuda

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There is a courtesy flow to all the bobbers and weavers. I just want to shop for groceries. This is not my Saturday's entertainment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GreekChorus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm not sure what your first sentence means ("courtesy flow ...").

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DagingKuda

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I shop at a Costco near the south shore of Lake Tahoe and most shoppers are very courteous of each other up and down the aisle and are patient with each other. However, my husband and I shopped together there yesterday and there were so many very rude shoppers we couldn't wait to get out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GreekChorus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't do Costco on a Saturday. In LA (I'm sure it happens elsewhere too) parents bring their 10 kids who're making it a point to touch everything in sight & haven't been taught there are other people who're entitled to be treated with just the slightest amount of courtesy. That includes no bumping into others' carts, no running and jumping which inevitably results in stepped on toes and elbows stabbed into the next person's side.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh....and nevermind they're bringing these 10 children to eat their free lunch aka free samples. They're standing there with their tongues hanging out as the free sample person is trying as fast as they can to keep up with the demand.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nope. No Saturdays or Sundays.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm 62 and a curmudgeon.you will NEVER get me in a market on a weekend! Single parents....folks just outta church......Soccer Mommies with 5 kids in tow.....OMG!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Only thing worse is those days when folks of my age+ shop.........especially couples!........Middle of the aisle......comparing per ounce prices of 15 types of canned tomatoes.and then re-looking to see the nutrition labels.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If I see the "assisted Living" bus outside the market....I drive on to the liquor store first. If it isn't gone by the time i get back............GAWD....I know I'll need that more!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm 30 and I hate it when people bring their entire gaggle of children to the store. Like, I guess if they're a single parent and have nobody else to watch their kids, I get it, but at least keep an eye on them and keep them quiet. The other day at the store there was this kid SOMEWHERE in the store making very loud siren noises... I finally heard him get shooshed, but not until after he had sufficiently annoyed everyone in the store. There was another time on a Saturday afternoon where it was a dad with his 4 kids who kept touching everything in the produce department. I saw them later by the meat department, dad looked perplexed by the meat, not paying attention that his little girl that was sitting in the cart had put a plastic bag over her head. I let him know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But, aside from really late in the evenings, I've found that Saturday mornings before 11am are generally the least busy times at the store. I won't go NEAR a store between 4 and 7 on a weeknight, that's the worst time. I'd rather stop at 7-11 and pay twice as much for sour cream than go to the grocery store to pick up a container if I need it for dinner and forgot to purchase it earlier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In my experience, no parent brings their kids to the grocery store willingly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Exactly. Only someone who doesn't have kids would think that parents actually enjoy it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I never said the parents enjoyed it. But, a lot of the parents seem to be unaware at how annoying their children are being to everyone else... like the siren screaming boy the other day. It went on for a couple minutes before he was shooshed. I also saw another family with 3 children, elementary aged, who were dancing and yelling all through the frozen food aisle, getting in people's way. Parents seemed to ignore it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            While I agree that it's annoying, until you've been there, you really cannot understand how difficult in can be at times....sometimes you simply don't have the mental reserves to lose your cool one more time, and if you don't get the grocery shopping done, no one's going to get anything to eat this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Exactly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's not like parents have family members or babysitters around and choose to not use them. If my husband is at work, I have no other choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Kids are not something you can control 100%. If that's what you think you are very naive. I know sometimes it looks looks like the parents just arn't paying attention, but you do not know the circumstances. I have learned to give them the benefit of the doubt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Actually, I didn't mind. My children were given choices with every single thing they did. They knew, before they entered the market or toy store, what their choice regarding their behavior would result in. They knew that another person's space was important and they learned about accountability and responsibility.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                All this was taught and learned at a very young age in a very calm manner. Of course my staying at home with them was exhausting and grueling alot of the time. I had a job to do and one of the best places to do it was in a grocery store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If I see a parent actually attempting to discipline their child who is misbehaving, but the child is just "in a mood", then I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, as I do understand "kids will be kids". But, if they appear to be completely ignoring the child, and letting them do whatever they want, then yes, I get annoyed, and based on the faces of other people around, they are annoyed too. I will also say that I see plenty of kids who behave themselves in the store as well... so it's not like it's an impossible feat. Another example of something I saw while at the store this past week, a whole family, mom, dad, 2 kids were shopping together. The daughter, who was around 5 or 6, was acting up, crying, basically throwing a mini-tantrum. The