People I Hate in the Supermarket

I’d like to think if Jane Austen was describing me, she’d use the word “amiable”. And “bitchin'”, but mostly “amiable”.

You see, I’m a nice person. I totally just smiled at you. Honest. Creepy internet smiling aside, most of the time, I’m sickeningly happy.

Except when I go to the supermarket. That’s where I go from this:

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To this…

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Okay so I was trying to demonstrate a HUGE change in facial expression but this is not a good example. It’s not my fault Kristin Stewart has ONE default facial expression.

Kristin Stewart’s chronic moody visage aside, when I go to the supermarket, I basically turn into the sort of person who wants to inflict pain on the genital areas of everyone in the store. I envisage “Clockwork Orange” style torture scenes where I’m basically laughing manically (and eating jam donuts, because hey, it’s my fantasy).

So without further ado, here is a list of the biggest shopping sinners (aka, the people I want to slap with a cod):

1. The selfish shopper
I could do a whole post on these mother effers but for the sake of my own sanity (I’m sure it’s around here somewhere), I’m just going to stick it in here (that’s what he said…sorry).

The worst offender is the person who goes to the supermarket with the assumption THAT THEY ARE THE ONLY PERSON IN THE ENTIRE SUPERMARKET. I’m shouting now because I’m mad brah.

You know the type: they stand in front of the pasta for twenty minutes because apparently choosing between penne and fusilli is akin to deciding whether to donate a kidney to your wife’s sister. They also abandon their trolly in the middle of the aisle so that there isn’t quite enough room on either side for you to get by and they decide to ignore your aggressive bronchial cough.

When you finally get to the checkout, stupid selfish Sarah (no offence Sarahs) is riiiight in front of you OF COURSE. After she has put through her fusilli AND penne cause she just couldn’t decide, she realises that she forgot to get carrots

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So Sarah trots of, leaving an embarrassed cashier and an incensed but decidedly silent line of consumers behind her. I’m going to stop talking about her now, or I may have a heart attack.

2. People who treat the store attendants like idiots

I used to work in a supermarket and except for the time I was sexually harassed (I’m not even kidding), it was okay. The worst part was the superior attitude that many of the customers demonstrated to me. While I was working there, I was completing a degree and then later, a master’s degree. But most customers treated me like I was some kind of bimbo, which is only partly true (I do own uggs and a white iphone).

This is an actual conversation I once had (and subsequently got disciplined for):

Ahole customer: Um, did you just put that through as a turnip?

Me: Yes (I’m anticipating what is coming. A little tip from the inside: this is common trickery from the stingy consumer; trying to pass turnips as swedes as turnips cost a little more).

AC: Why?

Me: Because it’s a turnip.

AC: No, it’s a swede.

Me: Sorry, but it’s a turnip. It’s much larger. I put lots through everyday.

AC: Well, I’m sure as a cashier, you’re a lot more intelligent than I am. So you must be right. You need serious lessons in customer service. Haven’t you heard that the customer is always right? I don’t even know why I’m arguing with some cashier.

Me: Well, ma’am, if you really want to get personal, you’re the one who doesn’t want to pay the minimal difference between a swede and a turnip. There’s a woman outside collecting for charity if you want to steal from her. And then you can argue with her guide dog about your superior intellect.

Needless to say, it wasn’t my ideal job.

Note: I was going to include a picture of both a turnip and a swede, but if you don’t know the difference, I don’t think you’re the kind of person I need in my life.

3. Incompetent employees

So, customers can be annoying but it’s fair to say that the employees can be pretty annoying too. There’s a cashier girl in my local supermarket who is so bad at her job that I feel she should be starring in some Tommy Wiseau film somewhere.
I inevitably get stuck with her, much like the geeky misfit gets stuck with the fat kid at a dance. She once broke a bottle of wine (a capital offence in my eyes) and also managed to accidentally ring up an item worth €750 once. I can’t even…

Her latest quirk is commenting on ALL of my shopping. Now, I’m a pretty creepy person, but this is verging on SUPERCREEPY (a term I reserve for the creepiest of people, like Christopher Walken’s teeth). She leafs through my magazines, she holds up my choice of toilet paper and mumbles “huh”, she SNIFFS my clementines, she reads the nutritional information on my protein bars. I mean, I’m sorry, DO YOU WANT TO JUST CLIMB INTO BED WITH ME?!

