The woman was standing like a monolith behind a cart full of groceries, blocking the entrance to the Publix. She was on her cell phone.
Apparently, the conversation was engrossing, because she just stood there listening. No one could go in or out of the store.
An annoyed man finally tapped her on the shoulder and gestured to the gathering crowd. Oblivious, she pushed her way out to the parking lot, phone still to her ear.
No “I’m sorry.” No nothing.
We all run into rude people from time to time. Sometimes they’re behind the wheel (OK, a lot of times), other times behind the counter. But those doing the shopping occasionally make life miserable for the rest of us. I’ve written about my top retail pet peeves, but these complaints cover sins committed by customers in grocery stores.
Talking on speakerphone while shopping. Put those headphones in! Better yet, hang up or stay at home and talk to your BFF. The rest of us are NOT interested in listening to your conversation.
Leaving the checkout lane to get an item you forgot. This is acceptable if someone is in front of you waiting to pay. If you’re already at the register, FORGET IT.
Abandoning your shopping cart in the parking lot. Hey, lazybones! Walk the few extra steps (it won’t kill you) and secure the cart in the storage area so it doesn’t go rogue with the wind and dent someone’s car or prevent others from parking. Aldi is onto something with its locking carts. Customers put in a quarter to unlock them and then must return the cart to get their quarter back. Aldi shoppers must be cheap, because there are never any abandoned carts in the lot. Ditto with Publix, since the baggers bring carts back to the store after helpfully unloading your groceries.
Dogs and food don’t mix. For some reason, people feel compelled to bring their precious pets to stores and restaurants. Leave your darn dog at home! It’s hard to tolerate dogs in stores, but it’s especially egregious in restaurants and grocery stores. Sun Sentinel political reporter Tony Man recently filmed a white poodle just wandering around Publix without a leash. (Watch the video at Facebook.com/DoreensDeals). Also, it’s even worse when owners put the dog in the cart. Gross! This abuse has prompted Publix to post signs at entrances telling customers which service animals are permitted in the store and where they can be, which is not in carts.
Chowing down on food your haven’t bought. At Publix recently, a man was standing in the produce department sampling the grapes. First of all, they are already weighed and priced, so those free nibbles he was enjoying will be paid for by some unsuspecting future buyer. Help yourself when stores offer free samples, otherwise, keep your mitts off the merchandise until you’ve paid for it. Mothers with cranky, hungry, toddlers get special dispensation from this rule. There is nothing worse than a screaming child.
Leaving your buggy in the middle of an aisle. Just like traffic on the road, there are rules in the shopping lanes. Keep your cart to the right so other shoppers can pass. This is especially true of those gigantic kiddie carts that look like cars and are half a block long.
Quit crowding me. I’m trying to pay my bill at the register and some woman in line keeps ramming me with her cart, as if that is going to make my transaction go faster. Back off! This is known as respecting personal space.
Line jumpers. Recently, I had unloaded all large order at Aldi when a man came up behind me with two items. I was busy arranging cold items together (this is an obsessive compulsive disorder I have — don’t ask) and didn’t notice him, or his paltry purchase. He rudely demanded I let him go ahead of me because I had so many more items than he did. This jerk didn’t ask nicely, so I didn’t budge. Allowing others to skip ahead in line is a common courtesy practiced by courteous shoppers, but rude bullies can cool their heels. THAT was one uncomfortable wait in line!
Express-lane overload. Learn how to count. A few items over the 10-item limit is no big deal, but 10 extra items is just wrong.
I know you’ve got grocery-store grievances, too. Don’t bother complaining about those who redeem too many coupons, because I’m one of them. But do feel free to share other behaviors that annoy you at Facebook.com/Doreens Deals.