parents stopped what they were doing to talk to her and to at least attempt to get her to shape up. Those are the types I will give the benefit of the doubt to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Like latindancer said, parents do have a job to do, and if they have to bring the kids along to the store (which I do understand is unavoidable at times), then they should take that opportunity to teach their kids about what is appropriate....not letting them scream at the top of their lungs or letting them run loose around the store. I know that's what my mom did with my brother and I. She was a SAHM and my dad worked 6 days a week, so we came with her to the store most of the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    <not letting them scream at the top of their lungs>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mine were not allowed to have tantrums, scream, run or misbehave in any way shape or form. Of course they tested, in the beginning when they were learning, my rules but after about one test they knew it was fruitless. I find it infuriating when I see parents or caretakers attempting to reason with their children. It signifies negotiation and I didn't do that. They knew the rule beforehand and it was up to them to follow them....there was no arguing or discussion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My kids were always required, when very small, to always keep one hand on the cart if they wanted to walk like "big boys". If they let go, into the "baby seat" they went! I now have a 9-year old who STILL automatically grabs the cart. Consistency works :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Are you my mother? You pretty much described her parenting style. I was far from a perfect child, but I almost never misbehaved in public. I knew there were consequences for misbehavior, and those consequences were at least doubled if I misbehaved away from home. I was willing to test the limits at home, but never at the grocery store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For the first eight years of my life, we lived almost an hour from a supermarket. We could do basic day-to-day shopping near home, but at least once a month had to go to the city for the big shop. Distance and volume made it a family affair. Acting up at the store was a sure fire way to not get dessert when we stopped for dinner on the way home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          <Acting up at the store was a sure fire way to not get dessert when we stopped for dinner on the way home>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Exactly. A child sitting, without dessert, when everyone around them is eating theirs may seem insignificant to some but to that child it's a mighty powerful lesson. When they know they've created their lack of dessert it makes them think twice before they do it again. It teaches responsibility and accountability. We all know that consistency and a strong parent's resolve is paramount to successful child raising.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          BTW I don't think I'm your mother...we lived closer than an hour away from a supermarket :).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yup. I recall one time in my childhood, my mom had to go to the bank, and my brother and I had to go with her. There was something intriguing about the bank, probably the quietness, that made us get riled up. This was an old, traditional style bank, with tile floors and red velvet ropes and all that. We misbehaved terribly, sliding around on the floors and playing with the ropes. We both got spanked with a wooden spoon on the ass when we got home. After that, we behaved.... and much to my mother's relief, the bank opened a drive-thru window :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My brothers and sister and I got spanked periodically when I was growing up for the same reasons you're talking about. Kids just act like animals at times....no question about it. I vowed I'd never do that to my children because all it did (could be the frequency and the irrationality of it) was make mother lose any credibility in my eyes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I never laid a hand on my kids. I didn't have to. They knew the rules, they chose the consequences whether positive or negative and they always knew I loved them. Walking into a grocery store with a slew of kids and a worn out, exhausted mother can be a very daunting prospect. I've watched some of the most patient, relaxed, intelligent and organized mothers go completely apeshit with their kids in grocery stores and I'm sure, when they got home and calmed down, they'd beat themselves up pretty badly. There's a reason they say that child rearing is the hardest job for women or men. It is.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As mothers we've all had those iconic episodes we'll never forget and neither, as you recall your disciplining, will our kids.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Um, actually some parents do bring their kids to the stores willingly. I worked at a grocery during college and I can’t tell you the number of stay-at-home mothers who would bring their kids into the store on bad-weather days to use the store as an indoor playground. They’d leave after their kids were tuckered out, one or two items in the shopping cart.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    BF had a former Coworker who would bring his dog to the nearest Petsmart/Petco when it was raining so that the dog could go to the bathroom in the store. He didn't want to get wet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm surprised that the larger supermarkets don't have a small play area (kind of like Ikea or McDonalds). Especially the ones that have the in store food courts and restaurants (Wegman's, Whole Foods).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      so he'd trundle the dog from the house to the car...from the car to the store...from the store to the car...then from the car to the house...all so neither of them wouldn't have to get wet?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ooookay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        s842 - yeah there's a logic gap here. dogs generally don't get pee-shy and are quick about it when they need.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the Wegmans near my sister - Johnson City, NY - has a play area. Can't say if that's a universal with them... not something I look for. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wait! Dogs are allowed to pee and poop in pet stores? How does someone even come to think that is an ok thing to do? Bizarre!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: EM23