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4. The awkward acquaintance

You know the one. You meet this person in aisle one. You barely know them, but you know them enough to have to engage them in inane awkward supermarket chit chat. After your awkward encounter is over, you think “phew, thankfully that’s over”. But it’s not. Because you’ll see them in aisle two. And you’ll both make some half-arsed attempt at a smile and nod. In aisle three, you’ll make some half-arsed comment like “you again, ha ha ha”. By aisle four, you’re pretending not to see each other. Awkward level: Woody Allen.

5. The lazy customer

Sure, lazy customer, deciding you don’t need raw chicken and putting it back in the cooked chicken section is totally acceptable because they are practically the same thing. And when a new checkout opens up, trotting up from the back of the queue to be served first is also acceptable. You were standing there for all of five seconds after all. Aaaand breathe out.

6. The smug shopper

You run into your friend Sasha. Sasha is wearing yoga pants and inexplicably smells like lavender. Damn, Sasha.
Her trolly has the following items: Fat free organic goat’s cheese, quinoa, organic blueberries, elderberry juice, tofu, Quorn mince and kale. There’s always kale.

My trolly has the following items:
Sharknado DVD and donuts.

Sasha’s face:

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If, of course, Sasha were Christian Bale.

So dearest WordPress friend, tell me about people who annoy you in the supermarket. Or am I alone? I don’t like being alone.

Also, shout out to Julie over at http://musingsfromaworkaholic.com for the supermarket inspiration. Thanks girl🙂

100 thoughts on “People I Hate in the Supermarket

  1. dweezer19 says:

    Well, I’m not sure if I should or if I should just leave….cuz I don’t even know what a swede is. And since I don’t like turnips d:/o I get a “free ride” just this once? :/

  2. Lisa Macy Coaching says:

    OMG I couldn’t help but have the giggles! I worked in a grocery store when I was in high school and soooo remember the days of being questioned about ringing up fruits/veggies. UGH! And wanting to slap people? I’m so with you! I hate going to the store! When I do though, I try to be as considerate as possible and TRY and think happy thoughts (or lately sing along to the 70’s/80’s music that is always playing on the speaker) so I don’t strangle any inconsiderate jerks before I leave. I can definitely agree with you on every account! 😀

  3. dweezer19 says:

    What do I loathe about shopping? Well, when my hubby is with me (obviously your male counterpart) I am so busy keeping him from committing homicide that I become very tranquil by proxy. However, there remains what I call the “WalMart rule of kids” which mandates that every trip to that store, which now that I am able, I avoid unless absolutely necessary, there be at least one kid screaming at the top of its lungs. This could be from anger, frustration, accidental fall from basket, reaction to a slap-the slap pre-empts the cry of anger and pain, or simply because it KNOWS I am going to want to climb right out of my skin. I raised four boys and they never screamed in the store. I had one who only once, fell out on the floor with a fit over not getting a toy and I promptly left him lying there, in front of the meat market, as I made my way to the checkout. He joined us a few minutes later, recomposed, and it never happened again. Oh! Yep. There is one other thing. I often feel like a magnet, like only when I stop to look at a shelf or browse the freezer door, suddenly it becomes the highlight place to shop. People close in like I have found the lost city of Atlantis and it is full of golden tv dinners!

    • janeybgood says:

      Ah yes. How could I have forgotten children? I know some people do struggle to keep their kids under control while shopping and it can be so painful to endure. I actually saw a kid being dragged out of the store by the feet once while I just open mouth stared after them. I really hope when I have kids this kind of stuff doesn’t happen🙂 kudos to you, you handled a potentially awkward and embarrassing situation really well.
      The TV dinners sentence=laugh out loud funny by the way!

  4. Ashley says:

    I hope this doesn’t sound too mean but then there’s “procreating Pricsilla” with her 5 kids who take up the whole aisle and make a lot of noise. You go out of your way to avoid being in the same aisle with this family.

  5. Trent Lewin says:

    Sharknado… dude, you are way too funny. The awkward acquaintance thing really bugs me, I never know when to stop and walk away, but I hate pretending people aren’t there. And if I don’t know their name… further mortification. I usually just end up shoplifting something to extricate myself from the situation.

  6. Karen says:

    Very annoying personalities, Janey. 😀
    Moreover, I despise people (normally only two!) standing in the middle of the aisle, discussing matters of zero importance. Occasionally they move until they decide to be in other people’s way again, and again, and again.

