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How to be a jerk at the Grocery Store

Dec 14, 2003

by

At about this time last year, I read an amusing newspaper column by Aline McKenzie of the Dallas Morning News which described the annoying and inconsiderate behaviors that people display at the gym- such as hogging equipment, or trying to talk to you when you're working out. But most public venues can be a showcase for inconsiderate behavior and nowhere is this more evident than at the average grocery store. Perhaps it's the gravitation of humans to food, recalling the days of hunter-gatherer society- each for themselves! When humans congregate around a dinner table, it is usually imperative that we behave like civilized beings, but when out hunting, we seem to revert to the days of the Bog People. Combine that with people who all seem to be oblivious, self-absorbed and poorly socialized, and among the shelves of canned peas and frozen foods, you can discover a wealth of perfect jerks.

How to be a perfect jerk at the Grocery store.

1.) Go dazedly amidst the noise and haste- and remember to make sure that you leave your grocery cart right at the narrowest spot in the aisle so that it blocks the way for everyone else. Also, if there is a cart parked on one side of the aisle, park yours on the other side, thwarting anyone who wants to pass, or turn it so it's perpendicular to the aisle, completely blocking the way.

2.) Other people? Who are they? That's not your concern. If you want to stop and have a long, animated conversation with a friend, it's not your problem if people can't get past you. Oh, and by all means, blab on your cell phone while navigating your cart. Not only are you not paying attention to where you're going, you're also forcing the rest of us to hear your inane conversations. Why bother to wait until you get home to make that phone call? And if someone is attempting to reach an object, that's the time to stand right in front of it while you blab away. Hey, this is IMPORTANT!

3.) If you have kids, remember that the entire world revolves around you and them. And don't worry- everyone will find his or her antics to be adorable! For example, make sure that you let your small child push a heavy, overloaded grocery cart around, especially at the busiest times of day! Don't worry if the little angel rams into other shoppers or knocks objects off the shelves- it's cute! And while everyone else's children need discipline yours don't- so treat the store as if it were your home and let them run around, screaming and unsupervised. And those huge kiddy wagons aren't an inconvenience at all, even if they are the size of a minivan! Park them anywhere you want. And remember, the best time of day to bring your entire brood of children is when the busiest time of day! Everything has to be for the children, including the grocery store.

4.) When you are waiting on line, wait until the last minute to get your cash or debit card out. That's also a good time to decide to get into an argument with the cashier about the price of something, forcing her to get out the circular while everyone else waits for you. Insist she go over every single item on the receipt. Let's face it-twelve cents is twelve cents! And of course, being rude, abusive and insulting to the teenage cashier will most certainly obtain the best results.

5.) No matter how many times in your life you have been shopping, you have to instantly forget how to do it as soon as you enter the grocery store. For instance, don't bother to wait until the person in front of you is finished with THEIR load before you start dumping yours onto the conveyor belt. And remember, butting your cart into someone else's backside will make the line go faster. Really!

6.) Why bother helping the cashier bag groceries? It's so complicated and time consuming! Let her do it, even if it will save YOU some time and makes the line go faster. Even if it's just six items- it's still HER job!

7.) No reason you have to move any faster than a Galapagos tortoise, especially when someone is trying to get at an item on the shelf and you're standing in front of it. And no need to look behind you! Just stop suddenly and back up! You have all the time in the world- so what if the woman behind you just saw her bus leave the stop?

8.) If someone politely says, "excuse me" hoping, perhaps, that you might let them pass, or do something to prevent your children from pulling objects off the shelves, look at them as if they puked or suggested you pick your nose and eat it. They are the ones being inconsiderate, not you.



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