Another part of growing up and existing in the “real world” is purchasing food stuffs for oneself. Navigating a grocery store is a complex ordeal, and not one to be taken lightly. However, you can alleviate the glare of fluorescent lighting, the chill of the freezer aisle, and the temptation of the checkout snacks by showing a bit of humanity with Grocery Store Etiquette. Take my tips, as I’m an unofficial expert:
1. Say “Excuse Me” when you cut through someone’s eye-line as they are scavenging. If you were at the library enjoying a nice book and someone walked up and stuck their hand in front of your page and then walked away without explanation, you’d have one of two reactions: (1) primal rage. (2) utter confusion. The same applies for crossing into the path of someone deciding what to get. It’s unavoidable—every grocery trip means that you will have to walk in front of someone deciding between Ragu and Prego. Use you words, and ask to be excused when you want to shortcut through the aisle.
2. Let the person with less stuff go in front of you, jerk! If you have an entire cart or more of stuff, and the person behind you has 1-3 items, LET THEM GO IN FRONT OF YOU. No one wants to wait 30 minutes to perform a task that takes 15 seconds. You’d want them to do the same for you.
3. Maybe look at the deli case before they call your number, buttface. I understand that the fluorescent lighting and cold aisles can be a bit disorienting, but this should be a no-brainer! Give a quick thought to what would be delicious for lunch or leftovers in the coming week, and be prepared. Nothing is more eye-roll inducing that an amateur at the deli.
4. Be aware of the rules of the checkout divider, cheapskate. These rules are very simple. If you are behind someone and they have a lot of stuff left on the conveyor belt, put up the divider. If you are in front of someone, don’t put up the divider. EVER. The moment I see that crap, I get annoyed. What? You think I’m trying to get you to pay for my Ruffles? Do I look like I can’t afford the pre-shredded cheese? There are very few people who would seriously not speak up if the cashier rang up their stuff on your bill. Relax.
5. Thank your cashier. How many people before you do you think they had to ask, “did you find everything okay?” And how many people do you think they will have to ask after you? They put your stuff into bags, and let’s face it, you probably have some convoluted bagging ocd that makes their mostly simple job unnecessarily complicated (you don’t need to triple bag a gallon of milk). Thank them for not punching you in the face, jerk.
This has been my not-so-subtle introduction to real world courtesy. You are now free to shop.