    • janeybgood says:

      Oh jeez, this as well! It is infuriating. I’m sure conversations with people you clearly don’t meet in any other capacity besides the supermarket must be riveting, but MOVE! Haha!

  7. Julie the Workaholic says:

    Ohhhhh, suh-NAP, Janey! LOL! Thanks for the nod, Babe…and NO…obviously NOT alone in this.😉 The whole time I was reading this, I was thinking about that cashier that simply walked away from her register last week…It’s not like her behavior was a big surprise. We have had numerous run-ins with her…She has two speeds; slow & stopped. She won’t scan anything heavier than a gallon of milk. If it is? The customer has to hold it up so that she can use the gun to scan the bar code. Always fun to lift that case of beer and hold it up like that.😦

    Needless to say, my boycott of this store still stands, and I have to remind myself that I don’t shop there, anymore. This will be a little inconvenient, because we used to get our pool chemicals there because a) they are close; and b) they are less expensive than anywhere else. But, whatevs…As long as I don’t have to ever go in there again and deal with the ass-hattery.

    Also…your pasta-picking, aisle hogging shopper? Those drive me bonkers, as well….😀

    • janeybgood says:

      Jeez she sounds just about the worst employee ever. I’ve boycotted stores too and it’s hard because I’ve often loved the stores!
      I’m laughing hard at “ass-hattery” hahaha!
      Jack was reading this last night and asked if the pasta bit was some kind of passive aggressive dig at him. I didn’t know he does it too. I’m seriously reevaluating our relationship haha!

      • Julie the Workaholic says:

        I have a pasta selection problem, as well, but I try to keep my cart out of the middle of the aisle. And it’s probably due more to having to read the nutrition information than anything else. Now I just go for the whole wheat penne when in doubt, LOL…

      • janeybgood says:

        I don’t actually really eat pasta, I find it so stodgy and heavy. I would go for whole wheat if I was eating it. I do actually check a lot of nutritional information like you said, but to the side and as quickly as I can. I know in the states you guys have much wider aisles too. We have tiny ones haha!

      • Julie the Workaholic says:

        I don’t eat it often enough…I grew up in a Sicilian family and pasta was a staple. I really REALLY miss it. But you do what you have to do. Now it’s a treat, and when I do it? I do it up right, LOL…

      • janeybgood says:

        I love it with carbonara sauce which is very naughty haha!
        Julie I have an obsession with all things Sicilian. I even know that Sicilians don’t like being called Italian. I love Italy too. I would love to get married over there. I would love to have Italian or Sicilian ancestry.
        It is the best cuisine in the world. And now I want tiramisu haha!

  8. Down to a tea says:

    I should probably post about this one myself! I worked in a supermarket for five years, three on checkouts and around the store before I finally switched to the cash office. Finally I was Locked behind two security doors requiring two keys and an entry code. I am listening to my radio and ignoring your call for multiskillers to checkouts, thanks very much!

    My main issue was, yep, the customer who always knows best. I didn’t have the swede issue, but when they first brought self-service in we had people weighing steaks as desert apples…
    And then the reducers. You can tell who they are right away. Red flushed face, won’t look you in the eye. Does everything to draw your attention away from your monitor and is extremely chatty. These are the well dressed ladies who have stuck reduced stickers from the fruit and veg section over finest roast joints and sirloin steaks. Nice try.
    Or those that try self service. Get angry. Scream at the monitor. Tut. Stamp their foot and say “excuse me!” Twenty times to draw your attention.
    You did NOT just click your fingers at me!
    Most of the time it was their handbag, or more hilarious, their BABY that they’ve placed beside their shopping.
    “This machine is broken! What does it mean unexpected item!? I know how to scan a barcode it’s not rocket science!”
    *points to baby*
    “That would be the unexpected item the machine is having trouble with mam”

    Argh!
    So sorry! Years of anger just came bubbling up inside me LOL
    Love the post😉 ~

    • janeybgood says:

      I think you worked in the same supermarket as myself. I was there when they brought in the self scan first also. It made me actually question how humanity has come such a long way. I would be internally screaming “IF IT SAYS UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA THEN YOU MOVE YOUR DAMN BAG YOU IDIOT”. Can’t say I ever got any babies though hahaha!
      Also, some people used to just walk right up to where we kept the plastic bags and take them (we charge for them here).
      Oh man, I totally forgot about the reduced item stickers! This was my worst pet peeve. It was always with meat. And the meat would look so fresh that it was obviously not reduced. I remember someone once put a reduced sticker on a DVD. Like, wow.

