Although 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.