Grocery Store Courtesy

I despise going to the grocery store after work. That’s when everyone goes and it’s awful. Not because it’s busy; I can stand to wait in lines. It’s the people that drive me ab-so-lute-ly nuts. I swear, people just don’t have the courtesy that’s required when you’re in a busy grocery store. So, for all those people out there who may be oblivious to how to shop politely, here’s a guide to grocery store courtesy. For those of you like me, maybe this’ll help you understand why you hate busy grocery stores so much.

1. Cell Phones

  • Don’t use them while walking around unless you have to, and if you do, find a quiet corner and stay out of everyone else’s way. But on busy days, it’s better just to keep that machine in your pocket. You won’t be in there long. Friends and family can wait for a call or text.
  • Don’t use them while in the check-out line. It’s rude. It’s distracting. It’s annoying. And did I mention that it’s rude?

2. Browsing Shelves & Navigating the Store

  • Don’t hog the aisle. Stand as close as you can to the shelves so others can navigate around you. If you need to stand back to see more of the whole shelf, check around you first and keep your peripherals alert so you know when to move when another person is coming your way.
  • If you have a cart, keep to the right side of the aisle, like on the road. And if you need to take time to look over products, pull the cart over as far as you can and be aware if you’re in someone else’s way.
  • Don’t stand checking your list too long in one spot so you make it difficult for people to see what’s behind you. Check on the go, or find a quiet spot.
  • Check your blind spots.
  • Don’t take corners too sharply, especially if you have a cart. You might hit someone. On that same note, just be cautious when turning down new aisles. Beware of the speed walkers and the cart pushers.
  • Be nice to the stockers and employees. They’re probably having a worse time than you.
  • Don’t put things back where they don’t belong.

3. Friends

  • If you meet a friend, observe the same courtesies as above. If you must chat, find a quiet location if you can. If you insist on talking in a busy aisle, you must be the ones to move out of another’s way.
  • Don’t scream and run at each other to embrace. Actually, don’t do that anywhere.
  • And if you’re roommates, don’t take up the whole width of the aisle talking drama or walking next to each other. Single file please. Or just split up. Or just get out of the way when people politely ask you to move.

4. Checkout

  • I’ll mention this again because is seems to have become a pandemic in every establishment. Put your damn phone away and deal with the cashier with your undivided attention. Do not use your phone in the checkout. Period.
  • The checkout conveyor belt moves until something hits the end of it by the scanner. So, even if only have one thing, put it on the belt so the people behind you can still put their stuff down without having their stuff pass yours up.
  • Chekout lines are tight. Don’t take up more space than you have to.
  • If you use one of those dividers, and see that the other one is out of reach for the person behind you, be kind and put it down behind your stuff.
  • Be observant and try to do all in your power to keep the line moving quickly and the cashier from feeling stressed.

In general, if people would just work together and be respectful, get out of a person’s way, say excuse me, please, and thank you, the grocery store experience would be much more enjoyable and a lot less stressful.


2 thoughts on “Grocery Store Courtesy

  1. While I agree that cellphone usage takes away from the efficiency of grocery shopping, I don’t feel that they should be completely taboo. Case in point (or plover, doesn’t make too much of a difference) I keep my shopping list on my phone.

    Also, as far as cart usage goes, my roommate tends to leave his cart at perpendicular to the aisle in the middle of the walking space. He then walks down the aisle to grab the items he needs, returns to the cart and pushes it to the end of the next aisle. I think you would enjoy shopping with him.


    • I use my phone for my list as well. And I will also admit that I have walked around while talking on the phone but it’s difficult to do so when the store is busy but I do believe there are good multitaskers out there. But being on the phone while doing a business transaction I do not approve.


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