      • Down to a tea says:

        Lol I know! The self scan were definitely a nightmare especially on a Saturday night! I’m glad I stopped working there before they brought in the bag charges, everyone is doubly annoyed that they need to call for someone to get one now.
        I think I turned into some kind of bounty hunter towards the end though. It got to the stage when team leaders would send the ‘regular’ customers who always kept reducing their own things to my checkout. One lady must have been saving those puppies up, she even had the old reduced bags we’d stopped using about two years before.
        Kudos to them though it takes you to have a pair to do it, I even felt embarrassed for them when I had to point it out. I certainly couldn’t do it!

        My colleagues and I always used to say there should be compulsory work experience for all members of the public in a supermarket for a few months. That would most definitely make them a little more flippin’ civil towards assistants!

        You don’t internally scream anymore? If I’m stuck behind a customer who gets alerted for every item I sometimes feel like going “move it lady I’ll do it and then well both be home before we starve!”
        Or when the assistants clearly can’t work the machines.
        “Go to department, yeah, then manual entry, there you go great! Now enter the price… Oh for! Give me your ID! I’ll do it!!”
        I’m now the angry customer LOL!

      • janeybgood says:

        When I was first put on the self scan, I assumed it was because of my superior cashier skills. I then realised I was being made a skivvy haha!
        I know what you mean though, I’ve become quite an irate customer (as you can probably see from the post ha). The thing is, supermarket workers are paid crap money and have no passion for their jobs (why would they?) so the majority of them just don’t give a crap. I didn’t. I was nice and courteous but beyond that, I just didn’t try.
        Lately I’ve had a lot of irksome trips to the supermarket (and I am an extremely patient person, I swear!) and it’s becoming a place I really loathe. A cashier short changed me by thirty quid yesterday, and it took me over twenty minutes to straighten it out at customer service.
        Haha, I get so infuriated with people at the self scan too. Especially the ones with the conveyor belt. I mostly just do some yoga breathing haha

      • Down to a tea says:

        Me too, I know what you mean, I make myself sound angry all the time but honestly, some people take the piss! Lol
        I lost my enthusiasm by the end and started to dread serving people, it became a place were the bad customers just seemed to keep coming to ME lol
        I really hate it when cashiers are looking all dazed and don’t even greet you or say hello though. I said hello, I said thankyou, and you threw my things at me!
        If anything I sympathise with the cashiers more so I usually get quite nice servers. Manners never hurt anyone!
        Thankfully I haven’t been shortchanged, I hated working customer services! (I was very multiskillers because they couldn’t be bothered hiring anyone when people left lol)
        I loathe waitrose more than anything. Upper middle class women who think they own the isle. I got shinned by a trolley yesterday and the woman just glared at me and my asparagus… I think I was in her way…
        High five for supermarket trauma though eh? We’re survivors! Lol

      • janeybgood says:

        We don’t actually have Waitrose here but my brother has told me all about it. The snootiest we go is M&S, which is pretty bad.
        There are some lovely staff at my local Tesco, but mostly they don’t bother with even a hello or a thank you. It’s worse when you say hello and they ignore you. I’m always thinking “I know, I was in your shoes once too”.
        High five back! It was a tough ass job that I wouldn’t go back to. We made it through the other side. I wonder who’ll play us in the movie?? Haha!

  9. reocochran says:

    Oh, I get annoyed inside my head, sometimes used to say things that were a little mean, when I was complaining about ‘cutters’ in lines, or ones who were mean themselves to clerks. Also, the really annoying ones who get in the “10 items or less” with more than ten items! I usually smile and sing songs in my head these days. My life was moving at a much faster pace, a little too much caffeine, while younger, which made me snappy!

    • janeybgood says:

      Robin, I have to say, I can’t imagine you ever getting mad🙂 but you are right, I’m mellowing out a little as time goes on. Caffeine definitely does not help the situation haha!

  10. Wordifull Melanie says:

    Oh i so feel you on this.. I get grocery store rage for sure. Love and may have to steal this line :” the people I want to slap with a cod”

    So to amuse myself and get through the experience I may (absolutely) play a little game I call shopping for others. (ok only a few times..don’t judge)

    It goes like this.. you observe other shoppers (esp annoying ones) and figure out what they need that they are forgetting…helpful, right?

    So that lady with 5 unruley kids? Did I sneak a pakage of condoms in her cart? Why yes, yes I did.