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            that flickered through my mind, but I was guessing that maybe they have a special area in the store. Still bizarre, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Special area in a grocery store for animals to go to the bathroom!! I am baffled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: EM23

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I had the same thought. Last time I was at PetSmart I looked for the "poopy area" but I did not see one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's in the parking lot!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: EM23

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Then why the discussion that started this from viperlush about someone going to the petstore to let his dog go to the bathroom when it was raining?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: EM23

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The PetSmarts I've been to have bags and wipes for "accidents." Keep in mind Petsmarts and Petcos allow owners to bring their dogs (and, of course, don't sell items for human consumption).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Then again, doesn't sound like Viper's friend's dog had an "accident."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Then again, doesn't sound like Viper's friend's dog had an "accident."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No, that dog didn't drive himself to the pet store. I hope Viper reads this because I am really curious if it was her BF's co-worker or their dog that had the problem with the rain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: EM23

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's why, as much as I love dogs, I choose cats. No need to walk them in the rain or snow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      yeah like cats (most anyway) would even tolerate a leash!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think that the after-church crowd do. Instead of one person doing the shopping you have the whole family. Then I always see them talking to another group from church and not you have a big group in the middle of the aisle!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dmjordan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            After church shopping is big in my area. I try to avoid it but sometimes in the summer, I need to get to the store to get lunch fixings. It is common to see three generations together, doing their weekly shopping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Once Mr. CB was with me (a rare occurence) and he wondered aloud why everyone was so dressed up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ha Ha Ha! That is soooo me! I will do the very same thing! And no, I'm not 60 or curmudgeon-y. Ha Ha!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I like to self check and it annoys me when people with no clue use the lanes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yesterday, just such a person was ahead of me in line (I always self check). As she scanned each item, she put it on the stand next to the bags instead of in a bag. She only had a few items, and maybe she was planning to dispense with the bag altogether, but no. After she paid, then she put each item into a grocery bag. Sheesh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                +1. I really think there should be some sort of test before you are allowed to use the self checkout!!!! It can be very quick even with a lot of items if you know what you are doing (and well, the machine is cooperating, but in most stores this is only a rare issue). Also, is it so difficult to notice that the self checkout registers have a line? In my store, it seems that people just don't notice the line and will saunter up to a recently opened register. It's never worth it to inform them of the line but drives me nuts when they are so clueless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  +1. I really think there should be some sort of test before you are allowed to use the self checkout!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  --------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I second that! I may have commented on this thread already but I knew the "type" to avoid. At my store, it was the dad bringing his kids in before soccer practice. Checking out two bottles of gatorade would bring the whole affair to a grinding halt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I adored the self-check out line. Sadly, my local store removed all three. The manager told me it was because the constant repair costs outweighed the benefits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh wow, I would greatly regret many store trips without the self checkout. When it flows well it's great, especially at hours when the store is not crowded. I hate when I go to a store at an odd hour, there are only one or at most two registers open and the cashiers at both are not the best of the crew and it is a painfully slow experience, and I gaze down the registers in search of a self checkout and there is none! I then start the deep breath meditation knowing that with self checkout I could be out of the store by now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      cleobeach, did the dad insist that each kid scan a bottle? I've seen this before and it's a disaster. I had the ultimate bad self-check today. An older woman with 25-30 bags of mainly produce, required the self-check store person to process the entire order, with predictable results of tying up the line a bit, but being it was an off peak time it wasn't too bad, just annoying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        did the dad insist that each kid scan a bottle?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -----------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ha! No, the dads just seem to be challenged when it comes to the concept of self-check out. My own husband doesn't know how to use them so I can spot the type a mile away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There's been at least a few times in the self-checkout where I've gotten behind someone with a young child and they think it would be fun to let the child participate in the checkout process. Drives me insane.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When it was introduced, I was skeptical of self check. Honesty issues, machine reliability...but more importantly, how many cashiers were now out of work because of self check aisles. I refuse to use them now. Keep them employed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: njmarshall55

