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Jun 7, 2014 06:21 AM

Farmers market line ettiquite

This was a new one for me. There's a popular fish stand at the one I go to; usually a line. Today I arrived in line, there were 3 people ahead of me, plus two "Shopping Bags" after the last folks in line. I stood behind the bags. Just as the line moved up to the point where I really needed to move up, I stepped around the bags. Immediately a woman comes over and says "Oh these were my bags", picks them up and sets them down in front of me, kind of wedging herself into that spot as well. I shrugged and didn't say anything. It seems to me that once I'd stepped around them, she should have left them where they were and gotten behind me (though honestly I think the whole idea of saving a space in line is just plain wrong and she shouldn't have done it to begin with).

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  1. People will never stop this kind of behavior. You either stand up for yourself in these situations or not.

    1. Some people are more important than others, dontcha know?

      1. I live in Israel and this is completely normal behaviour in the eyes of most people here. At the grocery store, it's done with carts.

        Drives me NUTS, and I've actually witnessed fights over it in line, but the line-holders seem to have a slight edge.

        8 Replies
        1. re: sailrox

          I've lived in NY and MA. It is common for people in the checkout line at a grocery store to leave their loaded cart for a few minutes while they hurry off to get an item they forgot. Either the shopper in front of the cart or behind it will move it along as the line moves. Only if the absent shopper has not returned by the time the cashier is ready for him/her would the person behind the unattended cart move up and go ahead of it.

          I see nothing wrong with the bags holding a place in line and would not get in front of them unless all the previous line had been served.

          1. re: greygarious

            I get the thing in the grocery store-- Here I would have had to physically pick up her bags and move them along, which seems a bit odd to me.

            1. re: DGresh

              I am quick to criticize the overly-important types but I don't see this as an example. Unless I were physically unable to move the bags up, I would do so without a second thought. I would also intervene if anyone attempted to take them and walk off with them, under the assumption that the actual owner would be returning to the line, not taking off.

              1. re: greygarious

                Ok, I guess that's why I asked! Certainly wouldn't want to call out someone if people generally thought it was ok behavior. I just would never leave my bags in a line; my husband maybe, but not my bags :)

                1. re: greygarious

                  I would intervene if someone attempted to take them but I wouldn't feel comfortable moving them.

            2. re: sailrox

              I was in a grocery store yesterday and took my 3 items up to the only open express line. The cashier was just standing there looking bored. There was a cart with about 10 more items than you should have in express sitting about 5 feet back from the belt. No one ahead of the cart, nobody attending to the cart, nobody anywhere nearby who looked like it was theirs. So I put my stuff on the belt. And the cashier suddenly wakes up and says to me, quite peevishly, "Excuse me, but I'm helping another customer!" I sort of stood back for a second and gave him a puzzled look and who should arrive but a woman and her daughter, each clutching another half dozen items to their chests. They walked by me and dropped their stuff at the front of the belt. The cashier started ringing them through and I just left my stuff and walked out.

                1. re: hal2010

                  *started*? Wow. That's ridiculous. What was the other cart for then?

              1. These things are always kinda funny. On some days, I would've smiled and offered a gracious apology before stepping back. On others, I would've been figuring out where to dispose of the body.

                13 Replies
                1. re: MGZ

                  Yeah, that's kind of how i felt. I mean, it would have been weird to stand there behind two shopping bags with a big open space in front of it, right? So I moved. But once I moved I felt like the spot was mine :)

                  1. re: DGresh

                    Sometimes we bring our own clouds. Other times, we're just smiling on a sunny day (or the lady's really pretty).

                    I guess you could always drop some fish scraps in her bag next time, but 'til then, find consolation in having friends to vent to (and/or a daiquiri).

                    1. re: DGresh


                      These things are always kinda funny. On some days, I would've smiled and offered a gracious apology before stepping back. On others, I would've been figuring out where to dispose of the body.

                      MGZ, I am EXACTLY the same way.

                      Makes me break out the old "girl-fight" term, "Careful, I'll cut a bitch..." LOLZ.

                      My local big grocer ran out of ALL hot dog buns yesterday by 6:00pm . I asked customer service to see if they had any in the back. They brought out a small cart of all that were left in the back and by the time I got from customer service back to the bakery section it was like a big ole' Filene's Basement Wedding Dress Sale knock-down drag-out fight by mainly women over the buns.

                      It was good entertainment though. I mean HELLA good.

                      Meanwhile, I bought my hotdog

                      As to the OP, I don't see the bags as placeholders alot. Carts on occasion.

                      It's all about etiquette, not entitlement.
                      You're not there as a customer when cashier time comes? Sorry, gone. My time is as important as yours. Be a self-absorbed "It's all about me" c#*t or p*&^k on your own time. Not mine. Lead, follow or get out of the way.

                      Oh-----and I am long on patience and manners, but not when I am held at bay from others who lack them.

                      1. re: DGresh

                        I'm curious, what was this woman doing while not standing in line waiting to get her fish? Shopping in another stall?

                        While I'm cool with a shopping cart being left in line while someone runs back to get something they forget, especially if I get a "do you mind if I go get the potato chips? I completely forgot them for our cookout tonight!", I disagree with a farmers market placeholder of shopping bags. There's little else to do at a farmers market but wait for someone to wait on you - especially at a fishmonger's stall, where they don't have it out for you to bag yourself.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          I presume she was shopping at another stall, or perhaps she went off to chat with someone. She was gone about 4-5 minutes or so (at least). I stood in the same place behind the bags while the people in line were waited on, and I only moved up when the last humans were being waited on, as I wanted to be "there" when it was time. She was roughly my age (way beyond mother of young kids who would run off!) and seemed to be alone.

                          1. re: DGresh

                            Yeah, in either case, her shopping bags don't constitute a "Save My Space" holder. You *did* say she immediately came over and said her bags were saving her spot on line - which means she just stepped off the line so as to not queue up like everyone else.

                            So unless she told the person in front of her that she'd be right back, and that person chose not to say anything when the line moved, she just didn't want to stand on line. And she was out of line in shoving back into line. In my opinion.

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              Around here, we like to say "If you see something, say something". Call the cops! That would embarrass her and teach her a good lesson.

                              1. re: coll

                                Around here, you'd get a citation for wasting the cops' time with a false call.
                                This "save my space" holder is full of entitlement, and no way would I wait behind her bag.

                                1. re: Leonardo

                                  In NY we're sort of skittish about abandoned packages, but guess it could be sort of a regional thing? Around here the cops would take it seriously, which is why I wouldn't really do it.

                                  In case you don't know what I'm talking about

                                  1. re: viperlush

                                    They just shut down our local elementary school yesterday because of something that someone found in a house being cleaned out for sale. This is how we roll around here, always on edge.

                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                  I would have asked (rather loudly), "Whose bags?" If I didn't get a response I'd have moved in front of them.

                          2. re: MGZ

                            I would probably have snarked "I think I prefer the invisible you."

                          3. In Spain, there is often not a formal queue for things. Usual practice is to ask "who is last" and then you know it's your turn next. Generally it works - except on the occasions when some elderly lemon-sucker thinks it fine to push in front simply because you're a foreigner. In which case, I put on a big smile and say "Well, if you're in such a rush..."