    The man who looked like he thought he was too good to be amoungst the common people? Spam…yup!

    The woman who abonded her cart in front of me blocking the aisle to run off to get something she forgot 3 aisles over… adult undegarments.

    All the better if you can catch their faces as they are checking out🙂

    • janeybgood says:

      Hahaha, Melanie that’s brilliant! I love the idea of that🙂
      You’ve reminded me of a SUPER awkward moment once when a really uncomfortable guy was buying condoms from me.The condoms were in a security box that was always a nightmare to open and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t do it. There was a huge awkward queue behind him and I had to call my manager. I don’t know who was more embarrassed, me or him hahaha

  11. girlseule says:

    Loved this post, hate the supermarket. I hate when I just want to find one thing, just one little thing, and I have to walk endlessly up aisle after aisle wasting half my day. They are too big and too much florescent lighting and they are bastards anyway. They don’t accept lots of fruit and veggies just because of their shapes and it all goes to waste.

    April was supermarket-free month in Australia, encouraging people to avoid supermarkets for a month. I didn’t know about it so I am trying it for the month of May instead.

    • janeybgood says:

      Supermarket-free month sounds brilliant! We don’t have anything like that here, but all our small businesses are just dying away😦
      I really hate the supermarket too, but I suppose grocery shopping it just an inevitable part of everyone’s week. I know I could get home delivery but they always mess something up! First world problems, eh😉

  12. LAMarcom says:

    Back in the late Nineties my small Texan college town was ‘blessed’ with a new Super Wal*Mart. I don’t really like Wal*Mart, but the grand opening was a “Big Hairy Deal” (not a lot of excitement in my little town).

    Anyway, I just had to go. Back then I was a vegetarian and was interested to see if Wal*Mart had decent produce and perhaps cheaper than the only other grocery store in town, a Brookshire’s. Turns out they did, so I filled my cart with quite a few fresh fruits and vegetables.

    Got to the checkout and the surly cashier. I knew instantly she was surly when she took a look at my cart and then grimaced at me. She picked up a zucchini and pointed it at me just as she would have a pistol I surmised. “What is This?” she demanded.
    “Zucchini,” I said, trying to be polite about it.
    (There were no little tags on the veggies back then. The cashiers had a rolodex type thing with photos to help them identify ‘foreign fruits and vegetables’.
    She then picked up a… wait for it… turnip. “ And what’s this?”
    “Turnip.”

    At this point I could literally see the frustration building. “Well, you know I ain’t from around here. I don’t know y’all’s local vegetables,” she announced rather pointedly.
    All I could do to keep from falling down on the floor laughing my arse.

    Wonderful post. I really enjoyed it.
    Love your blog too. Going to explore more of it.

    Cheers,
    -Lance

    • janeybgood says:

      Welcome Lance and thank you🙂

      Hahaha, this made me laugh and you have such a wonderful way of telling this story. How could someone get a zucchini and a turnip confused…just, how?

      We actually had the same system, you had to press the picture of whatever the veg was on your screen. They even provided pictures to make it that much easier😀

  13. marsnplato says:

    Amazing. If there is one thing I HATE to do every week, it’s grocery shopping. My boss laughs at me every Friday because around noon, I always look at my calendar and cry, “nooooo! It’s grocery day again!” It is repressed until then. Every. Single. Week. Thank you for sharing this❤

    • janeybgood says:

      Haha, I totally agree. I put off the grocery shopping for as long as is humanly possible. I also do mine on a Friday, usually. I figured because it’s Friday, I might be happier and more inclined to want to do it but…no. Thanks for reading!

  14. Boris says:

    hey I’m writing a compare and contrast essay between grocery store cashiers vs. strippers,
    one of my points is how customers act like cashiers are all hopelessly unintelligent bimbos who enjoy being pushed around while expecting them to laugh and smile while complying with whatever shit they’ve brought to your attention

    would you mind if i quoted your experience with the swedes? so far databases and google haven’t included a more accurate example or description of what sorts of bullshit customers come up with.

      • Boris says:

        I can’t deny it to be anything but ignorant, but after working as a cashier full-time for a year and a half, I’ve concluded that, “before it’s too late, these new cashiers will slowly begin to understand they’ve begun stripping themselves of their identity and self-respect, while only being paid the ample $9.00 minimum wage salary. With that said, why not just become a stripper?”
        Anyhoozle, thanks very much.

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