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        When they learn how to bag my groceries properly, I'll go back to using a live checker :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: njmarshall55

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't want my groceries getting slimed by a checker's hand lotion or "sanitizer." Very little I encounter in the course of a normal day is as unappetizing to me as watching a cashier slather his or her hands with cuck and then touch my food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Self-check is a gift from the gods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I hate when you are clearly browsing the shelf for a product and someone is obviously standing directly in front of you. They eye you but still stand directly in front of you. I try as much as possible to stand back on the opposite end of the aisle to look at a shelf and then only approach when said product is identified. I often just want to shove them out of the way. The best part is that usually they are not even looking at said shelf and just standing there being oblivious as to why you are looking at them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'll try clearing my throat once or twice, then "excuse me" another time or two. Then I'll sidle up to them and try to catch their eye (I've known few too many hearing-impaired folks to not give someone the benefit of the doubt).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If they still haven't moved, I have now fulfilled my obligation to try to be polite, and I'll just step right up and get whatever it is I needed, even if it means I bump into them. I don't try to hurt anyone, but i also really don't feel obligated to stand there with my finger in my ear waiting for them to stop being oblivious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Why am I reminded of Curb Your Enthusiasm ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxQjAd...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I seem to have been running into alot of that lately. I'll stand on the other side of the aisle so as not to crowd the person, but they spend an amazing amount of time staring at the shelves - not reading labels, but staring. I have read enough labels to know what it is I'm looking for and can spot it right away, unless someone is blocking it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The other day, it wasn't a food item, but I decided to just come back to that section when the group had moved on. Turns out it was a family that I'd found very annoying 20 years ago. Thank goodness they didn't recognize me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. My parents were very fortunate I must admit in that I was a very quiet child and rarely made a peep in public, even I guess this has "biased" me somewhat as I have limited tolerance for children who can't behave in public. However, my tolerance for the often horrid parent reactions is even lower. It seems to me that often when parents do address the child's behavior it is in an often deplorable manner which not only highlights perhaps why the children tend to misbehave but to me is more embarrassing than the child's behavior in the first place. Of course there is the mother who feels it's OK to hit the child in public, but I think I had to pick my jaw off the floor last week when I was at Whole Foods and overheard a mother yell at her children (who were yes, misbehaving, but not the worst behavior I'd ever seen) "what is your **** problem, clearly you aren't being beat enough."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I would say that my current pet peeve with the grocery store is the ridiculous things that they seem to think that I need to show id for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm 29, but I do look pretty young. I do not mind being carded for alcohol. I expect this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cough syrup is mildly ridiculous, considering that you only have to be 18 to buy it, which I am well past. Also, I realize that the grocery store doesn't know this, but also ridiculous considering I have a regular bottle of prescription cough syrup with vicodin at home - if I was going to try to get a buzz of cough syrup, I could do a way better job.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But seriously - you do not need to see my id to sell me white out or matches (not even strike anywhere - just plain matches.) This is absurd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                22 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jw615

