For the Love of Chocolate, Move Your Shopping Cart!

September 21, 2013

How many times has this happened to you?

You’re on your way home after a long day when you suddenly realize you need a loaf of bread and a quart of milk and some brussels sprouts and a case of toilet paper and a new mop, because the old one fell apart after the kids tried to paint their bedroom ceiling with it. So you pull into the supermarket, grab a cart, and head off, confident that you’ll be in and out in five minutes.

Except that it takes 15, because you waste 5 minutes politely clearing your throat, tapping your foot, then saying excuse me at increasing higher volumes, until the person who’s parked their cart in the middle of the aisle stops talking on their cell phone long enough to berate YOU for rudely interrupting their vital conversation about whatever Kardashian is currently trending on Twitter.  After which you waste 5 more minutes completing your shopping while refusing to go down any aisle that already contains another person, because if one more obstructive cart gets in your way, you’re going to have an aneurysm right there in the frozen food section.

shopping cart

Courtesy of coolmikeol via Flikr Commons

My highly scientific study, conducted during 35 years experience as a shopper, proves conclusively that every aisle in every store is wide enough for two carts to pass each other, without a single scratched wheel. Provided that shoppers obey a basic guideline of common courtesy and pull over when they stop. But either I’m getting super crotchety in my old age, or more and more people are forgetting to do this.

A follow-up highly scientific study, conducted by listening to friends and family rant about this very issue, suggests that not only are more people forgetting to pull over, but I’m not the only one getting crotchety about it.  In fact, I’m fairly certain that cart rage is about to surpass road rage as a leading cause of both apoplexy and homicide.

What is up with this? Are we all just so wrapped up in our own lives that we’ve forgotten we share the world – and the aisle – with other people? I don’t know, but it worries me.

Are you a sufferer of cart rage, too? What other aspects of common courtesy seem to be falling by the wayside, and more importantly, how do we get them back? If you have ideas, I’d love to hear them!



4 Comments on ‘For the Love of Chocolate, Move Your Shopping Cart!’

  1. It’s not other shoppers that upset me in the grocery store–people get distracted when they are looking for stuff and forget where their cart is. I get that. It is the store employees that make me want to scream. The employees are always, without exception, helpful and polite and very friendly. BUT they are absolutely oblivious when they are striding through the store on some important mission. Every time I shop I have to “slam on the brakes” of my cart to avoid carnage in the aisles.
    Thank you for letting me ventilate….

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  2. When I worked retail, I would often walk really fast and avoid eye contact so that people wouldn’t stop me for help when I was on my break, thus cutting in to my 15 minutes of quiet time. It depended on how strict the managers were about when the break starts. But as a customer, I totally feel your pain!

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  3. I get frustrated when people think that the aisle of the grocery store is equal to a coffee shop. So you see your friend in the grocery store aisle? This is NOT the time to catch up on what is happening with your kids, parents, the local gossip, etc. Pretty soon, there is a group of 3 or 4 standing there laughing and carrying on as if no one else exists. Yep, I have grocery cart rage, too. And don’t even get me started on customer service, or lack thereof.

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    1. I’ve seen people in vehicles do that too, often perilously close to intersections! Not safe, people!

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