Grocery shopping - more stressful than driving

I started to go the pit to vent, I’m so pissed off, but I’d like your ideas on how to deal with assholes you encounter in the grocery store. I just got back from grocery shopping -jeez what an ordeal. People! Leave the kids at home when you go grocery shopping! (yeah, yeah, I know, some people have to take the kids along). Don’t block the aisles! At this particular store, my first visit, the store provides little carts for the kiddies - so you have mommy with her big cart and the kid with the little one blocking the aisle. I said “excuse me” and sidled sideways past them; neither moved; the mom didn’t say shit. At the back of the store, some guy was giving a cutlery demo for a crowd - two aisles blocked. again, I say “excuse me” - three times, louder each time. The kids and adults gradully made way for me and said nothing. I’m not a real assertive type, so “excuse me” as I squeeze by is all I’ve done. I’ve decided I must simply stop, look at the offender, and say “excuse me, may I get by?” and wait for them to move. How do you handle it? I’d prefer to be polite about it.

I feel your pain. I hate ppl like that. Lately, I have found something that is greatly amusing and effective too. If someone won’t move, I stand behind them, very close and breath heavily. I’m talking millimeters away. This works incredibly well, especially on old ladies. If I see someone who I don’t think that will work on, I simply push their cart out of the way or “accidentally” bump into them with my cart. :wink:

“I would far rather be ignorant than wise in the foreboding of evil.”

-Æschylus. 525-456 B. C.

Hard call. I’m always in a hurry and I think the Universe puts these people in my way to teach me patience. What I do is just keep saying excuse me, louder and louder. Eventually, they will move. But another trick is to do your shopping at a very odd time. Very early or very late. I discovered this once after a class let out at 10pm. I stopped by the store and had the place almost to myself. It was WONDERFUL!


I wish I could tell you how to be polite. I went grocery shopping yesterday and found myself in the pet food aisle trying to decide what brand of cat food I was going to feed to my cranky, carpet-decorating siamese.

I was standing on the other side of the aisle so I could A) see all the shelves and B) let people get by in front of me-- when suddenly this lady pulled up and stopped directly in front of me without saying a word. She then proceeded to take cans off the shelf, read the labels, put them back, step back, look all over the shelves, pick out another can, etc. . . totally ignoring me even though I’m standing only three feet away.

Okay, fine. I’m a nice, mannerly person, I can handle this. “Excuse me,” I said, “could I get a few cans of Fancy Feast?”

“Wait your turn,” she snapped.

I was stunned. When I recovered, my first impluse was to slap the living s*** out of her-- just haul off and knock her off her feet. Unfortunately, it is illegal for a 6’4" man to hit a woman (and let’s face it, only a real moron would go to jail over cat food) so I went on down the aisle and came back later.

And that’s really just about the only thing you can do if being polite doesn’t work. You can also try to avoid going to the supermarket during “peak” hours, but that’s not always an option.
– Sylence

And now, for my next trick, I will talk in spooky half-references.

If there’s someone in my way, and they refuse to move after several verbal “excuse me’s” I try to get their attention with a visual cue, like a hand wave, or something like that. The grocery store I shop at is right next door to an assisted living apartment complex, so the odds are high that the person blocking my way is either elderly, handicapped, blind, deaf, or some combination.

Once I’ve ruled all of those out, though (it can take a while, but I try to be patient), and determined that the person in my way is an ordinary, garden-variety butthead, I simply push my way past them. I try to make some very light physical contact, like brushing against an arm. This usually startles them out of whatever reverie they’ve been lost in while staring at the yams, and they commence moving.

My method is to run down the aisles really fast, riding the cart like a fucking madman. Those carts are usually old so they make a lot of noise and people know that if they don’t get out of the way their life is forfeit. Even when I’m going slowly people get out of my way because I can’t just walk like a normal person, I have to bounce along like a moron. I don’t mean just a strange walk, I mean I hold the cart and jump and glide along for a bit and repeat…

As a wise man wrote once, “My desire to be a fucking idiot all day long is rapidly overtaking my ability to function. I suspect that means I’m mentally ill.”

But at least I get my shopping done real quick.

I could be a woman unto an island herself about the subject of grocery shopping. I love it.I loved it before being a domestic tyrant, but I could shop for someone else as a service and save them money.

Being home full time and being able to do my shopping at 10 am on a Monday when NO ONE is in the store has dropped the stress level out of the experience. I remember my rush home from work just to hit the traffic jam in the PB&J aisle. It is really surprising that there are not any shootings at the grocery stores.