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Really?! There is no IDing for anything except alcohol, tobacco and lottery where I live. And man, do I love getting IDed for wine :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    in a good chunk of the US, they ID you to buy Sudafed, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And in some places, spray paint.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You pretty much have to sell your soul to get Sudafed here. They don't just check your id, but swipe the magnetic strip and make you fill out a log book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Been carded for spray paint and contact cement as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jw615

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And there are limits on how much pseudophedrine you can purchase in one day, and in a 30 day period.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          this all ties into a 'real-time' database used and shared by many states to track purchases of OTC drugs that can be used to make meth to shut you down almost immediately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the paint, white-out and contact cement is to create a record of potential 'huffers' - an equally dumb and even cheaper high.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the name Darwin keeps drifting around this conversation....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              yeah but sadly they don't take just themselves out of the gene pool.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The whole "show us your papers" for pseudoephedrine thing makes me nervous - because when I'm stuffed up with my yearly cold, it's the only thing that prevents it from turning into full-blown bronchitis for me. I'm convinced they're going to ban it outright and I'll wind up in the hospital every year.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The whole process also makes me feel guilty, even though I'm the most ridiculously law-abiding person I know. I've never even gotten a traffic ticket.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: khh1138

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              observe the use by dates and gradually stock up? I think a bottle here or there aren't going to put you on a list. then you can get all Kafka-guilty on your own time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: khh1138

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I doubt it will ever be outlawed, there are plenty of legal pharmaceuticals that are just as dangerous as meth, but pseudophedrine may eventually require a prescription. The list isn't really intended to monitor who is buying, just to limit how much any one person can get.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There is already at least one state where it does require a prescription. Oregon or Washington, I believe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: jw615

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The last time I got carded was for buying cold medicine. I was 46 at the time. So, I don't mind. It gave me a good laugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DagingKuda

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mr. Pine just got carded for a bottle of wine---and he'll be celebrating his 65th birthday in a week. Just bizarro.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: jw615

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oops this was in reply to jw615

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I worked in a grocery store in high school/first part of college, this was in 1999/2000, so I'm about the same age as you. Unless someone looked like they could be my parents, I carded them for anything I was required to card them for. A few people would get ticked (especially those in their late 20s/early 30s ;)) but oh well. It was just easier that way. A store near us got caught selling a decoy some alcohol, and they lost their liquor license for awhile, and they had to pay a huge fine. Considering the store I worked at was a local place, with only 2 locations, owned by very nice people, I wasn't about to let one mistake of mine cost them what was probably at least a month's worth of revenue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have no problem with being carded for alcohol - and given that I look young, I expect it to happen well into the future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But matches? Seriously - I just wanted to be able to light my gas stove if the power went out. I don't believe for a second that there are police operations going around to crack down on the sale of matches - in fact, I doubt that there is even a law about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jw615

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Some component of common book matches is one of the things that is used in cooking meth. I saw this on a Law & Order episode. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Wegman's by my mom's house cards everyone for beer, no exceptions. The clerk told me that it was drilled into the employees that anyone caught NOT carding, regardless of age, would immediately be fired.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Beer in grocery stores is relatively new in PA and I suspect the stores are very closely watched.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't mind being carded and if it's not too crowded I make a game of it while I'm pulling out the ID - look pleading and make eye contact and say "aww c'mon be COOL, it's for my MOM and she gets REAL mean if we let her sober up"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                always gets a pause of 'is he for real?' and then a laugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: jw615

