Supermarket shopping is my least favourite, yet most frequent, kind of shopping. I blame that squarely on other people. If you could book a time to shop alone, I’d do it in a heartbeat. But wait, you say, what about online shopping? You can do it from the comfort and solitude of your own home and don’t have to deal with anybody!
Yes, online shopping is a thing, but then you miss the in-store specials and clearance shelves. And you have to pay for delivery and be at home for the three hour delivery window and sometimes, it still doesn’t come. Next minute, you’ve been on the phone to customer service 14 times, it’s almost midnight on a Tuesday, you’ve got no groceries and there’s a guy called Kevin offering to waive the delivery fee “next time you shop with us”. Jesus, Kevin, what kind of glutton for punishment do you think I am?
But, I digress.
Back to the supermarket. If you’re reading this, I’m pretty sure you’ll recognise most, if not all, of these characters. If none of these are familiar to you, please let me know where you shop. Not because I want to shop there- I don’t think for a second that you shop in some kind of paradise where people are unfailingly polite and civilised. It seems far more likely that you’ve never noticed these characters because you actually are one or more of them. I’ll just add your supermarket to my DO NOT SHOP HERE list!
The Aisle Hog
The Aisle Hog is the Paris Hilton of the supermarket. They wander around with one sole focus: themselves. Obviously, we are all there to buy what we want or need but the Aisle Hog will do so with a unique disregard for every other person in their local Woolies. He or she will meander down the aisle slowly, picking up this and reading the label on that. What sets the Aisle Hog apart is the way they walk down the centre of each aisle, inconveniencing other shoppers in both directions with zero fucks given.Before you know it, they’ll spot something of interest and lunge for it, turning their trolley on a diagonal. Being slightly paranoid, one hand will remain holding the trolley handle while the other picks up and item for perusal. The trolley is now blocking most of the aisle and their body, connected to said trolley, blocks the rest.
Suggested strategy: A little bit of trolley on trolley action and a cheery “‘SCUSE ME!” tends to jolt the Aisle Hog back into the real world long enough for you to get past.
The Queue Challenge Supermarket Warriors
These assholes are the kind of people who watch Ninja Warrior and criticise every contestant who doesn’t make it through the course. They’re the armchair experts who genuinely believe they could do a better job, due to a vastly inflated sense of their own speed and agility. This is why they complete approximately 1/3 of their shopping before joining the checkout queue. Once in position, they bolt off to retrieve a few items at a time. The more cunning warrior will leave a child with the trolley while they dash off for a packet of toilet rolls. The less cunning will just expect you to shuffle their cart forward every so often.
Suggested strategy: If there’s no child, do not, under any circumstances shuffle their trolley forward for them. Go around it. Make eye contact with the cashier if possible; they see this shit all the time and will commiserate. If the Warrior has left a child or children, it can be harder. You may have to go along with it but if they’re gone for ages, the cashier will likely tell you to start unloading your stuff. The world needs more excellent cashiers like this.
The Stock Stasher
You’re walking down the cereal aisle and there, in among the corn flakes and wheaties, is a room-temperature package of deli meat. Or, down the soft drink aisle, between some cola bottles, is a tray of raw chook. These are the assholes that I find most frustrating. They dump perishables all through the supermarket because they couldn’t be arsed returning them if they change their minds. I know this whole thing I’m writing is a litany of first world problems but the wastage shits me to tears. It costs the business, which helps drive up costs for other consumers. And, more than that- wasting food is criminal when so many are hungry.
Suggested strategy: If you actually catch a stasher in the act, adopt the US Homeland Security motto of ” If you see something, say something”. Loudly. Something like “YOO HOO! That raw mince goes over in the meat fridges, not there with the tinned soups, silly!”
The Checkout Shover
I hate shopping on busy days, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. Queuing for ages sucks for everyone, but just be patient for that little bit longer. If my items are getting scanned and packed and I’m about to pay, BACK OFF and let me do it. I should not EVER feel your trolley against my behind. Nor should I need to shove it back towards you so that I can actually reach the EFTPOS machine. Trolleys are for shopping, not shoving into strangers.
Suggested strategy: Stand your ground and speak up if in danger of being bulldozed by someone’s cart.
The Trolley Dumper
These assholes are a problem as soon as you arrive. Their discarded shopping carts take up valuable car parks because they just couldn’t be arsed returning them. They can also be a problem once you’ve parked, because they let their trolley glide off into the wilderness, only to sideswipe your car.
Suggested strategy: Take your trolley back and lead by example. Alert staff about roving trollies in the car park using words like “damage” and “liability”. Worth a shot!
#IBOT @ Capturing Life.
Gifs via Giphy.