[political correct filter off]The only thing I cannot stand are the check out lines. Is it just me or does every check out person have a head injury and then they are assigned the local retarded guy to bag my groceries incorrectly? [/political correct filter on]

I NEVER get a cart. If you only buy what you can carry in your arms it…

  1. Cuts down on impulse buying.
  2. Lets you move fast through the crowded aisles.
  3. You always get in the 12 items or less lane.
  4. You stand a good chance of getting sympathy from someone with a cart that will let you ahead of them because of the pained look on your face from the 2 gallons of milk.
  5. You get a pretty good arm workout. Who needs the gym ?


There are few good times to grocery shop. Sunday after 5 PM is rush hour again, where we shop.

Shirley, if you lived near me I’d pay you to shop for me. I hate it. (any kind of shopping for that matter) I don’t use the cart for the very reason that it’s so hard to get through the aisles with one. I use the little hand basket, but I still get all stressed out trying to get around the dolts who seem to be in a dream world. What gets me is that even after saying “excuse me” they act like it’s a big effort to move and don’t even acknowledge you with a “sorry,” kiss my ass, or anything. I know it’s best to go late evening, but once I get home from work, I crash and don’t want to go back out. I’ll have to try late on a weekend. Thanks everyone.

Oh goody, a forum to vent about one of the things that really ticks me off!

What the hell is with housewives and checkbooks? While the rest of the world has moved on to ATM cards or debit cards, why is it that housewives insist on writing checks in the checkout line? It’s never men, and almost never career women; almost always frumpy, polyester-clad domestic goddesses that drag out the check book, no matter how small the purchase. Anyone else would carry at least 2 or 3 bucks in cash for small purchases, BUT NooOOO!! No matter how small the purchase, out comes the checkbook, eliciting a collective groan from the rest of us in the checkout line. Invariably there are other complications like coupons or food stamps that make the experience that much more excruciating. While the rest of us rarely write checks at all, except to pay monthly bills (if that, in this age of pay by phone, web or automatic withdrawal), these mallet-headed matrons seem oblivious that the personal check book in the supermarket has become an anachronism that serves only to slow down commerce and piss off the rest of the customers.

Can someone give me any reason to justify this seemingly counter-productive and (considering that banks now levy service charges for almost all checks) expensive practice?


“Believe those who seek the truth.
Doubt those who find it.” --Andre Gide

I’m not a housewife, but here’s my two cents:

Banks now levy service charges for almost all checks? Since when? (Well, OK, maybe they do in Alaska; I wouldn’t know.) I haven’t noticed that checks have become at all uncommon, and I worked retail until a month and a half ago.

The way I see it, I have to get out the checkbook anyway in order to write down how much I paid, so it’s easier just to write a check than rummage through my wallet in search of the ATM card. Also, I usually fill out the check while I’m standing in line. It doesn’t take any longer than a credit or debit purchase would. Maybe these women are just writing slowly because they feel like annoying you.

“The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.”

  • Bill Watterson

Thuccotash (ahem) your generalizations are noted, but I Write Out My Check In Advance and just fill in the amount and sign my name. I don’t like an ATM card BECAUUUUUUSE, the money is instantly GONE and I want STORE X to actually have to TAKE IT TO THE BANK to deposit it. You know, do some work. It’s my way of making someone pay for hiring morons at the check out.

Sycrorax - I would gladly do your shopping for you. I offered this to my neighbors who Dilbert all day while I June Cleaver all day ( HAH) and they looked at me as if I’d grown three heads. I was planning on putting it on the credit card that we get frequent flyer miles on and charging a $10-20 fee ( which is usually one impulse item for the average person anyways.) thus giving me frequent flyer miles and a few bucks off on my own credit card. But, they would rather be overstressed and WHINE about it …so be it.

