8 Rude Things You Shouldn’t Be Doing at the Grocery Store

shopping cart
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Grocery shopping is something we all have to do, every day, and sometimes it appears as we’re all at the same time. Here’s how you can make the experience better for everyone else.

Rude behavior seems to be present in all aspects of life, since people tend to be always in a hurry, not caring about other people’s feelings. Trevor Foulk, a University of Maryland organizational behavior researcher, says, “When it comes to incivility, there’s often a snowballing effect.”

This only means that when someone is on the receiving end of rude behavior, they may pass it along for the next person that gets in their way, sometimes after boosting it a level or two.

Maybe that’s why grocery stores seem to be full of rude individuals. Person A is rude to Person B in aisle one, then Person B gets upset and lashes out even more severely at Person C in aisle two, and so on. It’s an endless cycle.

If you’re one of those people who want to break the cycle of rudeness that’s present in your local grocery store, we’ve made a list of the most common rude behaviors that need to come to an end! There are some pretty good chances you may be guilty of some of these things without even knowing it.


Leaving your cart in the parking lot

leaving your cart in the parking lot because you’re too lazy to walk it back to the cart return station is very common these days. And it’s actually worse than “just lazy,” it’s downright annoying for anyone who wants to park their car into an empty parking spot, only to discover that there’s an empty shopping cart that gets in its way.

Not to mention the unfortunate case when someone discovers their car scratched thanks to a stray shopping cart. This is why leaving the cart in the parking lot is a big no-no.


Crashing the express lane with way too many items

If the express lane says “10 items or less,” then getting in the line with 11, 12 or more products is rude. So if you’re going to try to game the express line, don’t pretend like you have no idea what you’re doing, because you’re not fooling anyone. Everyone knows what you’re doing.

One grocery store manager thinks cashiers don’t mind if someone uses the express lane having a few items over the limit, but 20 items in the 10-items-or-less lane is really overdoing it.

However, even if the cashier doesn’t mind the fact that you have 11 or 12 items, the people waiting impatiently behind you may still make a rude comment about your counting skills.

You’ll just have to decide if the few minutes you’ll save by using the 10-item lane is worth having to endure one or two snarky comments.


Blocking the entire aisle with your cart

We all know that grocery aisles are narrow places, so when you park your grocery cart right in the middle of an already small place, it is very rude.  Rosalinda Randall, a social skills expert, lists this action as her top-ranked rude behavior at the grocery store. So what’s the best solution?

The grocery store aisle should be treated like the roadway, so try to keep your cart to the far right as you’re going down the aisle. When you need to cross over to take a certain item from the left-side shelves, stand near your cart and look at the left-side shelf until you see what you want, then look both ways before crossing over to grab the item you were looking for.

If you can successfully park your cart in the grocery store parking lot, you can manage parking your grocery cart properly inside the store as well.

Moreover, in a store with narrow aisles or on a particularly busy shopping day, it’s harder to keep your cart out of the way of other shoppers, but it helps to remember that nine out of ten people seriously dislike dealing with aisle traffic jams.

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Leaving items you no longer want on any random shelf

Apparently, rudeness isn’t limited to how you treat other costumers in the grocery store. You can be rude to the store’s employees and managers as well, in many ways, it doesn’t have to be direct all the time.

Grocery store managers absolutely hate when costumers leave unwanted items anywhere in the store where’s convenient for them, like leaving a yogurt that needs to stay in the fridge, somewhere near the shampoos. Not only is it disgusting, but it’s disrespectful to the store employees that must clean up the mess later.

It cost you just 1 minute to put back the product that you no longer want exactly in the place that you took if from, but it can take 10 minutes or more of clean-up work for the employees.

“We wish customers would return items directly to us, as a cashier, at the register, instead of just placing them ‘wherever’ on the shelf,” they explained.


Leaving the checkout line while your groceries are being scanned (to grab another item)

Even though this seems a little bit more well-tolerated than leaving your cart while you’re still in the line, it still annoys 68 percent of grocery shoppers. It’s less annoying because it seems more like an accident than a time-saving strategy. However, 68 percent is still a lot of people to annoy, so it is better to accept the fact that sometimes you forget things and shop for the forgotten item some other time.

When you finally reach the checkout lane after walking through the store for an ungodly amount of time and find out you forget your spouse’s favorite snack that you promised to buy. What do you do? Do you rudely hold up the line of people behind you until you run an get that snack? Please don’t. For you, it may seem like 2 minutes you spend searching for the right snack, but for the people in the line, it’ll seem like it takes 10 times as long.


Taste-testing — even when there are no free samples

Some grocery stores offer occasional free samples, which is a great option for trying new foods but don’t feed your entire family, please. Some people act like they don’t understand that those free samples are limited to certain times and days.

You probably realize it’s bad to open a bag of snack-size Snickers, eat one, and put it back on the shelf. But you might be surprised to learn that 80 percent of grocery shoppers frown upon your sampling anything that isn’t set out, specifically, as a sample.

Please don’t be the person that self-serves from the donut cabinet, or grab a bunch of grapes and pop them into their mouth.

Not only is it rude to make other customers watch you eat, but snacking inside the store is the same as stealing, according to Rosalinda Randall.

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Overdoing the coupons craze

In 2016, Statista says US consumers save around 2.2 billion coupons. And despite what it may have seemed like, the person in front of you in the checkout lane yesterday did not account for half of those coupons all by himself.

Don’t get me wrong, no one is going to criticize you for using coupons because saving money is never a bad thing. Nonetheless, watching someone holding a thick stack of coupons makes everyone roll their eyes a little bit because the cashier has to scan every coupon and there’s almost all the time a dispute between the customer and the cashier.

If you want to use coupons, read carefully the guidelines printed on the coupon, so you are sure that you’ve purchased the right thing. Its’ also important to take a look at the store’s coupon policy ahead of time. Additionally, try to shop at a time when the store isn’t as busy, so other costumes don’t have to wait behind you while the cashier scans your coupons.


Opening the freezer section doors long enough that they fog over

Have you ever yelled at a family member for leaving the refrigerator door open for way too long while they try to decide what they want? You should really cut them some slack because they have to open it in order to see what’s inside.

However, the story is totally different when it comes to the freezer section in grocery stores, because the doors are transparent, so you can easily see what’s inside without having to open the door. But still, people naturally keep the door open for what it seems like an eternity until they find the ice cream they were looking for.

After they’ve finished, the door fogs over, and now you have to open it to see what’s inside, creating a perpetual cycle of people propping freezer doors open.

Etiquette expert Diane Gottsman has a simple fix for this rude behavior: “Figure out what you want before opening the clear freezer door.”

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