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've been carded for white out, permanent markers, and razor blades among other things. However... At my job we sell tobacco products. Our store policy, which is decided by corporate, is that we must card ANYONE we wants to buy them, regardless of age, and input the ID birthday into the register. The higher up boss made it clear that it doesn't matter how old the person is (and trust me, I've carded some veryyy old people), if you do not check ID you will be written up and potentially fired, and they have watched the security cameras in the past and acted upon instances where the policy has not been followed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Many people get mad at the cashiers, to the point of screaming, swearing, and even slamming things when told we can't sell to them without seeing their ID. Are some of the ID policies ridiculous? Absolutely. Do they annoy you? Maybe. But just PLEASE try to pull out your ID and go through with it. Don't take it out on the cashier (I'm not saying you specifically, just anyone who has the urge to snap at the poor cashiers). It is nothing personal. No customer's purchase is worth losing my job over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Tovflu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, I thought it was ridiculous but was definitely not mad at the cashier - she thought it was ridiculous too. Besides, they are really just a cog in the wheel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The only time I've gotten even a little angry with a cashier is when one refused to sell me ammo because I had an out of state id, when their policy posted right at the register said it was no problem. And even then, I just went to the front of the store, had them call the store manager, and then went back to the firearms counter and bought it. The guy grumbled at me, but that wasn't my problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Though maybe you shouldn't grumble at someone you just sold 1,000 bullets to. (For the record, I was working at a summer camp where we taught target shooting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tovflu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I got carded for Robitussin cough syrup. Non-drowsy formula, I might add. Is cough syrup being used to make Meth? I dunno. Whatever. I showed my ID and was on my way. BTW, I am a grandma.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RosePearl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Meth? I don't think so, but we ALL know Grandma's are the worst when it comes to general hooliganism.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. My local store has an exit that is not divided by painted lines, but is clearly intended for both left and right turns. Why do at least half the people pull off to the right hand side and then turn LEFT, despite the fact that there is a car clearly IN the left side of the exit?????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: KSlink

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To pull out before the car in the left turn lane.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Wow - a major pet peeve I forgot about until I just ran to the grocery store for a quick pick up. I really hate when people acquire a cart and a weekly ad and then proceed to block the doorway perusing said ad. I try to read ahead of time on the web to find out any deals, but I can understand doing it in the store but does it have to be in the middle of the entrance/exit?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the little devil on my shoulder always wants to bump them in the backside when they stop in the middle of the doorway. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh yes, the whoopsies oopsies maneuver.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anyone who stops in the middle of an intersection or entryway bugs me. Would you do that if you were driving ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DagingKuda