You didn’t ask for 'em, but brace yourselves:
Shirley’s time saving/money saving tips:
1)** Eat before you go to the store.**
2) Take your own travel coffee mug and fill it up on the complimentary coffee there :)No sign ever says you cannot drink from something larger than those pathetic dixie cups they give it to you in AND what is to keep you from coming back for a dozen more coffee shots anyway? This way you are just saving yourself a trip.
3)** Make your list up according to where it is located in aisles in the store.Organize your coupons according to the aisles.**
4)If you can do this, wear a walkman. I swear you will save lots of mula because you will not be innundated by the silent advertising yelling at you off the shelves ( By me! Spagettio’s! Ohhh, Snap Crackle Pop Rice Krispies…) You will get odd looks, but hey, all truly great individuals do.
5)Review your bill before you leave the store. (Or if you live close to the store, which I don’t, once you get home) If there are any discrepancies, take the bill and the item back for the difference. DON’T let them get away with either a computer/human error or one done on purpose. You get the difference plus 5x’s(I think) the amount up to five dollars. After Christmas sales on Dec 26 are notorious for the wrong price because whomever has to fix the price in the computer usually hasn’t. Let the cashier ring it up incorrectly, then drag your butt over to customer service with said item and get your money back. I’ve done this every December 26 for a number of years (buying Xmas stuff 75% off) and the hassle pays for most of my non-holiday items. Really.(n Of course, I do my shopping on the 26th the second the store opens at 6am.After 8am, all the good stuff is gone.It’s my favorite shopping day of the year: National Return Day :))
6)Find out if the store is on line and if there are on line coupons.
7)[rant]**When in the checkout, pick up a magazine and see how long it takes you to read it cover to cover. Then return it to the rack. It serves the store right to have damaged/used goods if they keep on hiring retards to run the registers. ** [/rant]

I forgot one other tip: For you heathens, pagans and Whatevers out there, try going shopping at 9am on a Sunday morning. All the good Christians are at Service and by the time you are at the check out, they are bombarding the store around 11am or so. You will have the place to yourself.

One of the few benefits of working a night shift is the joy of being able to shop at 3 AM. There is nothing like having an entire store all to yourself with empty aisles and checkout lines.

Wow. Shirley, you are the Shopping Goddess. I hope you don’t mind if I build a small shrine to you. I will burn my expired coupons in lieu of incense.

I rarely write checks anymore, except for bills. I should, though. Threre is no service charge for writing the checks. There is, however, a service charge for using my ATM debit card. The debit card has sucked me in, though. It’s just too easy.

This happened to me in Paris. I got in line at the check-out and just as the person in front of me was finishing up, a middle-aged lady ran up and yelled that she was next. Turns out the cart which was absolutely filled to overflow a couple yards from the queue was hers. So I stood there seething for ten minutes as her groceries were being rung up. She decided she didn’t want a few of her items so naturally she disposed of them just by putting them back on the conveyor belt right in the middle of all my groceries. I just waited til she started digging into her wallet and then I quietly put her unwanted items back on her side of the divider and she ended up unwittingly buying them anyway. I felt better after that :slight_smile:

The one nagging problem I have at my local Safeway is that they put their least proficient checkers at the Express checkout aisles. I know the mathematics of the management makes this logical, but it still irks me. I’m doing my best to keep my item count under 9 or 15 in hopes of checking out quickly. But when the checker hasn’t figured out the fine technicalities of bar code scanning, doesn’t know how to handle a check written for cash over the amount, or doesn’t know how to correct overrings of items, it’s just infuriating.

Why I write checks at Peter’s (a local grocery chain):
Every single, stinkin’ time I try to use my debit card there, it gets DECLINED!!! I DO have money in my account, but for some reason, in this one store, it is declined. Oddly enough, my bank is right across the parking lot.

I have to take my kids shopping with me, but I always strap them into those two-seater cart thingies, whenever they have them. One of my pet peeves is when I see someone using one of those carts when they have just one kid. That drives me nuts, because I’ve seen people do that when I haven’t been able to find one, and my 2 year old is jumping out the back of the cart and ripping open all of the boxes.

I’ve gotta agree with Mike, NIGHT SHIFT RULES!!! What’s really cool is that you actually get to know the people. It was pretty neat to discover that the guy who checked my groceries out for years is now our next door neighbors’ priest.

The only hint that I can add is that the express lanes aren’t at the front of the store, they’re in the deli, the bakery and in the flower department. The departments can usually ring you out (unless you bought produce and they don’t have a scale), and there’s almost never a line. They make you walk all the way out to the back 40 to get a gallon of milk, so why not use it to your advantage?

Besies that, the only other hint I can add is that the ATMs at the registers are free (at least in my state) and you can get cash over the amount. I think it’s set up that way in Texas because the ATMs are also used for food stamps.

Is it just me, or does anyone else get bothered that they have to put EVERYTHING in a bag??? You can walk up to the register with a single can of soup, and they will ask if you want paper or plastic. * “I carried it up here in my hands, I think I can make it home the same way…” *