Trader Joe’s vs shooting ranges and gun stores.

Okay, I happen to do most of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s. The prices are excellent, and the quality is beyond any thing that you can get at the other supermarkets around here. The employees are wonderful and very interesting to talk to, but the customer base is just plain rude or self absorbed.

I swear that there is not a time I go to the store that I have to physically avoid customers hitting me with there shopping carts or running into me with there elbows. In the parking lot, it is rather cut throat, being that the notion of “right of way” seems not to exist. Out of all of this, I have never once been apologized too. People seem self-absorbed to the point of rudeness in the extreme.

I happen to also frequent shooting ranges and gun stores due to a hobby of hand gunning.

While the employees of gun stores and ranges happen to be IMO, what I would call, dim or slow. I have never met a rude customer. Everyone seems self aware, and if I do happen to bump into one another, I will quickly receive an apology while I am trying to spit the same out in a courteous manner. Conversations between customers are common and rather polite; being mostly an exchange of information and experience (with a fair share of conservative banter).

Now in my opinion, the Trader Joe’s customers have a huge ass liberal slant, while the ranges and gun stores have a huge ass conservative slant. Dress, talk, automobiles, and attitude all seem to reinforce my opinion.

Why are the people who frequent Trader Joe’s so damn rude, while the people who frequent gun stores and ranges are so damn polite?

Are liberally oriented people self involved? Are conservative oriented people courteous by nature? Why do I see the large discrepancy between the two? Do others experience the same? WTF is going on?

This has nothing to do with politics. This has to do with reality.

When you see a man with a gun, you smile at him. If you bump into him, you apologize profusely. If you ding his car in the lot with your door, you do whatever he demands of you.

Because that man has a gun. You might also have a gun, but nevertheless, you don’t want to start anything with a person who is armed for all the obvious reasons.

If more people had carry permits, we’d be happiest, most polite and convivial nation on earth.

What area of the country are you from? (I have no idea if this is a regional thing, though.) I’ve shopped at many Trader Joe’s in S. Calif. and never noticed that anyone was more rude than they are at Ralphs or anywhere else.

Have only been in one or two guns stores, though (a friend is into guns), and they seemed polite enough in there. The experience didn’t really make much of an impression, to be honest.

Just speculating, but it seems to me that when folks go to gun stores, they are doing something they enjoy and are more relaxed. Also, they feel a sense of cameraderie with other gun afficionados.

When folks go grocery shopping, they are doing a chore and are under stress.

The answer to your connundrum, per TeaElle, is to start carrying your gun in Trader Joe’s.

For the humor-impaired, add this to my last post ----> :smiley:

My ‘emoticon performance art’ interpretation of a bad day, involving the above scenario, at Trader Joes:


:eek: :eek: :eek:


:frowning: :frowning: :frowning:


luc’s got it.

Try hanging around other more hobby-based stores. I think you’ll find a similar amount of courtesy in the parts of Best Buy dedicated to video games and consumer electronics.

Then move over to the parts deciated to more office-based stuff. From fun stuff, to modern necessities. Watch the customers get ruder. Guns and politics have nothing to do with it.

Hot shooting ranges tend to be particularly polite.

“Cold range?”

You mind waiting a few minutes?

“Heck, no!” “You like that .44 mag?” “I’ll load up .22 and start plinking.”

You sure?

“Nope, no problem at all.” “I waste a lot of targets anyway.”

Some of my best fast friends were holding loaded firearms.

[sound of child at Christmas]

I got to shoot an Uzi, a .338 Win. Mag., antique blackpowder pistols, a Sig Sauer 9mm, etc…

Trader Joes, World Market, Whole Foods: the most annoying places in the WORLD to shop. I’m right there with you, Tuff.

I’m quite sure it has nothing to do with politics. I’m definately a liberal, but I can’t STAND the aimless wandering, the unapologetic bumping-into, and general disinterest and discourtesy toward other customers that are endemic in the upscale food marts. Besides, in my area, just as many suburban conservatives shopping at the Trader Joes as urban liberals shopping at the Whole Foods, but the problem is equally bad in each store.

Personally, I blame it on some kind of mental condition stemming from yuppiedom, the use of cell phones, and ownership of SUVs. The result is a degradation in the person’s ability to be considerate.


In the gun stores around here, persons are not allowed to carry a loaded gun. The argument of courtesy induced by fear does not really stand up.

