Supermarket Society – Part I

Ok so as a wife and mother of two, I spend a fair bit of time in the grocery store. Not by choice, I mean, I would prefer to buy my groceries once a month and avoid the lines, impulse shopping and rambunctious children all together. Unfortunately, despite my efforts to plan menus and organize shopping lists, I inevitably forget several things and have to return at least a couple of times throughout the week.  In my travels up and down the supermarket aisles, I’ve come to the conclusion that grocery stores are a representation of so much that is wrong in the world today.

Let me take you on a imaginary tour of the local grocery store to illustrate my point. So I drive into the parking lot and find myself faced with offender number one; the Inconsiderate Driver. Turning the corner in front of the store entrance finds me immediately stuck behind a vehicle dropping a woman off. The woman is in her 30’s, seemingly able-bodied, running quickly in the front door of the store, bags in hand. I ask myself, why didn’t the driver simply pull into an available parking spot and let the woman out there? Why the need for proximity to the entrance? She seemed to be perfectly capable of walking the 100 feet from the closest empty spot to the store. hmmmm? At this point I am waiting for the car to move towards a parking spot, allowing the cars behind him (myself the closest waiting car) to pass him and get on with the tasking of parking. To my dismay and irritation, I see that the driver has put his vehicle in park and proceeded to make a phone call on his cell, with no sense of urgency. I am forced to wait for the cars behind me to pull out from behind my car before I can back up and pull out around the offending vehicle. Having lost three free parking spots to the vehicles that pulled out from behind me, I can only find a spot much further away now in which to park my vehicle.

Offender number two; the Buggy Rebuffer,  is not so blatantly rude, as much as I find it irritating that other people don’t think to be courteous. Most of the grocery stores near our home have coin deposit/return devices on them. People push a quarter into the buggy and it releases the lock, upon returning the buggy to the corral, your quarter is returned. Simple. Generally when I am entering the store and see someone loading their groceries into their car, I offer to exchange my quarter for their buggy. It seems a simply courtesy to me, I need a buggy and they are finished with theirs. I am walking into the store, and I can save them a trip back with their buggy, seems logical. So why is it that no one ever offers to take my buggy and save me the trip?  Ah well. as my husband likes to point out, not everyone thinks like I do.

Upon entering the produce department, I am faced with offender number three; the Disrespectful Fruit-handler.  I approach the tomatoes and begin to gently test the firmness of each piece of fruit. I do so with the understanding that many people will have touched these before me and I will definitely need to wash them before I use them at home. However, I also keep in mind that just because I am not interested in every tomato and therefore discard many in my search, I need to do so with care and respect because there will be many people who come after me who would rather I not treat their tomatoes roughly. This is exactly why I find it so unpleasant to see the woman beside me shoving the unwanted tomatoes to the side as she squeezes every one with vigorous enthusiasm in a haphazard careless way. As I reach down to pick up the rogue tomato that she has pushed to the floor (or perhaps it jumped off the pile in an effort to avoid the insensitive manhandling that was being visited on the more docile tomatoes) I came face to face with the child waiting in her buggy, and I realize that this woman actually guilty of TWO offensive behaviours!

Besides holding the Disrespectful Fruit-handler office, she is also a Thoughtless Thief!  As I have two small children myself, I am always interested when I see other people’s children sitting patiently in the buggy without causing a stir. To my dismay the woman handed her child a bag of grapes and said, “Go ahead, eat these, Mommy’s almost done!” I couldn’t believe it! I spend a lot of time teaching my children that stealing is wrong, that “tasting” the produce without paying for it, is in fact stealing. Don’t get me wrong, as a busy Mom, I often end up with cranky hungry children in the store and open a box of crackers or cookies to tide them over until my shopping list is complete, but those things have a barcode that can be scanned even if some of the product has been removed. Grapes on the other hand need to be weighed to determine the cost, so every plump and juicy grape this child placed in her mouth was one more piece of fruit for which this mother had no intention of paying!

This blog entry has become longer than I originally intended, so I am going to break it into 2 parts. Stay tuned for Part Two of Supermarket Society, to find out who else I encounter on my adventure through the grocery store; including the Express Lane Lout and the Inconsiderate Pedestrian.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mandy on February 1, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    I’m also waiting for part 2.. .what about those people who send others to get that one item they forgot while the rest of us wait as that person gets lost somewhere in the food abyss?
    What a creative piece Nicole! I love it:)

    Reply

  2. Posted by Linsey on January 31, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    While I agree with you on this part, I am not as emotionally invested in these acts. I am excitedly waiting for the second part as people who use the express lane incorrectly is my pet peeve! Excellent writing as always!!

    Reply

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