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, they would.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, they do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And if you dare honk, or even get a centimetre too close to their car, they give a stare like you eat babies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            now that roundabouts are making a comeback in the US, I want to scream at these idiots, YOU are in the circle, entering traffic yields to you! don't fu**in' stop!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            but while it's not rocket science I am grateful they aren't performing my brain surgery. or making dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and babies, well, everyone knows they are just super-high in cholesterol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (except here in France, where there are still a few holdout roundabouts in the old style, where incoming traffic DOES have the right of way. It's crazy, it doesn't make a lick of sense, and yeah, it causes no end of horn-blowing and finger-extending)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and traffic circles which have traffic lights?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What's the point of that?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Traffic circles are typically in more congested areas so have some kind of traffic control be it signals or signs. Also, if there is a park in the center of the circle, pedestrians need a fighting chance to make it across the circle. ;) "Frogger" anyone?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      there aren't that many roundabouts big enough to house an entire park.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And they need lights to keep it from becoming mass chaos -- just search YouTube for "Paris Etoile traffic" for some pretty hair-raising examples -- and the giant Etoile in Paris not only has traffic lights, but INCOMING traffic has the right of way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      fun stuff....and yet you only rarely see an accident.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        doesn't l'Etoile have pedestrian tunnels? sorry it's been a long time. it did look insane to navigate (autogate?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the ones popping up here are only 20 or 30 feet (10m) in diameter. equipped with yield signs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, it's actually illegal to cross on the surface (as well as certifiably barking insane)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          round abouts and traffic circles are two different species. roundabouts typically have no traffic controls, while traffic circles do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          a park does not have to be the acreage of central park in nyc, it can be small, such as the one at thomas circle in washington, dc, which is in the center of a traffic circle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have never understood the lights/lanes at DC's Dupont circle. counter-intuitive to me.I say let it go free-range/free-style, let people be confused so they avoid these places altogether.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              free-style in dc which is inundated with the worst drivers in the u.s. if not the world?!!! mix that with the multitudes of self-important politicos/diplomats/lobbyists/lawyers/etc who already often disregard traffic laws, and you're just asking for anarchy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                bring it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                oh god I'm kidding. some days I felt anyone in DC who could afford a car should also be required to hire a certified professional driver. my parents visited once and even though I drove their rental (I lobbied against the rental in favor of cabs) at the end they said "we love you, but we will never visit you here again"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                HA!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the professional driver would HAVE to be "certifiable" in order to drive in dc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. BTW I think the folks at buzzfeed have been spying on us CHers. http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/the-ab...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not a pet peeve, but I am most definitely that person who insists on somehow carrying the groceries from up to 4 different stores inside with 1 trip and winds up with red/blue, numb fingers. However, my SO disagrees. He hates that I attempt to carry everything in in one trip and I think it's a big pet peeve of his, especially when I drop the occasional jar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                this is why when I was solely pedestrian I carried a knapsack, all the heavy stuff went in there. now that I'm back in the driving world, I keep a box and a small cooler in the back of the station wagon. that way I can grab the truly spoilables first, the box keeps stuff from rolling around, and it can all just sit until I have and feel darn good and ready. granted I do sort of find myself re-bagging in the parking lot but I will not feel beholden to my purchases. they can wait for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just put the box in the cart when I start shopping, and I ask them to load the stuff into the box when I check out. Fewer bags, less re-bagging/re-boxing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DagingKuda

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    that's one thing I like about European supermarkets -- you have a self-scan option, where you take a handheld scanner and scan things as you shop, then you can load them into the bags as you take them off of the shelves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    when I'm done, I connect the scanner to the computer, it uploads my order, I pay, and head out the door -- my groceries already loaded into the bags they way *I* want them to be loaded.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It rocks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DagingKuda

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DK - now that's a good idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      nah, that makes too much sense. too easy. (smirk)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think I'll try it. I'll get 'looks' but I don't give sh**

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I hate when I'm in line to checkout with a clerk, another employee comes up and says "I can take you right over here" and leads me to the self check-out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's not taking me, that's asking me to "take" myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I have a new one, which is not isolated to grocery stores. It drives me nuts when an open cashier says "I can take who's next ". It seems to be the standard now, and it is awkward and unnatural. Or is it just me?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Do you live near Pittsburgh? I never heard "I can help who's next" until I moved here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nope, not even close. I'm in Halifax (Sidney Crosby's hometown :), Nova Scotia. It wasn't always common here either, and now it is EVERYWHERE. Grrrrr!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh my goodness! That really is a Pittsburgh thing. I am a native myself and it drives me bonkers!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Astur

