Grocery Store Etiquette

grocery storeAlthough there are no posted rules when grocery shopping, there is a such thing as grocery store etiquette. Unfortunately, it appears as though many people are unaware of these unspoken rules. For example, cutting in front of someone who is line. When did that become okay?

While in a check out lane, I am more than happy to let the person behind me go first if they have fewer items than I do. If they only have 5 items and my shopping cart is full, I will offer for them to go before me. There is no reason for them to have to wait on me, when they could just zip right through and be done. So, I let them go. To me, that is grocery store etiquette.

What is not grocery store etiquette is cutting in front of someone, assuming that they are going to let you go first. Yesterday, as I was standing next in line in the check out lane, a lady decided that she was going to go ahead of me, uninvited. She walked up and stood right at the end of my shopping cart, putting herself first.

I just stood there looking at her, trying to make sense of what she was doing. Did she feel that she automatically had top priority because she had fewer items? Was she a “somebody” who felt that she deserved special treatment? Who did she think she was?

It wasn’t until the clerk looked over, that the lady asked (insisted) that she go before me. “That’s fine.” I told her. Maybe I should have acted rude like her and said no, but that’s just not me. Although, sometimes I wish it was. Fortunately, in this case I didn’t have to say anything. The clerk saw the situation unfold and it lit her up. She turned to the lady and loudly told her, “That’s what the express lane is for! You take your stuff and go down there to checkout.”

As I laughed on the inside and did a little internal victory dance, I requested that the clerk let her go before me. I reassured her that I was fine with it. Honestly, I wasn’t. I was highly irritated because had she given me an opportunity, I would have suggested she go first, but she didn’t. She just walked her happy self up there. But, in life it’s all about being the ‘bigger’ person. So, the lady went on ahead of me and a minute later she was paid and gone.

Lesson: Show kindness to the unkind. Being the ‘bigger’ person takes a lot more strength and self control. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you’re stronger.

Plus, “practice makes perfect”. Good thing we have grocery store customers to help us practice.

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9 Responses to Grocery Store Etiquette

  1. Ugh! You have to ASK if you can go first! I can’t even get the nerve up to ask, most times. I could never, ever, butt in front and assume.

    My hubby does something else that is bad shopping etiquette. He forgets that other people are around and just leaves his cart wherever and walks into people when carrying a basket. Drives me nuts, but luckily for me I rarely have to go shopping.


    • mewhoami says:

      That’s funny about your husband. I see people do that all the time. They just leave their cart and walk away, while other people have to manage their way around it.

      It’s interesting to see what people do in stores. I think it’s because people are just in their own little world and don’t even consider that there are others in the store with them. I know I’ve probably exhibited some bad shopping etiquette over the years.


  2. April says:

    OOOO! My favorite gripe—the dreadful grocery store. A lesson I have learned is NEVER take the husband. He can’t drive on the right side of the aisle, and has to organize the cart “just so”. I pitch what I’m buying in no particular order. I do keep the eggs, chips, and bread safe, but otherwise it’s a free for all.

    Have I told the story about the impatient woman behind me going into the parking lot? Let me know, I don’t want to repeat. 🙂


    • mewhoami says:

      It is dreadful indeed! Shopping is the worst chore of all. I can almost imagine the looks you and your husband exchange when you go shopping together, while he tries to neatly arrange the items as you toss them in the cart. The mental image is quite funny.

      I don’t think you’ve told that story yet. If you did I missed it, but would love to hear it.


      • April says:

        Haha! My husband and I have a few “whisper” fights. Actually, I just hand him the stuff so that he can place it in the cart—-however, I rarely take him with me. I avoid it at all costs.

        I think I will make a post about “the lady”. Keep watching…..


  3. suzjones says:

    Soooo annoying. What is it with people these days????? And it gets worse at this time of the year.


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