Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Top Ten People That Suck at the Grocery Store

I’ve been doing my own grocery shopping for over seven years now. Overall, I love it. There’s something therapeutic about strolling through the produce department listening to cheesy elevator music looking for the best deals. I also love to pretend that, just maybe, this will be the week where I eat only healthy foods and magically lose those last ten pounds. It never is that week. But it’s nice to hope.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons about grocery shopping in seven years. Never go when you’re hungry. Avoid early mornings if you don’t like cranky old people. Avoid weekends if you don’t like crowds. Avoid Mondays unless you want to look for your favorite items among bare shelves from the weekends. Steer clear of the middle aisles as much as possible.

But no matter how many lessons I learn and no matter how many different grocery stores in how many different cities I live in, I always run into the same ten kinds of people. They are always present and seem to exist solely to annoy other shoppers. They are:

1)The “hog the whole aisle” lady. You turn your cart down the cereal aisle, and there she is. Her cart, piled high with fatty and sugary goodness, sits in the middle of the aisle so that no person (or cart) can navigate around it. She is at the opposite end of the aisle contemplating the sale on Cocoa Puffs. She is, of course, in the middle of the aisle herself. To add insult to injury, she weighs approximately 400 pounds and is blocking even the smallest of people from passing her. Not only do you have to move her cart, you have to ask her to move, too.
The best, though, is when “hog the whole aisle lady” is elderly and doesn’t hear you to the first three times you ask her to move. Excellent!

2)The sick guy. This guy is coughing and sneezing all over the damn place… except into his sleeve, where he’s supposed to do those things. He sneezes into his hand, wipes his snot onto his shirt, and the proceeds to touch every piece of produce you’ve had your eye on. Fuck that guy.
I will say this. Since this whole swine flu epidemic began, I’ve notice a lot more people being polite about their various illnesses and taking measures not to spread them. But there is always at least one rude sick guy.

3)The guy who gets into your groove. Wherever you go, you’ll find this guy. It appears you want the exact same items from the grocery store at the exact same time. Even if you attempt a new route to throw him off, you turn the corner and…there he is, in front of the tortillas you need. Neither of you are doing anything wrong, but it’s useless to try and escape each other. Just follow each other around and help each other spot the best deals on the things you both want.

4)The lady with too many kids. For whatever reason, Daddy can’t watch the seven little monsters hanging from the red car-shaped grocery cart this lady has commissioned. So there she is, with bags under her eyes, twins on her hips, and a cell phone (always a cell phone!) dangling from her ear. She half-asses an attempt to calm the kids down every few minutes, but the fact is, there are simply too many children for one person to control. So she gives up, and you must suffer.

When I was younger, sometimes I’d go to the store with my two best friends during sleepovers. Sometimes another friend or my brother would be with us. Now I understand why, when someone asked my friend’s mother if they were all hers, she’d scream “NO!” in horror. We were little angels, though.

5)The overly friendly butcher. Other than seafood and extremely rare occasions, like holidays, I do not eat meat. My list of reasons is as long as a novel. I just don’t eat mammals for the most part. My husband does. So when I get groceries, I usually go to the meat department to get him a steak or two.

Nine times out of ten, the butcher hurries over and goes into great detail about the specials of the day and how great it is to buy in bulk. Bless his heart. He isn’t doing anything wrong. But between the blood on his apron, his stained hands, and the way he says “pork loin” or “rump roast” (both of which I’d rather get a pap smear with a rake than eat), I always end up throwing up in my mouth a little bit. I’d never go all PETA on him (I hate PETA anyway), so I just smile and nod. I hope my husband appreciates his steaks for the torture I endure to obtain them.

6)The old friends who run into each other and gossip for an hour. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when I see an old friend. There’s nothing better. But wouldn’t it be easier to either grab a drink later or do your catching up somewhere other than in the middle of a crowded aisle where people are shopping? I’ve learned more about other people’s lives this way (while maneuvering around them) than I care to admit. If the grocery store ever becomes my social outing, it will be then that I will wish to die.

7)The asshole with the squeaky cart. I have been this asshole. You have been this asshole. When you select the cart, it’s silent and deceiving. Then you add some weight. By the time you’re almost done shopping, the thing sounds like a small animal is being murdered. It’s not your fault, and we all know that. But it doesn’t make the sound any less annoying. Sorry. Your best bet is to do what I do, shoot apologetic glances like crazy and hurry up.

8)The check writer. Seriously, who writes checks anymore? Not anyone born after 1955. But if you do have to be that asshole, at least have enough manners to fill out everything but the total before you get up to the checkout stand. And for the love of God, balance your checkbook at home. The total is on the receipt, for crying out loud. If you’re honestly worried about forgetting to balance the checkbook or losing the receipt, you shouldn’t be breathing, much less shopping. Yeah, I really loathe check writers.

9)The “haggle over everything” guy. Occasionally, the store employees make a mistake. I understand that. But for the most part, the price they ring up is the price they have to pay. Not every store is effing Wal Mart (thank God). Your competitors’ coupons are no good at classy stores like Safeway. Get over it. The longer you argue and the more times you make the cashier check, the more I dream of sterilizing you so you never breed. Just pay the extra 25 cents and get on with your crappy life.

10)The cashier who comments on every single item you place in front of her. Recent episodes of Saturday Night Live have parodied this lady because she exists... everywhere. She’s known for saying things like, “I’ve never seen these! Where did you get them?” “This is SO good! My favorite flavor is strawberry!” “You sure do like this organic junk.” And my personal favorite, “Somebody is having a party!” No, bitch, that case of wine is all mine because it’s going to take me that much to drown you out when I get home. Every cashier is allowed one comment. After that, it’s repetitive, annoying, and unprofessional.


jessicabold said...

I once had a squeaky cart that also shocked the HELL out of your hands every time you lifed them even a CENTIMETER. Hurt like a bitch...damn cart. Funny thing was...my husband ended up with the SAME CART a few months later...he didn't think it was so funny then.


JessicaLee said...

Haha, what is up with those carts that seem to carry enough electrical current to kill you? I hate that!

Anonymous said...

You had me with the little brats on the car-shaped cart. Especially when they yell "BEEP BEEP!!!" at you as they go by like they're actually driving a friggin car. SHUT UP and drink the benadryl, brats.


lexismom61 said...

Can we add texters? I understand being sent to the store without a clear knowledge of the item you are to purchase. But if you are standing in the middle of the aisle, perplexed, with a phone in your hand, call someone. Don't send a text and wait for a reply, send a text and wait for a reply, you get the idea. btw got her from bloggess and this blog made me laugh, needed that today!!!

Aria said...

I am constantly the rickety-frickin-wheel-cart-pusher. I think finding them is my not-so-hidden talent. The damn thing is so loud it couldn't possibly be hidden, right?

JessicaLee said...

Hahaha! Great comments guys, thank you. :) We can definitely add texters to the list. Perhaps we should start a revolution to ban squeaky carts... if you get one, just take it behind the store and throw it in a pile....;)

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