I am much more leaning towards the hobby vs chore theory. I guess I never thought of grocery shopping as a chore knowing that I will get rewarded with sweet beer at the end. :wink:

Well, color me confused. 'Cause that sounds exactly like my local Safeway to me, and yet there’s nary an SUV in their lot.

I’m right there with Ravenman. It’s the “upscale” that does it. Most of the people who shop TJ’s seem to think that the world revolves around them (as opposed to revolving around ME!):smiley:

It also has a lot to do with the hobby vs chore idea, although I like to shop for groceries, as my build, or lack thereof, will attest. I have met some RUDE gun-store employees, but never a rude customer. That experience crosses 30 some-odd years and a number of states, so I think it is fairly representative.

I’ve shopped at Trader Joe’seses in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, and there were rude and obnoxious customers in all of them. I blame the lay-out of the stores – invariably, it seems, the lanes are too narrow and set at odd angles. When the place gets a sizeable number of customers at once, there’s no room for them to spread out, so everyone is bumping into one another and getting cranky.

Maybe you’re just seeing what you want to see. I’ve never been to Trader Joes but for the most part I get along with others in busy shopping areas. I have been to a few gun shows and I’ve been to more then a few gun shops. For the most part I have found the employees/owners of gun shops to be rather rude in general and disdainful of women in particular. There was only one gun shop in the D/FW area with friendly employees and sadly they didn’t stay in business for very long.


I’m wondering what your sample size is here, MrTuffPaws. I’ve never been to gun stores or gun ranges (since summer camp some eons back, at least), so I can’t speak to the level of politeness at any of those. I’ve got a small sample of TJ’s stores that I’ve shopped at - Annapolis, MD and Old Town Alexandria, VA. So I’ll add my data to the pile:

  1. Parking lot behavior: good at both stores, and well above what I’m used to at grocery-store parking lots in general.

  2. In-store customer behavior: Excellent in the Annapolis store (I’m not Mr. Extrovert, but I usually wind up chatting with other customers), and still better than average for a grocery store at the Old Town store, despite its getting far more business, much of the time, than its cramped quarters can handle. People are more harried there, due to the long lines and difficulty in navigating the more crowded environment, but I still wind up trading grins with other customers over comments about various foods, and people are polite in line.

I’m not sure whether luc has the right reason, but I’d agree that the appropriate standard of comparison is with other grocery stores.

When I’m not shopping for groceries at TJ’s, I tend to be in Food Lion, which definitely is not aiming for the yuppie market. I shop at three different Food Lions locally, and have shopped at a number of others when I was living elsewhere. Customer behavior at Food Lion is, IME, a step or two down from that at TJ’s. So I’m less than convinced that it’s about the demographic.

I was at a TJ’s just yesterday and everybody was as cordial and pleasant as ever, but I don’t go through life trailing the scent of burnt cordite. Perhaps they picked up on that. :wink:

They could arrange those damned stores a LITTLE less annoyingly, though.

The phenomemon you are describing may simply be due to physics. I don’t know about your local Trader Joe’s, Tuffpaws, but the ones around here are WAY too small. As gallows fodder pointed out, the layout of those places is terrible. Personally, I don’t think it’s necessarily poor planning, just lack of space. You put a lot of people in a small space, and they are going to bump into each other. Try shoving all those gun nuts in a small room and then see how happy and friendly they are.

I realize this is only anecdotal evidence, but I was in Trader Joes one day looking at the baked goods shelf, when a woman snagged the last low-fat marble tea loaf (good stuff). As she took it, she noticed that I was eyeing the same shelf, and asked me if I wanted that item. I told her that was O.K.; she was there first and she should have it. But she insisted that I take it.

Tuffpaws, where are you? In Indianapolis, the people at Trader Joe’s are as polite as is generally expected anywhere else–the sort of behavior you describe would be quite unacceptable and gauche.

Traider Joe’s in Sunnyvale Ca is a very polite place. That said TJ’s don’t help their customers in this respect. The TJ staff are polite, but TJ’s is very bad at keeping items in stock and available, rairly is it that I can shop there and get all the items I had planned for, this leads to rapid searches for alternative items when the fresh meatballs are unavailable for example. Coupled with narrow aisles and long check-out lines this can lead to lots of people rapidly trying to get that one key ingredient which will make tonights pasta fantastic.