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I also think of it as a Panera thing, as that's the place where I'm most inclined to stand in line to order something. Or a Rite-Aid thing. I use the self-checkout at CVS or the Giant Eagle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree, I never know what to do. Who goes first? The next person in line or it's up for anyone?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I hate that too. I like TJ Maxx/Home Goods for that reason.... they have one long line for everyone, and then when a cashier is available, it says "cashier #2 is available" or whatever cashier is available.... no weird awkwardness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Very sensible. And fair!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What do you want them to say?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HoosierFoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Something grammatically correct, like "I can help the next person" or "May I help the next person?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Do they say "I can help who's next" in Indiana, too?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I really don't get what's wrong with the question.Maybe it's just because I'm a native northeasterner, and it's very commonly heard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've lived most of my life in the northeast, too (NJ, NY, DC), and I never -- not even one time -- heard a clerk say "I can help who's next" instead of "I can help the next customer/person in line/whatever" before I lived in Pittsburgh. Never. Not even one time. And I'd've noticed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Upstate NY here. I hear it all the time and I've never thought was anything wrong with it either. Interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tovflu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also in Upstate NY and also hear it all the time. Not sure how it's that different from " I can help the next person". I'm happy if the cashier can make change; I don't require perfect grammar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Slightly off-topic, but, why does "next" person in line mean the following person, but "next" exit on the highway means the current exit that you are approaching?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Exactly. Something grammatically correct would be great. It's the "who's next" part that drives me nuts. I grew up where I live, and the trend of "I can take who's next" is relatively new.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Usually by the time someone finally notices the line at the open register, faffs around to get a new register open, and opens their mouth to call people over, I wouldn't even care if they just let out a roar like Chewbacca.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They're in a hurry to try to get the lane open...and while there are certainly highly-intelligent, highly-literate people who work as supermarket cashiers, I'm really not sure that it's realistic to require them to say "Excuse me, but may I be of assistance to the next person waiting in line?" or "I am available to assist whomever is next in line".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just open the lane and let me get on my merry way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree that overly formal phrasing is odd too. But I think that something along the lines of "I can help the next person in line.", works. It isn't formal, but it makes sense from a grammar perspective (not that I believe I have perfect grammar). The "I can help/take who's next" has gotten so ubiquitous that I'm starting to think it's what new employees are being taught to say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. This all reminds me of a funny story/joke the Car Talk guys told on NPR a couple of years ago:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  At a grocery store in Cambridge, MA, a guy with a full basket of groceries gets in a clearly marked express lane indicating "15 items or less." The checkout lady dryly declares "You must either go to MIT or Harvard!" --"Why yes, I do! How did you know?" he replies cheerfully. The checkout lady responds: "Because people from Harvard can't count, and people from MIT can't read!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I once caught a lady as she was emptying the 3 or 4 items I had in my cart in order to take it for herself due to a temporary shortage of carts at that moment. Didn't have to say a thing: she scurried off in full embarassment without so much as an apology.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  25 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MagicMarkR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    what??? that takes nerve!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MagicMarkR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hee hee hee! I love catching people doing embarrassing things like that! It makes me feel so much better about all the embarrassing things I've done myself. Like ordering food "to go" in a drive through. Yes, that was me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MagicMarkR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i caught a cart-stealer recently, and she tried to bluff her way out of it. i was in Petco, and had a litter box & a couple of accessories in the cart. i left it at the end and popped into the next aisle to grab a bag of litter, and when i came back, the cart was gone and my items were ON THE FLOOR. i raced in & out of the adjoining aisles, and there was only one other customer in the entire store - one aisle over, with an empty cart. i realized she was the culprit and decided to have a little fun...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Me: "Did you see the person who took my shopping cart?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Her: "What?" [cheeks flushing]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Me: "I had a cart with a few items in it, and when i turned my back for a moment, someone idiot took everything out, dumped it all on the floor, and stole my cart!"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Her: "Umm, err...no, I didn't see anyone."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Me: "Yeah, I looked around, but you seem to be the only other person here now."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Her: "That's so weird!" [looking *everywhere* but directly at me]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Me: "I know, right?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Her: "Well, umm, i guess, ummm, do you want to take MY cart?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Me: "No, it's fine. I'll just walk BACK outside to the parking lot and haul another one inside because clearly the person who took it was raised by wolves and therefore couldn't possibly comprehend that they should have done that very thing instead of emptying and stealing mine. Have a great day!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ah, but I would have taken her cart and let her walk back outside to the parking lot. Like she should have done in the first place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            nah - i wanted to make her feel worse knowing that i had to go out of my way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: