A Big Helping of Manners & a side of Common Courtesy, Please

Hold on to your seats ‘cause I am riled up! (I promise to try my best to keep this clean.)

Let’s recap what we already know:

ü  It’s the Christmas season.
ü  It’s cold, wet and snowy outside.
ü  The stores are busier than normal.
ü  Gas prices (as well as the price of everything else) are on the rise again.
ü  We are all working longer and harder trying to make a buck.

So why do I absolutely loathe (and that’s putting it mildly) going to the store? Or anywhere public for that matter?

I stopped to get some groceries tonight after work and I went in totally prepared for the busier than usual, cramped to the gills, buggy-eyed people. It was actually kind of eerie at first. It seemed quiet when I first walked in and got my cart, took off my gloves and got out my list.  I walked deeper into the zombie’s lair, oops, I mean I walked into the store and passed a few customers who seemed zombie-fied; expressionless faces and round, unblinking eyes. They must have been power-shopping all day. I don’t know why people do that to themselves, especially the grandma’s. Please spread the word to the grandma’s: The grandkids do not need anything else!

Weaving through the aisle’s soon became an exasperating chore. I felt myself slipping into the underworld of zombies. I couldn’t let that happen; I would need all of my concentration to stay on task and get everything on my list.

One thing was for sure. I was slowly losing my patience. Whatever happened to common courtesy anyways? People were stopping to look at items leaving their cart in the middle of the aisle. And I am pretty sure it’s a known fact that stores design their layouts so only two and a half carts can fit down an aisle. Now tell me, who drives half a cart? A couple was standing in front of the soup sale display. I was standing back waiting for them to pick out their ‘ten for ten’ cans of soup and some older lady just walks right up and starts picking out her soup. First, does it really take both of them to pick out the soup? And second, who does that lady think she is? I have stuff to do too, but I was waiting patiently.

And the men in the store! What happened to chivalry? **Men are simply not gallant anymore! They don’t hold the door open. They don’t let ladies (and I’m using that term loosely, maybe I should just say females) go first. They’re always cutting in front of me with their carts. Picture this: So here I am, grocery shopping for my family of six, pushing around my 400-pound cart with a screwy wheel that makes the cart veer left; and then here’s this bozo pushing his cart with Twinkies in it because he’s more than likely single (gee, I wonder why), and the dope completely cuts me off, because apparently he didn’t take any math classes in school or he would realize that the weight of my cart going “X” speed would take “Y” distance to come to a stop and how nearly I just came to running his a$$ over with my 400-pound cart!

** I must say, right now, that there are still a few gracious men in the world today. I do come across them infrequently, but they are indeed out there. To you, my gallant sirs: Thank you and God Bless You!

Now where was I? How can I major grocery store run out of Romaine? Argh!

I finally got through the store. (And by the way, I found an end-cap with the same soup sale, so I did get my soup.) Up at the checkout lanes, I found one with a cashier that didn’t look too mean, or young and inexperienced. She wasn’t that bad, except that they all seem to think that a generic, unfeeling “Have a nice day” is a good enough replacement for “Thank you”. It’s not good enough. Would it kill you to put some feeling into it? If I were to answer back with a smile on my face “Stick a fork in your eye.” Do you think they would notice? I’m guessing not.

In the lane next to me was a little old lady trying to put her groceries in the cart. The cashier had packed them so they were heavy. And then…. (gasp!)… the little old lady asked for another bag. How dare she! Well, that was the attitude the cashier had anyways. The cashier very begrudgingly put a few items in another bag and then proceeded to start checking out the next person in line. The poor little old lady, who stood a full 4 foot 6 inches tall, was still trying to put her bags in her cart and put her pocketbook back in her purse. Now that’s the kind of bad manners that’s just inexcusable. There really is no reason on this earth to not take another 45 seconds to help the poor lady with her bags, and then maybe really go out of the way to wish the lady a Merry Christmas! The next customer in line, I’m sure would wait patiently if they saw this nice cashier sincerely helping this little old lady.

Remember a few years ago, when the idea of Pay It Forward was a really big deal. I think we should bring it back. I think that the policemen and women should hand out discount coupons for a gas fill-up or free turkeys or some such, when they spot people doing good deeds. How cool would that be?

To “wrap” this blog up, let me say that I am a forgiving person, especially during the Christmas season; but if you cut me off in the grocery store, there is no guarantee that I will be able to stop my cart in time before running you over. So beware, or mind your manners!